About the Nifty Archive
Because the maintainers of the Nifty Archive understand the time, effort, and skill that authors devote to their stories, the Nifty Archive has made the commitment not to profit through the collection and display of their hard work. The Archive does not receive any compensation for providing access to the stories. The only constraint that the Archive places on authors is that permission to display their stories may not be rescinded for commercial purposes without compensating the Archive.
The Nifty Archive primarily is maintained by one person who handles all sections. Members of the Transgender community initially helped with that section, but have since drifted away. Additional volunteers always are appreciated, but they need the time, patience, reliability, and Linux operating system skills to be productive. Reviewing stories and merging them into the Archive is a very different than reading them for pleasure.
Maintaining the Archive is done as a hobby: a volunteer, part-time effort. No one receives any compensation for or personal benefit from maintaining the Archive. Readers do not pay to access stories; authors do not pay to display stories; stories are not obscured with banner advertising in and around them. The Archive does not own the stories and does not sell them or license them to others. The copyright for a few stories has been donated to the Nifty Archive.
The Nifty Archive does not collect any individual, personal information from browser visits. Nifty does keep track of the domains from which browsers visit us and we sometimes analyze this data for trends and statistics, and then we discard this data. We do not provide, sell, copy or redistribute this information to any other organization.
The Nifty Archive site contains links to other websites. The Nifty Archive is not responsible for the privacy practices of such websites, nor for the content of such websites.
The Nifty Archive started as a personal archive of both pictures and stories made available to the public via anonymous FTP at CMU by student and, later, staff member Chris. The same system also hosted the original Queer Resources Directory (QRD) developed by Ron Buckmire. The stories included a partial archive of gay stories posted to USENET newsgroups and stories directly uploaded to the Nifty FTP site.
Chris focussed most of his attention on the pictures sections leaving the stories somewhat in disarray and languishing. The current archive maintainer, David, approached Chris and volunteered to help maintain the stories section. This began the great categorization process in March 1993 which included merging in all of the uploaded but not yet filed stories.
The site temporarily suspended public access shortly thereafter at the end of April when Chris, the CMU system postmaster, and Chris's boss received harrassing email complaining about the FTP site from a forged email address. Because most of the scanned pictures were copyrighted and no age restriction for access to the site was in place, CMU requested that the pictures be removed but allowed Chris to re-open the archive with only the stories section and QRD remaining. Chris later began maintaining a set of links to naked pictures of men throughout the early World Wide Web which evolved into some of the current commercial websites.
Around June 1994 GOPHER access was enabled and around January 1995 FTP access was limited to reduce the excessive CPU load on the system and bandwidth load on CMU, and to stop hackers from using the incoming directory as a hidden WAREZ trading site. The GOPHER server later was configured to handle HTML pages and a reader contributed the original design of the HTML landing page. Because of the heavy load, the system frequently ran out of resources causing it to lock up and generally provide unreliable service. Around this time Casti began providing an FTP and GOPHER mirror for the QRD and the Nifty Archive.
In early 1996, Chris decided to leave CMU because of its refusal to recognize benefits for domestic partners. At that time David began searching for a new home and appealing to the Net for help. Concurrently, the Communication Decency Act was passed which forced the archive to look for adult verification methods as well. Few offers of resources materialized and many individuals did not follow through with their commitments when the deadline for the relocation finally approached.
During the Summer of 1996, Chris finally left CMU and the CDA was ruled unconstitutional by a special U.S. Appellate Court in Pennsylvania. After a brief absence, the Nifty Archive re-appeared providing public web access on The Gay Cafe using SafeSurf PICS content rating system and registration with various parental control services to allow individual control over access.
The Gay Cafe site hosting the Nifty Archive moved to a better web hosting service early in 1997. However, a dispute between the Gay Cafe and their web hosting service later that Spring temporarily shut down the Nifty Archive and all of its mirror sites for a brief time. The Nifty Archive made another desperate appeal for more mirror sites and finally started attracting additional, high-capacity mirror sites which has continued to grow in number.
In the April of 2000, the Nifty Archive Alliance formally was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. In March of 2001, the IRS determined that the Nifty Archive Alliance was a tax-exempt charity under IRS Code 501(c)3 making all donations fully tax deductible to U.S. residents.
In 2010, the Nifty Archive web hosting was consolidated to use a content delivery network instead of an explicit list of geographically based web sites mirroring the content.
Praise for Nifty
Review in Entity
Feature in Pinknews
Reference in GQ Magazine