Is it illegal for me to create a backup of a website that is shutting down, including all assets, etc., and host it on my website?


As the content on the site is copyrighted, and as any logos may be trademarked, it would be illegal to host their content without their permission.

Of course, it may be the case that the site is closing down because it doesn't want to pay for the costs of keeping it going, as such it may something the owners of the site would appreciate if you offer to host their site for free, indefinitely.

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  • would it be illegal for me to create a copy on my own hard drive if it was never shared with anybody? – Vortetty Jun 3 '19 at 19:16
  • @Vortetty no, you would not be in breach of copyright law so long as you do not distribute that copy. – user4210 Jun 3 '19 at 23:20
  • @Vortetty moo's comment is incorrect. See my comments to the other answer. – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 '19 at 20:39

The site is copyrighted so yes, obviously you can not copy it. You can contact them and ask for whatever content you want though.

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  • It would be a breach of (pretty much any country that has signed the Berne Convention) copyright law to distribute the content, but its not a breach if you simply take a copy for your own private use. Copyright law is based around unlicensed distribution, not consumption. – user4210 Jun 3 '19 at 23:20
  • "But its not a breach if you simply take a copy for your own private use. Copyright law is based around unlicensed distribution, not consumption." This isnt true as downloading music or a video game without permission is also copyright infringement, even if you dont distribute it to others. Copyright governs replication, not just distribution. Hence the name "copy"right – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 '19 at 1:26
  • @ShazamoMorebucks you are going to have to cite that, because every case brought in a country which follows the Berne Convention involves distribution, not download or replication for personal or archival use. For example, Capitol Records vs Thomas-Rasset, or Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al. v. Tenenbaum - the actual court cases were about making available and distribution. The Pirate Bay case was about contributory infringement in a similar sense. – user4210 Jun 4 '19 at 2:37
  • Surely you dont think downloading a video game, movie, or music without the permission of the owner is legal do you? But i will entertain your request – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 '19 at 12:56
  • Firstly I will cover English law as that is the law im trained in: The copyright, designs and patents act 1988 governs the law on copyright. S.16 of the act covers the "acts restricted by copyright in a work". S.16(1) states "the owner of the copyright in a work has...the exclusive right to do the following acts in the United Kingdom"...s16(1)(a) [the right] to copy the work" – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 '19 at 13:01

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