Official homepages: 404, Page not found etc - delete or get Wayback Machine archived version?

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Is an official homepage still an official homepage if the link no longer works and it can only be seen in a snapshot from the Wayback Machine?

How to treat such links if they are not official homepages?
I’ve seen such a link just deleted which seems like a potential loss of useful data.
Are there guidelines around this?
If no, then what should the guidelines be?

Found a helpful forum thread discussing this: Link rot: Dead links and the Wayback Machine


There is neither written guideline nor consensus but it has already been discussed.

Some (most of?) URL relationship types do have begin/end dates. See STYLE-580 for examples. I usually set begin/end dates accordingly. Other URL relationship types don’t, either at purpose or not.

This is more than a STYLE issue. These attributes can be edited from the URL entity page only, which you can access using the info links (in the relations tab and in the editing history). This is a pretty tedious task and should be editable from both sides as requested in MBS-3774.

From there, linking to the Wayback Machine should probably be automatically be done by the MusicBrainz server itself, not by editors.

Besides, there is a plan to save every link to the Wayback Machine as suggested in MBS-9009.


Thanks yvanzo.

Putting 2 benefits onto paper;

  1. Retaining dead links in any form would reduce the incidence of the dead link being re-contributed by a naive editor.
  2. Historical documents are important even if not current. They show how things were presented/recorded.

On purpose - I wanted to get rid of all the dates on URLs because I’ve always considered them useless side-effects of the time when every relationship needed to have dates. Other people seem to like them though, so :confused: But I’d still say some relationship types have no use at all for dates (who would ever care about dates for a Wikidata page?)