Two years ago, I delivered the closing keynote at the Internet Archive's inaugural Decentralized Web event; last week, we had the second of these, and once again, I gave the closing keynote, entitled Big Tech's problem is Big, not Tech. Here's the abstract:
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The Internet Archive celebrated its 20th anniversary with a variety of special events and collections, including the cleverly named Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex, an archive of US military bureaucratic slide-decks that are as cringey as they are hideous.
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It's been less than a week since the death of EFF co-founder, cowboy poet, Grateful Dead lyricist and Mayor of the Internet John Perry Barlow died, and he's already sorely missed. But Barlow was an open access advocate before that was a thing, and the archive of his work at the Internet Archive is full of what Bruce Sterling calls "a lot of weird, flaky, broke-the-mold stuff."
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Science Friday's beautiful "File Not Found" series looks at the thorny questions of digital preservation: finding surviving copies of data, preserving the media it is recorded upon, finding working equipment to read that media, finding working software to decode the information once it's read, clearing the rights to archive it, and maintaining safe, long term archives -- all while being mindful of privacy and other equities.
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Section 108h of the Copyright Act gives libraries the power to scan and serve copies of out-of-print books published between 1923 and 1941; it's never been used before but now the mighty Internet Archive is giving it a serious workout, adding them to their brilliantly named Sonny Bono Memorial Collection (when Bono was a Congressman, he tried to pass a law that would extend copyright to "forever less a day" and was instrumental in moving millions of works from the public domain back into copyright, "orphaning" them so that no one could preserve them and no one knew who the copyrights belonged to). Read the rest
The mystery of yesterday's India-wide censorship orders which blocked the Internet Archive from the world's largest democracy has been solved: it was the result of complaints by two Bollywood studios, Prakash Jha Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, who chose to target infringing copies of their movies by securing an injunction at the High Court of the Judicature at Madras, rather than sending the Internet Archive a takedown notice. Read the rest
The Wayback Machine is the Internet Archive's indispensable record of the web itself, containing regular snapshots of a huge slice of the entire web that you can browse in order to see what a given page looked like on a given date. Read the rest
Galaxy was one of the first pulps to explicitly bill itself as a magazine for "adults," in 1950 under founding editor HL Gold. Read the rest
Please join me, Brewster Kahle and our special guests for a big Access
To Knowledge event about India on June 14th at the Internet Archive.
Here's why you should come if you're in town: Read the rest
Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C's move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web. Read the rest
Cynics will argue that Trump's followers don't care if he's lying, but they assuredly care if he's lying about the stuff they're hoping he'll do (otherwise there'd be no trumpgrets); what's more, there's no hope of having a US politics based on rationality and reality if we stop paying attention to facts -- otherwise, we're surrendering to the "we create our own reality" army. Read the rest
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has disclosed that it has won two key victories for clients who'd received the FBI's notorious, gag-ordered National Security Letters -- a form of secret warrant that has become the go-to way for law enforcement to avoid scrutiny since the Patriot Act's passage. Read the rest
The Internet Archive is augmenting its existing mirrors -- one in San Francisco, one in Amsterdam, one at the Library of Alexandria (that is: San Andreas fault, below sea level, military dictatorship) -- with a copy in Canada, on the premise that "lots of copies keep stuff safe." Read the rest
Amy Sloper writes, "This is a really timely (while still feeling dated) voting PSA about the importance of tellin' the world your opinion by voting." Read the rest
June's Decentralized Web Summit at San Francisco's Internet Archive was a ground-breaking, three-day combination of workshops, lectures, demos and a hackathon, all aimed at figuring out how to restore the decentralized character of the early internet -- and keep it that way. Read the rest
The Leave campaign's old homepage, which once linked to screen after screen of promises about the UK's bright future out of the EU, is now just a static banner, with no way to navigate to those pages. Read the rest
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote
at the Internet Archive's Decentralized Web Summit
, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies -- and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.