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Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe

Abbreviation Of: 

n. (LOCKSS, abbr.) ~ A project designed to preserve copies of electronic publications by ensuring that multiple copies are stored at different organizations.

(LOCKSS) For centuries libraries and publishers have had stable roles: publishers produced information; libraries kept it safe for reader access. There is no fundamental reason for the online environment to force institutions to abandon these roles. ¶ The LOCKSS model capitalizes on the traditional roles of libraries and publishers. LOCKSS creates low-cost, persistent digital 'caches' of authoritative versions of http-delivered content. The LOCKSS software enables institutions to locally collect, store, preserve, and archive authorized content thus safeguarding their community's access to that content. The LOCKSS model enforces the publisher's access control systems and, for many publishers, does no harm to their business models. ¶ Accuracy and completeness of LOCKSS caches are assured through a peer-to-peer polling and reputation system (operated through LCAP, LOCKSS' communication protocol), which is both robust and secure. LOCKSS replicas cooperate to detect and repair preservation failures. LOCKSS is designed to run on inexpensive hardware and to require almost no technical administration. The software has been under development since 1999 and is distributed as open source.