Feeds

German national library rocks blogosphere

Submit material or cop €10,000 fine

High performance access to file storage

The German blogosphere has got itself into a bit of a tizz over the Nationalbibliothek's alleged plan to catalogue the entire local internet - in the process obliging every website owner and blogger to submit material or face a €10,000 fine.

According to the Financial Times, the shock strategy to bend the web to the national library's will at first provoked delight as bloggers sniffed the faint scent of immortality, unaware of the repercussions of non-compliance. One Robert Basic enthused: "My parents are never going to believe I'm going to be catalogued by the German national library."

It didn't take long, though, for news of the financial big stick to spread across cyberspace. One concerned citizen named "night watchman" declared that "the hassle of submitting pages and the threat of fines would kill the German-speaking internet as a forum of free speech".

Another suggested on heise.de: "Every home page owner should shunt them a pdf [file] with a copy of their website in highest quality, preferably all on the same day. Then [the library's] server would burst."

Mercifully, before the Nationalbibliothek was subjected to a ferocious pdf blitz, the rather less sensational truth finally fought its way into the light from the thick smog of blogdignation. The library had indeed in 2006 been mandated by the government to "collect web publications" and fine the uncooperative.

However, this applies to "the 20,000 publishers and academic institutions registered with the library [who] are obliged to submit web material to the library's server".

On 22 October, the government clarified that the library "should choose what it collected - based on its as-yet modest capacity and what it deemed to be of public interest". To date, it has captured just 40,000 e-books, 60,000 online dissertations and 1,200 e-journals.

Ute Schwens, director of the Nationalbibliothek's Frankfurt tentacle, clarified: "At the moment, we're only collecting e-books and online dissertations but we're going to be moving into the areas of blogs and websites fairly soon. It's got to be information other people might need but nothing purely commercial.

"We're talking to [newspaper and magazine] publishers about their sites, and we're interested in blogs by people in public life - but not in every site of every private individual."

Having thus calmed nerves, Schwens quickly proceeded to undo her diplomacy by offering the truly chilling: "But in the next few years, we're going to collect millions of files, perhaps even the web encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Now that should make all webbies happy." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.