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The open source textbook conundrum

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| Flat World Knowledge of Nyack, New York says it has funding for a roll-out of
| its open source college textbooks next year, adding a former chair of Simon &
| Schuster to its advisory board.
| Flat World will offer its texts free online, and distribute them at low cost
| on other formats. They promise to build social learning networks where
| students learn from one another.


Commoner Letter #1: Eben Moglen

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| Last year we started a new campaign tradition — the Commoner Letter series.
| As I’ve said before, and will definitely say again, the campaign is about
| building support — rallying our community members around the importance of
| supporting Creative Commons and the openness our tools help enable. Over the
| next three months, five prominent members of the CC community will share with
| the world why they support CC. If you’re interested in CC and issues of
| openness and access, this list is for you.



Eben Moglen on open source's future

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| What do you see as the biggest danger to open-source software today? On the
| one hand, there's still a locus of resistance. Microsoft still maintains
| strongly the view that its business model, which depends upon concealing
| source code from users, is a viable and important and indeed necessary model.
| And so as long as a company that sells a billion dollars a week in software
| is in that sense fundamentally still trying to [fight] the free way of doing
| things, Microsoft remains a very dangerous party. * * *


Open Source: The Textbooks of the Future

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| In America, where I live, and across much of the northern hemisphere, kids
| are heading back to school. I’m no longer in school, but everyone in my
| family save for me works in one. One of the biggest issues facing schools
| today is how to keep textbooks up to date in a cost effective manner, and
| make them more manageable and affordable for students. K-12 science
| textbooks, for example, published before August 24, 2006 likely talk about
| the 9 planets in our solar system. Except two years ago, the science world
| decided that there were just 8 planets.


Open Source Textbooks Challenge a Paradigm

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| A small, digital book startup thinks it has a solution to the age-old student
| lament: overpriced textbooks that have little value when the course is over.
| The answer? Make them open source -- and give them away.
| Flat World Knowledge is the brainchild of two former textbook industry
| executives who learned from the inside about the wacky economy of textbooks.


The World Wide Textbook

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| A new project aims to develop low-cost, open-source textbooks for use
| in the developing world
| [...]
| Each of the proposed open-source books has an editor-in-chief
| responsible for putting together a chapter outline and rough
| description, and ensuring that the text comes together in a
| cohesive manner.


Open Shakespeare aims to free the Bard

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| The project was formed under the aegis of the Open Knowledge
| Foundation, whose stated mission is the promotion and development
| of "open knowledge."
| "We have had quite a bit of contact with the Free Software Foundation
| and Creative Commons in one way or another," says project leader
| Rufus Pollock, who is a member of the Creative Commons UK team,
| "but we aren't working with either of them on anything specific
| at present."

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