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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
New Forum Image Linking Policy
Effective immediately, AboveTopSecret.com is handling inline images differently, the standard BBcode [img] [/img] tags are now generating image links.
Due to our massive size and traffic levels, inline image hotlinking of images hosted on lesser websites can end up causing bandwidth issues for the host site. Generally, this is a "grey area" in the world of discussion boards as the BBcode for inline images is pretty much standardized across tens of thousands of sites. But once a board achieves our size, we need to be mindful of the bandwidth strain we might cause other websites, and strive to be good Internet citizens.
Generally, the new rule is simple:
You host it: if you have made arrangements to host the image either through a hosting service, your own website, or your ATS member upload space, you can visually display the image in your post.
A news service hosts it: If the image is owned by a news service, you can display it in a post by using a new tag.
All other images included in posts will now appear as an "external image" link.
The new rules are applied as follows...
LEGACY SUPPORT -- The Standard BBcode Image Tag: [img](image url)[/img]
This will generate a large-text "external image" link to the source image if the host site is not in our list of enabled hosts. Use this tag whenever you are in doubt. Enabled host sites currently include: uploads.abovetopsecret.com, photobucket, imageshack, and tinypic. If you favor an alternate free image hosting service, please send me an example URL of an image you have hosted there.
NEWS IMAGERY -- A New BBcode News Image Tag: [im](image url)[/im]
This displays the image inline, as well as indicates the source URL of the image. Use this tag for images from accredited news websites only as their sourcing rules generally allow this type of usage. Do not use tag for any other images.
MEMBER HOSTED -- A New ATS Member BBcode Image Tag: [ats](image url)[/ats]
This displays the image inline in the same way the old tag used to. Use this tag only for images for which you have arranged hosting by uploading it to your member upload center, or through any other hosting means you have arranged. Even if your host is in the list of enabled hosts for the [img] [/img] tag, we prefer that you use the [ats] [/ats] tag for inline images from this point forward.
Examples of these new tag policies are:
We will be enforcing these new image hotlinking rules aggressively. Any member discovered using the [ats] tag for images they have not arranged to host will be subject to a brief or permanent posting ban depending on the severity of the infraction.
NOTICE: This new system is not intended to circumvent obtaining permission to integrate the intellectual property of others into your posts without their permission. In fact, the new "external link" tag is intended to better preserve the property rights of the original owner of the images that have been hotlinked in board posts. This system is in place to better support our recognition of image ownership, while offering members the means to hotlink inline images for which they have permission to post.
[edit on 22-4-2006 by SkepticOverlord]