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The Courts The Internet

Link Rot and the US Supreme Court 161

necro81 writes "Hyperlinks are not forever. Link rot occurs when a source you've linked to no longer exists — or worse, exists in a different state than when the link was originally made. Even permalinks aren't necessarily permanent if a domain goes silent or switches ownership. According to new research from Harvard Law, some 49% of hyperlinks in Supreme Court documents no longer point to the correct original content. A second study on link rot from Yale stresses that for the Court footnotes, citations, parenthetical asides, and historical context mean as much as the text of an opinion itself, which makes link rot a threat to future scholarship."
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Link Rot and the US Supreme Court

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  • by ibwolf ( 126465 ) on Monday September 23, 2013 @03:14PM (#44926931)

    Links to the WBM contain the original URL and a timestamp so it would be easy to redirect it. The issue is however unlikely to come up as Wayback links are meant to be long-term stable. They've already survived one complete rewrite of the underlying application.

  • Re:404 Not Found (Score:4, Informative)

    by TemporalBeing ( 803363 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:45PM (#44928479) Homepage Journal

    Which is not what you want to see in, say, an Apple verses Samsung style case where "previous art" and earlier applications are all that separate you from being successfully sued into the Stone Age.

    FYI - the courts require that web content have screen shots taken with time-date stamps to avoid this exact issue. The screen shots must also contain the information in a certain manner, only then can it be used as evidence/exhibits. If the lawyers are not doing that, then they are not properly writing/citing their court paperwork (briefs, etc).

    And no, it does not amount to a copyright violation.

    IANAL, but that's my understanding thanks to Groklaw and other sources.

Variables don't; constants aren't.