Press conference statement: Ashton Applewhite, author

Ashton Applewhite is one of more than 1,000 authors who spoke out in opposition to the publishers’ lawsuit. Ashton spoke at the press conference hosted by Internet Archive ahead of oral argument in Hachette v. Internet Archive.


My name is Ashton Applewhite, and I’m recording this in New York City on March 16, 2023. For over 40 years I have supported myself and my family by writing books for Random House, Harper Collins, Macmillan and other major publishing houses.

These publishers have served me well, but I am completely opposed to their lawsuit against the Internet Archive.

It will have a chilling effect on the efforts of all libraries to adapt as print culture migrates online, and it will also devastate the Internet Archive, which, as we hurtle into this digital unknown, is the single most important repository of human knowledge. No other organization is preserving and providing online access at this scale.

The Wayback Machine alone has archived 800 billion pages, millions of books, tens of thousands of hours of TV and radio news. And on and on. Humanity’s collective history, digitized, thank Heavens!

The Internet Archive exists. We need to be able to say that 100 years from now.