Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

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pentium
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Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby pentium » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:42 pm

Just a heads up, as of last night Photobucket updated their Terms of Service and account tiering. It has broken down to under the new terms hotlinking of hosted images is forbidden (and they will break links as they come across them) and the Premium account which enables hotlinking has gone up to about $31 a month ($400/year). The tech news outlets have been talking about it all day however for forums where users hosted all their images externally on Photobucket, get ready for a whole lotta broken images. I've been using them since day 1 on this forum and I'm about to watch almost 15 years of hosted images break.
If there is anything anybody has bookmarked that makes use of an image hosted on Photobucket I suggest you make a local copy of it now. For years the moderators did a good job moving any img tagged images to the local hosting service but that I believe stopped once Nekochan ran into financial trouble a while back.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby dexter1 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:41 am

It should be possible to edit posts and re-upload the pictures to be included in the forum database, although i'm not sure if that would break anything.
I don't know if that is a lot of work for you, pentium :|

A clue how to scan the forum for images linked through photobucket would be handy.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby josehill » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:12 am

Wow! That's lousy. I don't necessarily have a problem with them charging for embedding/linking, but I'd be thinking more like $10-20/year for reasonable, personal usage, rather than $400/year. Of course, I'm sure there are unscrupulous people/businesses who were taking advantage of the free hosting and costing Photobucket a pretty penny, but that makes it no less outrageous for casual users.

My wager is that Photobucket will back off the $400/year requirement and settle on something more reasonable, but for now, they are dead to me.

dexter1 wrote:A clue how to scan the forum for images linked through photobucket would be handy.


I suppose that a well-crafted SQL statement applied to the forum DB would deliver the results, but I'm not the man to construct it or execute it. There are a few website source code search engines that look like they might work, but they run ~USD50/month. If folks wanted to chip in a few dollars, I'd be willing to get a one month subscription to one of them to run a search to help clean up the forum:

Any other ideas?

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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby Trippynet » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:53 am

From what I can see, simply searching (using the forum's search tool) for "photobucket.com" shows the links of all photobucket images that have been added to the forum over the years - this includes those embedded with IMG tags. Just over 200 hits, so should be feasible to go through these, grab the images and re-upload them before editing the links. Would be a bit of work though!
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby dexter1 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:58 am

Thanks Trippy, that looks like a reasonable amount.

Mods can do this conversion as well as the users posting the images. I will ask for help on the moderator forum, but users who have photobucket links can help themselves by editing their own post and reuploading the images.

With combined effort we can probably do this within a day or two.

UPDATE: so far i have processed 75 posts, mostly old posts of which there is little hope tracking the OP, leaving 148 to go. If people can check whether they have active links to photobucket.com themselves, please re-upload these pictures as attachment.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby pentium » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:14 pm

I'm really sorry so many of my posts used Photobucket for image attachments. I just never expected them to be so suicidial in the end.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby dexter1 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:52 am

Okay, i have finished transferring all live photobucket image links to local storage. That actually was quite a task :|

There are about 43 posts remaining which contain dead links: i have marked them as "<dead>" and left the url standing so if there are people with backups or archived images it is still possible to restore/upload these.
A search link finding these posts is: search.php?keywords=photobucket.com+%3Cdead%3E

Also a dozen posts with active links are left but upon following the links, photobucket will greet you with the payment option image instead. A search link would be: search.php?keywords=photobucket.com+-%3Cdead%3E but it would also find discussion about photobucket.com and albums of which images are not transferred into the post.

Let's hope we do not have to deal with such a situation again...
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby Trippynet » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:58 am

I think we need to do as much as possible to persuade people to attach the pictures here, rather than hosting them on 3rd party sites. Thanks for the work you've done with these! I wonder if any of the dead ones could be pinched from the Internet Archive perhaps?
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby pentium » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:43 pm

Oh man, Photobucket really kicked up a storm.
It seems we are starting to discover there's also a lot of hosted content that was being used in sites like Amazon or ebay and it's pissing everyone off that they now have to go back and rehost everything. It's gotten so big even the BBC has caught wind of it. Again, their light on it shows that everyone is not impressed. What were they thinking??

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40492668
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby jan-jaap » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:41 am

pentium wrote:It seems we are starting to discover there's also a lot of hosted content that was being used in sites like Amazon or ebay and it's pissing everyone off that they now have to go back and rehost everything. [...] What were they thinking??

Maybe they realized that hosting everyone's web shop for free is not a valid business model.

The hobbyists and forums are probably just collateral damage.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby Trippynet » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:49 am

Honestly, I do accept why they've made such a change. What I don't accept are that firstly the change seems to have been very poorly communicated. Second there's not been much notice of the change. Third, the only option for hotlinking costs a bloody fortune.

If they'd given at least 1 month notice, publicised it more clearly, and maybe provided a much cheaper account (maybe one with a limit of 100MB a month or something for example), they'd have come out of this a lot more positively. As it is, it seems like they couldn't have handled this worse if they'd tried, and they've alienated a lot of very long-time users as a result.
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Re: Heads up: Photobucket is nuking its reason to live

Unread postby pentium » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:39 pm

jan-jaap wrote:
pentium wrote:It seems we are starting to discover there's also a lot of hosted content that was being used in sites like Amazon or ebay and it's pissing everyone off that they now have to go back and rehost everything. [...] What were they thinking??

Maybe they realized that hosting everyone's web shop for free is not a valid business model.

The hobbyists and forums are probably just collateral damage.

What gets me is that I can remember when they had really strict limits on what free accounts could do and this had to be back in 2004 or so.
At that time you were limited to something like 32mb of space for images and about the same for monthly bandwidth, plus images couldn't be larger than 1024x768. If you had problems with that it cost $4 a month for a premium account (I was setup to pay $16 four times a year) which gave you 5gb of space, unlimited bandwidth and a much, much higher upload size limit, plus some quick editing tools. As high speed internet came along the limits expanded a little but there was still good reason to pay only $4 per month.
It remained like that until NewsCorp bought them out in 2009. Then for some reason they removed the bandwidth and account storage capacity limits but all uploads were now autoscaled to 1024x768 which is still not bad for an image host but otherwise it no longer made sense to pay monthly so most people dropped back to the free account. Then starting two years ago they gradually began cranking up on the ad revenue (as if their premium subscriptions were no longer making them money...) and then this came along.
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