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I think you'll find "digital corporations" like Microsoft, Google, and
probably Yahoo will be around longer than some institutions and most US
companies that actually manufacture anything. Sad but true. Most or all of
the dot-bombs have already exploded (AOL is a big exception, but it's on
life-support from the deep pockets of Time Warner after suckering a real
company with real profits and real products into an ill-fated merger). Plus,
"intellectual assets" like caches of digital images, movies or music, will
move from owner to owner just like archives of commercial recording masters
do. And anyway, my biggest point was that it matters less how long thse
"digital corporations" survive if many people in many places have had access
to the material and have downloaded it. I think it's nice to think 300 years
out, but more practical to think about the next 10 years and then 50 years.
Make viable plans for that timeframe (and I don't think a locked vault with
limited access is a very viable plan, vs. many copies in many places) and
then the future beyond that will likely be clearer and easier to plan for.
And if this planet gets to the point where the intelligent cockroaches are
pawing over an old vault of CDR's, then it really doesn't matter anyway.

-- Tom Fine


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steven C. Barr" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 12:18 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Storage of audio CDs


> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> > I'd think heat and light are the worst enemies of archival CD's. So,
> > anything that keeps out heat and light should be good. I'd avoid wood
just
> > because it's a moisture conductor, and I'd not store valuable content
> > anywhere steel could develop rust (ie a basement or attic). But most
> > important, beyond all other factors, is many copies in many places. The
> best
> > way to accomplish this, of course, is make your content available online
> so
> > many people can download it to many computers in many states/countries.
> Next
> > after that is one set or more on-site and several sets at various
off-site
> > locations. In my opinion, a bunker-like climate-controlled storage room
is
> > pretty useless if the building collapses in an earthquake, burns down or
> has
> > an airplane crash into it. Much better to spend the money spreading many
> > copies in many places. One man's opinion, YMMV, etc.
> Two considerations here:
> 1) Copyright restrictions (especially US per sound recordings) may
preclude
> making the material publicly available.
>
> 2) While "bunker-like buildings" can be made resistant to all normal
> events (i.e. excepting being a nuclear ground zero or the Sun going
> supernova?) there is still the problem of fixed lifespans for the
> medium used for storage. The building may well survive WWIII, but
> when the mutant cockroaches reach intelligence to look for archives,
> the disks that once were CD-R's may contain nothing!
> >
> > By the way, for all of you with large archives of things like interviews
> or
> > field recordings or other non-commercial content you'd like to see more
> > publicly-available, you might see if Google will catalog and host your
> > digital files. This sort of thing is right up their alley -- Google
Sounds
> > or something like that. They have the money and resources to afford the
> > storage and bandwidth to make it widely available. Once enough people
know
> > about and download something, its chances of living a long time (and
> > mattering a long time) are greatly enhanced.
> >
> Except that corporations, especially digitally-based corporations,
> often have lifespans considerably shorter than we would desire for
> data availability!
>
> Steven C. Barr