Y’all aware of the good work that unglue.it is doing?
Unglue.it has a very simple mission: to free digital books. Their method is simple too: get people to chip in money (crowdfunding style), then pay the rightsholder to release the book in digital form under a liberal license. The crowdfunding method is the same threshold pledge system that Kickstarter uses: pledgers only pay if the campaign succeeds.
Unglue.it will allow the rights holder to choose a non-free license that limits commercial use or derivative works, but at a minimum unglued works always get at least verbatim copyability. And as it happens, their most recent success, Oral Literature in Africa,was released under a truly free license, the Creative Commons Attribution license. The amount of freedom in the world has strictly gone up, thanks to their campaign, and a good work has been liberated. Here it is, if you want to grab a copy!
For a while, everything fell apart because Amazon decided it couldn’t allow the crowdfunding model anymore. But the folks at Unglue.it are pretty persistent, and they started looking at other payment processors. (By the way, Eric Hellman’s post on choosing a crowdfunding payment processor for Unglue.it is a great summary of the options out there.) They eventually solved the problem, and they’re back in business.