Today marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of Project Gutenberg Canada on July 1st 2007.
We launched PG Canada to give Canadians full access to online versions of works in our public domain that are under copyright in other countries, notably the United States and the European Union. These countries have foolishly extended their copyright durations; Canada has defended its citizens’ ownership of the public domain by leaving copyright durations largely untouched. The range of our titles reflects this.
But PG Canada has grown far beyond its modest beginnings. Our catalogue now includes more than 800 titles, from Canada and other countries, in French and English, but also in other languages. Many of our titles are from the twentieth century; but some of our Canadian historical titles date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The first four years have far exceeded our most optimistic projections. And our future is bright.
Project Gutenberg Canada
Please note that the 800th eBook presented by Project Gutenberg of Canada is a GREAT history of building the transcontinental railroad! Well worth a look, even if only to scan the high points. A major accomplishment!
Project Gutenberg, the granddaddy of all eBook libraries, announced today they have put number 40,000 of internally produced free eBooks online as of March 1st.
This raises their grand total to 100,000, as they receive a number of eBooks from other producers worldwide. These figures even subtract 15,000 for various duplications.
If you have a Kindle, set your browser to: http://bit.ly/gutmagic to partake of these eBooks free of charge.
If you have an iPad just search the various book features for “Project Gutenberg.”
Before buying an eReader you might want to check that the Project Gutenberg library is available to get you started on the path to building your own collection for free. Continue reading The Year of the eBook
BIG NEWS! January’s a great time to send an email to Ottawa A unique opportunity for Canadians to defend their Public Domain (the deadline is January 31, 2011).
Bill C-32, the bill to amend the Copyright Act, is now being examined by a parliamentary committee in Ottawa.
The committee has taken the unprecedented step of inviting the Canadian public to email their submissions directly to the committee, the deadline being the end of January. You will find information and instructions here and here.
This is an opportunity not to be missed.
From the point of view of public domain advocates, Bill C-32 has its merits. In particular, it did not follow the horrible example of the European Union and the United States by imposing a massive general extension of the length of copyrights. For this our parliamentarians deserve our heartfelt thanks.
But the bill is far from ideal. It includes extensions to copyright length for many audio recordings and photographs. Also, it does absolutely nothing to enhance our public domain.
Continue reading Canadians: Speak Out on Copyright
Project Gutenberg was launched by Michael Hart in July 1971 to create free electronic versions of literary works and disseminate them worldwide. The project got its first boost with the invention of the web in 1990, and its second boost with the creation of Distributed Proofreaders in 2000, to help digitizing books from public domain.
Volunteers choose a book currently processed through the site to proofread a given page. People can proofread one page or several pages, as they wish. One page per day is a great goal. It doesn’t seem much, but with hundreds of volunteers it really adds up.
A website launched in 2000
Distributed Proofreaders (DP) was founded in October 2000 by Charles Franks to support the digitization of public domain books.
From the website one can access a program that allows several proofreaders to be working on the same book at the same time, each proofreading on different pages. The goal is to all work together – from any region in the world – to significantly speed up the proofreading process.
Originally conceived to assist Project Gutenberg (PG), Distributed Proofreaders is now the main source of PG ebooks. In 2002, DP became an official PG site. In May 2006, DP became a separate legal entity and continues to maintain a strong relationship with PG.
Continue reading Distributed Proofreaders Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Life+50 Duration Retained
The basic Life+50 copyright term is safe in Canada, at least for now.
There has been considerable pressure from foreign governments for Canada to extend its copyright term, but the Copyright Act revisions unveiled in June left the basic term of copyright unchanged. For this, the government deserves our thanks and congratulations. They have upheld the public interest.
Copyright Extensions for Some Photographs and Audio Recordings
However, harmful copyright extensions for some photographs and audio recordings are proposed in the new Bill C-32, making an unwelcome return. These provisions had been part of Bill C-61, a copyright bill introduced before the last election, but never passed. Now these provisions are back. For an explanation of these changes, and why they are harmful, see the Project Gutenberg Canada submission to last summer’s government-sponsored Copyright Consultations:
Nothing Done to Protect the Public Domain
My submission to the government dealt largely with the issue of works where the life dates of the authors are not known. Such situations are very common, but the Copyright Act makes no provision for them. The preposterous result is that such works have to be 140 years old before we can treat them as being in the public domain. We proposed that specific provision be made for such works, so that they are treated as being part of the public domain after 75 years. It is unlikely that such a provision would have encountered significant opposition had it been proposed. Continue reading Copyright Revisions in Canada: Half a Loaf is Better Than None
During October Project Gutenberg Canada published a total of 13 eBooks bringing their total to 190 eBooks, which by the way, took Michael Hart’s Project Gutenberg twenty-three years to achieve!
- 7 titles in English
- 5 in French
- 1 in German (the first title in that language!)
- 4 history books and monographs
- 3 novels
- 3 books for children
- 2 biographical monographs
- 1 book of essays
Eight of this month’s eBooks were by Canadians. Seven of this month’s releases were non-fiction titles and PGCA has science, philosophy, and economics titles underway.
“This is a very gratifying result: we want to ensure that there is a place of honour in the PGC catalogue for non-fiction”, writes Mark.
Visit the the 2008 Newsletter Archives to read the full newsletter.
Mark from PG Canada sent through his monthly newsletter covering the activities for August 2008.
With 12 new eBooks released in August (7 English, 5 French) the total number of PGCA titles now reaches 164!
- 6 of the books were novels
- 3 were children’s books
- 2 were collections of short stories and novellas
- 1 was non-fiction: a collection of essays
One of PG Canada’s objectives is to have a strong collection of eBooks in French, with almost half the new titles this month in French they are certainly achieving this goal.
The New Releases section at the top of the main PG Canada page, gives up-to-date information on all the newest releases during the last three months.
In the newsletter Mark commented on a special release of Canadian author, Pamphile Le May’s “Contes Vrais” including not only Le May’s celebrated short stories, but with illustrations by no fewer than twelve famous Quebec artists of his period! It is in effect a gallery of Quebec’s artists of the time.
You can read the newsletter in full over in the 2008 Newsletter Archives section.
We’ve just posted the 100th eBook. It’s from 1904, seems not to have been reprinted, and is a very interesting account of Toronto’s legal establishment in the 19th century: it’s a rather spectacular addition to the collection. Here’s the description from the website:
2008/03/25: As our 100th eBook, we’ve chosen this beautifully illustrated history of Toronto’s lawyers and judiciary – A true rarity and a delight to read, packed with anecdotes. You may end up thinking that the history of Toronto is the history of its lawyers!
Hamilton, James Cleland (1836-1907) [Canadian lawyer]
Osgoode Hall – Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar (1904) [History]
Rescuing excellent titles like this from undeserved oblivion is one of the great pleasures of having a Literary Archive.
Forwarded from Mark Akrigg of PG Canada
For several months DP Canada was running in limited operation. On December 1, 2007 they went “live” again.
DP Canada is dedicated to;
- Preserving Canadiana one page at a time
- Taking advanatge of Canada’s more liberal copyright laws to ensure public access to books in the Public Domain in Canada.
PGC presented the first DP Canada French language title on December 9, 2007: Jacques Cartier’s account of his 1534 voyage to Canada. The first English language title appeared on Decembr 12, 2007: Walter de la Mare’s children’s story “The Three Sleeping Boys of Warwickshire”.
David Jones (“Simple Simon”) co-founder of DP Canada would like to welcome all volunteers. Please visit their website at www.pgdpcanada.net to help out or find out more information.
On Canada Day 2007 the new Project Gutenberg Canada went live! As one would expect the site multilingual in both English and French.
To celebrate their opening they released a “baker’s dozen: thirteen ebooks” which were specially created for the launch. With Canada’s copyright at life+50 years, they will likely be producing some new books than countries with longer copyrights.
In his recent post on the Book People list, John Mark Ockerbloom said,
There’s two things I find particularly exciting about the site. One is that it will help encourage more popular Canadian content to go online. (Our kids are Canadian-Americans growing up in the states, so we’d love to see more Canadian content accessible to them.) The other is that it’s a Gutenberg site in a country that still has “life+50 years” copyright terms. (Gutenberg Australia was another such site when it started, but Australia has extended its copyright terms since then.) So Gutenberg fans in Canada and other life+50 countries will now have a site where they can read and post texts that they might not be able to post legally on other popular online literature sites.
I am hoping to be in contact with PG Canada soon to start including their stats in the Weekly Newsletter