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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Public Goods and IP

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Founder of Project Gutenberg memorialized

John Bergmayer has a very nice piece on Project Gutenberg link here written on the occasion of the death of its founder, Michael Hart, "who passed away this week, after founding the project by typing in a copy of the Declaration of Independence in 1971. In doing this, Hart invented the ebook, and what became Project Gutenberg release #1 is still available online."

I had not realized that such a fundamental invention had been around that long. It gives me hope, given that some things in IP have gone right, we may hope for more despite the evidence to the contrary.

Bergmayer repeats Hart's fundamental realization about his project. To preserve creations, they need to be endlessly repeated so that there will be lots of copies (unlimited?) for future generations to be able to access and to preserve them from technological change that is already limiting access to some material that cannot be read by the latest computer software. Thus, they need to be kept in a simple and widely accessible form, such as plain text rather than as a PDF.


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