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Old 6th September 2010, 23:57   #1  |  Link
clueless n00b
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 10,575
The rules explained

Dear members

This document is meant to give you a bit of an insight into our rules and the way they are being enforced.

For starters - nobody loves rules and walking around with a bit stick striking people down. When this place started out, there were neither rules nor moderators. That just came out of necessity - not everybody will follow implicit convenants. Imagine our society without rules and laws. You might still get along nicely with your neighbor. But the crackhead two blocks down might be another story..

1) Imagine you're at work, and 10 times a day you get unsolicited calls by people who aren't even your company's customers that take you away from your actual job. You'd get annoyed pretty soon. Now imagine the same happening at some place you volunteer - it's even worse, right? Or imagine you work in customer support, and you get an email like 'your product doesn't work'.. what are you supposed to do with it? You don't even know which product they're refering to.

See where I'm going with this? If information is written down and properly indexed, that information should be consulted first. That's why most support departments these days have FAQs, forums, and ask you to check those prior to contacting a company. And yes I realize that this first line of defense can be really annoying if you are an experienced user who knows more about the issue than the first level supporter.

Bottom line - it's an established fact that you can catch a considerable number of issues by following certain routines. In order not to waste anybody's time, we ask that you follow those routines. Remember, people who reply to your issues do so on their own time - they don't owe you anything, so as a sign of respect towards potential volunteers, invest a certain amount of effort on your part first.

2) Remember that time you moved to a new place, got invited to the first block party, started with a joke you thought was pretty funny and everybody just stared at you funny? Same story here... communities have unwritten rules, so get to know them before you rub people the wrong way.

5) That's an interesting one that is often misunderstood.

First off, this forum is about digital video. so what we discuss should touch upon that (also see forum rule 3). So no running shoes, no bags, no cars, etc.

When it comes to software, notice that Doom9 is and has always been about freeware (including but not exclusive to open source) products. However, we realize that this may not always be good enough, so discussion of certain commercial software is certainly also welcome. However, it's always a matter of how useful that commercial alternative really is - if it brings nothing to the table over established free solutions, we're probably not interested.

Now, have you seen the latest XYZ product which costs 50 bucks but you think is well worth its money. Or your company has just developed the latest and greatest video converter for the iPhone and you'd like to share?

There's a way to do that without running afoul of rule 5: You can use our news forum to post information about that product. We do however request that you clearly identify your affiliation with the software (e.g. "I'm an employee of the company that makes this product", or "I wrote this software"). Non disclosed affiliations are also considered a violation of rule 5.

Note that the news forum is moderated.. so it may be that your posts won't be approved. If you disagree with such a decision, you can contact me.

Once approved, the product can then also be discussed in other forums. However, we'll closely monitor such thread. You can't just pick up the topic and post a couple "have you seen product X in the news... great thing, eh?" messages all over the board? That again would be considered spam. If you have any affiliation with the product, you are required to only respond to questions by members without any affiliation.

And don't think we don't know about the old 'post so that my signature can be seen trick'.

Note that this is not all.. spammers develop new tricks on a daily basis so we certainly won't give them our rull back of tricks so they can develop workarounds..

6) And our all time favorite.

First off, this is not a warez forum so posts to the latest cracked software or torrents are clearly off limits. And that leaves us with the never ending story of downloaded content.

We fully realize the laws come down on different sides of this one. In some places, there's no law, then there are places where downloads are legit but uploads aren't, and finally those where everything is off limits.

So - for the download part: Plenty of sites have been closed for posting links to copyrighted content so we don't go there. Similarly, you also must not ask on how to get movie X or Y. You can buy it at Amazon, rent it from Netflix, but we won't help you provide it to you for free (unless there's a legitimate source).

Now what if you have already gotten the content from a P2P network or similar source. In principle, it's a matter between you and the copyright holder. Copyright infringement happens the moment you download. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Making a copy of an unauthorized source is often considered a separate act of infringement.. so if we help you make a copy, then we'd be helping you to break the law.

And, perhaps you've heard of the Hurt Locker people - they're currently starting lawsuits left and right against people who downloaded that movie. Now you come along asking for help on how to convert The.Hurt.Locker.720p.BluRay.x264-somegroup.mkv so that you can play it on your DVD player, portable media player, etc. What better than an open admission in a public forum that you've broken the law than a message asking for help with that file? Law enforcement has acted on people admitting to criminal activity online before.

So, please don't make your copyright infringement our problem. We don't want to be hit with subpoenas to give out member data every other week. Needless to say we need something to raise suspicion so we'll act. Nobody likes to spend time determining the legitimacy of a source - so you can help make our life easier by making it clear something doesn't smell iffy.

I have an MP4 file from the Internet is a clear indicator that something probably is off.
A file name that looks like file names used by release groups is a good indicator something is off, too.
I have this MKV file, with no other information and the member not being able to provide details on how the file was created reaises some suspicion, too.
Generally... 'off the Internet' has a tendency to raise eyebrows.

That's not to say the source could be perfectly legal. I've seen people using scene naming schemes for their own rips (so we'll try to google the entire file name to make sure.. but there are often different rips and we don't really know all the release groups)

There's also a lot of legitimate content on the Internet.. so be sure to mention anything that will discourage doubts about the legitimacy of a source. E.g. you could've bought an MP4 from iTunes. If the content is really available there.. problem solved.
Similarly.. MKV files. There's a popular Blu-ray disc ripper that creates MKV files. And various encoder GUIs, do, too. If you know the encoder build & settings for instance, that's a pretty good indicator that you're in the clear.

Bottom line.. don't let your source raise suspicious and everybody is happy. Moderators have more time dealing with other issues and won't have to worry about the provenance of a source and what it could mean if the source turns out to be illegal, and you won't be asked to provide an explanation or face thread closure.

Also - there's another reason for why how we prefer to help you deal with original content directly of the best possible source: Many people who just download and then expect to play it somehow seem unwilling to learn the ins and outs of digital video. This is not what this place is about though. We appreciate that you take the time to learn how things really work - so that in the end, you can create backups from your own legitimately purchased content.
Plus, starting at the best possible source also yields the best possible result (I realize the irony with regards to rule 12 We also hope that if you take the time to learn, you will pay back the community by then helping out other new members in need.

7) Screen estate is valuable, and not everybody has a 30" screen. So please accomodate us and post only what is necessary. By the same token, we are more interested in what is in your post, and not your signature.

9) The better your thread title describes what your post is about, the more likely you're going to get a qualified response. And it's unfair towards those that do make the effort to write a descriptive title if you come along with a 'I need help'. So please do us and yourself a favor and just don't do it.
Yes, we do have better things to do - but if the first page of threads suddeny looks like 'Help', 'Help please', 'I need help', and 'I need help more urgently', then it's a lot more effort to clean up that mess.

12) Another all time favorite. You probably haven't been around long enough to see nasty 'mine's better than yours' threads. Best is in the eye of the beholder so please leave it there.

Again, we do have better things to do, but cleaning up the next three flamewars because not everybody agrees what the best value for parameter X in encoder Y is, that's even more unwanted work, so please play along. Just ask something along the lines of "here's what I'm doing, can I improve upon that", and everything will be fine.

16) If you get pulled over by a cop, you follow his/her instructions, right? If you don't... worst thing that can happen is you get shot. If you got a beef, take it up with the guy's supervisor at the station. And it's the same thing here. I promise to have an open mind. Just ask any of the guys that had a whole suspension removed and their record wiped. Yes it does happen. It is important that you follow the appeals process (outlined in our FAQ) though.
Obviously, this rule is dangerous (though not really much more than the standard boilerplate legalese on every forum that says you have got no rights and the operators can do whatever they damn well please). Unfortunately, history shows that at times it is necessary (the alternative being just banning a member).

17) This thread is the best you're going to get in that department. People have asked in the past about the warez rule - I don't feel like going to give you the boilerplate of how we think a possible defense would look like if we ever get sued - I hope you can understand that. There's the DMCA analysis and that's that. Don't try to search for copyright law in various countries to try and figure out where I'm from.. I like to keep this on a need to know basis.

As far as the interpretation of rules goes.. with that document I hope you should have a pretty good idea. A version of the moderator rules will follow in a bit.
For the web's most comprehensive collection of DVD backup guides go to www.doom9.org

Last edited by Doom9; 19th September 2010 at 19:59.
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