I'll be frank here, attitudes like this disappoint me. I'm not going to edit your comments because A. You've been on this board a long time and I respect you and B. because I'm not willing to even think for 2 seconds that I can actually control how people communicate. So if anyone wants to PM/IM/EMAIL Lex for free digital copies of Greek text - go for it because we can't and won't stop you.My goodness! It's terrible that you would do such a thing! Why, if somebody were to contact me privately by IM, I would not be able give them copies of, oh, say, Anabasis or Homer that I already obtained in this way, thus saving them lots of time, because I would never do anything so horrid! <insert innocent angel emoticon here>
But Here's my long rant about why I feel strongly that this is not a good thing.
I recreated Textkit because I felt an obligation, almost a duty, to give back to the Internet what it had given to me. My entire career, a career that supports my family, was ONLY made possible by the thousands of people and hundreds of websites that for no other purpose other than to share knowledge decided to spend time answering questions in forums, writing tutorials and creating free software from which I could learn. I have never had a single computer class or purchased one technical book and yet I'm a web developer who has been lucky enough to work full time since I started 5 years ago.
Textkit was created because some very special stars all aligned.
1. I had web skills
2. I enjoy classical languages
3. I could get free legal advice
4. I'm fortunate enough to afford a production scanner. They are not cheap and I think some jaws would drop around here if you knew exactly how expensive this site was to create and operate. I don't do this for money, I do it because I want to somehow validate my classics education and basically do to oi kaloi.
I'm usually very quiet about myself and the production side of things. This is because it's in my nature to lead a private life. Yet, I'm being more open right now because when I see how others are without shame willing to admit to and share web site content that they have taken, I can't help but have empathy for the lifted website because it makes me think about my own time and effort spent creating free content and how I would feel if others distributed Textkit content elsewhere.
I have no idea how expensive the Perseus project is but it's fair to say that it's not cheap. I'm willing to venture that it's the most expensive classics site ever created. I'm pointing out that it's expensive because the content is free and its massive collection of high quality content is simply stunning. Perseus is Rome. I pay it my respect by linking to them and encouraging visitors to explore their content. When Perseus arrived on the scene it was an epiphany. I felt, "So this is what the Internet can do!" My personal opinion is that Perseus hasn't even seen its golden age - that is still yet to come. If we're lucky, someday there will be a world in which every computer is small, cheap and with wireless high speed connections to the Internet. When that day arrives I'll be learning Plato in the park from Perseus.
In the meantime, I do not take from others things that are not mine to take. And I do not give to others things that are not mine to give.
When you take a website's content and share it with others you deny that site of its visitors. Visitorship is the very blood of websites. Without it project expenses are difficult to justify, with it they flourish. Textkit’s own guideline on the footer every page is “The redistribution of Textkit files and content is prohibited” You might think, “Why is that, these are public domain books.” The reason is very simple. We want site visitors. I could have just put all the PDFs in a boring file server – but how interesting is that. Not very. With visitors our site grows and things that are not possible today may become possible tomorrow.
So if you enjoy Perseus content this is what you do >> http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/
Ok. I'm done with ranting. Perhaps my opinions are trivial to some, but I thank all for reading this and as always, thank you for visiting Textkit!