Feeds

Vale Michael Stern Hart

Project Gutenberg founder is dead

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Obituary The man who arguably gave the world its first glimpse of non-Sci-Fi e-books, Michael Stern Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, has died at the age of 64. Hart’s passing was announced in this obituary, posted on the Gutenberg Project’s Website.

For those who understand e-books only in terms of the Amazon Kindle, Hart’s name might be unknown. Yet it was his idea, launched in 1971, to capture books in an electronic archive, that first such attempt. At the time, such an archive was a radical idea; today, it’s an expectation.

His work depended, in part, an unlimited account created on a mainframe at the University of Illinois, which was also a node on the early Internet. The project has since its inception depended on the work of volunteers to help capture books as text – initially as copy-typists, later using scanners. Over time, Project Gutenberg moved between universities, and is currently hosted by ibiblio at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill.

As Project Gutenberg grew and attracted adherents outside the United States, it also had to negotiate the labyrinth of international copyright: a book in the public domain in one country might still be under copyright in other countries. So it was that the project eventually spawned spin-offs and affiliates in Australia, Canada, Germany, Europe and other locations.

Hart’s legacy also aligns with other early visionaries: that of a world in which important information is free. The project necessarily focused on out-of-copyright works – and by dint of academic and public support, its books are free. Literacy, Hart believed, was opportunity.

Amen to that. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?