Authory Provides Writers a Permanent Record of Their Articles

Originally published at: Authory Provides Writers a Permanent Record of Their Articles - TidBITS

Authory preserves articles you write for any website, giving you a permanent copy that’s also searchable by others. It’s worth a look for anyone who wants a record of their personal or professional writing that’s independent of any given publication or platform.


Thank you for an excellent article about a service that sounds potentially very useful. I have the same problem with losing track of the thousands of articles and news stories I have written over the years, and I am going to look seriously at it when I have time. However, a couple of important questions come to mind.

One is that I have written for some publications that demanded exclusive rights and paid well enough for me to sign the contracts. If I sign up with them, are they going to be copying those stories in ways that make copies available for readers at my behest, which could be seen as violating the contracts I signed if they were doing that copying at my behest.

The second question is a flip side of that coin. Could they uncover pirated copies of my articles on web sites that neither I nor the publisher authorized? Did you see any evidence of that?


Yes, I haven’t generally exposed my articles. There’s a clear defense from the Google Books and Hathi Trust case (that just came up with the Internet Archive losing its terrible lawsuit) that courts have found it legal to have private databases of material that aren’t exposed in full to the public. So Google Books can have snippet view and it’s pretty clear Authory can have a database made exclusively for you, visible only to you. (I am not a lawyer, but this now seems like pretty well-founded law. The judge in the Internet Archive suit made it clear that those previous decisions aren’t in question at a trial court level.)

If you expose your articles generally to readers when they’re readily available on the publications’ websites, I think you get into some murky water. Arguably, you might be violating your contract and/or not engaging in fair use. You might speak with the publication about it. They may grant you non-exclusive portfolio rights via a simple email.

If a publication is out of business or the article can’t be found at the original URL or via the site at all, it’s a very hard argument on their part to claim that you’re somehow in violation of something—I think technically, you could be, but they might have an obligation (it’s in some contracts) to “publish” your article. When it’s no longer available, that might reduce some of their rights. Several publications I write for give me non-exclusive rights after an initial period or give me the right to publish in a portfolio sort of environment.

Authory only scans valid publications from what I can tell to find instances of you via their Pro tier. They don’t do a general web search.


Authory sounds potentially very useful in preserving a writer’s work. My question would be what happens to all those archives if you lose the ability to pay for Authory? Is all your work simply gone? If you become ill and can’t work for awhile and pay the fee, or even die, do you or your heirs lose all access to this archive of your work? Does it, too, fall into the Big Blue Nowhere?


Super questions. I’d recommend regularly exporting from Authory. They can do a full dump of everything in XML format, or produce one HTML page for every article. The XML can be processed into pages, etc., so it’s a universal export option.

I hadn’t thought about the disabled/death/payment issues—let me ask the founder. I was thinking of this as an archive while one’s working, but that you’d download it when that period was over. Obviously only part of the issue.


I asked Erich Hauch, the founder, and received this very thoughtful reply, and an interest in feedback:

If you can’t/don’t want to pay for Authory anymore, then you can

  • download your entire archive with a single click (including your texts as XML or Html files, videos as video files and podcasts as audio files). We don’t want to lock you in.
  • If you want to pause your account, then you can do that for up to a year. We’ll keep your data stored but your portfolio won’t be publicly available, and you can continue where you left off anytime.
  • We’ve been approached a number of times over the past few months with customers asking what happens if, god forbid, they die. They wanted their archives/portfolio to remain available. So we are thinking about a “for life” plan where you’d pay a fixed amount and then your account would remain available “forever”, just not with the option to add new content. I’d love to hear your/your readers’ thoughts on that, too!