Morning Coffee – 27 March 2023

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

March 27, 2023

Here are a few stories to read this morning.

P.S. I think where the Internet Archive went wrong was that they took their years of experience as a research library (archiving content with little commercial value) and tried to apply the same practices as a public library (sharing commercially available works). The problem with this is that applying a research library’s preservation practices to commercially available content destroys that content’s value. This is why the IA got sued, and why internet lefties such as myself are opposing the IA.

The IA is trying to tear down a system where creators get paid without coming up with a replacement. Anyone on the side of creators really should oppose this. Furthermore, the kind of distributing that the IA was doing with the Open Library is so far removed from what other libraries do that it is almost not the same activity.

The IA’s supporters will try to distract you with the claim that libraries have always been able to copy, but what they hope you won’t notice is that they forgot to include a certain word: limited. Libraries have long had a fair use exception for _limited_ copying, but what the IA was doing by copying and distributing whole works was waaaaaay outside accepted practices.

The thing about fair use is that it is supposed to strike a balance between the needs of creators and the needs of the public (in this case, the library patrons). What the IA was doing tipped that balance 100% in favor of libraries. That lack of balance is why the Internet Archive is probably going to lose in the long run.

Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

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