is a movement to “liberate” copyrighted e-books. Users will be able to rally around books in a Kickstarter-esque fashion to crowdraise the re-licensing of beloved e-literature under Creative Commons. Gluejar isn't currently live, but they've been plotting and blogging at gluejar.com
and have recently established a home base for “ungluing” books at unglue.it
Gluejar's mission is to pay e-book producers a fair price for their work and ideas and release those ideas into the world to freely share, copy, and remix. This is certainly a lofty goal and Gluejar is aiming broadly. I can see a site like this contributing to a future in which nothing goes to the digital equivalent of “out of print.”
Gluejar is very new and has only recently begun to hire and site build. Gluejar's creator
seems intent on hiring to make an impact on the publishing world, which may work well for him, but seems strange in the context of a startup. We'll have to wait until the site launches to see if this policy will be reflected in the site's usability. There's also the real possibility that Gluejar simply won't work.
The most inspiring thing about Gluejar is that it seems unafraid to fail
. Eric Hellman, who sold his last company to OCLC
, acknowledges that it's an untested theory and that he'll have to try a lot of things to see which markets and book genres will work best.
Gluejar is an interesting idea and a site to watch. It certainly has the potential to shake up the futures of beloved titles with stagnant sales rates, but may not do much for hot sellers in contemporary publishing.