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The Baen Free Library is a digital library of the science fiction and fantasy publishing house Baen Books where 61 e-books as of June 2016 (112 e-books as of December 2008) can be downloaded free in a number of formats, without copy protection. It was founded in late 1999 by science fiction writer Eric Flint and publisher Jim Baen to determine whether the availability of books free of charge on the Internet encourages or discourages the sale of their paper books.
The Baen Free Library represents an experiment in the field of intellectual property and copyright. It appears that sales of both the e-books made available free and other books by the same author, even from a different publisher, increase when the electronic version is made available free of charge.
Baen Ebooks also sells individual e-books and a subscription-based e-book program. The books in the Free Library are available via the website for Baen Ebooks in various formats including HTML, Rich Text Format, and EPUB as well as unencrypted .mobi for Kindle.
In 2002, Baen also started adding CD-ROMs into some hardcovers of newest titles in successful series. They contain the complete series of novels preceding the printed book (for those books that were the latest in a series), other works by the same author, some works by other authors, and multimedia bonuses. The CD-ROMs have a prominent permissive copyright license which expressly encourages free-of-charge copying and sharing, including over the Internet.