Unglue.it, a project conceived by Gluejar founder Eric Hellman, has faced some obstacles along the way to establishing copyright-free ebooks based on crowdfunded pledge campaigns, but has been able to release a landmark work as part of its first successful “ungluing.”
Back in May, Unglue.it broke the news that it had received the required amount of pledges based on the rights’ holders’ campaign goal for Ruth Finnegan’s out-of-print 1970 title, Oral Literature in Africa. Today, Unglue.it announced in a press release that the title is not only available for download through its site as well as coming soon from book distributors for the print edition, but that it contains extra material as well.
“Based on research done in the 1960s and first published in 1970, Oral Literature in Africa has been out of print and very hard to find for over a decade. Now, through the contributions of ungluers from around the world, who raised the goal of $7,500, not only the text but also newly released audio recordings and photographs by Professor Finnegan will be easily accessible to students and scholars around the world.”
While Open Book Publishers will sell the print edition through sites like Kobo and Amazon, the ebook is currently available for free downloading to any device. Additionally, the ebook will soon be available for free through the retailers who will sell the newly issued print copies.
Unglue.it essentially works by allowing the rights holders to set a price for their books; once the pre-determined price is met through pledged donations, the copyright is removed from the book and it becomes an open source title for any individual or library to download as often as needed. Unglue.it recently found a stumbling block in the form of Amazon Web Services opting to discontinue issuing pledge payments for crowdsourcing campaigns, but that disappointing news was well met by Hellman. Unglue.it will be seeking other avenues for pledge transactions in order to continue its goal of releasing books to readers worldwide.