Authors can quote the archived web pages using WebCite in addition to quoting the original URL of the web page. Readers are enabled to access archived web pages indefinitely, regardless of an update or the disappearance of the original page (so-called dead link ).
WebCite, started in 1998 with a pilot project under the address webcite.net , is a non-profit organization based in Toronto , Canada , which focuses on archiving academic content and is supported for this by publishers and editors. The service can be used free of charge by authors and readers.
No new archives are currently being carried out, but pages that have already been archived can still be accessed.
While in the United States the reproduction required for this archiving can be derived from the principle of fair use , according to European and in particular German law, making publicly available ( UrhG) without the consent of the authors or other rights holders (e.g. publishers) is not permitted. WebCite does take into account opt-out markings from websites or, at the request of the rights holder, removes them from the archive, which, under European and especially German law, most likely does not allow storage without the consent of the author. However, a relevant court judgment is not known.
In this context, it should be borne in mind that a potential user who wants to archive a website is forced to provide a valid email address at the same time, to which an archiving request to be confirmed is sent. The archiving process is only carried out after this request has been confirmed. In addition, WebCite uses the controversial tracking tool Google Analytics in the background , which results in the extensive de-anonymization of users.