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LibriVox chosen for 2014 Nominet Trust 100

Posted on December 4, 2014 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, in the press, News, on the web | Comments: 4 Comments

Changing the World through Tech:

LibriVox celebrated in this year’s Nominet Trust 100

LibriVox is proud to have been included in the annual Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) list of inspiring digital social innovations highlighting the impact of the global ‘tech for good’ market and the transformative power of technology to drive social change around the world.

London, UK, 4 December 2014:

Today, Nominet Trust proudly announced that LibriVox has been named among the 2014 Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) – a global list of 100 inspiring ventures from around the world.

Projects featured on the list are using technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest social problems from education and human rights abuses to climate change and health.

Following a global call for nominations earlier this year LibriVox has been selected by an independent steering committee in recognition of its use of digital technology to contribute to worldwide access to knowledge and community engagement.

This year, LibriVox  is rubbing shoulders with organisations from established tech markets in the US and Europe, such as Freecycle, Random Hacks of Kindness and Google’s self-driving car, alongside initiatives from emerging economies, including eCompliance, a revolutionary use of fingertip-readers to record tuberculosis treatment in India; philanthropic food-photo sharing app Feedie from South Africa and HarassMap, an anonymous crowd-mapping platform for sexual harassment in Egypt.

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, said:

“There is a striking progression in the quality and maturity of this year’s NT100, indicative of a wider evolution in the ‘tech for social good’ sector as a whole. More people than ever before are using technology to solve problems that matter to them in bold new ways. This year’s NT100 list is populated by extraordinary people with inspirational stories to tell and it shows us that imagination, social conscience and technology make a potent mix to effect change.”

The final list was compiled by an illustrious steering group chaired by Annika Small and including General Partner of Google Ventures, Tom Hulme; angel investor and entrepreneur, Sherry Coutu; Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund, Dawn Austwick; CEO of Big Society Capital, Nick O’Donohue; Director of Wayra Europe, Simon Devonshire; innovation expert, Charles Leadbeater; internet entrepreneur, Dickie Armour; Senior Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Lucy Bernholz; and Deputy Editor of The FT Weekend Magazine, Alice Fishburn.

To see the full list of NT100 projects, please visit the Social Tech Guide, a dynamic, growing online resource to help inspire social enterprises, or follow the action @socialtechguide / #2014NT100.

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A Misunderstanding in the New York Times

Posted on March 14, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, For Volunteers, in the press, News, on the web, Uncategorized | Comments: 4 Comments

On March 12th (online) and March 13th (printed edition), we were delighted to see our friend John Greenman figure in an article in the New York Times “Older adults start new chapters in their work lives”. It is great to see a picture of him with his recording set-up.

However, the article failed to state that he makes NO MONEY from his recordings at LibriVox, where every recording is made by volunteers completely without payment.

We have asked the New York Times to amend the online version of the article, to correct this misapprehension. (EDITED TO ADD: They have now done so – thanks NYT.)

This confusion, which has caused John considerable dismay, has arisen because he now also makes paid recordings for Iambik Audiobooks. You can find John’s commercial Iambik recordings here.

John has been a LibriVox volunteer reader for over seven years, and has dedicated himself to recording for LibriVox just about everything Mark Twain ever wrote. You can find all his free LibriVox recordings on his catalogue page here.

So, just to clarify: all LibriVox narrators, proof-listeners and administrators are completely unpaid volunteers, and make audiobooks just for the love of books and the public domain. There are now 6469 available for free download, and new recordings are being released at a rate of about 3 a day. Most recordings are in English, but we also have hundreds of recordings in other languages.

All volunteers are made most welcome at our friendly and helpful forum, so if you would like to join us, please register on our forum, and discover the joy of recording audiobooks.

If you would like to listen to some of our recordings, our catalogue can be searched by author, book title, genre, language or reader here.

Ruth

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Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013

Posted on January 14, 2013 by | Posted in News, on the web | Comments: 14 Comments

This weekend the Public Domain lost one of its most gifted and passionate advocates when Aaron Swartz committed suicide, at age 26.

Aaron was a programmer, a campaigner for social justice, and a believer that the public domain truly belongs to the public. He helped create Reddit, was a chief architect of the Open Library and Creative Commons, was a founder of Demand Progress, which helped defeat SOPA, and kept the Internet open, safe for projects such as LibriVox.

Aaron, who had written publicly about past experience with depression, killed himself two years after he was arrested for downloading, at MIT, millions of academic journal articles (many in the public domain) from JSTOR, a non-profit journal repository. The authorities were seeking punishment of 35 years in jail, $1 million in fines. It’s been estimated that his defense would have cost $1.5 million in legal fees.

It’s hard to express the scale of loss to all of us, the community of the Internet. I met Aaron only once, but I’ve admired his work for years. By 26, he had done more than most of us will ever do in our lifetimes, driven by his vision of the public good. While it is always shocking when someone we have met dies, the greatest pain is contemplating everything that Aaron Swartz would have done for the world, which he will never get the chance to do.

And so, those of us who were inspired by Aaron’s vision of the world — perhaps some of you who are just now discovering what Aaron stood for — are left to contemplate a future where it is up to us, without Aaron’s help, to make the world a better place. I hope we don’t let him down.

– Hugh

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If you’d like to read a bit more about Aaron:

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LibriVox.org will go dark tomorrow – SOPA

Posted on January 17, 2012 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News, on the web | Comments: 3 Comments

Tomorrow, LibriVox.org will go dark (though the forums will remain up). Instead of our regular pages and catalog, you’ll see the following:

Today, many websites around the Internet have “gone dark” to protest against, and raise awareness about some very important proposed legislation in the United States, which could fundamentally alter how the Internet operates: House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

Archive.org (where LibriVox hosts its audio), is going dark from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PST on Wednesday January 18 (9:00 am – 9:00 pm EST – 14:00 – 02:00 GMT) as part of this important protest. This means that the LibriVox catalog will not be accessible during this time.

Legislation such as SOPA and PIPA directly affects libraries (pdf) such as the Internet Archive — and indeed LibriVox — which collect, preserve, and offer access to cultural materials. Furthermore, these laws can negatively affect the ecosystem of web publishing that led to the emergence of the LibriVox.

These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process. The Internet Archive (and with it LibriVox audio files) are already blacklisted in China. There are real concerns that this legislation could lead to similar blacklists in the United States.

For United States residents, please inform yourself of these issues, and if you think they are important, please take action.

For non-US residents: Sorry for dragging you into this, and if you are willing, you might wish to sign a petition to the State Department to express your concern.

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