Wasn't Jack Valenti just telling us that DVDs last forever? Maybe not. As many people are now learning, digital media has a pretty rapid decay rate. The latest to discover this was a reporter who, five years ago or so, had fallen for that old (har har) "paperless office" gag that has been pulled before. He bought a CD-RW and scanned in all sorts of stuff (including photos and old articles he'd written) -- and then made the fatal mistake: he tossed out the original copies. Glad to have the filing space back, he proceeded to shove the CDs on a shelf somewhere and forget about them for years... until now. Partly out of curiosity, he pulled out these backup CDs, put them in his CD drive and discovered the wonders of Windows error messages. He begins to wonder (uh oh) what will this mean for all the CDs and DVDs he's been paying good money for over the years. It would be nice if he could back them all up, perhaps multiple times to various different storage media, but the entertainment industry isn't real keen on that idea, seeing as they're actively stomping out those who try to help you save your own digital files.
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