Internet Archive Bookmobile
September 28, 2002
Internet Archive Bookmobile in Wall Street Journal


Here's the full text of the Internet Archive Bookmobile part of the WSJ story:,,SB1032988956841142113,00.html

Book Mobile

Think of it as a Good Humor truck for books.

But instead of selling ice cream, the Digital Bookmobile gives away books. Brewster Kahle, founder of the nonprofit Internet Archive in San Francisco, is driving cross-country next week with his eight-year-old son in a Ford Aerostar van with a satellite dish mounted on top and high-speed printers and book-binding equipment inside. They're starting in East Palo Alto, a pocket of poverty in the heart of Silicon Valley, and will stop at schools, retirement villages, a bookmobile convention in Columbus, Ohio, and a Carnegie library in Pittsburgh, where the motto "Free to the People" is engraved above the door.

At each stop, they will download books from the Internet, print them out and bind them, all at no charge. "There's a lot of hand-wringing about the dot-com implosion," says Mr. Kahle. "But we're missing the bigger picture of how great the Internet is as a library."

But all is not rosy, he says. A new law extending copyright protection for 20 additional years means that in the next two decades, no new books will enter the public domain. Mr. Kahle plans to pull up in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, when the court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the copyright law in the case of Eldred v. Ashcroft.

"The public domain is on trial," Mr. Kahle says. "The bookmobile is a tangible manifestation of the usefulness of the public domain."

--Compiled by Ann Grimes, with contributions from Julia Angwin, Allyce Bess and David Bank.

Updated September 26, 2002

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