A few reminders on third-party Image Hosting

If you have a blog that’s hosted in WordPress.com, or Blogspot, or any other free* service, or if you have unlimited resources, that is, truckloads of money to pay for all that uncapped web space, you may be least likely concerned about the gigabytes that images can easily consume from what you have arranged with your webhost of choice. The rest of us common men with an inkling of what saving both gigabytes of allocation and the bandwidth needed to pump out all those images may consider hosting these on a separate service, or outsourcing to a third-party image hosting service.

There are all sorts of complications in this, which are more often than not clarified (if not in the most intimidating legalese) in these services’ respective TOS’s, or Terms of Service. One thing to keep in mind, and something most bloggers may likely be concerned about is what is commonly worded as “…perpetual, non-exclusive, transferrable, fully-paid, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate…” **. The “non-exclusive” (or its equal) portion pre-empts possible user recoils on the ground that users who avail of these services relinquish ALL rights to material uploaded and thereafter shuttled to the consumers of the image content. Not much to worry about; it’s a lawyer thing to be six steps ahead and write off 99% of claims to privacy when, say, users suddenly find their beach body picture all over the web on a Flickr advertisement.

Also, keep in mind is how the service you choose to employ the phrase “legal use”. Case in point: both ImageShack and Yahoo! Flickr provides hotlinks (direct URLs to the images used in embedding t hem onto web pages where they are served), but their usage clauses are not as parallel. Flickr in each of the uploaded photos’ pages – where you can choose sizes that range from thumbnail, to small, medium, and full size – that directly linking to the individual files is a breach of the services’ Terms and Conditions, while ImageShack gets by with a simple reminder that using the thumbnail codes that include the words “Free image hosting by www.ImageShack.us” to allow them to show ads keep the basic services free. Multiply, while not exactly an image-only site but has served as one for a lot of bloggers taking advantage of the free* bandwidth, does allow hot-linking, and inserts a watermark with the Multiply logo on a corner of the image.

Remember, a little step you take to conform to the self-imposed rules on a web of free* services goes a long way in avoiding issues that may rise later on when you find yourself right at the center of buzz and traffic, which mostly translates to revenue, considering you’ve followed the other great tips and tricks from the writers of Blog Tutorials!

* – free may mean ad-supported
** – taken from Facebook Terms of Service