Copyrights & Other Questions
On this page I will try to answer some questions you might have related to the copyrights for the files used, and my role as an editor of this stream. As I mentioned in the “About” page, most content on this site has been aggregated from public domain and creative commons sources. “Aggregated” means that I have not produced this content myself (although I have produced some, and re-edited quite a lot selecting music and making intros), but have collected it from online sources using the new and improved tools now available, The Public Digital Library of America, Ottr.org, wikimedia search, musopen.org and so on. These tag content by license.
What is a public domain file or content?
In the US, files are public domain according to the date of publication, in Europe the year the author or creator died decides. You are legally obliged to follow the copyright laws in the country in which you have residence. Portugal where i am at the moment, like most European countries, is a 70+ country, which means that content becomes public domain, or free to use for any purpose, 70 years or more after the creator died.
In the US, a work (they do not follow the year the author died, but attach rights according to the date of creation) must be published 95 years ago to be public domain. But they also have a period of their history in which registration was required, and unregistered work will therefor be considered public domain. The US government also states that they do not enforce copyrights on content produced by some public institutions. Which means that some of what the state produces in the US is free to use.
What is a creative commons license.?
A copyright license is a legally binding statement about copyrights (or use of content) which cannot be revoked. It sets equal terms for its use. The terms for a creative commons license are free non-commercial distribution, in addition to compulsory attribution (giving credit to the creator or distributor) and sometimes you are allowed to modify the original content, and sometimes not. This is the license by which some prestigious institutions publish some of their educational material online, as well as some living authors.
What sort of resources do you have?
I am a dual British and Norwegian citizen (naturalized in Norway after living there for 47 years in April 2021). I am currently living on a disability pension in Portugal.
Does that mean that you are stupid and uneducated?
No. Even if i am not a top academic linked to any of the institutions that produce content i broadcast, I do have 8 years of university education in literary history, the history of science, linguistics (semantics). After I got my disability pension almost 20 years ago (it took me 7 years to get it during which i cleaned floors, swept streets and carried trash), the Norwegian employment office and some family members encouraged me to use what they told me were considerable language skills to start an online business as an academic translator. The business grew and I did this part time, earning some extra cash for almost two decades. The income was never predictable enough to become a full time job.
I mostly worked in the health service, but I gradually branched out. When I started this site, I hoped that it would one day allow me to return to my original interests, literature and history. Most academic articles are routine publications, consisting of statistics and standard phrases. In terms of language and sentences they are not interesting.
I have heard some of your texts, and they are not up to the standards of the classics you broadcast?
This is probably very true. But this is my prerogative as editor of this stream. A stream is in fact just a playlist, which makes me as an editor a DJ. I use my educated taste to select stuff in order to relieve you as an audience of the burden of making choices when you do not have energy or time to do so yourself. In the radio apps today, there is a huge selection of choices, and your alternatives are almost without limit. Stand up for your rights as a consumer, and select what you want.
Do you have competitors?
Yes, the most prominent one is audiobookradio.net. I do not know much about them, besides the fact that they are based in the UK. Also, the number of stations that broadcast Old Time Radio content is huge. Just pick a genre and search in any app.
I have seen several articles on culture in left wing dictatorships on your blog, are you a communist?
No, if you read my text “Children of the world unite!” in the fiction pages you will see that am not. I am a believer in a progressive tax system, and that everyone should start life with equal opportunities for success. I believe the justice system should take into consideration the social and economic drivers of crime. I am opposed to all systems that apply unsanctioned, excessive or random justice or use violence towards their citizens. However, I believe in free speech, and that it is necessary not to patronize or preach to the public, but to inform.
Do you allow your personal beliefs to color your selection of sources.
Yes, we all do. I am a believer in free speech, so I have included audio files with both Eisenhower, Thatcher and Reagan in my stream in spite of the fact that i am a left-winger myself. In fact, even if i strongly disagree with Eisenhower and Reagan on many issues, the way they conducted their public debates is worthy admiration. I believe that the world would be a better place if there were more people like them today.
Does that mean that you hate Trump?
Well, I do not approve of many things that Trump has done, but there is only one audio file related to Trump in the stream. He is not yet old enough to be relevant for a site about history. The included segment is an excerpt from an audio-book of an official report, released online under a public domain license. It has been edited for time because the original report is very very long and full of dry legal phrases. Also, the fact that I disapprove of Trump’s political views and his public behavior does not mean that i have any intention of censoring him.
What are your future plans?
The future is uncertain as we all know, but if fate allows I plan to write more short stories, and try my hand at literary translations. I have translated a small modernist novel already, and edited a 500 page fantasy novel for an African student (for free) and edited a small anthology of short stories and poems.
Are you one of those left wing silicone valley wannabees?
No, I have only been once to America in 1997, as a student. The tech billionaires are not left wing. There have been few unions in Silicone Valley, and the fact that you might be allowed to have your dog in the office does not make your employer a left winger.
The site is run and edited by me, Michael Henrik Wynn (born 1973). Other readers you have heard on behalf of historyradio.org, George Snow etc, have been hired online at various sites where they sell their services – and paid.