Geocities Reborn as Reocities Archive

In a desperate, 11th hour attempt to save a bit of Internet history, a small group of folks have grabbed a huge chunk of the many sites once hosted on Yahoo!’s free Geocities service.

While most rightly agree that many of those sites were spamfests, there were more than a few sites that are certainly worth saving. I loved the sites on Geocities. They were created out of a pure passion for a subject and the desire to share with others a bit of ourselves and our talents. Many were created before anyone ever heard of an upstart company in California called Google and long before there were so many ways to make money from websites. There just was a certain honesty and dare I say purity about many of those early sites.

When I searched for sites to add to Crafty Tips Arts & Crafts Directory and Pet Site Guides I would often look around for Geocities sites. I dreaded the closure and absolutely hated having to go through both directories and remove those sites for which I could not find a forwarding address for.

Reocities Archive, Rising from the Ashes

Enter the folks at Reocities Archive. In a mammoth, nail biting, all for broke effort, they single handedly tried to grab as many Geocities pages as possible. Word spread of their efforts and several others came forward to help. Despite rumors to the contrary, Archive.org did not have some agreement with Yahoo! to archive all of the pages and in fact according to the folks at Reocities, Archive.org staffers contacted Reocities for assistance and directory information.

I had thought about trying to grab some of the great arts and crafts sites myself and somehow preserve them. My concern over copyrights and funding kept me from seriously pursuing that idea. I’m still not so sure about how Reocities is going to fare copyright wise. I wonder if even Yahoo! could somehow come after them for infringement. From a personal perspective, if Yahoo! did make such a move, it would be the last time I use any of their services. I’m not alone in my dismay that they took such a heavy handed and drastic move by simply turning out the lights. It seems like there where more options open to them than that. A petition on Reocities likens what Yahoo! did to the destruction of ancient artifacts by the Taliban.

As a writer and someone who has spent countless hours fighting my own recent copyright infringement situation, I worry for the folks at Reocities that one of the Geocities page owners goes after them based on copyright. From the pages I have seen, there appears to be no revenue generating advertisements on Reocities. Unless the people behind the site can continue to fund such a massive project, it would seem they are going to have to generate revenue somehow. Perhaps they could set something up like Wikipedia where they have fund drives to keep their servers running.

The project is far from complete and at present the site is set up as an archive only, meaning no new content will be added. There’s no search capability and you sorta have to know how things used to be set up to find things. But who cares – they actually did it – 2,367,095 accounts restored and still counting! They are also asking for folks who happened to save the code from their Geocities pages to get into contact and Reocities will be trying to post their pages as well. Best of all, the truly useless Geocities pages are being culled from the pile and will drop off the Internet and into the trash heap of history where they belong.

Today, I’ll be adding the first of these wonderful pages to Crafty Tips – MaryM’s Original Crochet Tatting Designs. I hope the Reocities Archive can continue building and maintaining these Internet treasures long-term.

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6 Responses to Geocities Reborn as Reocities Archive

I for one am VERY upset with Reocities. I can appreciate the effort that has been made to preserve Geocities. I have a legit website, which I own copyrite to, I had a version on Geocities, I asked to have the “reocities” version removed because I am now publishing it on my legit website. I was emailed a very rude reply from Jacques, who apparently is doing this ressurection of this rip off of Geocities. I know I own my content and if push comes to shove, I will win in a lawsuit. I think he is in for much more mayhem once more people realize he has pubished their personal and legally owned content without their permission. Personally, I think he is in for a storm.


Comment by Diane on

Hi Diane,

Last I heard the Reocities folks were still trying to restore accounts. I had hoped that they would delete the accounts of anyone who could prove ownership and requested that they do so. I see their homepage still states that they are in restore mode and haven’t come up with a way to check ownership. Weren’t all of the Geocities account names based upon the Yahoo! email accounts? Seems an email from the same account should be proof enough?

I’m not sure how what they’ve done is all that different from what Archive.org has been doing for years.

I suspect that the law on this could indeed be a bit fuzzy at best. There doesn’t seem to be any advertising or other revenue generating content and all of the original materials still contain whatever copyright notices the original authors included on their pages. Was your Geocities page still up and active when it went dark? It seems like the Reocities folks grabbed everything the way it appeared online on the days preceding the shutdown. From what I’ve seen, if your materials were already down, any announcement you may have posted about your site moving should be the only thing on your restored site. Did you read the FAQ before sending your takedown request?

Michele


Comment by Michele on

Diane,

Was your site removed as you requested?


Comment by Anthousa Borislav on

Hi there,

I know there’s been more and more discontent with what these folks have done. What I don’t understand is why exactly. After all, the sites were originally hosted on a site, Yahoo, that posted ads all over them and made money off of every page. The Reocities folks, still don’t seem to have monetized any of the pages, so if anything it would seem to me people would be happy about the situation. Their site is still online and no one is profiting from it.

If I hear anything new, I’ll be sure to post it here.

Michele


Comment by Michele on

I had a website up on geocities for my band. When Yahoo bought geocities out and announced they closing geocities down. I copied all of my information and bought my own domain name for the band. Now when anyone does a search for my band they are taken to the reocities version that used to be on geocities that I personally created. I sent an email to reocities asking them to remove my bands website on reocities two weeks ago and they never replied and they haven’t taken the website down. My website was copyrighted material for my band and now now when people perform a search for my band they get taken to the old outdated reocities website instead of the domain name I purchased. I am pissed off about this.


Comment by Larry on

Hi Larry,

Unfortunately, the folks at Reocities do seem to be a bit slow about removing content when requested. Perhaps you could throw a DMCA notice at them and/or their webhost.

It’s such a shame that Yahoo! didn’t figure out a better solution than simply turning things off life they did. The irony was that I had considered posting one or more of the sites on my own site, with full attribution, but feared a lawsuit for copyright infringement. The waters here are quite muddy. I hope you can get things straightened out soon.

Michele


Comment by Michele on

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