Credit where it’s due

To celebrate my new Kindle, bestowed upon me this Christmas by the lovely Girlfriend, I downloaded some new books. Well, not exactly new: some free classics from world literature.

According to Amazon, the book had been transcribed by “a team of volunteers”, which most likely means it was transcribed by Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort dedicated to making the world’s literary classics available to everyone. (Provided they’re out of copyright.) Ordinary people taking time out of their lives to make sure the rest of us can enjoy these books.

Amazon is for-profit company valued at billions, poised to take over pretty much everything that pertains to sales, and couldn’t even be bothered to give due credit. I understand they’re within their rights to do it, and I realize the work is right there on the Internet, free and for the taking, but it just seems so damn petty.

Of course, cashing in on work that’s been done before seems to be what paradigm-busting looks like these days anyway. Plus ça change, I guess.

02.01.2014 • Permalink