Comic block

8.2.3. Comic block

This UserFriendly block will display the daily comic from the well-known User Friendly site. It reads the User Friendly daily cartoon page line by line, searches for the pattern

whatever<IMG ALT="Latest Strip"whateverSRC="imagefile">whatever, 

extracts the location of the image file (imagefile) from it and displays it in the block. The PHP code of the User Friendly block is a classic example of how you can do this "scrapping" in PHP (-Nuke) and is discussed in Section 20.8.

Important You must respect copyright law!

Some people argue that, by using PHP to find out the right image filename and then send HTML code that instructs the client's browser to request that image from the original site and display it, you don't copy anything yourself, only the client's browser copies the file in the client's video memory, which would be necessary anyway. Thus, the argument goes, no copyright is infringed, since no copies are made by you.

However, even if you don't copy the daily comic directly, you use the original author's work to produce a page that can be seen as a "derivative work". Even if you argue that what you do is just the same as what any proxy would do, if it where instructed to strip all other content (like advertisements, for example) from the requested page and serve only the image, it is not sure that the court will follow you in this interpretation.

To avoid even the remote possibility of breaking copyright law, you are well advised to ask the authors' permission, before you use any comics blocks on your site. Some may not agree, in which case you should respect their wish, but some may do give you permission, perhaps under some easy to accept conditions. For example, to obtain permission to show the UserFriendly cartoon on his site, Chris wrote the author, Illiad, who kindly agreed under the condition to reproduce the ads that come with it on the original UserFriendly page. This way, everybody's happy!

Note Leges sine moribus vanae[1]

Actually, we shouldn't have to resort to legal arguments for this - moral alone should suffice to convince you. Please take a moment to think about it.

See Section 8.3.1 for a module which displays more than one daily comics.



Laws without morals are empty.


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