Matt Mason has released a PDF copy of his book "The Pirate's Dilemma" on his website

pic of the pirates dilemma

In an online publishing experiment that is similar to what Radiohead has done with music, Mason allows users to set the price for each download - and it can be as little as zero dollars. Mason explains that giving away the book for free could actually help him to sell more copies:

"There are millions of books on, 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 OíReilly) isnít piracy, itís obscurity. (...) 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."

The difference to Doctorow is that Mason doesn't release his copy under the terms of a Creative Commons license, so you'll technically still break copyrigth laws if you decide to spread the copy. However doesn't seem to mind if copies pop up on file sharing networks:

"Pirate copies of The Pirateís Dilemma are out there online anyway, and they donít 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."

(via gulli)

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