Part of the reason for this, I’m sure, is that books that are given away on the internet seem to sell more copies. More importantly, though, is that this is a book about copyright and the public domain. About a culture that is being deprived of it’s essence and history by corporations that refuse to give to the public what has become a part of it’s consciousness, and about the ideas that just might help us keep the peace among the technologies that surround us.
So somehow keeping it to himself might have seemed a bit greedy.
It is written in a way that is both readable, and incredibly relevant. He frames the ideas he discusses within the history of various media, using stories about our cultural past to explain our present and future. It has been released under a Creative Commons license, something wonderful that he helped pioneer and which I have recently applied (see at left) to all of my own content.
Obviously, this isn’t a book for everyone. But if you are creating in our current culture, than it is relevant to you, as it is to anyone consuming or thinking in it.
We are at a point now where the realm of copyright seems to expand into infinity, trailing just ahead of a certain anthropomorphic rodent. We are losing culture, fast. The least we can do is to understand how it is happening.
(also, there is a flash-lecture of the same name that briefly covers the relevant material. Definitely worth your minutes.)