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Norris

Photobucket Changes of Terms

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With the recent changes to the terms on Photobucket (here), can you confirm that the PG site will not be affected?

As I understand, any pictures that we "embed" are actually copied into the PG cache. Is that correct?

While I understand the need for the service to make money, this does seem to be a suicidal move

Thanks,
Norris

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Looking back at my older topics, it appears most of the pictures are missing. In fact it almost looks like they are disappearing as I'm checking. A thread from 2015 had the pictures still, but one from last year did not.

I resisted changing to using the forum's uploading services till earlier this year...for various reasons. Now the pictures upload essentially the same way they did using photobucket, and they look great. 

If we all go that route, I wonder if the site has enough storage for them all?

SR

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Not sure what the changes to the TOS was but I find that lately theres so much advertisement fodder that I can hardly navigate through through the site. 

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8 hours ago, Norris said:

With the recent changes to the terms on Photobucket (here), can you confirm that the PG site will not be affected?

As I understand, any pictures that we "embed" are actually copied into the PG cache. Is that correct?

 

I'm doing my best to mitigate image link rot and yes, we permacache....I'll be setting up a backup to take a remote backup of the cache as it isn't a service guaranteed by our cloud hoster. 

 

6 hours ago, ScottR said:

Looking back at my older topics, it appears most of the pictures are missing. In fact it almost looks like they are disappearing as I'm checking. A thread from 2015 had the pictures still, but one from last year did not.

I resisted changing to using the forum's uploading services till earlier this year...for various reasons. Now the pictures upload essentially the same way they did using photobucket, and they look great. 

If we all go that route, I wonder if the site has enough storage for them all?

 

Image caching is heavy on the disk space. Last I checked we ran at 5Gb and I've had to move up to a more expensive hosting tier. Still, it's what has to be done to resist internet entropy!

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I would've read the terms and conditions, but adverts kept on popping up and getting in the way :rolleyes:

The quick check I did on one of my older builds from about 5 years ago seemed to be OK, and all the pictures were there.

I haven't used my Photobucket account for a long time though, and logging back into it just now makes me want to delete the whole thing anyway. I hadn't realised how spammy it's become in recent years. I though the term that indicated that Photobucket reserves the right to place advertising material or watermarks on any of my images was a bit rich.

I wonder if Photobucket is soon to go the way of the dodo? A hosting site that peddles that much unsolicited advertising at their users either doesn't care for providing a core service, or is waiting for people to leave so they can close it down while trying to make a last grab for cash with the advertising revenue.

I used to participate at another forum many years ago where the forum software was upgraded to something called Yuku V2. The new upgrade had so many ads and popups littered throughout each page and every post, people stopped signing up or logging in. Yuku became known as "Yuck-u" among the remaining members, and it was inevitable that the forum closed about 12 months later due to lack of interest.

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This is ENTIRELY why we don't run ads. It's a guaranteed death or a marked change in how the community relationship works. Patreon is the right solution. I hope that the permacache is sufficiently populated before Photobucket becomes a dead end.

Problem is, ads are very lucrative business and keep the bills paid. We've got very lofty aims which slam a very limited monthly budget (over half of Patreon is hosting) but the most important thing is that we're completely self-contained for maintenance. A 15-yr old site isn't easy to keep online with that weight of data.

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For those of you that haven't read the terms, or can't get near them because of the invasive adverts, Photobucket have put a halt to embedded images in third party websites unless you "upgrade" to their Plan 500 account, costing $399.99 per year!

Quote
  • Available Plus Account Plans : Photobucket offers the following Plus Account Plans:

o Plus 50 Plan: 52 GB of Storage for $59.99 / Year. The Plus 50 Plan does not allow any image linking or 3rd party image hosting.

o Plus 100 Plan: 102 GB of Storage for $99.99 / Year. The Plus 100 Plan allows for unlimited image linking but does not allow 3rd party image hosting.

o Plus 500 Plan: 500 GB of Storage and unlimited bandwidth for $399.99 / Year. The Plus 500 Plan allows for unlimited image linking and unlimited 3rd party image hosting.

(My emphasis in red)

That basically means that if you Insert Other Media > Insert Image from URL when you are posting images to forums, the image will be replaced by Photobucket's standard "bog off and upgrade your account" image.

Hence my question to @Prostheta about image caching.

As it happens, all of the images in my threads have been cached - meaning that the PG forum software automatically copied them from Photobucket when I posted them, and are now accessed from the PG server cache rather than directly from Photobucket - neatly avoiding the "3rd party image hosting" issue

Personally I have difficulty uploading images straight into PG from my manky old phone (it really doesn't like this site!), so the Photobucket mobile app has been very useful. However if anybody can recommend an alternative to Photobucket, with mobile app included, please feel free to recommend them below

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Interesting. Still appears to work?

Either there's something funky about the way the hosting interacts with the forum software that bypasses such limitation, the terms have not come into effect yet or our interpretation of "image linking" is not in line with theirs.

...or their no linking limitation doesn't actually work.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Interesting. Still appears to work?

Either there's something funky about the way the hosting interacts with the forum software that bypasses such limitation, the terms have not come into effect yet or our interpretation of "image linking" is not in line with theirs.

...or their no linking limitation doesn't actually work.

PG has cached the image - the url (where the picture now lives as far as the PG site is concerned) is now http://www.projectguitar.com/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s222/ac1176/PB160202_zpsn7zedluc.jpg&key=d5502815ab72049e002c0c9df39d213150d7869b663089fb255d7bf7a21e54b8

That to me says the PG imageproxy.php page is serving up the image, using the original url as the "img" description and a big long unique number as the actual reference "key".

It's down to the cool coding by @Prostheta :D

Edited by Norris

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From what I can see, mine have not been cached. I haven't checked any of the old GOTM images, but it appears everything I have posted that is hosted by photobucket have been replaced with ugly update your account icons.

Since all of my old threads are still accumulating views, I suppose I'll have a go at replacing the images straight from my computer....unless Carl or Andrew tell me that might be hard on the site.:unsure:

SR

 

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It's actually a feature of the software suite, so I can't take credit for that. I just enabled it. :thumb:

That said, I would actually like an extension coded so that I can permanently migrate cached images.

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Re-upload as you see fit Scott! After all, the objective is to archive all threads locally to prevent image rot.

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I've started a thread in the community forums for the software suite....quite likely something like this will be a bounty coding job. I've asked the question, so let's see how much traction it gains with other perturbed site admins....

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Yep, my posts on forums outside of PG have all capsized as expected. I don't know who over in Bucketland thought this was a brilliant move, but I'm sure as hell not paying 400 bucks a year for image hosting. I wouldn't have minded paying something more reasonable, as I do understand that all that storage and bandwidth costs them money. So yeah, I'm just direct uploading here from now on, as I should have been doing in the first place.

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So therefore I could delete my Photobucket account and all the images posted here would remain visible? I've not posted images of much importance anywhere else, so I'm not too concerned that links would be broken elsewhere.

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7 hours ago, curtisa said:

So therefore I could delete my Photobucket account and all the images posted here would remain visible? I've not posted images of much importance anywhere else, so I'm not too concerned that links would be broken elsewhere.

Good question. Erm... @Prostheta?

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Quick experiment...

A shot of my old VW Beetle that will then delete from my Photobucket account...

15875022-f0b3-4987-a924-d32fab789b52_zps

Edit: I deleted it from PB within 2 minutes of posting - it still seems to be there. Cool - it's successfully permacached

Edited by Norris

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It could be because the cache had been cleared a few weeks back when I raised a support query with IPS. I told them to restore it from backup, which they clear didn't do. Re-requesting these images from Photobucket would have pulled their default "we hate you all because we're bastards" image banner and cached that instead as it is technically a valid remote image. Can't help that I'm afraid.

Going forward we really shouldn't be leaving raw remote image links there. They need to be forced into the cache or automatically embedded. There are issues regarding control of intellectual property rights when it comes to copying images into a cache, however a note about caching will go into ProjectGuitar.com's own terms of use along with an explanation as to why (which is more than other people do). Any takedown requests will of course need to be honoured. We're not evil.

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