Preserving Old Web Pages

Whether the subject is marketing, technology, people, money, or pretty much anything else, managing your business can be tricky. No more so than when it comes to protecting the value of your web site.

would you rather listen?

We’ve mentioned several variations on this theme. A couple of years back we waxed poetic on the idea of who actually owns trademarks and the material trademarks are based upon, and we created an image by augmenting a copyrighted picture of Jimi Hendrix and Andre 3000, and claimed copyright in that.

We’ve also told you about our successful dealings with a photographer in Singapore, and the policy we’ve created for using and attributing the source of certain pictures that appear here.

But a far more complicated matter is the subject of link rot. It’s simple enough to copy an image and provide attribution, but what happens when an entire web page goes away? Sure, you could grab screen shots of pages you reference in your content, but at best that’s clumsy and at worst it’s—well, it’s worse. We’ve written about that topic, too; The US Supreme Court’s link rot rate is alarmingly high.

Now there’s an answer. Maybe.

With the usual disclaimer that I’m not an attorney, take a look at, a service with the backing/blessing of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Harvard Law Review and broadly, the librarian community. Better still, take a look at this link, where we’ve archived the current state of’s home page (proving what we just said about who uses an interesting idea, and because of who uses it we’ll assume it’s legal—and backs up the legality of the position we’ve taken on archiving material for posterity.

And we can’t recommend that you use it. Temporary Archive, as cool as the idea is, provides only a temporary archive of the pages you save. Uh-oh. So if you are a court, is the answer to protecting your own pages. But if you’re not affiliated with (and if you aren’t a court or a library that doesn’t seem to be in the cards), your links may disappear after two years. Not even “will disappear”, may.

“Temporary Archive”. Can you say “oxymoron”?

For now, we recommend you preserve old web pages and other content on your own. … are you listening?

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