The King in Yellow, basis for True Detective is public domain, you can have it for free


The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers has become incredibly popular since True Detective began. For $4.83 Amazon will print a copy and ship it to you. IO9 reports that 1,602 copies have been sold through their Amazon ad alone. That's a nice little windfall for Amazon and io9.

The thing about it is that Robert Chalmers died in 1933. His book, first published in 1895, is in the public domain. That means that you can pop over to Project Gutenberg and grab it for free. It's available there in HTML, ePub, Kindle and Plain Text so you can read it on your ereader, tablet, desktop, laptop or even your phone. If you really like paper, you can print it.

Sure, if you want to you can get a printed copy from Amazon but it seems a little silly for consumers to hand them tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a book for which they have to pay no royalties at all.  Corporate lobbyists and their friends in various governments have already extended copyright to absurd levels. People should take advantage of whatever scraps they've left behind and not pay them for those too.

P.S. That song that was playing when they explored the burned out church on True Detective is by one of the few bands from the small-to-middle-ish sized town in Ontario where I live (Oshawa to be exact) ... If you like em, check out

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