Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

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Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:45 am

See https://petapixel.com/2017/07/01/photob ... edded-web/
Since 2003, the popular photo hosting service Photobucket has been letting users upload and host images for free on their servers. They have over 10 billion images stored by 100 million registered users. But now they’re going to start charging, and that means billions of images around the Web are now broken.

Hotlinking (AKA inline linking) is when someone takes an image file hosted on a server and embeds it on a different webpage elsewhere. Since the new webpage continuously requests the file from the original source server, it saps the server owner’s bandwidth (and storage space).

Photobucket allowed hotlinking photos uploaded to and stored on its servers for a long time. This was their business model, and they made money from ads on their own site, which users would be exposed to when they went to upload content.

Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things are about to change in a big way as of June 26th. Now the service is rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere. That means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question.

Just look at this forum thread to see how Photobucket users are reacting to this change. The move has sparked fury from users, who have relied on the service for years and now feel “blackmailed” into paying the subscription fee.

Seems that the majority (if not all) of users also were NOT notified about this change.

So now you have forums loosing picture access, eBay sales that are apparently killed off, and even paying customers (lowest tier) that suddenly find they can no longer hotlink stuff.

One response on that page hits the nail right on the head:
ïffydiffy wrote:All the free users are not going to pay $400. And any new user is certainly not going to sign up at those prices.

What they've done is turn all those free users into an army of bad publicity and turn away any potential new users.

All they had to do was give some advance notice, and start charging something like $5/month. Lots of the freebie users would have paid that. There may have been some minor grumbling, but by and large, people would have admitted that yeah, after all, they can't keep expecting to get the service for free. THAT would have turned the army of free users into revenue.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:53 am

So... Any recommendations for an alternate service?

Flickr?
TinyPic?
ImgBB?
Imgur?
Google Photos?
Free Image Hosting?
PostImage?
ImageShack?

I haven't looked at the options yet, so I'm not sure they allow for the hotlinking that Photobucket just completely f***ed up, or if they're just meant for sharing photo's as links that divert you to their website.

Guess I'll have to do some moving this weekend, and kill off the PB account.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby CRBWildcat » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:21 pm

I'm kind of partial to Imageshack myself. I don't know if this is true with everyone, though, but in the past I've noticed the occasional image that's been in my account for years disappearing without warning; it acts like it's still there, but it refuses to display anything, including the thumbnail. Not sure what the deal is with that.

Otherwise, I think it's pretty reliable. It doesn't spam me with ads or take an eternity to load, and that makes me happy.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby PCHeintz72 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:54 pm

CRBWildcat wrote:I'm kind of partial to Imageshack myself. I don't know if this is true with everyone, though, but in the past I've noticed the occasional image that's been in my account for years disappearing without warning; it acts like it's still there, but it refuses to display anything, including the thumbnail. Not sure what the deal is with that.

Otherwise, I think it's pretty reliable. It doesn't spam me with ads or take an eternity to load, and that makes me happy.

I do not use photobucket much for anything myself in regards to image storage... but some forums have huge numbers of pictures stored there.

An example, the Wolf's shipyards site, a science fiction site devoted to spaceship designs for many famous sci fi shows. Including ones like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5. To name but two.

I was affected by this change this last month as I was actually doing a bit or personal research on a whim and looking into designing a fleet using canon and fannon designed ships for battlestar galactica.


What gets me with these sites is the huge number of advertisements one needs to deal with... it really slows image browsing on the site.

Personally, for image storage, a site that seemingly does it closest to what I think is right is DeviantArt...
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:49 am

And a response from PB... Which is absolutely useless, not to mention untrue (in regards to their 'competitive pricing' at least.
Thank you for feedback.

Photobucket continues to have the distinct pleasure of hosting 15 billion photos from 100 million unique users since inception fourteen years ago. In recent months, management has made some changes that will enable Photobucket to continue providing excellent services to our user base while maintaining an economically stable position.

In the past we’ve had solutions for everyone. From free users to paid subscriptions, there’s been an option for all types of people that care about their memories, blogs, or businesses. We continue to commit to offering free services as well as enterprise support, but we’ve needed to reinforce standards we’ve been historically lenient on.

It is our business to serve our users with valuable benefits that are otherwise very costly for us to support compared to our competitors, especially as it relates to third party image hosting. Starting several weeks ago, we began telling our users that the nature of how we work with them will be changing with the tide of the photo hosting environment via messaging in email, on site, etc. In staying true to our word, we’re asking that customers using our service as an image serving facility buy a subscription to continue with that level of service that has historically been overlooked for free users. This feature is a costly one, and we are asking our patrons to help support our infrastructure. We aren’t deleting photos or holding any photos at arm’s length for download; we are simply asking our non-paying users to join our subscription service to continue enjoying benefits of our site.

The subscriptions we are offering are price competitive for the greater photo hosting landscape, and we hope to bring additional functionality in the upcoming months to further delight our users that support their businesses with our service. We are continually evaluating our subscriptions, committing to the needs, feedback, and desires of our valued user base.

To review the latest changes at Photobucket, please click here.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby talonhunter » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:26 am

This is complete BS. If they had advised customers and clients there wouldn't be a big stink over the situation which has left many users still in the dark and no access to their images unless they pay fees that were previously never disclosed and covered by ad revenues. Many advertisers have pulled away from pB due to the increases in those rates as well. Pass the blame buck syndrome for poor planning and execution on their part.

A VSP is still probably safest
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby PCHeintz72 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:16 pm

What is annoying is what they are classing as 3rd party hot linking is really any way of accessing the images period. That goes against nearly any other definition of such I've ever seen.

If I click on a link in any forum, or any link sent to me by Email/IM/PM, or it comes up as a link in a search through a search site like Google Images, that used to take me to an image on the site, that is of course hotlinking through another (3rd) party.

However, if I go to the Photobucket site itself, and go to the specific account of that user, and go to the specific album the image is in, and see a thumbnail of the desired image, and click, it gives the same warning on 3rd party hotlinking and refuses to show the image, even when actually on the Photobucket site itself.

This is incorrect.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:19 pm

As they said: if it was done announced, that would've helped.
If done for an acceptable fee, instead of 400 dollar per year, it could've been overlooked.

Had many issues getting my pics downloaded from PB (time outs, issues with the captcha, and the fact you can only grab folder for folder instead of the whole thing in one go), which may have been due to more people grabbing their photos.

Already created a new account with Imgur. Looks like that works for now. So I'm seriously contemplating killing off the PB account permanently now.

Hmm... That reminds me. I should get my avatar for this forum up too, and relink it. The current one is for the Mustang forums, not this one.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Spica75 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:52 pm

However, if I go to the Photobucket site itself, and go to the specific account of that user, and go to the specific album the image is in, and see a thumbnail of the desired image, and click, it gives the same warning on 3rd party hotlinking and refuses to show the image, even when actually on the Photobucket site itself.


:shock:

Wait, what? That just sounds like pathetic incompetence. Or possibly hilarious stupidity. Or maybe both.


I always did expect those kind of services to be forced towards making more money, one way or another sooner or later, but this is just begging to crash and burn by their own hand, intentionally.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Spica75 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:54 pm

Hmm... That reminds me. I should get my avatar for this forum up too, and relink it. The current one is for the Mustang forums, not this one.


Nice seeing an avatar again, the hotlinking crap looked kinda sad.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby J. St.C. Patrick » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:52 pm

Can anyone see the images I posted of Senshi Ranma in the first post on the first page of the Combining Uniforms 2.0 thread by clicking the links?

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=6993

They work fine for me from two computers I have at home. But others I've asked seem to only get the "This user needs Pay up or else image".
(or at least the ones I've clicked on work - I haven't clicked on all of them)

I tried it when I was not logged in to PhotoBucket or here.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby CRBWildcat » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:29 pm

J. St.C. Patrick wrote:Can anyone see the images I posted of Senshi Ranma in the first post on the first page of the Combining Uniforms 2.0 thread by clicking the links?

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=6993

They work fine for me from two computers I have at home. But others I've asked seem to only get the "This user needs Pay up or else image".
(or at least the ones I've clicked on work - I haven't clicked on all of them)

I tried it when I was not logged in to PhotoBucket or here.


Tried it, but I got nothing but the standard Upgrade image.
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:52 am

Upgrade image here too. Possibly the local cache saves you on those two computers.

Browser thinking it already has the image based on the URL and retrieving it from the local cache.

Which reminds me... I should see about re-uploading the Spamville comics probably.

edit - Never mind... That seems to still remain: viewtopic.php?f=77&t=7251
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Spica75 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:53 am

Can anyone see the images I posted of Senshi Ranma in the first post on the first page of the Combining Uniforms 2.0 thread by clicking the links?

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=6993


:(

Nope. Tried 5 randomly picked, they're dead to the world. Down. Ex-photos.
And then i looked at Neko's link and what's the first i see, a spoof on the dead parrot sketch which i allude to above... Nice coincidence there. :P
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Re: Photobucket hotlinking dies - Unless you pay $400/year

Postby Neko- » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:23 pm

I have to admit... I did not notice that right off. So that was entirely coincidental :)
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