The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web, founded by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco. It allows the user to go âback in timeâ and see what websites looked like in the past. Its founders, Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat, developed the Wayback Machine with the intention of providing 'universal access to all knowledge' by preserving archived copies of defunct webpages.
Since its launch in 2001, over 452 billion pages have been added to the archive. The service has also sparked controversy over whether or not creating archived pages without the owner's permission constitutes copyright infringement in certain jurisdictions.