[Foundation-l] discussion about banning external hotlinking

Jon wiki at konsoletek.com
Mon Jul 28 12:15:56 UTC 2008

Another quick note I wanted to make as to why this would be fairly negative
on the PR.  One of the main reasons to be concerned with hot linking is the
fact that people aren't properly attributing the source of where the images
came from.  Well if you take a look at the first URL Tim posted in the
thread it is to "tunergarage.blogspot.com".  I only looked at their main
page but right now they have 2 images hot linked BUT directly under those
images it says "Image via Wikipedia" and links back to the Common's
description page.

Isn't the wiki moto to "Assume Good Faith"?  Does that faith end at the edge
of the Wiki?


On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:36 AM, Dan Rosenthal <swatjester at gmail.com>wrote:

> Seriously. Also, I just saw the justification for this and about dropped my
> jaw.
> *"We are not a free image host* - *Money and server power is being wasted
> on
> hosting millions of images for websites that are completely unrelated to
> the
> Wikimedia project. Here is an example of a search for en.WP images that do
> not mention Wikipedia,
> [10]<
> http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=site%3Aupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fen+-intitle%3Awikipedia&btnG=Search+Images
> >over
> 2 mil. We should not be using our servers for this, as I doubt anyone
> donated money with this in mind. Copying of free images is obviously fine,
> just as it is with text, but we don't (as far as I know) host the text for
> any other site, I don't see why we should do this for image"*
> No we are not a free (as in beer) image host, but we do host free (as in
> beer and liberty) pictures.  The vast majority of these images are not
> actually hotlinked anywhere, and take negligible amounts of bandwidth. On
> the other hand, by keeping free (as in liberty) images on our servers
> (preferably commons) we allow them to be used to benefit future Wikimedia
> projects. And the completely irrelevant ones should have some sort of
> deletion criteria if they are not being used. I don't see the need to block
> hundreds of legitimate sites from hotlinking, and swarm us with negative
> publicity for this point.
> "*We should not host non-free and fair-use images for anyone to use without
> reason* - *Wikipedia hosts many non-free and fair use images for use within
> the project, but we can not limit usage of hosted non-free images on other
> sites. Ethically and legally is not a good idea to host copyrighted works
> for anyone to use with any purpose."*
> We don't. Non-free images that are not being used, are supposed to be
> deleted. What people do outside of the project is their own concern if our
> uses are legitimate; and furthermore it's not within our scope of concern
> to
> be policing external use. Blocking hotlinks is not the solution to this
> problem either.
> *We bog down Wikipedia with uploads of nonsense photos
> *Statistics show that they're less than 2% of bandwidth. $6,000 a year,
> tops. Ignoring the blanket statement that the photos are "nonsense"
> (because
> really, who's spent the time to check every one of these millions of photos
> and make a qualititative decision on them?) they don't really hurt us.
> Now, lets sum up the bad reasons:
> 1. Miniscule benefit. Implementing technical procedures for miniscule
> benefit is usually a bad thing, especially if there are problems and they
> don't go well. See below.
> 2. PR - We are all about getting free content out to people. What kind of
> message does it send when we suddenly start restricting that content? The
> second this gets picked up on any major news media outlet would be the
> second that there is a backlash and petition against the WMF, and we lose
> face everytime we say "the sum of all human knowledge" or "bringing free
> content to the world"  and get the responce "unless it's hotlinked, right?"
> Honestly, I wouldn't think it unforeseeable that we'd lose more money in
> lost small donations than we gain in saved bandwidth.
> 3. Hurts potential business agreements with partner organizations. With
> this
> enabled, NOBODY would be able to hotlink images from us. Not Google, One
> Laptop Per Child, not anyone. This potentially hurts our ability to make
> business deals with partner organizations.
> 4. Outside our scope. It's simply not our primary, or even secondary
> concern
> what other people do with our content, but rather what we do with our own
> content.
> 5. Hurts legitimate users from reusing our content to say good things about
> us.
> Some of these concerns may be slightly overstated, but any one of them
> outweighs the lack of benefit from enacting this change, and in the
> aggregate they completely outweigh it.
> -Dan
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 3:01 AM, Joe Szilagyi <szilagyi at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 11:57 PM, Dan Rosenthal <swatjester at gmail.com
> > >wrote:
> >
> > > I fail to see the benefit of this trade off when compared to the
> extreme
> > > negative publicity we'd get for it.  The 2007 finances report says we
> > spent
> > > approximately $389,000 on internet hosting.
> > > 1.5-2% of that is around 6,000 dollars a year.
> > >
> > > You couldn't hope to buy off the negative publicity we'd get from this
> > for
> > > a
> > > $6,000 a year savings.
> > >
> > > -Dan
> >
> >
> > Agreed. I just saw Tim's numbers on it after mailing out the FYI here.
> Even
> > if it topped at 10k, it's not worth it. Maybe in several years of
> > scaling...
> >
> > - Joe
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> --
> Dan Rosenthal
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the foundation-l mailing list