Translation, Copyright and Audiobooks – 10/04/2010

Cory Doctorow, one of the editors of the world’s Directory of Wonderful Things, has released all of his books under a Creative Commons license, justifying and arguing his philosophy and reasoning frequently online, as well as reporting on copyright issues.

He now reports that his German publisher Argon Verlag have:

commissioned a very high quality reading of the German text, read by Oliver Rohrbeck, a beloved German voice-actor (star of the long-running radio drama Die Drei ??? and overdub voice of Ben Stiller). The abridgement is being sold on six CDs for €19.95.

He continues with his usual exuberance:

What’s even cooler is that the audiobook (and the German print book, from Rowohlt), co-exist happily with a free fan-translation of the novel by Christian Wöhrl and a free fan audiobook reading by Fabian Neidhardt. Fans are free to promote the work to other fans, for free, while commercial operators produce commercial editions.

There’s an explanation in German and English on the publisher’s site.

My optimising for the future of translation is heavily influenced by this idea – there is still a place for commercial work, but a recognition that things have changed and an experimental approach to seeing how we can make things work in the future.