Stuff We Love: unglue.it
What is the concept of unglue.it? What is the goal of the site?
Where Pubslush uses crowd-funding to try to solve the problem of financing new books, especially by new authors, Unglue.it aims a similar set of tools at books that have already been published and have exhausted much of their commercial value. In the print world, libraries play the role of maintaining and preserving access to these works, but copyright, digital rights management, and publisher concerns about competition with retail have served to trap books in a sticky mire of complication. Unglue.it aims to “unglue” the books by funding a creative commons license which makes the books free to all while providing a shot of income to the rights holder.
We run campaigns for individual books, and if the campaign target specified by the rights holder is reached, the book becomes free to the world.
Who is the audience?
Our initial base of support comes from the library community, but every book has its own community. Our successful campaign for “Oral Literature in Africa” attracted support from cultural anthropologists and oral literature scholars as well as librarians and 2 academic libraries.
What changes or adaptations can be expected in the future?
Our emphasis right now is to attract more rights holders with interesting books to unglue.
Who created the idea for the site and why?
The folks who started are Eric Hellman, an entrepreneur and former physicist whose previous company developed linking infrastructure for academic ejournals, Andromeda Yelton, a librarian and former Latin teacher, Raymond Yee, a developer known for his book on mash-ups, and Amanda Mecke, a literary agent and former Random House executive. I (Eric) developed the concept in the course of studying the problems libraries were having with the transition to digital books.
If you could tell our community only ONE thing about unglue.it, what would it be?
You can’t sit back and watch sites like Pubslush or unglue.it You have to participate in the community and make the world what you want it to be.
A big thanks to Eric for taking the time to chat with us and share this amazing venture with our audience! Check out unglue.it and help provide free books to the world!