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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

My major resource is closing doors
I hate to see their content disappear

 10:41 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've got an unusual problem.

I edit a site that deals in senior healthcare issues. There is a non-profit think tank in our field who has developed wonderful, valuable content on these issues over the last five years. We have frequently linked out on our pages to their content, recommending it to our audiences as probably the best source for extra information.

We have never lifted or rewritten their content.

It now comes to us that this resource is shutting down for lack of funding. The situation appears to be beyond reversal.

Their contribution to the body of work in our field will be missed. I would sorely wish to take their papers and republish them so they stayed available to the public, but I see no way ethically or legally of doing that. (Actually it wouldn't have to me; if someone else did that it would still serve the purpose. But they would face the same problem I am seeing.)

Any ideas, thoughts? The content is mostly academic, with attributes to authorship. BTW, there is no apparent copyright on the articles.

I am not looking to bend the ethics rules.



 10:46 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ask if they'd let you take over their "costs" and run their admin side etc..to save the resource..


 10:50 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Mike. I'll probably get lost in their big university red tape, but what's to loose in asking?


 11:00 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would sorely wish to take their papers and republish them so they stayed available to the public, but I see no way ethically or legally of doing that.

If you have their written permission, it is both ethical and legal. Don't go by copyright notice; in the US that exemption only applies to works published prior to March 1, 1989. I hope your medical information is more recent than that!


 11:03 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I see no way ethically or legally of doing that

Ask! Track down the individual authors if you have to and request permission to republish their articles.

If they're academics, there's a good chance they'd be pleased to keep their material available to the public.

In the meantime, grab a complete copy of every article you're interested in. Don't actually do anything with it yet, but having your own copy could make subsequent republishing a lot easier once you get permission.

In addition, make a note of all URLs where the articles sit now. If they get taken offline, that knowledge would let you start contacting other webmasters and get existing links to the material updated to point to the new location on your site.

If you feel the material is important, do not let this opportunity slip through your fingers. ASK!


 11:10 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

By all means, make the request. Funding for some edu sites are dwindling. If the research is the author's then there's a very good chance it can be republished with permission. If that research belongs to the institution, it might be more difficult, but not impossible. I would NOT however, sugar daddy an edu site unless it was a simple donation... and the institution can do whatever they like, such as take the money, run to the server and shut down the site.

One might also see if content is listed in the wayback machine...


 11:21 pm on Dec 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

re "space and bandwidth"..if you know what it would take to keep the works "live" ( IME "webmasters" running non profits rarely get the best deals or have the most efficient setups ) it may be well be possible to split the material as archives hosted in spare capacity on servers or with low cost ( but efficient ) hosters , or even on multiple servers..


 12:49 am on Dec 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thank you for the excellent advice. bworks, I'll do as you say, since the site is accessable even though it has a "closing" notice and no links on the home page, my deep links to pubs seems to still work.

I love Webmasterworld. Best people.


 3:59 am on Dec 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Another thought: try using the site: search operator in Google for getting access to pages that you haven't linked to directly.

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