Walled Culture, the book, now freely available: what that means, and how you can help

Today is an important day for this blog: Walled Culture – the book – has launched. You can download free copies now in a variety of digital formats. Or, if you prefer, you can order it in a traditional book form from your favourite online bookseller, but I’m afraid that requires a (smallish) payment to cover the basic costs of making an analogue object. Paper books don’t grow on trees, you know…

Much of the book draws on the interviews that have appeared on the blog over the last year, and on blog posts. But it is supplemented by a huge array of additional material. Testimony to that are the book’s 750 references to further information online. For all the digital versions, there are live hyperlinks to allow readers to check details and pursue further research on topics and ideas of interest.

Appropriately for a project that has been made possible by the Kahle/Austin Foundation, the book’s notes link to backup copies of sites held by the Internet Archive, one of Brewster Kahle‘s many innovative projects. As a result, references will avoid the curse of link rot, which afflicts other books that point to online information. While the Internet Archive exists, so will the Web pages and documents cited in this book.

It’s also worth noting that the text is not only available free of charge, it is published under the Creative Commons CC0 licence. What that means is that anyone can use the text in any way – publishing extracts, for example – without payment. In particular, people can translate the text into other languages without needing to ask permission to do so – something that I hope will happen, so that the book reaches as wide an audience as possible.

The CC0 licence, combined with a small file size, means that you can send free copies of the ebooks to as many family, friends and colleagues as you like, via all the usual messaging services. I encourage you to do so, so that more people understand what is at stake, and join the fight to bring down the walls that stand in the way of universal access to knowledge and culture.

Thanks for your help.

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