Archive a forum / read-only version - or - create a copy and continue to provide the forum?

Sadly, Memrise is about to shut down their user-forum which runs on Discourse:

While @neoncube is currently attempting to create an offline copy - is there any means to sort of copy the forum (new account, old data), provided the current owner (= Memrise) would agree?

If the current owner agrees, they can

  • anonymize all users (since the data will not be under their control any more)
  • remove all references to their brand or trademark(s)
  • provide a backup to someone they trust with it

and that person(s) can

If the current owner does not agree then any attempt to archive this forum is probably illegal in some way.


I’ve made static archives with wget before.

Which would violate the GDPR if you’re in Europe, and copyright law in most of the world.

Thanks for your replies!

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In this case it was made by the forum owner who just wanted to switch to some other platform and keep the static archive.

My solution is the same as yours but doesn’t require a running discourse that requires maintenance.

And if it’s offline for the owner’s purposes, you can move pms into a category to get them archived too.

Just like Wayback Machine?

Most of forum posts aren’t copyrighted because those aren’t original works as copyright wants. And it is really rare these would be against GDPR either.

This comment is not violating either one if someone copies and publish it.

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Jagster, don’t take this the wrong way but you are giving bad advice with respect to GDPR on a regular basis.

Wayback Machine / Internet Archive has had some major issues with GDPR and they had to spend a lot of effort to implement the right to delete and to modify.

They also have the status of a “library” since they don’t copy a single specific site. That means that the GDPR gives them “legitimate interest” and they can deal with copyright laws in a bit more relaxed manner.

Yes it would! Your profile picture is definitely PII. By publishing it elsewhere I am taking away your freedom to remove it or change it. It also leaks information about your age and race and maybe even possible physical disabilities. The text that you write is yours, and as long as you don’t remove the post, you have given CDCK a license to publish it (per the ToS). Anyone else publishing it would violate your copyright.

When you create a static copy of a Discourse site, people can come to you and request you to remove their username. That means you would have to go through each file manually or do some fancy search/replace.


If they’re in the EU (EDIT: Or might possibly have users from the EU, or, maybe have users that might move to the EU, or have users that might claim that they live in the EU) they should certainly listen to you. Whether it’s easier to run and maintain discourse indefinitely or run a static site and find out how to do a sed command to do a recursive replacement is up for grabs, I would say.

GDPR does not just apply to businesses in the EU. It also applies to businesses in the USA that have EU users.

Just like you Americans have been pushing your DMCA upon us :wink:


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