Catster.com and Dogster.com have changed ownership! They have been acquired by an advertising company: Say:Media. According to Say:Media's own website, under their "About" section, "advertising is content".
Now, we have no problem with advertising being the focus if you're trying to promote your own brand on a site. It is also acceptable if you are writing a review and advertising the product that you're reviewing. But does Say:Media do this? No, it doesn't. It sells banner ads and other ad placements to a variety of companies.
According to the Catster/Dogster TOS, at least at this date, they were supposed to inform the community of a potential acquisition or merger beforehand, not write a blog about it after it happened. If you have set Catster's community page as your launch page, you wouldn't even see the blog telling you about the change unless you scroll all the way down to the very last entry on the right column! Being sneaky about such an important decision so soon after the other uproar is NOT a smart business plan.
Any pictures, video, etc., that members upload to Catster and Dogster are (and has been, for as long as it's been around) licensed without fee to Catster/Dogster. This means that Catster/Dogster can use your pictures/video/etc. for any purpose, except to sell them. They can (and have, with a lot of pictures) use them in slideshows promoting Catster/Dogster; in advertising campaigns; and in additional sites owned by them, such as Snuzzy and Mrowr. The acquisition means that now Say:Media can also do the same with your pictures.
Catster/Dogster has now changed to business principles that we do not condone, so our furmily will be leaving Catster/Dogster in a few weeks. We will, of course, keep this blog up and running as usual. In addition, we have created accounts on another cat community site, called Cathugger, that a fellow Catster has just started up. We will be re-creating Chef Skylar's Open Restaurant on Cathugger, as well.
We hope that you will continue to drop by our blog here and visit us on Cathugger. We love all our friends and don't want to lose track of anyone! We'll continue to post everything here, and keep up diaries & photos.