Excerpt taken from Bones of the Book article by Robert Moor.
In 1971 Michael S. Hart initiates the Gutenberg project (he “went on to input and share, with a quixotic singularity of purpose, text after text, from Peter Pan to The Tempest”); he basically invented the e-book.
“For Hart, who died last fall, the book was not sacred. It was simply an easily digitizable object. Inspired by the “replicator” devices he saw on Star Trek, Hart wanted to make all of the world’s design objects—anything that could be scanned and reproduced—available for free on the internet, where they could then be downloaded and reconstituted using 3D printers. He called this shift the “Neo-Industrial Revolution,” and predicted it would occur by the year 2040.”