Reading Capitalism 3.0 is like putting on a new pair of glasses. It is clearly written, provocative, and fresh. And it offers a sharp new tool for solving the problem of capitalism’s threat to the commons.
Michael Pollan, author, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Download / Buy
Berrett-Koehler is publishing Capitalism 3.0 under a Creative Commons license. That license allows reproduction for non-commercial purposes without permission. So you can download the book for free, read it, share it with friends, even print it and hand it out on street corners if you want. What you can’t do is sell it, or create a derivative work from it.
This raises an obvious question. The printed book costs $22.95 at most bookstores, and $15.61 at Amazon.com. Those prices aren’t prohibitive, but they’re a notch or two greater than zero. So should you buy the book in the usual way, or download it for free with a mouse click?
There are several factors to consider here. The liberation of words from paper, like the liberation of music from vinyl, allows for easy dissemination of creative works. This is a potential boon for readers, but a potential problem for publishers and creators. If all books were downloaded without payment, publishers would go out of business, and authors would have a hard time eating. On the other hand, ideas would circulate a bit more freely.
As the author, here’s what I hope will happen. I hope many of you will download and skim the book. If you’re intrigued, you’ll decide you want to read the book carefully, give a copy to a friend, or keep it on your bookshelf or coffee table. So you’ll go to your local bookstore, or to an on-line vendor, and buy the handy, long-lasting version, printed on acid-free paper.
If you’re a teacher, you might buy the book yourself and assign a chapter or two to your students. Your students could then download and print the assigned chapters without violating the author’s copyright.
In any case, I invite you to peruse the downloadable version, and if you’re so moved, engage in a commercial transaction that microscopically boosts GDP.