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Donate to the Internet Archive (archive.org)
258 points by throw0101a 32 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments

Note that even fairly small donations feel pretty good. Go ahead, try it!

On one hand it they’re probably going into archiving more stuff, but I wish they invested some resources into polishing up the UI. Besides not being great to look at, the snapshot selection calendar thing everyone has to go through is a joke.

Also, not sure if it’s just me, but I’m proud of donating to them and would be happy about some ways of showing it. I’d probably buy merch.

Besides a small to medium UI overhaul I’d like to see some improvements in search, listings and perhaps curation. There are some amazing things in the archive, but I find them to be not that easy to discover. Some more explorability might mean more enthusiasm.

In addition to financial donations, I would encourage people who are familiar with particular areas of the Archive to share the interesting resources they have found through their own bibliographies, playlists, indexes, etc. The Archive’s resources all have permanent URLs, so lists hosted on other sites will not suffer from link rot.

I’ve created two such lists myself, one of books by British and American visitors to Japan in the 19th and early 20th centuries [1] and the other of forgotten novels of the 19th century [2]. I’m now thinking of compiling a list of direct links to writings from the 18th and 19th century about slavery in the United States.

I would love to be able to listen to other people’s playlists of songs from the 78rpm and LP record collection on the Archive.

[1] http://gally.net/jatsi/about/sources.html

[2] https://blog.archive.org/2021/07/14/forgotten-novels-of-the-...

+1 for improved search functionality. Was just looking for information today and would have killed for this

In case you're wondering, their infrastructure expenses are around $2mil/month.


I've long felt that what the IA does is extremely important and as most people here are surely aware, they archive a heck of a lot more than just webpages.

I currently have them set as my Amazon Smile charity — perhaps something to consider for anyone not feeling up to a one off donation.

For anyone curious, directly before you click the "Checkout" button, change the URL from `amazon.(com|de|es|w/e)` to `smile.amazon.(com|de|es|w/e)`.

You can choose a bunch of charities, apparently IA is one of them. A small portion of your total payment goes to the charity, at no extra cost to you. No hooks or anything, just something Amazon does.

Can't edit but wanted to add: If you're not able to select IA for some reason, and don't know who to choose, might I suggest researching a bit on the "Sea Shepherds" project. They're real life pirates protecting the ocean - total badasses, and they're also available on Amazon Smile.

The stinky butter guys? Pass.

Why? It's harmless[0] and since they have to operate within the law they use it to deter whaling. Plus, they don't use it anymore.

[0] https://www.seashepherd.org.uk/news-and-commentary/commentar...

There are also browser extensions that will auto-redirect you to amazon smile, lest you forget whilst browsing.

For Duckduckgo users: !as instead of !a

I find that small recurring donations great for soothing the “wait do you really want to spend all that money” voice and projects seem to be happier about them as well.

This is a much, much better donation than Wikipedia.


Don't give money to Wikipedia. Give it to Internet Archive.

The link is 9 years old. Do you have anything more recent?

i continue to be amazed, year after year, how wikipedia makes their donation banners more intrusive. surely this is the worst it will get, right? pretty sure the next step is a flashing full screen popup that plays sad music

in the arms of a digital angel...

Just donated, keep up the great work IA - WayBackMachine is invaluable resource :)

The archive is the user's revenge for bad business, politics and actions ;)

An archive is seldom appreciated until you desperately need it, much as libraries... so you have to be a certain good kind of crazy to do this and preserve digital information like an archeologist instead of paywalling stuff... it preserves our digital history and we should support it in any form we can as noone else is doing it (looking at you national libraries)

I don't mean to diverge from the subject too much but wonder if we could improve resilience and longevity by offloading a portion of the functionality to the users. For example by implementing some sort of distributed selective PTP solution, where everyone hosts what's important to them personally, hopefully still under IA "branding". I do it with httrack but it's offline and not sustainable.

I've donated quite often in the past few years but have usually waited for the matching donation drives so that my donation would count more. Problem of course with that is when there's no matching donation drive, I end up forgetting to donate

I'm a little split on it because they don't use IPFS. It would be great if they had a button to "mirror" or "contribute bandwidth", because that I would do. I have a few VPSs contributing bandwidth to other smaller projects + a fiber connection at home with aging disks lying around.

A simple docker-compose.yml with an IPFS service and a coordinator to pin the least replicated or most wanted items would be great. Cloudfare also has an IPFS pinning service + gateway, so they could offload some traffic to them as well.

Relation to libraries and archives is always an interesting metric for a political system. Free access to archives was one of the demands of the french revolution and for good reason. It is also the reason, why in theory national libraries should archive the net (in Germany the national library is even allowed to crack copy protection for this purpose) - and they don't get the funds to do it. Ask yourself why that is and then think if you want to donate :) it is always the first step to control archives If you want to control information (think of climate data under Trump) - and at the moment the IA is a single point of failure...

I see the accept cryptocurrency. Could we possibly use NFTs for a good cause here?

How is this different to the Internet Archive?

Fixed. Thanks.

I'd love to but their entire website is just so god-damn slow.

I would donate if I wasn't making epic poverty income. However, the new site design waste tons of CPU cycles and bandwidth

hitting the back button after clicking on a collection is a major penalty, (cached page is force-redrawn/ RE-downloaded and re-rendered) why are they so anal on tracking users with google analytics and PHP cookies that break modern caching. If they did it right, they could get probably 50% less cache-negative hits per session

Don't forget archive.is.

IIRC webcitation is still taking donations as well

Every time I visit an archive.is link, the first thing I see is a CAPCTHA page that doesn’t have the CAPTCHA challenge. I never browse without ad and tracker blockers, and even when ReCaptcha and hCaptcha work fine, this one doesn’t. I haven’t looked at why, because the links I’ve seen aren’t that important that I must read them

Any news about their lawsuit and what the chances are that they're going to get sued into oblivion some time in the next couple of years?

I used to donate to Wikipedia but then they got bloated/political. I felt bad about my donations and wished I could take them back. Will the Internet Archive avoid this fate?

Well, probably not as long as it's still run by its founder, Brewster Kahle.

Kahle is a very nice guy. It was a pleasure to interact with him.

I think the IA does a lot of great stuff but they've also gone out of their way to get involved in dumb lawsuits. It's probably not a huge fraction of their overall budget but it was enough to sour me on them a bit.

Genuinely curious, can you expand/link/whatever? I'd like to read up.

In the past, digital copies books at the internet archive that were still under copyright were treated somewhat like real physical books. IA would let people "check out" an ebook for a limited time period. The number of checkouts was limited by the number of physical copies of the book that IA or IA-affiliates (or I think even just individuals who pinky promised that they owned a copy of the book whose PDF they were uploading) had in their possession.

At the beginning of COVID, they started doing what they called the "National Emergency Library" (this is probably the best term to look up to find more articles and different takes on the topic), where they just let everyone download copies of Harry_Potter.epub. IMO this was a needless provocation and not surprisingly book publishers claim that this is copyright infringement. They're going a bit scorched earth in response- the lawsuit isn't limited to just the "uncontrolled lending" aspect of the program.

Just to clarify... it was less Hardy_Potter.epub and more textbooks and stuff for parents s who had to home school their children while losing their jobs and income... and public libraries closed, publishers not... supporting... any digital lending infrastructure before and during the lockdown (like mp3 and music industry, the industry was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21. century even when making a profit), they decided they need to compensate for the closed libraries by letting people lend freely...

I actually mentioned Harry Potter because when I went to their website after unrestricted lending was announced, the first thing I saw was literally a carousel of the entire Harry Potter series, followed by Stephen King's Dark Tower novels.

There were some textbooks (almost exclusively college level ones), but they were located at the bottom of the page below the bodice-ripper "Romance" category. The unrestricted lending wasn't limited to certain categories or anything like that.

AFAIK everything was included - yes, also Hardy_Potter.epub

Yes, I know but the reason they did take on the publishers was to fill the void of the closed libraries, who had books (and licences) but could not lend them as they were not open... I looked at the appreciation page of the emergency library during this whole mess, where they asked for use cases of their users and the overwhelming (anecdotal) tone was use for learning, uni, work and less free time - not that that would be a prob. But I understand the curiosity of why they took on publishers and looked into it when publishers first sent out the press release that they would sue... that is what I came up with after looking into it a bit... but interested in other views naturally :)

Personally I think that several things illegal should be legal, copyright should last about 30 years after death of author and so on.

But Internet Archive quite clearly and blatantly broke law - in situation where their operation were already on edge.

So there is no surprise at all that various entities used this occasion to sue them. Hopefully IA will survive, but I am not impressed by their strategy.

...the most beautiful errors auto correct does make... from time to time it is pure poetry...

> Will the Internet Archive avoid this fate?

No. The borg will come for IA eventually once the old guard retires. Kahle might be left/progressive but he is not insane. You can't say that for whoever replaces him in the future.

Always remember Robert Conquest's Second Law of Politics: "Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing."

I will not be donating, not now, or ever. They do not respect robots.txt and force companies to use the DCMA to remove their sites from the archive. They are self-righteous pests.

Some months ago I contacted them and requested they remove a domain I owned. I was ignored. Hunting around I found someone who said to send a DMCA formatted in a certain way. That was ignored. I sent another DMCA. They replied and wanted a list of every url to be removed. I got back to them saying it was .example.com/

They said they would get to it.

Two or three weeks passed, nothing changed. I got in touch asking why. They said my request was scheduled and would be completed soon. More time passed, no result.

I then sent them an email which listed their upstream provider. I said I felt they had adequate time but had failed to act in accordance with my request. I told them they had 7 days and then I would go upstream. Then they deleted what I had asked for.

This very much soured how I feel about IA.

Not in the case of me. I emailed them a request to remove my github pages and they responded with instruction. I fulfilled the instruction and got my pages removed later.

I definitely think that the Internet Archive serves a valuable purpose. However, they will not see any money from me until they crack down on all of the porn hosted on their site.

It is an archive, IA is not just the wayback machine, the project archives websites, books, magazines, sound, video, software applications, and anything else people feel is worth archiving.

The project carries no Morality and that is a good thing. It will always archive content you agree with and content you disagree with and that is a good thing. Adult content is clearly tagged. Copyright is clearly managed.

Genuine question, if we were to sanitize all archives of porn, do you believe that 80 years from now, we would have a representative idea of how people experience sexuality right now?

Been using the Archive for some 10 years now, both browsing the Wayback Machine and archiving sites onto it (and sometimes using the collections too). This is the first time I'm hearing of any porn on the site. Maybe I should check it out one day when I have too much time; would be interesting to see how it has changed over the last century.

lol who cares

This comment is probably going to hit a nerve. Why should I donate to the Internet Archive? The very rare times that I use it, it’s extremely slow (as slow as or slower than TOR). The interface looks like it’s from two decades ago. The site trawls through and tries to captures everything from a website without providing an easy way to be excluded from archiving (it long ignored any robots.txt directives) and doesn’t provide an easy way for content removal (need to email, wait, go back and forth about ownership, etc.).

From others, I’ve heard some good things about the library containing books and other media, but formatting of the books may not be great (unlike standardebooks.org, which is more limited though).

Since everybody has a budget of sorts for donations, I personally see a lot more value donating to other organizations and not donating to this one for the above reasons.

It's worth donating too.

There are a few things I would like them to do:

1. No more stupid mistakes, like that Free for All Covid fiasco. (Don't blatantly irritate copywrite owners.)

2. Offer all their material (non copy written) to anyone in the USA. Let anyone house the data if they want.

3. Put all salaries, and assets, on your front page, or very easily found.

I looked up their administrative salaries (CEO, BOD, etc.) a few years ago on Waystar (back then--salaries of founders seemed reasonable.)

The founder was using the nonprofit CC for questionable purchases, but I don't even think he is around anymore. Oh yea, when looking up 1040's on Waystar it's free information, but the website makes it look like you need to pay for free government information, or used too? There are many websites that offer free 1040's now though.)

I would like to see every 501c3 in the USA list the highest salaries of everyone in the charity, the number of volunteers, and the average pay of paid employees.

I see way to many people blindly giving money to charities.

Many are great like this nonprofit, but so many are overfunded, or just set up to support one, or two people.

In my county, many nonprofits are considered just a business move with a sympathetic name. Too many are run by a husband, and wife, and are just a way to live a comfortable life.

Every year it seems to be getting worse.

Obama knew what was going on in a lot of 501c3's, and was about to take action, but backed away. I don't know why, but he took it off his agenda very quickly.

If I were a charity I wouldn't list the salaries, not proudly at least.

I see what you mean but the amount of times I see people making a fuss about charities daring to pay a decent salary to their employees really irritates me. I have tried to explain to people that good leadership is not cheap but the only thing they ever think is that any money not spent on food is wasted. A big charity might have millions or even billions in assets, and should be run with similar gravitas and skill to a comparable business.

I see your point about nonprofits though.

- It archives important things (you will be aware of this reason)

- A donation hopefully frees resources to work on these things (I also find the UI terrible and think a lot of value could be freed through some curation)

You may not see the value now until you need it. Just like the photos in your phone.

You should donate to them because when you use them at those very rare times, they are your only option. They really care about preserving the past.

Also, who cares about the UI if you only use them rarely? You don't buy ice cream from ugly ice cream sellers either? :)

Archive.org is a core part of the process for producing a Standard Ebooks ePub. It’s not enough to just start with a transcription; if you want quality to need to back-reference to scans at some point which is where archive.org comes in. OK, there’s Hathi and Google Books too, but Hathi doesn’t allow PDF downloads and Google Books is useless unless you VPN in from a US IP.

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