Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Shooting the messenger

One of the greatest resources for the information age is the Internet Archive with its searchable interface called the Way-back Machine, which serve to record the evolving history of the Internet and its contents. This archive of all posted web pages is an invaluable tool for history researchers, nostalgic surfers, and those attempting to verify previous web content for personal or business purposes. Unfortunately, that means that it sometimes has records of web pages that their posters would prefer had vanished into the void, rather than being continuously available.

Exactly this latter category of page is the basis for a lawsuit against the archive brought by the plaintiff in a trademark case. The case has to do with fine points about how web pages are or aren't added to the archive, but it seems like blaming the library for having a newspaper on file with a letter-to-the-editor that you wish you hadn't written...
Mr. Patry also noted that despite Healthcare Advocates' desire to prevent people from seeing its old pages now, the archived pages were once posted openly by the company. He asserted that gathering them as part of fending off a lawsuit fell well within the bounds of fair use.
yeah, duh...

(via boing boing)

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