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ADR3-N's News

Posted by ADR3-N - December 22nd, 2016


Audio Flagging, For Dummies
Everything You Need to Know, by ADR3-N.


Greetings, NG!

What you're about to read is a celabratory guide post marking my first week as an audio mod, written while I was vacationing in Arkansas some time in Dec. 2016. It is now May 1, 2018. As a present to you and a help-resource, I'm posting my not-quite secret methods for finding and flagging rule-breaking content in the Audio Portal in the hopes that it will benefit your whistles as much as your help will the moderation team and site as a whole.

With high hope and much pleasure, I present to you, without further ado:


ADR3-N's Pretty Darn Definitive Guide for Finding and Flagging Stolen/Abusive Audio

Heya NG regulars! ADR3-N here, still in Arkansas at the time of writing, hiding away from the sub-freezing temperatures and snow. As you may know, I've recently become a part of the mod team (thank you all so much; you too @TomFulp!) and now spend most of my time zapping infringing audio and smiting abusers of our fine establishment.

In the past couple of days alone, I've found probably over 2,000 stolen songs, banned tons of thieves, and run neck-deep into a whole lot more crap than I bargained for. It's an absolutely massive task keeping the AP clean, especially in the advent of a particular brand of thieves migrating to NG like passenger pidgeons in their prime, blackening the skies, shitting stolen content out like... Uh, like those plastic toy birds that poop candy eggs every three steps or so, and there seems to be no end in sight.

One and a half years later, and still going strong!

Sure, the current situation sucks, but what this means for you is whistle points galore  -- potentially, if you know your stuff and don't mind doing some sniffing. Lucky for those of you chasing a deity whistle, I can save you a lot of trouble. All you need to know is what to look for.


This guide focuses primarily on stolen content and Geometry Dash abuse, but it may also overlap with spam or other rule breaches. If you want more whistle points, or just want to make NG a better place -- faster and more efficiently -- dig in. Some parts bolded for skimming. Yes, TLDR sufferers, even with my propensity for massive posts, I thought of you.


Step One - Mr. Easy and Mrs. Obvious

If you're poring through the audio portal, unscouted section, or search pages, you'll see a constant stream of content. You may be tempted to go through it all, but should you really? No! Listening to every submission on Newgrounds is just not possible. You'd burn yourself out before you even scratched the surface.

Take things one submission at a time. Stop when you start feeling like it's tedious. Take short cuts, too, like searching specific sections or tags in unscouted like GeometryDash.

Any tips in this guide can probably be searched for and pull up some rule-breaking content; just remember to focus on one thing at a time and pay attention so you don't flag anything legitimate.

Whenever you're ready to begin, click the disc on whatever catches your attention firsthand, and most importantly, look at the TITLE of the submission.


Is the text:

  • spelled wrong
  • weird looking
  • broken English
  • indicating an author other than the NG username
  • "not mine" or geometry dash related (GD cuts)
  • named after a popular song/artist
  • named similarly to content reported in AP cleanup
  • [NCS Release] <song title>____</song title>

Example titles: Skrillex - Cinema, Re (as in Reanimate), Alan Walker - Shine, Fade [NCS Release], Death by Glamour, for Geometry Dash, Hellcat - Desmeon, Pegboard Nerds, cool, NOT MINE DON'T REMOVE, AAAAA, etc. Check for mispellings too!


Tip: There are tons more examples in AP cleanup. You can check which are unpublished by clicking the CD icon beside the name. The more popular a song is, the more likely it is to be stolen. Still, be careful. Sometimes people report legitimate content -- rare but enough that it deserves a mention.

I've seen big batches of stolen NCS releases, Skrillex, TheFatRat, MDK, and other popular works. If the username doesn't match the artist name, it's probably stolen, disincluding any impersonators like the fake Lensko account we found earlier. Any EDM, pop, or Hip-Hop song is a prime target for theft. Chippy soundtracks like Undertale are popular too!

Of course, while the AP cleanup is an excellent resource for inquiring/learning about and reporting stolen content, it's not a flag-whoring thread. You can lose whistle points by flagging any legitimate submissions reported there, so it's important to only flag submissions you know or highly suspect to be stolen/copyrighted/spam. Most people find these through the search feature, looking for common terms associated with AP abuse.

If you want someone to spoon feed you flags to help repair your whistle, ask around at your own risk, but piggyback flagging can actually hurt more than it helps. You're better off looking on your own and tapping a mod on the shoulder if you're not sure what you're looking at.


Excellent terms to search for: NCS, Skrillex, Borgore, not mine, all rights, no es mia, esta cancion, gmd, geometry, for gd, geometry dash, Alan Walker, Hellcat, Desmeon, MDK, Fingerbang, Reanimate, tombstone, thefatrat, Pegboard, Krewella, Monstercat, please scout, pls scout, scout me, undertale, sans, papyrus, etc. Basically any popular artist or song, GD related tags, you get the idea.

These are just what I've seen the most of, and my god is the unscouted section at large a massive treasure trove -- or dung heap, when it comes to flagging. There are at least 5-10 rule-breaking songs every day from some idiot(s) who never read the disclaimer, or did and don't care.

Naturally, even though people like myself go through these hotspots daily, there's no way mods can catch every single illicit submission, not alone. This is where users like you come in. Don't be shy! Dig in, and as I mentioned before, be VERY careful about scouting given the current situation with thefts, spam, and impersonating accounts for GD.

Occasionally, we get suckered into scouting a thief, since most GD thieves are not aware, under the current GD API, new artists must be whitelisted by RobTop himself, and stolen songs won't make the cut!


You might wonder, if there's so much music in the world, why are so many of the same songs, tags, and artists in general so common? Why are these terms so easy to pinpoint? Why does this keep happening?

Cancer? Sort of.

Let me explain. 80-99% of what we see is people stealing songs for Geometry Dash, an unintended consequence of GD creator @Zhenmuron (RobTop) updating his game to be able to use custom songs from Newgrounds. Almost immediately, we were bombarded with a bunch of people who didn't know or care about our community trying to upload their favorite Skrillex songs and getting mad when their submissions were swiftly taken down for theft and copyright violation.

Their next move? Thousands of NCS thefts from YouTube, because clearly, copyright infringement was the only problem in this equation. Some of these thieves have made multiple accounts to evade their permanent bans. Others whine that copyright is stupid, @Zhenmuron should have partnered with YouTube or SoundCloud, and Newgrounds moderation team sucks. The image below is just a fraction of the cancer.

1726297_148238380761_uradik.png

In particular, the theft-minded crowd is a thick-headed bunch that believes they're entitled to upload whatever they want, despite a clear warning not to submit music you didn't personally make. Mods hear a lot of bs in their defense -- whether it's "fair use" (which doesn't fly here or anywhere else), non-copyright material, so-and-so said they could upload it wherever, etc.

They don't care about us, our rules, or if our whole site gets taken down over their five seconds of fun. Many even steal from artists, some already on Newgrounds, in the same breath as they harass them to upload their favorites and beg for other NG users to scout them. Tom himself has asked them to stop to no avail.

This results in a lot of the same songs being stolen ad nauseam and a lot of workload for moderators. You may find yourself running into the same song submitted by 50 different people, all of whom seem to think they're going to get away with it and that the submissions will stay up if they get scouted (wrong, and wrong!). At the very least, it makes for easy whistle points and list making for the AP Cleanup thread.


If you find any submissions that are clearly rule-breaking, flag them (intelligibly) and (optionally) report them to AP cleanup. If you want to dig deeper and find more elusive rule-breaking crap, keep reading and we'll move on to the harder stuff.

Step Two - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Rule-Breach

You do have the occasional a-hole that tries to get sneaky and obscure the name to make rule breaks harder for mods to find. Check everything, always. "Remixes" in particular are not immune to this, as GD thieves will try to hide the original songs by calling them remixes and even affixing their own usernames to them, sometimes in combination with totally changing the title and even impersonating the artist.

What do you do when a suspicious submission's title is obscure?

Check out the summary, description, and tags.

Does one or more:

  • make no sense, have illegible text
        "AA" "asdfasdfgh" "11234" "lol"
  • mention Geometry Dash, Zhenmuron, or RobTop
        "I don't make music often. I just shorten songs from my PC for GD"
  • admit theft
        "not mine", "all rights to...", "esta cancion no es mia", etc.
  • talk about the song in a way a creator would not
        "I love this song!" "Great song" "I could listen to this all day"
  • mention a popular artist, movie, anime, or game (it may have copyrighted material)
        Undertale, Rurouni Kenshin, Skrillex, any NCS artist, etc.
  • address NG mods or other users in any way, especially derogatory
        "fuck u NG" "if anyone removes this u r a dick"
  • mention DAWs not allowed on NG AND consist entirely of loops
        Magix Music Maker, Music Maker Jam
  • link to ANYWHERE else
        Scrutinize that, esp. for any NG backlinks. Usually they are crediting a source. It could be a smoking gun.
  • beg to be scouted (some people even do this with reviews, which you should flag too)

99% of these will be stolen/spam or otherwise rule-breaking. If you happen upon one that isn't a combination of these, it could have no tags at all, a virtually nonexistent description, or be in a completely bullshit genre and have misattributed authorship, like the uploader playing "bass" on an EDM track uploaded to the Easy Listening section I came across the other day. Yes, some people are this stupid.


Now, find a submission with a funny names, bullshit tags, and/or suspicious descrip?

Check out the uploader's account too. Is it:

  • GD, MLG, or "gamer" related? A lot of these guys turn out to be thieves.
  • made the same day as the upload, or near it? This is often someone evading a ban.
  • possibly impersonating a popular artist? Lensko, TAG-Underground, Desmeon, etc.
  • totally void of any links, newsposts, other content?
  • description is strange or incriminating
  • ageless, genderless, picless, etc.?
  • Stat-less, lvl 1, no posts, etc.

You get the point. Scrutinize that profile, especially if you see any of the other signs of stolen, abusive, or spam content. None of these by themselves mean much, but in combination with suspicious audio can be a big red flag. Once you eye-ball the descrips and the submitter, check out the submission itself again.

Does the song:

  • sound too high quality? (this is a big one for me)
        esp. "first" songs or just pro quality music in general from a newer, barren acc
  • sound like a full orchestra or poppy, girly Japanese/Chinese/Korean lyrics?
        These are probably stolen from anime, cartoons, or TV (you'd be surprised)
  • sound like something you've heard before?
        esp. videogame themes, NCS music, or popular songs. Serach the title.
  • differ significantly from their other submissions?
        eg. a country song, an orchestral arrangement, and a rap song on the same acc
  • sing in a different language other than the user's text and other submissions
        A Peruvian 14-yo's acc was uploading a 39-yo Korean's music
  • have an acapella? Search the lyrics.
        Failing that, use an audio search.
  • have a jarring intro and fade? This is pretty much a dead giveaway of a YT rip.
  • have copyrighted material? Flag it.
  • consist entirely of loops in an unoriginal arrangement? Flag.
  • contain ear-rape/spam or hate speech? Flag.
  • consist solely of advertisements? Flag.

These are just a few indicators of possible AP abuse. As you scour the portal, they become more natural and easily identifiable. When you find content with similarities to any of the above, I just about guarantee it's stolen, spam, or just malicious. Of course, always look for proof if you can't immediately ID the content.


Tip: Having trouble? The internet is your friend. The easiest way to pinpoint a theft is to find it on YouTube. Often thieves rip their songs from here to begin with, so all you have to do is search the title if they haven't defaced it. 90% of songs I didn't recognize that weren't purposefully obscured or outright admitted stolen were easily found on YT, approximate duration included. If the name is screwed up, look for clues around the account to help you. Occasionally, they'll even upload the same song twice -- dead giveaway.

Failing that, use some sort of sound search app on your smartphone or simply ask in AP cleanup about it. It's hard to go wrong, really. Just remember, if you find one rule-breaking song on an account, anything else they have is most likely also bad news, though not always. Eye-ball it all just as hard as you did the first song, and only flag what you know to be rule-breaking, and you'll be fine.


Step Three - You're a Grand Old Flag

Unlike flagging reviews, flagging in the AP isn't a one-click affair, but that doesn't mean it has to be a complicated process. Just make sure your flags are intelligible and informative and you'll do great. It could be as simple as recognizing the song or linking to an earlier YouTube vid containing it.

If you do link a YT video, make sure the upload date is before the NG submission's and that the submitter in question is not the same person. Granted, we have had some impersonator accounts here on NG, but those are usually easy to identify if you follow the above advice.

If you manage all of that, you may find keeping track of your queue in notepad useful for reporting to the AP cleanup thread. This way, you can inquire about songs you were unsure about in the same breath as reporting the stolen audio. If you have any other questions, of course, you can always grab an audio mod!

That should about wrap it up. Happy flagging! Report rule-breaking audio here!

~A


3

Posted by ADR3-N - December 20th, 2016


Popping in to let everyone know I made it back to Mississippi safe, a few days earlier than expected due to circumstances a few of you are aware of. 9 hr drive. Now just got to unpack my shit, get some modding in for the night, and get some rest. It's been a long, long day!

Some things before I go. Tomorrow I'm gonna finish making my pop filter (hello pair of socks and coat hanger!), record that guide on flagging abusive/stolen audio I've been hyping somewhat lately, and post a transcript/text version here as a newspost, which I will send to the front page. @Psychopath, you might like this one; stay tuned. :)

I may make sequels as time goes on with the current theft trends or start logging the types of rule-breaking content I run into often. Could be fun, and I'd like to show people exactly how much flaggable content they can run into if they pay attention.

Anyway, time to get back to doing my job. See you tomorrow!


Posted by ADR3-N - December 14th, 2016


Safe and sound in Arkansas without much event barring some good Mexican food. I'll be here until the 23rd or so. No VA equipment, but still available for writing lyrics, most production needs, reviews, etc. Having a pretty good time. Man, I really didn't realize just how much I needed a vacation!

~A


Posted by ADR3-N - December 13th, 2016


Packing up and heading to Arkansas for a good nine days or so. Who knows, maybe it'll cure my artist block. If anything interesting happens, might update this post.


Posted by ADR3-N - December 6th, 2016


I'm seeing a lot of people spamming reviews on new songs for others to scout them lately, and I'm here to tell you now, don't do it, tell all your friends not to do it, tell your friends' friends not to do it, share this post... You know where I'm going with this. This isn't generally a problem, so newer users are especially vulnerable to be taken for a ride.

Why not just check these guys out and scout? It might seem innocent at first, but scouting isn't a one way street. If you scout someone and they later break the rules, you're also held accountable, and even though the song you're being asked to scout them on could be legitimate, you also have to consider that they're asking you to scout them in an illegitimate way. The review box is for reviews, not solicitations.

Not only are these reviews useless to you, but usually these people are stealing music for use in Geometry Dash (or just plain personal gratification) and trying to use you to get away with it. Prime example, today, this guy steals this song from Stephen Universe and uses reviews to dupe YOU into jeopardizing your privileges in the audio portal for 5 minutes of fame. What does this mean for you? You could lose not only your ability to scout other artists but be unscouted yourself and/or receive a permanent ban from submitting to the AP. No bueno.

What should you do instead? Well, first, those of you worried about your whistle, I'd check if they're copying and pasting these reviews elsewhere. If so, they fall under the "don't leave tons of junk reviews for points" rule, and you can flag them "abusive".

You can flag them "useless" if this doesn't seem to be the case, or you just don't want to risk losing your hard earned whistle. Asking people to scout you in a review isn't explicitly against the rules, but a lot of mods will remove these reviews anyway, just because they're, well, useless.

Secondly, I would check to see if the submission they're asking to have scouted is STOLEN. Search for the title, do an audio analysis search, w/e. If you see a guy that joined very recently, and his audio seems top quality, yet he's claiming something is his first song or something like that, this is suspicious and should be handled with care. Pay close attention to the description as well, especially if it seems incoherent, erratic, or is pressing for people to scout. If it mentions Geometry Dash at all, or its creator, RobTop, this is a huge red flag for me as well. Very seldom are these submissions legitimate.

If you find stolen audio report it here to the Audio Portal Cleanup thread and flag it. Proof could be something as simple as finding the material on YouTube or SoundCloud from a different author on an earlier date, or just knowing the material was from a well-known producer like Skrillex. Don't write a review saying the track is stolen. This is against the rules.

If you find abusive reviews or need a second opinion before flagging reviews, @Psychopath, who runs the Whistle Cow Crew, is generally regarded as an expert in this area. You could contact him or a mod if you find you really just don't know what to do here. Never respond to an abusive review with another review.

I will say that since the Abusive Review thread was locked for, well, abuse of the flagging system, information on abusive reviews is usually shared by PM or newspost. Now, just because there's no threads to lock or forum users to be banned in this equation, you should never flag a review just because someone else thinks you should flag it, only if you see rule breaking. This is a good way to lose whistle points. When in doubt, flag "useless" or don't flag at all. Asking for future reference is a big help, too.


TLDR, when you see these guys soliciting scouts in reviews:

  • Don't scout
  • Check join date
  • Check for spam/abusive reviews
  • Flag rule breaking reviews
  • Check out the song(s) in question
  • Check the title and description
  • Find originals (if stolen)
  • Report to AP Cleanup
  • Tell your friends

Bottom line, don't give these guys what they want. They don't care about the songs they're leaving junk reviews on, our community, or what damage they do to your account if they manage to dupe you into scouting them and they later get caught stealing audio (which they certainly will).

Be careful who you scout, and if you see someone breaking rules, it's up to you whether to confront them about it or not. If you do write them a PM, bear in mind you're probably in line for a lot of entitled noise about how NG rules are stupid and we should be able to post whatever we want, or our rules are unfair somehow. Keep it classy. Honestly, I'd just shoot a mail to the people getting these junk reviews, link them my post or whatever. People need to know when they're being taken advantage of.

~EDM364


Posted by ADR3-N - November 28th, 2016


NOTICE: if your work contains unlicensed music, it will be removed. The Audio Portal, Kevin MacLeod's huge archive at Incompetech, and freemusicarchive.org are great resources for original music you may use. If you're not in any rush, you should also try the Collabinator!

Remixes & Covers: If your song is a cover or remix, it must be done with the permission of the original artist and must not be for a song that is represented by a major label or licensing agency. We are unable to host this sort of material.

These policies are like telling every artist ever they can't draw Deadshot because someone else already drew him and made money off of it, despite someone else drawing Deadshot and calling him Deathstroke and making money off of it, and someone else drawing Deathstroke and calling him Deadpool, and... you know what? Now that you mention it, you just can't draw any snarky spandex clad superheroes, period, because the comic companies want to make money off of them and you drawing stuff for free doesn't make them any money, because someone else might like looking at your content more than theirs. Of course, if they draw your characters and make money off of it, even if you can prove they were yours first, that's okay, because they have more money than you, and you're comparatively broke and therefore powerless.

This logic is being applied to everything under the sun, from automatically silenced/deleted YouTube videos to the logos on those blurred out shirts in that last rap video you watched. That's right, that sweet couples-things slideshow your friend linked to his girlfriend that was unceremoniously deleted by automatic algorithms and that blurry T-shirt you were trying not to stare at in that one Eazy-E video have something in common, and it's the same thing that's happening to music in our portals. Probably won't be long before our Art Portal starts getting cleaned out of its brand name characters and fanart, too.

This is what I'm talking about, copyright infringement, and let me just start by saying the prospect of this whole thing has me completely, totally, perhaps permanently PISSED OFF...

But before I really dig in, I know this new content policy isn't the NG team's fault. @TomFulp never would have let things go as far as removing flashes based on copyrighted BGMs and remixes of popular songs if it weren't necessary; after all, he himself has used copyrighted music in his older creations before and we, NG, collectively stood up when that preposterous SOPA crap started. Why? We had to. It spelled death to the internet and free speech as a whole, y'know, kinda like what's going on now that China made puns illegal and only selectively enforces it.

SOPA would've essentially been the same thing; whoever the rich people in power liked would get to do and say whatever they wanted on the internet. Whoever said things that pissed off said rich powerful people would get shafted. This is already happening on the internet and media worldwide, but SOPA would have just made it legally sanctioned.

So, if it's not NG's fault that our content is being policed, censored, and removed without summary explanation, whose is it?

Labels, media giants, moguls, all of the above, people and corporations who thought SOPA was a good idea and more -- not to mention the entitled morons who, despite visible warnings, still upload stolen copyrighted songs for geometry dash, the uninspired Justin Bieber remixers who essentially drop an acapella rip over a half-ass beat (easy targets), and Google's audio analysis algorithms, which are used to aggressively pursue possible copyright claims on videos posted to YouTube and quite possibly the rest of the web.

Seeing as it's become a part of their search engine on smartphones, not only can they catalog what's playing on your radio; they can even police the permanent-marker mixtape that one wannabe rapper friend played in your car, at least, once it starts recognizing the same samples the mainstream hiphop producers are so fond of.

With this software, Google has officially become dangerous, and the prospects are terrifying. If you doubt that, let's take a moment to appreciate how easy it is for Big Brother to listen to your private conversations via your iPhone, even when it's off. Google's audio search uses the same hardware when prompted, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch for them to do the same thing some day, probably citing something like "market research" to cover their tracks someone ever discovered. After all, the government is able to get off scot free by citing "national security", despite many of their targets being law abiding citizens who just happen to be a little mouthy about the absolute bullshit the government has been doing for years. (Patriot Act anyone?)

"...getting the implant into the phone in the first place is “difficult,” but once there, the agency can usurp complete control of the device. Implants can be installed via a phone’s Internet connection, cellular network, or physical interception."

"American and British law enforcement and intelligence services have used mobile phones to surveil targets for years. A technique discovered in 2006 called “roving bug” also allowed spies to remotely switch on cellphone mics, and locate users within a few yards."

If Google managed this, the way royalties, work, your CD collection could turn you some label's personal piggy bank, and all it would take is for Google to sell them the proof and say you were in public with the location data to back it up. Considering they already sell the information contained in your emails to ad peddlers and track everywhere you go, it's not much of a stretch. Chew on that while you listen to Britney Spears on speaker.

So, big labels are bad, and Google, despite disliking SOPA-like regulations on paper is scary. What do powerful SOPA supporters and Google's audio recognition software mean for the future of NG content?

That's a big question, but it's one that's been on the table for a long time. We're only now just starting to see the answer clearly. So, what's in our future? Copyright infringement complaints, most likely. Ridiculous amounts of copyright infringement complaints. On everything. This news post will probably be in line for an automated DMCA because it mentions Britney Spears and CocaCola, actually, and has the word "coffee" in it.

If you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt and a couple more reasons to grind your teeth, take a look at this article on very real, very stupid automated DMCA abuse, which I suspect we may be facing at this very moment, and keep in mind that if a few (very big) entities like Warner Bros and Total Wipes get caught, it's highly likely a lot more are doing it. What you're about to see here is just two repeat offenders of many from Google's transparency report, and there's undoubtedly more around the world. Not everyone goes public with this kind of stuff.

Total Wipes, which represents 800 international labels, stated in an email to Ars Technica that the recent notices were the result of a bug in their automated anti-piracy script. According to the email, “several technical servers [sic] problems” during the first week of February caused their automated system to send “hundreds” of DMCA notices “not related at all” to any of their copyrighted content.

But the bug is only part of the problem. Sending automated notices, without human review, is itself an abuse of the DMCA takedown process.

The article goes on to detail the extent of the abuse, and some of the most ridiculous offenses.

Seeing ridiculous takedown requests from Total Wipes is nothing new. Back in August, TorrentFreak reported on a month-long DMCA notice-sending spree in which the music company targeted, among other things, sites that utilized the word “coffee.”

The more you read, the less it sounds like idiocy, and the more it sounds like mindless harassment, and almost certainly criminal. Of course, nearly limitless riches protect Warner and Total Wipes from nearly any who would bring charges against them. They need to be anti-trusted, imo.

We have in the past criticized Warner Brothers Entertainment for using robots to issue thousands of infringement accusations, without any human review, based primarily on filenames and metadata rather than inspection of the files’ contents.  Like Warner Brothers, Total Wipes is similarly using robots to abuse the DMCA takedown process.

... between May 28, 2014 and February 22, 2015, Total Wipes sent Google 41,321 requests to remove webpages from Google’s search results, with a median of 1,214 requests per week... [to] remove a total of 196,963 URLs. And according to the Chilling Effects database—which collects and analyzes legal complaints and requests for removal of online materials in an effort to help Internet users know their rights and understand the law—Total Wipes sent Google over 12,000 takedown requests in the last month alone.

So, as you see, with how connected the web is, it's easier than ever for labels to not only scour our site (or any site, really) for "copyrighted material" with bots, but to stroll YouTube for any of our content -- all you'd have to do is search "Newgrounds" -- find a copyrighted song via Google's audio analysis tools, DMCA us, and/or collect royalties on the YouTube video because it just burns them that they aren't currently liquidating every soundwave on Earth.

Supposedly, someone is supposed to review DMCA claims before any action is taken, but that isn't always the case, and they usually get away with it anyway.

Due to the lack of human review, automated takedown notices often result in censorship of perfectly legal content. Although Google has the wherewithal to analyze takedown notices and reject those that are unwarranted, it doesn’t always do that. And many other sites automatically take down allegedly infringing content upon receipt of a notice, even when the notice is clearly bogus. This is because so long as a service provider complies with the DMCA’s notice and takedown procedure, it is protected from monetary liability based on the infringing activities of third parties. Of course, unwarranted takedown requests would not subject a service provider to monetary liability, but not all service providers undertake even the moderate level of effort that Google does to assess whether content complained of should actually be taken down.

Why does this happen? If it weren't obvious already, the media policing, money hoarding brigade doesn't like competition, so it seeks to remove it at every turn. At the same time, it doesn't like sharing its profits or waiting around to find actual instances of copyright infringement, so it uses bots instead. This results in a ton of headache for victims at best and legal action at worst, maybe even termination of the targeted site(s).

Rather than get shut down under the sheer weight of copyright crap the labels are now so aggressively pursuing, seemingly without reason, we updated our policies not only to keep copyrighted content off of our servers but also to save users the headache of submitting content only to have it removed for copyright infringement now that corporations have caught on. That's well and good for keeping NG's butt out of the fire, but it really screws with older users like me, who didn't exactly have an advance warning before our submissions were taken down.

You heard me right. Some of my old submissions have been removed for violating a new policy forced into existence by some greedy corporate assholes. I don't even have backups for them, meaning that's a good couple hours of my life lost for no reason other than a record label wasn't getting .0001 pennies off of ad revenue/royalty -- because of NG getting hoisted up by the undies to get rid of flashes like mine or face legal action over copyrighted background audio -- the same exact reason @RealFaction got contacted to redo the sound track for Pico's School -- because Tom couldn't use the audio anymore without getting shafted, and a new soundtrack would be cheaper than a lawsuit. Speaking of, check out that link. It's lit.

Recently, @TomFulp asked me to replace the copyrighted music in Pico's School he could sadly no longer use, by making a new soundtrack for it. I was shocked, and I'm honored, because I know how iconic that game is and how it made Newgrounds what it is today.  If it wasn't for that game and the other controversial fun games Tom made, NG wouldn't have gotten it's popularity at the time. -RealFaction

I want to be clear, I don't blame Newgrounds or @TomFulp in any fashion for the new copyright policies. Tom has warned us for years that not relying on our own user created content is putting out rotten meat for vultures; they will come, they will flock, and they will gorge on anything their prying beaks can get at. I don't care if it's your grandma's hand-knitted CocaCola sweater you unwittingly rotoscoped in that fifteen second frame-by-frame animation you made ten years ago to the lime-in-the-coconut song, or a Clock Day short to Coldplay's "Clocks", these guys are mad they're not the ones making money off of it, and Tom himself has experienced first had what lengths labels and media groups go to when they're angry.

Once upon a time, Tom received a video in the mail with no return address. He was given permission (or rather encouragement) by the creators, to post it on Newgrounds, where it promptly went viral. Then, something magical happened. The MPAA, sensing they were not making money on this video, swooped in like the menacing vultures they and the likes of Warner and etc. usually pretend not to be when it's convenient.

we soon received a cease and decist letter from the MPAA. I had been under the impression their only purpose was to assign ratings to movies; boy was I wrong!

These high and mighty media police quite literally tracked him down with a PI and showed up with fancy papers, demanding he hand over the copyrighted material and shut down his site after "leaked" footage of "Freddy Got Fingered" blew up back in 2001.

"We request that you immediately do the following:

1) Disable access to this site;
2) Remove this site from your server; and
3) Terminate the account of the account holder for this site."

I'm of the opinion that generally, anything that requires you to hire a PI is probably morally incorrect, but this right here is exactly why we're having to implement this no-copyright-material policy -- because of media bullies like the MPAA who slam people with DMCAs and ask questions later. I guess at least this one wasn't automated though. Don't think the labels were at that point in their development quite yet. What we see today goes to show they would have if they could have, though.

"So think about that, the MPAA attempted to SHUT DOWN my entire website and have it removed from its servers over a PUBLICITY STUNT. Twelve years later, they are fighting to pass SOPA into law. Think they'll use it sparingly?" -TomFulp

I have no doubt Newgrounds never would have gone the direction it has if we had a choice, if the labels and media police weren't threatening to stamp us out. It's not like they haven't tried, and I'm sure the ultimate goal of forcing us to go by this policy is to drive users away from Newgrounds and toward sites such as SoundCloud and YouTube, not to mention app stores -- Y'know, where these guys make bank and content creators don't make $#!7 but for a chosen few that aren't censored to F&%# by groups like Warner Bros, the guys who silence your videos if their automated audio sniffing catches a whiff of their content. Otherwise, why would labels be trying to pin NG by the balls, despite most of us on NG not making $#!7, unlike those on SoundCloud and YouTube with better exposure?

Of course, SoundCloud doesn't pay its artists and actually charges their userbase to host their content (which NG doesn't), and YouTube will actually take your videos, block them in certain countries, delete them altogether, delete your account, or just transfer the dollars to whatever record label claims the audio in it. This could be a Britney Spears song playing in your brother's room, barely audible on your video, but Google's audio recognition system will automatically attribute it to a label and F&#% your $#!7. And don't even get me started about the ridiculous content guidelines.

You know, maybe the labels hate us so much because, unlike these other sites, we've always refused to roll over until now.

I've always felt like NG is being progressively backed into a corner, now more than ever. The labels hate us, Google hates us, we're blacklisted on Google's adsense... It's like the world is against NG, and that will probably never change, but I wish it didn't mean we had to change.

This is why this new policy pisses me off. It renews my hatred for the coporate bully and brings his tyranny home. It forces me to look at that reality with every audio submission I put through the Portal. I just hope it doesn't drive any potential talent away once they realize that awesome remix they made isn't welcome here.

However, if it saves us thousands in legal fees in the here and now, that's a small concession I guess we have to make. Just, God, audio mods, if you're going to start on my submissions, please, let me download all the mp3s first, PLEASE.

/rant


Posted by ADR3-N - November 18th, 2016


Life's been bone crunchingly busy since graduating college. Lots of moving around, shuttling stuff one way or the other. I haven't had a lot of time to stop in or tend to much work, but I will however be dropping a drawing or two and a few tracks while I'm here over the next few days. Meantime, friends here who'd like to keep in contact with me are welcome to ask my cell number, provided you're US so I don't get long distance charges, lol. Sometimes message notifications like review requests get lost in my email.

Anyway, hope everyone hasn't had a heart attack over the election, or killed each other over it, rather. Have a good one! I'll be around for a bit.

~A


Posted by ADR3-N - June 5th, 2016


Full, detailed descrip on the YT, but this is what I've been up to.

Not sure if the glitch is mod related or not since some of the drugs on one of my mods have similar visual effects, but this has got to be one weird and frustrating glitch. Couldn't see shit. Probably not mod related if it's on PC, PS4, and Xbone. Seems to have popped up after the latest update from Bethesda.


Posted by ADR3-N - May 17th, 2016


So, my dad died Saturday morning, early. I'm super stressed and bouncing back between stages of grief so I'll keep it short. I had to make all the arrangements, or at least be there to help make them, and it's been hell, even though for the largest part, I'm not left holding the bag financially. I have no idea what I will be doing project wise for the next while, but I haven't forgotten about NG. I love you all, btw. There's just a lot I have going on right now, even besides dad's passing.

If you take anything away from this post, appreciate the ones close to you. Let them know it. Don't take them for granted; some day, you will regret it. Leave nothing unsaid. Even if you think you hate them, or that they're worthless pieces of shit, remind yourself, to be a worthless piece of shit is human nature. Love openly. Care deeply. Let those you love know that they are loved. Forgive them for their trespasses, and ask forgiveness for yours, and you will have no regrets on top of your grief.

Rest in peace, Dad. I love you.

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Posted by ADR3-N - April 26th, 2016


Currently having a bit of an episode and am really overwhelmed by social life. Stay tuned. If you really want to get in touch with me, I still check my fb and instagram from time to time. Hopefully this will pass soon. Daily social interactions are becoming too stressful and I'm starting to avoid people I actually like as if they have some sort of disease -- not because I don't want to be around them, more so just because I'm too stressed to maintain relationships properly. Maybe it's final exams. Maybe not. The only thing really keeping me on track seems to be working out. Speaking of, leg day tomorrow.

Sorry if I haven't gotten back to you. It's nothing personal!

-A