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26 Reviews by Adam

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Betterbusinessbureau.org

Betterbusinessbureau.org

3/17/19

While I liked the service, but I do not like their overly-cautious policy that they edit your review (often censoring certain phrases and even links by replacing things with "****") for their "Any privacy rights", as that is too inclusive since even mentioning a person's name that is known to the public gets revoked.

Tumblr

Tumblr

12/6/18

There is no such things as sucessful automated filters. False positives and negatives are bound to happen. Robots only know what they programmed to do, they don't understand context, and are not self-aware.

You probably have herd about the European Union's article 13 that forces major websites to employ an automated copyright filter to prevent people from uploading infringing material to websites. Youtube have done a similar thing before this happened but merely notifies copyright holders instead of proactively taking down what's potentially legal content. And yes automated takedown themselves also exist, ToppleTrack went haywire due to a bug.

While telling if something is copyright infringement is easier for most cases, due to the fact that it compares with a databases that copyright holders are welcomed to prohibit unauthorized distributions there (via matching-based data hashes), it is much harder to try to tell if something is pornographic or not, due to a sheer number of ways to represent inappropriate stuff and this isn't matching base, so it doesn't compare with anything.

The result: Tumblr ends up flagging TONS of posts that have nothing to do with "Adult Content", images of dragons, dogs, and even abstract art with no "characters" in it (here: http://dailyrothko.tumblr.com/post/180784969506/not-to-pile-on-here-but-this-doesnt-look-exactly) ends up in the wrong. You really can't trust robo-police here.

Is it enough that most websites require you to be at a certain age to even create an account. Why is it that most places, like apple's (the same company who made proprietary closed-platform in which they can decide what app can run on their devices) app store forbid porn altogether (regardless of the age of the viewer). This is overzealous censorship. We all know that parents are smart enough to prevent their kids from seeing such stuff on the Internet, there are parental controls at almost every services and systems (game consoles, google's safesearch, etc.).

Tumblr you should've done these things:
-Do something similar to how art sites censor for minors. No joke, if you are going to make changes to your policy, at least you would've done is to make existing post compatible with future changes. Something like a checkbox to notify the system to only display works towards older audiences.
-You should've made a no-porn policy when you were creating the website. But you decided to welcome them and then brake your promise.

Congratulations: you've lost a lot of your users. And also, screw apple, companies and other services who pressured tumblr to a censorship blogging place. It's another photobucket incident that images are disappearing (ESPICALLY for inactive users, which can be deleted forever).

Internetarchive.org

Internetarchive.org

6/23/18

Internet Archive is basically a website back-upper. Content on the internet cannot last forever. A prime example is when web pages for news content gets deleted. Sometimes, your favorite article may be the victim and suddenly vanish.

Don't get me wrong when it is used for copyright infringment, copyright holders can simply ask to exclude the site.

BugMeNot

BugMeNot

6/23/18

While the site does permit removing logins if its a legitimate issue (pay per view), add/change post content, etc. there are countless times where websites ask guests to login to view stuff such as links or in the worst case, the entire page being behind a "login-wall".

These types of practice are just for advertising to spam people's emails. Not to mentioned that they cannot be archived with 3rd party sites like the internet archive since the archiver is a robot.

RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America

RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America

3/22/18

In 2011-12, along with the MPAA, TV companies, some cable companies (like Comcast), its the team who supported the controversial SOPA/PIPA bill. Along with supporting perfect 10 against the fight with giganews (and perfect 10 lost tremendously), this company HATES liability limitations. It wants to be the person who sues anyone who manufactures knifes just because people can use them to murder others.

If that is not enough, they have a long history of assuming people are pirates, from assuming that if you get pop-ups and viruses (malware), its piracy: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/02/riaa-parents-pop-ups-viruses-piracy. Soo, is news sites piracy then? Because they have such crap on their sites. How about trying to force radio makers to have DRM on them: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2005/09/riaa-trying-copy-protect-radio. To suing many families. This one is a huge copyright troll. In simple terms, they are one of the copyright maximalist who is afraid of anything that is innovation and thinks that its innovations for pirates.

Motion Picture Association of America - MPAA

Motion Picture Association of America - MPAA

3/6/18

...Thought it would be a good idea to extend the attacks towards people that don't pirate at all.

"How do I stop this infection? How about use a nuclear bomb to kill everything in sight?"

They are NOTORIOUS for trying to create a handful of new copyright enforcement tools (more specifically, laws, crappy DRM) which ALL of them have dangerous side effects that nobody ever wants besides any copyright maximalist who think its a good idea to add more restrictions, enforcement, and even monitoring to users. From annoying FBI warning screens (in this modern age, you cannot skip) to requiring certain devices they don't own to have DRM on it (such as television flags), this organization has it all:

*SOPA (and its clones, including PIPA) supporter. In a nutshell, they wanted to make sites punished more easily just because it has infringing content, rather than a notification before a takedown if the site owner doesn't obey when it is in fact infringement.This goes without saying that safe harbor is bypassed should this bill passed into law. When I mean sites being punished, I mean that any copyright holder can simply send a notification to payment network providers, advertising services and any other groups to stop supporting the site that is flagged for infringement, WITHOUT ANY PROOF. This comes before the victim of the attack have to proof that they're not supporting piracy. So the damage to the site is already done. Along with Viacom (yes, another copyright maximalist who f*cked youtube along with false takedown to any reviewers like they are being above the copyright law) and others who previously try to pass the COICA bill, they have the NERVE to try again on a similar law enforcement tools all over again. If you fail to succeed, DON'T try try again. They wait no time to attack. Treating online service providers or anything else that is abusable for piracy like slaves is egregious.

-Of course, members of the MPAA was Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Company, who got into a fight with sony (Not sony pictures, just sony) for releasing a video tape titled "Betamax" in 1984. Find more on "Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc." and thank god that Sony didn't lose the battle. They are afraid that if a tool that is often used for piracy, they will try to take it down for liability just because it enabled them to do so. This is an example they trying to be against fair use.

They're slogan "don't talk and don't record" (can't remember exactly) pretty much tells me that the first two words is censorship, for the Internet under the name of copyright enforcement. This organization represents the crumbling, corrupted, corrosive form of copyright. They hated safe harbors the same way they hated piracy, up to where people would like to use content in creative ways that doesn't harm a copyright holder's revenue. This is the complete opposite of what copyright intended to do: "To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes." More like "To promote dictatorship, monopoly, and relying on extremism by combating freedom of speech".

Flightsimlabs

Flightsimlabs

2/20/18

This company is a stealth police car, equipped with X-ray cameras, to see anyone what they are doing if they think it is suspicious. Your house is basically made out of glass, this is how they can see what are you doing.

Im okay if DRM would do something creative (like the video game earthbound that increases the enemy spawn rate, and other things), and I understand that piracy is harmful, but this vigilante-like malware DRM like this is like having excessive surveillance in private places. Anti-piracy, more like anti-privacy. Even if the DRM was perfect, no consumer would like to have a potentially abusive copyright enforcement on their machines in a matter similar to leemena's fangame "sonic gather battle", and the fact that DRM can be exploited by actual malware writers the way it happened with Sony BMG rootkit.

It was discovered that the DRM have a google chrome password dumping tool named "test.exe" that steal passwords should the software's serial number check fails (use to verify if the user is a pirate or not). Should it flags that the user is a pirate, it sends the password information to this company just for investigation of the user.

This is not a fake exe made by vigilante 3rd parties who support copyright-maximal-ism enforcement, this is an OFFICIAL COMPANY who place this digital rights malware on their software, for ALL downloaders regardless if the user was a pirate or not. Guess what, you can make excuses that it only runs if the user is in fact a pirate, but it is UNACCEPTABLE the fact that is INCLUDING this in the software that users download.

As time goes on, we keep seeing more and more disgusting enforcement over copyright going out of their way against users legally using content. These sh!theads want even more rights than copyright can take a hold on the use of a product, from copying a content under fair use, to preventing use in unauthorized countries (example: new zeeland crappy companies like MediaWorks, Spark, Sky Network Television, and TVNZ are enforcing this copyright region licensing against VPNs), to prevent modification, tampering, editing and even repairing a content, and now trying to make it mandatory for sites to use automated filtering system a similar way how youtube takes down videos. Now we're in an age where anyone who dare violates any of these obnoxious, stupid, anti-consumer, f**ked up, vomiting, co*ksu***ng, bullsh!t policies restrictions could be legally punished? It's like they're trying to be above the copyright law than actually following how copyright actually works.

EDIT of June 10, 2018:

On JUNE 4, 2018 they've done it again. This time they are even more similar to how Sony used malware: using deceptive file names to try to look like legitimate software to try to "trick pirates" into thinking not to delete that file. The software in question: cmdhost.exe is equivalent to Sony's "Plug and Play Device Manager", just for "authentication" purposes. It was on Torrentfreak article about flightsimlabs: https://torrentfreak.com/flight-sim-company-threatens-reddit-mods-over-libellous-drm-posts-180604/. The file itself isn't a virus or malware, rather a "dummy" file to be used by an exe to do things that malware would, called "system hollowing": https://youtu.be/v6gu8HCMrTo?t=196.

Whats worse, is the company itself. They're censoring their forums to hide what they were caught doing and now trying to bully outside sites like reddit to "take down these DRM criticisms or we will sue you for libel" as an attempt to prevent anyone from knowing about their own tactic.

F*cking. distasteful. If I criticize a store for installing HIDDEN cameras IN THE TOILET, I should not be under the influence of the store policy saying "you cannot disclose our security system".

We're already in the time where the EU is now planning to have the worst draconian copyright enforcement in the planet of mankind. Demanding mandatory content ID to be on all internet platforms, removing safe harbors, pretty much SOPA 2.0.

Tip for consumers: Go get a better flight simulator software, not this one. Its Sony BMG but with a flight simulator instead of music.

Value
GettyImages

GettyImages

2/18/18

When I was searching for any images on google, I've noticed 2 buttons were missing. I looked it up and they are the one to blame for removing the "View Image" and "Search by image" buttons on Google.

Many news sites mentions gettyimages doing this because their images gets stolen (a.k.a pirated) or that users access the content without the ads.

2 reason why these reasons to remove the buttons are pathetic:

-The image displayed on google images are basically hotlinks to the original source (which is how google image main function), thus users can still pirate using google images by right-clicking on the image and using browser addons. And no, asking google to remove rightclick won't work, I already explained that sites like Benitaepstein did that and nobody would ever wanted to visit a website that have DRM.

-You know, people can still evade ads not only by direct accessing the image (as in, going to the image's URL itself), but also (obviously) using ad blockers. Have you ever herd of using ad block detection?

This is the stupidest move I've ever seen. It is nothing more than adding more clicks to use a great image service; downgrading google images. Why can't they just have images that are full resolution behind a robots.txt or 403 forbidden on the actual image and the watermarked downgraded version available for public? And yes, I said "google images", not specifically images from gettyimages displayed on Google that the buttons were kicked.

This isn't the only turd they drop, there is one that is still coming out of this company's arse (and it's a long one that clogged the toilet that even a plunger couldn't fix): Threat letters. I have mentioned on this article that this company complains about it's images being stolen and they go out of their way of screwing legitimate things over. They have a long history of sending "demand letters" coercing and even intimidating many site owners that their users is uploading images without their permission. I said demand letters, not DMCA notices, meaning they do not use takedown notices kindly asking them to remove the content without any liability incurred. This is basically the ransom version SOPA/PIPA, these enforcement that goes against the safe harbor liability limitations provisions.

Totally not worth to even go to their site (other than to visit their site with maximum ad blocking protection (to make them lose revenue), page source editing prank to make people think gettyimages is even cr@ppier, and sending hate mail to the CEO). After giving google image users and web owners the middle finger for allowing image piracy, this company should be publicly shamed by all users on the internet.

2019/3/12 update: Oh look: https://torrentfreak.com/100s-of-rightsholder-groups-urge-eu-parliament-to-adopt-the-copyright-directive-190312/ (I cannot use certain characters such as left/right quotation marks here thanks to this site's text handling system):

[The full list of supporters includes popular names such as Thomson Reuters, The Independent, the Association of Independent Music, *Getty Images*, PRS for Music, SACEM, Eurocinema, and many, many others.]

Thats right, Just as I was expecting. If Gettyimages was in the US during 2011-12 they WOULD support SOPA. If you are too lazy on what is Article 13 in the EU, in simple words, its a "Notice and Staydown" provision aimed at crippling the safe harbor provision. Sites will be held liable if an infringing material happens to be re-uploaded after being taken down. This explains why people are complaining that this would lead to automated system to detect a match like youtube's ContentID system, but takes down content instead of monetization.

National Association of Manufacturers

National Association of Manufacturers

2/19/18

According to a Wikipedia Article regarding the AACS Key controversy:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AACS_encryption_key_controversy

They removed the link to "Digg-it" on their blog because:

"Until the Digg community shows as much fervor in attacking intellectual piracy as attacking the companies that are legitimately defending their property, well, we do not want to be promoting the site by using the "Digg It" feature."

Guess what, it isn't a crime to have people posting "infringing" decryption keys on website when the webowner AT LEAST tried to remove such content. Not to mention, how is content (which is often digital content such as software) on a DVD used as piracy even related to this company who specializes manufacturing? WHAT THE HECK?!?

Also, this company is a SOPA supporter, so this company is not worth supporting then. F#ck off.

Jasrac.or.jpimage coming soon

Jasrac.or.jp

12/26/17

Okay, according to some Japanese articles, they oppose the making and distribution midi songs of a copyrighted song. To me, that's unnecessary, because it is possible to make derivative works even by making songs with your voice, and also can teach some people how music patterns work. Its like anti-fan music. A midi file is like a source code of a software, but without illegally hurting businesses (legitimate use).

If that isn't enough, they wanted to collect copyright fees on schools too. Therefore rendering schools more expensive. It's already bad enough that textbooks with a passcode for online version REQUIRES you to pay money to register this key should you rent the textbook (therefore, violating the first sale doctrine).

Thewomensalzheimersmovement.org

Thewomensalzheimersmovement.org

12/17/17

EDIT: actually, it isn't ad-related problem, the website actually got hacked. Visiting that website redirects to bad sites that can infect your PC, stay away until this is resolved (indicated by google search result).

Edit: website now fixed. All good.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications

12/8/17

Look at this: https://sunlightfoundation.com/2014/05/16/how-telecoms-and-cable-have-dominated-net-neutrality-lobbying/

They want your experience to be:
-slow site loading
-Block sites THEY don't like, regardless if the site is legal, safe, etc. The same inconvenience in school and public places that uses web-filtering (or content control software) to censor sites. This is basically internet dictatorship.
-Charge you extra money for unlimited access. This is equivalent to freemium games, where the gameplay is restricted by "timer walls" in which you either have to wait a period of time or spend money to remove the restrictions. When a good thing is deliberately downgraded just to FORCE you to pay money to enjoy it. Same goes to shareware/crippleware screencasting software, which they do things like crappy watermark to harass you to spend money (filmora did this crap).

In case if you don't know net neutrality, its basically a rule/law that ISP must treat all data in the internet the same, without any discrimination. So no blocking, no slowing, and no charging extra money based on the type of data in general. It's basically internet freedom.

Ajit Pai is an American attorney who formally worked with this company, and he had the NERVE to say:

"This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman Pai's plan to restore internet freedom has stalled. The vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14".

So he's saying that net neutrality is "heavy-handed internet regulations"?

Just F*ck you. That is the same as saying "Freedom of expression is a heavy-handed conversation regulations".

We need money too, being single sided on handling money is being outright selfish that you discriminate who talks and who gets censored, we're not in china, and no, we are not in NK. Don't turn the US into a censorship country like those, @$$holes.

Dropbox

Dropbox

12/3/17

Would you like to use a file hosting service that have a tendency of deleting your files? Then this is for you.

Across the Internet just before the approximate year 2012 or so, almost ALL links to dropbox files suddenly breaks and leads to error 404. This is not because the user purposely deleted them. This can be proven here:
https://smwc.me/871994 (if it was deleted on purpose, it would've state the reason)

This is a disgrace, almost as bad as the recent photobucket disaster when they changed their TOS to require $399/year to display images off-site. Again, if the user of Dropbox is inactive, there is no way for that to be fixed unless someone else has a backup available. Use google drive instead.

How can they do this? A site designed for backup and sharing your files (legally), now trashed and gone for good.

EDIT: it happened on March 15, 2017. They decided to remove public links and never admitted the reason why.

Adobe

Adobe

11/6/17

My review was late, but they use to be great in the past until they wanted more money out of a consumer's wallet. Give big thanks to alternative software that don't do this cr@p.

Basically on May 5, 2013 Adobe decided to make their software only available as "software as a service" rather than selling it as a product from a store. This means you don't actually own it, but renting it. The only good thing I can say about this is that it cost $10 at the cheapest, but as everyone knows, monthly payments will eventually be more expensive than just what you're buying if they were to allow it.

Imagine if you can only rent laptop and not buy it, that would be terrible.

Alexmauer.bandcamp.com

Alexmauer.bandcamp

11/5/17

This train wants to crash into other youtubers for containing songs even if played in the background. This is equivalent to celebrity fights, He is basically Jessica Price (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q50oy4-UJM) in terms of passive-agressive and giving the public the middle finger.

I'm not blaming bandcamp at all, bandcamp is good. I'm looking at an horrendous, pugnacious, death threatening, perjuy-est musical artist named Alex Tomas Mauer. Blame part of it on youtube for allowing this.

This user is chiptune music maker who made music for Star Mazarr DSP, River City Underground, and many others. According to SidAlpha on youtube, this user decided to go to war with youtube containing gameplay of video games containing any of his music from the game itself, regardless how small it contains its (transgender user) music, reflecting back on Lenz v. Universal on a video about a baby dancing to a Prince's song. It saddens me the most that youtube's DMCA system does not require proof of infringement, therefore, all you have to do is fill out an application and thats it. I'm pretty sure that the agreement for musical artist to have their musics in video games states that you cannot take down game footage of any kind for any reason.

To top it all off, before the user closes its site, it decided to have the cost of the vaganox to be $1000 to buy it. That's criminal. This user had the nerve to anger its fans to not buy its stuff again.

Combine that behavior with even hitting a police in one of the documents, this user is never going to be a composer ever again for a company.

What this user could've done is have somebody help him out when signing in agreements, many people says this user have mental issues, and that to understand how the offical copyright ststem works. She cannot control how copyright works, she can copyright hisworks but not have more restrictions past the limitations and exceptions of it.

I think his works diserved to be pirated

Tip for consumers: This person is extremely dangerous, treat her like how Sony BMG's decision to use DRM malware to infect user's PC. Boycott her, just stay away.

Benitaepstein.com

Benitaepstein

11/4/17

Okay, Another DRM added to the website that can easily be bypassed (as in, hello disable right click). What a way to insult users, treating them as potential thief. Why, just read this: https://www.dr-lex.be/info-stuff/top13not2do2014.html#rightclick. I understand unauthorize uses hurt your business, but don't do what planetware did on their content pages. At least the watermarks on the content are better than hackershomepage, because that site is WAY worse all the way.

Okay, now onto the quality:
-Webpage looks bland. White and grey everywhere with only a few paragraphs of text colored. The caption "Funny Cartoons your readers will love" could be improved font/logo. Wow, nice intro.

-Home page doesn't look welcoming compared to websites you see everyday.

-The copyright notice would be better suited to be placed at the footer of the site, not only in the home page. arstechnica.com did it right.

-There is no FAQ about buying and other stuff, you have to email benita@benitaepstein.com instead. Why this is a problem? Its because people often ignore email addresses, or it gets very busy and can take a long time before the user responds. It's common that messaging to others and they don't respond back, in general.

-There's no search bar to find the name you're looking for.

-Left menu is unnecessarily BLOATED, there are no buttons or other interactions outside that (besides hyperlinks), some of them are meant to be at the home page on the main body:

--Similar items that could've use submenu or merged together to ease users navigating the site.

--Pages with similar titles are split, making users easily get lost. For example: "business-cartoons" and "business-cartoons 2" are in different pages.

--Items aren't alphabetized. If you're updating the site, I recommend putting similar things together, then sort them so you don't have to painstakingly handle large amounts of items .

--There is a huge amout of text under that menu, it includes about the pricing, the author's story (seriously? Put that in a different page titled "my story"), "how to make your presentation memorable", misleading note saying "Cartoons are available for use in electronic, print media or merchandise." (even though there's DRM on the site) and... ...oh my gosh, if you visit most of the content pages that has images, there are hundreds of tags fill up the remaining portion of the menu bar. Just look at it. Would be better as having it on the main body of the page with show/hide tags button.

--The advertising is too distracting, with colored and inconsistent fonts. Thankfully there are no 3rd party ads on it that could potentially brings pop ups, and other inconviences.

Have this author ever visited a professional website? There is a phrase called "Less is more", which this author probably haven't herd of.

All in all, the website is difficult to even use because of the design, have the author even tested and have somebody check the site to see if it looks right?

Tip for consumers: There are better stock image websites out there that do a similar thing with better interfaces, better help, and easy to navigate, and not using DRM.

Fox Entertainment Group

Fox Entertainment Group

8/27/17

What do I have to say, it one of those groups who abuses the copyright system and grinds them to the dust. Along with Viacom, Fox, Universal studios, and others, they are the sh#t-eating companies who attacks on talkers and content makers, and just flat out care only about their IP *OVER* the limitations of copyright stated in law. If they can take legit stuff down they hate, they definitely will.

It follows Viacom path:
-It takes down any content even if they are legal (such as fair use). Reviewers on youtube such as TheMysteriousMrEnter constantly got attacked throughout posting critiques on many TV shows and other content.
-Supports a "destroy the internet" SOPA bill. This bill allows copyright holders to deny access to websites they don't like, it allows them to sue website owners for liability for their site having infringing content, rather than the uploader, and exposes libraries to prosecution. You care more about your IP than your customers and viewers. Wow, good for you, expect more people to hate you.
-Steals other peoples videos, for example, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed59WhzXlkk. For this example, they even DMCA that original video posted years ago, claiming that this footage belong to Fox (this youtube user "sw1tched" posted this on Feb 21, 2009, and got nuked on just after May 14, 2016 (the day it was first aired)) Yes another irony that even the MPAA made illegal copies of Kirby D!ck's movie.

Tip for consumers: One day, they probably play as being the pirates.

Rayfile.com

Rayfile

7/29/17

This is basically mediafire. It dumps adware malvertising stuff on the user's PC when downloading stuff. Again, get a virtual machine if you're going to that site. It looks like many of those sites does terrible job at keeping their ads clean.

Comcast

Comcast

7/17/17

This company represents ALL anti-consumer and anti-users business practices AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. They don't want happy consumers, they want money, they want china-styled internet, they want copyright to have more power for liability. They say f*ck you for cancelling their service, and also mail you a bad name.

The actual problems are:
-Crippled internet:
--Supported the unholy SOPA bill. SOPA stands for "Stop Online Piracy Act", one of the worst copyright bill that luckily didn't pass. It basically gives big corporations power to demand ISP to block sites regardless if legal or not.

--Anti-net neutrality. If you thought web filtering was bad, how about the ISP's turn to do the blocking? They are basically trying to completely block sites that they don't want. Even if you take that out, they wanted to slow certain loading sites to force you to pay more, that's greedy and much worse than software companies using crippleware to encourage users to pay the full version (such as a watermark on video editing programs). I know they are trying to prevent piracy, but those sites are not always used for that reason, some of them are used legally, such as a backup, review, etc.

-Lawsuits. I can't count how many they have, but they even violate a law that enforces net neutrality: Hart v. Comcast Corp. (and also false advertising), overcharging users, etc.

-HORRABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE:
--changing customers' name to a bad name, like Ricardo Brown changed to a curse word.
--The bomb that exploded on "Hurricane Ike", basically comcast didn't care if disasters like this happens, you are still required to return their equipment of renting.
--Trying to terminate the service is also bad, just look at other reviews. There are too many issues.
-Overbilling. I mean really.

and more. This company features every possible thing they did that consumer hates

Photobucket

Photobucket

7/10/17

EDIT: 11/27/2018 Please check the updates at the bottom.
OLD TITLE: Worst business decision ever since Adobe's move to creative cloud subscription only.
OLD review:
Photobucket, more like photof#cket.
What would you feel if you make a blog, a website or any other post, and then years later, found out that the (old) images were replaced with a message demanding you to upgrade your account to a paid subscription.
Images across the internet using Photobucket are now WREAKED, asking users to pay money to have them hosted (not a one-time fee, a periodic $400/year plan). It's a huge insult that they WOULD DECIDE to have this subscription at the most expensive of all their subscriptions. I am so disappointed to see this forum post of arts just got wiped out:
https://bbs.saraba1st.com/2b/thread-510245-2-1.html.

EDIT
Hotlinks aren't the only ones destroyed, viewing it directly, downloading or otherwise accessing it (even from their own site) on some images SOMETIMES NO LONGER WORKS (the "please upgrade your account" image instead of the image intended).That is a mess. This could be one of the biggest internet DISASTER ever. It's like they're censoring them for ransom. More like hosting images disabled, not just 3rd party.
Many people said they did this because their income are short due to users using adblockers on their site, you know why? Its because your site is heavily infested by ads. At least some news sites, deviantart and wikia step it up on keeping their ads clean. Nobody wants ads that have un-close-able, website access/usability-disabling, redirecting, opening in a new tab, scam hosting, fake close buttons, spawning a separate browser window as pop-ups (including pop-unders), banners/boxes WITHIN the website filling the screen, installing malware, noisy auto-plays that refuses to mute, any browsing-obstructive content placed on a webpage and any other what google describes them as "abusive experience". I've experienced mediafire and rayfile doing this cr@p with clicking on the (real) download button. Viewing it on mobile is EVEN WORSE, just run away.
This company turned to sh!t the way imageshack (better to be called imageshat) did. They had the nerve to turn their backs to say "no, it's no longer free" and prevent hosting images. What's worse is that they don't give enough warning to all its users that there is a change in terms of service.
The first time I saw this was on smwcentral, and it look god awful: http://smwc.me/133113
I hope this practice does not spread to multiple companies that host images like cancer, if any of them were to act this way, then there is no way to host your images permanently, like an avocado thats opened. Better to use google drive and link without hotlinking.
If you're an active user who wanted to fix your post, you have a FIELD DAY of fixing thousands of images across the internet you posted. If you're inactive, its gone forever. They could've make only images uploaded after that point be blocked, but they decided to screw it all.
EDIT: give a shout to Michel van Heijster for making a script that makes fixing your images WAY easier, download here: https://bitbucket.org/michelvh/photobucketscraper. Not sure if this is gunna work with if the image view on photobucket got replaced.
Thank god someone was smart enough to help others with this problem.
EDIT2: There is an browser add-on that circumvent this "hotlink protection" called "photobucket hotlink fix": https://github.com/Ryan-Myers/photobucket-embed-fix . What I want you to do is use that extension to enable viewing images, then download them ("save as"). It should download the actual image. Now reupload that image to another site (that does not do sh!t like photobucket did) and post a message stating that you backed up the image as intention to help visitors reading it.

11/27/2018 update: They have improved their business models and no longer block images anymore but rather watermarked them on outside sites. Now lets hope they continue to grow. The only sad problem now is due to the nature of how hotlink detection works, web archives cannot archive them as the hot inked content can read your URL. But you can download their originals.

Tip for consumers: Be very careful if you intend of using the internet archive to save a page that uses images from photobucket, the hotlink detection prevents saving the original image, even on redirected one if you try to view the image address.

Adam Has Earned 26 Votes

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