This report discusses the challenges posed to the publishing industry by digital disruption and the shift from content scarcity to content abundance. Publishing business models have been based on the ability to sell exclusive access to content, but low barriers to entry for content creators mean that this model will come under increased pressure. The Rebus Foundation has been founded in response to these challenges and is working to create the tools necessary to define a new publishing process that seeks to both enable and benefit from content abundance. The first projects from the Foundation are being launched in the Open Textbook sphere, where traditional publishers have been able to exclusively sell access to content in a way that is increasingly under threat. In response, the Foundation is launching the Rebus Community to scale up the production of Open Textbooks, deploying open communication, open licensing and open tools that form a collaborative approach first seen with the Open Source community. The Foundation’s work, if successful, will have significant consequences for the current education and textbook publishing industries, shifting the value from content to innovative teaching and learning. It will also have consequences for the publishing industry at large, potentially redefining what it means to be a publisher, and modelling an approach to publishing that embraces the undeniable shift that comes from a world of content abundance.
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