April 1, 2020

Did the Internet Archive do things by the book?

April 1, 2020
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An Emergency Library Emergency

The Internet Archive is writing a new chapter in the ongoing battle over e-books

Last week, the Internet Archive launched a National Emergency Library, making 1.4m+ books — including copyrighted titles — immediately available to readers across the world. 

Normally, the Internet Archive’s Open Library lets readers check out books online or join waitlists if texts are already spoken for — kinda like a physical library.

But to address an “unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials,” the archive decided to remove its restrictive waitlists — and, in the process, break controlled digital lending rules that normally prevent e-libraries from over-lending.

And not everyone was on the same page

The library was a hit among readers: ~20k people signed up in its first 2 days, and The New Yorker called it a “gift to readers everywhere.”

But the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers both criticized the program, with the Guild arguing the Internet Archive “is using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors.”  

But the Internet Archive defended its decision…

In a post 2 days ago, it argued that extraordinary times (like the closure of most physical libraries) called for extraordinary measures — like ditching “controlled digital lending” rules. 

But authors argued that those extraordinary measures are “further harming the marketplace for books — at a time when the industry is already feeling incredible pain from the bookstore and library closures.”

Now, the question is: What even IS the purpose of an e-library?

It’s a chicken-or-egg question: Which comes first, the writer or the writing?

  • The Internet Archive says libraries are primarily responsible to readers, arguing they’ve existed to promote science and encourage learning since before copyright laws even existed.
  • Authors and publishers say libraries are equally responsible to writers (who earned average incomes of ~$20k per year before the crisis), arguing there wouldn’t be any science to promote or learning to encourage without writers.

The Internet Archive could face legal challenges down the road: Google’s universal library project, Google Books, was sued and spent 10 years in court (before it ultimately won).

But the National Emergency Library was never meant to last forever — it will run through June 30, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

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Corona Cash

As the pandemic spreads, some big-time CEOs are slashing their pay

It’s not a good look when business magnates broadcast their wealth in the time of a pandemic. Just ask David Geffen.

The billionaire music and film exec got roasted by the whole internet after he posted a photo of his superyacht floating in the Caribbean, while “hoping everybody is staying safe.” The backlash was so 🔥 that Geffen deleted his IG.

Few people on this planet are as rich as Geffen (net worth: ~$7.7B), but PR concerns may be one reason why a new trend is catching on among America’s CEOs. Many of them are taking big pay cuts — and using the money to help their workers, too.

How low will their paychecks go?

Across all industries, CEOs are tightening their belts:

  • Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, took his salary down to $10k. He made $3.3m in 2018.
  • David Gibbs, CEO of Yum Brands, said he would forgo the rest of his base salary this year to finance one-time $1k bonuses for managers at the company’s restaurants (Yum owns KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and others).
  • A parade of other CEOs in the airline and hotel industries announced similar moves.

At the very least, these execs deserve some credit for reading the room and trying to help their workers. But, as CNN noted, reductions of executive salaries alone wouldn’t be enough to keep a company afloat.

That’s because their paychecks look a LOT different than ours

As our Zack Crockett wrote last year, some leading CEOs already take a tiny salary — just $1. But base pay isn’t what really brings home the bacon. 

In fact, it’s usually a small part of a CEO’s overall compensation — much of that comes through stock, options, and other means.

Consider Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce. He grabbed headlines for pledging not to enact “significant” layoffs for 90 days and to pay hourly workers while the company’s offices are closed. He’s about to receive a $2.35m bonus, according to Business Insider.

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A Bad Time to be Bacon

Eggs are as expensive as ever, but bacon’s a bargain. Why?

Egg prices have increased nearly 250% from 84¢ to $2.93 for a dozen in the US this year, making huevos a better investment than gold (and every major stock index) in 2020.

On the other side of the skillet, prices for pork belly — the cut used for makin’ bacon — decreased 56% in just the last 2 weeks, hitting their lowest price since 1999.

So… why is one side of the breakfast plate cooling off while the other sizzles?

It’s a tale of 2 supply chains

Restaurants and supermarkets rely on separate sources to buy ingredients.

Some food products are generally in demand just among restaurant suppliers (like foie gras) or supermarket suppliers (like Lucky Charms). Others are in demand at both — but tend to be more popular at one than the other.

In the past, both eggs and bacon were supermarket-centric. 

But pork-belly products became more restaurant-centric — menus were filled with bacon-wrapped everything.

And it’s a bad time to be a restaurant staple

Market shifts usually impact both supply chains fairly equally. But this pandemic had an unusual impact on restaurant and supermarket suppliers:

  • A spike in supermarket demand led to a sudden shortage of supermarket-centric ingredients… like eggs.
  • A drop in restaurant demand led to a sudden surplus of restaurant-centric ingredients… like bacon.

Now, the 2 supply chains are going to get tangled

Restaurant food suppliers are starting to sell their restaurant ingredients to supermarkets to stay afloat:

  • Sysco and US Foods, the country’s 2 largest restaurant suppliers, are both pivoting to supply supermarkets.
  • Regalis, which usually sells truffles, foie gras, and other pricey foods to restaurants, started selling directly to consumers. It’s offering a free ounce of Black Kaluga caviar — a classic restaurant-centric ingredient — to anyone who spends $250.
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The Hustle Says

Face it. You 👏 need 👏 sleep 👏. Try out Klova’s Sleep Zpatch and get those ZZZs.

Free Stuff Alert: Here’s a totally free, totally functional set of campaign planning templates for 2020. All you have to do is click, download, and say, “Thank you, Marketo!” (After all, it’s the polite thing to do).*

Has quarantine forced you to get creative with your cooking? You’re not alone.

*This is a sponsored post.

The Doctor Is In

If you thought corona merch was too much, wait till you see the Fauci-conomy

Everybody loves Anthony.

Across the country, people are paying tribute to (and capitalizing on) America’s most in-demand coronavirus expert.

That’d be Anthony Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH. He’s earned fame for (gently) correcting President Trump on the coronavirus — and generally being a steady hand on the wheel when our societal dumpster fire feels like it could careen off the rails at any moment.

The Fauci fanatics have something to sell you

Their wares are a new spin on the booming (and puzzling) business of coronavirus merchandise. The Washington Post surveyed the Fauci Industrial Complex and found some pretty wild products:

  • A New York bakery fried up a sensation with a Fauci-themed (and buttercream-frosted) doughnut.
  • A Long Island restaurant is serving up Fauci linguine with white clam sauce (pickup only, because we gotta obey social distancing even when we’re hungry).
  • You can even buy a replica of Fauci’s high-school basketball uniform.
  • Spiritual types can plunk down $20 for a Fauci prayer candle.

Prefer eBay? Listings there include a YOUNG GLOSSY (???) pic of a more youthful Fauci ($9.99) and a Fauci trading card ($99.99). If you’re so bored in isolation that you’re trading corona-cards, please, call a friend.

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4 recession-proof skills to master

On this episode of My First Million, our founder Sam talks about the four skill sets he thinks are most important in these uncertain times: 

  1. Controlling your emotions. This is #1 for a reason — learning to control and (maybe more importantly) understand your emotions is imperative.
  2. Copywriting. It’s crucial. You need to be able to convince folks to buy your product or service. 
  3. Starting vs. managing a business. There’s a big difference between these two things. Understanding that difference? Well, that makes a huge difference. 
  4. Persuasion. There’s a reason How to Win Friends and Influence People is an all-time best-seller. It’s important in business and in life.

Listen to this episode of the pod to dive into each of these four skills and get tactical advice on how to master them.

Listen here →
Snippets

😐 Why boredom can be harmful to your health.

🙄 File under “of course they are”: Some companies are trying to trademark “social distancing.”

📨 For the job seekers out there: Candor is compiling a user-generated list of companies that have frozen hiring.

✅ PSA: Don’t get fooled out there today. Google said last week that it was calling off its annual April Fools’ Day prank out of respect for those fighting the pandemic.

Want snippets like these in your browser? Download our Chrome extension here.

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