Monday, 9 June 2008

Download The Pirate's Dilemma

Now, I know I've mentioned Matt Mason quite a bit on this blog over the last few months but I don't want to stop doing that just yet because he's announced that his publishers have agreed to release his book, The Pirate's Dilemma, for free.
It’s been in the works for sometime now, but today is the day we have finally been able to make the book available for free online. Both my English language publishers (Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and Penguin in the U.K.) agreed we should release the book free online after the UK launch was out of the way, and that time is now.
Click here to be taken to his site.

I say 'free', but you are given the option to reimburse the author and the publisher for his work. The checkout defaults to $5.00 which is a fair price for an easy and enjoyable read. You will have to provide your name and an email address before you can access the downloadable file.

I think Mason has got the courage to stand up for the position he advances in his book. It would have been hypocritical for him to advocate that intellectual material is information not property and then not be supportive of the electronically distributed version. He makes this clear:
By treating the electronic version of a book as information rather than property, and circulating it as widely as possible, many authors such as Paulo Coelho and Cory Doctorow actually end up selling more copies of the physical version. Pirate copies of The Pirate’s Dilemma are out there online anyway, and they don’t seem to have harmed sales. My guess is they are helping. To be honest, I was flattered that the book got pirated in the first place.
If his sales are doing well then he must feel vindicated. He took a chance and it seems to be working out for him.

I have to admit I already have an electronic version of the book as I found it on The Pirate Bay. Strange, I can't seem to find the ebook on there now ;-) No need for that now anyway, but it did make me wonder if that original pirated version on TPB was an advance leak as part of a promotional drive.

Just to be clear, I also own the dead tree version too. The electronic copy is for convenience. II will be drawing from some of this work when I teach on MAC301 next year, so any students out there would be doing themselves a favour by getting a hold of this now.

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