Oops! You meanI accidentally linked the picture to their account? My bad!
I've been using Photobucket forever. I've always thought it's a great place to store images online - free. I've never felt the need to upgrade my account to a "Pro" account since I don't have tons of images, and I don't really care about the ads they show on each "Free" member's page. I mostly use their services to store some blog pictures - and used to use my account a lot more when I was selling on eBay. I know some things have changed on the site - and it's my own fault for not paying close attention - but since I don't use my account that much, I didn't realize what changes had been put into effect.
I woke up at 2:15 this morning and got online. With the oldest supposedly going to school during the day, he needs the computer - so I get on when I can. Which usually means middle of the night or early in the morning. (He's way younger than I am and I know there is no possible way I can outlast him at night.) When I checked my email, I was surprised to find an email from Photobucket, announcing I had a "follower". Not sure what that meant, I went to the site and checked it out.
Now I'm annoyed, irritated and pissed. When I checked out my "followers" account, I noticed she had a few of my pictures in her albums. Photos I took. Of things I had made. These weren't just pictures of a sunset I had taken - or royalty free images I found online and changed to suit my purposes. They weren't even photos or clip art I had paid to use. These were pictures taken by MY camera, of things MY hands created. It isn't like she has a link from my album to hers, attributing the original author/creator of the photos or the subjects within the photos. She didn't even purchase the items I had in the pictures, which I would have understood.
No. She has taken my pictures and placed them in her own albums - as if the photos "belong" to her. I assume many (all?) of her photos came from someone else - and she's passing them off as hers. The part where I totally lost my mind? Did you know you can have these photos - regardless of where they come from, or who "owns" them - put on all sorts of merchandise? I could go to your Photobucket album, find a picture YOU took, and slap it on a coffee mug, t-shirt, or playing cards?? WTH?
I realize people can download pictures from anywhere on the Internet, save them to their computer, and do whatever they want with them. Especially if photos aren't watermarked. I just didn't realize a photo hosting service would "help" to make this so easy. I haven't noticed the same thing on Flickr, but maybe it's there and I've just overlooked it. This seems totally wrong to me.
Am I missing something?