back to article Spy-on-your-home Y-Cam cameras removes free cloud storage bit

Home security company Y-Cam has enraged its users after pulling its free lifetime cloud storage for its internet-connected cameras. Customers were told they had 14 days' notice to download any footage they required before the free service was deactivated. Y-Cam will now offer one year of free seven-day rolling cloud storage …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    What a surprise...

    .... really, what a surprise...

    Same old tactic - lure people in with some free offer, then tell them they have to pay.

    Unless you have a remunerative ads business also, there's no way you can offer "free services" - and the cloud is built to avoid you can host your own.

  2. hplasm Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Lifetime Guarantee!

    If it breaks, you die!

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: Lifetime Guarantee!

      Like pacemakers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boom. Gotcha.

    Thanks for buying our stuff. Now you have it, we'll now lock you in because that would be cheaper than you buying all new stuff.

    The "cloud" is nothing more than a way to make you subscribe and pay.

    Nothing more...

    Bollocks to that. This proves you CANNOT rely or trust any company with "cloud based storage" to honour their agreements. Ergo, don't use cloud storage for anything you value.

    Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based. Fortunately there are ways to circumvent most cloud based lock ins..

    1. spold Silver badge

      Re: Boom. Gotcha.

      Due to our failing short-sighted business model we have decided to monetize our existing suckers, sorry invested customer base. Next, edited "best bits" of your videos streamed on you-tube? Blackmail you as to who was 'round while the wife was away...?

    2. gv

      Re: Boom. Gotcha.

      "Now you have it, we'll now lock you in because that would be cheaper than you buying all new stuff"

      To a certain extent, yes. But, as there is a hardware component almost always involved somewhere, when said component needs to be replaced, then it's goodbye and goodnight (probably for ever).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boom. Gotcha.

        But seeing as most modern electronics last for a good 5 years, had I bought these cameras last month I would now have almost 5 years of paying for their "storage services".

        It;s a fucking con.

        I hope the Streisand effect kicks in.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Boom. Gotcha.

        I bought a wifi pan tilt camera for security and left it pointing out of the window at the gate into the tiny front garden of my house. I can use this to see who is coming to the door from anywhere in the house on my phone tablet etc. I had a few options for which camera to get but most were clones/rebadged. Of the shortlist several wanted a permanent internet connection which I balked at. A few had just got cloud storage as an option and nothing else. One of them had very negative reviews at how slow viewing via the cloud was.

        The one I settled on (a foscam) had it's own wifi built in but also accepted an ethernet connection. I hooked it up to a spare router with a suitable password and the system is self contained. Works on all my tablets and if I can be arsed one day I'll add something to allow it to be connected to the telly in the living room. Then I'll be able to have it as a second picture (picture in picture) in the top right hand corner whilst watching something else. Handy for the pizza deliveries.

        Can't remember if I ever considered the company in question but they would doubtless not have made the shortlist.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based"

      Not yet - only the new Photoshop Lightroom CC (the old one has been rebranded Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC, for maximum confusion - Photoshop is not Photoshop Lightroom...).

      But of course is an attempt to make people believe "the Cloud" is the solution and lure them towards them ("edit on any device!"), and not the actually the problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based"

        No, both Photoshop 2018 and the new lightroom are both predominantly cloud based.

        1. IsJustabloke
          Facepalm

          Re: "Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based"

          @cornz 1

          No, they're not.

    4. IsJustabloke
      Facepalm

      Re: Boom. Gotcha.

      "Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based. Fortunately there are ways to circumvent most cloud based lock ins.."

      No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it.

      My images live on my PC, on my NAS and my backups live on my hard drives (that live somewhere else).

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it."

        Depends on what subscription you buy.

        If you buy the "Lightroom CC plan", all of your photos are belong to Adobe uploaded to your cloud storage if you like it or not. You can keep a copy locally, only in a single folder on the C: drive (on Windows), and you have to activate it - yes, you can try to mount a NAS folder as directory under C, but that's not exactly what the average user is capable of doing.

        If you stop paying, IIRC you have one year to download all of them before they get deleted.

        The "Photography plan" allows you to use Lightroom Classic which can use any local storage you like, plus Adobe Cloud. Just the "Classic" moniker lead many to believe it will be killed in the near future, despite Adobe promises it won't.

        1. IsJustabloke
          FAIL

          Re: "No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it."

          "If you buy the "Lightroom CC plan""

          Lightroom CC was introduced less than a month ago and is in no way comparable to the Photography plan,it's aimed at the people that use their phones to take pictures.

          It's also included in the Photography plan but is completely seperate from the Photoshop and Lightroom classic applications, the only thing it sahres is a name.

          Compared to those two apps its a toy, its not even close to replicating Lightroom let alone photoshop and no serious photographer considers it to be anything else

          No, Adobe don't own your images they belong to you; not this bollocks again *really need a rolleyes icon*

          So in conclusion, Lightroom and Photoshop are not "based in the cloud" but they can both make use of cloud to sync images between applications and devices.

          I've heard a very few people complain about the name "classic" but it's just a name.

          1. LDS Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: "No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it."

            If you buy the "Lightroom CC plan" you are bound to the Adobe Cloud and you have to use it. It was introduced last month exactly for that reason.

            And yes, it shares the name because Adobe decided so - trying to bring people there. It could have named it Lightroom Essentials - like other simplified products it self, but it decided against it and instead rebranded "Classic" the previous product. It is a clear marketing decision with a clear aim.

            Sure, the image belongs to you (but read the TOS...), just they are stored on the Adobe Cloud and you have to pay to have them there. Lightroom CC *is* cloud based - Lightroom Classic and Photoshop are not - as said you just need to be careful about what plan you buy and use - and if you use Lightroom "non Classic" even with the Photography plan your images *gets uploaded* to the cloud.

            It's less a toy than you think - it does miss some advanced features Lightroom Classic has - but it has enough features - and in Adobe plan it's not aimed at smartphone shooters only - those probably are OK with Google and Apple Photo, and aren't going to pay $10/month or more.

            1. IsJustabloke
              Stop

              Re: "No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it."

              "If you buy the "Lightroom CC plan" you are bound to the Adobe Cloud and you have to use it. It was introduced last month exactly for that reason."

              Yes, that single plan.... the rest of the Adobe suite is NOT cloud based, if for no other reason than they all generate huge amounts of data. And yes., compared to PS and LR, CC is a toy and no serious photographer I know (and I know plenty) would consider using it for their day to day photography. Even though it's included in the photgraphy plan, it shares *nothing* but a name. You cannot use a CC catalog AND a LR catalog; It's an either/or.

              I'm so glad you've finally agreed with what I was saying because you were begining to make yourself look stupid.

              No, they don't own the images, No they're not predominatnly cloud based.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: "No it's not. yes, there is cloud storage, no you don't have to use it."

                no serious photographer I know (and I know plenty) would consider using it for their day to day photography.

                If they're using software for their day-day stuff, then they're not a "serious photographer" by any stretch of the imagination.

                A "serious photographer" will do it in the lens, or they won't do it at all. They'd not insult the name of photography with all this editing things later rubbish.

              2. LDS Silver badge

                "CC is a toy and no serious photographer"

                It's such a toy it got tone curves and split toning today - and I don't believe Adobe has finished yet.

                You make yourself looking stupid trying to deny that Adobe introduced a cloud-only LR and a cloud-only plan, and its PR is promoting it full steam.

                And it's not aiming it at amateurs only. Sure, it's still a work in progress and not yet ready for many professionals, but it's a clear step in that direction.

                Sure, Adobe doesn't own your photos - I never wrote it, if you don't understand the joke "all your photos are belong to Adobe" you should be very young...

                Yet Adobe also introduced Adobe Sensei for "auto" settings - which, not surprisingly, works "by analyzing your photo and comparing to tens of thousands of professionally edited photos" - which is another reason why it wants photos in the cloud.

                LR CC does shares almost everything with LR Classic and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) - they use the same processing engine, it's just the GUI and non-editing functions (tagging, printing, geolocation, etc.) which are different, or not available.

                And yes, you can use CC and Classic at the same time:

                https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2396946

                Maybe you know a lot of photographers, but your knowledge of Lightroom is quite limited.

    5. DocD

      Re: Boom. Gotcha.

      "Such as Photoshop, Lightroom etc as that's now almost entirely cloud based. Fortunately there are ways to circumvent most cloud based lock ins.."

      Not quite true. I've got dozens of users all storing their Photoshop and other Adobe CC files on our servers, not Adobe's. If Adobe changed the terms of the licensing agreement so that we couldn't use it anymore, we'd use different software. Inconvenient, but not a lock-in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boom. Gotcha.

        The licensing is still cloud activated. After having 6 months of issues with a paid for licence and emails going back and forth for months our team subscription kept being deactivated by Adobe and we couldn't work. Eventually they managed to sort it out.

        Even if you pay, Adobe can decide if you are allowed to use the product or not and and do not expect help if they get it wrong - If your business relies on you staff to be able to use Adobe products then steer clear of the CC range if you can. It could cripple your company.

  4. wolfetone

    Was told the other day that Dr.Martens offer a lifetime guarantee on specific boots that are £200, after I said ones I bought 2 years ago for £100 had basically fallen apart. The person telling me got offended when I said companies can go back on these promises if it costs them too much, all they need is a good enough lawyer to make it happen. He said they couldn't.

    I'm just happy to know that after reading this article my distrust of offers and promises from corporations isn't misplaced.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. rmason

    You can see it now

    Marketing droids - FREE! LIFETIME!! CLOUD!!!!

    IT - But...

    M - FREE! CLOUD!!!

    IT - but the AWS bill?

    m - CLOUD! FREE!

    (scene - 6 months later)

    C-Level Person - what the actual FUCK is going on with this AWS bill?

    Marketing - Dear Valued customers, as part of out world class service, we are having to introduce the following charges.....

    1. vir

      Re: You can see it now

      You may have overlooked the bit where the question "why can't you just optimize the video compilation algorithm" got raised.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Free Now, Pay Later...

      "I do wonder how long this model will continue, before competition reverts to the one off sales approach."

      Me too. I do my part by refusing to buy anything that requires the cloud or access to someone else's servers to use. If it involves servers I don't control, then I can't trust that it will still work in a year or 10.

    2. Michael Habel

      Re: Free Now, Pay Later...

      I do wonder how long this model will continue, before competition reverts to the one off sales approach.

      Forget it Electronic Arts* have shown us with their utmost comptempt, that this Ship has sailed.

      *As with both Linear single player Games, and their spamy Lootcrates.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep this in mind when your Windows 10 subscription kicks in.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Keep this in mind when your Windows 10 subscription kicks in.

      Assuming you fell for the Windows 10 con in the first place ....

      Remember, theres no such thing as a free lunch, free beer or free cloud storage.

      Now add the word unlimited to the front of any of those expressions would anyone realistically think its a genuine offer ?

      1. Tim Seventh
        Trollface

        "Now add the word unlimited to the front of any of those expressions"

        Unlimited free Windows 10!?!? Wow what a deal!

        /s

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Wait, there's a free cloud based Windows 10?

      Ohh, my mistake, you were just being particularly uninspired in your choice of microsoft bashing. May I suggest you aim at something like their free cloud-based antivirus, it makes your joke actually work.

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Holmes

      "when your Windows 10 subscription kicks in"

      I will just revert all machines back to Windows 7 as I no longer have to fear of stealth upgrade tactics and Solitaire will no longer require an internet connection to actually work.

      None of the machines I have built use MS accounts and they are annoying me when I see the "MEH SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE ACCOUNT" when actually its exactly the way I want them setup.

  8. TRT Silver badge

    They're doing it wrong...

    Keep the storage free; charge for access.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: They're doing it wrong...

      "Keep the storage free; charge for access."

      Sell bulk access to 3rd parties! :)

  9. DCFusor Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Been warning of this since long before...

    Nothing free is worth what you paid for it (Robert Heinlein).

    I've been warning about IoT and Cloud generally for quite awhile now - the subscription model always hurts the end user. It's like trusting someone else to handle your money - no one cares about your stuff like you do. (and if they could make you rich, why didn't they do it for themselves first, and then lose interest in "investing" your money? Where are the customer's yachts?)

    I developed a LAN of things framework and pieces for my own homestead, being a developer myself. It works fine and I don't have to depend on some 3rd party's benevolence to have my dwellings and grounds work.

    Stuff "as a service" is a very fragile construct and usually the first to go when things get tough.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Been warning of this since long before...

      "Nothing free is worth what you paid for it (Robert Heinlein)."

      Heinlein was demonstrably wrong when he said that. Air is invaluable, but I don't pay anything to breathe. Sunlight is free, etc.

      However, I agree with the rest of your comment.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Been warning of this since long before...

        Depends on the timescale. Air in some places has been pretty hard to breathe of late - China comes to mind. Did we "pay" to not have a nuke war so we could have breatheable air and sunshine without nuclear winter? If not, all those taxes, I've got coming back, right?

        Perspective. An amount isn't a rate. Just because our ancestors didn't waste it all, doesn't mean it'll all be around forever.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Been warning of this since long before...

          " Air in some places has been pretty hard to breathe of late - China comes to mind. Did we "pay" to not have a nuke war so we could have breatheable air and sunshine without nuclear winter?"

          Those aren't example of air costing money. Those are examples of paying to either clean up someone else's mess or paying to prevent someone else from making a mess. Two different things.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Been warning of this since long before...

        " Air is invaluable, but I don't pay anything to breathe."

        Get your ass to Mars!

        Then get back to me.

        1. Solarflare

          Re: Been warning of this since long before...

          Get your ass to Mars!

          And now I want to watch Total Recall (the real one, not the remake).

      3. nijam

        Re: Been warning of this since long before...

        > I don't pay anything to breathe

        You will, soon enough.

        > Sunlight is free...

        ...until someone can figure out how to cover everything in solar panels.

      4. kwhitefoot
        Alert

        Re: Been warning of this since long before...

        See the Air Trust by George English.

  10. LeoP

    No sympathy - sorry

    So you bought a gadget, that is by design locked into a cloud service you have no control over whatsoever.

    So you seeingly made yourself dependent on a vendor's goodwill.

    Not Sorry at all for you, this is like using Oracle software.

    Might be a good time to grow up, though.

  11. Lysenko

    A little OTT

    The cameras cannot store video locally, meaning Y-Cam's own service is the only option for storage...

    They're bog standard IP cams. You can use anything that can stream MJPEG or FFMPEG to record the output.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: A little OTT

      You can use anything that can stream MJPEG or FFMPEG to record the output.

      until the next firmware update removes that option.

      /s

      1. steamnut

        Re: A little OTT

        If they cannot afford their AWS bill then I doubt that they have the resources to upgrade thousands on IP cameras. If you firewall the camera then that cannot happen anyway.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: A little OTT

          If you firewall the camera then that cannot happen anyway.

          ...and if you *don't* firewall the camera already you've got a dodgy old version of Linux/BusyBox on the open internet with (at least in some versions) a hard-coded root password. These things are almost all RALink (MIPS arch) SBCs with a webcam core on the USB port. DDoS or spam zombies just waiting to be recruited, aside from the privacy implications.

          On the other hand, they're perfectly fine on a closed LAN streaming to a Raspberry Pi type[1] SBC which motion detects and encrypts before uploading to the 5Gb S3 bucket AWS gives you for free.

          [1] Not an actual Raspberry Pi. Rubbish Ethernet. A Banana Pi or an OLinuXino A20 or one of the Nano Pis.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: A little OTT

      "They're bog standard IP cams. You can use anything that can stream MJPEG or FFMPEG to record the output."

      We have a Synology NAS laying about that was bought for a project that never came off, it supports various IP cams, but you only get one license out of the box, then you have to pay to add more cameras. Know of any decent (cheap / free) software that will access multiple cameras?

      1. Huw D Silver badge

        Re: A little OTT

        If you're using Windows, look at iSpy which will use any sort of storage you can point it to.

        https://www.ispyconnect.com/

        1. cmrayer

          Re: A little OTT

          Milestone, free for up to 8 cameras for 7 days recording. Http://www.milestonesys.com

          Uses the same code Base as their excellent corporate versions, that you have to pay for.

      2. Lysenko

        Re: A little OTT

        ZoneMinder or motionEye.

  12. Steve McGuinness

    And in another classic Trustpilot behaviour

    Within hours of all those negative reviews going up, a new account appears with 1 review giving them a 5 star rating.

    Im pondering whether some tech companies genuinely think the world and their dog are that gullible?

    https://www.trustpilot.com/users/5a27d9dd0000ff000aecdc86

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: And in another classic Trustpilot behaviour

      They do, and they are.

  13. Jim-234

    Stuff like this is why I went with a host it yourself camera system

    I was recently doing some cameras for my house, and wanted simple live streaming and event recording.

    I was actually looking at the Y-Cam along with several others and then decided instead to go with Ubiquity as while it was not quite as all singing and dancing as the others, you can simply boot up a Linux* box in your home, install the free software, configure the network and done, all under your control and nobody to jack up prices or force subscriptions or sell on your information / footage to others.

    I think eventually after being burned a few times, the more do it yourself inclined people may start to realize that if you buy something that requires other "cloud" services to run, you'll be paying eventually or replacing it or both, so there will be more of a market for stuff you control locally.

    *It will run on Windows, but if you want something with 24/7 uptime for a couple years that's not going to reboot itself or hassle you for various stuff, Linux is a great option.

    1. usbac

      Re: Stuff like this is why I went with a host it yourself camera system

      I did something similar. Being generally frugal with tech stuff, and always wanting control of my gear, I built my camera system myself.

      I bought a bunch of the cheap (<$30) HD IP cameras off of Ebay. They work great by the way. I then installed Blue Iris ($59) on an old PC running Windows 7 (yes, I know, Windows yuck!), and it works very well. I have all of this on it's own network heavily fire-walled from the internet. This way the cameras can't phone home with god knows what in their firmware, nor are they accessible from the internet.

      The best part of all of this is, no cloud bullshit. The whole system will work without any internet connection at all. And, I have about 30 days worth of storage.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Jim-234

          Re: What Linux software do you use for recording events of the camera feed ?

          For the Ubiquity cameras I got, ubiquity offers a pretty nice little free Linux software package that both manages the cameras, provides live feed and provides the recording / storage features, as well as providing remote viewing capability via web browser or using the cell phone app.

          You can view both the live feed and the recordings remotely, which is nice to see if a package actually got attempted delivery or not while you are out.

          I run it on Linux Mint 18.2 (since it's based of the Ubuntu version they recommend).

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Jim-234

              Re: It has movement detection

              It does have movement / motion detection and you can configure the movement zones and sensitivity for each camera.

              It's a great feature as setting the recordings to on movement only lets you quickly jump to where something happened when remotely browsing over the recordings list, so even if you don't know the exact time, you just pick whatever movement time might be close and jump to see that.

          2. Linker3000

            Re: for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery.

            There's also Zoneminder (Linux, Open Source)

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Stuff like this is why I went with a host it yourself camera system

        Oh, thanks for the name drop, Blue Iris, that's something I've been meaning to get around to.

  14. Art Jannicelli

    Farking FTP!

    What really grinds my gears...

    Look for FTP support...

    When IP cameras first came to market they all supported FTP alerting and storage.

    So for us advanced users who do not want to pay for additional cloud services we could just use our own NAS. For me, I had a sweet setup where my cameras would send all alert images to my Synology, then it would sync those to S3, OneDrive, and google cloud.

    This black friday I wanted to add a doorbell cam, and 1080p cams. Almost none of them support FTP, they all advertise cloud for pay storage. One camera I bought even advertised FTP support... Then when I got it their latest firmware removed the feature in favor of pay for cloud storage!

    I get it Cloud is the easy button for 99% of consumers, but for business and advanced users cloud is unnecessarily insecure and expensive. FTP is easy to implement and can be kept off the internet.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Farking FTP!

      Yuo are obviously not 'on message'. Cloud is where it is at. All the young hipsters (not all iPhone owning) think that the only storage is 'Cloud' based. Local Storage is so uncool and like.... so 1990's. Man didn't you know that went out with the ark (or the 8-bit CPU).

      :) :)

      I do not use any cloud service for storage. It is just not secure IMHO.

      1. David Nash

        Re: Farking FTP!

        "Yuo are obviously not 'on message'. Cloud is where it is at. All the young hipsters (not all iPhone owning) think that the only storage is 'Cloud' based. Local Storage is so uncool and like.... so 1990's. Man didn't you know that went out with the ark (or the 8-bit CPU)."

        It's true, you even see posts on here from (presumably) youngsters or millennials or something who ridicule you for wanting removable storage in a phone for the same reason.

    2. dominicr

      Re: Farking FTP!

      Agreed, I have a couple of original-model YCams, they upload image streams (jpgs, not mpg) to my local Linux machine by ftp. These can be watched same-day using Avisynth; each night ffmpeg creates mpg for the previous day's images after which the original (space-hungry) jpgs are deleted. Free and cloudless.

    3. Weiss_von_Nichts
      Angel

      Re: Farking FTP!

      Good luck with that. FTP is now "insecure" and obsolete. Not even Mozilla are supporting it anymore. Also, "users don't want it".

  15. gerdesj Silver badge

    Zoneminder

    I haven't had a Y Cam for a while now but: https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Y-Cam (I wrote a fair bit of it).

  16. Malcolm 1

    Any IoT kit without a subscription...

    ...is a security hole or bankruptcy waiting to happen (if it's not already of course).

    If they have a viable revenue stream then they at least have the means to continue supporting an patching the product. No guarantees of course, but I'd not put my faith in a cloud based service that requires a continuous stream of new users or built-in obsolescence to pay the ongoing costs.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Any IoT kit without a subscription...

      Believe it or not, there is plenty of hardware that will work for decades without needing any form of upgrade or servicing.

      However, if you really believe what you just wrote, I can offer you some nice CAT5 Ethernet cables at £10 each and £1.50 per month subscription ...

      1. Malcolm 1

        Re: Any IoT kit without a subscription...

        Of course - but I was referring specifically to "IoT" devices which invariably require some form of cloud service to function (and therefore upkeep from the service provider). I probably wouldn't ever buy an purely cloud based security camera for all the good reasons outlined further up the comments, my point was that you'd have to be fairly naïve to believe that you could buy such a thing for an affordable one-off cost and expect the service to be supported in perpetuity. Where's the money going to come from to store your archive of home videos? Unless they just start selling your data of course.

  17. steamnut

    what is a contract?

    They said: "companies are entitled to change their Terms and Conditions and do so all the time.."

    Well, I'm not sure that works in the EU. If you agree to the T&C's than surely their is an implied contract whereby you agreed to the T&C's in return for a device/service?

    I thought that under EU law customers can enforce by filing a suit or arbitration case if they can show they were actually harmed by a breach of the term. Of course, the company can, in return, just cancel the service provision.

    It seems that nothing is free and the lawyers always win either way.

    I have bought a lot of Chinese cameras and they still seem to have FTP etc. Of course you can always use a RPi zero and camera and roll your own....

    1. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: what is a contract?

      Yeah, my thoughts were Contract Law, The Sale of Goods Act, and quite possibly Fraud.

      HOOVER :

      Some while back, 1980's maybe, didn't Hoover make an offer - buy one of our hoovers and get a free holiday ( transatlantic i seem to recall).

      They reneged on it because they said it was too expensive, too many took them up on it and no-one could reasonably believe it was a genuine offer.

      The Courts enforced it, certainly here in the UK, at a cost of some £148m to Hoover i believe. (Facts could be slightly amiss, happy to be corrected or properly informed).

      Worst should happen is a full refund.

      1. Gerry 3
        Happy

        Re: Hoover Free Flight Fiasco

        Yes, in 1992/3 the Hoover Free Flight Fiasco offered two free flights to Orlando if you spent just £100 or more. They thought that only 1 in 8 would take up the offer and that they would buy add ons, but they were overwhelmed by demand from people who bought the cheapest product just to get the completely free flights.

        As I recall, they phoned me one Thursday and asked whether I could fly the very next Tuesday. I well remember their disappointment when I instantly replied "YES !" and declined any add ons.

        1. Rob Daglish

          Re: Hoover Free Flight Fiasco

          Ah yes, my best mate at school became infamous thanks to this - his Dad had bought a Hoover Washing Machine, and when it broke, he was complaining to the service engineer that he hadn't got his flights - service engineer called him an idiot for expecting to get them, so my mate's Dad blocked the guys van in the drive with his wagon and kept the van hostage "until I get my flights"... Lasted a few weeks I think, before Hoover's lawyers got a court order to move the wagon... Would have been cheaper and less bad publicity for them to just buy the tickets, but by that point it was plainly obvious no one at Hoover had much common sense!

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: what is a contract?

      In the US, a contract is generally only as binding as your bank account is large. If you can't afford the legal fees to enforce it, you're out of luck.

  18. vir
  19. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I just wanted to comment on that lovely Jack Russell in a christmas jumper...

    1. The Nazz Silver badge

      re Tigra 07

      Is the screen blank because it's just hit pause?

      And isn't it a golfing tank-top?. IIRC a friend once had one.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: re Tigra 07

        Hmmm...I guess he is a bad dog...He's only pretending to work as the screen is off.

  20. Haku

    Cloud services, part of the IoT* bubble.

    *Internet of Turmoil

  21. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    If some black hat would write a bot to replace code on all Y-Cam cameras so as to give you the actual option of using local storage instead of cloudy storage....

    Forewarned is forearmed, should I need surveillance, I will also look at storage options. If there is no local storage, or I cannot store locally, then I will not purchase that specific product.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ---In a statement the company said: "recent years of increasing service costs and the ever-increasing burdens of data security and data protection have forced us to re-evaluate," and that its current model "is not sustainable".---

    NO... offering FREE lifetime storage is not sustainable!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When I purchased my Y-Cam in 2016, I was sold the camera along with 3 years of 7 day recording. Cutting this short by almost a year and a half, means I have been misled into buying the product and therefore will be taking it to trading standards.

      For all the cloud nay-Sayers, there are pros and cons of both local and cloud storage, for me the attraction of cloud storage is the videos are stored offsite. The primary reason for me for having the camera in the first place is to be alerted of any thieving intruders. In all likelihood, thieving intruders are likely to steal/break the camera itself, and steal the computer storing the localised videos, probably before it has had a chance to encode and copy videos to secondary storage.

      Of course there are always technical workarounds, I would love to build my own system and have full control, but I have reached a point in life I want ease of use and part of that includes getting what I have paid for, in this case 3 years worth of 7 day cloud storage.

      P.S. Posting anon in case of future legal ramifications

  23. Alan Gregory 1

    Root the camera?

    A while back I was given a number of Nooks, they required online activation which was fine until the servers were switched off.

    Fortunately yes pretty easy to access the nook via alternate methods and activate it locally.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to cameras that support smart home protocols that can be pointed to nas drives for storage?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Y-SCAM

    They need to change their name to Y-SCAM.

    GEDDIT!!!?

    Either that or they are incompenent.

    Or just criminally incompetent.

    I paid more for the over priced hardware to supposedly cover the cost of the cloud storage, I incorrectly assumed the were competent enough to have done a business model and their sums,

    Lesson learned.

    Given the bad press on Amazon I suspect they will need to go bankrupt as their business dries up.

    Can someone now hack one so it just does ftp like what they all used to do a few years back until the greed set in.

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