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Law Prevents British Websites From Being Archived

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the there-would-be-these-things-called-hard-drives dept.

Data Storage 107

Lanxon writes "The law that allows the US Internet Archive to collect and preserve websites does not apply to British archivists. In fact, experts from the Archive and many other archivist institutions argue that the only way the millions of Britain's websites could be legally archived is if British law itself was amended, reports Wired in an investigation published today. Currently, archivists have to seek permission from webmasters of every single site before they are able to take snapshots and retain data."

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107 comments

Scope (3, Insightful)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377224)

(No, I didn't read the article) Surely this restriction would only apply to British "archivists"? What if you are caching this page from an American server? Or Sweden? ;-) I don't know how Google's cache works, but I imagine it must be national for speed reasons Does that mean they are infringing UK law?

Re:Scope (3, Interesting)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377312)

(No, I didn't read the article)
I wouldn't worry about it, politicians don't read the technical details of the laws they pass either.
Think of all those poor Brits who are going to be sued or imprisoned because they have a browser cache.

Requesting "Stud Dogs" Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377454)

Could somebody please post the "Stud Dogs" troll that people used to post back in the day?

Thanks.

Re:Scope (1)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379502)

Who cares *where* it's archived anyway. British law shouldn't pertain to an archive based in any other nation of the world, so does it matter anyway?

Re:Scope (1)

akonbrew (1762172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31410696)

Immigration law firm Cheshire [salamimmigration.co.uk] Looking Immigration solicitors in Chester (Cheshire)? Salam and Co. Solicitors is one of the most renowned Immigration & Visa law firms in Chester with experienced best immigration & visa lawyers in Cheshire. We are located at: Allendale, Townfield Lane, CHESTER, and CHESHIRE, CH1 6NJ

Re:Scope (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377620)

Well, if I were an archivist in Britain, I’d just run a proxy in the US. And then only “archive that US proxy”. ;))
There definitely is a way to make it legal.

On the other hand, of course the concept of copyright is completely absurd, and must be taken out of law. People don’t need compensation for their already released works. They have to ask for compensation when releasing them the first time. Or not. But not bitch later.

Re:Scope (1)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379994)

Sure, these kinds of tricks always work so well...

It wasn't torture, we just blindfolded him... Oh - and occasionally, out of pure care for the prisoner, gave him a splash of water while he was lying down there blindfolded... It was just due to budgetary constraints, that we felt unable to first untie him, take off his blindfold, and sit him at a table with the glass of water in front of him to drink at his own leisure...
There - waterboarding isn't torture, it's perfectly legal - it's just giving someone access to water under heavy budgetary constraints, that was the problem - hardly anything illegal...

Re:Scope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31380468)

US torture in Iraq was wrong. But it doesn't even get remotely close to the kinds of crimes that the UK has committed during the 20th century. Most of the mess in the Middle East is of European making anyway, mainly British and some French. Let's not even get into the nearly universal surveillance that the British are subjected to these days.

So, yes, on balance, I think when it comes to liberty and privacy, Americans are still a lot better off than the British. And if we take the historical record, Americans have score quite a bit better on the balance of good and evil than the British.

Re:Scope (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379644)

Strictly, if you as a Brit went after an American archiving a British website, it would be judged under British law anyway (rather like Corel v. Bridgeman was). However, I am not sure that the law isn't actually more or less the same and the British Library is just being a bit of a pussy on this one. I particularly don't see why they don't just start archiving and hold it out of public view for, say, a hundred years.

Re:Scope (1)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379974)

Well, it may be that because they are a public institution they want to keep everything above board... ...even if you thought, our laws were wrong, that wouldn't mean it would reflect well on you to, say, murder someone and keep quiet about it for 100 years hoping that the law would be changed in the meantime...

Also, you might want to think about that the British Library started archiving the Internet anyway, keeping it out of public view is one thing - doing it without ever making budged audits cause problems because of money set aside for your secret archive - that's a whole different stunt, after all, you are not just talking about a cheap second hand PC standing in a quiet corner on the cheapest possible broadband connection in order to be able to do it.

Re:Scope (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380304)

.even if you thought, our laws were wrong, that wouldn't mean it would reflect well on you to, say, murder someone and keep quiet about it for 100 years hoping that the law would be changed in the meantime...

I'm pretty sure there's a corollary to Godwin's Law about comparing copyright infringement to physical violence.

Re:Scope (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387972)

What if you are caching this page from an American server? Or Sweden? ;-)

Then prepare to be invaded, have your government crushed and replaced by a corrupt kleptocracy and all your civil rights replaced with those of second-class serfs. Not as if you'd notice any significant change.

Oh, we'd have to sprinkle a few tons of depleted-uranium dust around the place too. That'll be nice.

Oh Yeah? (-1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377286)

Web2PDF and my site mirroring software sez I can archive any UK site I want to.
Not that I've run across any U.K. sites I want to archive.
Didn't they outlaw fluoridated water too? Not too many toothy grins in photos on those websites... hmmm...

Re:Oh Yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31380642)

Fluoride isn't something you should drink. When your government puts fluoride in the drinking water because some people are too fucking lazy to brush their teeth, that's a crime against those who can take care of themselves.

On Interwebz = No Control (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377296)

Seriously, who makes these kinds of laws. Maybe there is some kind of byzantine reasoning regarding British legalities but if you put something on a publicly accessible webpage good luck enforcing who can have that content! Car analagy, your vin is in plain view, but if you pass a law that people cannot write down a vin unless you own the vehicle... good luck with that.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377420)

good luck enforcing who can have that content!

There's a considerable difference between allowing people to download and view content and allowing them to put it up in a publicly available archive. As British law reads (No, IANAL, but unlike most Slashdotters, I RTFA before posting.) you have to get permission for each and every site you archive this way, making any British archive strictly opt in. It would quite literally take an act of Parliament to change this.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377684)

While it might take an act of Parliament to change that law, the law seems to be akin to mandating that the wind must travel west to east, only.

The Internet is a meta-national repository. Hell, we can't even get people to respect robots.txt..... so if somebody wants to snapshot you, they'll do it. It is the very nature of the web that this can be done, should be done, or can be laughably avoided: user choice. If they want to put it in an archive, there's little to prevent it. Worse, a challenge not to do so means that there's motivation to immediately start to do so, and put it into a torrent for all to see. Not that I have that motivation, rather it's the

Will of the Web! (tm)

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (2, Informative)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377700)

It would quite literally take an act of Parliament to change this.

As TFA says, it wouldn't take an act of Parliament - the 2003 Legal Deposit Libraries act gives the government the power to issue regulations concerning the archiving of non-print media.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31378790)

Funny you should mention that, back in the 70's and 80's the police used to tell us that recording Registration Numbers of cars was illegal.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379870)

Really? Where? On what grounds?

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380658)

If I remember correctly, cars were on the same types of grounds in the 70's and 80's as they are on today, mainly roads, parkings, etc.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379428)

British copyright law does predate the web. The basic principles predate electronic communication. You can't really blame them for failing to predict that there would be a vast freely available store of information and the means to archive it all.

Re:On Interwebz = No Control (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380726)

So I guess it's okay for me to distribute Internet Explorer, and also distribute Linux in violation of the GPL? I mean, I find it on a public website, obviously copyright doesn't apply, right?

In most countries, including the US, putting something on the web doesn't make it public domain - this is a surprisingly common myth. It would make sense to allow an exception for search and archive purposes (subject to obeying the robots.txt file - i.e., still allowin opt-out), but your argument is nonsense.

Singularity (0, Offtopic)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377300)

There's no law after the singularity.

Re:Singularity (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379824)

When the singularity happens and everyone is plugged into the HiveMind, I'll be driving around in a Lexus stealing all of their cool stuff and raiding their fridges.

Re:Singularity (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380666)

How can you steal something if a copy of it appears as soon as you take it?

Re:Singularity (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387554)

Well unless magic 3-D printers that crank out HDTVs and Rolexes exist by then, I'll have plenty of stuff to steal.

Re:Singularity (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390394)

I think you missed the "When the singularity happens and everyone is plugged into the HiveMind" part of the parent comment I was replying to.

Licence for websites (1)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377302)

Currently, archivists have to seek permission from webmasters of every single site before they are able to take snapshots and retain data.

That seems stupid as everyone can do it for themselves, but not everyone will, so you then end up with a problem of accessing information when a website is gone.

For me it seems more important is the use. All free-access websites are by definition used to convey information and to anyone who is interested. Therefore dissemination of that information by means of an archived version should be ok.

Perhaps there's a case of besides a robots.txt to have a licence file on how to use it. What some people will especially object to is commercial selling of that archive. Particularly when it's done while the original website is still around!

For example, I started a website for 8 bit BBC micro software and documentation in 1995 which was the first of its type (for this machine). The emphasis was on trying out stuff myself and making it available to others. But I wouldn't have liked to have someone sell CDs with my website, i.e. profiteering of mainly my work. This didn't actually happen but having put in the effort for such a website myself, I know what it means were this to happen. This actually happens a lot and has happened to a friend of mine who maintains a similar website. Such copying of course falls under copyright law so in theory you can warn people off (muddied a bit in that the program files read in from old tapes/disks are in fact still under copyright! So you can claim copyright on your HTML, layout and perhaps the collection as a whole). Perhaps one should just take it on the chin as something that will happen and just be happy the stuff gets out there. A stance more like the BSD licence (do what you want with it as long as you give credit) than the GPL licence (lots of restrictions on redistribution).

In any event, as I said, perhaps a good idea for a licence file for websites.

Addition (Re:Licence for websites) (1)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377414)

Addition:

Such copying of course falls under copyright law so in theory you can warn people off (muddied a bit in that the program files read in from old tapes/disks are in fact still under copyright! So you can claim copyright on your HTML, layout and perhaps the collection as a whole).

Just to make it clear: By publishing a free access website, in effect you are giving a licence to copy. However, how broad this is isn't clear. That's what the licence could be for. Perhaps by default some sort of (to be determined) non-commercial redistribution licence should be implicit for any website? (And if there is a licence file, that will give more freedom as described therein, including selling of archived backups).

Re:Licence for websites (2, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377468)

A stance more like the BSD licence (do what you want with it as long as you give credit) than the GPL licence (lots of restrictions on redistribution).

There is NOT a lot of restrictions with the GPL license; in fact it is quite simple. If you want to distribute a program using GPL code or derived GPL code, you release the component (or derivative) as GPL, including source. That is not a lot of restrictions. All it does is ensure that people share and share alike, something most people learn by kindergarten but quickly forget.

Re:Licence for websites (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377980)

Umm if you include one GPL library, you have to GPL the whole she-bang. The other X% of code that you wrote must now become GPL*. Good luck selling your software now that you have to release the code. That is what I would call a serious restriction.

*For example see http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/12/10/186245/Microsoft-Finally-Open-Sources-Windows-7-Tool where Microsoft just got burned by this.

Re:Licence for websites (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379000)

Anything that is linked to it, not items which use the library in other ways (such as tcp/ip, etc.). In those cases it becomes "mere aggregation." There is always a LEGAL way around the GPL when you really, absolutely must make closed source software and rely on GPL.

Otherwise, commercial software for Linux couldn't exist, period.

Re:Licence for websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31379894)

Umm if you include one GPL library, you have to GPL the whole she-bang.

Solution: don't link against the GPL library. Either find an alternative or write your own.

That is what I would call a serious restriction.

That's what I would call a fair situation with copious amounts of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

Re:Licence for websites (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377648)

That seems stupid as everyone can do it for themselves

I don't think that's true. I would have thought that making a copy of a website, for anything other than transient use in the course of normal access to the site, would require permission of the copyright holder, even if you don't make the copy available to anyone else (much like keeping recording of TV and the radio for longer than is required for time-shifting purposes is copyright infringement, too; actually, I'm not even sure if time-shifting is explicitly legal under UK law).

Re:Licence for websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31379768)

Timeshifting is legal, checked recently.

Google FTW (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377306)

In case it gets slashdotted, heres the cached [74.125.113.132] version of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003

Re:Google FTW (0)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377356)

For you AntiRTA types, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 is the specific document that 'legitimizes' this form of dumbassery.

Re:Google FTW (2, Informative)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377618)

No, it's the regular copyright law that legitimizes the dumbassery. The Legal Deposit Libraries Act provides a partial relief from this, in that it exempts deposit libraries from aspects of copyright law in copying online material if they are doing so for the purposes of archiving materials covered by the act. The problem is that, at the moment, websites are not specifically covered by the act, which gives the government the power to set up regulations covering non-print media, without specifying any particular non-print media.

This is why the summary is wrong to claim that the law would have to be changed to permit archiving of websites; as TFA says, all it would take is the government issuing relevant regulations under the act, which the consultation document (linked from the article) suggests they have a fairly clear plan to do.

Re:Google FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31378940)

That is actually a change in the law, it's just secondary legislation rather than primary legislation.

Technically, it still requires the consent of parliament, but it doesn't necessarily require a debate or a vote. The government places the planned regulations in the House of Commons Library; if enough members request a debate, it gets one, otherwise it passes by default.

Re:Google FTW (0, Troll)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377546)

Just read it. Very good. Completely applicable and even specifically mentions works on the internet.

Non-story. /thread.

Re:Google FTW (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31378030)

How the hell is this a troll?

I'm AGREEING with the parent post.

The Act specifically mentions works on the internet and says they can be archived.

'Redundant' or 'Overrated' maybe.

'Troll'? WTF?

The law may make it illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377346)

but it's not 'preventing' anything...

They already ask everyone... (5, Insightful)

mjperson (160131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377386)

From the article:

"The team currently has to contact the copyright holder of every website it wants to archive and this process has just a 24 percent response rate."

Actually, I'd say they have almost a 100% response rate. They ask the copyright holder, "May I please have a copy of your content?" and in most cases, they receive a response within 500 milliseconds saying, "Sure! Here it is!"

Re:They already ask everyone... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377542)

let's not assume that permitting someone to view a copy somehow grants them license to retain, redistribute, or otherwise archive that copy. These are very different legal concepts.

Re:They already ask everyone... (1)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377930)

I am a fan of opt in. I think perhaps changing robots.txt may be easier than changing any countries laws. I would love for all my insightful comments to be stored forever and for free too.

Steve

Re:They already ask everyone... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31378132)

The problem is with the level of intelligence on the Internet today you will find someone that posted some incredibly lame comment when they are 10 years old. Then, 20 years later a prospective employer finds this, ignores the context (and the age when it was posted) and drops the resume in the trash.

Some things are meaningful to archive. Others are, well, stupid. Today, we focus mostly on the stupid and ignore the things that would be good to archive.

Re:They already ask everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31380368)

Yep. But let's not take the story too seriously; /. just loves bashing Britain.

After millions of posts decrying the UK government for privacy infringement, they're now telling them off for not archiving everything for all time... Fucking hypocrites...

Re:They already ask everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383694)

let's not assume that permitting someone to view a copy somehow grants them license to retain, redistribute, or otherwise archive that copy. These are very different legal concepts.

Viewing a copy of a Web page necessarily involves retaining said copy (in your computer's RAM), and most browsers will usually archive it as well (in cache). That's the point that the GP was making. (Granted, redistribution does seem to be the sticking point, but you did say "or.")

Re:They already ask everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377592)

500 milliseconds

My god, it IS true!
All webmasters are robots!

Re:They already ask everyone... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377818)

Actually, I'd say they have almost a 100% response rate. They ask the copyright holder, "May I please have a copy of your content?" and in most cases, they receive a response within 500 milliseconds saying, "Sure! Here it is!"

But then to store the content, that's another copy, not the same as the bits transmitted over the wire. There may be other copies made in the process of making that copy, which may or may not count. Copyright is completely and irretrievably broken where computers and the web are concerned; either you have to make up an implicit license theory out of whole cloth (and then finding the boundaries of it is just a guessing came), or using the web involves wholesale copyright violation even if only legitimate sites are visited.

Save Page As... is illegal? (2, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377406)

So the "Save Page As..." command in the File menu is illegal in Britain?

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377500)

I imagine page saves via the File Menu will be going down with IE being pooped on by the EU on the daily.

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377564)

It's also illegal to rip a CD you own and put it on your MP3 player.

British copyright law is very much like American, only with no concept of fair use.

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377666)

God... people are DUMB...

How do you, and those who made that “law” think that page gets onto your screen?

By storing an copying it! In your network chip’s cache. In your CPU’s cache. In your RAM. On your hard disk (browser cache!). In your graphics RAM. On your screen. In your brain. And in ever place that you talk to, about it.

Information that can not be copied, can not be proven to exist (to anyone outside of those already holding it). Simple as that.
Why do people such a hard time, getting this? It is because they think that meatspace and bitspace have 100% equal rules?

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31378048)

God... people are DUMB...

Sure. Some can't even see the difference between cache and archive.

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31378816)

An archive is a cache with no expiry time. Now who's dumb ?

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31380018)

Surely you can understand that the lack of an "expiry time" is the legal difference? A "life sentence" is just a normal sentence without an expiry time after all. No difference there. Yup, take some bread, life sentence. Why not.

Re:Save Page As... is illegal? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31386204)

Okay, set the expiry time as 99 years then, same as land leases. Is it *still* a cache, or is it an archive. There is *no* legal difference until a court has to make the decision and set a precedent for this case. Until then, it's pure opinion by /.tters

Britain is down the drain already (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377434)

just the laws and motions they have put in motion in the last month are appalling enough. leaving aside what has been happening in the last years. i guess a british citizen's freedoms in britain reached the level that is comparable with a moroccan in morocco. it really feels like a horror movie. albeit, real.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379802)

Oh piss off.

Funnily enough people from other sovereign states don't react well to being blanket judged by (I'm gonna take a likely stab here) an American. You go fix your problems and leave us to fix ours.

In the scope of unexpected law consequences
is this even surprising? That if you were going to take a copy of someone else's copyrighted material and redistribute it you need the holder's permission? Yes, the internet works like this, but it's the only thing that does, and compared with the speed of legal change, the technology is brand new.

This will simply be ignored and fixed at some point, like all outdated rules. There are more pressing things that need changing.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31396638)

im not an american. do not give knee jerk responses. EVEN if i was an american, this wouldnt change anything, since a fact is a fact, regardless of who says it.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379806)

British law defines all Caucasians as "racist" and, as such, have no rights but the right to be punished!

Fail. (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31382128)

To quote you from one of your previous postings, "There's a saying, better to be thought of as stupid than open your mouth and confirm it.".

There's no such thing as "British law". There's English law, Scots law, and Northern Ireland law. Fail.

Re:Fail. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31396662)

SO .

there is no such thing as british law. there's english law, scots law, northern ireland law, and what changes ? semantics.

the main core of the 'union' that is there is england. if the disparage in between england's and other member's laws increase, it will either lead to the adoption of same laws in the other members or dissolution of the union at its ultimate end.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380156)

Every fucking thread about the UK someone posts something like the parent. Of course, they never cite any examples but they are still modded to +5 Insightful. Please, tell me how my freedoms are restricted! Unless of course your only evidence for this is other Slashdot posts.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31381318)

if you havent been following the news coming up in slashdot about britain in the last 2 years, noone can take the time to give you a briefing. just search for UK or britain or something in search engine and youll get your fix yourself.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383370)

Like I say, Slashdot posts. Yes we have some dodgy terrorism legislation, but I don't think any laws we have are any worse than those found in other European countries and the 'land of the free'.

Re:Britain is down the drain already (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390228)

again, you need a lot of catching up to do. just search slashdot for britain. im turkish, and as a turkish citizen i have more rights in turkey now than a british citizen has in britain. considering turkey has been behind europe in most respects in these matters, it makes your situation much more appalling.

Utterly nonsensical summary (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377534)

The summary is utterly nonsensical. The US Internet Archive referred to in the summary is US-based, and the laws that apply to it are US laws, not British laws. That means there's no issue for the US IA.

In fact, TFA talks about a different organization, the UK Internet Archive, which is presumably based in the UK and under UK jurisdiction. The British laws affect the UK IA, not the US IA.

Re:Utterly nonsensical summary (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379512)

Exactly what I was coming here to say. The only people I've heard complaining about this are the Internet archivists who work for the British Library. The law in question doesn't even apply to the Internet Archive as referred to in the summary, as it is a law concerning deposit libraries, which IA ain't.

Oversimplified (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377580)

Unless the UK has no fair use provision at all, this article blows the issue out of proportion. First, it would appear to apply only to UK 'archivists' of UK sites. More to the point, it's really not about the archiving, it's about what they do with the copies. Your browser keeps an archived copy- are you telling me that's infringement in the UK, or that somehow it's infringement when you direct your browser to store it some non-default location for an indefinite period? No, the infringement comes when the archives are turned into databases and are re-sent by someone other than the original site proprietor. And I'm not sure I see a problem in having to sit on an archived copy until the original is down and the originator is gone.

Re:Oversimplified (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379920)

UK copyright law actually gives next to no right to fair use. It's something the music industry of all people want changed (it only takes one person with a mix tape to be prosecuted by a small label and all labels suffer an extreme PR hit).

Technically programs recorded on the TV have to be deleted once watched (and within 48 hours of recording) too. A lot of what people assume is fair use rights here is actually a case of rights holders and/or courts not wanting to waste time prosecuting trivial offences.

Re:Oversimplified (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380750)

Unless the UK has no fair use provision at all

We have no fair use provision, that's correct. Copying a CD you bought to your mp3 player is copyright infringement, according to the law.

Anarchy in the UK... (1)

metatheism (1747884) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377600)

... is obsolete; the problem of oppressive social hierarchies is nothing compared to the threat of rampant archivists!

Anarchivists Unite!

"The first thing we do... (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377672)

let's kill all the lawyers"

Re:"The first thing we do... (2, Funny)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31378258)

This reminds me of an episode of Simpsons, where someone asks Homer something like "do you imagine what would be a world without lawyers?", and he starts imagine a green, sunny field, with everyone singing, dancing and very happy. :-)

Robots.txt (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31377872)

Why not update robots.txt to flag that permission is granted to archive the site?

Historical Black Hole (2, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377958)

Does anyone else worry that in the current age with technology constantly butting heads with rights holders that in the future historians will likely find large gaps of history simply missing? I have a feeling things will end up very similar to the hollywood and the bbc in the 60's and 70's when vast amounts of movies and television episodes were destroyed or wiped simply to clear space in the vaults. Take Dr Who for instance, most of the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton seasons are gone forever. In the states nearly all of the Jack Parr episodes of the Tonight Show are gone as well.

Re:Historical Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31378600)

Yeah, but that's the fault of the copyright owners themselves. Not a matter of rights. Anyone capable of recording could 'ave (if he'd had a VCR etc.) So there must be plenty of copies out there.

Britain must be embarrassed enough with its libel tourism (forum-shopping) that it will soon reform its laws to meet minimal international standards, if not the top-of-the-line rule (US First Amendment). After all, it's the home of the Great Charter &c. Wouldn't want to seem behind the times/rawther Soviet, would it? A tiny little English-speaking Belgium, eh?

Re:Historical Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31379584)

Save those tapes! Just because we don't have the technology to recover them now doesn't mean we won't later.

Re:Historical Black Hole (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380140)

But how much of it will be knowledge worth keeping?

Re:Historical Black Hole (1)

Carangaur (1409975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31394170)

I imagine that those who will be studying our culture and society in the future will be quite thankful if we manage to save as much of it as possible, down to the most inane Twitter post. In terms of culture and society, the shift from mass print to electronic may prove to be as important as the one from writing to mass print and people will probably want to examine it in the future. As grandparent mentions, the BBC and Hollywood wiped stuff that we now think is important. We can't say for sure what will be important or not in a hundred years time. Although I'm fairly sure that anything Paris Hilton tweets will probably still be as pointless as they are today.

Re:Historical Black Hole - still the same (1)

ElderKorean (49299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31395932)

So nothing has really changed with technology then.

Current historians would absolutatly love it if we had better coverage of many periods of human history - much of it (even the written records) has been lost, blown up, burnt, flooded, lost in the deserts, built over, eroded, probably even eaten, ... over the years.

Historians are able to get lots of information from the little that remains - piecing together partial fragments, cross-references, stories, even boxes in attics can hold wealth of information.

Does not prevent archiving... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31378722)

The law does not prevent the archiving of web sites, it makes it illegal. Two different concepts.

Selective Enforcement (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379020)

This sounds like something that could be used for selective enforcement against someone the authorities dislike, for some reason, but aren't able to lay charges for any real crimes.

My UK websites have been archived for years (1)

mcalwell (669361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379490)

Currently, archivists have to seek permission from webmasters of every single site before they are able to take snapshots and retain data. My UK websites have been archived for years. Nobody asked me.

Identity problem (1)

calzakk (1455889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380166)

My website's a .com, it was registered here in the UK but has since been transferred to a company in the US, and is currently hosted by an international company with servers just about everywhere. So is it a UK website, or a US one, or ...?

I heard there was this news corporation... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31394126)

...that didn't like having its web sites cached...awkward, when people used cached content to say "But that isn't what you were saying back...".

I cannot seem to remember the name of that news corporation...but as I recall, it has a presence in England, America, and Australia.

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