Wasted: A case study for controlled digital lending


The recent nomination and appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court offered a timely opportunity to demonstrate how controlled digital lending can be used by libraries to circulate digital copies of books that are out of print or not widely held.  The basic premise of
controlled digital lending is “own one, loan one”—rather than loaning a physical book in their collection, libraries can choose instead to loan a scanned version of that book to one user at a time, while the physical book remains on the shelf.

A key player during the confirmation hearing was Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s who wrote the book Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, describing his raucous, alcohol-fueled high school years. Judge’s memoir was published in 1997 by Hazelden Publishing, the publishing arm of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which runs the recovery centers where Judge was treated for addiction.  The book had a limited print run and subsequent shelf life—it was not widely held by libraries outside of those focusing on addiction and recovery. Interest skyrocketed once Judge’s book entered the public consciousness, but because the book was no longer being sold by the publisher and used copies were scarce, when available at all, its price on Amazon.com topped out just under $2,000.

Boston Public Library (BPL), a long-time scanning partner with Internet Archive, located a copy of Wasted in their research stacks. Those books are only available for use within the library, so the book was never going to circulate. Tom Blake, Manager of Content Discovery at BPL, sent the book down to be scanned by Internet Archive book scanners in their in-house digitization center.  Internet Archive staff digitized the book using the same procedures and equipment that have been used to digitize more than 55,000 books from BPL’s collection since the partnership with Internet Archive began in 2007. Using existing workflows and post-production processes, the physical book was scanned and turned into a digital book complete with page images, OCR text, and mobile-friendly formats before being placed online at https://archive.org/details/wastedtalesofgen00judg.

Wasted is currently still under copyright but out-of-print. BPL reached out to the publisher, Hazelden, to ask whether Wasted could be made available digitally without restrictions. In the years after the book was published, however, copyright had reverted from the publisher back to Judge, so Hazelden was unable to grant permission. Because BPL wanted to fulfill its mission in providing access to a book of cultural and political significance, BPL put the non-circulating copy it owns into Internet Archive’s controlled digital lending service, where it can be digitally loaned to users one-at-a-time. Books in controlled digital lending follow the same circulation patterns as those in a traditional library; a user has access to the book for 14 days, and if a book is checked out users can join a waitlist for their turn to read it.

As BPL’s copy of the book was being digitized and published online, two electronic copies of Wasted were uploaded to the Internet Archive’s Community Texts collection, which does not have the same access restrictions as controlled digital lending. Instead, user uploads are governed by the Internet Archive’s Copyright Policy.  One copy was noticed by Twitter users and its URL was widely circulated online, drawing considerable interest from the public and media.  At this point, there were three copies of Wasted available: two uploaded by users into Community Texts with no access restrictions, and one scanned by BPL and available to one user at a time. During the few days that all three copies were online, several news outlets began noticing the different modes of access.  Slate offered perhaps the best analysis of making Wasted available via controlled digital lending, reaching out to academics and legal scholars about the legality of the move, with the general agreement that the Archive’s actions were very likely to be legal.

Mark Judge eventually e-mailed Internet Archive and requested that the copies of Wasted be taken down. Internet Archive takes prompt action on takedown requests. In this case, given that the book was out-of-print, we made an appeal to him to allow the book to be made available without restriction. Judge denied our request, as he is working on plans for the book to be republished. Ultimately, we came to agreement that only the two openly downloadable copies in Community Texts would be removed; the copy made available from BPL through controlled digital lending would remain online.

Before the two unrestricted copies were taken down, they were viewed more than 27,000 times.  Compare that with the 28 borrows to date that have occurred with the BPL copy, and the wait list that numbers more than 400, and you’ll quickly come to realize that for controlled digital lending to work at scale, more physical copies are needed to loan against, especially for titles like this that enter the public zeitgeist and become part of a major news story.

And that’s where other libraries come in. The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project is bringing together libraries that are committed to making their collections available via controlled digital lending and pooling their physical collections in order to make more lendable copies of digital books available to their users and the world.   

The takeaway here is that controlled digital lending is a viable, but limited, way for libraries to provide digital access to the physical copies on their shelves.  This case study demonstrates the ways in which controlled digital lending works, and its limitations of scale for titles with wide appeal. A significant way of addressing those limitations is for more libraries to join Open Libraries and lend digitized versions of their print collections, making more copies of books available for loan and getting more books into the hands of researchers and readers all over the world.

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6th Annual Aaron Swartz Day & International Hackathon at the Internet Archive – Nov. 10-11, 2018

Calling all internet hactivists! The Internet Archive is hosting a two day celebration of Aaron Swartz to provide a yearly showcase of the many projects started by Aaron before his death. Aaron Swartz’s work focused on civic awareness and activism and we will spend the weekend together keeping his prescient vision alive. Come join us for the international hackathon and programming on Saturday November 10th through Sunday November 11th, 2018.  

Doors are open for the hackathon and the daytime programming on Saturday and Sunday at 11 am. The reception will be on Saturday evening at 6:30 pm with the main program starting at 8 pm.

Get Tickets Here

Saturday, November 10, 2018
11:00 am Doors Open 

6:30 pm Reception, 8:00 pm Program

Sunday, November 11, 2018
11:00 am Doors Open 

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

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Bread and Puppet Theater: The Basic Bye-bye Show


On October 27, 2018 The Internet Archive presented The Basic Bye-bye Show by the Bread and Puppet Theater

The Basic Bye-bye Show is a series of quiet object fantasies in black, white, and grey inside a small fabric stage printed with elementary words — “Resist,” “Bread,” “Yes,” “Sky,” “Riot,” “Byebye.”

Bread & Puppet’s director, Peter Schumann, says of the show: “The Basic Bye-bye Show is based on the fact that our culture is saying its basic bye-bye to Mother Earth by continuing the devastating effects of the global economy on our planet.”

Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Their traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

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Decades of music celebrating Audiovisual Heritage

In honor of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (October 27) we’d like to take you on a brief tour through seven decades of digitized music and audio recordings from 1900 through 1970.  We’ve been working to digitize 78rpm discs for the Great 78 Project to preserve the heritage of the first half of the 20th century, and now we’re turning our eyes toward vinyl LPs that have fallen out of print in the Unlocked Recordings collection.

1905 – A Picnic For Two

1906 – Talmage on Infidelity (very judgy)


1912 – Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold

1916 – I’ll Take you Home Again, Kathleen


1920 – I Want a Jazzy Kiss (as opposed to a bluesy kiss)

1937 – A Cowboy Honeymoon (hint: includes yodeling)


1939 – The Red Army Chorus of the U.S.S.R. (when we were pals)

1945– Don’t you Worry ‘Bout That Mule” (spoiler alert – he ain’t goin’ blind)


1947 – Everything is Cool (so sayeth Bab’s 3 Bips & a Bop)

1950 – When both accordions and Hi-Fi were hip


1950 – “They’re all dressed up to go swinging and, Man, they’re a gas!” (Sonny Burke from the back cover)

1957 – Amongst fierce competition, this gem wins Most Nightmare Inducing Cover Image


1958 – Dance music from Israel

1959 – This intensely sleepy version of “Makin’ Whoopee” will send you to sleep in the lounge.


1960 – My next story is a little risque (and so is the one after that)

1961 – Recorded live at the Second City Cabaret Theatre, Chicago, Ill.


1961 – Easy winner for the worst song opening we’ve ever heard, enjoy Tiger Rag from The Percussive Twenties.

1962 – Significant improvement on the Tiger Rag from the Doowackadoodlers


1963 – “Adults only” saucy comedy

1966 – Organ-ized wins best pun, as well as having “Popular songs arranged for organ” by “Brazil’s #1 Organist”


1966 – The music stylings of Mrs. Miller are not to be missed – personal favorites are “Hard day’s night” and “These boots are made for walkin'”

1966 – The “You Don’t Have to be Jewish” Players are falling in love


1969 – The Begatting of the President

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Bread and Puppet Theater: The Basic Bye-bye Show

[Now done, some pictures from the event]

The Internet Archive is proud to present a show by the Bread and Puppet Theater on Saturday October 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  The Basic Bye-bye Show is a series of quiet object fantasies in black, white, and grey inside a small fabric stage printed with elementary words — “Resist,” “Bread,” “Yes,” “Sky,” “Riot,” “Byebye.”

Bread & Puppet’s director, Peter Schumann, says of the show: “The Basic Bye-bye Show is based on the fact that our culture is saying its basic bye-bye to Mother Earth by continuing the devastating effects of the global economy on our planet.”

Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Their traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

Get Tickets Here

Saturday, October 27, 2018
6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Program
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

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“Make It Weird”: Building a collaborative public library web archive in an arts and counterculture community

This post is reposted from the Archive-It blog and written by guest author Dylan Gaffney of the Forbes Library, one of the public libraries participating in the Community Webs program.

Whether documenting the indie music scene of the 1990s, researching the history of local abolitionists and formerly enslaved peoples in the 1840s, or helping patrons research the early LGBT movement in the area, I am frequently reminded of what was not saved or is not physically present in our collections. These gaps or silences often reflect subcultures in our community, stories that were not told on the pages of the local newspaper, or which might not be reflected in the websites of city government or local institutions. In my first sit down with a fellow staff member to talk about the prospects for a web archive, we brainstormed how we could more completely capture the digital record of today’s community. We discussed including lesser known elements like video of music shows in house basements, the blog of a small queer farm commune in the hills, the Instagram account of the kid who photographs local graffiti, etc. My colleague Heather whispered to me excitedly: “We could make it weird!” I knew immediately I had found my biggest ally in building our collections.

The Forbes Library was one of a few public libraries chosen nationwide for the Community Webs cohort, a group of public libraries organized by the Internet Archive and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to expand web archiving in local history collections. As a librarian in a small city of 28,000 people, who works in a public library with no full-time archivists, the challenge of trying to build a web archive from scratch that truly reflected our rich, varied and “weird” cultural community, the arts and music scenes, and the rich tradition of activism in Western Massachusetts was a daunting but exciting project to embark on.

We knew we would have to leverage our working relationships with media organizations, nonprofits, city departments, the arts and music community, and our staff if we truly hoped to build something which reflected our community as it is. Our advantage was that we had such relationships, and could pitch the idea not only through traditional means like press releases and social media, but by chatting after meetings typically spent coordinating film screenings, gallery walks, and lawn concerts. We knew if we became comfortable enough with the basic concepts of archiving the web, that we could pick the brains of activists planning events in our meeting rooms, friends at shows, the staff of our local media company who lend equipment to aspiring filmmakers, and the folks who sell crops from small family farms in the community at the Farmer’s Markets.

We started by training just a few Information Services staff in one-on-one sessions and shared Archive-It training videos. This helped to broaden the number of librarians familiar with the Archive-It software in general, but also got the wheels turning amongst our reference and circulation staffs–our front lines of communication with the public–in particular. We talked a great deal about what we wish we had in our current archive, about filling in gaps and having the archive more accurately reflect and represent our community.

In order to solicit ideas from the community for preservation, we put together a Google form to be posted online, which was almost entirely cribbed from my Community Webs cohort colleagues at East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Queens Public Library and others. We also set up in-person, one-on-one meetings with community partners and academic institutions that were already engaged in web archiving. We put out press releases and generally just talked to and at anyone who would listen. As a result, nearly all of our first web archival acquisitions come directly from recommendations by the public and our community partners.

For instance, one of the first websites that I knew I wanted to preserve was From Wicked to Wedded, a great site which preserves the history of the LGBTQ community in our area. It was gratifying when two of the first responses to our online outreach also mentioned the site and we had a great conversation with its creator, who researches at the library, and who, like all the content creators we’ve approached thus far, was excited to be included.

Creating an accurate and exciting overview of the lively arts scene in Northampton and the surrounding area seemed like a daunting task at first, but by crawling the websites of notable galleries, arts organizations, and Northampton’s monthly gallery walk, we found that we were quickly able to capture a really interesting cross-section of local artists’ work. We have subsequently begun working with the local arts organizations directly  to identify artists who may have their own websites worthy of inclusion.

Similarly, Northampton has a rich music scene for a city of its small size. With the number of people already documenting live music these days, we weren’t sure how to contribute with our own selection and curation, and so asked several folks embedded in the scene to curate some of their own favorite content, then reached out to the bands themselves to get their thoughts. We are still early in this process, but the response has been encouraging and the benefits to the library in building relationships with folks who are documenting the music scene have already led to physical donations to the archive as well.

It was important to us from the beginning to also consult with Northampton Community Television. NCTV partners with the library on film programming to preserve a record of all they do for the community–teaching filmmaking, lending equipment, training and empowering citizen journalists.. They, in turn, have pointed us to local filmmakers, and through our ongoing collaborations around film programming and the Northampton film festival, we have a platform for outreach in that community as well.

Staff members and local activists pointed us in the direction of other new local radio shows and citizen journalism websites, both of which give personal takes on local politics. One was a wonderful radio show called Out There by one of our bicycle trash pickup workers Ruthie. In a single episode, Ruthie will talk to everybody from the mayor, environmental activists and farmers, to the random junior high kids that she runs into hanging out on the bike path under a bridge.  The other recommendation was for a new citizen journalism site called Shoestring which asks common sense questions of people in power in local government and places them in a national context. The folks from Shoestring stopped by the library’s Arts and Music desk to ask about our bi-weekly Zine Club meeting, which gave us an opportunity to talk about including their site in our web archive and led to physical donation to the archive as well!

At numerous people’s suggestion, we are preserving the Instagram account of our gruff looking former video store clerk turned City Council president Bill Dwight. Bill has a great camera, a great eye and has the ability to capture a wonderful cross-section of the community in his feed. Dann Vazquez has an instagram feed dedicated to capturing oddball moments, new building developments and local graffiti, (one of the more ephemeral of our community’s arts) which gives a unique day to day perspective of change on the streets of our city.

We are a community rich in activism, with a long tradition that, like our LGBTQ history, has not been properly reflected in our archives. For years, the personal and organizational archives of local activists have found homes at the larger colleges and Universities in the Five College Area. Now, by including the websites of long-running and new nonprofits and activist organizations, we are able to create a richer archive for future generations to learn from their pioneering work.

We have tried to remain conscious of what communities are being left out of the collections we are developing, such as the non-English speaking communities with whom we need to improve our outreach and individuals and organizations that might not have a digital presence currently. As we  have the ability to offer basic training at the library and through our community partners,we have recently been exploring the idea of creating a website or Instagram account designed to give individuals and organizations the opportunity to try out these technologies without the weight of a long-term commitment, but with the assurance that their content would be preserved among our web archives.

It still feels that we are in the earliest phases of this endeavour, but we have tried to build a collaborative system of curation which could be sustained going forward. By spreading the role of curation across the community, we can prevent staff burnout on the project and ensure that the perspectives represented in the archive are broader, more varied, and thus more reflective of our small city as it is.

Additional credits: IA staff Karl-Rainer Blumenthal who edits the Archive-It blog and Maria Praetzellis, who manages the Community Webs program.

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Soundwave 8 Biennial Festival at the Internet Archive: XUXA SANTAMARIA

We are excited to have the experimental music and video duo XUXA SANTAMARIA perform an original work “Untitled (Wall)” at the Internet Archive as part of the Soundwave 8 Biennial Festival on Friday October 26, 2018 at 7pm.

XUXA SANTAMARIA (artist Sofía Córdova and Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland) have created a visual and musical program from video games, Second Life, early screensavers, chat rooms, Myspace and other holdings from the Internet Archive.

Soundwave is a festival of cutting-edge art and music experiences. Each festival season investigates a new idea through sound. This years’ focus is on Infrastructure.

Get Tickets Here

Friday, October 26, 2018
6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Performance
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

 

 

 

 

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Low Vision? Disability? 1.8 Million digital books free, now Worldwide

 

You can take action now to expand access to 1.8million books worldwide.

Individuals can qualify now to access 1.8 million digitized books, free.   Internet Archive has recently expanded its program for those with low vision and disabilities.

Libraries, hospitals, schools, other orgs (worldwide!): can now sign up to authorize users, as well as get digital files for further remediation for qualifying users.

Publishers, please contribute your books for this program!

Service organizations, please host your digital books on archive.org to make seamless access to all books. Free.

Press: please help get the word out, let us know how we can help.

Donations needed to get 4 million more books. Donate books or money (about $20 per book).

Now available for access by anyone with disabilities worldwide… or for anyone to contribute books for people with disabilities: both helped by the US recently adopting the Marrakesh Treaty.

Now is our time to bring together a great library for those with disabilities.

Together we can.

 

 

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The Music Modernization Act is now law which means some pre-1972 music goes public

The Music Modernization Act is now US law and the final version of this bill, which seeks to fix a wide range of problems in music copyright law, is not perfect, but it’s better than the version we opposed a few months ago.

One portion of the MMA makes older sound recordings published before 1972 more available to the public. It expands an obscure provision of the library exception to US Copyright Law, Section 108(h), to apply to all pre-72 recordings. Unfortunately 108(h) is notoriously hard to implement. But, as we understand it, the MMA means that libraries can make some of these older recordings freely available to the public as long as we do a reasonable search to determine that they are not commercially available.

We took a look through our collections and found some vinyl rarities. Hopefully more to come. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seder-Masochism Screening at the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive presents the movie Seder-Masochism by Nina Paley on Saturday October 13 at 7:30 pm at our headquarters in San Francisco, with a discussion with Nina Paley afterwards. The doors will open at 7:00 pm.

Seder-Masochism is a 2018 American animated musical comedy film written, directed, produced and animated by American artist Nina Paley. Debuting in the 2018 film festival season, Seder-Masochism has been reviewed positively, with Paley’s bright and satirical style compared to Monty Python. The film reinterprets the Passover Seder against a backdrop of widespread worship of the Great Mother Goddess, showing the rise of patriarchy.

Get FREE Tickets Here

Saturday, October 13, 2018
7:00 pm Doors Open
7:30 pm Film Program
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

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