Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 08, 2005

More on Brewster Kahle and the OA projects of the Internet Archive

Paul Boutin, The Archivist: Brewster Kahle made a copy of the Internet. Now, he wants your files, Slate, April 7, 2005. Excerpt: 'Kahle is less the Internet's crazy aunt --the tycoon who can't stand to throw anything away-- than its evangelical librarian. "The history of digital materials in companies' hands is one of...loss," he tells me in a rushed meeting. Like it or not, the Web is the world's library now, and Kahle doesn't trust the guys who shelve the books....Instead of creating another startup that crawls the Web to make money, Brewster used his millions to preserve as much knowledge as possible and --just as important-- make it accessible to anyone who can get to a computer....The Internet Archive isn't just the Wayback Machine --the nonprofit's two dozen or so employees have filled an equal amount of disk space with uploaded film collections, presidential debates, Bugs Bunny cartoons, and news broadcasts from the Middle East. The archive is especially keen on books. They've scanned about 25,000 of them so far as part of the Million Book Project, a collaboration with Indian and Chinese agencies to create an online library in the place of bricks-and-mortar reading rooms....The final step in building the archive into a true global library: getting you to contribute. Ourmedia, a project launched two weeks ago, offers free, unlimited, permanent storage of your videos, photos, Word files, podcasts—anything that's not porn and not covered by someone else's copyright. The one catch: The files, stored on Internet Archive servers, will be freely available to anyone in the world.'

(PS: If you missed it, see this announcement from SOAN for 4/2/05: 'Many publishing researchers don't have OA repositories in their institutions or disciplines. The missing piece of the puzzle is an OAI-compliant "universal repository" that will accept eprints from any scholar in any discipline. I'm very happy to say in public for the first time that Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive (IA) has agreed to launch just such a repository. I'm working with the technical staff of the IA to set it up now. Not only will it host new content for scholars with no other place to deposit their work, but it will offer to preserve all the other OAI-compliant repositories in the world. The IA's proven commitment to open access and long-term preservation make this a most exciting prospect.')