Share this project


Share this project

The Open Utopia is an open-source, open-access, multi-platform, web-based edition of Thomas More’s Utopia.
111 backers pledged $4,350 to help bring this project to life.


Posted by stephen duncombe (Creator)

Encouraged by the support The Open Utopia has received so far I've gone ahead and found someone to translate -- from Latin (and a wee bit of Greek) to English -- the last remaining two letters published with the original printings of Utopia that are still under translation copyright. They will now be under a Creative Commons license. 

The person doing the translating is Jake Butera: a recent PhD in classics who reads Medieval and Renaissance Latin, and, most important, gets Thomas More's mission and his sense of humor. (Incidentally, Jake also tutors my 8 year old son in Ancient Greek: a long story involving a learning disability and love for Percy Jackson.) While he's at it, Jake is also going to re-translate the marginalia written by More's literati friends and included in the first printings.

Onward toward Utopia!


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. stephen duncombe Creator on

      Done Parker.

      And Xavier: I do not have plans...but you are more than welcome to mirror my site and build your own!

    2. Missing avatar

      Xavier Scheuer

      Great, I was about to ask the same question.
      BTW Parker thanks for the links. I didn't know where to find good
      arguments "Not to Use a Creative Commons -NC License".

      I'm less reluctant to pledge a CC-BY-SA than a CC-BY-NC-SA.

      Do you have plans to "internationalize" The Open Utopia?
      For example to (help to) translate it into other languages, like French
      (yeah, I'm French-speaking).

    3. stephen duncombe Creator on

      OK -- I'm convinced Parker. I'll change it.

    4. Parker Higgins on

      One of the most compelling to scholars is that works under -NC can't be incorporated into the Wikipedia, which may or may not be relevant to you and this case. In general, -NC licenses aren't considered "Approved for Free Cultural works" according to, and that is actually reflected on the license deeds. (Compare the little badge on, say, with the lack of one on your chosen license,

      If you're interested in reading more, there have been some excellent pieces written on this. One is by Erik Möller of the Wikimedia Foundation ( Most of the arguments boil down to the fact that the -NC doesn't necessarily prevent the kinds of uses you're looking to avoid, and do interfere with some of the uses you'd like to see.

      (Out of curiosity, is there a "worst-case scenario" you envision if you don't include the -NC clause?)

    5. stephen duncombe Creator on

      Right now it's under:
      Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
      But I'm open to changing it. Give me an argument for to scrapping the NC

    6. Parker Higgins on

      Hey Stephen,

      Which CC license are you going to be releasing the translation under? I hope it's something without -NC. In order to keep the real free and open nature of the product, I think it should be BY-SA or BY!