[Foundation-l] discussion about banning external hotlinking

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 16:20:42 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 12:12 PM, Simetrical
<Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Although, as it stands right now we're really encouraging unattributed
>> use. ... Our thumbnailing even strips EXIF copyright information. :(
> Well, that at least could probably be fixed easily enough.  Of course,
> even if they just hotlink the thumbnail with no comment, you can still
> look at the URL and track down its contributors, if you know how.
> Rather like how in Wikipedia articles, the images are used without
> clear attribution, and you have to know to click the image to track
> down the contributors . . . although there's a difference of degree
> here, it's true.

One click vs.. I don't agree that it's at all comparable

> Which is kind of like saying that if an overwhelming majority of
> third-party reusers of Wikipedia dumps are not following the rules, we
> should stop providing the dumps.  Wikimedia needs to stay within what
> is legal and moral itself.  It doesn't need to punish legitimate
> reusers because of a majority's illegal or immoral actions.  If
> contributors want to DMCA hotlinkers who don't provide attribution,
> that sounds like a good idea to me.

But see in the hotlinking case we're an active participant.  It
doesn't continue without our help.  Besides, as I pointed out.. there
are clear actions which we can take to mitigate the harm: good linking
instructions, offering extensions to popular blogging platforms, and
preserving/filling out image metadata.  We can do these things, I
don't think anyone would disagree that they'd help a lot.. and since
we're an active (and now knowing) participant to the bad behaviour I'd
argue that we must.

>> 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.
> Now there's a good idea.  Every other image-upload software package
> does that.  Let me see if I can't code that up right now.

Cool. 'nuff.  You might want to hunt down mangus little JS example. I
can't find it at the moment, but the user interface was pretty
reasonable as I recall.

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