July 1, 2017

"Photobucket rolled out a new update to its TOS on June 26th with just a small, innocuous blog post as an announcement."

"Users have been finding out about it as their embedded images on other sites have turned into placeholders telling them to update their accounts, and as Photobucket has rolled out email notifications telling them that if they want to keep embedding images, they have to pay $399/year."

Horrific destruction of existing work by so many people.

If this happened to Flickr, I would lose my mind.


walter said...

Time to kick the bucket..

Expat(ish) said...

It's always best to pay for services you depend on.

What's the saying? If you don't know who is paying they're selling you?


YoungHegelian said...

Oooohhh, The Cloud.

No business has fashions like the IT business. It's made all the worse by the fact that very few folks in it know they're following a fashion. At least, in the garment industry, everybody knows they do nothing but follow fashions.

When you move your data into the cloud, the fucking ugly truth of it is that that cloud vendor now has you by the balls. Rarely does the vendor even have any legal responsibility to ever get you data back. Actually, most "contracts" don't even provide that the vendor just can't wake up one fine morning & delete your data for the fun of it. Always keep a backup of your data somewhere else so you can make some attempt at moving it should the shit hit the fan.

So, you want your stuff, Photobucketheads? Pay up, & start looking around for where to move to. Dropbox recently went from free to pay. We paid up. LogMeIn went from free to costing way too much, & we told them to hit the road.

Michael K said...

Thumb drives are cheap.

I have not heard from Drop Box. All backed upon thumb drives.

YoungHegelian said...


I don't use DropBox for offsite backup, really. I use it for anonymous public sharing of documents, as I often do here when I refer to a text & not to a public link.

David said...

"If this happened to Flickr, I would lose my mind."

Could happen. I use Dropbox.

rcocean said...

Yeah their so-called "contracts". Like we're meeting in our office and hammering out a deal with our lawyers.


Instead its, read this 1,000 words of legal jargon and agree - or don't use our service/site.

brylun said...

If you think Flickr TOS changes would cause you to lose your mind, what if Google just decided one day to erase your blog without telling you, and when you ask, the response from them is "You are too [fill in the word: controversial, biased, pro-Trump, etc]."

Don't think it could happen?

Don't think it ever happened to anyone else?

John said...

It costs very little to do a website on your own domain. When you pay for the service you have certain rights. When you do not pay for a service you have none. I do use Dropbox to transfer gigabyte files but I seldom keep anything on it beyond a week or two. Certainly not beyond when I upload the next big file and need the space.

I don't keep any photos anywhere, other than on my servers.

I do not use Facebook or allow anyone to use Facebook on any computer that I own. Why? At one time their terms of service allowed them to use any image they found on any computer, whether I had uploaded it to Facebook or not or any other website. I think that has changed but there is nothing to prevent it changing back.

I don't use Google, even for search, though I do once in a while make a YouTube video. (I make YouTube videos for a client but that is their problem, and account, not mine)

As others have said, if you are not the customer you are the product. You are not the customer on blogger, Flickr or any of these other "free" sites.

Use them sparingly.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put the only copy of anything you can't afford to lose on the internet. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put anything you would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the Washington Post.

Above all, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, think that just because you don't post under your own name you are anonymous. In less than an hour anyone can be tracked down including name, address, phone, email and pretty much anything else. (Ask Inga who once got doxxed here)

It's one of the reasons I've been posting under my own name and info since 1990. No pretenses.

John Henry

John said...

Brylun raises a good point. Google could cancel Ann's account at any time for any reason and delete all posts and comments with no recourse.

Or they could just decide that this blogger thing is not working out and kill it at midnight.

Does blogger provide a way to backup to a personal hard drive? If so, you should go to Costco, buy 2-3 3 Terabyte hard drives at about $100 each and backup 3 times. James Lileks could give you some backup advice. (I keep desk and laptop fully synced and backed up on 3 portable USB and one Etehrnet hard drive)

Unless you are willing to see it all disappear.

That way you can restore it somewhere if worst comes to worst. Preferably to your own server.

John Henry

John said...

It is illegal, though trivial, to decrypt Kindle books. (Calibre works well).

Nothing at all illegal about keeping copies of all book files in encrypted format against the day that Amazon screws up somehow and deletes your account and all the books you have paid for.

John Henry

Lance said...

People are still using Photobucket? Are they still using MySpace and Prodigy as well? Do they have their film negatives digitized at Kinko's and store them on 3.5in diskettes?

Dave in Tucson said...

Apparently they're working on appealing to a more "selective audience"?

I mean Microsoft's OneDrive offers 5 terabytes (which is a lot of storage) for $100/year, and 5 GB (which will hold a fair amount of pictures) for free.

Speculation: either this is a spectacularly ill-considered decision, or they wish to shutter their business but need some fig leaf to cover their decision besides "I'm tired and I wanna go home" (although in that case, why wouldn't they just sell? IDK)

John said...


I subscribe to ms office, as it is a better deal than buying multiple copies. I know I get one drive as part of the package. Cloud averse as I am, I've never used it.

Is 5tb the standard package? Sounds like a better deal than dropbox

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Ann's blog is too big to fail.

Jim Grey said...

If this happened to Flickr, ten years of my blog would largely disappear. The words would be there, but 98% of the images would not. I, too, would lose my mind. I'm actually quite nervous about it in the wake of the Verizon sale. I don't know how I carve out the time to upload all the blog images to some other host, and fix each post to show the images at the new host. That would be a giant job.

rhhardin said...

I'm about to shut down my broken fan laptop and try a transplant of its HD to another of the same model. It's my main backup laptop so it would be nice if it could just adopt the old name and function like the old machine.

All my changed stuff backs up to its HD every night, and from there to IDrive, so everything's always on two machines and the cloud.

That's how a programmer deals with backup. Everything fails so be prepared.

rhhardin said...

My blog's specific photos get backed up to my HD as well as existing on flickr, so theoretically I could reconstruct the blog, not that I'd probably bother.

rehajm said...

Photos were and still are ephemera

Bad Lieutenant said...


If this happened to Flickr, I would lose my mind.

Assume it will, and prepare.


What model laptop had the failure? What OS? I'm afraid that, swapping drives, you'll get bit by the SID.

rhhardin said...

I did the HD swap and it seems to work, that is, the alternate machine thinks it's the old machine and now functions in its place.

XP Pro, albeit now a Dell Wostro 1400 with a 1.4GHz processor rather than the 1.8GHz processor the old one had.

I have a good deal of HD backup around just in old broken machines. You plan maybe to use them for parts but there's data on the HD too, if you ever have to go back in history.

Ann Althouse said...

It already happened to me with Mac.com. Which I paid for.

As for Blogger, of course I have worried about that for 13 years. Very intensely.

I do take some comfort in knowing it is all at archive.org.

I think if I lost Blogger, I would just close the door on this part of my life. It would be like dying... but not as bad. I'd find another way to live.

rhhardin said...

Just start a new block from scratch. Nobody looks up old posts and so won't notice it's not continuing like before.

It's not the history we come for.

rhhardin said...

Worldnet (AT&T) shut down, much to the surprise of its paying users. To this day I have a mindspring home page with hundreds of broken links to worldnet.att.net audio files.

John said...


Mindspring is still alive?

I used Mindspring back in the 90s with a battery powered modem when I traveled.

I had to carry tools and Sherwin clips so i could take the hotel phone apart to connect.

Those were the days, my friend.

John Henry

rcocean said...

'I think if I lost Blogger, I would just close the door on this part of my life. It would be like dying... but not as bad. I'd find another way to live."

Hmm...well that doesn't sound good. That sounds like the kind of thing people say, just before they retire. "Y'know if they move the office to a new location, I'll just retire."

Maybe you just need a vacation to recharge your batteries.

rhhardin said...

Earthlink bought mindspring but the mindspring address is still there if you had it.

Jonathan Graehl said...

does this affect existing uploads? if so, lynching is appropriate. if not, meh

Expat(ish) said...

@john @rhardin - I found my external USB 3.5" drive and my "hotel kit" of tools to attach to the internet when we moved. Tried to give it away on CL but no bites so dumped it at goodwill.


Bob Ellison said...

I think if I lost Blogger, I would just close the door on this part of my life.

Please don't do that. We out here enjoy what you're doing, all the wild, pretty, silly, serious, philosophical stuff of it.

But do consider leaving Blogger. It can be done without losing your years of output. You must control your publisher.

Michael K said...

"It already happened to me with Mac.com. Which I paid for."

That was really annoying and I never figured out why.

kwan3217 said...

Blogger is a Google service. You can download all of your own Google data using their takeout service: https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout

walter said...

Jonathan Graehl said...does this affect existing uploads? if so, lynching is appropriate. if not, meh
Sounds like it. And those suggesting payment is reasonable..to go from free to $400/yr?
Seems steep. Will be surprising if they survive this.

Bruce Hayden said...

"I have not heard from Drop Box. All backed upon thumb drives."

I pay for Dropbox, which is what ties my various devices and computers together, across multiple states. 2 desktops, 3 laptops, 3 iPads, and an iPhone. But being paranoid, it all is backed up or replicated on one of the desktops and an external hard drive, and the important stuff on thumb drives. But I can move it on fairly short notice, and can recover about 99% if the just pulled the plug on me - though I do think that I need a removable hard drive up here in MT for backup. Add to my Walmart shopping list for my next trip into a big city.

stlcdr said...

The internet is fleeting.

We all want something for free, and it becomes the norm, now we have to pay; it's a big horsepill to swallow. Note that [so-called] media is going to a pay model (so many articles then subscribe to read more) to break it to us gently that they want more money. Ad avoidance is becoming a big problem for them.

As an aside, I have a lot of short stories (books) purchased over many years. Once these books are gone they will never exist, even on the internet. The permanence of the Internet will only be for things of absolutely no worth.

Ken B said...

"The cloud" means other peoples' servers.

kzahel said...

I wrote an extension if you're using Chrome and simply want to see the photobucket embedded images again.
You can get it here:

And the source code is available here: https://github.com/kzahel/photobucket-embed-fix

Mountain Maven said...


Sacto_Dave said...

I only use it and similar services to share large groups of pictures with friends and family. I will NEVER pay $399 a year for picture storage. Ridiculous. I'd never put up pictures on a cloud service without having a backup on a hard drive somewhere where I can get hold of it when I want to.