In the vein of Radiohead, Saul Williams et al, Matt Mason has made his book – The Pirate’s Dilemma – available to download. The price is whatever you want to pay – zero upwards.
There are millions of books on amazon.com, and on average each will sell around 500 copies a year. The average American is reading just one book a year, and that number is falling. The problem (to quote Tim O’Reilly) isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. Authors are lucky to be in a business where electronic copies aren’t considered substitutes for physical copies by most people who like reading books (for now at least).
Considering that the book is related to how open source culture is changing the distribution and control of content, it makes a lot of sense to offer the book via this medium.
It comes with recommendationsfrom the Guardian, Wired and Seth Godin among others. So I’ll be downloading it as soon as I get home this evening.