You can read this book in its entirety here.

Creative Commons License

The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Share Alike, Non-commercial License. This means you can do pretty much anything you want with it, as long as you keep my name on it, link back to this site, and don’t compete with Duke University Press for sales (and you really shouldn’t do that, because they rock for letting me release the book in this way). Read it, share it, rip it, burn it, re-mix it, use it in class, tell others to read it, and OH YES, BUY IT. And if you are happy with it, consider participating in the next level: modulate it.


If you want to take a look at the book as printed by Duke: download the PDF version.

If you want to read the book online, please visit the discussion section of the site. This version is made possible by the work of people at the Institute for the Future of the Book, and their wordpress plugin, CommentPress. It allows you to add comments to a specific paragraph, and is correlated with the pages of the book.

Kiran “Jace” Jonnalagadda (a veteran silk-list member) created an epub version for the Sony e-Book reader (thanks jace)!

If you want to transform the text, download the HTML version (zipped), created by Joel Ibarra and Duke University Press.

Both of the HTML versions list the page numbers of the print version.

If you transform the book, or think you might want to transform it (translate it, create a new version, etc.), let me know, and I will try to host it here.


COMMENTS / 15 COMMENTS

[...] 5/31/08 – Like The Wealth of Networks, Two of these books are also available online: Two Bits, The Future of the Internet – and How to Stop [...]

Open Parenthesis » Summer Reading List on May 31 08 at 7:37 pm

[...] just published his book on Free Software (and I will soon write an entry about the book but the WHOLE THING IS ONLINE) and so it felt quite nice that we were discussing what I think his one of his most amazing [...]

Interprete » Anthropologocial Wonders and Myopias North and South on Jun 08 08 at 11:19 am

[...] M. Kelty published the book Two Bits — The cultural significance of Free Software. The title sounds promising and i've just downloaded [...]

Personal notes » Blog Archive » A book on the cultural meaning of Free Software on Jun 11 08 at 7:10 pm

[...] Christopher Kelty’s new book, via Glyn Moody: Recursive publics are publics concerned with the ability to build, control, [...]

Mike Caulfield » Blog Archive » Recursive Publics on Jun 12 08 at 5:38 pm

[...] how but he did) to convince Duke University Press to release the whole book under a CC license. So download it to your heart’s delight and if you find it useful, do order a treeware copy (as you [...]

Interprete » The Cultural Significance of Free Software on Jun 25 08 at 3:26 pm

[...] una licencia Creative Commons y se puede leer online o descargar en un pdf. El libro se llama «Two bits». Lo bueno de leerlo online es que tiene un plugin que permite dejar comentarios en cada párrafo. [...]

un ojo en el cielo » Breves on Jun 27 08 at 4:42 am

[...] can buy and read the book here, and we recommend reading the conclusions on the ‘cultural significance of free [...]

P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Book of the Week: Christopher Kelty’s Two Bits on Jul 07 08 at 6:50 am

[...] As interesting as the main H article is, through a link it led me to an even more interesting read, Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. [...]

Emacs and the GPL on Apr 06 10 at 1:36 am

[…] Christopher Kelty’s new book, via Glyn Moody: Recursive publics are publics concerned with the ability to build, control, […]

crystal report on Aug 20 08 at 8:06 pm

I would like to make a poor-student version: without notes, bibliography, index, A4 size and many more characters per page. Is there any way to access de source text?

paurullan on Nov 30 09 at 9:25 am

Hi. I’ve made a .fb2 (fictionbook) version of your book. It’s available here.

Robert on Jan 24 10 at 3:08 pm

The chapter on EMACs made me wonder about how the law changed questions of copyright and why it took so long. Is this a good thing or a bad thing in advancing the cause of Free Software? Some would say law takes so long and waters down what should happen. I’m really not sure what I think. But I am reminded of Clay Shirky’s discussion of groups I had in a class of his, in which we made a group decision. There was a pretty clear consensus about what the decision was going to be, but then it took another 40 minutes for us to continue discussing and keeping the group all involved in making it a consensus process. It kept the group together. Could we say that the reason it takes so long is along these lines?

Nathan on Mar 03 10 at 1:12 am

What struck me most when reading excerpts from Two Bits for class (Hacker Culture with Biella Coleman @ NYU) was how civilly every party involved in the Gosling-Stallman-Unipress mix-up over EMACS behaved. For what was a very popular program that stood to earn the commercial sector a sizable chunk of change, it’s almost unimaginable to think that people wouldn’t be at each others throats in a lawsuit frenzy.

After wading through the waters of copyleft manifestos and histories, one can easily come to expect to view the copyright holder as an overbearing, villainous character—but neither James Gosling nor the company Unipress really fulfilled that role. That was really refreshing, from my point of view.

Nicole on Mar 03 10 at 6:53 am

One can say that Raymond’s theory protected and recognized the hacker. Yes dedication to social contribution is important to hacking, but what happens when a system that you built is no longer in your hands, out in the hands of investors who are clueless. Doesn’t copyright protect this? Is Stallman’s theory too much like the ideas of the hacker revolution and not enough about today? Software is so intricate that it is through the questions of this movement, or debate that answers and resolutions can be found. It was really great to read about this movement, but to also see that desoite their difference in ideologies Free Software and Open Source movement, is a debate searching for a better ways to progress software.

Clarissa on Mar 03 10 at 7:09 am

SPEAK / ADD YOUR COMMENT
Comments are moderated.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Return to Top

Read This Book

Upcoming

Past Events 2009 Past events 2008

FRESH / LATEST POSTS

Two Bits Home Buy this Book. Read this Book! Discuss this Book! Blog and News Reviews of Two Bits About this Book! Modulate this Book!