The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, February 20, 2004

Dead links

Some links come ready-screwed (sorree!). Others perish by effluxion of time (an expression too sensuous to be left to the lawyers) - because the Big Media are greedy bastards.

At the risk of insulting the intelligence of egg-sucking grandmothers everywhere, the main sources of recovery of such material are
I mentioned before the gizmo that yields a durable link for New York Times material from May 6 2003 onwards [2].

None of these are, of course, guaranteed. The deepest free news archives - in terms of continuous reach - are those of the San Francisco Chronicle (1995) and the BBC (1997) (the Guardian starts in 1998).

Otherwise, there is a ragbag of material in the various indymedia and similar sites, message boards, and so forth.

Net news is like early TV - almost all of it got wiped. And news which goes behind the pay-wall might just as well have been wiped [3].

Realistic advice? As you click, have your Homeric D'Oh! ready...

  1. The newly launched, Inktomi-boosted Yahoo, that is.

  2. Unfortunately, you need to be able to get up the NYT page first. (You bookmark/favorite the URL above. Then you get up the NYT page. Then you click on the bookmark in the same window. Then you get a page with the doctored URL for the NYT page.) This means you cannot recover stuff that has already disappeared behind the pay-wall - you can only preserve stuff currently available.

  3. WaPo's system is to put material behind the pay-wall after fourteen days, but allow existing links to work. I'm not sure how long this indulgence lasts - deeper pockets than mine might like to offer a prize for the earliest link that still works.

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