Internet Archive pages not evidence?

Saw on BNA Internet Law News… apparently a New York federal court has ruled that materials from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine are inadmissible without “authenticating testimony from someone familiar with how the pages were created” (quote from BNA). Really interesting! I wonder if IA will be able to supply additional metadata (if there is any) or other ways to authenticate that information. At the very least, the decision will certainly bring up questions about the site’s reliability and possible uses, even outside of the courtroom. Of course, those questions have existed, but here’s another reason to try to answer them. ^_^

Comments (8) left to “Internet Archive pages not evidence?”

  1. Georgia Harper wrote:

    It is common when presenting documentary evidence to have to produce a person who can testify that it is what it says it is. There are other ways to get that assurance (certified records, attestations that are signed and sealed, written statements submitted in lieu of oral testimony, etc.), but one way or another, someone has to be willing to go on the record that this piece of evidence is what it says it is. So, I don’t think it says anything unusual about the IA. There’s no inference necessarily drawn that the IA is not reliable. Now, all that said, I did not read the decision, but am just bringing to the discussion the fact that all evidence needs authentication in court proceedings.

  2. PlagiarismToday » Internet Archive Ruled Inadmissible wrote:

    […] Though this is certainly a major development, it is very standard for evidence to have such a requirement in order to be admissible. It is not commentary on the Internet Archive, though some see it as such. […]

  3. Dassnagar wrote:

    After this statement, what documents should we produce as an evidence?

  4. Lars Bell wrote:

    Hi,

    Here is a way to archive webpages on demand and then get mathmatical verification of the contents.

    http://www.stayboystay.com
    Free on demand archival service.

    The standard output is a URL that reveals within it the original URL so no more opaque URLs. The date of the capture is also within the new URL.

    In addition the new archive URL has a hash built into it. This provides a guarantee that the cached version has not been changed long after it was stored. Due do the cryptographic nature of the public domain hash it is computationally infeasible to change the content and then come up with the same hash. This means the content can be verified and any tampering by me, you or anyone can be detected by any 3rd party.

    thanks

    Lars Bell

  5. Gunther Eysenbach wrote:

    Stayboystay – mentioned by plagiarist Lars Bell – is a brazen attempt to plagiarize what WebCite http://www.webcitation.org is doing since 1998. WebCite is a de-facto standard used by hundreds of academics and journals, for example Biomed Central journals (see e.g. http://blogs.openaccesscentral.com/blogs/bmcblog/entry/webcite_links_provide_access_to ).

    ORIGINAL (http://www.webcitation.org):
    “WebCite┬« is an archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a “404 File Not Found” error when clicking on a cited URL.

    A WebCite┬« reference is an archived webcitation, and rather than linking to the live website (which can and probably will disappear in the future)”.

    STOLEN (http://www.stayboystay.com/aboutus.php, archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5TbFbyVLi )
    “StayBoyStay.Com is an archiving system for webreferences (cited web pages and websites), which can be used by anybody to ensure that cited web material will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences sare not archived, future readers may encounter a “404 File Not Found” error when clicking on a URL. A StayBoyStay.com reference is an archived web citation, and rather than linking to the live website (which can and probably will disappear in the future).

  6. Website Designer wrote:

    i agree with Lars. It does provide a guarantee that the cached version has not been changed long after it was stored.

  7. Web Design India wrote:

    Lars is right as cached version has not been changed long after saved in data center. if you updates it than and than it might get reflect.

  8. Indian Forum wrote:

    That is pretty interesting.
    I don’t really disagree the verdict.
    With new age IT, bits and bytes being replaced
    with smart software, authentication and expert commentary
    is absolutely a must.

    A bright idea archiving was and surely it has
    so much good done already.

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