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Photobucket Blocks Free Hotlinking Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

3 July 2017

Photobucket Replacement Image. No more hotlinking.

The photo sharing service Photobucket abruptly changed its hotlinking policy today, restricting the ability to link to images on its services to those paying $400 for third-party hosting privileges.

Hotlinking, also known as third-party hosting, has been a feature of the service since it launched in 2003. It saves Web site owners bandwidth charges by serving image files, which can be large downloads, from the Photobucket site rather than their own individual sites.

The company apparently did not notify users of the policy change, leaving lots of sites with a small substitute graphic where the image should appear, advising the viewer rather than the image server to visit a Plus 500 Plan promotional page.

That pages says, in small print, "Our Terms of Service does not allow 3rd party hosting with your current account level." A banner along the top of site also notifies visitors of a change in service.

The new terms of service notes:

The free account does not allow any image linking or 3rd party image hosting.

The only account which does allow hotlinking is the Plus 500 Plan, which provides 500-GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth for $399.99 a year.

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