The “Internet Archive” stores websites, but also digitizes cultural heritage and offers it to the public, like a lending library. It has made powerful enemies for itself.
When the internet was still a promise, some of the tech pioneers of the time discovered that they were getting interested in history. The digitization of media opened up a fascinating possibility: all knowledge, all art that a person has ever produced could be taken from the archives and made generally accessible via the Internet. A digital world spirit could emerge in which cultural history and the digital present penetrate each other. The Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization founded in 1996, is today the most prominent and perhaps the last bastion of this idea. And she falters.