Feeds

German national library rocks blogosphere

Submit material or cop €10,000 fine

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.