When information is made available on the Web, it is important for the
integrity of the Web, and the society based upon it, that the URIs used to
reference information be used well into the future, and that the information
persist as identified.
To this end, the World Wide Web Consortium hosts (MIT, ERCIM, Keio
University and Beihang University) make the following pledge: that as far as they are able, for
resources on the www.w3.org Web site which are declared (see below) to be
- The hosts will ensure that persistent resources continue to be
available throughout the life of the Consortium;
- Where a persistent resource is modified, a change history will be
archived though the archive will not necessarily be available
- Should the W3C be disbanded, then any Web site will be granted the
right to make a copy (at a different URI) of all public persistent
resources so long as they are not modified and are preserved in their
entirety and made available free of charge, and provided the same
persistence policy is applied to these "historical mirrors." In such
event, the original http://www.w3.org web site will be handed over for
management to another organization only if that organization pledges to
this policy or one considered more persistent.
As of this note, persistent resources include:
- The home page "https://www.w3.org/";
- Those which start "https://www.w3.org/" immediately followed by four
- Those which start "https://www.w3.org/TR/" immediately followed by four
- Those which start with "https://www.w3.org/ns/".
No representation is made about the persistence policies for any other
information on the site.
The intent is to set an example by reducing the failure of links due to
clumsy management or inadequate commitment to information persistence, and to
provide a stable reference base of information about W3C-related topics as a
service to the community.
W3C Director, October 1999 draft