Stick It To The Man
Image by Neven Mrgan via Flickr

“Scholarly publishing is too important to be monopolized!” This was the key message from Brewster Kahle, Director and Founder of the Internet Archive.

His opening keynote speech at the 2010 annual SSP conference in San Francisco echoed much of the anti-authoritarian, stick-it-to-the-man rhetoric the City by the Bay is known for.

Kahle sees monopolization of the publishing marketplace as the key problem to developing solutions to universalizing “access to all knowledge.”

Focusing on distributed solutions, Kahle’s talk was one of taking power away from a few companies that have dominated the digital commercial marketplace and giving it back to publishers, librarians, and users.

His talk was not about free content or open access.  Kahle sees commerce as providing the incentives for getting content online.  He just thinks that the process should should be decentralized.

We need to find a way for publishers to make money without having them give their soul to a few monopolists

His view is a future independent of devices, single search engines or centralized services.

“I’m an old style capitalist,” Kahle mentioned in the Q&A session, preferring a diversity of services interlinked and talking with each other over centralized services like Amazon or iTunes.  There is enough money in the marketplace to make this work, “if we can make this work in a distributed way, we’ve won!”

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Phil Davis

Phil Davis

Phil Davis is a publishing consultant specializing in the statistical analysis of citation, readership, publication and survey data. He has a Ph.D. in science communication from Cornell University (2010), extensive experience as a science librarian (1995-2006) and was trained as a life scientist.


1 Thought on "Kahle: Distributed Services a Solution to Monopoly Control"

Here Here!

But may be “There is enough money in the marketplace”, but is there anyone in the marketplace who thinks there is never enough money for them, and have the power to take it … you know – a “New Style Capitalist”?

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