Read: [next] [previous] message

[d@DCC] Universal Access

From: ag737 _-at-_ (Wallace J.McLean)
To: discuss (at)
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:07:18 -0400 (EDT)

Some thoughtfood:

Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Human Knowledge 

Presented at Web 2.0, 10/6/04, San Francisco 

Impressionistic transcript by Cory Doctorow 


This text is dedicated to the public domain, using a Creative 
Commons public domain dedication: 

> Copyright-Only Dedication (based on United States law) 
> The person or persons who have associated their work with this 
> document (the "Dedicator") hereby dedicate the entire copyright 
> in the work of authorship identified below (the "Work") to the 
> public domain. 
> Dedicator makes this dedication for the benefit of the public at 
> large and to the detriment of Dedicator's heirs and successors. 
> Dedicator intends this dedication to be an overt act of 
> relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights 
> under copyright law, whether vested or contingent, in the Work. 
> Dedicator understands that such relinquishment of all rights 
> includes the relinquishment of all rights to enforce (by lawsuit 
> or otherwise) those copyrights in the Work. 
> Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the 
> Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, 
> modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any 
> purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including 
> by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived. 


Universal access to all knowledge is possible, and it's not a 
non-profit goal. Index the whole damn thing -- it's a business 
for AMZN (let's sell all the books, let's sell everything), 
Altavista, (let's index all the web), etc. 

26MM books in the Library of Congress -- more than 50% out of 
copyright, most out of print, a tiny sliver in print. A digitized 
ASCII book is about 1MB, so this is about 26TB, which costs about 
$60K and takes up one bookshelf. 

Google announced that it will digitize in-print material and 
out-of-copyright works (like AMZN's thing). 

It costs $10/book to scan -- they're digitizing all the books in 
the Library of Alexandria, and they're going this in China, too. 

A group in Toronto is doing a robot-scanner that will bring the 
cost in the industrial world -- where labor is more expensive -- 
to scan books for $10. At $10 per, that $260 Million to scan all 
the books. 

Brewster is scanning all the books that are out of copyright, and 
is trying to get at all the stuff that's out of print but still 
in copyright -- the orphans. It's 8MM books, most of the 20th 

We're suing Ashcroft in the Supreme Court for the right to bring 
out-of-print, in-copyright books to the net. 

We can print a book for a dollar -- it costs Harvard Library $2 
to loan a book. 

We've got book mobiles in India, Egypt, Uganda elsewhere printing 
books for a dollar each. 

Scan a book for $10, put it on the net, download it and bind it 
for $1. 


How much audio is there? 

2-3MM discs (78s, LPs, CDs) produced in the history of the world. 

Lots of people aren't well-served by music publishers. Some rock 
bands sell records but allow tape-trading of their live 
performance. We've got 700 bands' live performances online -- 
including all of the Grateful Dead. 

Online record-labels need help: we offer unlimited 
storage/bandwidth forever for free to anyone releasing material 
under a CC license. There should be no penalty to giving stuff 

Classical music: we need a good classical music collection. If 
you know anyone in a symphony we're looking to digitize their 
stuff at hi-rez. 


Moving images 

100-200K theatrically released films in the history of the world, 
half are Indian. 

600 films in the US are not in copyright -- we've got 300 on the 
web to download, watch, cut up, do what you will. 

Thousands of non-theatrical films (educational films, etc) in the 
Prelinger Archive. 

We're recording 20 channels of TV 24h/day at full rez. We've got 
a petabyte of TV from Russia, UK, Arab world, etc. 


We've got a DMCA exemption that allows us to digitize and rip 
software. It's a disgrace that the software industry opposed 

We've got a web-archive going back to 1996. 

This is growing at one Library of Congress per month. 


Preservation and access 

We've got copies of this in SF (on the San Andreas fault), with 
mirrors in Egypt and Amsterdam. 

We're adding cool search stuff, like Recall. 


Will we do this? 

Dunno -- lots of business oppos here. 4 companies have already 
spun out. 

This requires coop between govt, nonprofit and for-profit 




For (un)subscription information and posting guidelines please see

Read: [next] [previous] message
List: [newer] [older] articles

You need to subscribe to post to this forum.
XML feed