beSpacific points to a NIST report, Information Technology: Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs — A Guide for Librarians and Archivists.
Surprisingly, the report fails to mention the implications of DRM techniques for these archiving strategies. And, reading all this discussion of copy-making for archival purposes, you have to wonder what the copyright cabal would like to make of these instructions……
A potentially more immediate threat is technological obsolescence. Technological advances will no doubt make current optical disc types obsolete within several years. If the software currently used to interpret the data on optical discs becomes unavailable, a migration or emulation technology will be needed to access the data. Also, if the current disc-drive technology becomes unavailable, and if disc drives produced in the future lack the backward compatibility to play today’s discs, the information on the discs will likewise be inaccessible. Film and paper are much more stable in this regard, as human language does not change as rapidly as computer software, hardware, or the media format. Ink on paper, for example, has been used for centuries, and film has not changed significantly over the years.
The importance of ensuring that information can be read by future generations cannot be overstated. It is vital to have in place a preservation strategy that guarantees the sustainability of the collection for as long as possible. The computer-user industry standard for data storage on removable digital media has changed considerably over the past few decades (TASI 2002). As shown in Figure 1, digital media used as recently as 20 years ago are already incompatible with most of today’s systems.
[...] The ability to make copies of equal quality (digital-to-digital) means that it is possible and recommended to archive one copy of a given digital collection (preferably the original) by storing it in a location separate from that of frequently accessed copies. Presumably, then, the archived (original) media will be needed only for inspection, production of additional copies, or migration to new media. One of the most important benefits of archiving is increased security; it helps prevent information loss caused by disaster, theft, or mishandling.
If budgetary limits preclude separate locations, then multiple copies should be kept at the same location. The original can be designated as archival, and the copies accessible. If the original is in analog format, then the analog version and the original digital copy should both be archived. [...]