Amazon pulls plug on crowd funding publisher
Amazon has pulled the plug on crowd funding publishing platform Unglue.it. An announcement today said that Amazon Payments will no longer process pledge payments forcing the suspension of all active campaigns.
Unglue.it hosts campaigns to turn individual, already-published books into Creative Commons licensed eBooks, allowing readers to legally read and share eBooks for free with anyone across the globe. For any one book, the company works with rights holders to decide on fair compensation for such a license. Through Unglue.it, individuals and institutions can pledge toward that amount. Once the amount is reached, the team collects the pledged funds and pays the rights holders. Then, the rights holders issue a digital edition that is “unglued,” or free to read and use.
According to a Senior Account Manager at Amazon, Amazon has decided against "boarding fresh crowdfunding accounts at this time". Amazon provides payment services for the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
Unglue.it have been forced to void all pending authorisations, though an email from the site insisted this would not impact on the upcoming Oral Literature in Africa Campaign. It will be released shortly through Open Book Publishers, and made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
The team behind the project say they are already hard at work to implement a new payment method. A statement from the company asked for support from readers and writers: "Please help spread the word, and urge your friends to register as ungluers and make a wishlist. The more ungluers we have, the more rights holders will join us for our re-launch.
"With your continuing support, we will survive these difficulties to unglue many, many books. Maybe someday, people will look back with amazement on the short period when Amazon dominated the world of eBooks."