Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reading for FREE!

"In the virtual future, you must organize to survive." OK. I'm in. As a well known fan of dystopian fiction the opening line has me hooked - line and sinker. However, I won't pay for this book, because the author is giving it away. It has already been downloaded to my desktop.

I will certainly buy a copy for the library collection, and I'll purchase an MP3version because I really want students to have as much access as possible to this book. But for how much longer? Reading is alive and well, but the traditional venues are giving way to new ideas for reimbursing authors for their work.

Cory Doctorow is a writer/blogger who spends his time at the forefront of the digital world. By sharing his work freely it fuels his speaking engagements, paid writing assignments, and who knows what else. He also releases his work under a Creative Commons license and allows readers and fans to re-mix his work, as long as they follow reasonable guidelines.

Cory Doctorow: For the win "Below you'll find links to downloadable editions of the text of For the Win. These downloads are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which lets you share it, remix it, and share your remixes, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis. Some people don't understand why I do this -- so check out this post if you want my topline explanation for why I do this crazy thing. "

Example of a fan submitted Wordle:

This is new ground. Cory Doctorow is a pioneer who, by his actions, is changing the game for everyone. He is also a terrific writer. His first book, Little Brother, is also available as a free download, although you can check it out from our library, too!

Add  the quickly expanding array of sites dedicated to digital reading and free access (text and audio) and the scope of the transition becomes very apparent. Check out the CCHS Learning Commons wiki devoted to reading and look at the formats and portals we are making available to our students. We have a lot more work to do, but have made a good start. Taking a cue from Cory Doctorow, our wiki is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are welcome to harvest our wiki in exchange for attribution.

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