@64 and others. No, no, no. You don't see the point. The problem with audio description, usually, is not that blind people are greedy jerks who don't want to pay. They actually do, well, most of the time. The problem is that they literally can't. When you live in the UK/US, especially US, you don't even see most of the problem, as you can legally watch any movie you want, just like a sighted person, as audio description is often provided. In other countries though, audio description is either completely nonexistent or barely there. This is the case with my country. I know of literally two movies and one TV show that I wanted to watch that had polish audio description, and I watch a lot. Only one of those movies was off Netflix, and it was a local bestseller. If a blind pole wants to watch Game of Thrones, Starwars, the Harry Potter movies, Hunger Games, the Matrix or countless other things, well, they're out of luck. They're not here with AD. They never were. I would happily buy them from the US/UK if I could, but, well, I can't. I'd need to get DVDS and pay like 5x what sighted people pay, which would still be illegal, as most DVDS are region locked, or get a VPN and circumvent geoblockades, also in a gray area. When it comes to audio vault, it's exactly the same. Is it legal? Hell no, it isn't. Is linking to it's home page, not specific files, legal? Of course it is. If it wasn't, linking to Scribd's or Libgen's homepage would also be illegal, and, if you bring up Ligben's Wikipedia article, you will see not one link, but four, leading to different mirrors. You won't see links to specific things you can find on that website, but you will see a link to the homepage, and even an IP address for those who live in countries that meddle with their DNS requests. That's Wikipedia! Blocking links to specific things or even request threads is understandable. Blocking them after receiving DMCA complaints is necessary. Blocking links to homepages or groups, though, that's not copyright, that's censorship, though it's usually one and the same (more on that later). I could bring up countless examples of big websites that don't do this and get away with it. Wikipedia is one example, Lifehacker, with articles like "most evil subreddits you can find" is another. Be aware that Lifehacker belongs to a pretty big family of companies and big news websites. If someone knows what they're doing, it's probably them. Still, they're doing it. There are no direct links to infringing content, as the legality of that is discussable, but there are general pointers. Hell, there are even websites *dedicated* to discussing piracy, like Torrent Freak, or the /r/piracy reddit. Again, there are no direct links, there are just website addresses and general tidbits of information and piracy-related news. They're a couple years old and still operate completely legally.
The mods stance on Audiovault is completely not understandable to me. Closing threads instead of outright deleting them is even more mysterious. I mean, if you consider something illegal, even if wrongly, getting rid of it as fast as possible should be your preferred course of action. Closing a thread is like admitting that it's illegal, but you don't have the courage to deal with it once and for all. Either it is illegal, you know it and you delete it, or it isn't and you let it stay. anything inbetween is just plain wrong. The solution I propose is to let people link to Audio Vaults homepage, share news about it, such as downtimes, new features, movies posted or those that people want to see there, general questions such as "is x audio described", but categorically forbid direct linking. What @Grryfindore did with Game of Thrones, when the vault was down, as a mod, I would not allow. Whether I would delete it, or wait for someone to report it, is an entirely different matter.
When it comes to culture, the question is not whether any random thing is available, but whether that specific thing you want is available. If it isn't, people will resort to piracy, if it is, they usually won't. We've seen that story here repeated countless times. Back in the early 2000s, most blockbuster, american movies, which were the things people wanted to watch, were released here much later than in the rest of the world, were generally hard to get and too expensive. People started pirating. Piracy was really rampant, we were one of the worst when it came to it. Then the market shifted. Now we have Netflix and HBO Go, which lets us watch most things on line, legally. Torrenting isn't a word you hear daily any more. Some people still use streaming websites to watch the things not legally available here, as there's no other way, but piracy has sharply declined. I believe this will be the case with AD too. If it all was about some audio description for something being available, you could argue that there's no need to make special libraries for the blind, there's Gutenberg, which is free and legal! The point is that Gutenberg only contains classics that most people don't really want to read. They want to read that new Harry Potter / fifty shades of Gray / whatever book that just came out, not Tom Sawyer's Adventures or the King James Bible. This is also true with audio description, and as long as the market won't be fulfilled, things like Audio vault or the Movie Vault or Sero or BT Sync folder or mailing lists or FTPS or private torrent trackers will spring up, no matter what. It's like a Hydra. You close one down, two more appear. This is a battle copyright holders can not, and will not win. Those are objective facts. We've seen this happen in the mainstream world over and over again. This will happen here too. The only way to break the wheel instead of spinning it once more is to provide legal, viable alternatives at an acceptable price. No regulation, police raids or website closures will work here. They never do, when it comes to piracy. When there will be legal alternatives offering what people want, Audio Vault will disappear or shrink significantly. Doing it all will still be technically viable, but no one will bother. I can already see that happening. I'm a loyal Netflix customer, and I very much prefer watching instantly with no download, with synchronisation between my devices, nice overviews, recommendations, instant availability, subtitles and the actual video, of I ever want to wach something together with a sighted person. Netflix has enough content I want that I barely watch stuff off Netflix any more. I probably would have used the vault for Chernobyl and Game of Thrones, as those are the TV shows I really wanted to see, fortunately, I could actually watch them with my family, which is even better than normal AD. A similar situation happened in the mainstream world. When spotify, Netflix and similar gave access to great works of culture in a legal way, people suddenly stopped being interested in piracy.
To sum up, I think we should wait and see what the mods make of this post. If their stance doesn't change, I'm afraid there's a need to move. If we adopt a "no direct linking allowed, but everything else is fine" policy, no matter where we go, we are pretty safe. The not really legal stuf should be moved somewhere else. Mailing lists are pretty indestructible, as, when one dies, the admin can recreate it and add all the members by email, and there's no way to delete an "unwanted" message from the mailboxes of all members. Telegram might also work for it, as they, generally, don't care, you don't have to reveal your phone number for it to work, and they support sharing files upto 1.5gb in size. They also have pretty nice group management features, and are pretty accessible on iOs, Android and Windows 10 via Unigram, and completely accessible in the web browser. I'm sure a suitable place will be found. In the safe community, pointers to such a place or places should be posted, with the appropriate warnings, and whether people join it or not should be their own decision.
ps. For those who still thing copyright is actually beneficial and is for the good of authors, you should really dive into it's history and inner workings. Here's a nice article that presents it in an understandable form. I guarantee you, at least 95% of you will be shocked at what you see. https://questioncopyright.org/promise
ps2. I'm not your lawyer, this is not legal advice, I'm not responsible for what you do, etc. etc. etc.