Four of the nation's largest book publishers have filed a lawsuit against the Internet Archive for letting people download copyrighted books without permission.
The incident is related to the digital library the site has had for some time; the Archive acquires a physical copy of a book, then lends a digital scan to one person at a time for a set time limit. It's kind of a legal gray area that no one thought was worth raising a stink over. Then when the pandemic hit, the site's owner lifted the borrowing limit, citing an "emergency." Unfortunately there is no legal precedent for such a move and he technically committed full piracy at that point. The suit could cost the owner $150,000 per book, and at millions of books that's....probably more than the GDP of some developed countries, and instant death. Worse yet, he doesn't have much of a defense. He dood it.
The Internet Archive is too large for a single person or organized group of data hoarders to save, especially with data caps in place. It's petabytes of data, and if it's shut down, there goes our only recorded archive of the early Internet, forever.
Go back to the dawn of any form of information and you'll notice a lack of interest in preservation, until it gets old enough that someone wants to see the beginning and realizes not much is there. Over half the movies from the silent era no longer exist. The source code for a lot of 8-bit video games was thrown out. Many early TV shows had their tapes wiped to reuse them and save cash. The people behind the Internet Archive had the foresight to realize the same could happen here, and took action at great expense to make a record of history.
The Internet is a lot more fluid than most other mediums because everything on it is physically dependent on a server. Content doesn't rot, it simply disappears. Every website will inevitably shut off at some point. That's why we NEED a legally neutral nonprofit to back up this material and keep it from vanishing.
But in the absence of that...with the help of the random webcrawler bot Wayback_exe, I've snagged the following pristine examples of 1990s Internet and re-preserved them on Platypus Comix for all eternity. Just think, people....this could someday be our only record of the dawn of cyberspace. And with that in mind, I took my responsibility VERY seriously...
For answers to all your deepest questions, consult Sarah, the Video Oracle. Is love on the horizon? Will you get that raise? Close your eyes and randomly click on one of the flashing GIFs of Sarah's face. Sarah will appear from the heavens with a greenscreen aura and settle things with a "Maybe, baby!" or "No way, Jose!" Or she'll just laugh at you. Now you see how important Archive.org actually is, and how our technology has actually decayed since the 90s. Sarah is impossible on Facebook.
Angry.org, the self-proclaimed "Most Feared Site On The Internet," was created by this dude, a pasty-faced teen referred to only as "AngryMan." According to AngryMan, who has blue skin (or maybe tht's just a rad filter), he created the site to help people "vent their angry" by using the internet as a "world-wide, hi-tech therapist." He also claims to be "a little excitable."
A webpage dedicated to figuring out the truth about telepathic dogs. I wonder if they ever found it.
According to the official website of the Defenstrators, a Christian music band from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, they "have two saxes, a trumpet, two guitars, bass and drums." They'll next be playing at Club Wet on July 22, 1996. None of the images on the page made it to the archive. Enjoy!
For the record, he looked like this:
CUUUUUUUUUURSE YOOOOOUUUUUUU MAAAAAAAAAAATTTT!!! *shakes fist*
Notice anything unusual? That sign doesn't say "Gotta Catch 'Em All," it says "Catch 'Em If You Can." This was the only public appearance of the ORIGINAL Pokemon slogan, which they had to drop when they found they couldn't trademark it. "Gotta Catch 'Em All" was their second idea. This is the only image I've ever seen of the original slogan. Can't let THIS fall off!
While I'm here, I better grab Earthbound 64 on my way out.
You know how one of the most common rememberances of Olde Internete are those pages that had "Under Construction" GIFs on them? I bet no one ever thought to preserve one on their own. How will anyone know what we're talking about? Better solve that dilemma before it happens.
Live photos of someone's fish tank, refreshed four times every minute. The site owner brags that its popularity has inspired similar webpages like "The Amazing Wall Cam" and "The Amazing Ferret Cam." The feed has long since been disconnected, of course, but the alternative is to let future civilizations forget this happened, and that would be wrong.
I actually have a book on my shelf about this incident, and it contains a lot more information than this sparse early-Web page does. The video it links to is no longer up either. But it's about an exploding whale so I'm saving it.
From December of 2001, this snapshot from Geocities is the furthest you can go in Platypus Comix history. This early version of the site also contains the only definitive proof that I went to college with comic book writer Joe Keatinge, as there's a link to HIS primitive Geocities page somewhere hidden within. I thought about saving it too, but then I realized making it public would probably get him cancelled.
Actually, this guy's page is still up, and freshly updated. Never mind.
I think that's enough to suffice, don't you? I've done what had to be done. 100,000,000 years from now (because Platypuscomix.net will never go offline) a future community will discover this, the only remaining artifact of 1990s internet culture,
and marvel at its beauty, before they begin worshiping Sarah The Video Oracle as a deity.