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  #1  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Default Submissions - Release Type (Publisher Type)

Current Guidelines
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This consists of two sub-fields, namely Publisher Type and Distribution Type.
  • Commercial
    A commercial album released by the official rights holder.
  • Doujin/Fanmade
    Any album released by a doujin circle, amateur or cover group (or individual).
    This should take into account the status of the group at the time of release; for example, an amateur group that turns professional should still have their earlier releases labeled as Doujin/Indie.
  • Independent
    A non-commercial album by a professional artist. The main distinction between this and Doujin is that doujin albums are published in a non-professional capacity.
  • Bootleg
    Unauthorized reproductions or compilations without any original content, sold by a business entity.
    Compilations or "mixtapes" distributed by individuals do not count.
    Self-titled "bootlegs" produced by the rights holder should be Commercial releases.
Changelog
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  • Independent has been removed as a publisher type.
Technical Changes to Implement
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Proposed Changes for Discussion
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  #2  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:07 AM
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I don't have anything, except for the removal of "Independent", which I thought had already been decided anyway.

Aside from that, let's open up for any changes that you have to propose.
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  #3  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:38 AM
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I think commercial, doujin/indie, and bootleg covers everything pretty well, so I don't have too much to add.
  • Commercial: An album released on a commercial record label by the official rights holder.
  • Doujin/Indie (Indie/Doujin, !Commercial, whatever you want): An album released by an independent record label, doujin circle, individual artist, etc.
  • Bootleg: Unauthorized reproductions or compilations without any original content, sold by a business entity.
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  #4  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 12:15 PM
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I am also for the removal of Independent.

Everything else looks abslolutely fine at the moment.
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  #5  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 01:39 PM
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I'd rather appreciate that we offer a solid definition of what "doujin" and "indies" are, as I've felt the albums we intend to cover with those types on VGMdb are not exactly the same as we do in Eastern.

With "doujin", I think this borrowed word is designed to cover the albums that have copyright-infringing materials on this database, but in Eastern it means pretty much anything published from doujin circles or through the doujin activity so even if it only contains so called Original Works or they pay a licensing fee to JASRAC or to respective copyright-holders, it's still seen as doujin. For instance, now doujin turns into the publisher type, we can see this album as doujin because it's published by a doujin circle, despite no association with specific products.

With "indies", I think in the broadest terms it means any publisher that isn't a large but still professional enough not to be seen as doujin such as SuperSweep, Basiscape Record, Cave, lots of Hentai labels but I think we normally consider those labels mentioned as "Commercial".

The reason why I'm not so sure about merging "Independent" and "Doujin/Fanmade" publisher types back into "Doujin/Indie" is not only because what "Indie" represents isn't so clear but also because all of what little we've classified as "Independent" so far are something we previously considered as "Official" (now "Commercial"), and if the abolishment of "Independent" means we have to set them back to Official, I don't think we need to create "Doujin/Indie" to cover them.
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  #6  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 02:12 PM
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This is all stuff I've said before but...

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Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
With "doujin", I think this borrowed word is designed to cover the albums that have copyright-infringing materials on this database, but in Eastern it means pretty much anything published from doujin circles or through the doujin activity so even if it only contains so called Original Works or they pay a licensing fee to JASRAC or to respective copyright-holders, it's still seen as doujin. For instance, now doujin turns into the publisher type, we can see this album as doujin because it's published by a doujin circle, despite no association with specific products.
Yes, doujin releases aren't limited to arrange albums (would be nice if more people understood this) and albums such as the one you linked should be listed as doujin. It's not an issue having these albums listed as doujin because the content (classification) of the album is separate from the publisher type. We shouldn't be using publisher types to classify the content of albums.

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With "indies", I think in the broadest terms it means any publisher that isn't a large but still professional enough not to be seen as doujin such as SuperSweep, Basiscape Record, Cave, lots of Hentai labels but I think we normally consider those labels mentioned as "Commercial".
That's one thing it can mean yes, releases by independent labels. It's not limited to this use however.

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...but also because all of what little we've classified as "Independent" so far are something we previously considered as "Official" (now "Commercial"), and if the abolishment of "Independent" means we have to set them back to Official, I don't think we need to create "Doujin/Indie" to cover them.
They would become Doujin/Indie because that's what they are, doujin or independent (in this case the latter.)

The main point is that doujin music is a type of independently published music, it's redundant (and confusing) to treat it as a separate publisher type.
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  #7  
Old Apr 10, 2010, 06:10 PM
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For reference, here are all of the Independent albums currently in the database:

http://vgmdb.net/search?do=results&id=60344
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  #8  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
For reference, here are all of the Independent albums currently in the database:

http://vgmdb.net/search?do=results&id=60344
I feel special for being on that list. I think I was one of the bloody bastards who wanted Independent in the first place (sorry).

In any case, what makes it a bit confusing to me is that "Commercial" sounds like it should only be sold. A free "commercial" album is odd to me (for example http://vgmdb.net/album/9343 ). Also would say, my soundtrack for Kaleidoscope (theoretically professional as I got paid) be considered Doujin/fanmade even though I'm not part of a doujin group nor acted as a "fan". I'm actually the official rights holder too but OCR is acting publisher AND it's for free. It's a bit tricky.

Similar issue with this: http://vgmdb.net/album/11721 , what would the publisher be? It's just me but I'm the official rights holder and a professional composer in theory and practice even though ties to OCR are clear. Once again, it's free. As a publisher I'm not at all professional nor am I getting paid but it IS the official source for the official soundtrack by the rights holder.

Quote:
commercial |kəˈmər sh əl| (abbr.: comm.)
adjective
1 concerned with or engaged in commerce : a commercial agreement.
2 making or intended to make a profit : commercial products.
• having profit, rather than artistic or other value, as a primary aim : their work is too commercial.
Additionally, why's this doujin/fanmade: http://vgmdb.net/album/4635 and this isn't: http://vgmdb.net/album/2658 ? Is it just an error or am I missing something? Would it make a difference if these were free releases?

Also, if it isn't set in stone yet, Doujin/Fanmade should be Doujin/Indie to work better imo.
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  #9  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:10 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that not every album is currently categorized correctly or consistently. Once we've got this figured out, we can fix all the irregularities.

Also, this field is the publisher type, not the publication type. A commercial publisher could still give something away for free without harming his status as a commercial publisher.
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  #10  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Also, this field is the publisher type, not the publication type. A commercial publisher could still give something away for free without harming his status as a commercial publisher.
Well that made things a lot easier in my mind. And it's their status as a PUBLISHER and not artist (in the case of artist = publisher) that sets the type? i.e. Nobuo Uematsu posting an MP3 album on his personal website for free. Doujin/Indie?
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  #11  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Another Soundscape View Post
Additionally, why's this doujin/fanmade: http://vgmdb.net/album/4635 and this isn't: http://vgmdb.net/album/2658 ? Is it just an error or am I missing something? Would it make a difference if these were free releases?
All 'works' albums changed to commercial when publisher type was added so all the original works that are actually doujin releases had to be changed manually. I'm sure there are a number floating around that need fixing.

Also with regards to the use of 'Commercial' I'll add that I suggested it over Official because there are official releases that are doujin/indie (such as soundtracks for doujin games.) The term [official] doesn't mean much as a publisher type.

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And it's their status as a PUBLISHER and not artist (in the case of artist = publisher) that sets the type? i.e. Nobuo Uematsu posting an MP3 album on his personal website for free. Doujin/Indie?
Exactly.
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  #12  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira View Post
Also with regards to the use of 'Commercial' I'll add that I suggested it over Official because there are official releases that are doujin/indie (such as soundtracks for doujin games.) The term [official] doesn't mean much as a publisher type.
Out of interest, what exactly would a doujin game be? And in contrast, what would something like an Xbox Live Indie Game or smaller PC game distributed through Steam count as when it comes to the soundtrack?

Just saying that my counter-argument is that Commercial implies money but official can easily be both free and not. I agree that "official" makes no sense as a publisher type though. I really hope someone comes up with the ultimate option here because both are problematic and a bit confusing imo.
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  #13  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Another Soundscape View Post
Out of interest, what exactly would a doujin game be? And in contrast, what would something like an Xbox Live Indie Game or smaller PC game distributed through Steam count as when it comes to the soundtrack?
SUGURI or Touhou for instance. And it doesn't matter if the game is independently released or not, it matters if the album is (though I can't think of many cases where one is independent and the other isn't.) In any case, if it's not released by a commercial record label it can be considered Doujin/Indie.
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  #14  
Old Apr 11, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira View Post
SUGURI or Touhou for instance. And it doesn't matter if the game is independently released or not, it matters if the album is (though I can't think of many cases where one is independent and the other isn't.) In any case, if it's not released by a commercial record label it can be considered Doujin/Indie.
Cool, then all's well on planet me.
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  #15  
Old Apr 15, 2010, 04:12 AM
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So what is the fundamental difference between a professional publisher and an amateur publisher (including doujin and independent)?
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  #16  
Old Apr 18, 2010, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira View Post
I think commercial, doujin/indie, and bootleg covers everything pretty well, so I don't have too much to add.
  • Commercial: An album released on a commercial record label by the official rights holder.
  • Doujin/Indie (Indie/Doujin, !Commercial, whatever you want): An album released by an independent record label, doujin circle, individual artist, etc.
  • Bootleg: Unauthorized reproductions or compilations without any original content, sold by a business entity.
Working from these definitions for a moment, does this mean that if a famous composer self-publishes a game soundtrack, that it would be listed as Doujin/Indie? This would definitely create some confusion.
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  #17  
Old Apr 18, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Working from these definitions for a moment, does this mean that if a famous composer self-publishes a game soundtrack, that it would be listed as Doujin/Indie? This would definitely create some confusion.
That was my original complaint but I don't have a good solution to it either.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 05:38 AM
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I haven't been following previous discussions on the 'Independent' designation very closely, but if it's removed what happens to releases that fall under: "A non-commercial album by a professional artist. The main distinction between this and Doujin is that doujin albums are published in a non-professional capacity."?
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by seanne View Post
I haven't been following previous discussions on the 'Independent' designation very closely, but if it's removed what happens to releases that fall under: "A non-commercial album by a professional artist. The main distinction between this and Doujin is that doujin albums are published in a non-professional capacity."?
They go under doujin/indie, because that's what they are, independent releases. Whether or not the publisher is a professional or not makes no difference as far as independent releases go. A distinction is being made where none exists.

This has all been said before, I'm not even sure why this is still being discussed given it was already polled.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Basically we're just merging the two types back together. There's very few albums that fit the "Independent" type anyway, so not much justification to have it separate.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Working from these definitions for a moment, does this mean that if a famous composer self-publishes a game soundtrack, that it would be listed as Doujin/Indie? This would definitely create some confusion.
That would indeed be confusing. But it could still be labeled Commercial as long as the soundtrack isn't given away for free, no? I guess this is one problem with calling it 'Commercial' over the old 'Official'.

What are some examples of entries that would fall under 'Indie'?

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They go under doujin/indie, because that's what they are, independent releases. Whether or not the publisher is a professional or not makes no difference as far as independent releases go. A distinction is being made where none exists.
I doesn't seem too logical to bundle Doujin and Indie together under the same tag if they aren't the same thing though, as it's bound to cause confusion. And if there aren't many 'Indie' releases in the database as it is, why should all fan-made albums be labeled as Doujin/Indie.

As far as I can see the only need for an Indie tag is because 'Commercial' infers that money needs to be payed. I think our old system made a better distinction between professional and non-professional artists in this way.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by seanne View Post
I doesn't seem too logical to bundle Doujin and Indie together under the same tag if they aren't the same thing though, as it's bound to cause confusion. And if there aren't many 'Indie' releases in the database as it is, why should all fan-made albums be labeled as Doujin/Indie.

As far as I can see the only need for an Indie tag is because 'Commercial' infers that money needs to be payed. I think our old system made a better distinction between professional and non-professional artists in this way.
Commercial means that it's published by a commercial (major) record label, independent mean that it's not. All doujin albums are independent albums (by the normal definition of independent.) It is true Doujin does usually refer to amateur work but even this isn't a hard and fast rule because there are professionals who also release doujin work.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 07:45 AM
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Now individuals can sell music via iTune store or Amazon easily. If a VGM artist who owns the copyright of his music or the permission from the game company sells his soundtrack on iTunes store, isn't it classified as an orange "Doujin/Independent" album? (since aggregators is more like distributors).
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All doujin albums are independent albums (by the normal definition of independent.)
But it's technically possible that record companies release doujin albums. I know it's quite rare (this may be the closest) because perhaps we no longer could call it "doujin" if it's published from a commercial label, but as long as "doujin" is more about professionalism or such, it's not appropriate to use "doujin" to represent some types of publications and combine it with Indies, IMO.

I think our current classification mixes up a couple different elements (publication, professionalism, legitimacy and whatnot), and that's why I'm not a big fan of it. Below is my quick attempt to classify;

Type of Publication: Official, Independent/Indies
Legitimacy of Release: Official/Indies, Doujin, Bootleg (this isn't correct, because some doujin artists pay fees to JASRAC).
Professionalism: Official/Bootleg, Indies/Doujin (again, this isn't correct as some doujin artists earn their living costs).

To put it simply, when Doujin is such an ambiguous concept, I don't think it's fair to bundle it with Indies just because both have self-publication in common.

Last edited by Cedille; Apr 21, 2010 at 07:48 AM.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Commercial means that it's published by a commercial (major) record label, independent mean that it's not.
I think that's a pretty redundant distinction by be honest, not to mention it could lead to debate of what constitutes as a "major" label, alongside other issues I mentioned earlier.

I think the only distinction that needs to be made is between officially released and unofficially released: Official, Doujin, Bootleg.

And I agree with your points as well, Cedille.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 02:24 PM
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I think that's a pretty redundant distinction by be honest, not to mention it could lead to debate of what constitutes as a "major" label, alongside other issues I mentioned earlier.

I think the only distinction that needs to be made is between officially released and unofficially released: Official, Doujin, Bootleg.

And I agree with your points as well, Cedille.
You can also debate what constitutes 'official', so it's no better. Also you'e going on the assumption that all doujin releases are arranges, and not works or soundtracks, which is incorrect.

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Originally Posted by Cedille View Post
But it's technically possible that record companies release doujin albums. I know it's quite rare (this may be the closest) because perhaps we no longer could call it "doujin" if it's published from a commercial label, but as long as "doujin" is more about professionalism or such, it's not appropriate to use "doujin" to represent some types of publications and combine it with Indies, IMO.
From the looks of it that CD was originally released as a doujin album then later got published by a commercial label (correct me if I'm wrong.) In that case the original printing of that CD would be doujin and the later printing would be commercial. There's no conflict here, if a doujin artist (formerly or not) releases something on a commercial label it's not a doujin release.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 02:38 PM
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You can also debate what constitutes 'official', so it's no better. Also you'e going on the assumption that all doujin releases are arranges, and not works or soundtracks, which is incorrect.
Official = released by the people who own the rights, it's pretty simple I think. Doujin is what we've been using for fan arrangements and also for some original works albums by fan arrangers. If a person makes an original soundtrack for a game then it shouldn't matter if that person is also a fan arranger.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Official = released by the people who own the rights, it's pretty simple I think. Doujin is what we've been using for fan arrangements and also for some original works albums by fan arrangers. If a person makes an original soundtrack for a game then it shouldn't matter if that person is also a fan arranger.
That's the thing, you're going on an incorrect definition of the term. There are doujin circles that produce strictly original work (and don't arrange) and there are also doujin sound tracks (namely those for doujin games.) And as for official, what about publishers who are just licensing the rights, is that still 'official'? Or what about a release by the original songwriter who may not own the copyright?
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 03:33 PM
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That's the thing, you're going on an incorrect definition of the term.
Yeah, I know it's conflicting with the original meaning of the word. But around the western vgm boards, and also here, it has been more-or-less synonymous with fan arrangement. Basically it's the word we chose to go with, it could have been 'fan made' or something else.

So I can understand if it might be confusing for people who are used to the term in its original meaning, but it would be equally confusing the other way around. And since this is an English language site it seems more logical to go with the 'westernized' version.

Quote:
There are doujin circles that produce strictly original work (and don't arrange)
In this case we wouldn't need to add their work to begin with.

Quote:
and there are also doujin sound tracks (namely those for doujin games.)
In that case it's still an official release, why should it matter if the game is fan-made or not? It's almost impossible to draw the line between professional game developers and "fans" these days anyway, with XBLA, etc.

Quote:
And as for official, what about publishers who are just licensing the rights, is that still 'official'?
It's still an official (legal) release. This is almost more like the norm anyway.

Quote:
Or what about a release by the original songwriter who may not own the copyright?
I'm not sure how you could release it if you don't own the rights, though? Sounds almost like a bootleg ;p
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, I know it's conflicting with the original meaning of the word. But around the western vgm boards, and also here, it has been more-or-less synonymous with fan arrangement. Basically it's the word we chose to go with, it could have been 'fan made' or something else.

So I can understand if it might be confusing for people who are used to the term in its original meaning, but it would be equally confusing the other way around. And since this is an English language site it seems more logical to go with the 'westernized' version.



In this case we wouldn't need to add their work to begin with.



In that case it's still an official release, why should it matter if the game is fan-made or not? It's almost impossible to draw the line between professional game developers and "fans" these days anyway, with XBLA, Wiiware, etc.



It's still an official (legal) release. This is almost more like the norm anyway.



I'm not sure how you could release it if you don't own the rights, though? Sounds almost like a bootleg ;p
Totally with seanne here.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, I know it's conflicting with the original meaning of the word. But around the western vgm boards, and also here, it has been more-or-less synonymous with fan arrangement. Basically it's the word we chose to go with, it could have been 'fan made' or something else.

So I can understand if it might be confusing for people who are used to the term in its original meaning, but it would be equally confusing the other way around. And since this is an English language site it seems more logical to go with the 'westernized' version.
It doesn't seem very logical to me to reinforce the incorrect use of a term. It being widely used in that manner doesn't make it any more correct.

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In this case we wouldn't need to add their work to begin with.
I was illustrating a point.

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In that case it's still an official release, why should it matter if the game is fan-made or not? It's almost impossible to draw the line between professional game developers and "fans" these days anyway, with XBLA, Wiiware, etc.
That's the point, that it is official but also doujin. Also, I'm not talking about fan-made games (that is to say, games based on other franchises.)

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It's still an official (legal) release. This is almost more like the norm anyway.
Again, illustrating a point. That's how we normally would categorize them but calling them 'official' is debatable.

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I'm not sure how you could release it if you don't own the rights, though? Sounds almost like a bootleg ;p
I was more thinking of this in the context of someone releasing some tracks for free or something along those lines, not a bootleg album.

It ultimately comes down to how the field should be used. I hold that it should be used for the publisher's status as a business (commercial, doujin/indie, bootleg) and others want it to determine the officialness of the album (official, fanmade, bootleg.) I don't know what the original intention for the field was.

Last edited by Ira; Apr 21, 2010 at 04:12 PM.
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