Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
Note: I'm still researching the story I promised you yesterday. It looks
as if there might be several emails such as the one I mentioned -- each with
a different story. Check tomorrow's Aardvark for more info
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Most people will agree that one of the best things about the Google search
engine is its cache.
By keeping copies of the pages it spiders you can still check out a site that
been taken down, is excessively slow, or temporarily unavailable by
viewing the cached copy instead.
Most cached copies in the Google database are reasonably fresh though and
represent a relatively contemporary view of the Net and its content.
Need Cutting-Edge Copy?|
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for
extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy
to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or
Net-based publications. If you're
interested, drop me a line
However, what do you do if you want to see the Net as it used to be?
Have you ever wanted to take a step back in time and look at a website
the way it was a year or two ago?
Well for those who haven't already seen it, take a look at something
that can only be described as
an online time machine.
Now this is pretty cool -- it's like Google's cache but it stretches back
several years in time to provide you with snapshots of how the web used to
look. Note: the site is very slow so you'll have to be patient.
There are plenty of NZ sites in there too!
Now I'm the first to say that this is a great service and I think there are
plenty of people who will now find themselves spending hours just checking
the evolution of various websites over the years -- but there is a problem...
What about copyright?
Set aside the fact that this is a site of huge value to those studying the
history or evolution of the web, and consider for a moment that there are
literally billions of copyrighted works in this database.
I have no problem with any of my pages being archived by this service -- but
I'm sure there are those who will bitch and moan. Certainly I don't recall
being asked to give license to reproduce *and* republish my pages in this
fashion (although *I* don't care).
What if I were to set up a database of music history in the same way -- collecting
recordings of millions of different published music recordings and making
them available for public listening -- do you think the recording industry would
be at all happy?
So why should a web page be any different to a music recording in respect to
the way that anyone wishing to copy or republish that work should be bound
by the copyright laws?
Once again, let me make it clear -- I'm all in favour of this archive, I think
it's great. I just hope that they don't get scuttled by some dorky publisher
who might decide to sue the stuffing out of them for copyright infringement.
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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