14 November 2017

South Africa: Pauw Book Has Done a Service to the Country - Let's Have It Free Online

analysis

There is a very simple way the publishers of The President's Keepers can stop the illegal download of the .pdf version: make the version legal. They should have done so from the start.

You don't have to look far to get The President's Keepers for free, and you don't have to look much farther to find public opinion on the irony of illegally distributing a book that in itself is all about lawlessness. That dilemma could have been avoided all together had the publisher released an online version of the book under an appropriate Creative Commons licence, thus not only allowing but actually encouraging the book's free, non commercial, distribution. It seems a bit disingenuous to publish an explosive book about how key members of our government are breaking the law, but not anticipate and prevent the inevitable irony of an outraged audience reading illegal versions of the book. With a legal online version, readers can be unrepentant for putting it in the hands of as many people as we are able, all threats of censure would be moot... and the money would flow anyway.

It was inevitable that illegal copies of the book would become available almost immediately on...

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