As you may have read elsewhere, CNN pages are notoriously difficult to archive. Our developers will attest to the complexity of CNN web pages and the impact that can have on speed and fidelity of capture. Often, whenever folks using Perma.cc report trouble preserving a page, one of our first questions is “Is it CNN?”
But CNN’s not all trouble, it turns out. Recently we discovered a Perma.cc link embedded in — of all places – a CNN.com article that cites an American Medical Association press release: https://perma.cc/CNE4-FEQ9.
Great to see that CNN appreciates a good web archive!
In recent months we’ve been asking this question more and more: does link rot matter to lawyers?
One context where it matters – or should matter – is in court, when lawyers routinely cite web pages in their briefs, complaints or other filings.
Here’s one example: a Complaint filed by lawyers for the Freedom of the Press Foundation against DOJ, CIA, NSA and other federal agencies for access to records concerning government surveillance of members of the news media. This Complaint cites several web pages that could disappear, change or break while the case is pending or at any time in the future. Fortunately the lawyers included Perma.cc links for each of the cited web sources, such as this one, a DOJ press release: https://perma.cc/NQQ8-82F2.
Here’s another example: a brief filed two weeks ago with the U.S. Supreme Court in Weyerhauser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This document also cites to several ephemeral online sources. These lawyers also included Perma.cc links pointing to preserved versions of the cited source. No matter what happens to the original source, the Perma.cc links will point future readers – such as Supreme Court justices and their clerks – to a stable record.
Lawyers no doubt want their citations to be accurate, reliable and helpful. When citing web pages, that means using web archiving tools to prevent link rot.
Perma.cc currently is free for lawyers to use to preserve up to 10 links per month. We offer paid subscriptions for higher volume use. You can sign up at https://perma.cc or reach out to us at info at perma.cc to learn more.
In October, our fearless leader Jonathan Zittrain offered an inspiring vision and call to arms for all of us working in the field of digital preservation.
His remarks kicked off an important conference hosted by the Georgetown Law Library: 404/File Not Found: Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent.
The speakers included several key leaders in the fields of web archiving and digital preservation, including our own Kim Dulin, who participated in a panel discussion on strategies for combating link rot. All of their remarks are available online courtesy of the Georgetown Law Library.
Our thanks to Georgetown and the other participants for a terrific symposium. It’s wonderful to see so many people working earnestly with us to solve this problem.