The Project Gutenberg Mission Statement, by Michael Hart

The mission of Project Gutenberg is simple: To encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.

This mission is, as much as possible, to encourage all those who are interested in making eBooks and helping to give them away.

In fact, Project Gutenberg approves about 99% of all requests from those who would like to make our eBooks and give them away, within their various local copyright limitations.

Project Gutenberg is powered by ideas, ideals, and by idealism.

Project Gutenberg is not powered by financial or political power.

Because we are totally powered by volunteers we are hesitant to be very bossy about what our volunteers should do, or how to do it.

We offer as many freedoms to our volunteers as possible, in choices of what books to do, what formats to do them in, or any other ideas they may have concerning “the creation and distribution of eBooks.”

Project Gutenberg is not in the business of establishing standards. If we were, we would have gladly accepted the request to convert an exemplary portion of our eBooks into HTML when World Wide Web was a brand new idea in 1993; we are happy to bring eBooks to our readers in as many formats as our volunteers wish to make.

In addition, we do not provide standards of accuracy above those as recommended by institutions such as the U.S. Library of Congress at the level of 99.95%. While most of our eBooks exceed these standards and are presented in the most common formats, this is not a requirement; people are still encouraged to send us eBooks in any format and at any accuracy level and we will ask for volunteers to convert them to other formats, and to incrementally correct errors as times goes on.

Many of our most popular eBooks started out with huge error levels–only later did they come to the more polished levels seen today. In fact, many of our eBooks were done totally without any supervision–by people who had never heard of Project Gutenberg–and only sent to us after the fact.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to send us eBooks, even if they have already created some without any knowledge of who we were, what we were doing, or how we were doing it.

Everyone is welcome to contribute to Project Gutenberg.

Thus, there are no dues, no membership requirements: and still only the most general guidelines to making eBooks for Project Gutenberg.

We want to provide as many eBooks in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.

Thus, we are continually seeking new volunteers, whether to make one single favorite book available or to make one new language available or to help us with book after book.

Everyone is welcome here at Project Gutenberg.

Everyone is free to do their own eBooks their own way.

Written by Michael S. Hart June 20, 2004. Updated October 23, 2004; December 25, 2007.

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