“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: Democracy’s Library presentation featuring Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada and Jamie Joyce, Executive Director of The Society Library.
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!

September Book Talk: The History of the Computer, Sep 15 (virtual)

“A beautifully illustrated journey through the history of computing, from the Antikythera mechanism to the iPhone and beyond—I loved it.”—Eben Upton, Founder and CEO of Raspberry Pi

From notched bones in the ancient world to self-driving cars powered by modern AI, for centuries humans have used computing systems to solve problems & enhance the way we live. But who are the people and stories behind these advancements? In THE HISTORY OF THE COMPUTER, author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky presents a fun-filled & beautifully illustrated journey through computing history, checking in on the notable personalities, organizations & technologies that have changed our world.

Watch now:

In our virtual event on September 15 @ 10am PT, Rachel will be joined by Alexis Rossi, Internet Archive’s director of media & access, and Jason Scott, free range archivist, for a discussion of the people, the inventions, the passions, and the controversies that have defined the history of the computer and its role in our daily lives.

Purchase your copy of The History of the Computer from The Booksmith, our local bookstore in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, or your own local bookshop.

Looking for educational resources? Rachel has made all sorts of resources, including a coloring worksheet, available for use.

September Book Talk: The History of the Computer
Author & illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky in conversation with Alexis Rossi & Jason Scott from the Internet Archive.
September 15 @ 10am PT
Watch the recording from the virtual event

EDITORIAL NOTE: Updated 9/15/22 to remove registration links & include links to view the video.

Book Talk: Surveillance State, Sep 14 (in-person)

“Josh Chin and Liza Lin have given us a truly groundbreaking investigation of China’s embrace of digital surveillance. The global scope and deep detail of their account retires the notion of an ‘all-seeing’ surveillance as some future scenario; it is happening already. They will open your eyes to the astonishing intersection of data, politics, and the human body. Anyone who cares about the future of technology, of China, or of free will cannot afford to miss this.”
—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

Join authors Josh Chin & Liza Lin for an in-person discussion on life in China’s burgeoning surveillance state. They will be joined in conversation by Xiao Qiang (Berkeley).
September 14 @ Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco
Doors open at 6:30pm, discussion starts at 7pm.

People living in democracies have for decades drawn comfort from the notion that their form of government, for all its flaws, is the best history has managed to produce. In SURVEILLANCE STATE: Inside China’s Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control (St. Martin’s Press; September 6, 2022), award-winning journalists Josh Chin and Liza Lin (Wall Street Journal) document with startling detail how China’s Communist Party is striving for something new: a political model that shapes the will of the people not through the ballot box but through the sophisticated—and often brutal—harnessing of data.

REGISTER NOW

Registration is free for the in-person event.

Purchase a copy of Surveillance State at registration to be signed by the authors at the event. You can also purchase unsigned copies from The Booksmith, our local bookshop in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, to be delivered to you, or from your own local bookstore.

Book Talk: Surveillance State
Authors Josh Chin and Liza Lin
September 14 @ 7pm PT
IN-PERSON @ the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco
Registration is required! Register now

Introducing the 2022 DWeb Fellows

A discussion session from DWeb Camp 2019 led by Fellows.

How do we ensure that the decentralized web fulfills its potential to create a better web for all? That the technologies, organizations, and approaches that gain traction and succeed (by any measure) uphold the security, privacy, and self-determination of everyone, especially those of marginalized populations who have the most to gain? 

The first step is to recognize that there are many people around the world who are already doing this work. They’re not only imagining and theorizing about a better web, but are actually creating and employing digital tools to uplift communities facing systemic inequities. They bring about justice and enable individual and collective agency, both through network technologies and by also creating and maintaining communities of care.

As the Decentralized Web (DWeb) San Francisco team, we help grow networks of solidarity among these individuals and organizations by creating opportunities for them to build relationships with each other and the DWeb community. Our Fellows from DWeb Camp 2019 strongly influenced our thinking as we defined a set of shared Principles and continued to hold virtual and in-person convenings in the three years since. 

As the Director of this year’s Fellowship program, one of my strongest hopes is that the DWeb Fellows are able to build lasting, fruitful relationships with each other and other DWeb Campers. My other hope is that the Fellows’ projects and approaches continue to shape the DWeb community overall – to connect and empower the most under-resourced, and ensure that the decentralized web we’re building truly addresses the needs of all.

The 2022 DWeb Fellowship program was made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation, Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web, Mysterium Network, donations through the Gitcoin grant challenge, and others.

2022 DWeb Fellows

Alice Yuan Zhang, Media Artist/Researcher

Andrew Chou, Digital Democracy

brandon king, Resonate.Coop

Cody Harris, Seattle Community Network

Dana Beltrán, Colnodo

Esther Jang, Seattle Community Network

Hiure Queiroz, Portal Sem Porteiras

Jaime Villarreal, May First Movement Technology

Johan Michalove, Cornell University

Kemly Camacho Jiménez, Sulá Batsú Coop

Kola Heyward-Rotimi, COMPOST Magazine

Luisa Bagope, Portal Sem Porteiras

María Alvarez Malvido, Redes por la Diversidad, Equidad y Sustentabilidad A.C

Michael Abraha, Tigray Art Collective

Ngọc Triệu, Simply Secure | Decentralization Off the Shelf

Nicolás Pace, Association for Progressive Communication

Remy Hellstern, Xinjiang Documentation Project, University of British Columbia

riley wong, Independent Researcher

Rudo Kemper, Digital Democracy

Sanketh Kumar P, COWDe.Net | Janastu Servelots | GramSevaSangh

Shafali Jain, COWDe.Net | Janastu Servelots

Tania Silva, Coolab

T B Dinesh, Janastu Servelots

Vaipunu Ian Tairea, Project Sunrise | Tai Collective

Ying Tong Lai, Halo2 | ZCash