Frequently Asked Questions
- What does Free Library mean?
- It means that all the books that compose it are licensed under one of the many free licenses that exists and therefore the authors grant permission for their reproduction and redistribution.
- So, are all the books in this library free?
- Yes; at least on their digital version. Many authors also offer the printed version (either directly or through the usual commercial channels) for which they can charge whatever they deem appropriate.
- But, if their work is free, from what do they live off?
- To answer this question, there is no one better than the authors who work with this system. The following link has the reflections of a publishing group that only uses free licenses in their works: from what do the authors live off?
- But some of the books in the library have Copyright...
- The copyright and free licenses are not exclusive. In fact, the latter are based on the legislation of the first to grant rights to copy and distribute. For that reason, every work under a free license has a copyright that guarantees the will of its author. The important thing is what that copyright allows with respect to the licensed work.
- I have seen a book in here that has Copyright and with 'All rights reserved'
- OK; in these cases, the most common reason is that the publisher has returned the exploitation rights to the author. Often that is the case with technical manuals after a reasonable time or for example when they have sold out the print edition and they do not expect a re edition. Once the authors have the control again, they can give their work to the public domain or allow their free distribution to put his work into circulation again.
- If the books are free as in free speech and free as in free beer, can I do whatever I want with them? Can I print, translate or sell them?
- No, you cannot do what its license does not allow. As explained in the link above, some licenses only allow downloading and non-profit redistribution. For example, if you want to translate and edit the book, some authors will require you to pay the relevant rights.
- I only see technical and mathematical books. Are there more genres?
- At this moment, given the demand, the catalogue is being prepared exclusively from Computer Science books and books / essays about Science and related topics. For the near future, we plan to open the platform to all literary genres.
- Why is there such a fixation with the PDF format that is not necessarily as universal as intended? No all mobile devices load it.
- As of today it is a technical problem offering e-books in all formats: the publishers work with PDF and making automatic conversions to EPUB, MOBI or similar entails a subsequent process of redesign and layout for its proper visualisation. This is especially important on technical books with code in them: we would have to work on each page, individually, to get a coherent display. For future OpenLibra versions, one of the goals to achieve would be to offer the possibility to download the books on any native format for mobile devices while keeping the original structure. We are aware of the tools that are emerging and studying those that offer better results for conversions.