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There are 9 alternatives - vote for the best!
sed already has an option for editing files in place and making backup copies of the old file. -i will edit a file in place and if you give it an argument, it will make a backup file using that string as an extension.
"&&" runs sed if and only if the backup completed and /bin/cp exited cleanly. Works for multiple files; just specify multiple filenames (or glob). Use -v switch for cp to play it safe.
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