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LibriVox books at Audible
#1  issybird 04-18-2017, 11:52 AM
I'm copying over a post by Catlady/skinmaan in the Deals forum:

Quote skinmaan
Quote Catlady
I was just about to post regarding this title. Elizabeth Klett is my favorite Librivox narrator, and this is apparently a title she recorded for Librivox. I noticed that some other of her Librivox titles are being sold at Audible, and that she has posted "Buyer Beware" comments on a couple of them indicating that they are her free Librivox recordings.

I contacted her through her website to let her know about this one.
Point well-made and thanks for informing the reader. I did some checking and if you look at the publisher's catalog on Audible (SAGA Egmont) it seems to be made up of classics (likely from Librivox) and foreign language publications.
I ran across the following list at the Goodreads Audiobook group and I thought it might be of interest:

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A heads up on this particular company, SAGA Egmont, which is publishing quite a few classics. They are taking the recordings from LibriVox.org and repackaging them as new. Many people who have recorded for LibriVox (myself included) are very unhappy about this. Audible has been notified that these are LibriVox recordings -- which they have removed in the past when notified of this -- but lately they've been letting them slide through.

It's certainly true that our LibriVox recordings are released into the Public Domain which means that we have no control or legal ownership of them. However, most of us are very unhappy that unscrupulous 'publishers' are duping people into buying recordings that were made for free for the public. The narrator of this book, Elizabeth Klett, who ublished a huge amount of solos on LibriVox before launching a career as a professional, is not receiving any compensation for her recording being used this way.

For anyone who is interested, another company to watch for this type of practice is called 'Paperless.' They have quite a few LibriVox recordings on Audible for sale, too. Downpour, which is owned by Blackstone, had one of my LibriVox solos for sale on their site from Paperless. I complained to Downpour and they removed the book.
And from the same poster:

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However, these publishers selling them on Audible have stripped all mention of LibriVox and 'the public domain' from the recordings. They are passing them off as their own. A number of narrators, including myself, got our start on LibriVox by volunteering and then gradually transitioned to recording professionally. In most cases, we've upgraded our equipment, our recordings areas, taken classes, etc. These publishers are sticking our earlier and, in some cases, less polished recordings up for sale next to our 'professional' ones. Most of us don't like that, either.
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#2  Catlady 04-18-2017, 12:57 PM
SAGA Egmont isn't the only one. I suggest that for any recordings of public domain classics from unfamiliar publishers, it would be wise to check the LibriVox site to see if that's where the recording originated.

I wouldn't mind paying for some recordings through Audible if the narrator and/or LibriVox got a cut. But paying some pseudo publisher who did no work is outrageous.
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#3  AnemicOak 04-18-2017, 01:10 PM
http://saga-books.com/english/
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The vision of Saga is to revive great works by great authors to the market by digitizing the written word into digital formats such as eBooks and audio books.
Especially easy if they just repackage other peoples work.


EDIT, see post below. It doesn't appear that LibriVox publishes any kind of guidelines on how their recordings may be used? Just because the books are PD and the recordings are made available for free doesn't mean that they can't have some say in what is done with the recordings (such as repackaging and selling them).
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#4  sun surfer 04-18-2017, 01:12 PM
Thanks for the warning. I'm glad it wasn't me who pointed this out though, or I'd have probably had someone or another show up to try to berate me for putting down these hardworking people who sacrifice their time to put up LibriVox recordings for Audible members.
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#5  issybird 04-18-2017, 01:25 PM
I think it's reprehensible for Audible to profit from these sales. I also feel for those narrators whose professional status is compromised by juxtaposition with their amateur output.
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#6  AnemicOak 04-18-2017, 01:49 PM
Quote issybird
I think it's reprehensible for Audible to profit from these sales. I also feel for those narrators whose professional status is compromised by juxtaposition with their amateur output.
It's kinda shady, but the narrators did agree to it when they did recording for LibriVox. I get where they're coming from and as a customer I might feel duped if I bought something like this and could have gotten the same thing free, but it appears the "publisher" is following LibriVox's own guidelines. Do the narrator's have a right to try and get the publishers editions pulled when the recordings are being used in accordance with the "rules"? I'm kind of surprised that Audible doesn't have a policy thought that LibriVox recordings aren't acceptable, just because of the issues with the number of PD recordings already out there from various pubs and the questionable quality of some LibriVox material.



https://librivox.org/pages/public-domain/
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LibriVox records only texts that are in the public domain (in the USA – see below for why), and all our recordings are public domain (definitely in the USA, and maybe in your country as well, see below). This means anyone can use all our recordings however they wish (even to sell them).
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Practicalities
The practical implications of our copyright policies are:
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What Can Other People Do with LibriVox Recordings

LibriVox recordings are in the public domain, which means people can do anything they like with them. Mostly this just means people can listen to them for free. But it also means they can: sell them (for instance on ebay), broadcast them, put them in commercials, play them at political rallies, chop them up, remix them, make music recordings of them. The recordings are free, and there is no need to credit LibriVox, although of course we much prefer if you do credit us (with a link to our site).
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#7  Catlady 04-18-2017, 02:03 PM
Quote AnemicOak
It doesn't appear that LibriVox publishes any kind of guidelines on how their recordings may be used? Just because the books are PD and the recordings are made available for free doesn't mean that they can't have some say in what is done with the recordings (such as repackaging and selling them).
I guess it's the same legally as people using the Project Gutenberg texts and repackaging them. But it seems different with recordings because of the involvement of narrators. It may be legal to sell the recordings but it's unethical.

I wonder if the old-time radio recordings that Audible sells are repackaged from the free versions at the Internet Archive.

Quote issybird
I think it's reprehensible for Audible to profit from these sales. I also feel for those narrators whose professional status is compromised by juxtaposition with their amateur output.
Yes. And Audible/Amazon have a number of these books as Whispersync pairs too, which gives the recording more exposure and credibility.
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#8  AnemicOak 04-18-2017, 02:52 PM
Quote Catlady
It may be legal to sell the recordings but it's unethical.
Even if LibriVox explicitly states that it's okay and the narrators agree to it when they participate? LibriVox could have easily licensed the recordings as free to download/listen to, but not repackage in any way instead of how they've done it or required acknowledgement so people know where the recordings came from and aren't duped into buying something they could have downloaded for free.

They've been being sold on CD's for years the only thing different here is it's a download. Wouldn't be surprised it downloads have been sold for years too, just not necessarily by Audible or Downpour.
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#9  issybird 04-18-2017, 03:22 PM
Oh, I know it's legal. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean it's not a poor choice.

There's something off-putting about selling something people could get for free. And even as Audible is undermining the professional careers of those who've made the transition, they're also undermining the perceived quality of their own offerings. Is it really worth the money Audible makes on these books to do something a portion of its clientele finds distasteful,?
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#10  AnemicOak 04-18-2017, 03:29 PM
Quote issybird
And even as Audible is undermining the professional careers of those who've made the transition, they're also undermining the perceived quality of their own offerings. Is it really worth the money Audible makes on these books to do something a portion of its clientele finds distasteful,?
Didn't say they should allow it. Like I said I'm kind of surprised that Audible doesn't have some policy that specifically says no LibriVox stuff. Kind of how Amazon's gotten picky about PD eBooks. That said do we even know if Audible is aware of this happening and has there been any actual official response?
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