Free Audiobook: Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism

The folks at ReformedAudio.org have just completed an audio version of J. Gresham Machen’s classic work Christianity and Liberalism. It’s available in 11 MP3 files and runs 5 hours 44 minutes and 36 seconds. They are making the audio and a PDF of the book available free of charge.

To learn more about Christianity and Liberalism and Reformed Audio, watch this short introductory video (embedded below).

Update: To the best of my knowledge, Machen’s work is not yet in the public domain. Unfortunately, it was published and copyrighted in 1923. Books published in 1922 or earlier are automatically in the public domain. Books published between 1923 and 1963 are only in the public domain if their copyright status was not renewed. Google has a nearly exhaustive list of copyright renewals, and according to their records, the copyright status of Christianity and Liberalism was renewed in 1950 by Arthur W. Machen (his son?). If my understanding of copyright law is correct, that would mean that one would need to obtain permission from Arthur Machen or the current copyright holder before producing any editions of it or distributing it for free or for charge. I’m not sure if the folks at Reformed Audio have obtained permission or not, but there is no indication in their audio files or PDF that any of the content is under copyright. I just sent them an email to inquire. Perhaps the simple answer is that the copyright holder has released it into the public domain. I hope that’s the case, because I’ve been wanting to get this book in Logos Bible Software for a long time.

Update 2: I corresponded with Ben of Reformed Audio, and he believed Christianity and Liberalism to be in the public domain based on Ed Walsh’s assertion on Reformed.org. However, Shane Rosenthal also maintains that Christianity and Liberalism is still under copyright. Based on the evidence I’ve seen, I’d encourage you not to download or distribute this content.

Update 3: I’m happy to report that Ben was able to get in touch with someone at Eerdmans, who confirmed that they still hold the copyright. He granted Ben the permission to continue to distribute the audiobook free of charge. So feel free to download it.

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3 Responses to Free Audiobook: Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism

  1. Ben February 16, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Hi Phil,

    We recorded this with the belief that the book is in the public domain, as indicated here: http://www.reformed.org/books/chr_and_lib/.

    Best regards,
    Ben
    reformedaudio.org

    • Phil Gons February 16, 2010 at 10:25 am #

      Ben, thanks for the info. I’m pretty sure that Ed is mistaken—at least based on the explanation he gives. See this helpful chart on what’s in the public domain and what’s not. The cutoff is 1922. Anything that was published in 1923 (up to 1963) and was renewed is, unfortunately, still under copyright.

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