CAA Contingency Plan if Internet Archive Goes... Away

I’m sure many of you are already aware of the legal issues that Internet Archive are acurrently having with large publishers regarding the lending of eBooks.

Now although the official line from IA is “don’t panic, everything will be fine” and that any rulings would only affect book lending (which could be a very minor problem for us in the sense of easily cross-checking any facts that exist in books) - there are plenty online who are ringing the bell from a top their tower going “oh lawdy it’s all gonna shut-down”.

This of course would be a major blow to all of us that use the internet, and definitely those of us interested in history preservation and accessibility; but considering that CAA is hosted by the IA, what would our approach be to combat it.

I assume the amount of data currently in CAA is pretty-pretty-pretty big, certainly as we don’t limit on image size. So taking it “in-house” could be a rather big undertaking.

I’m not trying to spread fear, just bring things to attention and ask “what if”; and get a viewpoint from the upper-echelons of the MetaBrainz project as a whole.

Now, back to kicking this bees nest and seeing if I get stung


I don’t see any future for the CAA if the IA is forced to shut down. We’ll most likely just go back to the days of linking to external sites for cover art.
Hosting cover art ourselves is an immense legal risk. We would likely be forced to do something akin to what Discogs did, reducing the resolution of all images to the point of the text being unreadable. I don’t want that any more than you do.


There would indeed be no CAA without the IA, for all the reasons presented above.

I don’t know what are the basis for these claims but it rather seems to just spread fear.

I encourage people who mind it to donate to help with funding their legitimate judicial fight for libraries.


From what I remember, the basis is the sheer amount of money in damages the publishers are demanding.