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July 08, 2009


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The priceless means to history
and the free means to now and future lol

Ronald Baywalds

Holding off listening to the audiobooks for the Kindle version. Will it be available through Amazon.com for free or will it just be a "Kindle-compatible" file that is downloadable?

Nico Luchsinger

Regarding international access: The Scribd version seems to work just fine from outside the U.S.


I don't have constant internet access so is there any way I can download a printed version (for personal use) and read it at my leisure? I don't like audio books or being constantly tethered to the Internet. Thanks.


dang, i just bought this book

Roberto Cohen

So, things are not so free, ah?

I accessed Scribd and have no permission to read.

Oh boys, free is only free for someones..



Hugo E. Martin

If the author tells you the book is available for free reading, tell Google Books that you access the site from US.

Btw., as publisher you can make your book on Google Book available just in US or Worldwide (maybe not just for one month?)

Paul Morriss

Minor correction on page 136 (btw I can see the scribd version in the UK). You say "listeners and viewers pay a yearly tax on their radios and TVs and get the ad-free BBC in return". The tax (licence fee) is only on TVs. If you only own a radio you're onto a winner.


The Scribd version is not available in Japan. And content is not viewable from google books. If you're really keen you can run the scribd link through google translate or other types of web proxy that are hosted in the US. (just don't tell your publishers ). Ouch - my eyes - that online reader kinda bites.

You're probably already aware - but there are other ways of publishing in a truly free manner - such as Lawrence Lessig's excellent creative commons :


but I suspect - not having read your book completely yet - that you concept of "Free" is more about the diminishing to zero costs of online distribution and ways to monetize that by imposing "Scarcity" on higher quality versions - as in the Monty Python example.

As compared to Lessigs freedom of use, and freedom from burdensome DRM.

Still - I applaud your efforts, and if you could persuade your publishers to lift these ridiculous geographical restrictions, those of us living outside the US would be eternally grateful :)

Max Weber

Free? Maybe as free as in free beer – in the US, for a limited time and in a particular type of glass only, in summary, a marketing gimmick, and not real freedom, not even from an American perspective.

I'm sorry you sold your own freedom to a publisher. Why do you even need a publisher? A printer should have been sufficient. Publishers do printing as well, sure, but they grad all kind of other rights as well as you've probably realized too. Well, you might act less stupid next time I guess.


Wow .. wonderful article :D

glad to hear that google release it :D


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A new review of FREE in Spanish on: http://www.digitalismo.com/


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Lars K Jensen

People outside the US, like me, can grab the Google Books link and route it via a proxy service like Ctunnel (http://ctunnel.com) and then it's there.

I guess we'll have to do it this way, until the content is free as in free speech.

// Lars

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i was actually able to read some of this book, it was pretty good and well written


Those are some great pointers. I think the information will really be a benefit!

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Atif Khan

Hi Chris,

On page 38 of "Free" you write: "In the sixteenth century, short-term interest rates dropped dramatically...The lower rates weakened most religious scruples about lending with interest, although Islamic law continued to frown on it."

As an Islamic finance trainer I was thoroughly impressed that you managed to tie this in with your broader theme of "Free." I'd like to add a point.

Seemingly low interest rates continue to wreak havoc on global markets. The explanation is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzIf6h-rsLc


Who says you dont get anything for free.
Thankyou kindly for the download link, i havent yet been able to read it, but i shall this evening and return with a review.
thanks again.

Tom Henell

I just finished the unabridged audio book and found it wonderfully entertaining (that says a lot about listening to Chris Anderson talk to me for 6 hours during my commutes), thought provoking, and educational. Although, we've already embraced a business model that embraces this principal, I was able to derive specific objectives to expand our model...hopefully, providing us a significant edge in our market. Thanks for the book Chris!


Google is amazing... I can't wait for Google Wave.

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Michael Witthaus

Time limited on a Kindle? Can you do that?


i am reaading google books but only a dew pages not fully


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Does FREE for one month mean until August 8, 2009 or free until the end of July?

stor perde

stor perde: thanks for informations.

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I will probably just buy it for my personal use.


It can take me longer than a month to read some books!

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It is an awesome and very informative book.I do read it.Just wanted to say thanks for making such a great book.


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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!