100 Dutch ebooks in Project Gutenberg

Last week, Project Gutenberg published its 100th book in the Dutch language (“Elsje”, by A.C. Kuipers, a book for girls).

“Elsje” was produced by Jeroen Hellingman and volunteers from Distributed Proofreaders. It is published in an illustrated HTML-version and in a plain vanilla text version and is based on the third edition from 1906.

January 1, 2005, the works of A.C. Kuiper entered the public domain in the Netherlands for the second time in twenty years! The first time this happened on January 1, 1985, but due to insane E.U. copyright law, it was snatched back in 1995. If somehow all copies of this book had perished in those ten years, we would no longer have been able to read it. Nobody profited from this copyright extension (for instance, the book was not republished in the meantime), but the public had to wait until this year to get back what is rightfully theirs. (The only meaningful application of the word “property” to data is when it is used to describe laws that can take away the public’s right to disseminate those data.)

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