Amicus curiae Knowledge Niggards versus National Emergency Archive

Just another drinking buddy for the court of public opinion.

In support of the Defendant

Tim Berners-Lee has expressed his remorse in “letting down the internet”. The modern rendition of the world wide web is a “web-standard” for displaying and communicating information across the web. Commonly notated by “www” at the beginning of the URL, indicating that the server endpoint uses widely accepted languages/formats/protocols such as HTML, CSS, HTTP. Nothing is more disappointing than using a bastardization of the USPTO to take down a historical monument (of data and creativity).

What is the internet archive?

Part of Tim Berners-Lee’s contribution and ultimate failure is called “hyperlinks”. A hyperlink in today’s internet is a link to a website. It is usually indicated by blue text, in the middle of plain text. When you move your mouse over a hyperlink, a little hand shows on the screen, unless you are using a mobile phone. When you click or tap on a link you are redirected to a page that the author intended from the reference of the hyperlink. Usually a hyperlink contains some similar words as part of the title. Like writing the sentence “I very much enjoyed the movie The Matrix” where the words “The Matrix” would link to IMDb’s (Internet Movie Database) public page describing The Matrix movie. This gives the world wide web its web-like feature, linking from here to there to somewhere else and back again to the original text.

Here’s the failure part. Tim Berners-Lee intended hyperlinks to act more like a permanent book reference. Where you can see the information in the same context as the first page. An author should supposedly write the title of the page, copy the paragraph of text from the relevant second page, record the date and time, and the address to get to the second page. As we have discovered, permanence on the internet IS HARD. There are versioning systems, like Github and CVS, similar to the versioning systems used in legal documents. A versioning system creates a copy of the original content, and then supplements it with every future edit and change to the document. It also allows a person to go back in virtual time, and see how the document has changed over time. There are only a few authorities on this subject, Github, CVS, Wikipedia, and The Internet Archive all use a versioning system. Because page names change, identification numbers expire, and hyperlinked pages can disappear, this creates a web of "dead-links". A page is missing, or not available at all, this is the problem The Internet Archive solves for many people.

Wikipedia is an internet “authority”. What this means is when Google, or Duck Duck Go, or a classroom full of students search the internet for public information, Wikipedia is a huge source of information. It provides millions of hyperlinks from its content to other research publicly available on the internet. In addition to linking to other websites, other websites that are smaller or more focused in nature, link back to Wikipedia. This creates that giant web we just discussed. The purpose of explaining Wikipedia is to point out how it is distinguishable from The Internet Archive. In my personal and professional opinion, the Internet Archive is an alternative resource, rather than an authority. It is searchable, but I cannot remember a single time where I was linked to from a Google search result. I don’t even know if it is something Google can search. The Internet Archive specifically tells Google that it is not completely searchable, using a special “robot.txt” file that tells search engines like Google, “Do not search me”.

Why should it be preserved?

The Internet Archive should be a National Treasure. It has even reunited me with inspiration and creative pursuits. I have watched hundreds of bad actors participate in ruining my field of research. It’s completely demoralizing. I’ve watched billion dollar companies like Facebook pretend to be Hackers (their address is 1 Hacker Way). I’ve watched media companies use the internet to dismantle confidence in our country’s leadership, and get away with it scott-free. I’ve watched the devolution of subliminal messaging laws because the FCC has zero powers of enforcement (where are the Checks and Balances on government agencies? I’ll never know).

In 1996 the Supreme Court decided that it couldn’t interfere with a state’s sovereign immunity when North Carolina posted images and videos of a salvage company that IT PAID FOR. Maybe I am not understanding this correctly, but it would seem that if a state paid for something, it can’t be sued for sharing it. Nor could the supreme court decide if the state was allowed to share it, unless it saw some pattern of abusive behavior from the state’s officials.

It seems to me that The Internet Archive could be considered a massive piece of art that we have all knowingly contributed to. It even has the proper forms for complying with DMCA takedown requests. Declaring it a national treasure should be sufficient in making it judgement proof. Or at least give it some relief from crapyright infringement claims.

This is not the first time The Internet Archive has been sued. The resources it devoted to defending itself should be considered as punishment enough, making this a ridiculous case of double jeopardy. Since they are apparently in jeopardy more than once.

The internet archive is not a primary source of information. I can’t remember one time linking directly to the internet archive from a search result. Every time I have used The Internet Archive was a last ditch effort to find some miniscule, but important piece of information. I’ve used it to find my own published content that I, myself, lost at some point in time. The Internet Archive saved my work, and I was grateful. I realize now that the world is nearly entirely devoid of any ethical behavior. No one the judicial system is capable of making an ethical decision. For some reason, doing what is best for society would make the court “biased”. It is apparently more important for the court to be “unbiased” than it is for society to try and preserve itself and it’s assets. Human nature is evidently self-destructive.

We in computer science, have proven time and time again, you can’t “steal” something that can be copied for free. If we freely copy a loaf of bread, Aladdin would never need to be arrested. If you could copy gold coins, Robin Hood would never be pursued by Prince John. The legal definition of stealing is “Permanently deprive a person”. The Internet Archive never deprived publishing companies, because the money we would have spent on books was not theirs in the first place. I feel like I’m not making myself clear enough.

  1. The alternative to having free books, or free knowledge IS NOT PAYING FOR IT. THE ALTERNATIVE TO FREE, IS NOT HAVING IT AT ALL. How many different ways can I make this statement clearer?
  2. If a person cannot afford to pay for a book to BIG PUBLISHER, they will not have the book.
  3. You cannot steal money from a publisher they weren’t going to make anyways.
  4. If a person doesn’t have the money to legally purchase a book included in The Internet Archive, they aren’t going to purchase it!
  5. If a person cannot afford books, they aren’t going to go out and purchase it from a publisher. Candice Owens said one of the biggest plague in the Black community is lack of educational resources.
  6. If a Black person cannot purchase a book from WILEY & SONS legally, they will never have that book.
  7. It doesn’t matter what books are on The Internet Archive, if a person cannot purchase a book legally.
  8. No matter what content is available for download on The Internet Archive, if a person cannot afford to purchase a book through legal means, they aren’t going to purchase the book.
  9. People who can afford to purchase books legally, do so. Even if they can get it from the Internet Archive illegally.
  10. People who want books, order them on Amazon. The Internet Archive has got nothing to do with it.
  11. I’ve never needed to purchase a book, and only resorted to piracy using The Internet Archive.
  12. If I was going to pirate a book, I’d use Pirate Bay. That is not a normal use case for The Internet Archive.
  13. Goddamn, good thing we have The Internet Archive to backup all these books in case Wiley & Sons goes out of business and no longer sells its books because of all the piracy they aren’t experiencing.

If the complainer isn’t required to prove damages or ill intent on behalf of the defendant, are they even required to prove the documents were taken? Here is the part that really worries me. How is it possible for a knowledge mafia, such as enormous, conglomerate publishers, able to manufacture a case against an unknown violator of copyright? I use the words “unknown violator” intentionally. We can argue that the National Emergency Archive automatically published copyrighted content. Obviously, since strict liability laws are mostly bullshit, we don’t need to prove The Internet Archive intentionally broke copyright law.

I want to argue this further, a real zinger to send the point home, involving an old proverb, but let’s do a little math. The complainer is alleging The Internet Archive shared 1.7 million documents, and the fine is $150,000 per document. That totals $255,000,000,000. I guarantee no publishing company is worth $255 billion. I thought we had laws against cruel and unusual punishment? Since companies are treated like people, this is murder. It’s entirely unantagnozied so the publishers can’t even claim they are defending themselves. They are trying to murder The Internet Archive, while it has it’s back turned, and no weapons of it’s own (except maybe the ALCU and EFF).

“If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” I would argue no, and even if it did, it doesn’t matter because no one was looking at it anyways. At the very least, the niggard publishing conglomerates should be required to prove that not only was the content stolen by The Internet Archive, but 1) another party came and downloaded the data. 2) the data was then reshared with other people. 3) the data was read and reused for financial gain. This, is my honest and not at all humble opinion would be the solution to all copyright infringement claims. Including using the “Report” buttons on websites like YouTube, but that is a separate matter.

This is the sound of me caring about Hatchette Collins Wiley Sons of Penguin Bitch House