George Orwell’s 1984 and Other Books Go Down Project Gutenberg’s Memory Hole

I still maintain my Palm Tungsten E and one of my favorite activities is reading books by backlight (so as not to wake up my wife) in bed at night. In the last few months I’ve been reading classics like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and George Orwell’s 1984.

Today a friend emailed me about his concerns about the “Fairness Doctrine” affecting American radio and I was about to recommend that he download 1984 and was about to provide the link that I had once used to get the Plucker version that would work in my Tungsten’s reader… but not only wasn’t 1984 there, NONE of Orwell’s titles were available. See screencap below:

George Orwell no longer available at Project Gutenberg

George Orwell no longer available at Project Gutenberg

As of 28 January 2009, Australia’s Project Gutenberg still had George Orwell files:

I have copied the files and the links will be here as long as I’m allowed.

I hope that I will be able to update this post with news that Project Gutenberg‘s new omission was a technical glitch and not throwing Orwell down the memory hole [linked to Wikipedia].

More Fairness Doctrine sources:


  1. paleking says:

    Nineteen Eighty-Four is still under copyright in the US. It will be so until 2044 (95 years after publication) and in the EU until 2020 (Life plus 70 [Orwell died in 1950). In Canada, Australia and elsewhere, it is out of copyright (both have life + 50 terms).