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Archiving versions of web pages



4:35 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A consultant group that my full-time employer is working with, mentioned something recently that I had not heard of. I was wondering if anyone else has heard this? We had asked about their portal software ever running out space because of all of the version history it retains for everything from pages, images, documents, and even video files. They responded that you just continue to build the system up to hold that data. That I don't have a problem with, but here is the thing they said next that I have not heard of. They also said that we need to retain that information because the government is working on a new law that would stipulate that any company or organization that owns a website would have to be able to produce a copy of what the site looked like at an exact moment in past time, any time in the future. Meaning that five years from now you may be asked in court or through a legal preceding that you have to produce what your website looked like on March 17, 2003 at 11:00am.

Has anyone heard of this? For those of us that run websites that don't retain version information is this a big deal? I run a small business at home and currently don't retain versions of my website or customers web sites. Should we start?


5:10 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There have been discussions to that effect. However that may be nobody can require you to produce what your website looked like on March 17, 2003 at 11:00am. Any law requiring such a thing would be an ex post facto law. So all you have to worry about is that you might be required to do so in the future once such a law is passed.


Marketing Guy

5:10 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Not got a clue about the law, but it would be a pain in the butt!

Imagine the problems the small businessman would have? How about those of us running information sites that update regularly?

Could it be that your friend has misinterpreted the law and it's actually aimed at hosting services?



6:19 pm on Mar 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wouldn't CVS be just the ticket for this?


8:57 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

No way. This sounds like a slight misinterpretation. I think what the consultants were saying is that if you are ever in court for an issue with your website, such as copyright infringement, etc., you need to present a copy of your site at the exact time of infringement to be entitled to sue (you also need to have your copyright registered).


11:02 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Does this mean I can ask a physical store front like CompUSA to keep a back-up of their old store front from 5 years past? That would include Advertisments, Banners, Price tags, Posters etc...

May seem a little extreme by example - but is it not the same thing? If there was such a law in the making I would be most interested in reading more on it. I can not imagine a law like this. . .

Anyway - I keep all my old sites on CD anyway for something to look back on.


11:53 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I wonder if the WayBack Machine would be a service one could use as "evidence".


6:50 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This may be a source for more info on the matter: www.loc.gov/copyright/

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