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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RE: Preserving digital content...
by Fergy on Sat 9th Oct 2010 20:07 UTC in reply to "Preserving digital content..."
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

saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Which is exactly why you can't archive digital media in the same way you'd archive a stone block. It isn't enough just to make sure it's in a super-clean atmosphere behind 2 inches of hardened glass. In fact, that might be of no use whatsoever. We can't just go around keeping "physical" copies of every document or printable piece of interesting information either. Given the current information explosion, our libraries would drown in the flood of paper (or other physical medium). The reason we could do it until now, is that paper was very expensive in the past and producing books was a costly and time-consuming task, not to mention that even these physical documents often need periodic restoration which cannot be done using automated procedures as in the case of digital archives. Archiving digital media only requires periodically updating the archive format, technology and procedures used, to make sure you are up to date in respect to current technology in terms of being able to access it.

I'd agree that using FOSS formats provides the safest outlook into the future for the software side and so all that needs attention every now and then is the hardware side. There's ways around hardware failure (e.g. periodic disk scrubbing) and accidental or intentional data modification (cryptographically secure hashes).

And to refute your assertion that historically world powers have been unable to alter "history" - just think about book burning, genocide or forced coercion. There's tons of ways to alter history which don't necessarily entail "rewriting" historical documents - just remember how the Taliban just recently blew up a historical buddhist temple in Pakistan.

Reply Parent Score: 1