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Michael Hart, Inventor of the E-book, Dead At 64 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-moment-of-silence dept.
FeatherBoa writes "Michael Hart, the founder and long time driving force behind Project Gutenberg and 1971 inventor of the electronic book has died at his home in Urbana Ill, on Sept. 6th 2011. Project Gutenberg is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects, has spawned sister projects in Australia, Canada, Germany and other locations to transcribe public domain literature and make it available via the Internet."
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Michael Hart, Inventor of the E-book, Dead At 64

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  • Rest in Peace (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alan R Light (1277886) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @04:04AM (#37337482)

    I volunteered with Project Gutenberg for about 5 years in the1990s. Michael was something of an iconoclast, and had his hand in all sorts of things. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael at his home once, and last was in contact with him two years ago.

    In a number of conversations with Michael (mostly online) our opinions on methods often clashed, but I have no doubt that he sought to serve humanity to the best of his ability, and especially to bring knowledge and opportunity to everyone in the world - without exception. He strove mightily to break down the barriers to knowledge, and to dethrone the gatekeepers who seek to prevent ordinary people from joining the company of the elite. I used to doubt his assertion that such gatekeepers exist, or that anyone would be so vile as to purposely prevent meritorious students from gaining an education - but I have come to realize that he was mostly correct. When the Digital Millennium Copyright Act came before Congress, Michael was the chief voice speaking out against it - but sadly, few people listened, or even understood why it was important. Michael's work has done a great deal to break down the barriers to knowledge that he despised, and for this we should all be thankful.

    Rest in Peace, Michael. You did well.

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