Two Books, Free Online

The open access movement in academic publishing continues to gather steam: two books are newly available free online.

Daniel J. Solove, Berkeley Law Prof, has released “The Future of Reputation, gossip, rumour and privacy on the internet.” Originally published in 2007 by Yale University Press, the book

…offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cyber mobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Longstanding notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance among privacy, free speech, and anonymity, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.

The book is available chapter by chapter in PDF.

James Boyle, law prof at Duke, has published, again with Yale University Press, “The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind,” exploring the way in which the proper balance between free and controlled ideas is being upset by IP law.

In a series of fascinating case studies, Boyle explains why gene sequences, basic business ideas and pairs of musical notes are now owned, why jazz might be illegal if it were invented today, why most of 20th century culture is legally unavailable to us, and why today’s policies would probably have smothered the World Wide Web at its inception.

Public Domain is available free under a Creative Commons license.

In both cases, of course, you are able to purchase a copy if you’d prefer to read the text in book form. The Future of Reputation is now available in paperback, and Public Domain is available on Amazon.

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