Recently, I was in Germany, and decided to browse Project Gutenberg. A site named after one of the most important publishers in history.
For those who don’t know, Project Gutenberg is a wonderful repository of books in the public domain. The site takes its name from the famed German inventor, printer, and publisher. Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing, and more important still, movable type, to Europe. This kickstarted the printing revolution of the 1400s. His innovations enabled mass production, laying the groundwork for a knowledge-based economy. Learning spread to the masses, democratizing education.
It thus seems appropriate to name a website devoted to taking advantage of new technology to spread knowledge after this influential German publisher.
But when I tried browsing the site in Germany, I did not see the familiar sepia tones of the Project Gutenberg home page. Instead, I saw big red letters. ‘Your IP Address in Germany is Blocked’.Continue reading “Why the Big Five Publishers are a Big Deal”