If you need an illustration of the problems with overly stringent copyright laws, look no further than the British Library. The institution has just made its archive of UK website domains available to the public, but you can't actually visit it from the web -- the Legal Deposit Libraries Act requires that you stop by one of six libraries in the country to take a look. While reforms may be coming, the British Library says there are concerns that site operators could lose revenue if people flock to the historical collection instead of active pages. Whether or not there's any merit to that fear, those who can't swing by a reading room are largely out of luck. The British Library runs a permission-based web archive, but its roughly 13,000 sites pale in comparison to the billions stored in the offline repository.
[Image credit: British Library]