Some of the questions and answers I've been tidying up have sample screenshots where the images are hosted by third party sites such as ImageShack.

To guard against potential image rot in the future I've been downloading these then re-uploading them into the official Stack Overflow image store.

Should I keep doing this or am I brewing up a potential copyright/ownership issue for the future by moving these?

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    (As an aside: if you're actually first downloading to your local machine, and then uploading again, then note that the "insert an image" dialog has an option "from the web". Using that, the image will be copied in one go.)
    – Arjan
    Jan 22, 2011 at 16:18
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    @arjan - So it has, I'm as blind as a bat :)
    – Kev
    Jan 22, 2011 at 16:46

3 Answers 3


It can be, but I would only do this in the case where

  • the image is absolutely essential to capture the meaning of the post

  • the post is of exceptionally high quality and worthy of such hand-tuning


IMHO StackExchange should do so automatically on all old images. It's the only way to rescue images which will inevitably rot and 404 (like imageshack and similar).

Also, StackExchange could tweak (or avoid) the image licenses as needed in such a migration, while a user can't.


I post my images through Dropbox because I want to be able to update them and manage them without having to change the URL and because it makes me feel "more in control" with my files. I would mind if you changed that. :)

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    I actually mind the idea that you can change the meaning of the post without any of us seeing that in any revision history. Even requests like Could we have the ability to mark a change as minor in questions or answers? mention the history aspect...
    – Arjan
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:13
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    @arjan - you lost me there. @badp - what if dropbox go bust or you get knocked down by a bus? Or you decide to go loco: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/75902/…
    – Kev
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:24
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    @Kev, if images hosted through Dropbox can be changed without changing their URL (and hence without having to edit the post), then today's screen capture might be an ad or Unicorn tomorrow!
    – Arjan
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:27
  • @Kev, what if imgur goes bust? There's no service that will stay online forever. When Dropbox goes down, I have my images on my hard drive. When Imgur goes down, do you have yours?
    – badp
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:41
  • @arjan - oh I see. Sorry I've not used the "get image from" internet so you lost me there for a moment. But I guess if it was changed to something heinous then I'm sure it's going to be caught @badp - you could always roll back and that would be that. I'd respect your judgement.
    – Kev
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:45
  • @badp - using the process of download/upload yes.
    – Kev
    Jan 22, 2011 at 19:46

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