Friday, June 02, 2006

Free Books! Gutenberg Project

I learned today about the Project Gutenberg, a 35-year-old nonprofit based in Illinois. They have a mission to "break down the walls of ignorance and illiteracy." To aid in this fight they are launching an effort to make thousands of classic books available for free in downloadable form.

Volunteers began typing and scanning books into a database thirty-five years ago, decades before the Internet and the ability to distribute texts electronically became a reality. Now those efforts are bearing fruit as the project plans to host the World eBook Fair. Between July 4 and August 4 over 300,000 books will be available for free download. The fair will be repeated annually.

The majority of books are no longer protected by copyright. For a small percentage of the books, copyright permission was granted for their inclusion. There will even be a limited number of classical music files as well.

Free books. This enterprise is legal. And my Dad always said there was no such thing as a free lunch. Just think: schools could download copies of The Odyssey for free!

For more information read
the Boston Globe's article by David Mehegan:
Free chapter added to saga of e-books

Download free books (to your laptop, ipod, etc.) at the World eBook Fair:

Learn about Project Gutenberg AND download free books now:
(about 20,000 titles ready for download)

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