Let’s Start Something

Anyone feel like recording a chapter of Lawrence Lessig’s new book?

The license pretty clearly indicates that, so long as we’re not making a commercial venture of it, we can make a recording of (“perform”) the text. There are a Preface, Introduction, fifteen chapters, a conclusion and an afterword. If you’re willing to contribute an MP3 recording of a chapter (ideally, hosting it on your own server — but I’ll bet we can gird up the Disseminary to host chapters for you, if you can host it yourself — drop us a comment and let us know which chapters you’ll take. Heck, we could have duelling chapters; which version of chapter 5 do you like, Accordion Guy’s or Jenny the Shifted Librarian’s? (Disclaimer: I just typed their names in there. They haven’t offered or anything. Yet.) (Another disclaimer: When I went to Jenny’s just now to get her link, I saw that she had the same idea — and we didn’t even talk about it Wednesday night!)

If we all chip in, the effort will be minimal and the benefits great.


Here’s what we have so far:

Among those who have volunteered and specified chapters that they’ll try, we have:

Preface: Kevin Marks, available here

Introduction: Raph Levien, available here

Intro to the “Piracy” section (thanks for noticing this!): Chris Farmer, available here

Chapter 1: Doug Kaye (download it here already! And it’s terrific), George’s version here (I’m glad they took this chapter; I’m not ready to try to pronounce doujinshi.)

Chapter 2: Victoria and A. J. Wright available here

Chapter 3: Victoria and A. J. Wright Now available here.

Chapter 4: Eric Rice (may be able to help with hosting), Adam Brault available here

Chapter with Governess and Bodice-Ripping: Halley (I want to hear this)

Chapter 5: AKMA (done — here it is, hefty at 15.67 Mb; anyone should feel free to compress it if you see a way to)

Chapter 6: Les Hall, Guan Yang (available here), and Adam Brault (available here)

Chapter 7: Michael Shook (probably can’t host) Available here.

Chapter 8: Suw Charman available here

Chapter 9: Tara now available here, Chuck Welch

Chapter 10: Giles Hoover [Scott Fiddelke, here]

Chapter 11: Neel (can probably host it), Dave Winer (available now, here!)

Chapter 12: Dave Winer, available here

Chapter 13: Jeneane Sesssum here [It’s George, according to archive.org, with an introduction from then-babyblogger Jenna]

Chapter 14: Ted Fletcher, David Weinberger, here

Conclusion: Enoch Choi, available here

Afterword: Linda and George, available here; Tim Samoff, here

Notes (ahem!): techt

Executive Summary: Halley “Executive” Suitt (no, it’s pronounced to rhyme with “root,” not “bleat”

Graphic: David Weinberger

I’ll read an unclaimed chapter as soon as I have a chance to get over to my office; there’s not much chance of enough quiet to read a chapter here.

Can anyone recommend downloadable recording software? I’m set on my TiBook nusing AudioRecorder; what about Windows users? Dave says the sound recorder app that comes with Windows XP only records sixty seconds at a time. [Whoops! Dave found and recommends PolderbitS for Windows, so we’ll have him on board as soon as his neighbor shuts down the lawn mower. Lawn mower? There’s something to mow already?]

Now, here’s a question for Jenny or Liz (or from a different direction, for Adam) — how should we frame the ID3 tags? I suppose the “album” should be Free Culture. The Track Name should follow the designations in the text (such as, “Chapter 1: Creators”). Is the Artist the reader, or Lawrence Lessig? If the Artist is Lessig, does the reader go into “comments”? Or shall we put both into the Artist tag (such as “Lawrence Lessig and Halley Suitt”)? Might as well do it right from the outset.

Doug suggests the settings he used: “Encoded as 48kbps mono MP3 using a licensed encoder.”

Today Lessig, tomorrow Doctorow.

123 thoughts on “Let’s Start Something

  1. I’ll do Chapter 7: Recorders

    I doubt that I can host it, but I’ll see when I see how big it is.

  2. I’d be glad to post it on IT Conversations, but I don’t know if the site qualifies as non-commercial. We at least *try* to sell advertising. 🙂

    I’ll record and post Chapter One and see what happens.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 12:26 AM

  3. Wacky, I just did an audio test recording a chapter from Cory’s book, EST. I can host virtually anything on my servers, so I’ll take a crack at maybe Chapter 4… Anyone wants hosting help, let me know.

    Posted by: Eric Rice at March 27, 2004 01:36 AM

  4. I’m in. No preference on chapters. I have access to a kick-ass recording lab across from my office, so while I can’t guarantee the quality of my voice, I can guarantee the quality of the recording. Can host whatever I record, as well, on our servers.

    I’ll see if I can get my friends and colleagues Weez and Steve–hosts of a local PBS radio show–to play as well.

    Posted by: Liz at March 27, 2004 01:39 AM

  5. I’ll give that a shot. Maybe even add a nice, non-distracting background behind it using GarageBand. I need something to do anyway. 😉

    Posted by: Phil Ulrich at March 27, 2004 02:22 AM

  6. AKMA = I’m happy to help. I want to read the sexy chapter where the governess comes back from the heath and his crazy wife is in the attic and then they run off to the inn and her bodice rips and he is manly and all that stuff, okay? H

    Posted by: Halley Suitt at March 27, 2004 05:52 AM

  7. What a wonderful idea!

    Put me down for a chapter to read and host.

    Obviously, we should all put up links to all the chapters. Will Larry also?

    Posted by: David Weinberger at March 27, 2004 06:16 AM

  8. *laugh* What fun!

    I’d love to read a chapter, and I will be able to host it.

    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 27, 2004 06:19 AM

  9. Cool, I’m in. I’ll do the Notes section (pp307-330).

    Posted by: techt at March 27, 2004 07:01 AM

  10. Putting my hand up – with a New Zealand accent. I lecture in radio, so it’d be kind of cool to do the introduction with the tragic tale of Edwin Howard Armstrong and the invention of FM would be ideal – but no real preference aside from that.

    Posted by: Dubber at March 27, 2004 07:13 AM

  11. I’m in too. AKMA, probably best if you coordinate who does what perhaps?


    Posted by: Adam Curry at March 27, 2004 07:22 AM

  12. Fun!

    I BoingBoing’d here – think I’ll give Chapter 11 a go in the next few days. Probably terrible recording quality (and the cold I’ve got at the moment won’t help), but I’ll find something fun to do with it. Should be able to host it on my Uni server.

    Posted by: Neel at March 27, 2004 08:05 AM

  13. OK, Adam, will do. I’ll post the roster on the main entry so it’ll be easier to keep track of.

    Posted by: AKMA at March 27, 2004 08:55 AM

  14. Bravo! Let us lend our larynxes to Larry Lessig.

    Posted by: tom matrullo at March 27, 2004 08:58 AM

  15. Yeah, i’m up for it. Don’t mind which chapter. Maybe the shortest one? 😉

    Posted by: Suw at March 27, 2004 08:59 AM

  16. A phenomenal and exciting idea — I would love to participate with Chapter 9 if it hasn’t been claimed. I have hosting as well.

    And a separate thought… how does audio deal with the numerous diagrams scattered throughout Chapter 10?

    Posted by: Tara at March 27, 2004 09:44 AM

  17. “If we all chip in, the effort will be minimal and the benefits great.”


    I’m on vacation, but I’ll “perform” Chapter 9 next weekend. I should be able to host it until my ISP shuts me down for exceeding bandwidth.

    Posted by: Chuck Welch at March 27, 2004 10:10 AM

  18. Here are the ID3 tags I used for Chapter One. I can re-do them if another standard evolves:

    Title: Free Culture, Chapter 1
    Artist: Lawrence Lessig
    Album: IT Conversations {my web site}
    Comments: Read by Doug Kaye
    Genre: Speech

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 10:13 AM

  19. GREAT idea! I’ll happily contribute. Lets see…. I’ll do chapter 10. (It describes Valenti for who he is — and boy do I want to help spread that around…;) Can host it, too, no prob.

    Tara asks an excellent point, however: how to deal with charts, etc. It seems that pp. 121 and 124-6 would be the most difficult. The others can be read through and/or discribed fairly easily. Suggestions welcome!

    Posted by: Giles Hoover at March 27, 2004 10:13 AM

  20. I’ll be glad to host chapters for anyone who can’t host themselves. (doug@rds.com)

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 10:23 AM

  21. I’d love to get help from someone who knows how to develop sites for the visually impaired. The MP3 files are great for people who can’t see or read, but our web sites aren’t handicapped-friendly. Perhaps someone who knows how to do this could create an HTML page with links to the MP3 files.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 10:41 AM

  22. Aww heck, I’ll volunteer for chapter 2 or 3. I’ll even host.

    Posted by: Victoria Wright at March 27, 2004 11:25 AM

  23. Okay, after talking to the hubby (AJ Wright) We’ll take care of chapters 2 and 3, hosting respectively. We’re not sure where yet, we’ll post when we know.

    Posted by: Victoria Wright at March 27, 2004 11:31 AM

  24. I aired the first chapter this morning on (non-commercial) Whole Wheat Radio to a small audience of 13 listeners in 4 countries. It plays very well. When a chapter plays, a link to Lawrence Lessig’s blog comes up (for listeners to find out more info) as well as a link to the reader’s site – in this case Doug Kaye’s personal blog.

    It felt ‘vital’ to air something that is so hot in the blogosphere at the moment in time. Thank you for the spirit of this project and the volunteer efforts put forth.

    Posted by: Jim Kloss at March 27, 2004 11:50 AM

  25. I’ll take one. Is there a lucky 13 chapter? I can record it in George’s studio as a .wav and then convert to an mp3. Book’s on the way. Can probably can host–have to see how big and if it works.

    Posted by: jeneane at March 27, 2004 12:04 PM

  26. Hi,

    I’d like to do chapter 8: Transformers. I can possibly host. I should have it done in the next couple days.

    Posted by: Bill Zeller at March 27, 2004 01:02 PM

  27. Ok, how the heck do you pronounce “Kahle” as in “Brewster Kahle”?

    Is it “Kale”, “Kah-lay”, “Kahl”, …?

    I’m a southerner, so it may be “Kahle, Y’all”. 🙂

    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 27, 2004 01:06 PM

  28. That was exactly what I was wondering, A.J. — he’s prominent in the chapter I’m recording.

    Posted by: Tara at March 27, 2004 02:31 PM

  29. i’ll take the introduction should it not already be spoken for. Sarah, our 10 year old, wants to do “Piracy” (on the TOC between the Introduction and Chapter 1).

    Posted by: Dan Hughes at March 27, 2004 02:37 PM

  30. I’m going with “Kah-lay” unless I’m corrected.

    I’ve never had to look up pronounciation on so many words in my life. Before this, I thought I could read. 🙂


    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 27, 2004 02:44 PM

  31. I can help out with hosting the files. I have tons of excess bandwidth.

    Posted by: Matt Gifford at March 27, 2004 03:13 PM

  32. BTW, it probably wasn’t clear from my post, but I was offering to host all the files.

    Also, to Doug Kaye, I’d like to get a file that I can copy to my MP3 player. Is there a URL where I can download one??

    I might do another chapter. I have the thing set up, and the first one was fun. ;->

    Posted by: Dave Winer at March 27, 2004 03:20 PM

  33. Does anybody know how to pronounce Else, as in Jon Else, the subject of chapter 7?
    Posted by: Michael Shook at March 27, 2004 03:39 PM

  34. FYI I have attached my URL. WIll record this wekend. Will an MP3 be okay?

    Posted by: Les Hall at March 27, 2004 03:40 PM

  35. To Dave Winer: On this page there’s a “Download” link. That goes to a second (dynamic) page from where you can download the MP3. Sorry for this extra step, but IT Conversations is delivered by a massive content-delivery network (CDN) provided by Limelight Networks (thanks!), and the URLs aren’t permalinks.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 03:41 PM

  36. After 4.5 hours we’ve had 135 “listens” to Chapter One: 51 streamers and 84 downloaders.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 03:55 PM

  37. My friend Ted Fletcher will do Chapter 14: Eldred II

    Posted by: Michael Shook at March 27, 2004 04:02 PM

  38. I just read through the Conclusion (it’s a long one), but with too many glitches, too hissy a mike placement, and some miscellaneous dog barks and door slams in the background. I’m over at the office now, trying out chapter 5. Let’s see how that goes.

    Posted by: AKMA at March 27, 2004 04:17 PM

  39. I’d love to take the preface and I can host it.
    Are we doing the preface??

    Posted by: Joseph Price at March 27, 2004 04:34 PM

  40. A visitor to my site told me about your project and I want to express my support and kudos. I’ve downloaded chapter one and am impressed with the quality.

    I run a project (Telltale Weekly) with a similar mission. I seek to record and sell (for as little as 25 cents) copyright-free works with the intention of releasing them back into the pseudo-public domain under a CCL after five years or a set number of sales, and in this way continually fund and build a free online audiobook library.

    Under the Attribution-Non-Commercial deed under which Prof. Lessig has generously offered his work, your recording would not be eligible to be sold via my project, but if there’s any way I can otherwise help out (if only by providing a download mirror to help ease your bandwidth costs), please let me know.

    Best of luck on this and future endeavors.


    Posted by: Alexander Wilson at March 27, 2004 04:47 PM

  41. With my stutter, the mistakes are what is taking us long on Chapters 2 & 3. We recorded each paragraph as a separate file and reassembled only the good “takes.”

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix the monotone, gravelly voice. *grin*

    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 27, 2004 04:48 PM

  42. Very cool concept! Considering the whole “freedom” bit, should a version of the final product encoded in the Ogg Vorbis format be considered? If the speakers of each chapter aren’t up to it, I’d gladly transcode or encode the final product. That is, of course, assuming that general consensus agrees with the utility of such a format.

    Posted by: Dan Callahan at March 27, 2004 04:58 PM

  43. Has anyone recorded the introduction? I have raw audio of it, but unfortunately my laptop’s soundcard is a bit glitchy.

    I want to be part of this – I’ve played around with the idea in the past, as you can see on my audiobook page. So I’ll take the first chapter that’s available – looks like Ch. 8 at the time of my posting.

    Posted by: Raph Levien at March 27, 2004 06:45 PM

  44. Ogg Vorbis would be a great destination, but for now I’d like a transitional phase of MP3 (for those who aren’t Ogg-able yet).

    Raph, Suw just asked for 8. Jeneane asked for Chapter 13.

    What about the Conclusion and/or Afterword? And don’t hesitate to offer the introduction — at least we’ll have one version until someone makes a better.

    Posted by: AKMA at March 27, 2004 07:08 PM

  45. I can mirror content for you on an Irish server if that’s helpful.

    Posted by: Bernie Goldbach at March 27, 2004 07:21 PM

  46. We hit 200 listens (69 streams, 131 downloads) after eight hours on IT Conversations (5:20pm PST Saturday). A remarkable 32 of the streamers have returned their “ballots” and 100% of them have rated Chapter One of Larry’s book “5 stars.” It’s not only the highest response rate we’ve ever had (percentage-wise), but also the highest-rated recording out of nearly 100 on the site. (Downloaders don’t get their ballots until 48 hours after downloading. Streamers get theirs after only four hours, so only a few listeners even know what I’m talking about yet.)

    This has already proven to be a successful concept. (Thank you AKMA!) And it hasn’t yet spread beyond a few hundred weekend bloggers. Cool.

    Get your recordings online ASAP. If my experience doing this for the past 10 months is any indication, we should be prepared for substantial traffic on Monday. If anyone needs help with any aspect of their recordings, encoding or content distribution, let me know.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 27, 2004 07:35 PM

  47. Brewster’s last name is pronounced Kay-ell, with emphasis on the first syllable.

    Posted by: Dave Winer at March 27, 2004 07:36 PM

  48. Kahle is pronouced as though there were no H. It’s one syllable, not two. Like the green leafy vegetable.

    I would caution everyone to understand who their audience is. If you think these recordings are really going to be useful to blind people, please think again. They’re not in DAISY format, they don’t have chapter markers or other metadata, they’re not read by trained readers (there are guidelines on conversion to audiobook), and they’re not read by experienced readers with good voices necessarily.

    Nor are these the sort of books on tape that sighted people play in their cars or at the gym, which have different requirements, but which also put a premium on production values and quality and intelligibility of rendition.

    There’s not a thing wrong with this open-source reading plan, but it would have helped to identify the audience before going off half-cocked.

    I will download the available chapters and give a listen. I may have other comments later. For the record, I’ve been fighting with the CNIB for a year and a half to get a professionally-done audio version of my book in production, and even though I gave them the best-marked-up text they’d ever seen (that can be immediately turned into DAISY XML), it still hasn’t happened. So this is something of a bugbear of mine.

    Oh, and one more thing: Why did Lessig think it was a bright idea to release the book in PDF?

    Posted by: Joe Clark at March 27, 2004 07:51 PM

  49. Joe, I don’t think we expected this would be a solve-all-problems answer for blind Creative Commons enthusiasts; it’s a performance of the book, is all, and an experiment in Commons activity.

    I greatly value your experience and guidance on this topic, but I’m in this for fun and as part of the ignition for change in copyright practices more than as an accessibility solution. Your input, though, highlights how much further we have to go toward a goal of open access to the fruits of the commons.

    Posted by: AKMA at March 27, 2004 08:02 PM

  50. Regarding the japanese (vowels):
    i: like the ‘e’ in she’
    o: like the ‘a’ in ‘saw’
    The u in “doujinshi” is really a dragged out (a long) o.
    So it should be something like “doh-jinshi”.

    Posted by: Vaste at March 27, 2004 09:33 PM

  51. Can anyone recommend downloadable recording software? I’m set on my TiBook nusing AudioRecorder; what about Windows users? Dave says the sound recorder app that comes with Windows XP only records sixty seconds at a time.

    There are ways to get around the 60 second limit. The easiest way is to make a blank 60 second file, then repeatedly insert it into a new file. You can make a blank file of any required length this way.

    HOWEVER: instead of fooling around with that, I’d recommend giving Audacity a try. It’s 100% free (beer and speech), and runs on OS X, Windows, and Linux/Unix. It’s a lot more flexible than either the freeware SoundRecorder for the Mac or the Windows Sound Recorder.

    No connection to the Audacity team, just a satisfied user.

    Posted by: Tony Hursh at March 27, 2004 09:44 PM

  52. i love the example that the conclusion starts with, and think it apropo that a physician reads at least that part 😉 i guess i’ll read the whole conclusion into my iPod. Warning, it’s a big WAV, any thoughts on converting it? When i use the built-in iTunes converter, it introduces lots of clicks and static.

    Posted by: enoch choi at March 27, 2004 10:56 PM

  53. We’ve posted Chapter 3 here.

    AJ has finished recording Chapter 2, but clean-up will have to wait until tomorrow.

    Let us know if you see problems.

    Posted by: Victoria Wright at March 27, 2004 11:45 PM

  54. here’s the conclusion:

    26MB WAV file
    16MB MP3 worthlessly warbling file See Enoch’s follow-up below

    Can anyone help me convert my iPod/belkin mic recorded WAV into an MP3 that doesn’t sound like i’m speaking underwater through a star trek communicator?

    Oh, and Akma, this is hosted from home, so i’d prefer it stored on Disseminary when you get an MP3 version you like. Otherwise, comcast will probably cut me loose as it has other locals who are hosting from home. (delinked, now in deference to your request)

    Posted by: enoch choi at March 28, 2004 12:28 AM

  55. I’ve just emailed Enoch a remastered and re-encoded version of his file. The quality still isn’t great, but I think I was able to improve it somewhat.

    One comment re some of the other chapters I’ve listened to: I suggest you don’t create your MP3s at sample rates >48k. The sample rate is directly proportional to the size of the resulting file, and some of the 128k MP3 chapters are in the 50MB range! (At 48k the same chapters would be less than 19k.) For voice, more than 48k won’t buy you anything. Even 32k should be fine given the quality of most of the originals.

    Posted by: Doug Kaye at March 28, 2004 02:11 AM

  56. Chapter 1, with apologies to Doug Kaye, whose earlier dibs I should have honored. (I plead the lateness of the hour.)

    Posted by: George at March 28, 2004 02:40 AM

  57. I’ve recorded the introduction and have appealed to Eric Rice for help hosting. If anyone else wants to offer to host it – let me know and I’ll see what I can do about getting it to them over my 56k modem. MP3 – 9Mb (26min 34sec)

    Much appreciated.

    Posted by: Dubber at March 28, 2004 02:40 AM

  58. I edited and encoded the introduction, and posted it to my server. As I posted above, the soundcard showed some glitching, but overall it’s not that bad as a rough draft.

    I’ll check in again tomorrow evening to see if there’s still a chapter that needs reading.

    Posted by: Raph Levien at March 28, 2004 02:49 AM

  59. Oh, it looks like most folks are listing the MP3 (goodness knows page/post locations can change) so it is here for the time being.

    Posted by: George at March 28, 2004 03:03 AM

  60. Update on conclusion file: Doug Kaye kindly reworked my MP3 so that it’s passable, in a 9MB file [same URL as before]. The iPod/belkin mic combo does a pretty terrible job, and i can’t wait for Griffin’s to come out.

    Posted by: enoch choi at March 28, 2004 03:03 AM

  61. I’m going to do chapter 6. I can host myself.

    Posted by: Guan Yang at March 28, 2004 05:09 AM

  62. Audacity is a usable free, open source cross-platform audo recording and editing app.

    Posted by: Kevin Marks at March 28, 2004 06:18 AM

  63. I will host any chapter net yet spoken for. I am an NYU student toying around with my own audioblog as of late… http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/blake/
    …and am totally in support of expanding the amount of meaningful audio material used on the internet!! I can host it too!
    Posted by: Linda Blake at March 28, 2004 06:39 AM

  64. Never mind..the conclusion has been done..i just listened to it!
    Posted by: linda blake at March 28, 2004 07:20 AM

  65. Enoch asked that somebody else grab and host the Conclusion for him. Done.


    Posted by: Alexander Wilson at March 28, 2004 08:42 AM

  66. Can’t we include the original text in the final recording, along with some kind of (rough at least) synchronization? Is there any standard and any support for this? (E.g. should be easy to include in Ogg but how exactly, can/should it be multiplexed and is it there something that actually uses it?)

    Posted by: Vaste at March 28, 2004 09:32 AM

  67. Awesome, I can’t tell if it’s all spoken for now, but if not assign me any part. I can upload it (or any other chapter in need of hosting) to blog*spot. It may be punctuated by the combination otter and dolphin language my son speaks.

    Posted by: Denise Howell at March 28, 2004 10:09 AM

  68. I would be happy to help with hosting for people who need it.

    I would be happy to read the Acknowledgements, if we’re doing it.
    Posted by: Asheesh Laroia at March 28, 2004 10:53 AM

  69. OK, all, I’ve made a fuller post above with acknowledgements, invitations for contributions, and so on. As of this morning, we don’t have copies of Chapters 4, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, and the Afterword (this isn’t a slight to the volunteers who’ve expressed their interest in specific chapters — just noting the sections for which no one has actually posted anything yet).

    Anyone interested in reading, please start with one of the absent chapters! If you can’t host a recording yourseslf, don’t worry; Dave, Eric, and Asheesh have all volunteered to help. Many, many thanks!

    Posted by: AKMA at March 28, 2004 11:41 AM

  70. I run a BitTorrent tracker. Let me know when the project is done and I’ll host the entire audiobook, seeded locally and permanently.

    Posted by: Andy Baio at March 28, 2004 12:19 PM

  71. Ok, Ch 8 recorded. Just have to mp3 it and it’s done. If anyone can help with hosting, that’d be cool.

    Posted by: Suw at March 28, 2004 01:58 PM

  72. Preface recorded and MP3’d

    This one is very authorial in voice, so it is a bit odd to say ‘my firat book’…

    Posted by: Kevin Marks at March 28, 2004 02:00 PM

  73. Chapter two is here and Kahle is now pronounced “Kale”.


    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 28, 2004 02:32 PM

  74. I spoke with Chris Hodge, who is in charge of the SunSITE@UTK server we hosted on. He said they would be happy to host other chapters (or a long-term copy of the book) if need be. This is right up his alley.

    Three guesses to figure out where I work. 🙂

    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 28, 2004 02:52 PM

  75. My reading of the introduction has been sent to Eric Rice for hosting, but now that it’s a more respectable hour of the day in this part of the world, I’m on a computer with a much faster pipe (I work at a University).

    If anyone wants the intro a la Dubber (there are a couple of versions floating around), I can send it to them from here.

    Posted by: Dubber at March 28, 2004 03:06 PM

  76. A. J. — please encourage Chris to d/l and host our fioles, as Dave has done at Harvard (see his links at the site above) and as Eric is doing at his place.

    Posted by: AKMA at March 28, 2004 03:42 PM

  77. Hmmmm frankly I don’t believe that offering MP3s for download is the same as “performing” under the licence. A performance is an ephemeral occurrence. An audio file is in the same category as a PDF file as far as use of copyright is concerned.

    Ironically this whole audio encoding effort is probably a massive breach of copyright in itself.

    Posted by: michron at March 28, 2004 03:58 PM

  78. I have to disagree about it being “a massive breach of copyright”. Read the license here.

    Posted by: George Nemeth at March 28, 2004 04:17 PM

  79. For those folks ignorant about BitTorrent, I put together The BitTorrent FAQ for Little Monkeys


    Posted by: John S. Rhodes at March 28, 2004 04:19 PM

  80. George is correct. This would be considered a “derivative work, as explained in the license (bold mine):

    “Derivative Work” means a work based upon the Work or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that a work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License.

    Posted by: Alexander Wilson at March 28, 2004 04:35 PM

  81. Hmmmm ok you are probably right that this this effort is allowed under the licence. However this is probably not because of the “performance” concession – but because of the broader “derivative work” distribution concessions. Offering an MP3 for download does not in general constitute a “performance”. If Prof Lessig intended audio downloads to be considered as a performance, he should have said so because this would invite confusion in other areas.

    I know I am deliberately being contrarian here but I don’t think Uncle Lawrence is arguing that copyright should be a free-for-all even in a non-commercial context.

    By the way, you are welcome to freely distribute these comments for both non-commercial and commercial use without restriction which includes not even having to acknowledge my authorship. 🙂

    Mike (hater of copyright, lover of accuracy)

    Posted by: michron at March 28, 2004 04:40 PM

  82. Ok, I’ve done Chapter 8 – Transformers. My computer made life difficult for me, so I’m afraid that the mp3 is not small. PaulProteus is hosting it for me at http://myweb.jhu.edu/bananas/transformers-a.mp3.

    I’ve sent Paul the original .wav as well and he said he’ll compress it for me and find it a home.

    If I can get my computer to behave, i’ll have another go at the mp3 and try to make it a touch smaller.

    Posted by: Suw at March 28, 2004 04:45 PM

  83. I call dibs on the Afterword — my take is coming along swimmingly. It should be up within the next twelve hours.

    Posted by: George at March 28, 2004 05:34 PM

  84. Ok, with Chris’ permission and AKMA’s request, I’ve mirrored what I could find at the following URL’s:

    ftp://sunsite.utk.edu/pub/lessigFreeCulture/ (limited in connections during the day)
    We might want to manage this like we do other mirrors: set up a “master site” and have other systems mirror any changes via rsync.

    SunSITE also does work with streaming MPEG4 and Real over RTSP. We might be able to ship it out a whole new door, but it’d have to be re-encoded from the source material into the other formats. It might be a good idea to save your media. 🙂

    After all, that’s what this is about, right? Doing new stuff with the same old tech.

    Also, anyone who needs hosting should email me at with the URL. I’ll be happy to copy it over for hosting. (Dubber, I got your request, I just need the URL.) In retrospect, I should’ve had some clever way to do file submissions.


    Posted by: A. J. Wright at March 28, 2004 09:00 PM

  85. I’ve done the unnumbered “Piracy” intro. (Sorry, I didn’t notice the comment about the 10-year-old above.) I don’t have the greatest voice, nor do I really trust my web hoster. The file is only 2 megs. Anyone is free, and encouraged, to host it on a more secure server.

    Posted by: Chris Farmer at March 28, 2004 09:45 PM

  86. I found it horrible to do this — I’m just not cut out for speaking out loud (;-)). I have around 1/3 of chapter 6, which I promised to do, but I have each paragraph in a separate file.

    Can anyone recommend an easy to use program for Mac OS X to edit my recordings?

    Posted by: Guan Yang at March 29, 2004 01:37 AM

  87. For recording tips and tricks I would suggest looking at transom.org (http://www.transom.org). They have pointers to recording techniques, software and other sound information. I know this tidbit is a little late for this project, but it should be a good reference for others down the road.

    Posted by: Mike Fioritto at March 29, 2004 08:53 AM

  88. I’ve practiced chapter ten, decided (I think…!) how I want to handle the charts, and even purchased a new USB microphone. Will post as soon as I’m happy with the recording — perhaps even later today or tonight. Otherwise tomorrow at the latest. Will post on my blog and leave a comment here that it’s up.


    (P.S. Bought microphone because my TiBook’s fans are too loud — too much background noise. Using Audacity.)

    Posted by: Giles Hoover at March 29, 2004 09:35 AM

  89. Figured I should post here to let everyone know I’m having problems with my sound setup at the moment. It will be several more days until I can get this working here to record the notes section.

    I’ve been trying to get the on-board sound of my ASRock motherboard (K7S41GX) to record under GNU/Linux but so far have had no luck. Audio output works, but not input. I’ve bought a new mic to make sure the old one wasn’t bad but it didn’t solve the problem. Also tried both OSS/Free and ALSA drivers for the intel8x0/SiS7012 audio chipsets but neither seem to work with recording.

    I’m going to get a PCI soundcard and forget about the onboard sound.

    Should have tried it before volunteering. Sorry for the delay.

    Posted by: techt at March 29, 2004 02:51 PM

  90. Afterword

    Linda Blake and I have combined voices on “Afterword” (1 hour, 4 minutes and 54 second-long 59.43 MB MP3 in 44 Hz, 16-bit mono). Details here for now.

    Posted by: George at March 29, 2004 03:27 PM

  91. Outstanding stuff, AKMA – and thanks and kudos to all contributors so far. That’ll teach me to go offline for a w/end – I’ve missed all the fun.

    If Jeneane will permit me, I’d be glad to have a stab at the brief section intro to “Balances” right before her chapter 13. The counterpoint of my Irish-tinged, English midlands accent and Jeneane’s lovely, smokey lilt might make for an interesting take on Lessig’s lucid linguistic loops.

    Or not. Depending on workload and stuff.

    It’s a very, very good idea though. Thanks again.
    Posted by: Michael O’Connor Clarke at March 29, 2004 11:41 PM

  92. Okay – slightly new slant on all this:

    I teach radio at Auckland University of Technology. I have sixteen 3rd year undergrads who are learning about intellectual property as well as sound editing and vocal production. Free Culture has 14 chapters, an intro and a conclusion. The maths works out perfectly.

    I have arranged for the class of 2004 Bachelor of Communication Studies radio majors to record and upload the entire book as a class project. I’ve emailed Prof. Lessig and let him know about this – because I think it’s interesting from a pedagogical perspective as well: the activity is the proof of the content. We are yet to record it (I’ve given them a couple of days to pre-read) and we don’t have anywhere to host it (offers welcomed), but I think it’ll be really worthwhile and memorable for them – so Akma: thanks for the idea, and all the fun.

    I’ve blogged this in slightly more detail and will be keeping this up to date at The Wireless Weblog.

    Cheers, all.

    Posted by: Dubber at March 30, 2004 05:47 AM

  93. I’ll let Yuang & Brault have the glory! My recording was plagued with Border Collie interruptions…

    Posted by: Les Hall at March 30, 2004 02:26 PM

  94. As of last night about midnight (Eastern US time), I had over 250 downloads of the conclusion. Anyone interested in hosting a file should expect at least 500MB in downloads per day (on top of your usual server load), at least until the excitement settles down to a simmer.


    Posted by: Alexander Wilson at March 30, 2004 06:09 PM

  95. I am recording my version of the 13th chapter. I will post a link when I am done.

    Posted by: Iolaire at March 30, 2004 07:22 PM

  96. Hi There, This looks like a great project, very interesting. I love books and if I can hear them unabridged while I read the text well, I’ll help out. I’m downloading Chapter 5 and will run it through media cleaner pro this will normalize the audio and most importantly reduce the file size. I can do this to all the chapters and make it as lite as possible while maintaining the quality.

    Fun, Fun , Fun!

    HeySuss McCrum

    Posted by: Jesus McCrum at March 31, 2004 01:32 PM

  97. Regarding the charts pp124-6, that’s a good quesiton, if we can’t describe them which I think we should try then it may be possible to include them in the file. In real media we could add them as video stills. I’ll look into it.

    Also I noticed the post about the whole wheat radi and it seems they can include a link?

    Posted by: Jesus McCrum at March 31, 2004 03:04 PM

  98. I’m in the process of compiling all of the recordings into a nicely-packed release that will be distributed via BitTorrent at Legal Torrents.

    The only thing missing is Giles’ Chapter 10, Jeneane’s Chapter 13, and the intro to the “Balances” section, which no one has yet signed up to read. If you’re planning on recording a chapter, please let me know so I can wait for your file. Otherwise I’ll plan on putting it out as soon as the missing pieces are done.

    Jesus, if you’re interested in cleaning up the files, I’ll make the package available to you via FTP and you can send it on to Simon Carless at LegalTorrents when you’re done.

    I’ve settled on the following naming convention for files:

    (reader name).mp3

    So for example:

    04 chapter one – creators (doug kaye).mp3

    Any comments? Also, I will be including an info file with the package that will have the creative commons license, info about Free Culture, etc. In that file, I will be listing out readers and their contact information. I’ve just been using the url’s I’ve found on this page. If you are a reader and want me to list different contact info, not list contact info, or not even list your name, let me know. Also, I don’t have contact info for Christ Farmer and Ted Fletcher…could you guys please send this to me if you want it to be included?

    Finally, I’m planning on putting the entire audio version of Free Culture under a CC license (the same one Larry used for the book). Any comments? Do I even need to do this?

    Posted by: John Didion at March 31, 2004 04:39 PM

  99. I’ve downloaded half of the files already and was going to optimize those, is there any difference from the ones I would get from your ftp?

    Please add my name as the encoder.

    Jesus McCrum umertalic@hotmail.com fahrenheitmedia.com

    Posted by: Jesus McCrum at March 31, 2004 06:08 PM

  100. Nope, no difference…I was just going to do the work for you 🙂

    Posted by: John Didion at March 31, 2004 08:11 PM

  101. Great work! Raph Levein has a voice, where he could do this professionally.

    What I found most interesting is that I thought I would not like the fact that different parts are read by different people, so you don’t have a consistent voice throughout the book. I’m actually finding that I like it better. Somehow it actually seems to enhance the book to have multiple voices and makes it less monotonous to hear the same voice for hours on end.

    Posted by: Dale King at April 1, 2004 10:08 AM

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