Well its happening once again, another site has decided to close down/re-brand/whatever, delete all the data and pretend like nobody ever actually used it. Naturally whenever a situation like this goes down Jason Scott (of textfiles.com and the Internet Archive) gets mad as hell and deploys his own personal army to grab everything before it disappears forever. That's exactly what the Archive Team is all about.
This time around its Webshots.com which got sold and the new owners (and original founders in 1995) apparently aren't a fan anymore. They've given everyone two months or so to download all their photos before they push out the new site and all their old pictures disappear.. Not cool in my opinion.
Now here's where the Archive Team comes in; we're a rag-tag group of computer geeks who don't like seeing this stuff go down and have way too much time on our hands. Long story short we meet up in IRC, figure out a way to scrape everything off the site we can, whip together an automated script to take care of the hard stuff, then fire it off. The cool thing is this isn't the Archive Team's first rodeo by far.
Just recently this year we archived over 350 TB from Apple's me.com (aka MobileMe, iDisk, and some other names I can't think of). The Webshots project that's currently going is only looking like its going to be 60 TB or so, which should be nothing for us.
If you're interested in helping out with the project you can read more about it here or join us on IRC in #webshots on Efnet for more info. You can also track our downloading progress here if you'd like.