Thanks to Unglue.it, it just got a lot easier to answer the question implied by the title of this post. This is because that title, written by Lauren Pressley, is now open for all because of the successful “unglue” campaign run by Gluejar, Inc.
The concept is pretty simple, as it is just using the same “crowdfunding” methods that sites like Kickstarter.com use to allow individuals to chip in small amounts to be a part of something big. In the case of Unglue.it, the rights holder sets an amount that must be raised to make it openly available, and Unglue.it opens it for crowdfunding. Should the amount be raised in time for the deadline set, the book is put up for downloading in DRM-free mode.
Although progress has been slow in getting books past the magic line, there here have been reasons for it. Eric Hellman, head honcho of the Gluejar operation, explains some of those glitches in a first-of-the-year blog post. I admit to being a bit disappointed in the pace, but then I’ve always been impatient. In the end, I’m rooting for them.
It may be “a fool’s hope” that books can be made free in this way, but it is a hope that would likely be shared by many if they knew of their efforts. So the more we can get the word out there the faster the books will be freed. And I can’t think of many librarians who would be against that.