So, if I find a link in a question or answer to a blend file that is on an ephemeral site like Pasteall, would it be considered a violation of BSE etiquette to move the blend file to a more persistent site, like Blend-exchange?

Just before posting this question here, I did a search on the BSE site, and found that there are 382 hits for files on Pasteall.org.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this is more of a legal issue than one of etiquette. AFAIK, by uploading a .blend to blend-exchange you grant blend-exchange rights to distribute the .blend. If you do not own the rights to do this, then this may be a violation of the rights of the copyright holder. That said, I think it could be that the uploader may have already waived such rights when uploading it to xyz hosting service. Obligatory disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and this should not be taken as legal advice. Perhaps ask on law.SE? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Aug 17 '15 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ I am not a lawyer, either. But I think that case law covers what I am talking about here (see Copyright circular 21, page 4, column 2, first paragraph, "...reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy;...". While Blend-exchange is not officially a library, it is a de facto archive, and in some percentage of cases, a missing ~.blend file "damages" the question and answer. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Aug 17 '15 at 7:10
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    $\begingroup$ For starters, only the owner of the .blend can relinquish the rights to BE and you must have full rights inorder to upload it to BE $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Aug 18 '15 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ Pasteall doesn't have TOS or licensing afaik.... Which makes this a nearly intractable problem D: $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Aug 18 '15 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ I would expect that Pasteall does have a TOS, but that it applies to the one uploading. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Aug 18 '15 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms This is the closest I could find to a TOS on pasteall. It appears to imply that uploaded content is considered public domain. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Aug 18 '15 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ It can be argued that since the original user has been advised that the file (or files) uploaded to PasteALL has been warned that the files should be considered in the Public domain, and uploads anyway has given implied consent to have the files moved. Further complicating matters is the fact that I have been unable to find anyplace on Stack Exchange generally, and BSE in particular, where one can determine the identity of a member of the community beyond an chosen user name. One of the members who posted a question on BSE is identified only as "User48719". $\endgroup$ – brasshat Aug 19 '15 at 1:32

Be very very careful. By uploading a file to BE you must have the right to do so, as per the TOS.

Your user content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any third party's legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action whether against you or blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com or a third party (in each case under any applicable law).

By breaking this you are essentially stealing the copyright to the file, which is an issue. What I would do is download all the files to your hard disk, so they aren't permanently lost, and then contact the owner.

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    $\begingroup$ I have already gone back about 8 pages into the list of results from the Google search I did of the BSE site and copied all of the files that were still available, and as GCF suggested, I downloaded all of the content that is on PasteAll. From now on, when I see that one who proposed a question, or provided an answer has used PasteAll as a file host, unless someone else has beaten me to it, I intend to politely ask the person who provided the upload to move it to Blend exchange, or some site where the one who makes the upload controls the persistence. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Aug 18 '15 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ @brasshat I'm doing the same. I think we should all watch out for these "stray" .blends and try to get them moved (legally) to Blend Exchange or a similar service. $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Aug 24 '15 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @TARDIS Maker, I've come to a different conclusion. I think the ideal solution is for PasteAll change the policy, so that blends linked to from BSE are not deleted, as long as the question is active on BSE. I've contacted one of the Prinicpals to make the request, but have not yet received a response. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Aug 24 '15 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ @brasshat That would be great. I'm hoping that we can get something setup for our graduation. $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Aug 24 '15 at 18:00

As long as the blend is uploaded by its author and only contains content created by the author, including images, reference drawings, etc... I think it would be important to have such a permanent location for files. Mainly for the purpose of preventing dead links to what would otherwise be helpful content.

In my opinion, if a blend or graphic is created, and intended, for the sole purpose of assisting others, it should be copyright to the author and placed in the public domain by the author in order to reach the most users, not only on stack exchange, but throughout the entire WWW. This would still require the person using the content to acknowledge the copyright, but also allow the person using the content to not be required to display a credit of some sort, like a majority of open source licensing options require.

If I offer help to someone and it is useful to them, and they think they can make money from that help I offered, more power to them. I wouldn't require them to credit me with anything. Just them using the help is credit enough for me. I know many people don't share this same opinion but to me it just makes the most sense.

I cant imagine anyone having to keep track of everyone that offered assistance with some issue or educational material. You would have to credit all your school teachers, the authors and publishers of school books, pen and pencil manufacturers, paper manufactures, PC manufacturers, etc... etc... etc... that all assisted in giving us the skills required to do what we do.

So if it was posted to help others, the author most likely would appreciate the fact that others are still using and sharing it. If the author included an email or postal address in the content, send a mail to it explaining where and why you are keeping it available. Even if they don't respond they will at least know who to contact if an issue arises or if they want you to take it down or update it at a later date.

  • $\begingroup$ This isn't really an answer to the question $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Aug 24 '15 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ However, we ourselves cannot act this out. I can see the value in making public domain contributions, however, only the author can do that. In the case of files on pasteall and such, the author has not done that so we cannot re-share the files. As far as contributions in the posts on this site they are free with credit, which I think is fine. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Aug 24 '15 at 19:27

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