Some background:

I've stumbled on a few so to say "dead" articles. Articles that have great content but the website where they are published is "gone". Thanks to the Internet Archive we can get the content but search engines aren't indexing them so you can't get there via searching.

The question

Can I publish the content from those blogs let's say in Medium (given that I can't contact the author to ask for permission)?

Edit: I want to give full credit to the original authors.

2 Answers 2


That would be copyright infringement. The wayback machine is an authorized archive, which means that it can legally copy stuff made available on the web; but you can't. You can, however, publish a set of links to items that you find in the archive.

  • 2
    What do you mean by authorized archive? Do they have permission from every site they archive? Or do archives have special status in the eyes of the law that exempts them from some copyright rules?
    – user17707
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 19:55
  • Special status, under 18 USC 108.
    – user6726
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 20:04
  • I should point out that that applies to US content, not European content.
    – user6726
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 20:11
  • 1
    Don't you mean 17 USC 108? How did the wayback machine achieve authorization as an archive? The term is not defined in the statute, and I don't see any mechanism for authorizing archives.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 20:26

There really is no such thing as an AUTHORIZED archive. Any institution that functions as an archive, as defined in the law cited, gets a limigted exemption from copyright. I should think that the Internet Archive would qualify, but don't know of any court case so holding, which would be the only definitive answer.

For anyone who is not a "library or archive" distributing such "dead content" would be infringement unless you manage to track down the author or rights holder and get permission. (often you can in fact do this with a bit of effort, if some info about the author was provided.)

Of course, you could infringe and gamble that no one would sue you. but you would be wide open if someone did, and crediting the author would not be a defense.

As user6726 said, you can publish a link to the content as it exists on the internet archive. You could do this together with a comment or review.

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