Photobucket’s 13 Billion Images Up for License for Generative AI


Back in the old days of the Internet, hosting images was a big business. Heck, it still is in many ways even though there are a ton of options out there.

brown pathway between white organizers
Brown pathway between white organizers. Photo by Ula Kuźma

One of the old titans of the early social media days was Photobucket.

Now the owner of some 13 billion images, the company recently discovered a newfound promise in its business model; namely, the licensing of that archive of images for training generative AI, Reuters reports.

As for who is looking to do this, Photobucket can’t say per confidentiality but we can only guess that it is probably some of the more familiar names seen often in our stories here.

The article goes on to describe how there is an emerging market for this kind of “private” content – that is, photos that can’t be “scraped” because they are publicly available (which is a whole issue unto itself). Beyond photos, the article highlights the potentially massive market for data in general and how complex valuation is in addition to how fraught with ethical complications it might have in some cases.

And it is important not to forget, as Reuters reminds us, that there is a bit of a “gold rush” mentality in this area with companies trying to gain an advantage over one another in what could be a big space – or not. As we covered in a previous article, people like AI-generated food, but not when they find out it is AI. While there’s no doubt that generative AI has a bright future, it might not replace reality but, if it does, we’ll let you know about it.

Do you use or have you used Photobucket? What are your thoughts on licensing images to AI platforms? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

We have some more headlines for you to read at this link right here.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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