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At Blender Stack Exchange if someone wants to share their .Blend with us, the community-preferred method is through Blend-Exchange, kudos to GiantCowFilms, Gandalf3, TenShrike, and mhsjlw.

Whenever a new user, or any user, asks a question including a .blend and ISN'T on Blend-Exchange we almost always request they do so. So why not do it for them? To clarify: Whenever a new question is asked that includes a .blend NOT on Blend-Exchange we auto-migrate it.

Cons, yep I'm starting with Cons

  • Privacy - People may feel a little invaded if we switch their .blend hosting site without consent
  • It's not legal
  • Insert more cons here

Pros

  • No more asking to move .blend, just doing

  • This is just a guess, but it may encourage more people to download the .blend

  • File preservation - .blends won't expire

  • Insert more pros here

Of course, if the question-asker doesn't want their .blend on Blend-Exchange they can always remove it from their question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Some times, files won't fit under the imposed size limits. Other than that I don't see any real advantage, that would be a tremendous amount of work. And if a file is not easily downloadable, the users won't download the file and the asker wont be getting any quality answers. IMHO that should be incentive enough to move the file themselves $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jan 3 '17 at 1:53
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    $\begingroup$ The only pro I think really matters is preservation. At the moment we have a bunch of dead pasteall links which is pretty annoying. It'll be a bit of work indeed but I'm not against anyone volunteering their time to help future readers. However, anyone who chooses to share a personal blend falls under stackexchange.com/legal so some legal issues start coming into play. Also, the most important thing I think is that this should be done sparingly at times for "useful blends", those not demonstrate some technique or fix a problem (answers) as a problem blend is hardly useful to anyone really. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jan 3 '17 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ Licensing. We can't just take someone's file and put it on another site. $\endgroup$ – X-27 Jan 3 '17 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate: meta.blender.stackexchange.com/q/827/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 4 '17 at 2:20
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any info where to upload files in the first place? I've just looked at Take a Tour and searched Help Center for 'blend file', 'blend', 'file' and 0 results. I'm pretty annoyed myself by constantly telling users to upload a file to Blend-Exchange. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jan 20 '17 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @LukeD As Blend-Exchange is third party, it is not included in the Help Center. However, I think it would be better if it was included $\endgroup$ – Unnamed Sentient Being Jan 20 '17 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @SammySwanson It's third party, but everybody (including mods) encourages people to leave blend files there. I've asked question couple minutes ago and another drawback is that you can't paste question link in Blend-Exchange until you ask question :) So you need to ask it and edit to do this properly. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jan 20 '17 at 22:44
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Sadly, That is not possible

At least not without consulting a lawyer. The problem is that when people upload to blend-exchange they agree to the terms of service which give blend-exchange the rights to distribute their file however it wishes. Only the owner of the copyright of that blend can do that.

That might not be entirely necessary, but a legal expert would be needed to determine that.

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Due to legal reasons, we probably can't do this automatically.

But we can do it semiautomatically

We can make uploading and migrating blend files as easy for the user as possible. Possible ways (ignoring how easy/difficult these are to implement):

  • Add an upload button to the question editor. Right next to the "upload image" button.
  • (optional) Automatically detect links to blend files while writing the question and put a note next to it saying that we prefer Blendexchange hosting.
  • Normally, users can edit a question. The question owner then has to approve the edits. Users can flag questions as "Blend file uploaded at third-party host" and the question owner will receive a notification and when he opens the question a big "migrate" button shows up.

See, it's not fully automatic. But we make it as easy as possible for the user since the easier the action is the more users will use it that wouldn't have before due to laziness.

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  • $\begingroup$ That would be great, yes, but stack-exchange hasn't helped thus far in blend-exchange, unless we can actually get them to add these things they are just hopes $\endgroup$ – Unnamed Sentient Being Jan 6 '17 at 19:04

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