O’Reilly has published a number of Open Books–books with various forms of “open” copyright–over the years. The reasons for “opening” copyright, as well as the specific license agreements under which they are opened, are as varied as our authors.
Perhaps a book was outdated enough to be put out of print, yet some people still needed the information it covered. Or the author or subject of a book felt strongly that it should be published under a particular open copyright. Maybe the book was written collectively by a particular community, as in the case of our Community Press books.
But there’s more to making Open Books available online than simply adopting an open license or giving up rights granted under copyright law. The print books need to be converted to a digital format so that they’re accessible via the web.
We’re happy to have partnered with two innovative nonprofits, Creative Commons and the Internet Archive, to solve the licensing and digitizing challenges involved in bringing Open Books to readers.
While the books listed here use various open licenses, since 2003 we’ve focused on using the licenses created by Creative Commons. O’Reilly has adopted the Creative Commons Founders’ Copyright, which we’re applying to hundreds of out-of-print and current titles, pending author approval.
Through its Open Library project, the Internet Archive is scanning and hosting PDF versions of our open books. We posted the first book, the original edition of The Whole Internet User’s Guide & Catalog in October of 2005, as part of the launch of the Open Content Alliance (we and the Internet Archive are among the founding members of the alliance).
We’re pleased to keep these books alive and grateful to our nonprofit partners for their contribution. Please consider donating to Creative Commons and the Internet Archive–they’re doing important work to enrich the public good.
Donate to Creative Commons and the Internet Archive: