Harper Collins

HarperStudio Interviews Joi Ito

Fred Benenson, December 2nd, 2008


HarperStudio, an imprint of the world renown publishers Harper Collins, has an interview with Joi Ito, our CEO. In his answers, Joi tackles some of the more complex implications of Creative Commons licensing for media like books:

2) Does Creative Commons have different implications for different forms of media? Would books be affected differently than music, for example?

Joi Ito: … In the case of book publishing, we have seen a variety of different examples. The basic consideration is how much demand the book already has versus the potential demand that a free download version of the book might create. Clearly there is some cannibalization of sales if people who were going to buy the book end up reading it online. However, we have quite a bit of data which supports the fact that making the book available for free increases the likelihood that the book will get stronger coverage on blogs and word of mouth and also find its way into markets not typically marketed to by the publishers. If, for instance, one allows derivative works, a good book will often quickly get translated, whole or in part, which can drive demand in International markets.

Definitely worth a read if you’re interested in the future of publishing and CC.

Update: HarperStudio also points us towards Lawrence Lessig’s appearance on KQED.

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