The Real E-Books

This Article makes some sense. They say the future of Ebooks is in files you can download to, view on and print out from the computer you already own. Short and Sweet!

\"The economics look good too: E-books require no printing, binding, inventory or shipping costs, allowing these savings to be passed on to the author in the form of higher royalties.\"

The great wonder is that this hasn’t happened any sooner. The first digital books date back to 1971 when Michael Hart was given a virtually unlimited account of computer time on the mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois and decided that widely disseminating the contents of libraries was the greatest value computers could create. He typed in the text of the Declaration of Independence and so began Project Gutenberg, which now includes more than 2000 classic works online, all free. To date, these are all plain text files—lacking the typeset-quality formatting that makes books eminently readable, somewhat compromising the reading experience. “When we started,” Hart recalls, “there was only uppercase—how about that for a compromise?” Because Project Gutenberg’s books were no longer under copyright, the original e-books required no copy protection schemes. Hart explains: “We encourage everyone to repost our books in whatever formats they want. The most books to the most people—that’s our only real goal.”

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