While isn’t an initiative to change the publishing landscape nor an attempt at comprehensive copyright reform, unglue.it is nonetheless an innovative project. Here’s to hoping it works!
I think the key to the Unglue.it project’s success will be the ability of its team to sign up authors of a particular type. These are authors who a) are willing to license their books under Creative Commons licenses at reasonable prices, and b) write works of of a type to capture a cadre of loyal, niche readers. I think the newspapers’ model whereby a small number of readers pay for a subscription to a paper that is highly tailored to their tastes may be one with many applicable insights to the Unglue.it initiative.
Originally posted on Agnostic, Maybe:
About a week and a half ago, Gluejar opened up their Unglue.it service, whose purpose is to coordinate crowdfunding in order to pay authors and publishers to release a published book as a digital edition under a Creative Commons license. It works as a mechanism to encourage copyright holders to make their work more widely available while providing a good incentive for them to do so (namely, people interested and money to do it). In a publisher and author landscape that is looking for other eBooks models, Unglue.it fills a much needed niche where people can put their money where their interests are and rights holders are given another option on the menu.
With the advent of crowdfunding sites like Kickstartr and Kiva, Unglue.it takes this concept and puts it to work in a way that is beneficial to publishers, authors, libraries, and readers. As a Creative Commons work, libraries can acquire, distribute, and curate these Unglued eBooks without the current bevy of terms and limitations offered by other companies. To me, this is why Unglue.it is important; it provides a method and a means for authors to get paid for their works while expanding their audience and retaining other important creator rights. In terms of eBooks and library vendors, there isn’t anything else like it out there.