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Topic: Home Made Audio Books

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Subject: Home Made Audio Books
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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I have some audio cassette tapes that my grandfather made for my grandmother where he read the book for her to listen to (she was diabetic).  I also have the original books.  I can dub it over to CD (I would want to do this anyway in order to monitor quality and make sure that the reading is good quality).

If I posted these as audio books and sent the CD and the original book (it will be non-ISBN obviously).  Would this count as a postable audio book?

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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No because the author and publisher were not paid to make those tapes. 

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Actually both the publisher and the author were paid (please read my original post).  The original books were purchased retail by them and would be included.  As for that the author wouldn't care, he's dead.

NOTE: This is not piracy, the only infringement is that my grandfather wouldn't receive compensation as the voice actor and the recording studio.

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2005
Posts: 641
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Did your grandfather have permission from the author to reproduce the book in audio form?

ETA: Copyrights do not end with the life of an author, they can be passed on. 

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Why not just post the original book?

If you're feeling generous, you could always PM and ask if they also want the audio version recorded by your grandfather.

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Without written release from the Author or the owner of the copyright technically what your grandfather did was illegal.  I would hazard to guess that PBS would not allow you to trade these on the sight.  (bold and underline my addition)


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of ?original works of authorship,? including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

? reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
? prepare derivative works based upon the work
? distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
? perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works
? display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
? perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings*) by means of a digital audio transmission

In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act. For further information, see Circular 40, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 122 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations
on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of ?fair use,? which is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a ?compulsory license? under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions. For further information about the limitations of any of these rights, consult the copyright law or write to the Copyright Office.


*note: Sound recordings are defined in the law as ?works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.?  Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures. A sound recording is not the same as a phonorecord. A phonorecord
is the physical object in which works of authorship are embodied. The word ?phonorecord? includes cassette tapes,
CDs, and vinyl disks as well as other formats.

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,222
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Regardless of whether he did something illegal or not, they would not be postable to PBS since they are not an original released product, they are homemade tapes. From the Help Center:

audio books: Yes

  • Audio books must be originalsThey do not have to have their original box, but they must be packaged safely in transit and they must be playable.  Audio books are worth 2 credits.
  • Audio books = books that were also published in bound form, that are read aloud by a narrator.  Audio recordings that accompany a bound book as supplementary materials do not qualify as audiobooks.  Performance recordings (ie, comedy routines) do not qualify as audiobooks (performance recordings on CD can usually be Posted at SwapaCD.com


Can downloaded/burned/copies of audio books be traded?

No. Please swap only original audio books.

  • Do not swap CDs that have been burned by individuals.
    • There are copyright issues involved for copied material.

    • Also, when copies are involved, there is more room for damaged or unreadable material.

Downloaded audio books (for example, from audible.com) are also not permitted.

  • We know that you paid for these, but we have no assurance that these are the only copies that were made.

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 4:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Thank you Christy.

EDIT: Thank  You Melanie D, it took me too long to type.

I am already very familiar with copyright, but not in the printed version.  It's good to know the differences between visual, audio, and printed.

I also found the following when looking at another computer (the highlighting feature doesn't work on mine).

Help Docs
  Posting Books
    Is my book okay to post here?
Audio Books
Audiobooks (CDs and casettes) are very popular at PBS.
They are worth 2 credits.
They must be original (not burned or downloaded) copies.

I hadn't found a PBS definition for original before this.

I'll probably keep a few of them for keepsakes and toss the rest.  I have some problems with the current copyright law (see Cher should have strangled Bono in his sleep back in the 70s).  But I don't really wish to infringe upon it.  This is the reason that I scooped up a whole set of books laid out at the book trade table in the dorms back in college and destroyed them, they were all missing the covers (and obviously not worn enough that this was due to glue separation or anything).

I mostly wanted to pass the love on (I know the audio books are hard to find and in the case of 4 of these appear to be non-existent in CD, record, or tape format, don't know about online, not really in that scene).

As a addendum question, I have a vinyl copy of "A Christmas Carol" & "War of the Worlds".  I'm not going to post it as it is a cherished copy, but in case I run into more vinyl book copies somewhere is this postable anywhere but the book bazaar?

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 4:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Grandpa was probably fine purchasing the book and recording himself reading it, so long as there is no change of ownership of the audio.    Like music, you can probably utilize your owned version however you wish.  The problem arises when attempting to transfer ownership and/or play/perform the unauthorized recording for others.  The copyright laws are much different for print vs. electronic & audio books.

Grandpa sounds like a lovely and caring person.  Keep the tapes as wonderful family memories, but you do not want to transfer ownership of the the audio.

ETA - I share your pain regarding media not available in the format we want.  I have a favorite work-out video (VHS) purchased over 15 years ago.  Almost everything in our home is now DVD format, and I would love to purchase this workout in DVD.  I've searched stores and online, but apparently it was never officially converted.  No professional transfer service will touch it due to copyright laws . . . therefore my favorite work-out is unavailable without a VHS player.  Frustrating.

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 5:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,351
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There's no provision for/mention of trading vinyl here -- only cassettes and CDs.  But you could certainly ask the Admin Team for a ruling -- to do that, go down to the bottom right corner and under Company click on Contact Us and use the Feedback option.

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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All I have to say is god bless your grandfather for the gift he gave your grandma.  He must have loved her very much. 

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Thank you all for the replys

Denise L: You might try talking to any youth at your church or other local organization.  I personally can convert VHS to DVD (not volunteering this takes more time than audio transfer), but the millenial generation with the right tools can do this sort of thing, but you must keep a copy of both the original and copy together (this is ok as at least in my state the courts have ruled it is the performance and intellectual property that you have already paid for that is represented by the original VHS tape are protected not the media format).

I do understand the professional's unease, the rulings back from when Napster went under made it a little unclear about whether they would be responsible for any abuses that you might later do with the DVD they transfered.  It isn't technically illegal, but they never know as a business when they might be forced into a court proceedings, and the only people that actually win those sort of court cases are the lawyers.

Only one word of caution: when you talk to someone to do this, make them promise to delete all of their copies when they are done (some of the millenials love to put everything online and that isn't kosher, others are smarter because they have been burnt, for example the Middle Schoolers at my church used the sound system to make a song where they did be-boxing and everything to produce it, but they made me promise not to put it anywhere online when I edited it).

In addition be very careful with the new copy, home burned DVD's are much more fragile than production line types (I keep a dual copy backup of all of my mom' & dad's home videos for them just incase).

Last Edited on: 12/1/10 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/1/2010 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 81
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Personally, I would keep them.  Of course, that depends on your relationship with your grandfather, but to me, they are almost like love letters - something he did out of love for your granny. 

Date Posted: 12/1/2010 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2010
Posts: 238
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Chris, your Grandfather sounds like the sweetest man ever.

Denise, you can go to Brookstone's website and buy a VHS to DVD converter for less than $100...they also have one that does cassette tapes to MP3s