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  #1  
Old May 18, 2010, 05:39 AM
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Default A Warning to File Traders

I've posted about this on the forum, but there's still apparently some of this going on. We take this seriously, and there will be loss of account privileges for those caught doing any of this, so new users should take note.

1.) Please don't send unsolicited messages to members asking for lossless rips of their albums.

It's apparent that some of you are "spamming" everyone who owns an album, begging them to share a lossless rip. This must stop now. VGMdb's collection feature is for everyone to use, and I don't want anybody to feel like they have to start hiding their collections to keep from being harassed.

2.) Please don't use the "Show Collections" page to advertise file-trading.

This is an example of the Show Collections page. For each user who has the album in their collection, the user name and the title of the immediate containing folder is displayed. I have caught a couple of people clearly using this to solicit trades, with folder titles such as "Lossless (with cue) for Trade."
  • If you have digital copies of albums in your collection, please set them to private, or use folder titles that aren't a glaring advertisement for file trading.
While I've always supported the use of the Collection feature for purposes beyond simply cataloging albums you physically own, we must remember that our collections are only two clicks away from the album pages. We don't want a VGM artist stumbling onto a list of obvious filesharers.
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  #2  
Old May 21, 2010, 03:30 AM
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I think those stats numbers altogether or at least the private ones shouldn't be publicly visible. Also it might be a good idea to hide folders from the public until they actually have some content.
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  #3  
Old May 21, 2010, 03:45 AM
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The collection code needs a revamp. Right now, you can have a public album or folder in a private folder. It still doesn't show up in the list, which is the correct behavior, but it messes up all the tallies.
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  #4  
Old May 22, 2010, 11:33 AM
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That reminds me, the "Statistics" part about largest collection gets skewed when people have pirated MP3s in it. Any chance of not counting private folders? Or would that just worsen the problem?
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  #5  
Old Jul 26, 2011, 06:12 PM
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In my opinion, a single PM asking for a rip of a CD that is normally incapable of being obtainined (out of print, too few copies) should be permitted; let's face it, not everyone here can afford $400 for every obscure album they can find, and history shows that piracy cannot be prevented anyway. I completely understand the harassment issue; but if it's troublesome or unethical for the owner of a VGM album to share the files in such a fashion, shouldn't a single reply saying "No, sorry" suffice? And if there are multiple replies asking "why" and trying to convince the owner to change their mind, wouldn't it be enough to simply ban the member? I can understand why users who harrass other users repeatedly should be punished, but shouldn't those who do agree to consent to a file sharing have some peace and privacy?
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  #6  
Old Jul 26, 2011, 08:00 PM
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We don't go around actively monitoring private messages, and we generally take action if there's a substantiated complaint, so at that stage it would be something beyond just a "simple PM".

This policy was borne out of the principle of mutual respect, since I have been informed that content creators from both east and west do visit this site from time to time (some even submit their own albums), and everyone should be mindful about what they post on the forums at all times. We can't prevent piracy, but we can at least refrain from outright disrespect.
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  #7  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 02:47 AM
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Irregardeless of respect to artists it's disrespectful to collectors. I should not have to make a folder called "DO NOT MESSAGE ME FOR LOSSLESS RIPS". There are a number of us who do not believe in lossless trading, I am one of them. If you cannot afford the price of a rare album, which many people cannot, then whatever format you can find the album in should suffice for your listening pleasure. No one needs lossless. I symphathize with the cost of this hobby because I've been the poor college student once, too.
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  #8  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dancey View Post
Irregardeless of respect to artists it's disrespectful to collectors. I should not have to make a folder called "DO NOT MESSAGE ME FOR LOSSLESS RIPS". There are a number of us who do not believe in lossless trading, I am one of them. If you cannot afford the price of a rare album, which many people cannot, then whatever format you can find the album in should suffice for your listening pleasure. No one needs lossless. I symphathize with the cost of this hobby because I've been the poor college student once, too.
I agree with what he said. When I receive such requests I tend to do two things:

1) Ignore them.
2) Kindly point the 'requesting user' to a website/online auction where the item can be purchased... and make a mental note of ignoring every subsequent message/request by him/her. They really get me pissed, sometimes... Here, for example: yesterday I've received a FLAC rip request from a user which is registered on here, too, for this - http://vgmdb.net/album/11230. A) You're doing a 'not-so-cool' thing by requesting a rip of it; B) CDJapan still sells it, if you want lossless purchase the damn thing! I'd be a bit more understanding if you requested a rip of an out-of-print album (and even in that case you'd have no right to choose the audio format. Take what others may be willing to give away and be grateful for their kind gesture).
VGMdb isn't born for such purpose, as far as I know.

Now, for a slightly unrelated matter... I read that content creators might browse this website and I've always wondered this: are they really fine with the fact that VGMdb hosts and allows to view/download albums' scans? Isn't such 'data' subject to copyright laws, too? I mean, what makes them different from the 'audio part' of the album?
Probably I'm an idiot, but I've troubles understanding why this website might have troubles for sharing openly album rips, while it is already 'giving away' booklets / obis / stickers / disk covers...
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Last edited by ilef; Jul 27, 2011 at 03:40 AM.
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  #9  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 04:17 AM
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scans are mainly used for providing info
for example, a person who submits scans can not have the time to add info (cd staff, compo/arr details etc) and thus with scans provided, anyone can see and fill in the blanks for the whole community
personally, I'm just fine with compo/vocal details but other people want arrangers etc

on another note, piracy can have an advantage (not necessarily lossless, but simple mp3s)
the one to know if you could like or hate the album, and if you like the album you buy it or you delete the "shit"
some onlineshop sites propose to listen to tracks (ok, about 45sec) and it's not considered as piracy even if it's "free" and you can even listen to music in real shops
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  #10  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 04:22 AM
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One simple reason really; scans are the "be-all and end-all" verification of the accuracy of our information. Now, I certainly don't want VGMdb to be seen as booklet dump site, and I have no problem with further restricting access (it's already restricted for normal visitors) or image sizes if necessary. Hopefully it won't come to that, since it's a great resource for researchers -- there's so much information and history that can be gleaned from liner notes.
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  #11  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilef View Post
Now, for a slightly unrelated matter... I read that content creators might browse this website and I've always wondered this: are they really fine with the fact that VGMdb hosts and allows to view/download albums' scans? Isn't such 'data' subject to copyright laws, too? I mean, what makes them different from the 'audio part' of the album?
Probably I'm an idiot, but I've troubles understanding why this website might have troubles for sharing openly album rips, while it is already 'giving away' booklets / obis / stickers / disk covers...
It's actually my biggest concern about VGMdb that we'll have to face in the future. The more popular VGMdb is becoming, the sooner the day comes.
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  #12  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 04:39 AM
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I'm curious: Did someone (artists, publisher, copyright holder, etc.) already complain, either officially or "inofficially" about VGMdb storing their album scans?
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  #13  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 04:44 AM
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A composer provided me better scans for one of his albums =)
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  #14  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 05:58 AM
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Ok, thanks for the answers, everyone. So, if I've understood right VGMdb is still in a sort of "grey zone", or whatever it is called... The scans can be a "Way to Fall", to uselessy reference Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, but it simply hasn't happened... yet.
It's nice to read that there are composers who take time to provide better-quality material, but there might also be those who are not happy with it... Oh, well, let's hope the situation doesn't change. Thanks again for your answers.
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  #15  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilef View Post
I agree with what he said. When I receive such requests I tend to do two things:

1) Ignore them.
2) Kindly point the 'requesting user' to a website/online auction where the item can be purchased... and make a mental note of ignoring every subsequent message/request by him/her. They really get me pissed, sometimes... Here, for example: yesterday I've received a FLAC rip request from a user which is registered on here, too, for this - http://vgmdb.net/album/11230. A) You're doing a 'not-so-cool' thing by requesting a rip of it; B) CDJapan still sells it, if you want lossless purchase the damn thing! I'd be a bit more understanding if you requested a rip of an out-of-print album (and even in that case you'd have no right to choose the audio format. Take what others may be willing to give away and be grateful for their kind gesture).
VGMdb isn't born for such purpose, as far as I know.

Now, for a slightly unrelated matter... I read that content creators might browse this website and I've always wondered this: are they really fine with the fact that VGMdb hosts and allows to view/download albums' scans? Isn't such 'data' subject to copyright laws, too? I mean, what makes them different from the 'audio part' of the album?
Probably I'm an idiot, but I've troubles understanding why this website might have troubles for sharing openly album rips, while it is already 'giving away' booklets / obis / stickers / disk covers...
I once harrassed a user myself on another site long ago... Don't ever ignore them, always give them an answer and explain your reasoning politely. If they still ask why, just take two minutes to explain to them. If they're still bothering you, tell them that you aren't going to PM them on the subject any longer. Generally, the harrassment stops, but if it continues then you need to report it.

That goes for everyone that uses this site.

And I don't think the scans are as big a deal as the music; if the album's authority wishes for it to be removed, then give them an option to request that the images be removed. Otherwise, they're an amazing resource that's used for catalogging music good or bad.
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  #16  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajwork View Post
I once harrassed a user myself on another site long ago... Don't ever ignore them, always give them an answer and explain your reasoning politely. If they still ask why, just take two minutes to explain to them. If they're still bothering you, tell them that you aren't going to PM them on the subject any longer. Generally, the harrassment stops, but if it continues then you need to report it.

That goes for everyone that uses this site.
Thank you for the suggestion, but I can say, without meaning to offend anyone, sincerely... That users here don't seem to be that persistent Since some of the guys on this site didn't get an answer to their first message, they've come to understand they weren't going to take one with a second PM, and stopped.
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  #17  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 06:21 AM
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You know, most forum software gives you the option to ignore certain users. I use this feature a lot on some other sites I frequent...
Never needed it here though
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  #18  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 07:50 AM
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Although I understand that booklets and package artwork are protected under copyright law, I think that the majority of artists would not mind having that material provided for free (especially as it's not provided to non-members). It's my opinion that what is sold when one buys an album is the music contained therein, rather than the packaging. Individual VGM artists, although they may care about the packaging or have worked on it in some significant way, have put the majority of their time into composing/arranging the music itself. Publishers, on the other hand, may not share that view. I think the downfall of the scans section will come when publishers, especially big-name publishers, start seeing this site as a significant entity.

As for pirated music, the argument that "we cannot stop it from happening" gives no reason to condone the behavior. We want to make this into a legitimate site, and turning a blind eye to open illegal activity makes us look anything but legitimate.
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  #19  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 08:33 AM
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Actually, the scans on VGMdb are provided to non-users, too... When you view an album page as a visitor you don't get the complete list of scans, but you can still view+save low-resolutions samples of them. Anyway, you're right, the bigger problem might come from the publishers.

Now, this is my personal view on the matter, but even sharing/hosting scans like this website currently does might be rightly considered a form of "piracy".... Such stuff might be source of information, but it's always material as copyrighted as the music... I say: "Allow one? You might as well allow both, since there isn't really much difference between the two." [just kidding, eh, don't worry ]
I think of VGMdb as a sort of very useful, lightly-warez website.
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Last edited by ilef; Jul 27, 2011 at 08:44 AM.
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  #20  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilef View Post
Now, this is my personal view on the matter, but even sharing/hosting scans like this website currently does might be rightly considered a form of "piracy".... Such stuff might be source of information, but it's always material as copyrighted as the music... I say: "Allow one? You might as well allow both, since there isn't really much difference between the two." [just kidding, eh, don't worry ]
I think of VGMdb as a sort of very useful, lightly-warez website.
I think it's a question of incentive to purchase. And merely providing scans of the booklets, etc isn't going to make people refrain from buying in the same way as providing music files will.

That's not to say I'm completely fine with providing scans in the way we do, and ultimately it would be nice to know how publishers feel about it.
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  #21  
Old Jul 27, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Perfect example of what _not_ to do:
http://vgmdb.net/db/marketplace.php?...iew&userid=221
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  #22  
Old Sep 29, 2011, 04:11 PM
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I think it's a question of incentive to purchase. And merely providing scans of the booklets, etc isn't going to make people refrain from buying in the same way as providing music files will.
I'm sorry to reply this late to your post, but I've a small consideration to make about your point. While it holds an amount of truth to it, I don't think the incentive to purchase is really the matter... It's more about the single person's mentality. Those who want to own the original strive to get it, even if you throw at them a perfect rip with scans in .png format. On the other hand, those who do not purchase an album and settle for a pirated copy are unlikely to ever pay for it, even when it is as pricey as 3.99 USD.... They prefer to print the scans and come up with something which loosely resembles the original.
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  #23  
Old Sep 29, 2011, 05:05 PM
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On the other hand, those who do not purchase an album and settle for a pirated copy are unlikely to ever pay for it, even when it is as pricey as 3.99 USD....
So those could as well not exist at all.
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  #24  
Old Sep 29, 2011, 10:53 PM
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So those could as well not exist at all.
Talking about the people or the albums?

I'll not go as far as saying that, because ultimately we're free to do what we want. I guess I'm just tired of seeing the same, lame, meaningless excuses from the rip requesters:

- The album's too expensive for me - Woah, dude! VGMusic is an hobby, in case you haven't understood this, yet. You don't need it for your health, you happen to just like/love it. Come to terms with the fact that you might not get everything you want.

- The import taxes/shipping fees are too high - Obviously the point above still applies to an extent, but... Seriously? Do you mean to tell me that you'd prefer to spend more money to travel to Japan/X, search in local stores - without certainty to find the album, mind, especially when it's old -, than ordering online and have it delivered? Well, your choice. Look, I'm aware that these albums are pretty hard to see in our stores... But 'import' is there to save the day... And IMHO the fees aren't too high, in most cases... Obviously it largely depends on what kind of deliver you choose. When I've ordered this, the album costed 18.59€, add to it 15€ of UPS delivery... The album was shipped on the 5th day and the package arrived two days later; I could have spent 6-7€ and get it in 3-4 weeks through airmail... It's up the buyer.

- It's out of print now - Oh, poor thing, couldn't get a hold of it when it was available... Sucks for you.

- It's a limited/promotional edition - Hmm... So what? Let me add to that, the answer lies right there in the name: it's a limited/enclosed/promotional item! It's not "meant" to be owned by everyone.

It's funny to see how such things never change over the years.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 02:25 AM
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Talking about the people or the albums?
Talking about the kind of audience you described before. As you stated yourself they wouldn't buy it anyway regardless of the price, so economy wise they may as well not exist and shouldn't be considered in stats, arguments etc.
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  #26  
Old Sep 30, 2011, 07:22 AM
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- It's out of print now - Oh, poor thing, couldn't get a hold of it when it was available... Sucks for you.
Actually, I don't entirely agree with this.

Firstly, I am absolutely in favor of supporting the artists by buying the original CDs. The thing is, that moral excuse goes right out the window when an item is no longer available for sale from the manufacturers. It is impossible to support the artists by purchasing second hand items. The only way to own an out-of-print album is to support a collector by paying an often insane amount of money.

I like supporting artists, but I'm not interested in supporting some greedy asshole who hoarded these things when they were new to make a crazy profit off the hobby. You see this with older video games all the time, and it makes me sick.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Actually, I don't entirely agree with this.

Firstly, I am absolutely in favor of supporting the artists by buying the original CDs. The thing is, that moral excuse goes right out the window when an item is no longer available for sale from the manufacturers. It is impossible to support the artists by purchasing second hand items. The only way to own an out-of-print album is to support a collector by paying an often insane amount of money.

I like supporting artists, but I'm not interested in supporting some greedy asshole who hoarded these things when they were new to make a crazy profit off the hobby. You see this with older video games all the time, and it makes me sick.
You don't have to disagree with me, rather have a talk with the "bastards" that buy more copies of an album just to sell them at an higher price when some time has passed. Unfortunately, publishers don't care about such stuff, as long as they get the money they're fine (who could blame for this, really?)... And besides, if someone can afford to buy multiple copies of an album, more POWA! to them. It's none of our business what someone does with his/her money.... It happens a lot also with books, mangas, game-related magazines... We may not like it, of course, but they're not doing something entirely bad.... After all, they can't actually FORCE someone to buy the item at their price.

My point "#3" (numbered for convenience) was aimed at the kind of people who feel entitled to request rips of OOP stuff... Come to think of it, it actually connects with my whole point "#1": VGMusic is an hobby. You don't need it for your health. Come to terms with the fact that you might not get everything you want.
Blame the previously mentioned bastards, 'blame' your life/yourself/other... because you couldn't grab the album when it was available... But still, get over it... If, in a worst-case scenario, you can't bring yourself to do it, please... PLEASE! Leave at least alone those who aren't publicily stating "Up for trades/Needed in lossless/EAC rips... Want a piece of them?". Someone who registers here might do so just to show off his/her collection (something which he/she would absolutely & totally be entitled to), our presence here (or elsewhere, for that matter) doesn't necessarily mean that we welcome private deals/rip requests.

Just to clarify, I hope it's clear that the above portion isn't directly aimed at anyone on here, more of an opinion about the kind of people.
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Last edited by ilef; Sep 30, 2011 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Typos
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  #28  
Old Sep 30, 2011, 11:44 AM
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I agree that it's not a reason to go messaging everybody you see that owns it for a lossless rip of it, but then, there's no reason for that at all; that has nothng to do with whether or not something is out of print. And whether you could get a hold of it or not when it was in stock is irrelevant to the fact that it's still possible to listen to it afterward, and thank goodness. To say that "the only people that deserve to listen to something are the people that bought it" is a narrow-minded and ridiculous insult to the composers who worked so hard to make it. I'm sure they want as many people as possible to listen to their music and thanks to outlets like the internet, that is possible.

I'm not condoning downloading everything you see, but when it's out of print, it literally doesn't hurt anybody to download it. The same goes for "limited" or "enclosed" items; if their products were sold out, then who gives a shit if people download the music afterward. And, if it's reprinted, then you should buy it if you can, simple as that. Bottom line: there is a limited amount of physical copies and that's not the consumer's fault, nor should he suffer for it. I don't want to give excuses for not buying something if you can; I'm just saying there's only so much money an individual can make and only so much he can spend on non-essential things. It's just not possible to buy everything and thankfully, people don't need to.

But there's still no excuse to harass random people for downloads, if we're talking about the original topic here.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 12:22 PM
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I'm not condoning downloading everything you see, but when it's out of print, it literally doesn't hurt anybody to download it. The same goes for "limited" or "enclosed" items.
Please excuse me if I will not be very clear, my english is not that good anymore. I disagree. If an item is manufactured in limited quantity, for the manufacturer's fault/decision... or whatever it is.... Well, the fact that is requested of me to share a lossless rip of it, might actually hurt "me": the owner.

http://vgmdb.net/album/753

http://vgmdb.net/album/754

Above are two examples of such enclosed goodies. Free to call me a bastard (something which a few users actually did, you know who you are), but I would not feel fine sharing them in lossless. Why? They're enclosed with particular packages, they have quite a value on their own right, I'm proud of being one of the few who actually owns them.
They may be out of print, really hard to find on auction sites, I frankly don't give a crap. I'm a collector, if I'd share them I'd get the feeling to lower their value.
While I understand that it's not the consumer's fault to not be able get the item, I'd say that it isn't the manufacturer's or mine, either. Hell, what would be the point in labeling such releases as "limited, enclosed,...", then?

As you've rightly stated, we can't have everything, we must make choices. When you make choices, you should face the consequences, too. You couldn't afford that particular version? Sorry for you.
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Last edited by ilef; Sep 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM.
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  #30  
Old Sep 30, 2011, 12:27 PM
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I don't think you understand the meaning of the word hurt.

EDIT: To really clarify what I mean here: when a publisher produces 500 copies of something and 20 people buy it and everyone else downloads a rip of it, that is hurting the publisher. They spent the money not only to make the soundtrack, but to print 500 copies of it, and made very little money back on it. They probably didn't even make profit (though I don't know how much it costs to produce this kind of stuff, but you see what I mean). That is hurtful.

What you're talking about is your collector-penis. It grows when you buy something you think is rare. Mine grows as well - no homo or anything. But it does. I own Cosmic Psycho, Flame of Recca, Shizuku... etc, and I like owning those things because they are obscure limited edition items, much like the ones you have listed. But when you say you'd "get the feeling" to lower their value, well, that's just your little feeling; it is literally in your mind. And it's not hurting you. Maybe it's shrinking the size of your collector-penis a little, but that isn't hurting you. That's just you wanting to stroke your collector-penis. Also, I can disagree with you and say that it doesn't decrease the value of owning the physical copy because a digital copy is never equivalent to owning a physical copy; if it were, we wouldn't buy physical copies. So it's not really "hurting" you, ilef. Again, I sympathize with collecting and owning cool stuff, but it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not there's grave loss done to the producers of music when they've sold every copy they printed of something and then somebody downloads it afterward. Obviously there isn't, because... they sold every copy they printed. So, this moral high ground doesn't really have much basis in reality.

Last edited by Hellacia; Sep 30, 2011 at 01:13 PM.
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