But last month, Photobucket made a change. After 14 years of allowing people to upload images for free and embed them within posts on online communities, in blogs and on websites – they stopped. Without notice. Immediately, quite possibly billions of images across the web broke, and were replaced with what some have compared to a ransom note, imploring people to pay if they want their image to be displayed. The price: $39.99 a month or $399.99 a year.
This has led to widespread media coverage and criticism, much of it coming from online communities impacted by the change. Former MetaFilter director of operations Jessamyn West, who recently participated in a community-led effort to migrate from one image sharing service to another, joins the show, alongside copyright expert Jonathan Bailey, to sift through this story and what online communities should take away from it. Including:
- Why Photobucket’s rollout of this change guaranteed people would leave their service
- How online communities can respond to situations like this
- What copyright implications community owners should be aware of