Photobucket is cracking down on people embedding on third-party websites images it hosts, until now, for free.
The photo-slinging internet elder now says that anyone who wants to use its service to display photos it hosts on other pages – such as signature banners in forum posts – will now need to open up their wallets and plop down $399.99 a year for a subscription plan.
The new policy will be particularly annoying to longtime users who have relied on Photobucket's 14-year-old service to host the images they use to place images on forums or in blog posts.
Cheaper plans, including the free account option, will no longer have an option to allow third-party hosting.
The alert netizens now get from Photobucket for inlining images on third-party sites
The change of heart was quietly introduced by Photobucket earlier this week as an update to its terms of service.
On the one hand, it's reasonable for Photobucket to ask for some help in footing its bandwidth bills for serving up images for folks on other websites; on the other hand, it will break a lot of graphics posted on the 'net and inlined in forums and blogs.
"Photobucket defines 3rd-party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website," the updated T&Cs read.
"For example, using the
<img> tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, Etsy, eBay auction listings, a blog, etc, is definitively 3rd-party hosting."
Not surprisingly, the new rules went over with users about as well as a rattlesnake in a pinata... ®
Hope you go out of business with this strategy. Not paying a $400 ransom, I'll find someone else to host my pictures.— Ms. Virion (@Pathogenome) June 29, 2017
Special congrats to @photobucket for killing their own site. No more 3rd party image hosting unless I pay $400/year? I'll go elsewhere, ty.— Samantha Johnson (@srj_art) June 29, 2017
Anyone else surprised #photobucket isn't offering Bitcoin as the only method of payment?— McMike (@_McMike_) June 29, 2017
you are a DISGUSTING company @photobucket this is 100% blackmail. I have years of blog content on your platform, now forcing to pay 400/year— Julia (@Contour_Affair) June 27, 2017