Case Studies/Stick this in your memory hole
I don’t believe that licensing the book under CC has negatively impacted on sales of the book. On the contrary, I think that having the entire text online for readers to preview has actually helped to sell more books. — Emily Clark, Publisher, Aduki Independent Press
Launched by Melbourne-based boutique publishers Aduki Independent Press on 1 November 2007, Stick this in your memory hole is the work of first-time author Tristan Clark. Significantly, the book sets a benchmark in being Aduki’s first publication to be released under a Creative Commons licence, and moreover is believed to be the first title in Australia to be distributed by a publisher in this manner.
Stick this in your memory hole presents a biting critique of Australian politics and society, wielding wit and humour to evoke issues and encourage serious debate by audiences not necessarily engaged with Australia’s political arena. Appropriately, the publication’s release coincided with Australia’s 2007 Federal election campaign. Clark’s commentary characterises the growing dissent against government and mainstream thinking, tackling a range of issues including politics, economics, media, consumerism, resources, logging and transportation. The title is a reference to George Orwell’s 1984, with the ‘memory hole’ being a disposal shoot through which documents deemed to be in conflict with ‘official truths’ were sent.
As the book’s blurb states:
- ‘Intended to elicit both laughter and indignation Stick this in your memory hole is an unprecedented attack on an atrophied political system, corporate lechery and the ideological sycophants that comprise and support it.’
Aduki Independent Press specialises in non-fiction books, essays and magazines with a particular interest in community, environment, migration, politics, social justice, food and travel. As a commercial publishing venture, Aduki receives no outside funding. Wishing to conduct a ‘fair and reputable business,’ Aduki’s philosophy is expressed as follows:
- Produce quality written works.
- Seek to represent varied and distinctive authors and material.
- Fostering of Australian talent and support within publishing industry.
- Offer contracts that are fair and balanced between the signing parties.
- Fair payment for author work and general services.
- Conduct business in a sustainable way, avoiding unnecessary use of energy, paper and materials.
- Only print books and magazines on 100 per cent recycled paper.
- Use the most energy efficient print processes available.
- Strive to maintain a 'no pulping' policy.
- Promote values of fairness, diversity, individuality and free speech.
Stick this in your memory hole has been published both in print and digital form (online) under a Creative Commons Attribution–Noncommercial 2.5 Australia licence. Both versions carry appropriate licensing information. The online version has been downloaded over 1000 times since its release in November 2007. As of April 2008 the print version had sold over 500 copies. The publishers report that using the CC-BY-NC licence has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
- ‘I don’t believe that licensing the book under CC has negatively impacted on sales of the book. On the contrary, I think that having the entire text online for readers to preview has actually helped to sell more books’ – Emily Clark, Publisher, Aduki Independent Press
Aduki reports that it intends to release Tristan’s second book under the same Creative Commons licence in 2009.
- ‘We really like the idea of giving people easy access and the right to use the work without seeking our permission as the book has an important message that needs to be shared.’ – Emily Clark, Aduki Independent Press
Aduki’s manager Emily Clark was exposed to the idea of Creative Commons at the 2007 Melbourne Writers Festival, where she heard successful science fiction writer Cory Doctorow speak about his positive experience with the licences, together with Creative Commons Australia Project Manager Jessica Coates. (This discussion was later broadcast on The Law Report on ABC Radio National on 20 November 2007). Impressed with the enthusiasm of the presenters, Emily reveals that she discovered an excellent publishing option: licensing under Creative Commons was the perfect way to reconcile Aduki’s commercial requirements with the author’s moral and philosophical objections to copyright. In an email interview with Emma Carroll from Creative Commons Australia, Emily offered the opinion that:
- ‘The content of the book, I feel, is really important and needs to be shared. The author and I did not want to limit access to the book to those who could afford a print copy. We also hoped the work would be shared and reference and wanted the audience to know that they were able to do that without contacting us.’
Aduki’s publication met with considerable excitement from the team at Creative Commons Australia, who expressed their support for its open distribution as follows:
- ‘Breaking out from the pack and taking the plunge into open content licensing isn't an easy decision for a small publisher to make, and Aduki deserves to be congratulated. But, as they say in their press release, with its strong message in support of free speech “Stick this in your memory hole is the perfect book to begin with.”’
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