Lawrence Lessig’s new book, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and Culture and Control Creativity is available for free under a Creative Commons license. Although it’s not unprecedented in the world of academic publishing, this is being done though Penguin Books and is for a (relatively) mass-market book. I, for one, am pretty excited.
Is this going to stop me from going to my local bookstore and browsing a copy on the shelf before deciding to buy it? No. But it allows me to do a pale imitation of skimming a book from my office when I don’t have the luxury of meandering down to the bookstore. I don’t really know anyone who can stand to read a book entirely on a screen (be it CRT, LCD, or plasma), but perhaps I know only the vocal minority. I probably will read the first chapter of his book — more thoughts on that later.