Fair Use Creep Is A Feature, Not a Bug

“Fair use is essential to internet for at least two reasons. First, the vast majority of what we do online, from email to texting to viewing images and making TikToks, involves creating, replicating, and/or repurposing copyrighted works. Since copyright is a limited but lengthy monopoly over those works, in theory, using or even viewing them might require a license; now, and for many decades in the future.

Second, technological innovation rarely means starting from scratch. Instead, developers build on existing technologies, hopefully improving them. But if the technology in question involves code, it is likely copyrightable. If so, that add-on innovation might require a license from the rightsholder, giving them a veto right on technological development.

As digital technologies dramatically (and sometime controversially) expand the reach of copyright, fair use helps ensure that the rights of the public expand as well….

In Hachette v. Internet Archive, four of the biggest publishers in the world, are trying to shut down Controlled Digital Lending, which allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less and only permits patrons to check out as many copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. That means that if the Archive and its partner libraries have only one copy of a book, then only one patron can borrow it at a time….

Fortunately for the public, fair use has likewise grown to protect the original purpose of copyright: to encourage forward progress. And no matter what Hollywood or John Deere tells you, that’s a feature, not a bug.”

Program Officer, Archiving and Data Services

“Interested in a mission-driven job ensuring open access to information for a global audience? Enjoy working to ensure a diverse, expansive archive of the digital historical record? Internet Archive is seeking a Program Officer for its Archiving & Data Services team. Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library, top 200 website at archive.org, and an archive of over 99 petabytes of digital information running in self-owned and operated data centers. Internet Archive provides mission-aligned services to thousands of organizations, working collaboratively to advance the goal of “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” …”

The Best Things in Life Are Free: Two Ways to Celebrate Public Domain Day in 2023 – Internet Archive Blogs

“The moon belongs to everyone, so says the 1927 hit musical composition, “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” We agree! In January of 2023, a treasure trove of new cultural works will become as free as the moon and the stars, and we at Internet Archive, Creative Commons and many other leaders from the open world plan to throw a party to celebrate!

 

Next year, works published in 1927 will join the myriad creative building blocks of our shared culture heritage. The public domain will grow richer with books from authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf, silent film classics like the controversial The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson and Fritz Lang’s dystopian Metropolis, and snappy musical compositions like You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.

You can welcome new public domain works and party with us two ways: …”

Fighting for the Digital Future of Books: 2022 in Review

“EFF client Internet Archive has created one of those spaces. Through Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”), the Internet Archive and other nonprofit libraries make and lend digital scans of print books in their collections, at no cost to their patrons.  CDL allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less, and only permits patrons to check out as many copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. That means that if the Archive and its partner libraries have only one copy of a book, then only one patron can borrow it at a time, just like any other library. Through CDL, the Internet Archive is helping to foster research and learning by helping its patrons access books and by keeping books in circulation when their publishers have lost interest in them….

If the publishers have their way, however, books, like an increasing amount of other copyrighted works, will only be rented, never owned, available subject to the publishers’ whim, on their terms. This is not a hypothetical problem, as students at Georgetown, George Washington University, and the other members of the Washington Research Library Consortium learned last fall when they discovered that found 1,379 books could no longer be borrowed in electronic form….”

Archiving official documents as an act of radical journalism – Columbia Journalism Review

“Democracy’s Library, a new project of the Internet Archive that launched last month, has begun collecting the world’s government publications into a single, permanent, searchable online repository, so that everyone—journalists, authors, academics, and interested citizens—will always be able to find, read, and use them. It’s a very fundamental form of journalism….

The importance of distributing true copies of government records was formally recognized by the US Congress in 1813 with a resolution establishing what later became the Federal Depository Library Program, now a network of more than eleven hundred libraries maintaining collections of government records, including catalogues of government assistance, census information, economic indicators, the US Code and Government Manual, the Social Security Handbook, bibliographies, the daily Federal Register, and Ben’s Guide to US Government for Kids (“Let’s Go on a Learning Adventure!”).

 

But in recent years, enormous collections of these documents came to be gathered and sold or licensed to libraries through commercial databases. At the same time, digital repositories maintained by governments have aged and deteriorated. Standards are lacking, or absent altogether….”

Internet Archive Welcomes Digital Humanists and Cultural Heritage Professionals to “Humanities and the Web: Introduction to Web Archive Data Analysis” – Internet Archive Blogs

“On November 14, 2022, the Internet Archive hosted Humanities and the Web: Introduction to Web Archive Data Analysis, a one-day introductory workshop for humanities scholars and cultural heritage professionals. The group included disciplinary scholars and information professionals with research interests ranging from Chinese feminist movements, to Indigenous language revitalization, to the effects of digital platforms on discourses of sexuality and more. The workshop was held at the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and coincided with the National Humanities Conference. 

The goals of the workshop were to introduce web archives as primary sources and to provide a sampling of tools and methodologies that could support computational analysis of web archive collections. Internet Archive staff shared web archive research use cases and provided participants with hands-on experience building web archives and analyzing web archive collections as data….”

Discover DOCI, the index of open citations from DataCite – OpenCitations blog

“We’re excited to introduce DOCI, the OpenCitations Index of Datacite open DOI-to-DOI citations, a new tool containing citations derived from publications bearing DataCite DOIs to other DOI-identified publications, harvested from DataCite. The citations available in DOCI are treated as first-class data entities, with accompanying properties including the citations timespan, modelled according to the OpenCitations Data Model. 

Currently, DOCI’s December 2022 release contains 169,822,752 citations from 1,753,860  bibliographic resources, and is based on the last dump of DataCite dated 22 October 2021 provided by the Internet Archive. …”

PETITION: Mega-corps are trying to ban libraries from owning digital books!

“Currently, major publishers offer no option for libraries to own and preserve digital books. They’re even suing to ban libraries from making their own digital books. With so many diverse voices published only in digital format, and digital books often more accessible for the most marginalized library patrons, this is unacceptable. Sign on now to demand that the largest publishing lobby in the US reverse course and stand up for libraries in 2023! …”

Internet Archive Releases Report on Securing Digital Rights for Libraries – Internet Archive Blogs

“We are excited to announce the release of our report, “Securing Digital Rights for Libraries: Towards an Affirmative Policy Agenda for a Better Internet,” and the culmination of a months-long process consulting with leading experts from libraries, civil society, and academia regarding libraries’ role in shaping the next iteration of the internet. The Internet Archive did this work in collaboration with the Movement for a Better Internet, so as to help model how this community can work together towards building an internet centered on public interest values.

You can download and read the free, openly-licensed report HERE.

The consultation focused on two core questions: How can libraries (1) sustain their traditional societal function and (2) build on their strengths to support a better information ecosystem in the 21st Century? Participants discussed a wide range of challenges, including consolidation in the publishing industry, mis/disinformation, and providing equitable access to information despite these obstacles. The conversation was anchored in libraries’ traditional support of public interest values—i.e. democracy, equity, diversity and inclusion, privacy, freedom of expression, and more.

The key takeaway from this consultation process is simple: The rights that libraries have always enjoyed offline must also be protected online. …”

What is the Democracy’s Library? – Internet Archive Blogs

“Democracies require an educated citizenry to flourish– and because of this, Democratic governments, at all levels, spend billions of dollars publishing reports, manuals, books, videos so that all can read and learn. That is the good news.  The bad news is that in our digital age, much of this is not accessible.   Democracy’s Library aims to change this.   

The aim of the Internet Archive Democracy’s Library is to collect, preserve and make freely available all the published works of all the democracies– the federal, provincial, and municipal government publications– so that we can efficiently learn from each other to solve our biggest challenges in parallel and in concert….

Yes, this will cost a small fortune– but it is within our grasp– to collect and organize billions of documents and datasets, preserve the materials for the ages and make them available for many purposes.  While scoping projects in the United States and Canada have now begun, we estimate this project will cost at least $100 million dollars. The big money has not been committed yet, and we’re still fundraising. But to get things kicked off, Filecoin Foundation (FF) and Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW), are supporting the project. The Internet Archive has ramped up government websites and datasets as well as digitizing print materials with many library partners.

Thankfully, we do not have the rights and paywall problems that have been strangling the Internet’s best feature: an essentially free information distribution system.  …”

Digital Books wear out faster than Physical Books – Internet Archive Blogs

“Ever try to read a physical book passed down in your family from 100 years ago?  Probably worked well. Ever try reading an ebook you paid for 10 years ago?   Probably a different experience. From the leasing business model of mega publishers to physical device evolution to format obsolescence, digital books are fragile and threatened.

For those of us tending libraries of digitized and born-digital books, we know that they need constant maintenance—reprocessing, reformatting, re-invigorating or they will not be readable or read. Fortunately this is what libraries do (if they are not sued to stop it). Publishers try to introduce new ideas into the public sphere. Libraries acquire these and keep them alive for generations to come.

And, to serve users with print disabilities, we have to keep up with the ever-improving tools they use.

Mega-publishers are saying electronic books do not wear out, but this is not true at all. The Internet Archive processes and reprocesses the books it has digitized as new optical character recognition technologies come around, as new text understanding technologies open new analysis, as formats change from djvu to daisy to epub1 to epub2 to epub3 to pdf-a and on and on. This takes thousands of computer-months and programmer-years to do this work. This is what libraries have signed up for—our long-term custodial roles….”

Internet Archive to Honor Carl Malamud with 2022 Hero Award – Internet Archive Blogs

“Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org and a champion for making government information accessible to all, will receive the 2022 Internet Archive Hero Award. He will be presented the award at next week’s evening celebration, “Building Democracy’s Library.”

The Internet Archive Hero Award is an annual award that recognizes those who have exhibited leadership in making information available for digital learners all over the world. Previous recipients have included librarians Kanta Kapoor and Lisa Radha Vohra, copyright expert Michelle Wu, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the Grateful Dead.

This year, the Internet Archive is honoring Carl as a tireless advocate for free access to government information. Some highlights of his work include:  …”

Tips for requesting articles from Internet Archive on OCLC’s resource sharing network | OCLC

“Join us for a webinar on November 9 to learn how Internet Archive is now quickly fulfilling Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for articles at no charge from libraries that use WorldShare ILL, Tipasa, and ILLiad. Staff at Internet Archive (OCLC symbol: IAILL) supply articles fast—with an average turnaround time of 37 minutes on OCLC’s resource sharing network.”

Internet Archive Files Final Reply Brief in Lawsuit Defending Controlled Digital Lending – Internet Archive Blogs

“On Friday, October 7, the Internet Archive filed a reply brief against the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the final brief in support of our motion for summary judgment (our previous motions can be found here and here) where we have asked the Court to dismiss the lawsuit because our lending program is a fair use….”

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

“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 Foundation (ARDC) to create a digital library that documents, preserves, and provides open access to the history of this community….”