I hate this sort of thing, you hate this sort of thing, let’s get it out of the way. In addition to capturing old web pages, the Internet Archive is also home to untold thousands of old videos, games, and books — each of the latter of which correspond to a real, physical book in their collections. They lend them out like a library, for only one person at a time… until the pandemic, when they made the perhaps ill-advised decision to lift the borrowing limits for that limited time. Publishing companies, who weren’t too happy with that, pushed the nuclear button, sued them over the entire idea of digital lending, and now a federal court’s decided against them. They’re planning to take the fight as high as they can go — and they could use your donation.
As i said, i hate to do this — you don’t need me to tell you about all the ways the world is fucked up — but i’m willing to make an allowance when it affects me in particular. So many pieces of internet history, even on this site, now only exist as digital ghosts in their machines (hell, i even had to replace one of the links here with an Archive.org link after the author was suspended from Twitter). And i can’t count the number of musty out-of-print books that i would have never been able to access here from my comfy chair in England if it weren’t for the IA preserving them for a new generation.
So please — toss them a few bucks and protect our history.
- In which Captain Underpants carries the entire western comic industry on its back