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free audio books …

LibriVox - the accoustical liberation of books in the public domain

… I just got a ‚for:tohuwabohu‘ hint on deli.cio.us where to find free audio books which are recorded by volunteers. The platform is called LibriVox. The goal of the LibriVox community is to make all books which are available under the public domain available as free audio books. (So no lord of the rings or Harry potter) Therefore volunteers read and record chapters of books and upload them afterwards. The audio book recorded by LibriVox volunteers are also directly going into the public domain. They provide RSS feeds to stay tuned on New Releases and Latest News a inconvenient usability.

Their motto is: „We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.“ Regarding this statement the blog is under a creative commons license.

To give a short introduction I try to explain briefly copyright, public domain and creative commons. The copyright are a couple of „exclusive rights“ held by people for their own creative „work“ which can be a form of intellectual or artistic „work“, e. g. text, poems, theses, movies, paintings, music, lyrics, etc. … . Mostly it is limited for a certain period of time which depends on the different laws in the particular country. When the copyright expires after the certain time frame (can be between 70-95 years after the creators death) the „creative Works“ moves into the public domain“. The symbol for copyright is „©“ – i think well known. The copyright is supposed to protect the creator and its „intellectuell property“. So only the copyright holder has the right to copy, reproduce, built derivatives, import, export, display, perform and transmit the work. Also the opportunity to sell or assign the rights itself to other people or institutions is included into the set of exclusive rights.

If a creative work goes into a public domain that means it is free. Who ever wants to can do everything mentioned in the last paragraph above like copy, … . Public domain comprises the „creative works“ in relation to that NO person or other legal entity can establish or maintain proprietary interests. Information and creative works are considered to be part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage, which, in general, anyone may use or exploit, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Creative commons are something in between.  First they try to make people aware of the copyright and the restricted opportunities with creative works. Second they try to build a balance between the restrict copyright and the border less public domain.

I don’t know yet about the quality but according to a statement of a BBC person: „The list of titles is not as long as I would like, but it is growing all the time and the quality of the recordings is generally very good.“

Well, who is a great reader with a nice voice? Go ahead and participate, you might become famous voice. I’ll go and check out which books are available.

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