• Notable Books

last modified November 19, 2019 by strypey

Books significant to the development of the commons, especially the digital commons; free code software, open source development, free culture, and so on. The first table contains books made available by the author for reading online, or free download (eg .pdf) at the links provided, often under a license that allows free distribution (eg a CreativeCommons license). The second table contains titles under ARR copyright that are not made freely available by their author, but are significant enough to be featured anyway.

Some books have been made freely available here (the local copy links), in case the original site goes offline, or changes its link structure. Copyright for each book remains with the author/ publisher, and the copies on this wiki are hosted for the purposes of personal study and public debate, as allowed by the copyright license or fair dealing/ fair use provisions in copyright law. Eventually each book title will have a link to copies found or placed on archive site like Archive.org, where possible.

Free-as-in-Beer Web Library


1967 - Raoul Vaneigem: 'The Revolution of Everyday Life' (full text at the link) (online PDF)

1967 - Guy-Ernest Debord: 'The Society of the Spectacle' (read on the web) (online PDF)

1992 - Bruce Sterling: 'The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier'

1995 - Kevin Kelly: 'Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World

1998 - Rosemary J. Coombe: 'The Cultural Life of Intellectual Property'

1998 - Brian Martin: 'Information Liberation: Challenging the corruptions of information power' (local copy)

1999 - Locke, Weinberger, Searls & Levine: 'The Cluetrain Manifesto'

2000 - Eric Raymond: 'Homesteading the Noosphere

2001 - Lawrence Lessig: 'The Future of Ideas' (local copy)

2002 - Richard Stallman: 'Free Software, Free Society' (local copy)

2002 - John Holloway: 'Change the World Without Taking Power' (local copy)

2002 - David Weinberger 'Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web'

2003 - 'Life After Capitalism' by Michael Albert

2003 - James Taris: 'Land of the LETS Green Dollar'

2004- Lawrence Lessig: 'Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity

2004- David Graeber: 'Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology' (local copy)

2004 - Dan Gillmor: 'We the Media'

2005 - edited by Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe: 'Extreme Democracy' (license: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), (online copy)

2005 - John Christman: 'The Myth of Property: Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership' (online copy)

2005 -  Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine: 'Against Intellectual Monopoly'

2005 - Karl Fogel: 'Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project' (local copy)

2005 - Ron Goldman, Richard P. Gabriel: 'Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Open Source as Business Strategy'

2006 - Yochai Benkler: 'The Wealth of Networks' (local copy)

2007- essays from May First/ People Link activists 'The Organic Internet: Organising History's Largest Social Movement'  (local copy)

2007 - Kembrew McLeod: 'Freedom of Expression(R): Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property' (audio book), (local copy)

2007- Charles Eisenstein: 'The Ascent of Humanity: The Age of Separation, the Age of Reunion, and the convergence of crises that is birthing the transition'

2007 - 'Thomas Hylland Eriksen: 'Globalization: the Key Concepts'

2008 - Rob Hopkins: 'The Transition Handbook From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (free edit version)' (License: CC BY-SA 2.0 UK)

2008 - Lawrence Lessig: 'Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive  in the Hybrid Economy' (local copy)

2008 - James Boyle: 'The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind'

2008 - Matt Mason: 'The Pirate's Dilemma

2008- David M. Berry and Giles Moss: 'Libre Culture - Meditations on Free Culture' (License: CC Public Domain Dedication), (local copy)

2008 - Kevin A. Carson: 'Organisation Theory'

2008 - David M. Berry: 'Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source

2008 - Christopher Kelty: 'Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software' (online copy) (local copy)

2009 - Terry Hancock: 'Achieving Impossible Things with Free Culture and Commons-Based Enterprise' (local copy)

2009 - David Douglas and Greg Papadopoulos with John Boutelle: 'Citizen Engineer'

2009 - Keith Curtis: 'After the Software Wars'

2010 - Richard Stallman (derived from a 2002 biography by Sam Williams): 'Free as in Freedom (2.0)' (online copy)

2010 - Dmytri Kleiner: 'The Telekommunist Manifesto' (Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

2010 - Edited by  Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski and Jonathan Zittrain: 'Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace'

2011 - Catherine Casserly and Joi Ito:- 'The Power of Open'

2011 - David Graeber: 'Debt: The First 5000 Years' (online copy)

2011 - Edited by Gary Chartier and Charles W. Johnson: 'Markets Not Capitalism' (audio book), (local copy)

2011 - Mirko Tobias Schafer: 'Bastard Culture: How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production'

2011 - Yochai Benkler: 'The Penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation Over Self-Interest'

2011 - Charles Eisenstein: 'Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition'

2011 - L. Randall Wray: 'Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems'

2012 - edited by Andrew Boyd: 'Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution' (License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) (read online)

2012 - Peter Stuber: 'Open Access'

2012 - Grupo Cooperativo de las Indias: 'The P2P Mode of Production: An Indiano Manifesto'

2012 - edited by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich: 'The Wealth of the Commons'

2012 - Christian Engström and Rick Falkvinge: 'The Case for Copyright Reform' (online copy)

2012 - Patrick Chalmers: 'Fraudcast News' (local copy)

2013 - Charles Eisenstein: 'The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

2013 - Heather Marsh: 'Binding Chaos' (License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

2013 - edited by Domenico Quaranta, Geraldine Juárez: 'FAT Lab Manual'

2013 - Rick Falkvinge: 'Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual to Changing the World'

2013 - Geoff Mann: 'Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism'

2014 - Frederic Laloux: 'Reinventing Organization'

2014 - Media TextHack: 'Media Studies 101 - A CreativeCommons Textbook'

2014 - John Twelve Hawks: 'Against Authority'

2015 - CreativeCommons Aotearoa/ NZ: 'A Quiet Revolution'

2016 - Peter Stuber: 'Knowledge Unbound' (License: CC BY 4.0)

2017 - Zeynep Tufekci: 'Twitter and Tear Gas'  (License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

2017 - edited by Laura Beritell: '+KAOS Ten Years of Hacking and Media Activism: Autistici/Inventati' (License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) (online copy)

2017 - MIT Media Lab: 'Defending​​ Internet​ ​Freedom​​ through​​ Decentralization: Back​​ to​​ the​​ Future?' (online copy)

2018 - Rufus Pollock: 'The Open Revolution' (License: CC BY-SA 4.0) (online copy)

2019 - Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis, and Alex Pazaitis: 'Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto' (online copy)

2019 - edited by DAOStack: 'Decentralized Thriving: The Here and Now of DAOs' (online copy)

? - Silke Helfrich:- 'Commons: The Network of Life and Creativity'

? - Albert Wenger: 'World After Capital' (License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

? - Ricardo Semler: 'Top 10 Myths About Democratic Management' (online copy

? - NCFE: 'The National Campaign for Freedom of Expression [Handbook]'

For freely available fictional novels see Free Novels

Notable but Restricted

1978 - Bill Mollison and David Holmgren: 'Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements'

1990 - Elinor Ostrom: 'Governing the Commons The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action'

1993 - Ricardo Semler: 'Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace'

2000 - Jeremy Rifkin: 'The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Where all of Life is a Paid-for Experience'

2000 - Michael Perelman: 'The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation' (online copy)

2000 - Harry Cleaver: 'Reading Capital Politically' (online copy)

2001 - Steve Keen: 'Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences' (revised and expanded edition published in 2011)

2002 - Marjorie Kelly: 'The Divine Right of Capital'

2002 - David Holmgren: 'Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

2004 - Joel Bakan: 'The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power'

2008 -  John Abrams: 'Companies We Keep'

2009 - Clay Shirky: 'Here Comes Everybody'

2009 - Douglas Rushkoff: 'Life Inc.: How the World Became A Corporation and How To Take It Back' (local copy

2011 - Nikkie Harre: 'Psychology for a Better World' (a full text .PDF was originally available from this page, but this was removed when the revised edition was released in 2018)

2012 -  Marjorie Kelly: 'Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution'

2013 - Manuel Castells: 'Networks of Outrage and Hope  Networks of Outrage and Hope

2014 - Jeremy Rifkin: 'The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism'

2015 - Paul Mason: 'Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future'

2016 - Douglas Rushkoff: 'Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity'

2016 - Guy Standing: 'The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class'

2016 - Peter Frase: 'Four Futures: Life After Capitalism'

2017 - Deidre Kent: 'The Big Shift'

2017 - Ann Pettifor: 'The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers'

2017 - Edited by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider: 'Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet' (online copy)

2017 - Adrian Smith, Mariano Fressoli, Dinesh Abrol, Elisa Arond, Adrian Ely: 'Grassroots Innovation Movements'

2018 - Nathan Schneider: 'Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy'

2019 - Shoshana Zuboff: 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism'


  • Need to make sure all the free-to-read books are on archive.org or some other archiving sites.
  • Is it time to redo these tables here so the titles are in a single column, with each piece of info in it's own column? Columns would be:
  • Year | Author | Title and subtitle | License | ISBN | Online Copy | Archived Copy | Other Notes
  • Need to provide license information, especially where CC / free culture licenses are used. I could separate these two tables into separate pages on the P2P Foundation wiki; one on books that are (or were) available freely online, and one on notable books published in a more traditional fashion; print-only (and maybe commodity ebook) and/or ARR copyright. That way I can make the tables sortable by criteria other than year, although that's a good default, because it shows the evolution of these discourses over time. I could also just add any missing titles (where relevant) to the existing list in the books category.
  • Need to improve gender balance, especially in the first table. Look for books by Susie Cagle, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Juliet B. Schor, Kati Sipp, Janelle Orsi, Caroline Woolard, Melissa Hoover, Marina Gorbis,