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rynert

Linking to images in a forum

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In one of my forums (see sig) people are posting images (via link) of flowers, dresses etc that they like or are going to have at their wedding.

 

Should I allow linked images from other sites? Should I allow them but request that the users always add 'Image curtesy of www.domain.com' or similar?

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I think one of the coolest things you could do is to turn 'external' requests for your images into slightly modified pix - using some clever .htaccess tricks and php's ability to mess with pictures.

 

As in: add a "© myforum" watermark or turn it into a B/W pic.

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Hi Rynert,

Should I allow linked images from other sites?
I would be inclined to discourage that practice because the image/website owners may just think of it as hotlinking, regardless of the innocent intent of your members.

 

When some people find out that their pictures are being “linked to” they replace the "linked picture" with something rude or horrible. :D

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

TreV

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Wit - yeah... maybe I should contact all teh companies and suggest that!

 

TreV - that is my concern.. but if I get people to credit the image with a link or name drop of the company, that is like free advertising.. or is it?

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I have sites that see lots of hotlinking in forums. I enjoy it if the post is informative and they credit where the image came from - sometimes I get great traffic from those threads.

 

However, most of the time the poster simply puts up an image, no discussion, they just use my BW. I use .htaccess to ban those sites from using my images.

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I had someone take a picture from my site that was about 160 pixels X 200 pixels, and hotlink to it as a 10X10 avatar in a very popular college sports forum.

 

It was getting 10,000+ hits per day.

 

I changed the name of the image on my site, and deleted the old one, though I was tempted to deliver something else - at 10x10 it was barely recognizable as what is was.

 

It was pretty annoying. Chances are that people aren't going to like having their pictures linked to like that.

 

There may also be the potential for someone to claim copyright infringement.

 

If they use images, they should ask for permission. If you want them to use images that they have gotten permission for, you might want to look at ways to have them upload those.

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My first thoughts are that: as your forum continues to grow it could be an “administrative nightmare” for you. Checking the all images have been properly credited and linked to. Your members could inadvertently link to an image on an image “rotation script”, and webmasters may remove, and replace images for different reasons – I know you are aware of theses issues, I’m just thinking out loud. :)

 

Being a pessimist I would not permit linking, but try to come up another "win win" solution

 

TreV

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I don't know of many sites that are happy with hotlinking. I'd encourage your members to sign up for a free photo hosting account and host the images themselves if they want to post them on the forum. To make it easier for your less tech-savvy members, you could write up a little tutorial with step-by-step screenshots for using one of the more popular photo hosting accounts; a lot of people have trouble learning to post photos on forums.

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Thanks for the comments! Not sure I am an clearer though!

 

I myself am in two minds. If people were using my images for an unrelated purpose it would bother me - but if I sold wedding dresses, and my dresses were being hot linked, and credited, from a wedding forum, I think I would be very happy - in fact I would encourage it!

 

However, I do realise that my view is not nessecarily the same as others!

 

Canadiachick, a guide would be great, as I have already seen this problems! However, simply hosting somebody elses images elsewhere, rather than hotlinking, does not really solve the 'problem'!

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