2019-06-05 21:20:31

As an admin I'm writing to inform you all that one of our staff started a discussion of copyright on the mod list.
The general consensus is that we can't let personal feelings get in the way of the law. We are taking article 13 into consideration, I will say this much.
This is not, as of this writing, the official announcement but it is a heads up that changes are going to be taking place. Firstly: from what I can see, no one is retroactively going to be punished for sharing of material, that would be unfair on all of you.
What we are going to be doing, though, is taking a stance especially for the future.
There is the very real possibility that topics like: preserving the bmmv tv shows, and the emulators topic, are going to be closed.
Rule 3 is being looked into at the moment, a brainstorm between re-written version and the current one.
I do think we have to start taking this more seriously, for real.
I am not certain when this is going to happen, as we are still discussing the nature of the changes.
But please be aware that change will be happening.
Thank you for understanding and if you have any comments or questions please ask.

Thumbs up

2019-06-05 22:29:12

That is the most important point we do want to make. We will not be retroactively enforcing old topics. However this doesn't give you cart blanch to start posting anything and everything.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-06-06 01:15:20

Ugh. Article 13 needs to die in a fire. Seriously.

That said, that was a personal feeling, and it shouldn't get in the way of enforcement. tongue

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 04:23:48

Personally, i think keeping the emulation seen alive and keeping described content in circulation is a great idea, however, we feel that it's not worth the site being pulled down over night, which i have seen happen.

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 05:17:34

yeah, I get you. It's just sad that copyright law is used to push people around. I get that it's meant to protect content creators, but some actions that are taken in the name of that protection go way too far. This is especially when people aren't even meaning to break a law or cheat content creators out of money.

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 07:30:02

Hi,
I would really like to understand this here, this gets brought up by the same few people over and over again on the forums and we have had discussions regarding this exact thing in topics like this and too many others.
  Simply put, No website has gone down not a nitch small website similar to audiogames.net/ anyway due to copywrite issues, and something however unlikely it maybe even if does happen, its the users that post the links which can then be removed anyway. Bmmv has been doing the same thing, hell sero has been doing and is a payed service and they haven't had any meep from any agencies.
One thing that I would disagree with though is you say that you shouldn't let personal feelings get in the way of things, I say this being brought up and the rules being rewritten is out of nothing but personal feelings of a few staff members as regards copywrite and to which extent they'd have that shuvved down our throat.
Don't fix what ain't broke, as I have previously said, don't let it get turned into a pirates den where anything and everything related to piracy goes, but on the same hand, don't let it be a place where copywrite trolls and fearmongers rule, full of burocracy without consideration of humanity
The audiovault was started by me when the bmmv went down, without any intention of earning/ making any profit/ money out of it, but the general feeling that audiodescribed entertainment be it movies tv shows etc is something that many people out there don't have access to, and as much as you'd like to think so, the entire world isn't the USA, and it is something that everyone has a right to, a  chance to experience the same thing as their sighted peers do without missing out on things that go on in the shows, and to try and piece together things and carry on a conversations with their peers about the insert name of movie here or show just by hearing what's going on.
In summary, I am totally against this, but eh, how does that matter, I am no moderator or staff, but as a member I thought I'd voice my opinion for how much ever that counts for these days.
Grryf

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
Follow me on twitter

Thumbs up +6

2019-06-06 08:35:12

Sometimes I think too much is placed on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law, but that's getting into philosophical territory and probably belongs in its own topic. Lol.

Thumbs up +1

2019-06-06 10:11:29

6:
I won't dispute your points, but the fact is that there is starting to be an issue with other copyrighted content such as game roms and music are being openly shared, and this could absolutely get the site in to tosn of troube it does not need.
Let me just say that personal feelings are why this activity has been left unchecked on the forum in the first place.
What someone decides to do on their own website is certainly their own business, but we believe that on this forum it could cause unneeded complications.
I have my own views when it comes to the whole described movies and tv plus roms debate, but we have to do what is lawfully prudent vs. what we personally feel should be done.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net

2019-06-06 11:22:19

Hi.

Ok, first things first, article 13 is now called article 17, if you put law into a discussion, please make sure that you quote the right articles there.

Secondly, audiogames.net is not the hoster of any roms, emulators, music or any other media which falls under the juristiction of article 17, the ones who might have some trouble coming are those who host these coppyrighted files unless they pay the licensing fees.
'Article 17 will in fact be set into motion from this day on, the EU States now have two years to adapt article 17 into national law.

If it's sounding harsh I am sorry in advance, but don't throw any articles into the discussion if you are not intirely sure on what it is about.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

Thumbs up +4

2019-06-06 11:37:50

r/piracy would like to have a word with you.

As long as direct links to copyrighted content are not posted here, nothing is going to happen to this forum. then again, the decision is with the mods and not us.

John Petrucci Fan all the time.
twitter: @hadirezae3
skype ID: hadi.gsf7

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 13:24:29

Hi there,

I'm with Liam here. Morally I agree with the points Griff made, but legally that doesn't matter.

We do not own this website, and we do not pay for its hosting. We are not being told by Richard and Sandor that we have to do certain things, but in their absence, we are essentially acting on their behalf. This means that we have to follow the letter of the law, and make sure they are not opened up to any sort of legal attack, however unlikely that is.

We cannot and will not force you to take down anything that isn't hosted here on audiogames.net, as that falls well outside of our jurisdiction. You are perfectly free to take your own risks when it comes to that material hosted elsewhere. We simply cannot in good conscience let such links on this forum stand.

Please believe me when I say that I don't like copyright law being used to bully people either. It's pretty draconian, and it often does more harm than good. That's capitalism for ya, of course. But again, this isn't just a personal-feelings thing. It's a legal thing.

What is more, perhaps the reform of rule 3 will actually curb the flood of clones and knockoffs that we keep seeing. It will give us stronger precedent to crack down on that behaviour, since many of these things are being created from source code that has not been declared open source (which means that repackaging it and calling it your own very much falls under illegal material).

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 18:01:53

If a site's main purpose is hosting copyrighted material, then yes, you could argue that they're being pulled down over night. But you're only forced to remove the infringing content, not more. Also, does article 13 / 17 even apply to this site? I don't know much about the subject, but to my understanding it only affects larger companies (don't know the exact numbers). Since this site doesn't have a company behind it and generates almost no profit, the restrictions are much looser, maybe even non-existent. If you're using the argument that we are forced to actively police the site for copyright infringement, giving some proof of that actually being necessary instead of vaguely calling an article number would create a lot more clarity. Or, maybe the best option, why not directly ask Richard and Sander? they're the ones that'll be contacted if anything does hit the fan.

Roel
golfing in the kitchen

Thumbs up +1

2019-06-06 18:46:39

The discussion is happening on our mailing list. Richard and Sandor have access to this list and have not, as far as I've yet seen, spoken up on the subject one way or another. If they do, and wish to simply allow it to stand, then we can go with that and then the actions which might be taken against us fall squarely on the pair of them. In their absence, however, this is what makes the most sense.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 18:50:24

I also don't understand this. Like others have pointed out, the odds of you guys getting any trouble over a few links to audio described content are very slim if not nonexistant. Even if you do end up getting contacted, you could just remove the links that are a problem then. I really don't see a need to do this preemptively, why try to solve a problem that doesn't exist? It's like taking antibiotics because you heard there might be an infection going around, if there isn't really a need for it you just end up doing more harm than good. If so many other sites with a lot more reason to be targeted are still fine, why would this site be any different? I just really don't get the reasoning here.

Thumbs up +2

2019-06-06 19:04:30

I see both sides of this. Most likely, nothing would ever happen.

But then there's this. Back in 2000 when Napster was the big thing, I'm pretty sure one of the things they attempted to use in their defense was the fact that they weren't actually hosting or storing any of the songs available through their platform on their own servers. They were just acting as sort of a search engine, an index, a directory, of what was hosted on individual user's computers. And yet they eventually stopped offering that service, and all the music pirates started using any number of P2P networks where there is no central server to threaten or shut down.

It's much the same here. No, audiogames.net itself does not host any illegal content. But there are links to such content in the forum, some of which probably only exist here, on this forum. So no, they won't get in legal trouble for hosting content because they don't. But they do link to content they shouldn't, and while I don't know all the legal stuff around this, I have to think the laws have this situation covered, otherwise it would be happening all over the place.

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 19:28:31

Hi.

12, yes, article 17 would apply to this site because it's services are also available in Europe, or the EU rather, but it won't hinder the posting of links to copyrighted material because this is simply what the article is about. As I stated previously, it only deals with content creators and the sights who host this material.
AG.net won't be effected by that.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

Thumbs up +1

2019-06-06 20:32:05 (edited by flackers 2019-06-06 21:04:16)

The audio vault isn't losing anybody any significant amount of money. I don't think any right-minded person would view it as immoral. It's no big deal. This site is hardly likely to appear on any radar, and if it does, it won't get pulled without warning. And most of all, the AG.net owners don't seem to care. Why stick to the letter of the law when no one's being harmed, or even cares? I only found out about the movie vault thanks to this forum, so all this will really achieve is potentially depriving future users of an audio description archive. I'm struggling to have any respect for this decision.

Thumbs up +2

2019-06-06 21:03:51

The reason is simple.

It is better to obey the law and have nothing to worry about than it is to disobey it and get caught, particularly where other people are concerned.

Nothing is saying that the audio vault has to come down. We can't touch that, and wouldn't if we could. Morally speaking I don't mind such things. Neither do a lot of the other mods.
But ethically we, at this point at least, have a duty to make sure that this site is in compliance with the law. You don't have to like it, but that's where we're at.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 21:47:51 (edited by Ethin 2019-06-06 22:05:43)

If I have the right text here, this is what article 17 states:

Article 17
Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers
1.  Member States shall provide that an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public for the purposes of this Directive when it gives the public access to copyright-protected works or other protected subject matter uploaded by its users.
An online content-sharing service provider shall therefore obtain an authorisation from the rightholders referred to in Article 3(1) and (2) of Directive 2001/29/EC, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, in order to communicate to the public or make available to the public works or other subject matter.
2.  Member States shall provide that, where an online content-sharing service provider obtains an authorisation, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, that authorisation shall also cover acts carried out by users of the services falling within the scope of Article 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC when they are not acting on a commercial basis or where their activity does not generate significant revenues.
3.  When an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public under the conditions laid down in this Directive, the limitation of liability established in Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC shall not apply to the situations covered by this Article.
The first subparagraph of this paragraph shall not affect the possible application of Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC to those service providers for purposes falling outside the scope of this Directive.
4.  If no authorisation is granted, online content-sharing service providers shall be liable for unauthorised acts of communication to the public, including making available to the public, of copyright-protected works and other subject matter, unless the service providers demonstrate that they have:
(a)  made best efforts to obtain an authorisation, and
(b)  made, in accordance with high industry standards of professional diligence, best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information; and in any event
(c)  acted expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice from the rightholders, to disable access to, or to remove from, their websites the notified works or other subject matter, and made best efforts to prevent their future uploads in accordance with point (b).
5.  In determining whether the service provider has complied with its obligations under paragraph 4, and in light of the principle of proportionality, the following elements, among others, shall be taken into account:
(a)  the type, the audience and the size of the service and the type of works or other subject matter uploaded by the users of the service; and
(b)  the availability of suitable and effective means and their cost for service providers.
6.  Member States shall provide that, in respect of new online content-sharing service providers the services of which have been available to the public in the Union for less than three years and which have an annual turnover below EUR 10 million, calculated in accordance with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC(20), the conditions under the liability regime set out in paragraph 4 are limited to compliance with point (a) of paragraph 4 and to acting expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice, to disable access to the notified works or other subject matter or to remove those works or other subject matter from their websites.
Where the average number of monthly unique visitors of such service providers exceeds 5 million, calculated on the basis of the previous calendar year, they shall also demonstrate that they have made best efforts to prevent further uploads of the notified works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided relevant and necessary information.
7.  The cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders shall not result in the prevention of the availability of works or other subject matter uploaded by users, which do not infringe copyright and related rights, including where such works or other subject matter are covered by an exception or limitation.
Member States shall ensure that users in each Member State are able to rely on any of the following existing exceptions or limitations when uploading and making available content generated by users on online content-sharing services:
(a)  quotation, criticism, review;
(b)  use for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche.
8.  The application of this Article shall not lead to any general monitoring obligation.
Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers provide rightholders, at their request, with adequate information on the functioning of their practices with regard to the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4 and, where licensing agreements are concluded between service providers and rightholders, information on the use of content covered by the agreements.
9.  Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers put in place an effective and expeditious complaint and redress mechanism that is available to users of their services in the event of disputes over the disabling of access to, or the removal of, works or other subject matter uploaded by them.
Where rightholders request to have access to their specific works or other subject matter disabled or those works or other subject matter removed, they shall duly justify the reasons for their requests. Complaints submitted under the mechanism provided for in the first subparagraph shall be processed without undue delay, and decisions to disable access to or remove uploaded content shall be subject to human review. Member States shall also ensure that out-of-court redress mechanisms are available for the settlement of disputes. Such mechanisms shall enable disputes to be settled impartially and shall not deprive the user of the legal protection afforded by national law, without prejudice to the rights of users to have recourse to efficient judicial remedies. In particular, Member States shall ensure that users have access to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright and related rights.
This Directive shall in no way affect legitimate uses, such as uses under exceptions or limitations provided for in Union law, and shall not lead to any identification of individual users nor to the processing of personal data, except in accordance with Directive 2002/58/EC and Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
Online content-sharing service providers shall inform their users in their terms and conditions that they can use works and other subject matter under exceptions or limitations to copyright and related rights provided for in Union law.
10.  As of …[date of entry into force of this Directive] the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall organise stakeholder dialogues to discuss best practices for cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders. The Commission shall, in consultation with online content-sharing service providers, rightholders, users' organisations and other relevant stakeholders, and taking into account the results of the stakeholder dialogues, issue guidance on the application of this Article, in particular regarding the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4. When discussing best practices, special account shall be taken, among other things, of the need to balance fundamental rights and of the use of exceptions and limitations. For the purpose of the stakeholder dialogues, users' organisations shall have access to adequate information from online content-sharing service providers on the functioning of their practices with regard to paragraph 4.

(Source: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/do … 31_EN.html.)
I don't know if this means much, but the law defines the following definitions:

Article 2
Definitions
For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions apply:
(1)  ‘research organisation’ means a university, including its libraries, a research institute or any other entity, the primary goal of which is to conduct scientific research or to carry out educational activities involving also the conduct of scientific research ¦:
(a)  on a not-for-profit basis or by reinvesting all the profits in its scientific research; or
(b)  pursuant to a public interest mission recognised by a Member State;
in such a way that the access to the results generated by such scientific research cannot be enjoyed on a preferential basis by an undertaking that exercises a decisive influence upon such organisation;
(2)  ‘text and data mining’ means any automated analytical technique aimed at analysing text and data in digital form in order to generate information which includes but is not limited to patterns, trends and correlations;
(3)  ‘cultural heritage institution’ means a publicly accessible library or museum, an archive or a film or audio heritage institution;
(4)  ‘press publication’ means a ¦collection composed mainly of literary works of a journalistic nature, but which can also include other works or other subject matter, and which:
(a)  constitutes an individual item within a periodical or regularly updated publication under a single title, such as a newspaper or a general or special interest magazine;
(b)      has the purpose of providing the general public with information related to news or other topics; and
(c)  is published in any media under the initiative, editorial responsibility and control of a service provider.
Periodicals that are published for scientific or academic purposes, such as scientific journals, are not press publications for the purposes of this Directive;
(5)  ‘information society service’ means a service within the meaning of point (b) of Article 1(1) of Directive (EU) 2015/1535;
(6)  ‘online content-sharing service provider’ means a provider of an information society service of which the main or one of the main purposes is to store and give the public access to a large amount of copyright-protected works or other protected subject matter uploaded by its users, which it organises and promotes for profit-making purposes.
Providers of services, such as not-for-profit online encyclopedias, not-for-profit educational and scientific repositories, open source software-developing and-sharing platforms, electronic communication service providers as defined in Directive (EU) 2018/1972, online marketplaces, business-to-business cloud services and cloud services that allow users to upload content for their own use, are not ‘online content-sharing service providers’ within the meaning of this Directive.

I don't know if AG.NET is a "online content-sharing service provider" or not. One could agrue that it is since we distribute audio games -- which are copyrighted content.
Referenced directive texts:
Directive 2001/29/EC
Directive 2000/31/EC
Directive 2002/58/EC
Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation)

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up +2

2019-06-06 21:56:25

My position jives with pretty much everyone else's, this seems pretty absurd to even be worrying about. Richard and Sandor did not appoint a taskforce for cleaning up the forum, as it were. So you are acting on what you feel are their best interests, which could be great justification for just about anything. You all are taking a stance and making a decision which truly isn't yours to make. Not only that, but if anything were to come of this, which it hasn't in 14 years, then simply take down the offending content and move on.

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

Thumbs up +3

2019-06-06 22:09:31 (edited by Ethin 2019-06-06 22:15:44)

For clarification only, I didn't post 19 to make decisions. I was just providing information and have updated my post to reflect that stance.
@20, on one hand you are correct in that their justification could be reason to do anything they please. However, considering that Senderman and Richard have been unresponsive in this issue, we have to attempt to make the best choice even if it is detrimental, and the only way we can know if it was the right choice is to judge the choice after the aftermath. I would say, however, that not worrying about it and claiming "oh, this site won't be taken down because its not well-known" is being downright naive and ignorant and clearly demonstrates your lack of knowledge of how much AG.NET appears on Google searches. I'll tell you right now that it appears far more often than you realize. Go look up anything to do with "audio games" or anything along that line and you will find audiogames.net somewhere in that list, perhaps the very first result. If I go look up "audio games" on google, for example, the first result is audiogames.net. Go ahead though, prove me wrong.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up

2019-06-06 22:21:55

If this forum is genuinely at risk, then of course this is the right decision. I'm just not convinced of that at this point. . If it were up to me, I'd see how things go. I'm sure sites like this would be given the opportunity to clean things up before a shut down. How are people supposed to know resources like the audio vault exist if no one can talk about it on the web? If you guys don't think the audio vault is immoral, have the courage to do what's right and see what happens. Rules are there to be broken, and sometimes you need to flout them on principle. For me, this is one of those times.

Thumbs up +2

2019-06-06 22:25:34

@22, The law does pretty much guarantee that a chance would be given to remove the offending content before the site would be entirely shut down. The law also does not state that you can't talk about the Audio Vault on the internet. The EU, after all, does not govern "the entire internet". And while its nice to flaunt rules, its much harder to do safely when someone can funnle millions to billions of dollars into a court case against any site they please and win purely because they have more money to sink into the case than the opponent.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

Thumbs up +1

2019-06-06 22:30:20

I also find it hard to make sense of this. I agree with the others that there's a very small chance that this site would land itself in trouble for posting links to the Audiovault etc., and even if that were to happen the content could just be taken down.
Also, where exactly do you plan on drawing the line in as far as copyrighted sounds are concerned? Before any developer submits a new release, should they send you proof of payment for their sounds used? How about game mods or even audio demonstrations? Taking a guess here but I'm sure more than half of the game content linked from on this site contain sounds obtained by unauthorised means, so I'm sure that too will be taken down?
The point is that if you go this rout you're entering a very slippery slope where it's all or nothing and you have to be consistent in your implementation of whatever rule you end up formulating and all I can say is, good luck...
The current position as it stands makes perfect sense: game piracy obviously harms a developer and has a ripple-effect on development at large, so no doubt the forum should come down hard on it. Same goes for stolen source code and other software piracy (especially assistive-type software).
At this point I'm finding it a little difficult to accept the justifications offered here as good faith attempts to save the forum from getting into trouble, as it were. One can't help but wondering if there are not perhaps some other sinister motives behind this decision?
Either way, I really hope you do rethink this idea; the only thing I see coming from this is further community alienation and a collective nightmare to enforce such draconian measures.
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Brendan
-----
There is one rule above all others for being a man.  Whatever comes, face it on your feet.
@bcs993 on twitter, feel free to follow!

2019-06-06 22:34:08

bcs993 wrote:

At this point I'm finding it a little difficult to accept the justifications offered here as good faith attempts to save the forum from getting into trouble, as it were. One can't help but wondering if there are not perhaps some other sinister motives behind this decision?

My favorite quote of the day. Thanks for the laugh.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my space bar. Prepare to die!

http://l-works.net