Friday, September 16, 2011

Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, is dead

Were it not for Hart I would not have had access to thousands of books I have read over the decade. His vision, books that would be free and easily accessible is one that I think may be even more important now than it was when he first started his work.

I always have a push/pull response to "free" books since I abhor the idea of enjoying the fruits of someone's labour without paying them a fair wage for their work. I want the authors who made these wonderful books to be free to quit their day job and spend all their time creating the stories/books I want to read. But there are many, many books that are out of print and whose authors are long since dead. I want to be able to read those books too. I want to have access to them even though I do not live in a large city with a world famous library.

What Michael Hart helped to create is a world in which I can read R. Austin Freeman and try one of Delafield's books without cost. What Michael Hart helped to create is a world in which I can do my research at little cost from the desk in my front room no matter the weather.

So thank you Michael Hart. You gave a wonderful gift to millions of people around the world.

Founder of Project Gutenberg dead at 64

Obituary for Michael Stern Hart (Gutenberg Wiki)

RIP Project Gutenberg founder Michael Hart

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