Controlling the "Download" files button..

Greetings Community:   Is there a way to control the "Download" button that appears by default for uploaded files? For the project I'm working on, inviting download is not always desirable.  Sometimes photographers do not want their work downloaded, only reviewed and/or commented on...  It can potentially become a copyright issue for them and other media producers.  Of course someone can still take the image by other means, but this level of control would be a great feature enhancement.

If toggling the "Download" button On/Off is possible with 1.5, at what granular level can it be accomplished?  All users, specific users, single, or all groups, etc?   I know there is file access control built into Elgg, but controlling this level of access should be an option for certain types of projects; no matter what the access level is for the file.  Image theft is a huge problem on the web..

Looking forward to all feedback on this... Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Marcus,

    I think that photographers will either have to reconcile themselves to the digital age or confine themselves to paper publications with dwindling viewership.

    But to answer your question, no there is currently no way to do that.

    If there was strong demand, I could add such a "Show download link?" option to my flexfile plugin which would allow toggling it for each file.

  • @Kevin: Thanks for your input Kevin.. As a photographer myself, i know that if you ask any professional about this, they would concur with me and the feature option would make Elgg an even more viable solution..  Your response seems more critical than creative.  Of course we all have to come to terms with the pervassiveness of technology and confining themselves to paper is an archaic concept.  If your plugin has the framework to enable this type of functionality, I think it would be to your (flexfile's) advantage and that of others to make it that much more comprehensive...

    Everyone's input on this topic is greatly encouraged...

  • You could also edit out the dowload link each plugin produces... Just a thought.

  • I think download file should be the exception, not the rule, for Elgg. It is always better that MP3 be played than downloaded or photo be viewed than downloaded.  I don't understand why download would be the norm anyway.  It doesn't make any common sense.  That's just my opinion.  Please do not be offended.

  • @Dave: Interesting idea Dave.. My coding is nominal..  Any suggestions on how and where to accomplish that?  Could it possibly just be commented out, or some other way?

    @ukr: Thanks for your input.. Thats why these threads are so useful. Each of us operates in different fields and have different needs for our projects. 

    Hopefully we can genreate a solution here.  I know someone here has the intimate knowledge with Elgg on how to make this small adjustment..


  • Question for the community:  Could, or would a plugin be more feasible to accomplish something like this?

  • @marcus

    What is the end result you wish to achieve ?

    It seems your concerns are more 'security' related than mere 'download button' related. Simply disabling the button will not stop downloading of the content.

    If your artists and photographers are "paranoid - you should seek out an internet security consultant. Believe ths or keep posting questions in vain.

     I do not believe you will find an satisfactory solution with a mere plugin if you want air-tight security for your content. One of the few currentl known tight security on (controlled) downloadable content is google books - try and download their content !

  • @Dhrup - I agree with you in the fact that NO plugin will stop anyone from getting what they want. 

    Exception would be a plugin that uses DRM technology which can be integrated with about any software.

    I agree that allowing downloads should have a on/off toggle set by the owner of the content.

    But for someone that wants your content they will get it if they want it.

    But for those of you that want to try and secure yoru content I suggest remove the download links from the plugin code and also install some code the prevents right click of the mouse and code that prevents the code from being viewed.

    I did find lately something interesting along these same lines

    I am using a plugin calle custom styles that allows users to change their profile backgrounds

    We found out quite by accident that it is almost impossible to steal someones custom wallpaper background.

    So it may worth looking that code and integrating it with the plugins that have download functions or plugins that deal with content such as photos, videos etc....

  • Interesting. discussion

    We have turned off files, specifically for this reason. it is not a question of weather the file can be illegally copied (we all know how to do it), but a question of helping the person stealing it.

     We have a few mp3 widgets etc floating around the community, that rely on the ability to upload files. Having a down load button is not only encouraging other people to steal them but actively helping them do so. I would be interested in knowing where I could comment out the button(s)  then I could do this to any plug in I feel could be abused. We run a kids site and don't want to end up as a illegal mp3 and games (Napster like) trading zone. Listening to someones legal MP3 is one thing, giving them a button to illegally copy it is another

  • @Dhrup: at the root level I guess you could call is a security issue if you wanted to, but it's actually just the idea & connotation of having the download button there, which actually invites others to download the media.  Professionals working in the fashion, photography, modeling, beauty and entertainment related industries that are media intensive don't always want their media downloaded; only shared for viewing, comments, rating and other feedback...  Of course I know how easy it is to steal photos. You know I know that... ;-)  It just something that these industries are accustomed to, being able to have that level of visual, or perceived control.  How many social networking platforms do you see where there's a "download" button by default at any access level?

    ** My Goal (hope) is to be able to have an option (some sort of way to toggle (off)) the Download button (function), when desired, at any access level. Either by the admin, or at the user level.  Or if someone can show me a way to "code out" this button (function) correctly thats cool also, as long as it would not interfere with upgrading to future elgg versions..  *This also includes stopping an image from opening up in a new _blank window...

    @The Father:  Tell me more.. especially exactly "where" the modifications should take place, and would it corrupt the core and/or prevent Elgg upgrades?