Free book distribution could cost $15,000

Glenn Fleishman and Jeff Carlson released their book, "Real World GoLive 6," as a free download last month. Unfortunately, the book was a hefty 23MB — lots of screenshots and a bad PDF rip made the file ginormous — and even more unfortunately, Glenn's ISP, Level 3, has a baroque pricing-plan that bills for more-or-less peak load. So after getting a whole whack of downloads in the space of a few hours, Glenn yanked the book, realizing that he might end up owing $15,000 for the bandwidth consumed by giving away his book.

There are a couple of ways the tragedy could have been averted. If the book had been Creative Commons licensed, they could have posted it to the Internet Archive, which woulda given them free hosting. Alternately, they could have put the book into a BitTorrent package or into the Tornado Open Content Network, so that that cost of distribution would have been spread around among all the downloaders.



(Thanks, Joe!)