Free (as in freedom) eBook projects
Collated by Rob Myers:
Out of copyright works are ideal. The best source of these is Project Gutenberg, which now provides epub version -
The website Manybooks formats up Gutenberg texts in many different formats and aggregates other texts as well. It's a good way of finding contemporary books available under Creative Commons licences -
Google Books has many out of copyright books and magazines that Gutenberg doesn't.. These are available from archive.org, which has many other out of copyright and Creative Commons licenced books as well -
Smashwords ebooks are not Creative Commons licenced but are DRM-free and reasonably priced -
FLOSS Manuals are producing collaboratively edited manuals for free software -
And Artists Ebooks are exploring the possibilities of ebooks by artists -
Free Culture and eBooks
Free Culture requirements for eBooks, by Rob Myers:
"There are two ways of looking at the freedom to read an ebook.
Free Software requires that you be able to use the software that displays the book as you see fit and that the book not require any limitations or controls in the software that reads it. DRM and proprietary ebook reader software breaks this. Free reader software like OpenInkpot and FBReader, and free and open formats like epub without DRM added support this.
Free Culture requires that you be free to use the book, at the very least to have your fair use/fair dealing rights, and preferably to have the freedom to use it without restriction. Ideally the book will have a copyleft licence such as Creative Commons BY-SA, but it must at least not have DRM applied." (http://robmyers.org/weblog/2010/05/ebooks-1.html)