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Web Hosting - Why Backups Are Essential
One thing most web site owners have little time for is... anything! Anything other than focusing on their site content and the business or service it supports and the information it provides, that is. That means that administration often suffers, as it frequently must. There's only so much time in the day.
But the one thing that you should never let slide are backups. They are like insurance. You rarely need it (you hope), but when you do you need it very badly.
Performing regular backups - and testing them - doesn't have to be a nightmare. A little bit of forethought and effort and they can be automated to a high degree. And, they should be tested from time to time. Even when a backup appears to have gone without a hitch, the only way to know whether it's of any value is to attempt to restore the information. If it can't be restored, the backup is worthless.
Even when the web hosting company provides the service, there is still some planning involved for the site owner. Hosting companies often rely on one or both of two methods. They backup everything (called a full backup), then backup anything which has changed since the last full backup (called an incremental backup).
Of special interest are any configuration files that have been tailored. If you've modified the default installation of a software package, you want to be able to recapture or reproduce those changes without starting from scratch. Network configuration files, modifications to basic HTML files, CSS style sheets and others fall into the same category.
If you have XML files, databases, spreadsheets or other files that carry product or subscriber information - about items purchased, for example, or people who signed up for a newsletter - those should get special attention, too. That's the lifeblood of your business or service. Lose them and you must start over. That can break your site permanently.
It should go without saying that all HTML and related web site files that comprise visible pages should be backed up regularly. It isn't necessary to record every trivial change, but you can tailor backup software to exclude files or folders. Usually they're so small it isn't worth the trouble. But in some cases those small changes can add up in scenarios where there are many thousands of them.
Here again, the backups are worthless if they can't be used. Even if the hosting company charges for doing so, it's worthwhile to test once or twice a year at least to ensure the data can be restored. That's especially true of database backups, which often involve special software and routines. Database files have a special structure and the information is related in certain ways that require backups be done differently.
Developing a backup strategy can be straightforward. Start simply and review your plan from time to time, modifying it as your site changes and grows. But don't neglect the subject entirely. The day will come when a hard drive fails, or you get hacked or attacked by a virus, or you accidentally delete something important. When that day comes, the few minutes or hours you spent developing and executing a backup plan will have saved you days or weeks of effort.
Software Copyright Laws Software Copyright Laws Fail to Provide Adequate Protection Software copyright laws are among the most difficult to enforce among the masses. Many companies and corporations are also well known for overlooking these laws, which were designed to protect the makes of software from not earning their worth. Perhaps one of the biggest hitches leading so many software businesses to go out of business is the fact that they have a great deal of difficulty actually enforcing the software copyright laws that are in place and getting the money that is owed them according to the agreements that have been made with those on the using end of the software. Software developers, particularly in the corporate world design software that makes other companies run more efficiently. The software allows these companies to save millions of dollars each year. Software copyright laws protect the interests of the software developers that create these massive programs. These programs are often designed specifically for that one company and are very expensive. The agreement often consists of a certain number of users with the company purchasing more licenses or copies of the software during expansions or paying some sort of royalties for the use of the software. The purchasing companies agree to this and then more often than not fail to honor that agreement. The agreement is what allows this company to use that software, this agreement is what allows that permission. When companies aren't living up to their end of this agreement they are not only guilty of breaching that agreement but also of breaking software copyright laws. The trouble always lies in proving that they are not honoring the contract and the extent and duration of the breach. Some of the ways that companies will argue in defense of them not paying the royalties, additional fees, purchasing additional software, etc. is that they upgraded computers and reused the old software (they did actually purchase the rights to use the original software and by doing so feel that they have broken no software copyright laws) the problem lies in the fact that adding ten new computers and placing the software on those should mean that you remove it from or get rid of 10 old computers. This is rarely how it works. So now they've basically stolen ten copies of software that can be well worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Multiply this by 10, 20, or 100 companies trying this or worse each year and the offending companies are costing software developers millions of dollars in profits. This is when software copyright laws are not as far reaching in their scope as they really need to be. Software copyright laws exist to protect the software companies from this type of abuse and misuse, however, the hands of the companies are almost unilaterally tied when it comes to proving that software copyright laws have been broken in court. There are always exceptions to every rule. In this case big business software developers that abuse the software copyright laws to the point of breaking make the exceptions rather than miserly consumers that do not wish to pay for the products they are consuming. The big boys are able to do this by offering licenses for their software and claiming that these laws do not apply to their situation because they are not actually selling the software only 'renting' out permission for people or companies to 'use' that software. The true irony is that these practices began as a response to the corporate irresponsibility mentioned above. It's amazing that the very software copyright laws that were created to protect these companies can't protect their consumers from the greed of the developing companies.
Copyright Infringement Statistics Copyright infringement statistics, by most standards are inflated. Most recent copyright infringement statistics cite that almost 30 percent of software is pirated in the United States of America. This means that they think 30 percent of the software on your computer is illegal? they think we?re all thieves, to an extent. However, copyright holders have good reason to worry that we?re violating their rules: the number of suspects referred to the United States attorneys with an Intellectual Property lead charge increased twenty six percent in the period between 2002 and 2004 ? and there have been studies that show that this is rising. Copyright infringement statistics are difficult to come by, but it?s plain to see it?s affecting every aspect of intellectual copy. Copyright infringement statistics show that in addition to software privacy, there are a lot of violations in the music world. Copyright infringement statistics show that many unsuspecting people, from college students to thirty-something a professional, download music on a consistent basis, and often it?s not downloaded legally. Often times, someone will download a song off a MySpace or YouTube page, without giving thought to who really owns the copyright and if it?s legal for them to have it. Copyright infringement statistics, brought to us by the music recording industry, would have us believe that online infringement is seriously hurting the recording industry. A sensible person, however, would realize that with the abundance of MP3 sales sites that this will turn quickly and recording giants will see the huge profits available online. It?s already begun, you see, we have yet to see the impact of online music sales, and how it will increase revenue. I?m sure, with the huge talent pool at their disposal, the media giants will find a way to monetize the internet to their fullest advantage. Copyright infringement statistics also show that many people are downloading games off the internet. With the litany of games available to us ? from complete alternate worlds such as World of Warcraft to the more mainstream ?The Sims? series, people are clamoring for PC games ? and for good reason. They?re fun, intelligent games that play on a system everyone has ? a computer. Because of this, people are always looking for new games to play and download, and they may download a game without knowing that it?s not ?freeware? (as many internet games are). In addition to computer games, copyright infringement statistics also show that movies are downloaded in abundance on the internet. Many peer to peer file distribution sites and programs (such as bit torrent or Kazaa) allow for the transfer of very large files, and they?re easy to find online. Using a tool provided by one of many suppliers, users can search for any item they like ? and, of course, the system is abused and people download copyrighted movies and entire DVDs instead of publicly available works. Copyright infringement also branches into written works, such as articles, books, poems, etc. Many times, a student will copy a paragraph or two without realizing the implications of such copying. While they may think of it as ?borrowing?, if it?s used on a grander scale, the person could be opening themselves up to a large court fight, especially if it?s used commercially. As you can see, copyright infringement statistics show us that many people are using copyrighted works illegally. Do your best diligence when using another?s work ? and ask for permission every time you want to use something that you haven?t created. Chances are, if you just ask the question up front you?ll save yourself from becoming another copyright infringement statistic and save yourself from a major lawsuit.