* Web sites whose owners have died

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E Wilcock
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Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 24 Mar 2020 11:42

As there are computer experts here who also do family history, this seems a good place to ask about websites that were authored by people who are now unwell or deceased.

I would like to be able to retrieve the site put up by Derek Driscoll for 1st South Midland (Gloucestershire) / 240 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery

http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F% ... x_Dn7PCvLQ

This no longer exists as a valid link. A google search show it is a dead link on other First World War sites.

It may be that Derek's site was archived by the British Library, as my own Brigade website for the 4th South Midland brigade was.

Would Virgin have an archived copy somewhere? If the whole site could be downloaded, it could then be uploaded to somewhere like the military section of free sites on Roots web?

The virus quarantine means people are starting to look at family history and I have had new information and a census sent to me. Luckilly, my husband and I have spent the last few days transfering our Rugby list from Access to fh. So we can now attach census records.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 12:45

The specific URL is http://www.thebristolgunners.webspace.v ... _page2.htm which no longer exists.

Often such web pages are archived in the Wayback Machine http://web.archive.org/ and that applies here, so try visiting http://web.archive.org/web/201603161037 ... media.com/ and all the pages are there to download.
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by AdrianBruce » 24 Mar 2020 12:54

Some portions (because I've no idea how much) were saved several times between 2013 and 2016 by Archive.Org's WaybackMachine.

The front to the various snaphots is on https://web.archive.org/web/2016*/www.t ... nmedia.com

From there, you can select a snaphot date, which pops up a time on that date. Click the only time on that date and you get to https://web.archive.org/web/20160316103 ... media.com/ which is the front page - I presume - of the archived site.

Now, I have absolutely zero idea how much of the site is likely to be in there, under that link, because I've no real understanding of how the WaybackMachine works. My impression is that good-ol' static HTML pages get snapshot easier than pages held in a database. Have a look and see.

(To find that link, I went to the WaybackMachine and entered the URL - and I see Mike's already got there because he can write shorter responses than me!)
Adrian

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E Wilcock
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 24 Mar 2020 14:19

Thank you both so much.
All the pages look to be there.
I am so happy to see it.
A complication is that like me Derek was not an IT expert and there is a home page and an index page.

Do you have any advice on how best to down load it?
If I can download the whole site into a folder, I might then be able to upload it to a free site at Rootsweb.
Or ask someone on the Great War forum if they can take over from Derek and do this for me.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 14:44

As with any web page, you can use File > Save Page As or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S in your browser.

That will download an HTM file and a similarly named folder for the current page.
e.g.
Home Page GVA240 Index.htm and Home Page GVA240 Index_files folder.
Index Page.htm and Index Page_files folder.
There may be a lot of duplication of files in the folders.

Open the HTM file and it will display the page in your browser using the contents of the folder.

However, links between pages still refer back to the original online pages.
So if in the downloaded Home Page you click the Index Page link it will take you to the Wayback Machine page.

I'm not sure how easily that is resolved if uploaded to Rootsweb.
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by Valkrider » 24 Mar 2020 14:45

I would advise against creating a new website from the data due to copyright issues. WaybackMachine is a snapshot in time and so i suspect that is how they get around any potential copyright issues.

There are many ways to download the site from there. A simple cut and paste of each page, a right click in the browser and view source and then copy and paste. Or one of the software packages such as https://www.httrack.com/

There are more suggestions at https://www.technorms.com/35952/5-ways- ... ffline-use

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 15:22

Colin, you are correct to mention copyright, but since the original website no longer exists that may not be an issue.

Won't using Cut & Paste or View Source only copy the top-level HTML page file and none of the underlying linked files such as CSS, JS, image files, etc, etc? Whereas, Ctrl+S captures all those linked files in the associated folder.

Those software packages should do a better job.
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 24 Mar 2020 15:29

Mike, copyright subsists even if the original website doesn't.

It subsists typically 75 years after death of the creator.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by Valkrider » 24 Mar 2020 15:49

tatewise wrote:
24 Mar 2020 15:22
Colin, you are correct to mention copyright, but since the original website no longer exists that may not be an issue.

Won't using Cut & Paste or View Source only copy the top-level HTML page file and none of the underlying linked files such as CSS, JS, image files, etc, etc? Whereas, Ctrl+S captures all those linked files in the associated folder.

Those software packages should do a better job.
@ Mike
As Helen suggests copyright does still apply.

You are correct saying cut an paste will not copy any underlying css etc BUT if you do that on every page you will have multiple copies of the same css, js etc files. That is why a combination of your and my approach works better. One other thing to bear in mind with all of this is that any links will still refer to the original url's not the downloaded files.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 16:18

I stand corrected re: copyright.
Colin, I said that about URL links still referring back to online page in my original reply.
I also said the folders would probably have duplicated files, but if you don't use Ctrl+S on every page then any files unique to one page won't get captured. Those are typically image files on the page. The duplicated files usually derive from the header section.
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 24 Mar 2020 16:27

I tried and failed to download the site using the software suggested as it reported correctly that I lacked authority.

I am a bit of a dunce with Google sites but I believe that I have managed to alter the link on my own site so it leads to the archived version of Derek's site. And thus gives it a new lease of life.

In order for it to show up on a google search, I guess I would need to put a page into my site with a heading for the 240 Brigade. But I decided with my husband that we will limit our research to the Rugby Hiowitzer Brigade.

Jane kindly set up my fh signature with my genealogy site and there is a link on that Index page to the Brigade site.

https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/

I am not proud of the site . It is rubbish compared to Helen's but I think the information is there. The advantage of having it on Google is that because I am not profit making it allows the use of Google maps to show where the Brigade was serving.
Thank you all for helping me do this.
It is appreciated.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 17:13

May I suggest you change your two RFA links to the following:

<a class="dhtgD aw5Odc" href="http://web.archive.org/web/201603151620 ... /index.htm" target="_blank"><strong>Site for 1st South Midland (Gloucestershire) / 240 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery</strong></a>

<a class="dhtgD aw5Odc" href="http://www.denniscorbett.com/241.html" target="_blank"><strong>Site for 2nd South Midlands (Worcestershire) / 241 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery</strong></a>

That avoids the redirection via the Google query, which is quite disconcerting.

You do not need any authority to use Ctrl+S that would at least capture everything you need onto your PC.
Then somebody perhaps with a little more expertise could help you reconstruct the pages.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 24 Mar 2020 17:53

Mike - I see your point, But I have not been able to do this.
With Google sites one cannot upload HTML from one's own computer.

One must choose the editing action to add a link. One then types in or selects a portion of one's text - in this case the name of the Brigade (which will turn blue to show it is a link) and then has a chance to paste in a url

The following which you sugested is not accepted as a valid URL.
It is underlined in red.
<a class="dhtgD aw5Odc" href="http://web.archive.org/web/201603151620 ... /index.htm" target="_blank"><strong>Site for 1st South Midland (Gloucestershire) / 240 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery</strong></a>
I think we should just leave it. In 2002 when these sites were actively being constructed the other authors were already retired and doing their best. I can edit my front page to explain that Derek's site has been archived. But can be reached through the link.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 18:07

Sorry, the way I posted them did not include the full URL so try copying these instead.
The denniscorbett one should have been OK anyway.

Code: Select all

<a class="dhtgD aw5Odc" href="http://web.archive.org/web/20160315162050/http://www.thebristolgunners.webspace.virginmedia.com/index.htm" target="_blank"><strong>Site for 1st South Midland (Gloucestershire) / 240 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery</strong></a>

<a class="dhtgD aw5Odc" href="http://www.denniscorbett.com/241.html" target="_blank"><strong>Site for 2nd South Midlands (Worcestershire) / 241 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery</strong></a>
Also do try using Ctrl+S to capture the Wayback Machine pages, in case they too disappear!
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 24 Mar 2020 18:26

Mike, I will try. I didnt know they could disappear.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by tatewise » 24 Mar 2020 19:45

Anything can disappear!
The original webpages disappeared.
If the organisation behind the Wayback Machine ceases to operate then its pages will disappear too.
How many apparently impregnable organisations & businesses have ceased recently?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 25 Mar 2020 06:00

Worth checking whetherthe material is on the British Library Web Archive which is less likely to vanish...

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 25 Mar 2020 11:40

Cole Valley girl - No it doesnt seem to be. I checked with a search and they do have my site for the 4th South Midland.
I will suggest the other site as anaddition.Thank you.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by E Wilcock » 25 Mar 2020 13:58

I have now made the formal application to the British Library web site archive asking them to archive this site.
Thank you everyone who told me what to do.

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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by davidf » 25 Mar 2020 17:27

Apologies for being morbid (can't think why I am being!), but how many of us have left instructions for our digital assets in our wills? (You know, just in case...)

Some hosts are tricky about "handing over the keys" even when presented with probate details. Some people have suggested that you leave all your digital assets in semi-secret trust to your executors. Semi-secret means it is obvious in the will that there are unspecified digital assets but the detail is hidden, often just saying something like "in accordance with instructions separately given to my executors". Those instructions can include your passwords so the executors can legitimately (? some jurisdictions may vary) "act as you" without telling the hosts. You can then up date those instructions when-ever for instance you change the password on your password manager.

If you use a password manager (always recommended I think), handing over the master password is handing over the "keys to the kingdom" and you need to totally trust your executors. If the password is in a sealed envelope securely delivered (by hand?) to your executors and stored in their safe etc., I would hope that banks etc. would not count it as "disclosing to third parties".

As always take the advice of your own lawyer!
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Re: Web sites whose owners have died

Post by jbtapscott » 25 Mar 2020 19:01

Not morbid at all David - it's something we all need to be thinking about in our current situation.

I use a Password Manager and have setup my brother to have Emergency Access to the vault. In there, in addition to passwords, etc., I have a "secure note" file detailing my Genealogy "setup" - viz. what software I use (and passwords if appropriate), the structure of my work (fairly simple for FH as I only have a single project and everything is stored in that), where my website is published, etc.

Perhaps just as importantly (and more relevant here) is that I have included a new Index page that can be uploaded (modified or not) to my genealogy domain to indicate that I have died and that there may or may not be any future updates to data on the site - effectively a "holding" message while my family decide if somebody is able to continue my work.
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