Today, the Internet Archive has submitted its appeal [PDF] in Hachette v. Internet Archive. As we stated when the decision was handed down in March, we believe the lower court made errors in facts and law, so we are fighting on in the face of great challenges. We know this won’t be easy, but it’s a necessary fight if we want library collections to survive in the digital age.
Statement from Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive: “Libraries are under attack like never before. The core values and library functions of preservation and access, equal opportunity, and universal education are being threatened by book bans, budget cuts, onerous licensing schemes, and now by this harmful lawsuit. We are counting on the appellate judges to support libraries and our longstanding and widespread library practices in the digital age. Now is the time to stand up for libraries.”
We will share more information about the appeal as it progresses.
To support our ongoing efforts, please donate as we continue this fight!
When Graeme Currie was working at a university, he went to the campus library for research and often lingered in the stacks just to enjoy the collection.
Now, as a freelance translator and editor operating remotely from a small town near Hamburg, Germany, Currie doesn’t have that same access. Without an institutional affiliation, he relies on materials in the Internet Archive for his work.
“It’s been vital for me because, at times, it’s the only way I can find what I need,” says Currie, 51, who is originally from Scotland. “For freelancers who are working from home without a library nearby and using obscure sources and out-of-print books, there’s nothing to replace the Internet Archive.”
Currie first heard about the Wayback Machine in the early 2000s as a means to check changes in websites. Then, he discovered other services that the Internet Archive provides including its audio and book library.
As he edits and translates academic books from German to English, Currie says he often has to check book citations—looking up page numbers and verifying passages. The virtual collection has been helpful as he researches a range of topics in the arts, social sciences and the humanities. Currie says he’s borrowed titles related to philosophy, criminality and global urban history, including the early history of tourism in Sicily.
Not only are many of the books hard to find, but Currie says logistically, they are difficult to obtain. Without the Internet Archive, Currie says he would have to wait weeks for interlibrary loans or try to contact the book authors, who are often unavailable.
“I simply could not do my job without access to a virtual library,” says Currie, who has been freelancing for about five years. “The Internet Archive is like having a university library on your desktop.”
Join experts from the library, copyright and information policy fields for a series of conversations exploring some of the most pressing issues facing libraries today: digital ownership and the future of library collections, the emergence of artificial intelligence, and the enduring value of research libraries in the digital age.
October 4 @ 10am PT – 11am PT Online via zoom – Register now
In our virtual session, you’ll hear from Internet Archive staff about our emerging library services and updates on existing efforts, including from our partners. How do libraries empower research in the 21st century? Join in our discussion!
October 12: In-Person
October 12 @ 8:30am – 4pm PT Internet Archive Headquarters @ 300 Funston, San Francisco
At our in-person session, we’ll gather together with the builders & dreamers to envision an equitable future for digital lending. We’ll reserve the afternoon for workshops and unconference breakouts so that you can choose your own conversation, or lead one yourself. Capacity will be capped at 60 attendees.Interested in attending?
Our library is still strong, growing, and serving millions of patrons. But the publishers’ attack on basic library practices continues.
Last Friday, the Southern District of New York court issued its final order in Hachette v. Internet Archive, thus bringing the lower court proceedings to a close. We disagree with the court’s decision and intend to appeal. In the meantime, however, we will abide by the court’s injunction.
The lawsuit only concerns our book lending program. The injunction clarifies that the Publisher Plaintiffs will notify us of their commercially available books, and the Internet Archive will expeditiously remove them from lending. Additionally, Judge Koeltl also signed an order in favor of the Internet Archive, agreeing with our request that the injunction should only cover books available in electronic format, and not the publishers’ full catalog of books in print. Separately, we have come to agreement with the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the trade organization that coordinated the original lawsuit with the four publishers, that the AAP will not support further legal action against the Internet Archive for controlled digital lending if we follow the same takedown procedures for any AAP-member publisher.
So what is the impact of these final orders on our library? Broadly, this injunction will result in a significant loss of access to valuable knowledge for the public. It means that people who are not part of an elite institution or who do not live near a well-funded public library will lose access to books they cannot read otherwise. It is a sad day for the Internet Archive, our patrons, and for all libraries.
Because this case was limited to our book lending program, the injunction does not significantly impact our other library services. The Internet Archive may still digitize books for preservation purposes, and may still provide access to our digital collections in a number of ways, including through interlibrary loan and by making accessible formats available to people with qualified print disabilities. We may continue to display “short portions” of books as is consistent with fair use—for example, Wikipedia references (as shown in the image above). The injunction does not affect lending of out-of-print books. And of course, the Internet Archive will still make millions of public domain texts available to the public without restriction.
Regarding the monetary payment, we can say that “AAP’s significant attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the Action since 2020 have been substantially compensated by the Monetary Judgement Payment.”
Thanks to your continued support, our library is still strong, growing, and serving millions of patrons.
Libraries are going to have to fight to be able to buy, preserve, and lend digital books outside of the confines of temporary licensed access. We deeply appreciate your support as we continue this fight!
Four months after the disappointing decision on summary judgment in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a number of papers were filed today in the district court, and then the judge is expected to make his final judgment. We expect that, at least while the appeal is pending, there will be changes to our lending program, but the full scope of those changes is a question pending with the district court. We will provide an update on those changes once the district court decision is final.
Our fight is far from over—We remain steadfast in our belief that libraries should be able to own, preserve, and lend digital books outside of the confines of temporary licensed access. We believe that the judge made errors of law and fact in the decision, and we will appeal.
Statement from Internet Archive founder, Brewster Kahle: “Libraries are under attack at unprecedented scale today, from book bans to defunding to overzealous lawsuits like the one brought against our library. These efforts are cutting off the public’s access to truth at a key time in our democracy. We must have strong libraries, which is why we are appealing this decision.”
Lace signified wealth in America’s early years. In colonial times, people who wore it improperly could face punishment (both men and women wore lace). During the Revolutionary War, women made lace to supplement their income while the men were away fighting.
Mary Mangan is fascinated by the history of lace in the United States. The Somerville, Massachusetts, resident makes lace herself and is on a mission to raise the profile of lace more broadly. Looking for a project that could be done with other lace enthusiasts remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, they started to research the lace community in Ipswich, Massachusetts, during the 18th century.
Although European nations had many important centers of lace production as economic drivers, only one community in the American colonies developed a bobbin lace industry. Hundreds of people in Ipswich became skilled lace makers and their unusual activity was captured in the papers of Alexander Hamilton who was seeking to understand America’s capacity for production. This unique style of lace adorned fashionable people in the early Republic, including Martha Washington. The origins of this activity and the identities of the lace makers are still being actively sought, and that’s where library collections like the Internet Archive fit in.
Mangan said the Internet Archive proved to be a valuable resource for the project of the New England Lace Group. “The quirkiness of the collection is really interesting,” she said. “With a quick search of a few key words, I came across some really unusual things that I would not have unearthed otherwise.”
For instance, Mangan found court records detailing the prosecution of people wearing lace in Puritan times. The Internet Archive had links to agricultural pamphlets from Massachusetts about a woman winning a prize for her lace at a fair in 1832, and information that led the research group to a box from Newbury, Massachusetts, in a local museum with lace making artifacts. There were also anecdotes in a 1884 book about individual women, such as Betty B., who made black silk lace.
“We discovered important social and economic data about the lace and the people who made it,” said Mangan, who is a volunteer for her local historical society. “We have identified new names for further research leads.”
Mangan said while the lace society is dedicated to keeping the knowledge of lace alive, its resources are limited. Much of the history of lace is not written down because it was largely women’s work and it can be hard to find information in physical places.
Materials through the Internet Archive allowed her group to access books online that are often out of print, rare and expensive. “The ease of researching from home is a huge benefit,” she said. “It makes the work easy to share with others on the team and saved us from purchasing used books we don’t need.”
As Mangan’s group pieced together the puzzle of the Ipswich lace community, the information was compiled into a poster presentation complete with references and images downloaded from tine Internet Archive. The mobile educational exhibit is being displayed at libraries, fiber fairs and historical sites throughout New England. For more information, click here.
As a doctoral student in anthropology at Yale University, Spencer Kaplan often relies on the Internet Archive for his research. He is an anthropologist of technology who studies virtual communities. Kaplan said he uses the Wayback Machine to create a living archive of data that he can analyze.
Last summer, Kaplan studied the blockchain community, which is active on Twitter and constantly changing. As people were sharing their views of the market and helping one another, he needed a way to save the data before their accounts disappeared. A failed project might have prompted the users to take down the information, but Kaplan used the Wayback Machine to preserve the social media exchanges.
In his research, Kaplan said he discovered an environment of mistrust online in the blockchain community and an abundance of scams. He followed how people were navigating the scams, warning one another online to be careful, and actually building trust in some cases. While blockchain is trying to build technologies that avoid trust in social interaction, Kaplan said it was interesting to observe blockchain enthusiasts engaging in trusting connections. He takes the texts of tweets to build a corpus that he can then code and analyze the data to track or show trends.
The Wayback Machine can be helpful, Kaplan said, in finding preserved discussions on Twitter, early versions of company websites or pages that have been taken down altogether—a start-up company that went out of business, for example. “It’s important to be able to hold on to that [information] because our research takes place at a very specific moment in time and we want to be able to capture that specific moment,” Kaplan said.
The Internet Archive’s Open Library has also been essential in Kaplan’s work. When he was recently researching the invention of the “corporate culture” concept, he had trouble finding the first editions of many business books written in the late 80s and early 90s. His campus library often bought updated volumes, but Kaplan needed the originals. “I needed the first edition because I needed to know exactly what they said first and I was able to find that on the Internet Archive,” Kaplan said.
Join Internet Archive’s Chris Freeland for a discussion with Oya Y. Rieger about ‘Moving Theory Into Practice,’ the landmark digitization guide & workshop that sparked a revolution in digital libraries. Thursday, August 24 @ 10am PT / 1pm ET
As the digital library field emerged in the mid- to late-1990s, librarians faced numerous challenges in building the skills necessary to provide digital access to their collections. That changed in the summer of 2000, when Anne R. Kenney and Oya Y. Rieger (Cornell University Library) produced “Moving Theory Into Practice,” a groundbreaking week-long workshop & digitization guide that offered hands-on, immersive training in digitization and preservation.
The purpose of “Moving Theory Into Practice” was to skill-build librarians, archivists, curators, administrators, technologists, and other professionals who were either contemplating or already implementing digital imaging programs. Its objective was to equip participants with practical strategies that surpassed theoretical concepts, grounded in the latest standards, best practices and informed decision-making.
In our upcoming webinar, we are delighted to talk with Oya Y. Rieger, co-author of “Moving Theory Into Practice.” During the discussion, we will delve into the impacts of hosting these training sessions, shedding light on their significance within the digital library community and the broader library community at the time. We will also explore related training such as Rare Book School, and reflect on large-scale digitization projects like Making of America and state-based efforts to understand the context in which this workshop occurred. Additionally, we will touch upon the evolution of digitization training since the original workshop, providing insights into how the field has matured.
Oya Y. Rieger is a senior strategist on Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team. She spearheads projects that reexamine the nature of collections within the research library, help secure access to and preservation of the scholarly record, and explore the possibilities of open source software and open science.
Prior to joining Ithaka S+R, Oya worked at Cornell University for 25 years. For the past ten years she served as Associate University Librarian, leading strategic initiatives, building partnerships, and facilitating sustainable and user-centered projects. During her tenure at Cornell, her program areas included digital scholarship, collection development, digitization, preservation, user experience, scholarly publishing, learning technologies, research data management, digital humanities, and special collections. She spearheaded projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS), the Henry Luce Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Simons Foundation, and Sloan Foundation to develop ejournal preservation strategies, conduct research on new media archiving, implement preservation programs in Asia, design digital curation curriculums, and create sustainability models for alternative publishing models to advance science communication.
Chris Freeland is the Director of Library Services at the Internet Archive, working in support of our mission to provide “Universal access to all knowledge.” Before joining the Internet Archive, Chris was an Associate University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, managing Washington University Libraries’ digital initiatives and related services. He holds an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Eastern Illinois University and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from University of Missouri-Columbia. His research explores the intersections of science and technology in a cultural heritage context, having published and presented on a variety of topics relating to the use of new media and emerging technologies in libraries and museums.
Book Talk: Moving Theory Into Practice Thursday, August 24 @ 10am PT / 1pm ET Register now for the virtual discussion!
This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting how our patrons and partners use the Internet Archive to further their own research and programs.
From Patricia Rose, in her own words:
In 2019, after retiring from an administrative career at the University of Pennsylvania, I signed up to be a tour guide at Philadelphia’s historic Laurel Hill Cemetery (now Laurel Hill East), the first American cemetery to be named a National Historic Landmark. With more than 75,000 “permanent residents”, there are lots of opportunities to tour stopping at the graves of fascinating men and women, most from the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, although there are still some new burials. It was so much fun I started leading tours at their larger sister cemetery, Laurel Hill West, itself listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and with permanent residents mostly from the twentieth century to the modern day.
In 2020, COVID made fresh-air cemetery tours quite popular, and I led specialized tours on spiritualism, and on gay and lesbian residents called “Out of the Closet and into the Crypt.”
Among the stops on some of my tours was the grave of Sara Yorke Stevenson (1847 – 1921). She was an Egyptologist, a museum curator, co-founder and leader, author, journalist and fighter for women’s suffrage. She led a full and eventful life, born in Paris, and ending after her successful efforts to bring medical help to France during World War I, raising the equivalent of $36 million in today’s dollars.
As part of the cemetery’s educational programming, my fellow tour guide Joe Lex (retired Professor of Emergency Medicine) created a wonderful podcast, All Bones Considered, focusing on both Laurel Hill East and West, and I jumped at the chance to present Stevenson on the podcast.
There is a wealth of information on Stevenson. As a co-founder, curator, and board chair at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (the Penn Museum), Sara appears in numerous histories of the museum, and in volumes on the beginnings of archaeology in this country. Luckily, in 2006, Sara’s private papers were discovered in the attic of a Philadelphia home that was being cleaned out for sale. Those papers are now housed in the Special Collections of the LaSalle University Library, and in the Archives of the Penn Museum. These I visited and enjoyed reading letters Sara received, a few materials she wrote, and relevant newspaper clippings she saved.
Fortunately, also in the Internet Archive I found relevant issues of the Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum from the early days of the twentieth century. (The Pennsylvania Museum became the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and its School of Industrial Art became Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.) Sara served as a curator at the Philadelphia Museum, and also as the acting director. In the April 1908 edition of the Bulletin, the following appears:
“It is proposed to establish at the School of Industrial Art of the Pennsylvania Museum…a course in the training of curators for art, archaeological and industrial museums, under the supervision of Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson, ScD.”
Museums were being founded throughout the country, and there was a need for trained curators. The next issue of the Bulletin details the twelve lectures in Stevenson’s course. She begins with The History of Museums, followed by the Modern Museum. She covers the Museum Building, with attention to light, heat, water, workshops, repair shops and store rooms. She addresses the Art of Collecting. In addition to lecturing, she took her students to every museum in the city, met with directors and curators, critiqued exhibits and identified problems of preservation and conservation. This was the first course in museum studies and curatorship offered in the United States, and luckily I could read all about it on the Internet Archive.
Finally, on the Archive I found John W. Jordan’s 1911 volume, Colonial Families of Philadelphia, which contains invaluable genealogical information on the families of Stevenson and her husband (and many others).
The Internet Archive’s Sara Yorke Stevenson collection was invaluable to me as I prepared my blog post. Going forward, I will turn to the Archive whenever I do research for my cemetery tours. Thank you to all who have created this marvelous resource.
Last month, we hosted Laine Nooney and Finn Brunton for an in-person discussion at the Internet Archive. We had considerable interest from people who couldn’t make it to the discussion, so we’re pleased to host the conversation again, this time virtually, so that anyone can join in!
Join us for an engrossing origin story of the personal computer—showing how the Apple II’s software helped a machine transcend from hobbyists’ plaything to essential home appliance. Author LAINE NOONEY will read a selection from their new book, then discuss the importance of the Apple II with historian FINN BRUNTON.
If you want to understand how Apple Inc. became an industry behemoth, look no further than the 1977 Apple II. It was a versatile piece of hardware, but its most compelling story isn’t found in the feat of its engineering, the personalities of Apple’s founders, or the way it set the stage for the company’s multibillion-dollar future. Instead, historian Laine Nooney shows, what made the Apple II iconic was its software. The story of personal computing in the United States is not about the evolution of hackers—it’s about the rise of everyday users.
Recounting a constellation of software creation stories, Nooney offers a new understanding of how the hobbyists’ microcomputers of the 1970s became the personal computer we know today. From iconic software products like VisiCalc and The Print Shop to historic games like Mystery House and Snooper Troops to long-forgotten disk-cracking utilities, The Apple II Age offers an unprecedented look at the people, the industry, and the money that built the microcomputing milieu—and why so much of it converged around the pioneering Apple II.
About our speakers:
Laine Nooney is assistant professor of media and information industries at New York University. Their research has been featured by outlets such as The Atlantic, Motherboard, and NPR. They live in New York City, where their hobbies include motorcycles, tugboats, and Texas hold ’em.
Finn Brunton (finnb.net) is a professor at UC Davis with appointments in Science and Technology Studies and Cinema and Digital Media. He is the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet, Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Technologists, and Utopians Who Created Cryptocurrency, and the co-author of Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest.
Book Talk: The Apple II Age July 13th @ 10am PT / 1pm ET Register now for the virtual discussion!