Author Archives: Caitlin Olson

Internet Archive’s Annual Bash this Wednesday! — Get your tickets now before we run out!

UPDATE: Tickets for the 20th Century Time Machine are officially Sold Out! If you would like to join our waitlist, we’ll release tickets as they become available and let you know via email.

Click here to join the waitlist


Limited tickets left for 20th Century Time Machine — the Internet Archive’s Annual Bash – happening this Wednesday at the Internet Archive from 5pm-9:30pm. In case you missed it, here’s our original announcement.

Tickets start at $15 here.

Once tickets sell out, you’ll have the opportunity to join the waitlist. We’ll release tickets as spaces free up and let you know via email.

We’d love to celebrate with you!

Internet Archive Artist in Residence Exhibition — August 5–26

By Amir Esfahani

Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The Internet Archive’s 2017 Artist in Residence Exhibition, an exhibition conceived in collaboration with the Internet Archive presenting the culmination of the first year of the Internet Archive’s visual arts residency program, featuring work by artists Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Jeremiah Jenkins, and Jenny Odell.

The Internet Archive visual arts residency is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani, and is designed to connect emerging and mid-career artists with the archive’s collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. The residency is one year in length during which time each artist will develop a body of work that culminates in an exhibition utilizing the resource of the archive’s collection in their own practice.

During the residency Kim, Jenkins, and Odell worked with specific aspects of the Internet Archive, both at its Bay Area facilities and remotely in their studios, producing multi-media responses that employ various new media as well as more traditional materials and practices.

Public Programming: Saturday, August 5th, 4-5pmBrewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive, in conversation with Laura Hyunjhee Kim and Jeremiah Jenkins. Moderated by Andrew McClintock, Owner/Director of Ever Gold [Projects].
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 5th, 5-8pm
Location: Ever Gold [Projects] 1275 Minnesota St
Exhibit Dates: Aug 5–26, 2017

Jenny Odell: “For my projects, I’m extracting “specimens” from 1980s Byte magazines and animation demo reels—specimens being objects or scenes that are intentionally or unintentionally surreal. These collected and isolated images inadvertently speak volumes about some of the stranger and more sinister aspects that technology has come to embody.”

Jeremiah Jenkins: “Browser History is a project is about preserving the Internet for the very distant future. I will be transferring webpages from the Internet Archive and elsewhere onto clay tablets by creating stamps with the text and images, then pressing them into wet clay. After being fired, the slabs will be hidden in caves, buried strategically, and submerged in the sea to await discovery in the distant future. The oldest known clay tablet is a little over 4,000 years old. The cave paintings in Lascaux are around 14,000 years old. The oldest known petroglyphs are near 46,000 years old. It’s conceivable that these fired clay tablets could last for 50,000 years or more. The tablets will be pages from websites that document trade, lifestyle, art, government, and other aspects of our society that are similar to the kinds of information we have about ancient civilizations.”

Laura Hyunjhee Kim: “The Hyper Future Wave Machine is a project that positions the years 2017 and beyond as a speculative future based on audiovisual ephemera published in the years 1987 to 1991. Born in the late ’80s, I wanted to explore the technological advancements and innovations that were popularized during the nascent years of the World Wide Web. Utilizing the Internet Archive as a time machine, I searched through the archived commercial and educational media representations of networked technology, personalized computers, and information systems. Often hyperbolic with a heightened emphasis on speed, power, and the future, slogans from those past years are still relevant and surface aspirations that continue to introduce the “next big thing” to the present generation: “REALIZE THE FUTURE, YOU ALREADY LIVE IN.” As the title of the project suggests, the work revolves around an imaginary media access system, namely the Hyper Future Wave Machine (HFWM). Described as a three-way-cross-hybrid existing/nonexistent/and-yet-to-exist metaphysical machine, the concept came from contemplating data portability and the trajectory of human-machine interface technology that seamlessly minimizes physical interaction. From buttons to touchscreens to speech, would the next ubiquitously applied interface operate using some sort of nonverbal neural command?”

Film Screening: Lost Landscapes of LA on August 7

By Rick Prelinger

Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles (2016, 83 minutes) is an experimental documentary tracing the changing city of Los Angeles (1920s-1960s), showing how its landscape expresses an almost infinite collection of mythologies. Made from home movies and studio-produced “process plates” — background images of the city shot by studio cinematographers for rear projection in feature films — Lost Landscapes depicts places, people, work and daily life during a period of rapid urban development. While audience  members are encouraged to comment, discuss and ask questions during the screening of this silent film, it is also a contemplative film that shows the life and growth of the U.S.’s preeminent Western metropolis as the sum of countless individual acts.

Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles is the latest of Rick Prelinger’s “urban history film events,” featuring rediscovered and largely-unseen archival film footage arranged into feature-length programs. Unlike most screenings, the audience makes the soundtrack — viewers are encouraged to identify places, people and events; ask questions; and engage with fellow audience members. While the films show Los Angeles as it was, the event encourages viewers to think about (and share) their ideas for the city’s future. What kind of a city do we want to live in?

Rick Prelinger is an archivist, filmmaker, and educator. He teaches at UC Santa Cruz and is a board member of Internet Archive. His films made from archival material have played at festivals, museums, theaters, and educational institutions around the world. Lost Landscapes of San Francisco (11 episodes, 2006-2016) plays every autumn in San Francisco. He has also made urban history films in Oakland and Detroit, and is currently producing a New York film for an autumn premiere. He thanks Internet Archive and its staff for making this film possible.

Get Tickets Here

Monday, August 7th, 2017
6:30 pm Reception
7:30 pm Interactive Film Program

Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Join us for Ted Nelson’s birthday: OCTOTHORP — 80 AND STILL S#ARP

You’re invited to a birthday celebration for Ted Nelson on July 11th at 6 p.m. at Internet Archive headquarters,
featuring Lauren Sarno.

TED NELSON
Internet Archive Fellow
author of the highly-influential book “Computer Lib”
first to imagine world-wide hypertext
coiner of many words and an inspiration to many people.

THE PROGRAM
Ted and Lauren will give a presentation,
including Songs and Poem by Ted Nelson:
song, “Machiavelli”
poem, “Homing” (originally published in The Oxford Magazine, 2008)
song, “Today Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow”

FOLLOWED BY a Q&A session, moderated by Jason Scott and Mark Graham.

FOLLOWED BY refreshments and schmoozing.
Drink Ted’s Kool-Aid! (Lemon-lime, his favorite as a boy, now sugar free.)

In order to say hello to everybody, Ted will be rationed and steered.

Ted’s statue at the Internet Archive has been scanned for 3D printing—the data to make your own Desktop Ted is now at https://archive.org/details/3DScanOfTedNelsonSculpture 

Copies of “Computer Lib” will be available for autographing
at $100 a piece, cash or check only
(bounced checks will be amusingly publicized).

When: Tuesday, July 11th, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Ave
SF, CA 94118

Get Free Tickets Here

Film Screening: Normal Is Over on July 17 at 7 p.m.

…”An unusual, visually rich portrait of some of the world’s brightest and most innovative ideas.”- Daily Maverick S.A.

You’re invited to a screening of Normal Is Over The Movie, an award-winning documentary that looks for SOLUTIONS to climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, and the widening gap between rich and poor.

The screening will start at 7 p.m.  and will be introduced by Brewster Kahle, founder of Internet Archive, followed by a Q & A session, with Renée Scheltema, filmmaker, investigative journalist, and two other panelists to be announced.

Watch the Trailer: https://vimeo.com/168486528

Get Tickets Here

Your $10 ticket donations will support the artist, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

When: Monday, July 17, 2017
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and screening starts at 7 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Ave. San Francisco, CA 94118

If you like Normal Is Over, you can ‘captain’ theatrical and community screenings all over the US, & fundraise for your non-profit organization via Cinema-On-Demand.

“And the Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement Goes to….”

“The Internet Archive…is building a home for Universal Access to All Knowledge, open to everyone, everywhere, to use as they like. Open to all societies of the future that care to build on our triumphs and learn from our mistakes.”

                                                                  – Lawrence Lessig

Last night in New York City, we put on our best duds and donned our fanciest archivist hats for a once in a lifetime event. The Internet Archive was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 21st annual Webbys, hailed by the New York Times as “one of the Internet’s highest honors.” The Webby Awards lauded the Internet Archive for being “the web’s most knowledgeable historian.”

Three of our veteran staff members, Tracey Jaquith, TV Archive Architect, Internet Archive founder and Digital Librarian, Brewster Kahle, and Alexis Rossi, Director of Media and Access, accepted the award. Kahle delivered the five-word acceptance speech with panache:  “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”

Perhaps the greatest honor of the evening came in the form of a video narrated by Open Knowledge champion, Lawrence Lessig.  He said, “Creativity and innovation built on the past.  The Internet Archive is the foundation preserving that past, so that perhaps, one can at least hope that our children and their children can shape a future that knows our joys and learns from our many mistakes.”

The award was presented by Nancy Lublin, CEO of the Crisis Text Line and DoSomething.org, who pointed out that in this chaotic political year, the Internet Archive has saved “200 terabytes of government data that could have otherwise been lost in the transition from blue light saber to red light saber.”

The award reads:

Webby Lifetime Achievement: Archive.org for its commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online and preserving the history of the Internet itself. With a vast collection of digitized materials and tools like the Wayback Machine, Archive.org has become a vital resource not only to catalogue an ever-changing medium, but to safeguard a free and open Internet for everyone.

The complete list of Webby Award winners is available here.

CANCELED: Hitting the Wall: How the Media Shapes the Immigration Debate

We are incredibly disappointed to have to tell you all that, due to last minute unforeseen scheduling conflicts, the “Hitting The Wall” event has been cancelled. We know that many of you (us included!) were looking forward to the event and feel very passionately about this topic but circumstances beyond our control have made it necessary to cancel at this time. We appreciate your kind understanding and hope to see you at future events.

______________________________________________

How can we tell fact from fiction when it comes to a controversial topic like immigration? Join us at the Internet Archive for an evening with experienced journalists from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and Retro Report, who will work with the audience to develop strategies to fight back against propaganda and fake news.

Admission is $10 and includes tacos, beer, wine, and soda:

When: Wednesday, May 17th Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for food and drinks, and discussion starts at 7 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118

The program will take place in three acts.

Act 1: The Story

In Act 1, we’ll go deep on the facts and stories about immigration in the U.S.

What does the data tell us about immigration in the U.S.? Who is coming and who is going and what are the trends for both? What is the mission of the U.S. Border Patrol? What would it actually mean to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico Border? What does the term “sanctuary city” mean?

Act 2: The Challenge

In Act 2, we’ll work with the audience to find practical strategies to make the public debate over immigration fact-based and productive.

The CIR and Retro Report teams will work with the audience to hone in on key questions in the immigration debate, with special attention for the points of tension in the immigration debate.  What are common misunderstandings about immigration? How and why do they emerge?

Act 3: Solutions

In Act 3, we’ll do a group brainstorm on how to burst filter bubbles and work for constructive debate and change on immigration–and other issues

With the audience, the journalists will identify practical strategies they can take back to the newsroom and share with other media when reporting on controversial issues. How can the media work directly with communities, provide trustworthy reporting on a complex issue, and help the public recognize fake news?

Get Tickets Here


Retro Report is an award-winning, digital-first documentary news organization dedicated to bringing context to today’s headlines by telling the story behind the news; it is non-partisan, independent and non-profit.  Retro Report is founded on the conviction that without an engaging and forward-looking review of high-profile events and the news coverage surrounding them, we lose a critical opportunity to understand the lessons of history.  In a culture increasingly disposed towards trending news and Twitter-sized sound bites, the importance of that mission is amplified. Retro Report has produced more than 100 short documentaries and video series and partnered with The New York Times, PBS, NBC, Politico, the Guardian, Univision and others. 


The mission of The Center for Investigative Reporting is to engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling in order to spark action, improve lives and protect our democracy. Founded in 1977 as the nation’s first nonprofit investigative journalism organization, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. Over those four decades, we have developed a reputation for being among the most innovative, credible and relevant media organizations in the country. Reveal – our website, public radio program, podcast and social media platform – is where we publish our multiplatform work.

Celebrate a major advance in access to knowledge in India and America — Wednesday, June 14 6PM in SF

By Carl Malamud

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE

Please join us on June 14 at the Internet Archive for a special event celebrating our collections from India including the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi and much, much more. Our doors open at 6 p.m. with a reception and our program starts promptly at 7 p.m.

Our special guest for this event will be Hon. Dr. Sam Pitroda, a former senior advisor and Cabinet Minister under 3 Prime Ministers and widely acknowledged as the father of the telecommunications revolution in India, the man who brought a telephone to every village in India. Dr. Pitroda will be joined by Hon. Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul-General of San Francisco. Rounding out our program will be Carl Malamud of Public Resource and the Internet Archive’s own Brewster Kahle.

Our event will be celebrating three collections hosted at the Internet Archive:

First, the Internet Archive is delighted to be hosting a mirror of the Digital Library of India, a collection of 463,000 books in 50 languages. The collection was created in India under government auspices and features 45,000 books in Hindi, 33,000 in Sanskrit, 30,160 in Bengali, and much more. In addition to hosting a mirror of the collection, the Internet Archive is adding value to the collection by creating e-books, using optical character recognition, and improving the metadata and cataloging information.

Second, we will feature the Hind Swaraj collection, materials that are integral to the story of Indian independence. Here you can read all 100 volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as the complete writings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru. You can also listen to 129 audio recordings from All India Radio of Gandhiji speaking at prayer meetings and view all 53 episodes of the remarkable television series Bharat Ek Khoj.

Third, we will discuss additional collections of Indian materials, such as thousands of photographs from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and other sources which Public Resource hosts on Flickr and a collection of all technical public safety India Standards hosted on the Internet Archive and the Public Resource site.

Carl Malamud and Sam Pitroda have spent several years building out these collections. We hope you will join us at this event to hear more about how this came to pass and what the plans are for making this material ever more useful. We also hope to have some exciting announcements as well about new resources that will be available.

Universal access to knowledge is the goal of the Internet Archive. We are delighted to celebrate the immense contributions of India and the vital role both India and the United States—the world’s largest democracies—play in make knowledge available to all. Please join us on June 14!

When: Wednesday, June 14th. Doors open at 6 p.m. for food and drinks, and program starts at 7 p.m.
Where: Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118

Internet Archive wins Webby Lifetime Achievement award

Internet Archive wins Webby awardWe are honored to announce that the Internet Archive has been named as one of the 21st annual Webby Awards winners!

Hailed as one of the Internet’s highest honors, we’re excited to receive a Webby Lifetime Achievement award and join the ranks of our friends like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Lawrence Lessig, and Vint Cerf.

Webby Lifetime Achievement: Archive.org for its commitment to making the world’s knowledge available online and preserving the history of the Internet itself. With a vast collection of digitized materials and tools like the Wayback Machine, Archive.org has become a vital resource not only to catalogue an ever-changing medium, but to safeguard a free and open Internet for everyone.

We thank the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for the award and are looking forward to attending the Webby Awards in New York City on May 15.

The complete list of Webby Award winners is available here.

Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet Archive has long supported the efforts of the Free Law Movement to make the laws and edicts of government of the United States more broadly available. With our colleague Aaron Swartz and the efforts of numerous groups across the country including the Free Law Foundation and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, we host the RECAP repository of documents from the federal district courts.  Many of these public domain document were downloaded by users of the goverment’s PACER  system for $0.10 per page and uploaded to the Internet Archive. The RECAP repository is available for free, and in bulk, which is useful for researchers.

On Tuesday, February 14, the U.S. Congress will hold the first hearings in over a decade examining the operation of the PACER system. The hearing will be before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives. The Internet Archive was pleased to accept the committee’s invitation to submit a statement for the record and we have submitted the following, which includes an offer to host the PACER data now and forever to make the works of our federal courts more readily available to inform the citizenry and to further the effective and fair administration of justice.

Our courts must function in the light of day, and in this day and age that means on the Internet. The Internet Archive is happy to try to help.

February 10, 2017

The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman
The Honorable Jerry Nadler, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Committee on the Judiciary
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on the Judiciary Committee’s hearing entitled “Judicial Transparency and Ethics.” I write on behalf of the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library that is based in San Francisco with facilities throughout the world.

For more than 20 years, the Internet Archive has been archiving digital collections and making them available at no cost and with no restriction on the Internet. The Internet Archive works with the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and numerous national libraries around the world to collect, store, and provide permanent access to millions of books, videos, audio and hundreds of millions of pages of U.S. government documents, including over 14,000 hours of video of Congressional hearings.

By this submission, the Internet Archive would like to clearly state to the Judiciary Committee, as well as to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the Judicial Conference of the United States, that we would be delighted to archive and host—for free, forever, and without restriction on access to the public—all records contained in PACER.

People download more than 20 million books from the Internet Archive each month. We preserve 1 billion web pages each week for public access through the “Wayback Machine.” Indeed, the Wayback Machine is the only publicly accessible archive of all the websites of Congress. At any given moment, we are delivering about 30 gigabits of data per second. We host more than 20 petabytes of data in total.

By comparison, the PACER corpus is a fraction of a petabyte and does not use a significant amount of bandwidth. We have the capacity to host this information, and I know there are many other organizations on the Internet who would be able to make dramatic increases in the usability and utility of our Federal Judiciary’s database if it were made available in a more modern fashion and without artificial restrictions on use.

The stated purpose of PACER is to make public court records “freely available to the greatest extent possible.” Sixteen years ago, the United States Courts predicted that PACER would allow the public to “surf to the courthouse door on the Internet.” Today, anyone visiting a federal courthouse can view the public record for free. PACER, on the other hand, charges users per-page fees that are prohibitive for many members of the public. The Judiciary could resolve this unfortunate discrepancy—immediately—at no cost. This is our offer.

The Internet Archive has deep experience with collections of this kind. In fact, we already host the records from over a million federal court cases that have been donated by the public as part of the RECAP Project. However, a million cases is a small portion of the hundreds of millions of cases that PACER contains, and we are frustrated that it is so difficult to obtain and serve the workings of our federal courts to the public. This is a fairly trivial technical task, and we would welcome the opportunity to make much more data available.

I must also note that the Internet Archive is not alone in being well-equipped to offer this service. There are other large digital repositories that similarly serve the public for free. I cannot speak for them, but I believe that once the corpus is available for no fee and without restriction, they too will replicate it and offer similar service. Indeed, others may build useful tools for reading, searching, and studying the corpus of public court records that makes up our federal case law.

In order to recognize the vision of universal free access to public court records, the Federal Judiciary would essentially have to do nothing. We are experts at “crawling” online databases in an efficient and careful fashion that does not burden those systems. We are already able to comprehensively crawl PACER from a technical perspective, but the resulting fees would be astronomical. The Federal Judiciary has a Memorandum of Understanding with both the Executive Office for US Trustees and with the Government Printing Office that gives each entity no-fee access for the public benefit. The collection we would provide to the public would be far more comprehensive than the GPO’s current court opinion program—although I must laud that program for providing a digitally-authenticated collection of many opinions.

By making federal judicial dockets available in this manner, the Federal Judiciary would enable free and unlimited public access to all records that exist in PACER, finally living up to the name of the program. In today’s world, public access means access on the Internet. Public access also means that people can work with big data without having to pass a cash register for each document.

This PACER collection we would maintain and improve would have far more detailed metadata and contextual information than the GPO service or the PACER Case Locator service. And, that’s just for starters, because we know that there are thousands of eager researchers, journalists, and government workers (including Congressional staff) who would immediately jump in and work with us.

By providing no-cost access to the Internet Archive to PACER and accepting our commitment to make this information available for use without restriction in perpetuity, we believe we can work with our government to make the workings of our court more usable to government attorneys, to members of the bar, and to the public at large.

Sincerely yours,

Brewster Kahle
Digital Librarian and Founder, Internet Archive

Notes:

  1. S. Rep. 107–174, 107th Cong., 2d Sess., at 23 (2002), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CRPT-107srpt174/pdf/CRPT-107srpt174.pdf.
  2. Electronic Public Access at 10, THE THIRD BRANCH: NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERAL COURTS, Sep. 2000, at 3, https://archive.org/details/thirdbranch32332200001fede/.