Unglue.it wants to set books free. The method they’ve chosen is to pay the people who hold the rights to the books to secure their freedom. So, if someone finds a published book that they’d like to free, they nominate it on the Unglue.it website, and Unglue.it approaches the rights holder. They say how much money they’d like and Unglue.it runs a crowdfunding campaign to raise it. If the campaign is successful, then the book is liberated under a Creative Commons license. Something like Green Comet’s CC license.
In their words.
Unglue.it offers a win-win solution to readers, who want to read and share their favorite books conveniently, and rights holders (authors, publishers, etc.) who want to be rewarded for their work.
We run crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for specific, already-published books. When we reach goals set by the rights holders, we’ll pay them to unglue their work. They’ll issue an electronic edition with a Creative Commons license as specified during the campaign. These licenses will make the edition free and legal for everyone to read, copy, and share, worldwide.
Unglue.it is free to join and explore. Supporters pledge money only if they choose to support campaigns, and the amount is up to them. They are charged only if the campaigns reach their goal price. Unglue.it takes a small percentage from successful campaigns, with the remainder going to the author, publisher, or other rights holder.
The driving force behind Unglue.it is Eric Hellman
Unglue.it is a service provided by Gluejar, Inc. It’s a place for individuals and institutions to join together to liberate specific ebooks and other types of digital content by paying authors and publishers to relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses.
Eric Hellman, President of Gluejar, is a technologist, entrepreneur, and writer. After 10 years at Bell Labs in physics research, Eric became interested in technologies surrounding e-journals and libraries.
Where does Green Comet come in?
Unglue.it has been missing one important piece of functionality to make this vision real. We haven’t had a way to reward rights holders that have already given their books Creative Commons licenses to make them free. So we’ve added that functionality. We’re calling it “Thanks for Ungluing.”
They asked me if I’d like Green Comet to come unglued, and I said yes.