Monday, March 4, 2013

Flat World Knowledge Book Archive

Creative Commons licensed, freely downloadable

What is this?

First off, this is not the website for Flat World Knowledge. You can get to them at Instead, this is the archive of a small project by Andy Schmitz to archive Creative Commons-licensed copies of all the Flat World Knowledge books which were available online at the end of 2012.

Flat World Knowledge is a textbook publisher, focusing on (mostly entry-level) college textbooks. From its beginning until the end of 2012, Flat World Knowledge licensed all of its books under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license, allowing anyone who so desired to copy them, give them away, or modify them, as long as they acknowledged the authors, released the copies under the same license, and didn't do so for commercial gain. This was an unusual model, but they hoped it would work. (They sold access to additional study materials, as well as copies of books that would fit well on e-readers.)

In late 2012, Flat World Knowledge decided that the process of giving away access to their textbooks online wouldn't produce the returns they were hoping for, and decided to switch to a different model, requiring students to pay for access to the books starting in 2013. (At least initially, these fees are rather cheap compared to normal textbook prices, but still not free.)

Because the books were still available under a Creative Commons license at the end of 2012, I downloaded them to have copies known to be available under a Creative Commons license. I then repackaged them so that they are available outside of the Flat World Knowledge website, and can be used by anyone under the terms of their Creative Commons license.


Source and List and Links Available At


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