• Amber is a tool for blogs & websites to keep linked content accessible

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    If a link on your website were to go down, Amber provides your visitors with a snapshot of that link.

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    There is no need for your visitors to download anything. It all just happens seamlessly and automatically.

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    Mobile compatibility provides all visitors with the ability to view these snapshots.

  • Amber is a tool for blogs & websites to keep linked content accessible

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    Amber runs directly on your website, storing snapshots as you link.

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    You can configure the snapshot storage and delivery preferences to fit the needs of your website and visitors.

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  • Amber is a tool for blogs & websites to keep linked content accessible

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    Ensure the content to which you link never vanishes down the memory hole.










What's the Problem?

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society wants to keep linked content accessible.

Whether links fail because of DDoS attacks, censorship, or just plain old link rot, reliably accessing linked content is a problem for Internet users everywhere.

This isn't a new problem.1  Some centralized initiatives, such as the Internet Archive and Perma.cc, are attempting to snapshot and preserve certain web pages.

49

percent of links
in Supreme court
decisions are dead 2

Wikipedia articles
contain dead
external links 3

But more and more, just a handful of centralized entities host information online. Online centralization creates “choke points” that can restrict access to web content.

The more routes we provide to information, the more all people can freely share that information, even in the face of filtering or blockages.

AMBER ADDS TO THESE ROUTES.





What Amber Does

What Amber does

Amber is an open source tool for websites to provide their visitors persistent routes to information. It automatically preserves a snapshot of every page linked to on a website, giving visitors a fallback option if links become inaccessible.

If one of the pages linked to on this website were to ever go down, Amber can provide visitors with access to an alternate version. This safeguards the promise of the URL: that information placed online can remain there, even amidst network or endpoint disruptions.

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Install

Install the Amber plugin on your Content Management System.
 

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Customize

Configure the storage and delivery preferences to fit the needs of your website.
 

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Preserve

Amber automatically preserves a snapshot of each outgoing link in your content.
 

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Save the Day

If a link goes down, your website will provide your visitors with a snapshot of that link.


Lots of copies keep stuff safe.4  By default, Amber stores snapshots directly on the host website. But users can choose to store snapshots using a combination of the following third party storage and archiving systems:




Amber users can choose to use these existing services to free up space, take advantage of donated host space, or simply to contribute to existing web preservation efforts.





Download

Amber is available as a plugin for WordPress and as a module for Drupal. It can be installed from the official WordPress plugin and Drupal module directories.

Want to suggest Amber to your IT team, but not sure what system your organization runs? Sites like WhatCMS.org can easily help to identify if your website is compatible.

Wordpress

Install the WordPress plugin
2.0 mb (ZIP)


Requirements:
WordPress 4.0+
 
 

Drupal

Install the Drupal module
106 kb (ZIP) / 88 kb (Tarball)


Requirements:
Drupal 7
PHP 5.3 or higher
cURL


For those websites who run a custom CMS or none at all, we've also built modules for Apache and Nginx. These modules are more rudimentary and do not include external-archive capability—snapshots are only stored on the host server itself—but we welcome functionality contributions to our code base.





Documentation

Amber is a work in progress. If you encounter any issues, the Berkman Center's developers want to know about it. You have two options for reporting issues:

1. Via Github. Have a Github account? Awesome. Create an issue in the repo that corresponds to your CMS, and you'll automatically be subscribed to the issue and notified of any updates, including when it's closed.

2. Via web form. No Github account? No problem. Report an issue at feedback.amberlink.org.







Who Can Use Amber

Amber is useful for virtually any website or blog that has an interest in preserving the content to which it links. Here is a small sample of websites whose visitors would receive an immediate benefit:


Organizations

Individuals

News Outlets Political Bloggers
Fact-Checking Organizations Researchers
Human Rights Groups Free Speech Advocates
Digital Archives Internet Freedom Activists
Blogging Platforms Lifestyle Bloggers
Wikis Students





Research

Amber is an open source project led by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

It builds on a proposal from Tim Berners-Lee and Jonathan Zittrain
for a "mutual aid treaty for the Internet" that would enable operators of websites to enter easily into mutually beneficial agreements and bolster the robustness of the entire web. The project also aims to mitigate risks associated with increasing centralization of online content.

Amber also continues the work completed by students from the 2011-2012 Ideas for a Better Internet5 "Mirror As You Link" group, which developed working code6 for an extension to mirror WordPress blogs.

Amber does not collect any sort of data from websites or their users. It runs solely on your server and does not connect back to us.

Further Reading

A Mutual Aid Treaty for the Internet
The Fourth Quadrant




FAQ

What are some legal issues I should be aware of when using Amber?

Those who copy third-party content should always be aware of copyright issues. This is no different when it comes to using Amber. When you use Amber, you are preserving the copyrighted content of other publishers. Many uses of Amber - linking to and preserving a webpage for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research -- likely constitute fair use under United States law and thus do not infringe on copyrights. However, users of Amber should be aware that fair use rights vary significantly in different countries around the world. In addition, there are limits to fair use.

For a helpful guide on fair use, please visit the Digital Media Law Project.

For additional information on intellectual property issues that concern bloggers, please visit the
Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Can websites opt-out of having their webpages preserved through Amber?

Yes. Content publishers can opt-out of having their material preserved
through Amber by including a robots.txt protocol in their webpages. For detailed information on opting out, please visit amberlink.org/fetcher.

For all FAQs, see the user guide:

Amber for WordPress documentation
Amber for Drupal documentation