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Is it legal to record books in the form of audiobooks? Answered

I'm trying to do a project benefitting a local library in reading children's books and having them recorded onto CD's as audiobooks. Is it legal to record an audiobook yourself? Do I need to obtain the permission of the writers to do this? If you could cite your sources (just a link) that would be great because I have to submit this to the County Board for approval.



2 years ago

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3 years ago

This is a very old question, but I noticed it still shows up in the first page of Google's results for recording audiobooks. So I'd like to add to it by saying that http://www.gutenberg.org/ and https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/public-domain have comprehensive lists of public domain ebooks that are free to record as audiobooks without fear of copyright infringment.


9 years ago

Re-design is right.  Creating a recorded book is essentially the same as copying a book by other means, such as scanning it page by page and saving it on a hard drive.  That, of course, assumes that they are still under copyright.

There is an entire project called LibriVox that has volunteers recording audio versions of public domain materials.  Here's some information from their site about copyright, public domain, and "derivative works" (which includes audio recordings).



10 years ago

"its only illegal if you get caught" is what i say dont let anyone but you poke around in that audio book


10 years ago

Not without the permission of the owner of the copyright! There are lots of books that the copyright has run out on and these are fair game. There are lots of books where the author has given the books to public domain and these are fair game. But you have to be careful that you don't use a book that still has a valid copyright unless you can get permission from the owner. Amazon recently had to take back some e-books that they sold to kindle owners because they were distributing them without the owner's permission. Goodluck.