Digital Dark Age

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Wilson C (Marriott Wardman Park)
Vinton Cerf, Google Inc., Reston, VA
We create complex digital objects every day for example with spreadsheets, highly formatted text documents, electronic mail, tweets and presentations. If we want to preserve access to these objects for decades or even centuries, we must preserve the software that created them and the operating system environment in which that software can run. Of course, we also have to preserve the bits that make up the objects so the application software can help to render them. This talk is about the problem and the means for preserving digital content as hardware and software evolve over time. There are, of course, business considerations as well as legal ones since intellectual property may be at issue and recovering the cost of preservation is vital to long-term success.