In a column on the Wayback Machine, I speculated on a more automatic form of redirection:
If the Archive proves reliable, we may well soon see servers and/or clients, upon encountering 404s, try to fail gracefully by redirecting to the most-recently-saved archive page. This would be more than a major convenience. It could help bring hypertextual writing finally into the mainstream. Linking is the most profound way in which the web alters (or should alter) how we communicate. The lack of widespread and easy-to-user hypertext writing tools has been an impediment. But the vexing problem of linkrot is the real barrier. We won't collectively invest much effort in weaving the web until we can begin to regard its namespace as less fragile than it has so far proved to be. [Digital Archives]
Jonathan's posting suggests the same idea. At the moment, Google is our online cache, and the Wayback Machine is our near-line cache. The shoe that's waiting to drop is copyright. I wonder if Creative Commons licenses can be used as is, or with modifications, to express the intent: "Please cache this page so that in case I can no longer support it at its original address, resolvers will be able to find it in the Web's online or near-line caches."
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2003/05/13.html#a689