Ronda Hauben on 20 Feb 2001 23:56:37 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Usenet archives sold

 "S. Kritikos" <> writes:

--- Ronda Hauben <> wrote:
> Can you say more what the 3 different organizations you list are
> and why you suggest that they might be organizations to work with
> on this problem?

>>FSF is of course the GNY project:

>>GNA is not just about software but recently have expanded in content
>>issues, for example the GNUPedia project.

>>CNRI: Corporation for National Research Initiatives

>>Robert E. Kahn of TCP/IP fame is president.

>>ISTF at has been developed from ISOC to deal with
>>societal issues. 

>>For all these organizations databases might be something they are
>>interested in.

Thanks for the information on these. I took a look at the url's you gave
for two and still need to take a look at the url for

I didn't see any clear indication however that the organizations mentioned
might be interested in Usenet and its development, especially its
archiving, though it would be good if they were.

Also I looked again at theRegister and saw an article publsihed Feb. 14
where the reporter spoke to Larry Page CEO of Google and heard from Larry
that Google killed the front end from Deja for the Usenet Archives because
"From my standpoint and responsibility to my shareholders - the costs of
keeping [the Deja UI] Deja running were too high...It was possible -
everything is possible, but economically it wasn't a rational thing to do.
There's a reason Google still exists." from theRegister - see

I have tried to contact Larry Page but don't seem to be making progess at
this point.

But it is important to know what has happened. It seems on the surface
that Google made a deliberate decision *not* to offer the Usenet Archives
online that they got from Deja but instead used to press announcement to
put up their own archives. Somewhere it seemed they said they would offer
more in 90 days, but if they made a decision not to offer it already
because it was too expensive, one wonders what they will in fact offer in
the future.

But more importantly this highlights the discrepancy between what
commercial entities (though Google seems to have originated from a
graduate research program at Stanford under Terry Winograd) see as the
desirable objectives versus what the Usenet or other online community
deems desirable.

And when the CEO's come from the research community the discrepancy
becomes even more important to understand.

I noticed that when I print a post from google from their limited Usenet
arhives (what they themselves seemed to have saved), I get a copyright
Google notice on the bottom of the post, even though it is someone else's

It seems that the fact Deja was willing to sell the archives to another
company who planned to take it offline (whether permanently or
temporarily) is a sign of the problem that those who care about Usenet and
about the need to foster online collaboration and contributions are faced
with by the sale of the Usenet Archives to Google.


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