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Yochai Benkler: The Wealth of Networks, and some thoughts


The word "web 2.0" is becoming popular in Japan (See a previous post). We can see this word in newspapers and magazines everyday.

The other day I happened to know that a book about the internet has been published as a printed book, as a PDF, as a html, and as wiki-pages simultaneously. The book is Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, published by Yale University Press, and also available under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Sharealike license. Visit the book's page. You can download PDFs or html files freely.

What I was most impressed with was that the Yale University Press decided to publish this book (costs $25) although the whole text is to be available on the web. I am very interested in this phenomenon. In the US, reports from the government are sometimes published both as printed books and as free PDF files. The crucial point is that the publisher has estimated that the book sells well even if there exist the same free digital texts on the web.

I feel like asking them whether it is possible for me to publish an English book in this style (of course they would reply that I should be a well-known author in the English speaking world). This would be an ideal way of publishing for the authors, like me, who have already published his/her (translated) texts on their websites.

By the way, okumi, a member of our former blog, has begun the blog, Reproductive health in Japan.

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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hope the best for your internet book, hopefully it will soon be available. is it difficult to set it in pdf? best wishes arash

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