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Author Topic: Site: Revised RHDN Policy  (Read 71137 times)

creaothceann

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2008, 02:19:35 am »
That is a total lie. [...] It is not a one way street and I am insulted by that being a user myself.

Oh please. ::) Disch was just stating his point of view.

Piotyr

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2008, 03:20:55 am »
That is a total lie. [...] It is not a one way street and I am insulted by that being a user myself.

Oh please. ::) Disch was just stating his point of view.

Nazis stat their opinions but they are usually lies.

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2008, 06:27:38 am »
What happen? Someone set up this thread the bomb? :D

Anyway. As I pointed out... Removing files for idiotic, pointless, or non-existent reasons, is not beneficial to the community. It's perfectly fine to ask if the reason truly is legitimate.

akadewboy

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2008, 08:06:31 am »
I always wondered why the Neugier translation was nuked. I couldn't find a reason anywhere (not even on the boards). It would have been nice to know WHY the author wanted to erase all existence of it. It took me forever to find the 2.00 patch on another website but I finally found it after hours of searching. It makes me very sad to know that a complete translation almost disappeared off the face of the earth without a reason.
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Dragonsbrethren

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2008, 08:37:25 am »
Meh. This doesn't really concern me. The only reasons I'd request a patch be removed would be:

A) It's really buggy and I don't want people to get it until it's been properly fixed up;
B) I want to replace the readme file for an updated one (I've been meaning to do this since I got my own domain, and left vice.parodius behind).

Meh.

A would be a completely reasonable request, it would be better to just submit an edit with your new readme in the case of B though.

Disch

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2008, 10:48:21 am »
We're derailing this thread again.  Let's stay on point.

see here for my thoughts.

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2008, 01:18:54 pm »
Just throwing in my two cents, feel free to disregard this post. Otherwise, go and get some coffee. This will be a long one.

I'm not a lawyer, and I have no formal education in case law. However, I've read the actuals texts of US Copyright Law, the Berne Convention, a lot of case law (Sega v Accolade, Lexmark v SCC, etc), lots of [citation needed] stuff on Wikipedia and various articles from others on copyright. While I may not have a good enough understanding to win a court case, I do believe I understand the issue fairly well.

That said, my understanding is that by simply translating the work of someone else and releasing it, it is a violation of copyright. Recent court cases suggest to me that we would not be very successful with even hacks. Especially when you consider the role expensive lawyers play in court cases.

In response to:

Quote
I recall someone else years ago linking me to the text of some treaty that the U.S. had signed which specifically stated that translations of software that were intended to increase usability were legal.

Pics Links or it didn't happen :P

---

But this is mostly irrelevant. Regardless of whether or not a translation / hack / document is legal, the work put into it is still copyrighted by the owner. It does not become public domain just because it's not legal. Nor is it PD just because no license was specified. The default state of a work means all rights are reserved, not the other way around. An author has to manually give up his rights, eg with a license agreement.

Think about an example: someone makes Chrono Trigger 3D. It's wildly popular, and Square-Enix sues to stop it, because it violates their copyright. Now what? Does it go public domain, meaning that since Square-Enix owns the copyright and trademarks, that they can take the 3D game and sell it as their own? Of course not, the creator still owns the copyright. But since it's illegal, he can't distribute it. However, Square-Enix can in turn buy his rights to the 3D game, and then sell it. But they don't get the rights for free. By default -- if it's illegal, then nobody has the right to distribute it.

If the patches aren't legal, then the rights holders could demand you take things down as well. They could take legal action against you too, if they don't mind bad PR.

And if it is legal, RHDN is in the same predicament. Either way, by ignoring an author's takedown request, you are making yourselves liable for copyright infringement claims. If this concerns you in the least, and you even slightly doubt me on this, you should consult a real lawyer.

Now, to play the devil's advocate ... what ROM hacker out there has the resources to issue a valid DMCA takedown notice, and/or to take you to court, with lawyers, court fees, and all that? And all for work distributed free of charge to begin with (eg little to no monetary damages)? Not going to happen.

The translation scene has always came off to me as extremely uninformed regarding copyright law. From someone threatening to sue me because my font looked like his (fonts are not copyrightable -- TTFs and such are a gray area, as they are claimed to be "software", but raw pixel fonts are not for very justified and obvious reasons), to not even knowing that the Berne Convention exists, to never specifying a license for their works anywhere, to calling it "copywrite". And on and on.

Essentially, it comes down to two choices:

1. If you don't care about copyright:

... you accept that the files you're hosting are, at the very least, questionably legal in the first place. So why start respecting the rights of those in the community, but not the companies who created the games in the first place? It's a double standard to do so. Shield yourself using the DMCA, and require that end users, not staff members, upload all new content. Now you only legally have to remove it upon receipt of a DMCA takedown notice, and you will not be held liable.

2. If you do care about copyright:

... and you believe the files hosted here are legal, then you really should demand a valid license to the work you host. Licenses such as the GPL exist for a reason: they guarantee that distribution rights cannot be retroactively revoked. As it stands, I don't know of any fan translations (apart from ones I've worked on) that have actual licenses specified. Without specifying, the copyright owner retains all rights. Including the right to distribution. Even if the work itself is a copyright infringement in the first place!

This really shouldn't be hard. Require future content, starting from now, to be under a list of acceptable licenses. Anything here already, leave the old rules in-tact. If they ask for removal, take it down. If they ask for removal, but explicitly placed the work; tell them to go fuck themselves, or something to that effect.

There are lots of nice software licenses: BSDL, LGPL, GPL, etc; and lots of nice creative licenses, eg Creative Commons. Make a list of acceptable ones, and start including a license field with each new hosted file.

---

As for the issue itself -- my personal opinions are irrelevant. But for what it's worth, I'm quite happy with the presentation of my works on this site. Nightcrawler was very quick to remove a now-useless Snes9X bugfix patch for me when I asked. I'm (hopefully) mature enough at this point to not go demanding all my work be pulled because Nightcrawler or someone else here hurts my feelings, so it doesn't really affect me.

Sadly, people already host my emulator on various porn sites to get click-through revenue. So I doubt even if RHDN went that route, that it would really bother me much.

I don't know what I'd do if I were in charge of this site. I have nothing but respect for those staff here subjecting themselves to this endless drama for no profit whatsoever.


Deathlike2

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2008, 01:35:04 pm »
Sadly, people already host my emulator on various porn sites to get click-through revenue. So I doubt even if RHDN went that route, that it would really bother me much.

Priceless.  :D
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creaothceann

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2008, 01:40:04 pm »
Probably with some hentai slideshow ROMs!!1

Nightcrawler

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #69 on: October 02, 2008, 02:22:28 pm »
General Summary:

So, we've had some support and some disagreement. We've only heard three proposed options of improvement:

1. A leniency period (to be determined) for unconditional removal after which the new policy stands -Deathlike2
2. Full user controlled deletion. Users can delete any work submitted at any time themselves. -Disch
3. Complete unconditional deletion for any reason at any time must stand. -InVerse

Option 1 doesn't seem like it will make many happy from what I've seen here.
Option 2 doesn't sound like it will make many happy either, specifically the majority of general visitors.
Option 3 is complete unwillingness to compromise between the three parties of interest or respect our time and effort as staff.

What a lovely set of options we have here! 5 pages of discussion and only 3 proposed solutions if you can even call number 3 a solution.

How about I add a few more:

4. Allow unconditional deletion for any reason EXCEPT explicitly spelled out invalid reasons (yet to be written out) based on the aforementioned problematic reasons in the first post of this topic.

5. Allow unconditional deletion for ONLY reasons explicitly spelled out as valid reasons (yet to be written out) based on the aforementioned problematic reasons in the first post of this topic.

6. All deletion request must go to community vote to determine reasoning validation and approval! This would be interesting.

7. Keep things as they are proposed currently.


If no other viewpoints are given, we'll probably have to choose one of these 7 options in a poll. Thoughts?


Deathlike2:
Pertaining to your 'submission leniency' idea; I'd rather focus more effort into making sure the policy is seen and understood before submission, however if your leniency period idea would be perceived as a better compromise I wouldn't be opposed to it. However, judging by the posts in this topic, it doesn't seem like that's going to be enough to satisfy some people...

Disch:
I think a big point of this site and what the community at large wants (we can take a poll if your view gets some support) is for the data to not be meant to be removed or deleted from this site at people's fickle whims. People 'trust' that data (both files and information) on this site will still be here tomorrow and won't be here one day, gone the next etc.. It's really a loss of control if everything is freely removable. Then what's the point of this site? You can just use Megaupload or Rapidshare. I have to agree with Deahlike2 that we're not aiming to be a glorified personal file hosting service.

As for people being too afraid to submit here. What do we have three people who think it's too scary? Just have a valid reason for removal and don't waste our time and try to hurt the community with the 'I don't want it here anymore' or 'I changed my mind' or absolutely no reason at all. That's what we're attempting to eliminate. If you want to be able to remove your work in the future for those reasons, then you should be too scared to submit here. I don't think it's going to be a problem for most.

If you don't think the policy makes everyone happy, then please propose an improved policy and respect our positions and time as people who work for free servicing this site. I'm not being sarcastic. An alternative  proposed change that still strikes to be fair to the three parties is what is sought after here. Without proposing a better change or willingness to compose, the discussion can't have resolution.

How about explicitly spelling out what constitutes non 'critical' reasons which would be denied? Would that make you feel more comfortable. All the deletion requests staff has received that were upsetting can all be put under probably 3 different reasons to be outlawed. Then any other reason would become acceptable. Thoughts?

InVerse:
Apologies for the copyright/public domain quibbling. I'm somewhat out of my realm discussing such things with authority. However, isn't it immaterial? You, the copyright holder, by submitting your work are agreeing to our terms which are archiving your work indefinitely allowing removal only for substantial reasons. And let's clear the speculation air... A 'substantial' (or 'critical' as I have it in policy) reason is virtually anything other than 'I don't want it here anymore', 'I changed my mind', 'I'm erasing my work from the Internet', or no reason at all. Nobody is willing to do extra work for you (submitter)  being an ass about things you yourself submitted here. We're all for working with people whom have mature reasoning, but we're not going to waste our time with the immaturity of such reasoning I've stated above. We wish to achieve some mutual respect. We'll respect your requests if you respect our time and effort. It's a two way street.

You think we should entertain such immature reasons for work removal after you personally agreed to allow us to host things here? I'd hardly call it helplessness...

If you're so concerned about us ignoring the critical reasoning portion of our policy, why aren't you concerned about us ignoring any policy we had? Why do we have to follow any policy at all? We could choose to ignore you regardless of policy if you have that line of thinking. But we don't because we run the site with good faith efforts. I don't see how what policy we have makes any difference if you don't trust we'll follow it...

akadewboy:
Neugier was removed because the author had a moral crisis, changed his mind that all ROM hacking was wrong, and wanted all his work gone. Let's not revisit that.

byuu:
Does copyright matter at all when by submitting, you're agreeing to grant permission by our terms? I don't see any violation of copyright when the author agreed to give us permission and agreed to our terms first hand.

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Near

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #70 on: October 02, 2008, 02:43:53 pm »
Quote
byuu:
Does copyright matter at all when by submitting, you're agreeing to grant permission by our terms? I don't see any violation of copyright when the author agreed to give us permission and agreed to our terms first hand.

It does when you realize that I've never once submitted a single file to this site, yet you have eight things by me hosted here. So I haven't explicitly given you permission to host anything of mine. But for what it's worth, I don't mind that you guys host any of that stuff. All of my stuff is licensed for public distribution anyway, so I can't legally tell you to take it down even if I wanted to.

That is a good idea, though. How about this for a solution?

Encourage people to submit work themselves. Give the incentive of giving such submissions their own articles on the front page (otherwise it gets added silently or something), with links to homepages for free "advertising" and such; and ensure much faster hosting (eg delay 1-2 weeks before staffers will upload new stuff.)

Whenever you submit a file, there's a checkbox where you can assert to being the copyright owner, and that you are granting RHDN an exclusive, non-transferrable (eg only giving RHDN permission, nobody else) license to host the file here indefinitely. Again, require that for some sort of "perks / rewards" program. Maybe larger avatars on the forums, or some neat special title or something.

Whenever that box is checked, store a flag in the database to say that it was. Deletion requests will be honored then only at your discretion, and you reserve the right to reject them.

In the event someone wants something deleted, and that wasn't checked (eg it's an older "legacy" file, or someone else submitted it without their permission), or in the event someone fraudulently claimed to be the author of the work, then delete the work unconditionally. Make deletion more serious to discourage it. Eg, "if you request deletion, we will never host this file (or worse, anything from you) again." And force them to use a hot pink RHDN theme for their IP / account in the future.

For those who simply don't want to submit stuff themselves, and for the older works, maybe allow logged-in users to click a button under each entry to authorize RHDN to host it indefinitely.

I realize doing all of that is a lot of hard work, and thus may not be feasible.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 02:57:27 pm by byuu »

Nightcrawler

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #71 on: October 02, 2008, 03:10:04 pm »
It does when you realize that I've never once submitted a single file to this site, yet you have eight things by me hosted here. So I haven't explicitly given you permission to host anything of mine. But for what it's worth, I don't mind that you guys host any of that stuff. All of my stuff is licensed for public distribution anyway, so I can't legally tell you to take it down even if I wanted to.

Yeah, but that's not even up for discussion right now. You're free to delete all your work unconditionally since you didn't submit it yourself. No objections were assumed when it was submitted by whomever in good faith, but permission was not explicitly given and we recognize that. The only policy change applies to those who submitted their own work and change their minds later for poor reasons or no reasons or hissy fits.

Though you've just given us written permission with that post, so you're screwed now! :P
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Deathlike2

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #72 on: October 02, 2008, 03:15:14 pm »
Encourage people to submit work themselves. Give the incentive of giving such submissions their own articles on the front page (otherwise it gets added silently or something), with links to homepages for free "advertising" and such; and ensure much faster hosting (eg delay 1-2 weeks before staffers will upload new stuff.)

I don't think that will resolve the issues InVerse has with the idea. Not all incentives matter when you "give your rights up" as it is bluntly termed.

You have to give back to get back.. as they say. What would be a fair trade to get some limited rights to remove content you have produced? That's technically the question.
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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #73 on: October 02, 2008, 03:52:39 pm »
Meh. This doesn't really concern me.

Spinner 8 Thanks Kitsune Sniper For This Useful Post.

With this discussion, I'm more concerned with the nature of the internet itself than with the author's wishes. Once a patch gets publicly released, it's out there, whether a person changes his or her mind about it later or not. It goes on to translation sites, it gets (unlikely) indexed by archive.org, later on it goes into a Goodset, where it then goes on to hundreds of Top 50 ROM sites with tons of porn, banner ads, and likely malicious software. And there's not really anything you can do about it. Even taboo patches like Neugier can be found with minimal searching, even less once the new GoodSNES is released.

I guess you've got to ask who the site's here for. Do you make this a resource for the contributors, and tell all the users to go away and find it somewhere else? Or do you make these things available to everyone, since they're already available to everyone at so many places and sites that don't care about the author's wishes? Personally, I'd rather have a site where you can have everything in one place. I'm really interested in hearing Bongo's and Inverse's thoughts on this though, in PM or otherwise.

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #74 on: October 02, 2008, 04:00:35 pm »
Quote
You're free to delete all your work unconditionally since you didn't submit it yourself.

Ah ...

Quote
In summary, we still respect unconditional deletion requests on material submitted to our site in good faith by third parties that an author may not have wished to appear here.

That's much better. Now how the hell did I miss that? Sorry x.x

So long as your upload submission has a disclaimer that by uploading, it's an agreement to allow you to continue to host the file, then I'm completely okay with the change.

Deathlike2

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #75 on: October 02, 2008, 04:06:49 pm »
Quote
You're free to delete all your work unconditionally since you didn't submit it yourself.

Ah ...

Quote
In summary, we still respect unconditional deletion requests on material submitted to our site in good faith by third parties that an author may not have wished to appear here.

That's much better. Now how the hell did I miss that? Sorry x.x

So long as your upload submission has a disclaimer that by uploading, it's an agreement to allow you to continue to host the file, then I'm completely okay with the change.


You know, I actually think my idea to have a 3rd party to submit it is a great idea, although I'm not sure if Nightcrawler likes this idea. Since 3rd party submissions are ultimately removed at the request of the author regardless of the reason, this paranoia is actually unwarrented as the current policy stands. The issue does then become those that submit said patch... sure they are linked to the forum... but I doubt that has actually stopped them from working around the system behind the scenes....  :-\


Meh. This doesn't really concern me.

Spinner 8 Thanks Kitsune Sniper For This Useful Post.

With this discussion, I'm more concerned with the nature of the internet itself than with the author's wishes. Once a patch gets publicly released, it's out there, whether a person changes his or her mind about it later or not. It goes on to translation sites, it gets (unlikely) indexed by archive.org, later on it goes into a Goodset, where it then goes on to hundreds of Top 50 ROM sites with tons of porn, banner ads, and likely malicious software. And there's not really anything you can do about it. Even taboo patches like Neugier can be found with minimal searching, even less once the new GoodSNES is released.

I guess you've got to ask who the site's here for. Do you make this a resource for the contributors, and tell all the users to go away and find it somewhere else? Or do you make these things available to everyone, since they're already available to everyone at so many places and sites that don't care about the author's wishes? Personally, I'd rather have a site where you can have everything in one place. I'm really interested in hearing Bongo's and Inverse's thoughts on this though, in PM or otherwise.

It has nothing to do with the Internets having it, it has everything to do with RHDN hosting it. That's the difference.
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Spinner 8

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #76 on: October 02, 2008, 04:16:27 pm »
Meh. This doesn't really concern me.

Spinner 8 Thanks Kitsune Sniper For This Useful Post.

With this discussion, I'm more concerned with the nature of the internet itself than with the author's wishes. Once a patch gets publicly released, it's out there, whether a person changes his or her mind about it later or not. It goes on to translation sites, it gets (unlikely) indexed by archive.org, later on it goes into a Goodset, where it then goes on to hundreds of Top 50 ROM sites with tons of porn, banner ads, and likely malicious software. And there's not really anything you can do about it. Even taboo patches like Neugier can be found with minimal searching, even less once the new GoodSNES is released.

I guess you've got to ask who the site's here for. Do you make this a resource for the contributors, and tell all the users to go away and find it somewhere else? Or do you make these things available to everyone, since they're already available to everyone at so many places and sites that don't care about the author's wishes? Personally, I'd rather have a site where you can have everything in one place. I'm really interested in hearing Bongo's and Inverse's thoughts on this though, in PM or otherwise.

It has nothing to do with the Internets having it, it has everything to do with RHDN hosting it. That's the difference.

I don't see the difference. If the "Internets" has it, why shouldn't RHDN have it? That's kind of my entire point.

Deathlike2

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #77 on: October 02, 2008, 04:21:12 pm »
I don't see the difference. If the "Internets" has it, why shouldn't RHDN have it? That's kind of my entire point.

That's up to the person submitting the work. Consider Gamefaqs. They have a policy IIRC for unconditional removal by the author/creator of the material posted there. The law agrees with the person submitting said work to remove it at their discretion. That's the problem that's being argued around here.
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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #78 on: October 02, 2008, 04:26:25 pm »
Some thoughts:

RHDN is a service, and to use the service you have to agree to the policy.  It's the same with any site you visit on the internet.  Do you have an email account? Try reading the fine print on the terms of service.  Basically it always includes "You can't sue us if you use the services" to avoid frivolous legal battles.  Second, if it's a site with public content to share with others, then it's quite common to say that once you submit content to the site, the site has legal permission to host it from then on.  Some even go further and acquire full distribution rights to whatever content is submitted.  If you're not used to this by now, what internet have you been using? :huh:

Along with that, nothing will guarantee that the site won't 180 and change it's policies.  Nothing guarantees ninja assassins won't drop from the ceiling, either.  It's the same with any site that you visit on the internet.  Hotmail/Gmail/Yahoo/Flickr could change their TOS and start modifying your content, archiving it, selling it, packaging it with porn, etc, and the most you could do is stop using the service.  From a legal standpoint, most have TOS that state that you implicitly agree by using the service, so if you do anything but stop visiting the site immediately and contact the administrators for removal, you've already given them permission.  RHDN doesn't do that, and it's not stuffed with legalese.  I really hope the issue doesn't heat up enough to start requiring pages of legal speak in order to use the service.  I like that the site rules in general are "don't be an ass".

People come here for the community.  All of us are users.  None of us were born from the head of Zeus as full Romhacking Gods.  We all learned from others and profited from conversations and others' submissions, in addition to our own experience.  I think the idea of posting here is to share and benefit others, and people choose this site because it's well-known and attempts to archive all of the data.  I really don't think it's too much to ask that the people really think before submitting.  You really shouldn't submit things to an archived site if you don't want them to be archived.  You can't take back the internet.  And please consider when making new things that we've all benefited from the community.  Be a contributor, in one form or another.  Give back to the orphanage.  :D

I support options 5, 6, and 7.  I would also ask that the submission page include a notice that submitting give license to distribute the work on this site for the express purposes of benefiting the community and maintaining an archive of valuable data.  People will know that once they submit you have a legal right to host it here.  Screams of copyright will mean little then.  They'll maintain rights to the data itself, but RHDN will have license to distribute here for its stated purposes without fear of reprisal.  It also gives the authors a foothold if hell freezes over and we become a porn pay-per-click community.

Finally, I don't think trying to erase traces of your past in order to appear more legit for business purposes is a valid excuse to take things down.  Why are you using your real name on the internet?  If you're worried, I'd go further and state that it's beneficial to have a different user name here than you use on other sites.  Maybe a compromise where legal names can be removed from the submissions and instead only have the user's board name would be sufficient for those who weren't thinking about employment opportunities when they posted.  That way they can at least get plausible deniability.

Pretty much the only valid excuses I see are "the patch is buggy/infected" and "I never wanted it hosted here in the first place" when someone else submitted it.  Can we get an auto-mailer in the system to send emails to the supposed author for confirmation?

Deathlike2

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Re: Site: Revised RHDN Policy
« Reply #79 on: October 02, 2008, 04:41:31 pm »
Along with that, nothing will guarantee that the site won't 180 and change it's policies.  Nothing guarantees ninja assassins won't drop from the ceiling, either.  It's the same with any site that you visit on the internet.  Hotmail/Gmail/Yahoo/Flickr could change their TOS and start modifying your content, archiving it, selling it, packaging it with porn, etc, and the most you could do is stop using the service.  From a legal standpoint, most have TOS that state that you implicitly agree by using the service, so if you do anything but stop visiting the site immediately and contact the administrators for removal, you've already given them permission.  RHDN doesn't do that, and it's not stuffed with legalese.  I really hope the issue doesn't heat up enough to start requiring pages of legal speak in order to use the service.  I like that the site rules in general are "don't be an ass".

In the end, they have to be spelled out for legal reasons and alleviating concerns. That's why there are privacy policies and the like...


Quote
I support options 5, 6, and 7.  I would also ask that the submission page include a notice that submitting give license to distribute the work on this site for the express purposes of benefiting the community and maintaining an archive of valuable data.  People will know that once they submit you have a legal right to host it here.  Screams of copyright will mean little then.  They'll maintain rights to the data itself, but RHDN will have license to distribute here for its stated purposes without fear of reprisal.  It also gives the authors a foothold if hell freezes over and we become a porn pay-per-click community.

If the policy changes, it should always be made known to everyone involved even if they don't like the revised policy to allow for removal.. which I think most policies follow this in the first place. I doubt anything drastic would change (seriously, this isn't going to be a porn site overnight, but if it were, I'd still like to know  :D ) That's usually standard practice AFAIK.
FF4 Research Continues
Working on the next Yet To Be Named FF4 "Hardtype" Hack