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Old 10-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #16
Elfwreck
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I wish you luck with the project. I'm not sure many publishers would agree to have books freely distributed in this manner, given recent stories like the "massive wave of e-book piracy" one.
I'm expect the vast majority to be public domain & creative commons releases, with a few other collections like Baen free library books, and a small handful of specific-permission books. I'm not expecting much in the way of publisher cooperation, and one of the goals is to show that it's possible to assemble a good working library of free ebooks--and if publishers want their books read by the next generation of readers, they'd better figure out how to get those books to them.

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You might look into "Educational Fair Use" copyright policies. Most universities insist that materials falling under that provision be assigned directly by a teacher, but it's still a good starting point.
Uni fair use policies are all based on "what do we think we can get away with that probably won't get us sued," rather than "what's the maximum use allowed by copyright law." (And they're all useless for this; none suggest entire books be copied & distributed. I'm definitely not putting together a collection of excerpts.)

I'll also be assembling links for free books online, and registered-user-only resources, but my first priority is books that can be handed out freely, rather than books the kids have to download & convert or install themselves.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #17
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Uni fair use policies are all based on "what do we think we can get away with that probably won't get us sued," rather than "what's the maximum use allowed by copyright law." (And they're all useless for this; none suggest entire books be copied & distributed. I'm definitely not putting together a collection of excerpts.)
I was really suggesting (obviously not very clearly) that your kid's charter school might establish a fair use policy, which would give you more latitude in what you include in the collection.

I'm about to graduate from grad school and at my university they often distributed entire books in e-book format under the university fair use policy.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:43 PM   #18
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I was really suggesting (obviously not very clearly) that your kid's charter school might establish a fair use policy, which would give you more latitude in what you include in the collection.
Sorry; I misunderstood. While they might do that, and might be able to use entire texts as part of class assignments, I don't think we could include them in a general-use library for the whole school.

I want to put together a collection that can be used without needing permissions or waiting for access or having to justify the specific purpose they're being used for. (And I'm beginning to figure out how complicated that is; collecting the actual ebooks is looking easier than figuring out how to sort them & what kinds to go looking for.)
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:31 AM   #19
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My suggestion would be to start from a reference librarian at the SF public library. You really do want to concentrate on non-fiction, since filling in the fiction areas will be so much easier. I'd start by looking for older history (or maybe "historical") books that might be old enough to evade copyright restrictions, or might just be old enough to collect interest in a digital edition.

An example of the type of book I'm thinking of would be "Land of Giants" by David Lavender. This is a history of the Northwest fur trade and thus early exploration and settlement of the Pacific Northwest. I read this in 8th grade, and based on that one book, knew more local history than the teacher (who was from out of state, but woefully under-prepared.) Sorry, I don't know equivalent work for CA. Journals of John C. Fremont maybe? Records of some of the Spanish explorers?

Get your reference librarian's hints, and use the library catalog to search for appropriate content. Might try looking at the bibliography from the print editions of local textbooks. Might try looking up Wikipedia articles just to find references to appropriate works.

A currently appropriate topic might be to get copies of the earlier editions of Mark Twain's autobiography - parts of it were published several times over the years, with more of the "good parts" included in each edition. Don't know how successful you'd be in getting the new one from this year, but it might be ok to just send students to the SF library for that.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:19 AM   #20
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Some good links, especially non-fiction, here. She is a homeschooler who seems to use free internet content almost exclusively. Also, try my blog posts on the freebies from the books 1001 Kids Books to Read Before you Grow Up and 1001 Books You Must Read Before you Die.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darqref View Post
My suggestion would be to start from a reference librarian at the SF public library. You really do want to concentrate on non-fiction, since filling in the fiction areas will be so much easier. I'd start by looking for older history (or maybe "historical") books that might be old enough to evade copyright restrictions, or might just be old enough to collect interest in a digital edition.
I'll need a list of good public domain works; I can digitize them myself if necessary. (I have some of my own that aren't in Gutenberg, but somehow, I can't see that a high school library really needs a 7-volume History of Freemasonry.)

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An example of the type of book I'm thinking of would be "Land of Giants" by David Lavender. This is a history of the Northwest fur trade and thus early exploration and settlement of the Pacific Northwest.
It'd be very appropriate, and local enough to be relevant. Unfortunately, it's copyrighted, and the author & publisher show no signs of having an interest in CC or other free licenses; books of that type go on a list for "maybe contact to seek permission if I've got time."

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Get your reference librarian's hints, and use the library catalog to search for appropriate content. Might try looking at the bibliography from the print editions of local textbooks. Might try looking up Wikipedia articles just to find references to appropriate works.
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
Some good links, especially non-fiction, here. She is a homeschooler who seems to use free internet content almost exclusively. Also, try my blog posts on the freebies from the books 1001 Kids Books to Read Before you Grow Up and 1001 Books You Must Read Before you Die.
The oldfashionededucation and its inspiration, Ambleside Online, both look like good resources, but will need to be carefully vetted; they're firmly designed around "Christian values." (Which, one, public schools can't do and two, I'm not going to put my own kids through.)

I'll check out the 1001 Books lists; those also look like good starting points.
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