[Foundation-l] discussion about banning external hotlinking

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 15:32:43 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:22 AM, Simetrical
<Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com> wrote:
> Essentially the same arguments apply to watermarking and other overly
> protective measures.  The status quo is perfectly fine with respect to
> third-party use of Wikimedia images.  I've hotlinked Wikimedia images
> myself on more than one occasion.

Although, as it stands right now we're really encouraging unattributed
use. ... Our thumbnailing even strips EXIF copyright information. :(

I strongly suspect that an overwhelming majority of the hotlinkers are
not following the rules. If we can't get that turned around then we
*should* disable hotlinking because leaving it there is an attractive
nuisance which is both disrespectful to our contributors, and
potentially bad for PR (imagine if some Wikimedia contributors start
aggressively DMCA noticing hotlinkers who don't provide attribution).

But ... I don't think we should limit hotlinking.

Rather, I think we should encourage it... but we should encourage
doing it right by promoting extensions that provide links back to the
image pages, and by having mediawiki provide example HTML copy and
past which does the right thing. (and we should also stop stripping
most of the Exif, and also append in the image page data into the

Mangus had a JS example of the former for commons that was pretty spiffy.

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