The WayBack Machine Website Archive for Case Research

The is an independent, unbiased online resource that is free and available to every website owner and public visitor looking to research a website the way it looked years ago. Not ony can you see a single screenshot of a website, but rather it shows a visual record of the website recorded over a period of time.
It is similar to caches that search engines take of websites that are available to visitors until the web page is cached again. When a search engine caches the page again, the last cache is gone forever. Wouldn't it be great if there was a record of every cache? Well there is!
The legal profession is using it now to help build cases from copyright infringement to criminal cases. You can think of it as cyber DNA. Cases involving patent law, copyright infringement, libel and slander cases and more can use The Wayback Machine to find and review past websites.  These website caches can become potential evidence in a case.  It may also be necessary for a paralegal or attorney to research old websites for articles, medical and personal information, as well as past location and commercial information.  
For website owners, the search engine has also been a handy tool when website files are lost.  You can visit the WayBack Machine at http://archive.org/web/web.php  Just type in a website address and access the files that were archived in the past. The only drawback is that it does not copy all of the images on a website. You will see all of the text and placeholders where the images used to be. The entire structure of a website stays in tact in full color.

Some people are not happy about the fact that the WayBack Machine caches their websites periodically. They feel it is a violation of privacy or a "big brother is watching" government conspiracy. Personally, I don't see how if the website is public in the first place.  Regardless, The Wayback Machine can be a useful tool in many case research situations.  


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