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Who's up for some re-uploading this fall?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Quintillus, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    As I'm sure most of you know, we've had several popular external sites go down over the past 2-3 years, resulting in a fairly noteworthy loss of files. I started re-uploading some of my PhotoBucket files this weekend, but the main one for C&C is AtomicGamer from 2015. After fixing a few posts that were broke by PhotoBucket, I decided to revisit the lists Thunderfall (link) and I (link somewhere in the forum, but haven't found it yet) created of missing files.

    Some have been re-uploaded, including ones that were still under active development. But a number haven't, including some very prominent ones such as Rhye's of Civilization. So that got me thinking, I know there has to be someone who has ROC downloaded, even if I can't find a copy on my hard drive. We might not be able to get to 100%, but we can probably restore some classic Civ3 mods and files.

    However, we'll need some help. I don't know if Rhye still stops by here at all, but there definitely will be some mods whose creators don't. And to really make the re-uploads visible, they'll need to be updated in the Downloads Database (and potentially in the original thread) - very few people will find the links when they're looking for them otherwise. Put another way, we need either a mod or an admin to update links in the Downloads Database once a file is re-uploaded. I'm not sure which; it depends on if a mod would have sufficient access.

    I took a look at the new structure of the Downloads Database in XenForo, and I think with a tweak of the code I wrote to create the initial list of soon-to-be-missing files in 2015 (unfortunately, I only had time to figure out what would be missing, not grab it all), I could fairly easily create an updated list of what's still missing. Spot checks indicate it's likely more than half of what went missing. But with that we could start with a list and a goal. I could even sort it by downloads to prioritize it, or make a contest of it by putting out a list of, say, 7 per week to try to re-upload, rather than dumping an overwhelming list of 100+ all at once.

    Eventually I'd like to look into fixing broken links in C&C threads that are pre-Downloads Database as well, and perhaps automatically archiving some content (S&T would be easier in that area; the challenge in C&C is every external site has a different user interface, so only stuff uploaded directly to CFC is easy, and that's the least likely to disappear). But restoring especially the most prominent missing mods from AtomicGamer seems like a good place to start.

    (Note: I know this could have gone into Re-Upload Requests or IMPORTANT: Loss of Files, but I know I tend to skip past the stickies and expect quite a few other people do as well. I'm hoping to get a few people on board, so I wanted to maximize visibility)

    Anyone up for searching their old archives?
     
  2. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Quintillus, may be the following compilation can be of some help:

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/world-war-ii-european-front.445535/page-10#post-14858670

    Concerning 'Rhye's of Civilization': Rhye is still around at CFC. His last post at CFC is from March 2017.

    I think the creators should be heard before reuploading one of their works. Who would be responsible, if one of those reuploaded 'works' holds a copyright issue or another problem? The one who created that 'work' and was thinking that this 'work' now is 'dead' or the one who resurrected such a work?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  3. Delta_Strife

    Delta_Strife Deity

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    I agree with both of your points. But, I think over time we have lost so many great mods and scenarios. It would be great if we could bring them back with the author permission if possible.
     
    Nathiri likes this.
  4. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    That AtomicGamer link will certainly be helpful in finding lost old files.

    I suspect most mod creators would prefer that their creations remain available even if they eventually move on and no longer visit CFC regularly or at all. They generally represent a fairly large amount of creative effort. I've also seen a few threads where a creator came back many years after uploading a mod/unit/etc., found it was no longer available for whatever reason, and posted asking if anyone still had a copy. Sometimes out of nostalgia, in at least one case to show their kid what they'd created back in the day. Unfortunately local hard drives aren't perfect and most people's backup habits aren't either (I've lost nearly all my Vanilla Civ3 saves myself).

    I can only think of one modder off the top of my head who intentionally removed their work (a creator of cavalry/elephant units from about 5 years ago). If I were to find a thread/Downloads Database entry where it was clear the creator had removed the work, I wouldn't attempt to re-upload that. But I'm pretty sure that's a small minority of cases.

    As for the copyright concern, has there been a case where that has actually been an issue? I am not aware of one. The two cases I can think of that might be in theory are mods with soundtracks that may not have been careful with that, and units or buildings repurposed from other games, such as Cossacks or AoE II. In the case of the latter, I've never heard of a complaint even when it was clear the unit was from, e.g. Cossacks. Probably because it's good publicity that makes people aware of the other game, while still requiring them to buy it to play it. In short, in 99% of cases I'd be willing to re-upload a mod/unit/etc.

    On the whole, I'd rather have mods such as PinkTilapia's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire available (and in this example, as far as I know it is still available), even if they do have a soundtrack, than not available due to not being aware of the exact origin of every piece of the soundtrack. I also suspect the majority of authors also do not suspect that the links to their work are 'dead', but simply are no longer regular visitors to CFC due to changing life circumstances.
     
  5. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I also feel that in a way we should attempt to do with our Civ3 creations (as well as Civ creations more broadly) something like what the Internet Archive tries to do with the web as a whole. Over the course of a couple decades, most links on the web tend to disappear, so if they're never updated, we'll eventually lose most of what's been created, and thus the Civ modding culture. And without the actual mods/units/etc., a lot of what's still at CFC is less valuable.
     
  6. Samez

    Samez ION GUNNER

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    I updated your list regarding:
    Taube87's Gaja mod- the missing files are are all regarding old versions. The current 1.1 Version is correctly linked in the forum.
    MEM2 seems to be uploaded to the cloud
    Civilization Worldwide link is up to date.
    Even though Plotinus is exhausted he might be willing to re-upload his mods (e.g. Rood of the Dragon) - if there are no original files available i might still have some old version on an old HDD
     
  7. Rathvilly

    Rathvilly Emperor

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    We seem to have this debate all the time - as someone has said once before, the creators haven't 'taken down' their work, we're just talking about a broken links scenario ... I agree if the creator is still around that we ask first, but otherwise I don't think its a problem. We're just restoring access, nothing else. I'm personally happy to upload anything I have (that I haven't re-modded to death) if it's missing.
     
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  8. r16

    r16 not deity

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    ı also have the Rood but will have post it here piece by piece , so that some other person will have to labouriously combine them in the end . In case people fail to find a more viable way . I remember it was put online a few months back , its link down again ? ı have also taken that 5.7GB link and Africa scenario is certainly there .
     
  9. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Restoring broken links & re-uploading are quite different things. It's important to keep that distinction in mind. Quintillus' original proposal is to reupload files which are no longer available.
    More than one modder has intentionally removed their own work for their own reasons. I can think of at least 3 cases including the one alluded to. In addition there have been at least two cases where direct violation of intellectual property rights was involved - resulting in removal of items from the database and significant action against the member(s) involved. I am aware of those from my time as a moderator - there may be others.

    My personal opinion is that restoring as much as possible to the available uploads db is a good and worthwhile thing to do. Based on my personal knowledge of what is in the best interests of CFC as a whole I'd recommend not reuploading anything from Yang Liu or TopGun. Those are the two sources involved in the most blatant cases mentioned earlier. AFAIK the other people who have removed their work are still around and able to speak for themselves.
     
  10. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    Thanks for the update Samez!

    IMO the key distinction is (fixing links or re-uploading because the site it was hosted on no longer exists) vs (re-uploading something that was intentionally taken down). I wouldn't propose doing the latter, but I think the first one is logically equivalent. In the first grouping, neither the creator nor anyone else (e.g. moderator) made any effort to take them down. The part where it might get tricky is that I don't know how many of the intentionally taken down are labeled as such. I know some threads are, but I don't know every case.

    I stand corrected on there having been instances of issues with intellectual property rights. I do appreciate mentioning whose works should not be re-uploaded, as it would have been frustrating (and perhaps prohibitive, since I at least don't have the time to exhaustively check every resource, and there's a good chance I wouldn't be aware of what it was infringing even if I did have the time) to mention that there had been issues but not to say what those were. The modder I was referring to was H. Balck, and while I don't know of any IP issues there is was definitely an intentional removal of work. I now also recall there was a mapmaker (I think) about 3-4 years ago whose name started with Z (Zubarava?) who removed their work due to some disagreement.

    My proposal at this point would be:

    1. At some time over the next month, I'll update my broken-Downloads-Database checker and come up with a new, reduced list of what's missing
    2. Of that, a list will be created of what is known to have been intentionally removed, or to have IP issues. That will be excluded from re-uploading. That list can also include things that aren't in the Downloads Database, for future reference.
    3. Of the remaining items, we'll aim for 7/week (initially, can be adjusted as needed). Keep it a non-overwhelming size.
    4. If the author has been at CFC in the past six months (ish), consider them active. Send them a PM or call them out in a post using @ notation asking if they have objections to re-upload, or would prefer to do it themselves. Give a week to respond. If no response, assume they have no objection and re-upload (can always remove later if they later reply with an objection).
    5. If the author has not been online in the past 6 months, go ahead and re-upload, as they likely would have taken it down themselves before leaving if they really didn't want it up, and are unlikely to see the message anyway.

    Considering that many of the mods are by no-longer-active members, and that authors removing their work is rare and usually very clear, I think the "assume they're okay with re-upload unless heard otherwise" is important to preserving the creation of the community as a whole. I can see where someone who's still here occasionally would appreciate having the chance to re-upload on their own first, but I also think if we never re-upload without hearing from the original author, there's a lot of works that will never be re-uploaded even if their author would want them up. Some never visit CFC anymore, and while it's sad to think of it, some are no longer with us at all, but their creations are still part of their legacy.
     
  11. Delta_Strife

    Delta_Strife Deity

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    Love it Quintillus great plan!!!
     
  12. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    For clarity's sake: Yang Liu & H. Balck are the same person. And yes, Zubareva removed her work & requested that no one who had already downloaded it include it in any scenarios made available at CFC.


    I agree that it's a worthy effort and the specific plan makes sense. With those few specific exceptions, I agree that the rule of thumb should be that if it was available in the past it should be available now. I'll do what i can to contribute to the project.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  13. Rathvilly

    Rathvilly Emperor

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    Yes - I'm aware of two of the cases cited. This has been a useful discussion.
     

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