If you happened to be browsing Amazon today, you might have noticed that a lot of products on the online marketplace are missing photos. It’s a similar story at eBay and Etsy as well as countless forums, websites, and blogs. Why?
It is due to what has been described as a “ransom demand” by photo-sharing service Photobucket.
You see, Photobucket has changed its terms of service and has introduced a new charge for allowing images that are hosted on its service to be embedded into third-party websites. So those who were hosting their images on Photobucket and then embedding them on Amazon, eBay, and elsewhere for free will now have to pay to do it.
Obviously this change was not known to many Photobucket users, so they were not able to decide whether or not they wanted to pay for it or move their images elsewhere. The service is asking them to pay $399 annually if they want their images to be capable of being embedded across the internet. That is quite a hefty fee.
Needless to say, this isn’t going over well with users. Many Photobucket users are now moving their images to rival services in protest. Not a great move by Photobucket.
Updated 7th July 2017 with a statement from an Etsy Spokesperson:
“Etsy serves images via internally hosted web servers and cloud based hosting, such as Amazon S3. Photobucket’s recent changes do not directly impact how Etsy is displayed to our visitors, as no images when visiting etsy.com are served via their service.”