I'm looking around for a text that covers vector calculus and multivariable calculus, and that is also "free as in speech," not just "free as in beer." In other words, I'm looking for texts that are not just available for downloading free of charge but that are also under a license such as GFDL or Wikipedia's CC-BY-SA, so that their contents can be reused, modified, remixed, etc., even for commercial purposes. Does anyone know of any good books that fit these criteria? The only one I know of is Hoffman, Contemporary Calculus, which covers two years of calculus.

  • $\begingroup$ You could look for texts that are out of copyright. Either pre 1922 (US) or post 1922 and pre 1977 that did not have the rights maintained (filings not sent). $\endgroup$ – guest Jan 18 '19 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ I am somewhat curious about why you are looking for such a text. This feels like an XY problem to me. The implication is that you are hoping to commercialize (at least part of) the material. Is the exposition the important part? the problem sets? what? If you aren't looking to sell the material, why is a CC-BY-NC-SA not good enough? $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jan 19 '19 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson: I've written some physics books that are CC-BY-SA. I'm interested in finding homework problems that I can reuse, with attribution. I also believe in general that free-as-in-speech licenses are a viable way to build a vibrant digital commons, whereas noncommercial licenses are not. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jan 21 '19 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ Are you familiar with MAA's WebWork? WebWork bills itself as an open source online homework system, and seems to have problems for nearly every lower division course. The system itself is, I believe GPL v2. I don't know about the problems. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jan 21 '19 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson, by default, problems in the WeBWorK Open Problem Library are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0, unless stated otherwise by the problem author. github.com/openwebwork/webwork-open-problem-library/blob/master/… $\endgroup$ – PersonX Jan 26 '19 at 4:46

I believe Community Calculus is exactly what you're looking for. It is under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

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  • $\begingroup$ (For reference for others, this text is also sometimes known as Guichard or Whitman calculus.) $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jan 19 '19 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is interesting, but I was specifically asking for books with licenses that don't contain a noncommercial clause. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jan 19 '19 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ The downvote was not me. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jan 19 '19 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ I read this answer, as I have a similar goal. The link was broken, and after a bit of searching, I found where it was intended to forward. Link now updated. $\endgroup$ – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 7 at 13:37

OpenStax textbooks are freely available under a Creative Commons license. They have a series of three calculus books, including multivariable calculus. I haven't used that book, but I have taught using their Calculus 2 book, which I found to be reasonably good in most respects (and without any really critical flaws, though there are some aspects that could use improvement).

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, but I was specifically asking for books with licenses that don't contain a noncommercial clause. I hadn't realized that the licenses of OpenStax titles differ. Calculus 3, which is the one that covers vector calc, is CC-BY-NC-SA, but, e.g., Physics is CC-BY. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jan 19 '19 at 16:41

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