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Picapp.com

  1. I contacted my blog network administrator. His exact words:

    They're full of shit. I've not installed any widgets. Something in their java script hijacked the images on our front pages. So, take it to them.

    Oh yea, who's running their customer service desk? That person is an idiot.

    This after they flat-out called me a liar on one of my blogs:
    http://www.offsitedatabackup.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/picapp-picks-up-your-pix/#comment-109

    I have confirmed that although they claim it never did this unless you installed the widget, it did indeed do this last night. It doesn't seem to do it now, which is great; I don't have to throw out a hundred or so images. But to lie about it seems bizarre.

  2. I have confirmed that although they claim it never did this unless you installed the widget...

    You mean they are claiming that it DOES take credit for ALL images or link back to their site from ALL images on a blog if the widget is installed, whether the images are their's or not???

    If true, can the even spell copyright violation?

    From the comment they left,

    ...only once you install the widget , the new lightbox is activated on “non picapp” images. if you do install the widget and wish to remove the link from a certain image or site section you can easily do so by using your picapp publisher dashboard...

    This implies just what you said, that the put a link to THEIR site on non-picapp images. They are either seriously stupid, have a bug in their software, or this person is seriously confused. They absolutely, positively cannot put a link into your blog and into images that are not from their site.

    I'm going to hold off final judgment on this until I hear right from them that they are putting links to their site, implying ownership of images that are not theirs.

  3. This is incredibly weird!

  4. Forgive my garbled English. I've had two hours of sleep and lots of cold medicine.

    Yes, they put a link to THEIR site on non-Picapp images. ALL my non-Picapp images on the front page of the blog, and the network admin saw exactly the same thing on his blog over the weekend, and it occurred to me last night when I should have been sleeping that this probably interfered with our affiliate link code (which generally include a tiny, invisible image) thus interfering with a for-profit blog's ability to generate profit.

    That, once discovered, would CERTAINLY be motivation enough for them to fix this, which they seem to have done. No for-profit blog could consider running anything that neutralized all its affiliate links.

    Their claim: they never touched my non-Picapp images. Those images NEVER linked to the Picapp lightbox except on blogs with the widget installed. This is untrue, as I saw and as the network administrator saw.

    The non-Picapp images NO LONGER link to their lightbox on blogs without the widget. This is confirmed. So the problem is solved, although I am not comfortable with their claim that the problem never existed.

  5. To super-clarify: This happened on two different blogs, neither of which had the widget installed at any time.

  6. Did you take screenshots by chance, or do a copy/paste on the source code?

  7. Unfortunately I'm still getting used to Chrome and couldn't dig down to the sourcecode. In the Edit Post box, all was normal on all the posts. No funny links. But when I right-clicked, save URL on the image at the top of the blog yesterday, it linked to:

    http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/unknown/amanda-seyfried-kate/image?term=People%3a0.659%3a%22Kim+Kardashian%3fs+Halloween%22&scomp=pis&isrc=http%3a%2f%2fayyyy.com%2fwordpress%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2010%2f11%2famanda-seyfried-dog-costume-656x1024.jpg&ititle=Amanda+Seyfried+At+Kate+Hudson's+Halloween+Party&idesc=Amanda+Seyfried+is+no+dog%2c+but+apparently+Ryan+Philippe+is+a+furry%3f&width=480&height=749&_PhotoGallery.Settings.Skin=LightBox

    Which is obviously their lightbox code. That picture didn't come from Picapp, and we never had the widget installed on that blog. Now that picture links to Just Jared, like it was always supposed to, and I didn't change anything.

  8. From PicApp's support documents: http://picapp.zendesk.com/entries/261665-picapp-widget-is-taking-over-my-image-original-links

    At this point, I'm with merovee. It'd be great to hear from Staff on this topic and to get a feeling for what exactly is going on rather than continuing with speculations.

  9. I'm just hoping they may be able to integrate the widget in a similar way to Typekit . Zemanta's wikipedia images don't compare to Picapp .

    It would be great to hear from Staff . The sound of silence is deafening .

  10. staff bump

  11. You don't need to bump the thread; we are aware of this.

  12. Ok, sometimes it's difficult for us to know that you know. On the substance, I've always considered picapp to be one of the many great features of wordpress, and I would like to keep it, as do many others I gather. So thanks in advance for helping us out.

  13. [opinion]

    From poking around over on the picapp website and reading their comments in variousl places, and doing some thinking about this issue, I'm convinced that using or keeping picapp is NOT in the best interest of anyone, especially the blogger. You all need to read this over at the picapp site carefully and let it sink in: http://picapp.zendesk.com/entries/261665-picapp-widget-is-taking-over-my-image-original-links .

    Issues as I see them:

    1. Unless you specifically opt out in their widget settings, picapp shows all images on your blog with their lightbox feature and they change any link you have on those images to a link to their site, even on images that are NOT from their site. If that image happens to be from another source, and you had linked that image back to that site to comply with the copyright holder's terms of use (attribution), picapps changing of that URL effectively puts you in violation of the TOS for that image and makes you liable for copyright infringement.

    2. By picapp changing the URLs you set on your images (those that do not come from picapp) they are in essence implying ownership of those images. (The thinking: The image links to picapp, so obviously the image came from picapp).

    From my experience, few people really understand copyright and fewer still would understand the implications of allowing picapp to hijack their image links.

    I cannot believe that any lawyer would sign off on this scheme of theirs.

    [/opinion]

  14. I did the same poking around and I'm so happy I never ever used one of their images.

    " Picapp enable an automatic install to the self-hosted WordPress.org (not WordPress.com). The Picapp widget is currently not available for WordPress.com users.

    WordPress.com demands a specific integration to enable 3rd party widgets, we are working on it, stay tuned on our blog for announcements regarding this issue.

    PicApp has some BS ^ campaign trying to get wordpress.com bloggers to email wordpress.com staff and demand/request that the widget be allowed on wordpress.com. This, of course, will not fly due to code restrictions we require to keep this multi-user blogging platform secure. The result will be some wordpress.com users who don't have a clue how JavaScript works and the risk it presents to multi-user blogging platforms demanding a widget.

    Then there's this > New! - Earn money with Picapp

  15. Staff could implement the code on the back end (where it would be secure and not accessible to anyone to hack it), but everything I'm reading is like nails down a chalkboard.

  16. YUP - I agree 100%

  17. I'm still not comfortable with the fact we didn't install ANY widget, and they lied and claimed we had and then fixed the problem behind the scenes. Believe me, I'm not mistaken: at no time did we install any Picapp widget on either of the blogs, and the behavior was evident on both of them. A cover-up does not bode well for the future. They should just come clean.

  18. I contacted them (sent you a BCC rain) and it will be interesting to see if they reply.

    I got to thinking, the first time I clicked on one of your non-picapp images, I ended up with a picapp URL in the browser address bar and thought perhaps I had clicked the wrong image, but I was sure I hadn't. The second time I clicked it I got the right URL, the one you had assigned to the image.

    I could have clicked on the wrong image, or perhaps I did not. I can't be for sure, but from everything I've read, this whole things wreaks.

  19. My personal guess is, they fixed this fast. I got the BCC: well said.

  20. If I don't get a reply, I'll do it as an open letter on a high-profile blog somewhere.

  21. If I currently HAD a high-profile blog, I'd offer to post it on mine.

  22. Yeah, same here. I could always put it in my 0/10 PR design blog, but I am probably about the only one that would see it although even unfinished, it is getting some google hits and averaging about 20 page views per day.

  23. @ raincoaster , @thesacredpath
    Many Thanks for the feedback!
    we just saw it in our own eyes on another blog ( we could never reproduce this error when we checked your blogs ) and think we have a lead on what happened.
    Seems that due to the fact our picapp-images embed code include much of the functionality of the widget code , in some cases the following error happens : when a registered user , that has picapp images on it site , re-register to the new service , the new images she posted are being affected from the code that is part of the embed code in the post/s below (as long there are picapp images in the same page). this is why , we assume you saw non-picapp images getting the "lightbox effect" .
    once we will confirm this today , we will change our activation flow so that bloggers who are not interested in the widget will be able to 'let us know'.
    we are indeed sorry for the inconvenience . we get much traction and feedback for the new product and are thankful for your comments who help us to improve.
    thanks again!
    Eyal

  24. Interesting, and thank you for the update.

    The problem is, it affected even images that were uploaded before this past weekend, when the widget functionality was enabled. It affected images that were uploaded for the previous five days (those are the ones that were on the front page).

    And I haven't re-registered for the service, nor do I think the network admin did.

  25. @rain, I sent you another email.

  26. You can see the error in action right now on my blog http://ayyyy.com

    Whatever WAS fixed is now unfixed.

  27. Houston... we have a problem.

  28. Two, really, since all these updates are going here instead of on http://raincoastermedia.com

    How am I supposed to take over the world at this rate?

  29. Seems picapp is trying to horn in on your action.

  30. I'm sorry to keep you waiting for news while we looked into this on our side, but I have news now:

    PicApp has decided to no longer support the original implementation of the PicApp shortocde for WordPress.com. We are disappointed by this news, but understand that PicApp is taking their business in a new direction. As of today, PicApp will no longer work on WordPress.com. Old usages of the shortcode will continue to function as long as PicApp will allow them to, but we do not plan to switch to the new method of image selection they are providing and any shortcodes entered into new posts will be automatically removed.

    I know this news will be disappointing to some who were regular users of PicApp, but we believe this decision is best for WordPress.com as a community and as a platform.

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