Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Oct 2010 13:53 UTC
Legal You think only "pirates" and "freeloaders" rail against current copyright laws? Well, think again - even the Library of Congress seemingly has had enough. The topic is recorded sound preservation, and in a 181-page in-depth study, the Library of Congress concludes that apart from technical difficulties, US copyright law makes it virtually impossible for anyone to perform any form of audio preservation. The painted picture is grim - very grim.
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Preserving digital content...
by Mage66 on Sat 9th Oct 2010 16:50 UTC
Mage66
Member since:
2005-07-11

A solution that is not seriously discussed, which I believe is trivially easy is having someone create software that would take any kind of file and convert it to a graphic format that could be printed out on acid-free, long life paper and then rescanned in later as needed.

It seems to me that paper is one of the longest lasting mediums next to stones. Just use Laser Printers or something more permanent as Ink jet ink fades or can run when wet.

Byte Magazine had something like this in the 90's that they supported. You could download the free software and scan in program listings or binaries that accompanied articles.

Once we get the legal things sorted out, this seems like the perfect solution to the short life span of CD-R/DVD-R media, and hard drive media.

If the format has error correction and is well documented, this also bypasses the obsolescence of storage media. I have old Fastback backups of my BBS from the 80's that I no longer have computers which can read them. as well as later Central Point Backups and even Iomega 20mb tapes.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

Reply Score: 2

cjcoats Member since:
2006-04-16

Acid free paper still eventually oxidizes and becomes extremely fragile.

A few years ago, there was a news article about IBM working on an archiving system that
burned the data onto (extremely durable) silicon wafers. Unfortunately, I don't know
what came of it. They were expecting a lifetime measured in millenia...

Reply Parent Score: 1

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

A solution that is not seriously discussed, which I believe is trivially easy is having someone create software that would take any kind of file and convert it to a graphic format that could be printed out on acid-free, long life paper and then rescanned in later as needed.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

Just save it in an opensource patent free format. Our digital storage will grow so fast and will be so cheap that if you do this it becomes cheaper everyday to store everything(not to mention making copies). I have no clue how you can even think that physical copies are a good idea.

Reply Parent Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Just save it in an opensource patent free format. Our digital storage will grow so fast and will be so cheap that if you do this it becomes cheaper everyday to store everything(not to mention making copies). I have no clue how you can even think that physical copies are a good idea.


Hmm, let me think... how about media failure? The ability to edit information after the fact and thus change history? Even if the media lasted forever, there's no guarantee that in a thousand years we'd be able to read that specific type of digital media. Are some people really so obsessed with f/oss formats that they really can't think beyond them? For digital content, f/oss formats are absolutely what we should be doing! Having digital only archives though is a very bad idea. At least if you have both a digital and a physical you'll be able to tell if the digital version has been modified from the original. I don't even want to imagine what we'd learn about history now if the world powers at any given time had been able to alter information archives at will.

Reply Parent Score: 2