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Thank you for your question.
Are you there?
How did you come about submitting the recording for Audible.com?
As I said i thought the works that i had submitted where in domain as i read them off the internet
OK. In other words, there wasn't anyone responsible for finding the works and asking you to read them? You did it of your own volition?
Did you make any money from the recordings?
I made some money but not a lot
OK. That part worries me, as profit from a copyright violation can bring about harsher penalties upon suit. What you are asking is whether you have any recourse that you should take. Who do you believe you should have recourse against?
I was loking for some advice as to how to proceed.
I understand. However, you mentioned the word recourse which makes me think there is more to the story. Nevertheless, let me start from here: Your voice recording and submission of the same to Audible.com is a violation of the author's copyright. The penalties for copyright violation can be harsh, especially when you profit from the copyright violation. Based on what you've told me so far, you have no 'recourse' against anyone, as the fault for the violation is your own apparently. The question then becomes whether there is anything you can do to get a release from the copyright holder. It is possible to contact the copyright holder and disclose the circumstances and ask for a release. However, due to the fact that the copyright holder is being vigilent about his copyright, this may spur him to sue
If your business has assets, the copyright holder may use the violation as a claim to go after your business assets, as copyright penalties can be very high.
How long was the recording posted online?
about six months
Many times copyright violation penalties are based on the amount of time the violation covered, and focus on a daily penalty.
Give me a moment. I'm going to look at a section of the statute to give you more information.
the fact that they are in the UK does that make a difference.
and is it worth it for them to sue me.
There are treaties between the US and the UK in which they agree to protect each other's intellectual property and the IP of their citizens. That being said, it is a complicated question on whether he would have to sue you in the US or whether the UK courts could be said to have jurisdiction over you (not likely). The amount of damages that the copyright holder could assert against you are for the profits you made from the violation and a penalty (ranging from $200 to $150,000) for each day of the violation. As there wasn't any sort of egregious action and as you took the infringing work down upon notification, it is highly unlikely that a court would grant such a penalty against you. Further, the fact that the author would likely have to travel to the United States to assert the claim against you also weighs against the likelihood that you will be sued.
I think the best way for you to proceed is to not make any further contact.
If he makes some sort of further demand or threat of suit, you would then ask him for a release or license.
the authir has been dead for 20 years
Ah. This is where your fair use argument came from. i see
Give me a second and let me look at the fair use doctrine.
the wife of the deceased holds the rights
The UK copyright lasts for 70 years from the death of the author. Since she holds the rights, she can assert them in this period. That being the case, I recommend the same course of action. Do not initiate any contact. The statute of limitations is three years from the date of the last violation. If there is no action taken within this time frame, the you are safe.
Again, if there is action taken, you can at that point request a license and release.
you have been extremely helpful thank you so much
I'm glad to have helped. Please let me know if you need any further assistance in this matter.