"The Bookmobile
October 10, 2002 7:49 PM   Subscribe

"The Bookmobile [Internet Archive version] is a rolling digital library capable of downloading public domain books from the Internet via satellite and printing them anytime, anywhere, for anyone. Just as the bookmobiles of the past brought wonderful books to people in towns across America, this century's bookmobile will bring an entire digital library to their grandchildren."
This, then, is the sharp end of the Copyright extension argument currently before your Supreme Court in Eldred v. Ashcroft, [as blogged by all & sundry] [More inside...]
posted by dash_slot- (7 comments total)
"The founding fathers decided that copyright protection should last for 14 years and then another 14 years if the author chose to renew. Over the last 200 years, this has been extended many times to where it is now life of the author plus 70 years. Each time this is extended, this decreases the number of books that enter the public domain."
This is a little different from your average mobile library: The Goal Is One Million Public Domain Books Online.

However, it seems eminently within a county's budget, and has some great enthusiasm behind it, including from corporate sponsors. "Therefore it cost us about $14,000 and one month to build the bookmobile. Thank you to HP for donating the computer equipment."
[More links here]
posted by dash_slot- at 7:52 PM on October 10, 2002 [1 favorite]

And a picture of the satellite powered van, operators & satisfied customer here.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:03 PM on October 10, 2002

If only there was some way to distribute books so that anyone could read them anywhere without need for paper copies. Sorry to be cynical (its dead) but I always get a kick out of new things made old again. Like Civilization turned into a paper board game.
posted by stbalbach at 9:44 PM on October 10, 2002

This would be so cool to just drive around in. Sort of like the Merry Pranksters but for bibliophiles, turn on, tune in and read out...

I wish they'd come on tour to the UK.
posted by nedrichards at 5:54 AM on October 11, 2002

This is great! The RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) bookmobile used to come to my neighborhood every year when I was in elementary school, and it was like a block party...

ned-start one in the UK--i've read (at Gutenberg?) that commonwealth copyright laws are less restrictive than ours...
posted by amberglow at 6:10 AM on October 11, 2002

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to run away to library science school. Well, I'm probably going to do that anyway, but it makes me want to do it now as opposed to in the next couple of years.

I have very fond memories of the bookmobile from my childhood.
posted by eilatan at 4:03 PM on October 11, 2002

Wow, eilatan - you sound even more excited than I was.

As for the emerging info on the battle against copyright extension, I came across Lawrence Lessig's homepage today.

The argument rages over at kuro5hin & Plastic also.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:11 PM on October 11, 2002

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