404/File Not Found: Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent
The Web is fluid and mutable, and this is a “feature” rather than a “bug.” But it also creates challenges in the legal environment (and elsewhere) when fixed content is necessary for legal writers to support their conclusions. Judges, attorneys, academics, and others using citations need systems and practices to preserve web content as it exists in a particular moment in time, and make it reliably available.
On October 24, 2014 Georgetown University Law Library in Washington, D.C. will host a symposium that explores the problem of link and reference rot.
- Keynote speech to contextualize the issues and discuss conflict between the naturally fluid state of the internet and the expectations by legal professionals that once something is published (in whatever form) that it should be static.
- Presentations and panel on “Whose problem is this?” with members from academia, government, the judiciary, law reviews
- The webmaster’s view – what pressures are there to continually change websites to reflect current look/feel trends, new usability technologies, etc. that contribute to link rot?
- Presentations and panel on current initiatives with members from organizations like The Chesapeake Project, Perma.cc, Archive.org, etc. What tools exist, and what are the remaining needs?
- Wrap-up detailing current, pragmatic steps attendees can take upon going home.
- Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard University
- Robert Miller, Internet Archive
- Prof. Karen Eltis, University of Toronto Law School
- Rod Wittenberg, Reed Technology and Information Services
- Kim Dulin, Harvard University
- Carolyn Cox, Georgetown University Law Library
We will post additional information as it gets finalized to the event webpage at: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/404/