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Peter Thiel’s startup class notes in PDF (klinger.io)
160 points by tomazstolfa on July 29, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments

This is awesome. But, I hope Blake is fine with this. I did the same thing earlier, scraped the posts and created a epub. He immediately sent me an email:

Please remove the ePub version of my notes that you put on Github.

Peter Thiel, Clarium, and I are still figuring out what to do with the content. Very likely we will be publishing something ourselves.

As you do not own the content and did not ask for permission, please take down the doc immediately

(You can of course do this for personal use. Just please don't distribute it right now.)

Thanks for mentioning. I hope i didnt crossed a line. I will remve the dl link tomorrow (as soon as i have a proper laptop in front of me)

Andreas, rdd.me has a very nice facility for sending web pages to the Kindle.

Also, here is what @bgmasters has already said about reproducing the content: http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/22922727433/read-share-p...

Then his stated goals shouldn't prevent people making conversions to other formats. You just have to be careful with not misrepresenting the work, something that is already part of the non-transferable author rights in a few countries.

I hope Blake Masters & Clarium come up with their own version soon. It is easier to be consumed on iPad/Kindle than on web.

I'd love for them to make a Leanpub version (PDF + EPUB + MOBI). I've tweeted at Blake asking him if he's interested, and obviously anything that is made should be done with Peter Thiel's approval.

It would have taken us 5 minutes to make a Leanpub version, but we respect copyright, both Blake's and Peter's, so we haven't :)

Anyway, Blake, please email me (peter@leanpub.com) or tweet me (@peterarmstrong) if you're interested...

I sent the blog posts, one by one, to the kindle using Readability.

And the same thing in "book" version ready to print/read:


Ah sorry had to take it down, didn't know about the terms attached.

I made the PDF personally to turn into a printed/binded copy (I like physical books) with nice typography and after seeing the HN post thought I'd share.

If anyone still really wants this fancier version follow/msg me on twitter: @maxolson

At 3.4MB and 366 pages this PDF/book can be easily read on iPad. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for this. Looks fantastic, Max.

Very nicely made. Thanks for sharing.

Masters is not OK with this. See earlier post: http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/22922727433/read-share-p...

How does this not violate the No Derivatives portion of the content license?

Given that this is licensed Creative Commons under Attribution, Non-Commercial, and No Derivative Works, -- and notwithstanding a general desire to respect the authors wishes (http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/22922727433/read-share-p...) -- it becomes a question as to whether it is a truly derivative work.

Since the meat-and-potatoes of the work is entirely textual, and faithfully reproduced, you could argue that work is non-derivative and within the license.

CC puts two additional restrictions on “transformation” and “alteration,” but it is not clear on what those would be. It would be reasonable to argue in the spirit of the license, that as long as we do not alter the meaning, intent, or spirit of the original work we did not alter or transform it. Any stricter interpretation would like defeat the purpose of licensing something CC, as any form of distribution requires some, however small, amount of altering (eg, I have to convert it to photons before I can hit your retinas).

There are precedents for what is considered a “derivative work” in the US, but usually as to define “new” works that may desire protection, but not likely as many in this reverse situation where we wish to argue that a slightly altered version is equivalent.

If I made printed-to-PDF from my web browser, is that a derivative work? a transformation? a substantial alteration?

If we take a strict (perhaps stretched) interpretation of Masters desires: you should read it only on my website and share only links to it from there? Then why license it as CC BY-NC-ND? Such interpretation of the license gives you no rights you did not have before under fair use (or fair dealing).

Can you iterate on this a bit more. Based on this I am actually a bit unsure if blake is not miss-interpreting BY-NC-ND at all.

E.g. http://mollykleinman.com/2008/10/20/cc-howto-no-derivatives/ interpretes the legal text like this: "The key words here are “recast, transformed, or adapted.” A derivative work involves enough creativity and originality that it constitutes a new copyrightable work. Simply converting a work from one medium to another — from print to digital, or CD to MP3 — does not produce a derivative work."

Not that it matters - they asked people not to create epubs/pdfs so i removed mine just to respect the wish.

I just want to learn for future issues.

That's a great link. I think it matches my interpretation of the No Derivatives provision.

I think you are very much in the free and clear from the standpoint of the license. The language of the CC license does say that you are free to reproduce it and include it in collections. It even suggests that the media in question is not important: "rights may be exercised in all media and formats whether now known or hereafter devised". There's no point in making reference to "hereafter devised" media if they medium is assume to be fixed at the time of license.

Further, "[the] rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats" which clearly gives you the right to change mediums as long as we do not violate the clause on adaptations.

The adaptation clause, of course, it up for some interpretation. However, the definition of a derivative work under US Copyright law is likely what was envisioned. If it was not, it would have probably been a huge blunder to call this the "No Derivatives" license. The standard test here seems to be whether the transformation had any significant creative input, and since you conversion was almost purely mechanical, I would argue that it was not significant enough to be considered a derivative.

One thing you did forget to do was to include the CC license itself.

Disclaimer: IANAL (or Copyright Scholar). YMMV.

Thanks for noticing. I oversaw it (although i believed to have double checked it) I will remove the d/l link tomorrow asap i am in front of my laptop again.

At around 27MB download, this notes PDF is more of a medium sized book. I browsed the first few pages and it looks great. Will need a few hours to study it and get into Peter's head to see how he sees the world.

I found the original notes much easier to consume: http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/peter-thiels-cs183-startup/

The pdf has a very big font, probably for reading on the Kindle.

Yes it's made for the kindle. Sorry. I figured too late i could have done it as html converted mobi/epub file.

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Here they are as a Readlist, which one can send to Kindle all chapter-ized. http://readlists.com/eff6d6d6/

Readlist looks great. Thanks for the hint. I think i will use this from now on instead of copypasting like a monkey. ;)

Does anyone know if he plans to teach the course again? I'd love to take it before I graduate...

Anyone has actually read the thing and can make a little "lessons learned" summary?

It might be a great read. I'm sure plenty of young people will find this useful.

Are there any similar books/notes/pdfs around?


I've turned Blake's blog posts into an audio collection simply using Apple's built in Text to Speech. It makes for a remarkably listenable series.

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