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  #1  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:22 AM
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ilef ilef is offline
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Default About the "legality" of scans currently hosted here...

Blame this discussion on me having too much coffee, if you wish, but i believe it will eventually turn up... so... i guess we can talk about this now.

As already stated elsewhere, the current situation isn't really "safe/bulletproof": sure, scans are the "be-all~end-all" source of information... no one would argue that... as well as no one would argue the fact that they still constitute copyrighted material, so... yeah... VGMdb is ironically - and illegally, in most cases - hosting/streaming TONS of pirated content in the form of booklets/obis/covers/CD pictures/stickers/...
With them being available pretty much to everyone (that takes into account unregistered users, too, although they get incomplete galleries with thumbnails), you're bound to end up in troubles, eventually. Yeah, i'm aware that a few composers/others involved with albums actually contributed better-quality scans... But the mere fact that their presence is tolerated by some - to date, and hopefully forever - doesn't really make it right.

Well, i'm here suggesting that scans become viewable only to their submitter(s) and those in the Trusted Editor/Staff groups. Again, i know it would be quite the hit to contributors and those who can actually make something out of the information contained within scans, but we all know that as far as law is concerned all those insights which booklets might provide... not to mention disc labels and everything else... pretty much the totality of an album should 'only' be available to those who own it (this applies to all instances where the manufacturer/copyright holder isn't the one giving away pictures, of course). The current setup will not work forever.
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 13, 2012 at 01:33 AM. Reason: Fix
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  #2  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 02:32 AM
Hellacia Hellacia is offline
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I was always under the impression that nobody gives a shit about VGM and if people are looking at booklet scans of something that was printed 500 times and probably only sold 300, whoever has the power to come in here and shut us down has better things to do. Plus, isn't the worse case scenario that someone warns us "Hey, you can't do that, take everything down" and then we take it down?

Of course I could be wrong, but video game music is such an incredibly tiny niche thing that I've never got the impression anyone with authority cares.
EDIT: Come to think of it, I don't think anyone gives a shit about CD artwork, period.
http://www.cdcovers.cc/
Then again Megaupload did get shut down, but that was different. Also this isn't to say that "we should do it as long as we don't get caught" should be our motto, if legality is a big thing with us then a solution to the problem would of course be great. However, considering the scans really are our whole source of verification and the database would take a huge hit without them, I think it'd be great to keep them.

Last edited by Hellacia; Feb 13, 2012 at 02:38 AM.
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  #3  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Some of the points you rise have already been addressed in my previous post: having the current situation tolerated by those who hold the power doesn't automatically make it right. I must blame myself, i chose the wrong words...

*Inserts coin and tries again*

*JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE*

When i joined this site, it sure gave me one hell of a laugh, so to speak: picture the average guy coming here, reading about how this site doesn't support piracy, and subsequently discover that parts of albums are being stored on its database... i remember thinking "I guess piracy is good as long as it is for the higher / noble sake of information, but then again... how far should that go? After all i'm a personal believer that even actually listen to an album, and not those crappy previews, can be considered a source of information, to a certain extent: one wants to know if the thing's worth a purchase... And what better judge than oneself? Screw reviewers."

It's a matter of perceived image/professionality; i'm all for spreading of information/knowledge, but having actual->partial copies of albums scattered around for everyone still seems wrong to me, as in 30-40% wrong: i understand the current system might actually help by having those who understand what's written on booklets and the likes hop in and give it a try... but can you still let it fall under the fair-use policy? It goes without saying that VGMdb can be used as a image-dump site for all those rippers & folks who like to have complete digital copies of albums, or even share them, again, such stuff is not here for that purpose to begin with, but there's no point in denying how it can be used.

Regarding the possible shutdown of the site, well... yeah... I suppose they should file takedown notices, if they want, but given the laws they were trying to introduce (SOPA, PIPA and ACTA)... One's got reasons to worry.

EDIT:
I too wouldn't want to delete scans, since i'm a small contributor myself, but their deletion might be possibile. What i wanted was: have them private, the submitter and the staff/trusted folks get to see them... they get information they want in the notes, and ...Whatever [Squall L.] - I acknowledge this solution isn't entirely right, either, but from my point of view it's a bit safer... since they would no longer be available to everyone. It has its drawbacks, as every system.
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 13, 2012 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Small fixes
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  #4  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 05:08 AM
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A solution would be to cap scans at a reasonable resolution, say 800x800 (some major vendor sites go up to this). Submitters should always have access to their own files, naturally. Our whole media system is due for a major revamp.
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  #5  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 05:25 AM
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That would work, too, i guess... I hope it doesn't end up taking too much resources. Admitting i don't have the slightest idea about how it would work... The server would store a copy of the file in its original quality and another one reduced, or there's some kind of code/script which allows the system to reference the original file and simply resize it on the fly upon request?
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 13, 2012 at 05:32 AM. Reason: forgot a word
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  #6  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Since scan views take up only 3% of our total pageviews it's possible to do it on demand, but pre-generating the different sizes is the preferred way to do it.
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  #7  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Phonograph Phonograph is offline
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there is a difference between images and music files

I said in a previous thread that scans proposed should only be those which give info (front, back, obi, disc, and staff pages from a booklet)
it'd be like online shops that propose some seconds of music for their customers

what about the radio thing (never read people saying it could be piracy, why?)
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  #8  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phonograph View Post
there is a difference between images and music files

I said in a previous thread that scans proposed should only be those which give info (front, back, obi, disc, and staff pages from a booklet)
it'd be like online shops that propose some seconds of music for their customers

what about the radio thing (never read people saying it could be piracy, why?)
Difference between music and images isn't really taken into account, here, i was merely explaining why scans, since they're copyrighted, have the potential to bring up trouble, and again... is a fact that their presence here can be rightly considered a form of piracy... Sorry for the dumb example, but are you normally allowed to open an album, take a look at booklets/cds, without purchasing it?

What's usually being said? Unauthorized copy/reproduction of this album or any of its parts, apart from personal use, is strictly forbidden?)
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM.
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  #9  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilef View Post
Difference between music and images isn't really taken into account, here, i was merely explaining why scans, since they're copyrighted, have the potential to bring up trouble, and again... is a fact that their presence here can be rightly considered a form of piracy... Sorry for the dumb example, but are you normally allowed to open an album, take a look at booklets/cds, without purchasing it?

What's usually being said? Unauthorized copy/reproduction of this album or any of its parts, apart from personal use, is strictly forbidden?)
huh, I don't know for your country but I've already seen booklets and cds
once I could even "physically" steal it
if you want another dumb question, will you open a book or a magazine before buying it? ;p

I think that the unauthorized thing is about the contents of the cd/dvd, it's the most important part of an album
if you lose the booklet, you can still listen to the cd (if you don't lose the cd, of course)

and you seem to forget shop sites propose a front cover scan of the album they sell, a scan is a scan, and they never got problems about it, why would vgmdb be not allowed
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  #10  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phonograph View Post
huh, I don't know for your country but I've already seen booklets and cds
once I could even "physically" steal it
if you want another dumb question, will you open a book or a magazine before buying it? ;p
Probably i've been ordering too much CDs online, Chaos Legion, Kessen II, Tekken, Biohazard 2... i became so accustomed to the removal of shrinkwraps that i convinced myself it was normal And in regards to the other question, no, i wouldn't: a look at the editor's official website, to see what it says about the magazine/book, is always been enough for this guy. When i go into a shop i simply grab the item and purchase, i usually get information on official/authorized sources first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phonograph View Post
and you seem to forget shop sites propose a front cover scan of the album they sell, a scan is a scan, and they never got problems about it, why would vgmdb be not allowed
You forget that shop sites are usually authorized re-sellers - at least in most cases - too and a front scan can usually be found on the label/copyright holder's official website, thus there won't be problems with using that images.
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 13, 2012 at 01:25 PM.
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  #11  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilef View Post
...

You forget that shop sites are usually authorized re-sellers - at least in most cases - too and a front scan can usually be found on the label/copyright holder's official website, thus there won't be problems with using that images.
you don't get what I meant, shop retailers don't own copyrights for the stuff they sell (it depends of the retailer, like sonymusicshop)
and some "official" sites have no scan when retailers have

Last edited by Phonograph; Feb 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM.
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  #12  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:50 PM
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Point taken, and i'm sorry for misunderstanding. Oh, well, i guess i'm being extremely paranoid: on one hand i believe it's awesome that scans are provided the way they are, this place is some kind of museum, it's cool to have everything organized... but on the other hand i sometimes find myself wondering "is it the correct way to do it? Should this site provide complete set of scans? Is it right to keep them stored? Available to everyone?"
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  #13  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:56 PM
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I think there is a solution to that "wondering"
asking several companies like aniplex, pony canyon, nippon columbia if proposing scans is subject to copyrights infringement
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  #14  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Most scans are only available to registered members. Visitors can only see a subset (front, back, discs, cases) at a reduced resolution (250 pixels wide).
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  #15  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Please don't do this.

I routinely use VGMdb front cover scans (with FULL credit, as requested in the "About Us" section of the site) to fill in the gaps over at RateYourMusic's database, or use this site as reference whenever I try to do a correction there. Likewise, whenever I find something that isn't on VGMdb, I add it here too.

Locking the large size images to trusted editors is going too far. The current system (normal images for registered users, thumbnails for guests) works well.

Very few companies or people actually care about artwork scans as long as nobody is distributing pirated copies of their music along with them. Hell, you're promoting the music, and link to sites that sell them, legally.
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  #16  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:20 PM
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I can't check right now, but what size does RYM limit the scans to? We could use that as a guideline, since RYM is massive (and much more exposed since it also catalogs mainstream pop).
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  #17  
Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigablah View Post
I can't check right now, but what size does RYM limit the scans to? We could use that as a guideline, since RYM is massive (and much more exposed since it also catalogs mainstream pop).
Small thumbnails (shown while searching) are 50x50.
Medium thumbnails (shown while on an album listing or in the "Buy this album" page) are around 300x300 pixels, give or take a few pixels.
Large thumbnails (shown when you click on "View cover art" on the "Buy this album" page) are 600x600 pixels maximum.

Anything larger than 600x600 gets scaled down to that. THAT gets resized to the three sizes above. Smaller images get upscaled for medium thumbnail use, but the large thumbnails are never larger than the original source.

In my opinion, 600x600 as a maximum image size for the front cover for logged-out users works. Anything else should use lower resolution thumbnails unless the user is logged in. But to be honest, the current system works perfectly. If any copyright owners complain about the images, then just take them down at their request. There really shouldn't be a reason to be worried since this site is completely legit and does not distribute anything illegal.

Last edited by Foxhack; Feb 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM.
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  #18  
Old Feb 14, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I remember this discussion popping up a few time before - maybe it's time we do formally inquire to some of the bigger publishers to see if they have any problems with it, so we know what we need to do, if anything.
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  #19  
Old Feb 14, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Let sleeping dogs lie...
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  #20  
Old Feb 14, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanne View Post
I remember this discussion popping up a few time before - maybe it's time we do formally inquire to some of the bigger publishers to see if they have any problems with it, so we know what we need to do, if anything.
You, as well as Phonograph, are completely right. Publishers should be contacted. Better know what they think.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 11:01 AM
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To me scans are mainly an additional resource for information. Once the text on it is unreadable they are essentially worthless as a source for information.
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  #22  
Old Feb 15, 2012, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicider View Post
Let sleeping dogs lie...
^This.

You're way too paranoid.
Why would any publisher care for scans that provide very helpful info? Shouldn't they do something about file sharing/torrent sites which are the real issue?

Radio is MUCH bigger problem here.

Last edited by Efendija; Feb 15, 2012 at 03:02 AM.
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  #23  
Old Feb 15, 2012, 07:45 AM
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We don't have any right to actually upload them, but we still do.. for information, anyway. I'd still rather not have scans suddenly become an issue and be potentially unable to upload, but maybe some wouldn't care as long as only a few select images were uploaded (artist and tracklist breakdowns).

Asking a publisher makes me think they'd be inclined to not allow it, but if it happens, oh well. Not asking seems like it would bring no trouble.. asking just seems like teetering on whether or not we should begin removing scans or not.

At least I don't believe we have the right without given consent.

edit: but I don't think scans are really an issue either way. It's mostly just information here.. not like it's a book.

Last edited by mercenary09; Feb 15, 2012 at 07:47 AM. Reason: editable thoughts
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  #24  
Old Feb 15, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercenary09 View Post
We don't have any right to actually upload them, but we still do.. for information, anyway. I'd still rather not have scans suddenly become an issue and be potentially unable to upload, but maybe some wouldn't care as long as only a few select images were uploaded (artist and tracklist breakdowns).

Asking a publisher makes me think they'd be inclined to not allow it, but if it happens, oh well. Not asking seems like it would bring no trouble.. asking just seems like teetering on whether or not we should begin removing scans or not.

At least I don't believe we have the right without given consent.
Thank you You've expressed my fears in a better way. I share the worries about going and asking publisher(s) if they're ok with scans, but i still think it's something that should be done, out of respect to these very manufacturers/publishers, if not something else...
And while i'll gladly repeat that maybe/hopefully i'm just being too paranoid, i don't have a reason to stop myself from being like that, either, do i? After all we don't know what publishers think about the situation, there's no official feedback on it, we just keep uploading. To date, the situation seems to suggest they don't really have a problem with it, but we can't know for sure until we ask. There's a chance VGMdb won't be granted "permission" to host the scans (not that it currently has it, mind), if we go that way, but at least our consciense would be at peace: we asked, we didn't risk to have the site suddenly shutdown due to the huge amount of copyright infringing material stored.
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Last edited by ilef; Feb 15, 2012 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Corrections
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  #25  
Old Feb 15, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Just turn the site into a google books for scans, ocr them all and hide those particular scans that get complaints from the right owner. Google fared well with that approach.
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  #26  
Old Feb 16, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Maybe, but we shouldn't push anyone. We don't have the clout of Google. [/massiveunderstatement]
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