Among its many functions, the Internet Archive is a nonprofit library that provides free public access to collections of digitized materials. This includes materials like websites, software applications, millions of books, movies, music, and more. According to the Internet Archive, its mission is to make all knowledge universally accessible.
Using thousands of computer servers, Internet Archive stores copies of digital media into special collections. Each week, Internet Archive saves more than a billion pages. The archive uses a free Wayback Machine to allow users to view archived web pages.
Internet Archive works with thousands of partners across the world. They include libraries, museums, cultural institutions, federal institutions, state archives, law libraries, and college libraries. They also provide a platform for partners to share and preserve web content.
Internet Archive also operates Archive-It, a web archiving service. Archive-It offers a variety of subscription packages. These include a full-featured web-based application, an annual data storage budget, and hands-on technical support.
Web archiving is a crucial process to preserve historical web materials. In order to preserve digital information, the web archivist has to deal with intellectual property laws. This issue is particularly important because digital documents are particularly vulnerable.
The Library of Congress, for example, has been archiving the web since 2000. The Library works with partners around the world to develop standards and processes. It also develops web archiving tools.
Using the Archive-It web archiving service, users can save over 40 billion born digital web records. The service also includes a robust help center and community forum. Users can also search and download material to add to their digital archives.
Digital book lending
Those interested in the Internet Archive have been following its latest legal fight with major book publishers. The nonprofit library is embroiled in a lawsuit with publishers over its digital book lending program.
The digital lending program is a boon to both libraries and authors. It’s a simple concept: Libraries buy e-books and lend them to patrons using a system similar to a traditional library. The books can be read by one patron at a time. And they can last for years. However, digital books also come with their own set of restrictions. And publishers say the Internet Archive has trampled on their market for e-books.
There’s a big question about whether or not this is legal. Some publishers say that the digital lending program is an infringement of copyright law. The Internet Archive says the program is protected by the fair use doctrine. Specifically, the fair use argument is that the repackaging of the books doesn’t transform them.
A number of prominent writers have weighed in on the matter. Chuck Wendig, who originally appeared to be leading the charge, has since stated that he isn’t involved in the case.
It’s not the first time a library has defended a digital lending program. But it’s the first time the Internet Archive has defended its most important initiative: the Open Library.