Internet Archive Seeks Donations of Materials to Build a Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications

Internet Archive has begun gathering content for the Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications (DLARC), which will be a massive online library of materials and collections related to amateur radio and early digital communications. The DLARC is funded by a significant grant from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), a private foundation, to create a digital library that documents, preserves, and provides open access to the history of this community.

The library will be a free online resource that combines archived digitized print materials, born-digital content, websites, oral histories, personal collections, and other related records and publications. The goals of the DLARC are to document the history of amateur radio and to provide freely available educational resources for researchers, students, and the general public. This innovative project includes:

  • A program to digitize print materials, such as newsletters, journals, books, pamphlets, physical ephemera, and other records from both institutions, groups, and individuals.
  • A digital archiving program to archive, curate, and provide access to “born-digital” materials, such as digital photos, websites, videos, and podcasts.
  • A personal archiving campaign to ensure the preservation and future access of both print and digital archives of notable individuals and stakeholders in the amateur radio community.
  • Conducting oral history interviews with key members of the community. 
  • Preservation of all physical and print collections donated to the Internet Archive.

The DLARC project is looking for partners and contributors with troves of ham radio, amateur radio, and early digital communications related books, magazines, documents, catalogs, manuals, videos, software, personal archives, and other historical records collections, no matter how big or small. In addition to physical material to digitize, we are looking for podcasts, newsletters, video channels, and other digital content that can enrich the DLARC collections. Internet Archive will work directly with groups, publishers, clubs, individuals, and others to ensure the archiving and perpetual access of contributed collections, their physical preservation, their digitization, and their online availability and promotion for use in research, education, and historical documentation. All collections in this digital library will be universally accessible to any user and there will be a customized access and discovery portal with special features for research and educational uses.

We are extremely grateful to ARDC for funding this project and are very excited to work with this community to explore a multi-format digital library that documents and ensures access to the history of a specific, noteworthy community. Anyone with material to contribute to the DLARC library, questions about the project, or interest in similar digital library building projects for other professional communities, please contact:

Kay Savetz, K6KJN
Program Manager, Special Collections
kay@archive.org
Twitter: @KaySavetz 

Mapping Principles for a Better World: Ethics of the Decentralized Web & Uses in Humanitarian Work

“Technology embodies a set of values,” opened Internet Archive’s Director of Partnerships, Wendy Hanamura, in Ethics of the Decentralized Web & Uses in Humanitarian Work, the final session with METRO Library Council and Library Futures. “What values drive our current web?”

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While most of the audience responded by discussing web monetization or opined about lack of privacy, many still believe in the power of the internet for better sharing. As we build a new web, most would like for it to be driven by a different set of values, particularly community, collaboration, freedom, sovereignty, democracy, and trust.

Beginning with Mai Ishikawa Sutton’s work on the five principles of the DWeb and ending with a demo of the Mapeo project, this session brought in designers, coders, policy professors, and ethicists building a new “web for the people” that would embody the above values, and much more.

In 2016 at a campout in California, Sutton and a community of technology enthusiasts came together to rethink the values embedded in the technology of the web we use and the web we could build. While technology was a major factor in the resulting work, ethical considerations and standing for better technology were just as crucial. They created a document that reflected the interests and values of their community with five principles:

  1. Technology for Human Agency
  2. Distributed Benefits
  3. Mutual Respect
  4. Humanity
  5. Ecological Awareness

The group hopes to revisit some of these principles this summer at DWeb Camp 2022 to better define the “web that we want.” In the Q&A with Hanamura, Sutton clarified the ways in which the DWeb addresses crucial aspects of power, control, and capital. Rather than staying static or solely basing itself in technological innovation, the DWeb community is a way to ensure that benefits “flow back into the community.”

Author and Professor Nathan Schneider followed Sutton to discuss how human rights can be encoded into the blockchain. Schneider’s presentation, “Policy Proposals for Less Dystopian Crypto Protocols” began with a recognition of the issues within blockchain, stating that he wishes to explore how crypto can be “up there with libraries” in terms of building “true civic institutions.” Faced with the dystopia of the current web and recognizing that it could perpetuate the same harms, crypto could present a new form of economic democracy and pluriverses for all. For Schneider, “if code is law,” there are a number of policy proposals that can support a better crypto future. These include building sufficiently decentralized systems, transparent governance, labor over capital, taxation for public goods, reparations, provable zero-carbon, and human rights fail-safes. For his community, this is not about “catching up” to institutions as we know them, but instead doing the work to build a more humane world.

Following Schneider, Luandro Vieira of Digital Democracy demoed his project, Mapeo, a decentralized app built with and for communities. Mapeo is a mobile application that provides free and accessible geospatial technology that is translatable, designed for community, private, and available offline. Originally built for earth defenders, or marginalized people at the front lines of defending their land around the world, Mapeo is highly customizable and used mainly by indigenous people in 16 countries. It is used to map and monitor threats from invasions, mining, logging, and oil activities. Mapeo’s power was demonstrated through the #WaoraniResistance, which protected 1/2 million acres in the Amazon and jeopardized a 7 million acre oil auction.

Through the lens of these three activists and experts, the promise of the DWeb was clear. A new, highly democratic web is possible, but it will take all of us to build it.

Thank you to METRO Library Council, Internet Archive, and Library Futures for their work in hosting these sessions. All resources from the six DWeb sessions can be found at the METRO Library Council website.

Book Talk: MEME WARS

The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America

Join Amelia Acker in conversation with authors Joan Donovan and Emily Dreyfuss about their new book, MEME WARS, in-person at the Internet Archive, October 14 @ 6pm.

REGISTER NOW

Purchase your copy of MEME WARS from The Booksmith.

Memes have long been dismissed as inside jokes with no political importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Memes are bedrock to the strategy of conspiracists such as Alex Jones, provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos, white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, and tacticians like Roger Stone. While the media and most politicians struggle to harness the organizing power of the internet, the “redpill right” weaponizes memes, pushing conspiracy theories and disinformation into the mainstream to drag people down the rabbit hole. These meme wars stir strong emotions, deepen partisanship, and get people off their keyboards and into the streets–and the steps of the US Capitol.

MEME WARS is the first major account of how “Stop the Steal” went from online to real life, from the wires to the weeds. Leading media expert Joan Donovan, PhD, veteran tech journalist Emily Dreyfuss, and cultural ethnographer Brian Friedberg pull back the curtain on the digital war rooms in which a vast collection of anti-establishmentarians bond over hatred of liberal government and media. Together as a motley reactionary army, they use memes and social media to seek out new recruits, spread ideologies, and remake America according to their desires.

REGISTER NOW

Book Talk: MEME WARS
October 14 @ 6:00pm PT
IN-PERSON at Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco
Register now for the in-person event

“Doors Open” — Go Behind–the-Scenes at the Physical Archive of the Internet Archive

Please join us on October 18th 6:00- 8:00 pm as we take a peek behind the doors of the Physical Archive in Richmond, California

In anticipation of launching Democracy’s Library on October 19th we are excited to offer a behind-the-scenes tour of our physical collections of books, music, film, and video in Richmond, California.

With this special insider event we are opening the doors to an often unseen place. See the lifecycle of physical books acquired by the Internet Archive — donation, preservation, digitization, and access. We’ll also present samples from generous donations and acquisitions of books, records, microfiche, and film, and demonstrate the Archive’s high-end motion-picture film scanner.

We look forward to offering this glimpse into a very important part of the Internet Archive in its mission to bring Universal Access to All Knowledge. 

Light refreshments will be provided

RSVP HERE

Cost: $10

DOORS OPEN:  6 PM – 8PM

ADDRESS: 2512 Florida Avenue Richmond, CA

THANK YOU FOR REGISTERING IN ADVANCE 

Public Library Lending: An Endangered Core Value of American Democracy?

Since 18th century and pre-Constitution America, libraries have been a public space, a central repository where books could be borrowed, read and returned—a long defended democratic ideal of the public library. But new challenges like book bans and lawsuits against libraries threaten that historic role. Join Brewster Kahle for a discussion about the future of libraries at The Commonwealth Club of California, October 6 @ 5:30pm PT.

Public Library Lending: An Endangered Core Value of American Democracy?
October 6 @ 5:30pm PT
The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
Register now for the in-person event (virtual attendance available)

What Does the Blockbuster Antitrust Trial Against Penguin Random House Mean for the Future of Libraries?

The publishing industry is large and powerfulby some accounts, it generates nearly $100 billion in revenue worldwide. The United States Department of Justice has accused big publishers of abusing that power in the past, by conspiring with each other to raise the price of e-books. More recently, Penguin Random House has been in the legal crosshairs for an alleged abuse of power, as the Justice Department sues to stop its proposed (and allegedly anticompetitive) acquisition of Simon & Schuster. 

What would more concentrated power in the publishing industry mean for libraries? In recent years, publishers have blamed libraries for all manner of illsclaiming that they unfairly cannibalize sales, among other thingsto justify the imposition of increasingly expensive licensing models. But as testimony in the Justice Department lawsuit has confirmed, the publishing industry isn’t the least bit ill: it’s “thriving,” with years of double-digit growth. And although the economics of the publishing industry was examined at trial in excruciating detail, the supposed threat of library lending was nowhere to be found; libraries weren’t mentioned at all.

What of the authors? The publishing industry often claims that its actions are necessary for the good of authors, but this case does not support such a claim. The Authors Guild has publicly opposed the merger, expressing its own concern about the extraordinary concentration of power in the publishing industry and how it could harm emerging and mid-list authors. Meanwhile, at trial, we learned that the vast majority of all published books are of this sort, selling very few copies. Of course, libraries are one of the few markets for such titles: buying them, preserving them, and ensuring they remain publicly available after their commercial life is over. Unfortunately, as the trial made abundantly clearfeaturing, as it did, the CEO of Penguin Random House bragging about cutting author compensation for e-bookssuch matters are not high on the publisher’s priority list.

So what does this portend for the future of libraries? While the outcome of the trial remains unclear, the Association of American Publisher’s view of libraries could not be clearer: “Libraries are an important part of the copyright ecosystem as authorized distributors,” they recently said. That is the world the AAP hopes for: one where our public interest institutions, and our library professionals, are little more than “authorized distributors” of whatever is most profitable for the publishers. It should be no surprise, then, that libraries remain deeply concerned that the future envisioned by these publishers is in nobody’s interest but their own.

Building Democracy’s Library—Celebrate with the Internet Archive on October 19

Join us on October 19 to help inaugurate Democracy’s Library and celebrate all the different efforts happening at the Internet Archive!

Why is it that on the internet the best information is often locked behind paywalls?  Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, believes it’s time to turn that scarcity model upside down and build an internet based on abundance. Join us for an evening event where he’ll share a new project—Democracy’s Library—a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world. Why? Because democracies need an educated citizenry to thrive.

This year’s event is hybrid. We will be celebrating in-person at our main library in San Francisco, and will be livestreaming the event itself from 7pm-8pm PT so that everyone who cares about democracy around the world can join in.

Register now for in-person or virtual attendance

Event details
5pm: Entertainment, Mingling and Food Trucks
7pm: Building Democracy’s Library presentation in our Great Room
8pm: Dancing in the Streets with “Hot Buttered Rum”

Registration is required: Register now for in-person or virtual attendance.
Location: 300 Funston Ave. at Clement St., San Francisco

Internet Archive Opposes Publishers in Federal Lawsuit

On Friday, September 2, we filed a brief in opposition to the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the second of three briefs from us that will help the Court decide the case.

Read: Hachette v. Internet Archive – Internet Archive’s Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment

As many of you know, these four publishers sued the Internet Archive to try to shut down our digital lending program. The lawsuit has been ongoing for over two years now. In addition to the papers that have gone in so far, there will be one more opportunity, later this fall, for the parties to file arguments with the court. These will be the “reply” briefs. At that point, the filing of papers tends to cease. The Court will then decide whether or not it wants to hear from the parties in person–through “oral argument.” After that, the Court will make a decision on this set of briefs. That could resolve the case in its entirety, or it could lead to a trial and/or appeal. In the end, the lawsuit could take some years to resolve.

Our opposition brief responds to the arguments raised in the publisher’s motion for summary judgment. There, some of the world’s largest and most-profitable publishers complained that sometimes “Americans who read an ebook use free library copies, rather than purchasing a commercial ebook.” They believe that copyright law gives them the right to control how libraries lend the books they own, and demand that libraries implement the restrictive terms and conditions that publishers prefer.

Our opposition brief explains that “[p]ublishers do not have a right to limit libraries only to inefficient lending methods, in hopes that those inefficiencies will lead frustrated library patrons to buy their own copies.” The record in this case shows that publishers have suffered no economic harm as a result of our controlled digital lending–indeed, publishers have earned record profits in recent years. “[D]igital lending of physical books costs rightsholders no more or less than, for example, lending books via a bookmobile or interlibrary loan. In each case, the books the library lends are bought and paid for, ensuring that rightsholders receive all of the financial benefits to which they are entitled.”

The future of library lending is at stake in this lawsuit. We will keep fighting to prove that copyright does not stand in the way of a library’s right to do what libraries have always done: lend the books it owns to one patron at a time.

Alexis Rossi announced as RFC Series Consulting Editor

Alexis Rossi, the Director of Media & Access at the Internet Archive, was announced yesterday as the new RFC Series Consulting Editor for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The RFC Series contains documents that define how the Internet functions. The first RFC was published in 1969, when just a few organizations were trying to figure out how to communicate digitally. Now, 53 years later, more than 9,200 RFCs have been written by thousands of volunteers and these documents and protocols are the underpinnings of the Internet systems we use every day.

Alexis joins the IETF team to help maintain the archival quality of the RFC Series, and to provide guidance on the policies and processes for publishing these important documents. She will also continue in her role with the Internet Archive, managing the organization’s millions of digital items.

The Internet Archive’s founder, Brewster Kahle, who has his own informational RFC (RFC 1625) published in 1994 for WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers), said of Alexis’s new role, “From my own days working on WAIS, I know how important these documents have been to the development of today’s Web. I’m glad to know that someone with so much experience will be helping to keep this Series preserved.”

We wish Alexis well in her new endeavor!