Bradley M. Kuhn

When the Powers That Be Try to Rewrite History

Bradley M. Kuhn at

I just discovered again, as has happened to me more than five times I can recall, someone sent me a URL that was public and existed when they emailed it to me, but in the 24 hours it took me to read their message.

In my work in GPL enforcement, I work a lot of beats where people tend to try to rewrite history by taking stuff off the Internet. While it's impossible to take most things off the Internet, I tend to want to look at stuff that very few people are interested in (e.g., a GPL violation report, or once-public discussions about some GPL issue) that there are a very few people (e.g, GPL violators) who want to take this off the Internet as quickly as possible.

My thought just now was that perhaps I should have a script that looks at all my incoming email, finds URLs in it, and does two things:

(a) immediately downloads a copy,

(b) submits the URL to archive.org.

Does anyone know of such a thing, or do I need to write this myself?

Meanwhile, as a public service announcement to those who care about the GPL and other things: EVERY TIME YOU SEE a URL that has SOMETHING about the GPL that looks politically important, be it evidence of a GPL violation or anything else, submit that URL to archive.org/web ASAP!

Stephen Michael Kellat, Carlos Augusto ARES, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Jason Self likes this.

Stephen Michael Kellat, Olivier Mehani, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 1 others shared this.

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You're probably better off having a filter that matches for URLs and either auto responds reminding emailers to make a local copy and submit the URL to archive.org or that creates a queue of URLs for you to review. Or do both :)

Auto downloading links sounds like a bad way to go for many reasons.

der.hans at 2015-05-28T22:21:20Z

Stallman wrote that he use something like (a).

mnd at 2015-05-28T22:38:59Z

Andrew E likes this.

If you can find the funds to pay me as your secretary/OA I'll gladly monitor your e-mail for you. My current employer has been getting weirder than usual lately.

Stephen Michael Kellat at 2015-05-29T02:24:20Z

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), ghostdancer likes this.

One other problem... A robots.txt "Disallow:" line will prevent archive.org from saving a given URL, per https://archive.org/about/faqs.php#14, which says the Internet Archive "does respect robots.txt instructions, and even does so retroactively".


Dan Scott at 2015-06-03T04:08:54Z

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.