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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Internet Archive Opposes Google Settlement

Internet Archive has objected to the Google settlement on orphaned (out-of-copyright) works. They're specifically concerned that Google gets special protection that should be available to other content providers (such as the Internet Archive). In their letter, they are asking the Justice Department of the U.S. to intervene in the court case.

Internet Archive has several logs in the fire. They are best known, perhaps, for the "wayback machine," whereby you can look at the content of websites as they existed in the past. I listen to their newsgroup (a whopping 3 emails/year or so). They're also keenly interested in long-time archival methods of physical and digital content. They worry about digital media standards and physical storage media degradation. (Recently, NASA had to hire some specialists to recover early mission photos from an "ancient" storage tape format, using the only known tape drive of that kind; Internet Archive worries about such things.)

In the present matter, Internet Archive feels they deserve protection equal to that which they believe Google is getting unilaterally. Here is their letter to the Justice Department. They're going the Justice Department intervention route rather than joining a suite because they don't believe their specific interests are served in the present suit.

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