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The dream behind the creation of the Internet [is] the possibility of universal access in a digital age--where any author's work could be available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The experience of most people, however, is not that the Net contains great works and crucial research information. Instead most of what is there is perceived to be of low value.

The root of the problem is that authors and publishers cannot make a living giving away their work.

Mark Stefik in "Trusted Systems," Scientific American, vol. 276, no. 3, March 1997.

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