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How I Almost Donated $50 To Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is one of the greatest projects ever. I was really sad to read the obituary of its founder when I went to grab a giant pile of Sherlock Holmes just now. I was moved to donate $50, which is about what I can afford, and far less than it is worth.

So I clicked the "donate by credit card" buttons, because I certainly won't have anything to do with PayPal. I was prompted for all the usual credit card processing information…plus my phone number and email. I didn't want to give this information, so I left it blank—only to be told that my donation would not be processed without a syntactically valid email address. Being the persistent sort, and really wanting to help Project Gutenberg, I went ahead and supplied youdontneedmyemail@example.com and was taken to a review screen to review my transaction.

This is when I noticed that the transaction was being processed by PayPal.

Moral dilemma: Do I support PayPal, who I regard as crooks, or fail to support Project Gutenberg, who I regard as heroes? Tough one. My final conclusion was this: Having personally seen PayPal take money from a nonprofit I am involved with (X.Org), I want to strongly encourage other nonprofits not to be victimized by them. So, instead of $50, I am donating this blog post.

Perhaps I'll use our nearly-defunct Postal Service to send Project Gutenberg a check. Fob

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