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Project Gutenberg Free Books Online

Guest Author - Charisse Van Horn

Project Gutenberg refers to itself as the first producer of free E-books, and undoubtedly they are also the leading provider. The Internet industry is booming with websites, dealers, and Internet Marketers whom seek to provide the best offering of free E-books, but none have been able to match the extensive database of Project Gutenberg. Maybe that success is attributed to founder, Michael Stern Hart, who began Project Gutenberg, and is subsequently credited, according to Project Gutenberg, with creating E-books.

The beginning of Project Gutenberg and Michael Hart’s vision is quite impressive. In 1971, Michael Hart began copying text into a computer that he had access to while at the University of Illinois. He hand typed the text into the computer and made it available for others to download. This was before the onset of the Internet and is truly a remarkable task in itself. However, once the project began to grow, more texts were included, more free E-books were put into the system, and as the Internet became a household term, Project Gutenberg opened up the literary world of public domain and author released copyrighted materials into the computers of those who wished to download them, all free of charge.

If you’ve wondered how Project Gutenberg has access to so many texts, you’re not alone. The majority of the works catalogued at Project Gutenberg are in the public domain. These are works where the original author’s copyrights have expired and they are available to reproduced, copied, and distributed free of charge. In fact, it might seem a bit confusing reading through Project Gutenberg’s licenses and restrictions, but there are many things that you can do with public domain texts, including making derivative works of them, for both personal and commercial purposes.

Any person or entity does not own a book that is in the public domain. Therefore, the subject material hosted on Project Gutenberg is still in the Public Domain. When you view a book on Project Gutenberg, you will see opening and closing texts. These are text that Project Gutenberg has added to the public domain (or in some cases copyrighted) materials. To reproduce the text that Project Gutenberg has added and then to make derivative copies of the materials for commercial use would violate Project Gutenberg’s terms. However, once you remove Project Gutenberg’s text, you have the full public domain material for your own personal or commercial use.

When using literature from Project Gutenberg, it is imperative to thoroughly read and review the terms and copyright information regarding the materials. However, there are countless books on Project Gutenberg that are in the public domain. Once you remove the Project Gutenberg text, you are free to do whatever you wish with both the books and images.

It is extremely important to understand the difference between free E-Books and free E-books that are in the public domain. Just because a book is given away for free does not mean that it is in the public domain and free to distribute, copy, or make a profit from. However, works in the public domain, such as the majority of those found at Project Gutenberg are available for both private and commercial use, including derivative works.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Charisse Van Horn. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Charisse Van Horn. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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