Due to the very high expense of operating this service, it is only fair that we charge those who are high-use and who benefit enough to increase their profits. We ask for your support to help us keep this service running by off-setting some of the costs with a reasonable subscription fee.
We can assure you that running and hosting your own service like this would cost many times more than the nominal and reasonable fee that we request. The cost of dedicated servers, support, software development, and monitoring is staggering for a complex service such as this one.
Some ways to help keep both of our costs down are:
1. Limit the number of thumbnails shown on high traffic pages]
2. Use the advanced method API to cache images locally
Using either of the two suggestions will greatly reduce your bandwidth usage and lessen your need for additional allowances. That saves us BOTH money.