Preserving information and data archives in the digital age presents a new kind of challenge. Physical books may degrade over time, but even a book in poor condition can be taken down off a shelf and read. Digital storage devices, however, require functional systems to access any of the data. VICE spoke with Abby Smith Rumsey, author of When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future, about the future of archiving information:
If I write my documents in Word, I own the content of the documents, but if Word goes away, there’s not much I can do about it. It’s owned by Microsoft. Libraries are having a really hard time with this. Copyright is one of the biggest problems in digital preservation and one which doesn’t get discussed at all because it sounds arcane.