Unglue.it, the recently launched crowd-funding site that allows consumers to make pledges of payment to “unglue” ebooks, thus eliminating the copyright and DRM, has just been informed by Amazon that the retailer will no longer honor pledge payments for this kind of transaction. CEO Eric Hellman issued a statement today:
“Amazon Payments has informed us that they will no longer process pledge payments for Unglue.it, forcing us to suspend all active ungluing campaigns.” announced Eric Hellman, President of Gluejar, Inc., the company behind crowdfunding site Unglue.it. According to a Senior Account Manager at Amazon, Amazon has decided against “boarding fresh crowdfunding accounts at this time”. Amazon has been providing payment services for Unglue.it, as it does for the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
The Unglue.it website launched on May 17th with the goal of “giving ebooks to the world”. Unglue.it allows rights holders of already published books to present “ungluing campaigns”. Site members can then pledge towards making the book available as Creative Commons licensed ebooks. If the campaign meets its goal, the ebook becomes freely available to everyone. Unglue.it’s first success was to raise $7,578 to unglue Ruth Finnegan’s 1970 classic, “Oral Literature in Africa”. That book is unaffected by the suspension, and will soon be available for download.
Amazon is requiring Unglue.it to void all pending pledges. The Unglue.it team is already hard at work to implement a new payment method for Unglue.it, which will be announced as soon as it’s available. Until then, the best way to express support for Unglue.it is to register on the site, urge friends to do the same, and let the world know which books should be unglued by making a wishlist..
Eric Hellman added: “We’re very disappointed that this has happened. We’ll relaunch very soon and unglue many many books. Maybe some day billions of people will read unglued books and recall with amazement the span of years when Amazon dominated the world of ebooks.”