Webtrees Software Update Introduces Media Whitelisting

Submitted by tim on Tue, 05/10/2022 - 10:21
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JENKINTOWN, Pennsylvania (GBT) — A recent update to Webtrees, the software that powers the family tree section of the Genealogy By Tim G. website, will allow web administrators to whitelist media files. Whether the ability to whitelist media files existed in previous versions has been unclear, but efforts to do the same on the Graham Family Tree have been unsuccessful until recently. The apparently new functionality will reveal to all website visitors photographs and original documents that have heretofore been visible only to logged-in members.

Early in the development of the Genealogy By Tim G. website, the decision was made to exclude all photographs and scanned documents from web publication. This is because it is a violation of most web publishers' terms of service to repost images obtained from one website onto other websites. Similarly, it is a violation of many private archives' and historical societies' terms of service to re-publish documents obtained there without express permission. Copyright laws still cover many genealogy resources, including newspaper articles, death notices, and published genealogies. Lastly most photographs in my digital collection were obtained privately though family members who have not expressly granted permission to publish them online. For these reasons, all photographs and scanned documents have been hidden from website visitors. Logged-in website members my view the media files, but membership is currently granted by invitation only and limited to well known family members who have requested access.

Webtrees' whitelist functionality will allow web administrators to block visibility of all media objects by default, and then selectively publish media files once clearance for publication has been obtained. Therefore, a wealth of photographs and documents obtained from now-deceased relatives are eligible for publication a Genealogy By Tim G., as are public domain documents such as those obtained from Archive.org and from public archives. Time permitting, it is hoped that visual artifacts cleared for publication will soon be available to all of Genealogy By Tim G.'s visitors, and not just a select few members.  ⬮