A different topic today, though still with an open-source tie-in.
I've never seen anybody offering free audiobook CDs of the Bible. The only audiobook Bibles I've ever seen were actually kind of expensive.
How come? Unless you live on Mars, somebody has thrust a free paper Bible into your hands at least once in your life. Yet, if you drive a car, you have sometimes stooped to listening to painfully worthless crud on the radio just to alleviate the boredom of driving. If you'd had an audiobook Bible, you probably would have listened to it, if only for your cultural education.
Yet a bit of websearching suggests that, holy cow, this actually hasn't been done yet. Am I wrong?
Probably one reason is that the only well-known translation that isn't strictly copyrighted is the King James Version, which is perfect if you intend to do outreach to 17th-century England. No CD players there, though, so it's not so useful for this purpose.
Alas that all the well-known translation committees apparently preceded or were unaware of the open-source/creative-commons movement. Especially since, you know, Jesus did kind of INVENT the GPL for crying out loud. And explicitly applied it to his teaching. Hello. "Freely you have received; freely give".
Anyway, there is, fortunately, one English translation that is freely distributable, the World English Version, and one site that's done voice recordings of it, audiotreasure.
So here's a plan for a viral campaign.
1. Make up a master audio CD from audiotreasure's MP files. I'm really not ambitious enough to try for more than one CD's worth, so I hope at least the Gospel of Mark will fit. If not, make a new recording with someonewhotalksreallyfast. Or something.
2. Compose a nice CD label. Include the URL (#4)
3. Write a nice letter asking permission to distribute the CDs without charge from places where you find bored drivers: fast-food restaurants, truck stops, etc.
4. Set up a website with the files from #1-3, and instructions on how anybody else can do step #5, becoming another viral site of distribution. It looks like you can make a homemade, home-labelled CD for $0.25 or less, so anybody with a computer can make a hundred or two with a modest commitment.
5. Burn some CDs, label them, get permission and distribute them.
6. Hopefully, others join in and the campaign spreads...
7. Profit! Oh, wait, I guess not.
I'm excited. I plan to do this. I wonder if I can get CDs out there by Christmas? However, if you move faster than me and want to set up the seed site, go for it!
I'm sure the Gideons would have started this years ago, if only their grandkids had taught them how. (I'm teasing! Hey, if any Gideons or similar groups should read this, yes of COURSE you can use the idea.)