Frequently Asked Questions

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Unglued Ebooks

General Questions

So what is an unglued ebook?
An unglued ebook is a book that's added a Creative Commons license, after payments to the author, publisher, or other rights holder.

What does this mean for you? If you're a book lover, you can read unglued ebooks for free, on the device of your choice, in the format of your choice, and share them with all your friends. If you're a library, you can lend them to your patrons with no checkout limits or simultaneous user restrictions, and preserve them however you think best. If you're a rights holder, you get a payments in lieu of further royalties, while retaining copyright and all interests in your work.
Is the unglued ebook edition the same as one of the existing editions?
Not necessarily. Sometimes the existing editions include content that we can't get the rights to include in the unglued ebook, especially cover art or illustrations. Sometimes the unglued ebook edition will have improvements, like copy-editing fixes or bonus features. These differences, if any, will be specified in the More... tab of the campaign page. In addition, unglued ebooks may include acknowledgements of supporters and information on their Creative Commons license.
How much does a book need to earn?
For Pledge and Buy-to-Unglue Campaigns, the author or publisher sets an earnings total for making the book free. Once you and your fellow ungluers raise enough money to meet that price through pledges or spend enough money on paid copies, the unglued ebook becomes available at no charge, for everyone, everywhere! Thanks-for-Ungluing books can be downloaded for free now, but the creators would love to have your support.
Will have campaigns for all kinds of books?
Yes. You choose what books to support.
Does an unglued book have to be out-of-print?
No. Unglued books can be anything in copyright, whether 75 years or 7 days old, whether they sell in paperback or hardcover and or can only be found in used bookstores -- or nowhere. But the copyright owners and any one else with a claim on the book need to agree.
Will help raise funds for books not yet written?
No. There are other crowdfunding sites devoted to the creative process, and we encourage you to investigate them. Once your book is ready to sell as an ebook, we'd love to talk to you.

Using Your Unglued Ebook

What can I do, legally, with an unglued ebook? What can I not do?
All unglued ebooks are released under a Creative Commons license. The rights holder chooses which Creative Commons license to apply. Books that we distribute in a Buy-to-Unglue Campaign also have creative commons licenses, but the effective date of these licenses is set in the future.

Creative Commons licenses mean that once the license is effective you can: make copies; keep them for as long as you like; shift them to other formats (like .mobi or PDF); share them with friends or on the internet; download them for free.

Under NC (non-commercial) licenses, you cannot: sell unglued ebooks, or otherwise use them commercially, without permission from the rights holder.

Under ND (no derivatives) licenses, you cannot: make derivative works, such as translations or movies, without permission from the rights holder;

Under all CC licenses (except CC0), you cannot: remove the author's name from the book, or otherwise pass it off as someone else's work; or remove or change the CC license.
What does non-commercial mean under Creative Commons?
Creative Commons doesn't define "commercial" thoroughly (though it's worth reading what they have to say on the topic). So as part of the process, ungluing rights holders agree that "For purposes of interpreting the CC License, Rights Holder agrees that 'non-commercial' use shall include, without limitation, distribution by a commercial entity without charge for access to the Work." can't provide legal advice about how to interpret Creative Commons licenses, and we encourage you to read about the licenses yourself and, if necessary, seek qualified legal advice.
Are the unglued ebooks compatible with my device? Do I need to own an ereader, like a Kindle or a Nook, to read them?
Unglued ebooks are distributed with NO RESTRICTIVE DRM, so they'll work on Kindle, iPad, Kobo, Nook, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux... you get the idea. Whether you have an ereader, a tablet, a desktop or laptop computer, or a smartphone, there are reading apps that work for you. Ebook editions issued through will be available in ePub format. If this format doesn't work for you, today or in the future, you are welcome to shift unglued books to one that does, and to copy and distribute it in that format.
Do I need to have a library card to read an unglued ebook?
No. (Though we hope you have a library card anyway!)

If your library has bought an ebook as part of a Buy-to-Unglue Campaign, you may need your library card if you want to borrow them.
How long do I have to read my unglued book? When does it expire?
If you're reading a book purchased from by a library, your borrowing license expires after 2 weeks. But otherwise there's no expiration. And you delete the file on the honor system.

If you're reading a book you've purchased from, you may keep it as long as you like. There's no need to return it, and it won't stop working after some deadline. You own it.

If you're reading a book that's been unglued, you can keep the file forever AND you can make copies for friends.
Can I download ebooks directly from
If you've purchased an ebook from, you'll by able to download it through the website. All formats are included (where available), and you can download the ebooks for your personal use as many times as you need to. also provides links to download previously unglued books, creative commons licensed books, and public domain ebooks. You don't need our permission to host these free ebooks on your own site.

Ungluing and Copyright

Why does an unglued book have to be in copyright?
Because books out of copyright are already free for you to copy, remix, and share! If a book is in the public domain, it doesn't need to be unglued.
How can I tell if a book is in copyright or not?
Unfortunately, it can be complicated -- which is why wants to simplify things, by making unglued ebooks unambiguously legal to use in certain ways. The laws governing copyright and the public domain vary by country, so a book can be copyrighted in one place and not in another. In the United States, the Library Copyright Slider gives a quick estimate. signs agreements assuring the copyright status of every work we unglue, so you can be confident when reading and sharing an unglued ebook. lists a book that I know is already Creative Commons licensed or available in the public domain. How can I get the link included?
If you are logged in to, the "Rights" page for every work lists the edition we know about. There a link for every edition that you can use to tell us about Creative Commons or public domain downloads. We do require that these books be hosted at certain known, reputable repositories: Internet Archive, Wikisources, Hathi Trust, Project Gutenberg, or Google Books.