Project Gutenberg-DE

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Project Gutenberg-DE
founding 1994
Library type Digital library

The Gutenberg-DE project offers German-language e-texts, financed by advertising, on the Internet, chapter by chapter, as individual HTML websites. In most cases, these are texts by authors who died more than 70 years ago and whose works have therefore become public domain , i.e. no longer subject to copyright .


When it was founded in 1994, the Gutenberg – DE website was privately hosted, from 1997 to March 2002 with the support of AOL Deutschland GmbH, then after a short offline phase from the end of March 2002 to the beginning of January 2020 at Spiegel Online; since then finally from Hille & Partner.

Also initiated by Hille & Partner GbR in mid-December 2004 was the GaGa project - Working together on Gutenberg , a website that organizes the distributed proofreading of book pages for Gutenberg-DE. As with Distributed Proofreaders , books are scanned and subjected to text recognition . The OCR result is compared with the original image and corrected by volunteers . On February 28, 2007, the 500,000th, in mid-2016 the 2,500,000. Page edited in the GaGa project. No copyright is asserted on the texts created using GaGa.

Since July 2011, the Gutenberg-DE project, together with tredition-Verlag from Hamburg, has been offering the first of the many out-of-print books as a printed book in stores.

Relationship to Project Gutenberg

The name of the project is based on the free international public domain project Project Gutenberg , which was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart . The name was given in 1994 with Hart's approval.

In contrast to the free international Project Gutenberg , which also contains German texts, downloading of complete texts is only possible with restrictions in the Gutenberg-DE project , as the Hille & Partner GbR company has rights to the public documents it distributes and electronically processed by volunteers . Domain texts claimed.

Copyright issues

Although the copyright claim on the works has already expired, Hille & Partner justified a copyright claim for all content of the Gutenberg-DE project with the HTML processing and linking of the texts, the compilation and the additional texts written for the company such as explanations and author information.

Private use on any end device as opposed to commercial use is explicitly permitted. Projekt Gutenberg-DE sells DVDs with the books. Caliber is recommended for use on e-book readers .

From a legal point of view, this copyright claim is to be regarded as uncertain. In particular, Hille & Partner cannot claim any copyright on the content of the books, as the texts are already in the public domain . Regarding the question of whether the conversion to HTML format is sufficient to be able to claim copyright protection of the HTML formatting, the decision of a higher court remains to be seen.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael S. Hart: United States Declaration of Independence by United States . Project Gutenberg. Retrieved February 17, 2007.
  2. ^ AOL takes Gutenberg-DE offline ,, March 14, 2001
  3. ^ New shelter for Gutenberg-DE ,, March 28, 2012
  4. On our own behalf: The Gutenberg-DE project will move on January 6, 2020.
  5. Welcome to our new website
  6. Gunter Hille , the founder of the project
  7. graphic representation of the edited pages since the beginning of the project at
  8. cf. GaGa Home »Welcome. Retrieved November 26, 2018 : "All finished texts are published freely for private use at"
  9. ^ Partners, Affiliates and Resources. Retrieved January 15, 2020 (English): "This was the second site to ask Michael Hart to use the Project Gutenberg name and concept, for German-language content. Currently run by a for-profit organization (Hille + Partner GbR), PG-DE provides free eBooks via their Web site, as well as selling eBooks on CD or DVD. For more information about PG-DE, read this German Wikipedia article. PG-DE runs their own Distributed Proofreaders site for content they distribute, but claims copyright on their work. The content from the central Distributed Proofreaders does not have such restrictions, and is intended for unlimited redistribution. "
  10. Imprint Project Gutenberg-DE
  11. Copyright. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on January 17, 2007 ; accessed on January 15, 2020 : "The copyright for the selection, arrangement, classification and formatting of all documents [...] lies with Hille & Partner, Internet Services (see Section 4 UrhG). Any duplication of the texts, except for private use, as well as feeding the text archive - including parts - into networks is prohibited. All texts of the Gutenberg-DE project have been converted into HTML format by Hille & Partner GbR, linked to one another by hypertext links, presented in a new order and provided with META information about their origin - provided that the source was available . [...] There is no guarantee that all texts are free of copyright. The rights holder's claims are preserved. "
  12. Information. Retrieved on January 15, 2020 : "For commercial use of the text and image inventory, also in parts, as an e-book, on websites, for reprinting, etc., we ask for a license fee."
  13. ^ Jürgen Rink: Project Gutenberg books as a mobile phone download for on the go. June 30, 2007, accessed January 15, 2020 .
  14. Gutenberg-DE Edition 15. Accessed on January 15, 2020 : “The works are available in HTML format, for reading on the screen or on the tablet. The only requirement is an internet browser, an internet connection is not necessary. We recommend the free conversion program Caliber for use on e-book readers. "