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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8181/internet-archive-vs-the-fbi-and-free-books/

Internet Archive vs. the FBI (and free books!)

June 7, 2008 by

There was a fascinating discussion on TWIT 144 with Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine. Kahle is great–he put up a heroic fight against the FBI after it served the Internet Archive in 2007 with a “national security letter” seeking the identity and behavior of an Internet Archive user. The letter circumvented the FISA court and put Kahle and his attorneys under a gag order under penalty of incarceration. Kahle’s discussion of his Kafka-esque battle–except that he won–is inspiring and fascinating. Apparently the FBI served 200,000 such letters in four years. The Internet Archive and Kahle was limited in how it could respond to the suit, so it ended up just suing the goverment (Internet Archive v. Mukasey) with help of the heroic ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In response to a victim who was not willing to just roll over, the FBI instantly wanted to settle, but the Internet Archive would not agree to this until the settlement permitted all this to be public, so that other victims of such “national security letters” might have an idea of how to fight back.

In any event, I was aware of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine but hadn’t realized that Archive.org is trying to be a sort of open library storing books, films, etc., nor that Microsoft had teamed up with Archive.org (see this Dvorak column). Microsoft helped start the project but has backed out; but at least it removed contractual restrictions on the books it had scanned. You can find hundreds of thousands of free books now on the Internet Archive; take, for example, this gorgeous scan of a classic 18th century nursery book Goody Two Shoes.

{ 6 comments }

David June 8, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Awesome!

Thanks for the news about the scanned book archive as well; had heard MSFT had given up on this but I didn’t know that Internet Archive was hosted all these books.

Here’s more info from their site for anyone who’d like to check out the online book collection.

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=194217

Here are the texts:

http://www.archive.org/details/texts

David June 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Awesome!

Thanks for the news about the scanned book archive as well; I heard MSFT had given up on this but I didn’t know that Internet Archive hosted all these books.

Here’s more info from their site for anyone who’d like to check out the online book collection.

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=194217

Here are the texts:

http://www.archive.org/details/texts

Curt Howland June 9, 2008 at 8:21 am

First project Gutenberg, then Google Books, now Archive.org putting scanned books online. (that may not be the order it happened, just the order I’ve heard about it)

Wonderful.

Curt Howland June 9, 2008 at 8:25 am

I may have met Mr. Kahle without knowing it, in 1995 when I went and saw the VAX system that was “AltaVista”. It was astounding at the time, and the memory of it is even more “unreal” considering how under-powered it was compared to what is going on now.

Here’s an interview with him, by Bob Cringely. The whole series of 14 interviews is fantastic, I felt rather strange since I had met and worked with (at least) two of them (Kahn and Winer) although it’s quite certain neither remembers me. :^)

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/shows/

haleem June 13, 2008 at 6:21 am

my namee is haleemullah jan i want the books of economics microeconomics
and macroeconomics plz send me a copy of these my address is street qazi
sahib village and po box gujar garhi district and sub district mardan nwfp
pakistan post code is 23170
i shall be very thankful to you

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