Clarification on psx-scene

Update (Halsafar): Original post http://pastebin.com/gc0036Qg

While I don’t wish for this site to start devolving into scene drama, I felt a post was necessary on why it is that I’ve recently decided to part ways with psx-scene and what led me to taking the drastic decision I felt was necessary in order to make a statement. This affects all other homebrew developers in the grand scheme of things – and I acted accordingly as the situation demanded it.

New TOS waiving your rights

After the acquisition by QJ.Net, they quietly injected into the already existing Terms of Services a new law that expressly authorizes PSX-scene to effectively assume ownership of any and all material you make available to the public on their community site. I will let this quote do the talking so that there can be no debate about this –

Psx-scene Terms of Service

“User Provided Content, License. You are solely responsible for all content or materials that you post, submit to, or transmit through the Service. By submitting materials or content to PSX-SCENE.COM, you grant PSX-SCENE.COM a license to copy, use, display and create derivative works of the material or content submitted for any purpose, including, without limitation, the promotion and marketing of the Service and the operation of the PSX-SCENE.COM system. By submitting materials or content, you automatically agree (or, to the extent you do not own all rights to such materials or content, you represent and warrant that the owner of the content or materials has expressly agreed) that without any particular time limit, and without the payment of any fees, PSX-SCENE.COM and anyone it permits may reproduce, display, distribute and create new works of authorship based on and including the content or materials. You may not submit content or materials trademarked or copyrighted by anyone other than yourself.”

Now, obviously, this is disingenuous on its face. Stepping aside for a moment the fact that they can not simply waive your rights like this – the fact remains that there are licences to obey when you as a porter decide to port an emulator to another system. Those licences are very clear on ownership rights and your ability or permission to be able to buy or resell them. For psx-scene to put themselves into the enviable position where they believe they can ‘reproduce, display, distribute and create new works of authorship’ speaks to the audacity and clear disrespect of these new site owners who happen to view developers as a bunch of schmucks to be hoodwinked and cajoled into servitude.

‘Successful business != Conning people into waiving their rights’

As a response to that, I took down all emulator threads on their forum that I have personally worked on ( seeing as the previous owner on there granted me Moderator status with no strings attached). Also, I complied with the wishes of many former members who wanted all their content to be removed because they have similar misgrievances about this new ‘clause’ they added to their terms and they don’t like this site profiteering or benefiting in any way from it. Now, obviously, that resulted in my ban – it couldn’t have gone any other way – you know once you throw down the gauntlet like this, what the consequences of that are going to be. I personally requested for them to cast the first stone and ban me – I had no more desire staying on there and feel no need to associate myself with that site anymore.

Now the sad thing is – this kind of profiteering has become fashionable now over the past few years – when you mistake being a ‘good entrepreneur’ with being a ‘con artist’ and a ‘profiteer’ and, worst of all, you don’t even care about any of the amoral connotations that brings along with it – then obviously you’re going to have friction between developers who are doing this mainly out of a passion and then these kinds of cynical businessmen following in the grand footsteps of PT Barnum and his ilk.

21 comments on “Clarification on psx-scene

  1. Abandon ship!

    Everyone with a correct state of mind could see this coming from a mile away: http://pastebin.com/gc0036Qg

    They kill threads/posts that are painting THEIR picture – imo that sort of antifreedom and cencorship doesnt belong on a forum and most certainly not the place to be for developpers.

  2. Thanks for clearing things up Square, was wondering what the hell was going on. Totally support your decision. Hope that people who love and support your emus will find their way here from the “new” censoring psx-scene bullshit.
    Keep up your awesome work!

  3. I just tried to register on PSX Scene to explain why this part of their TOS (basically giving them special grant to anything posted on their forums, including released software) was not compatible with homebrew development but I got immediately banned.

    The thing is, you are right and these emulators are not the property of a single developer. User often forget about it but they are generally the result of the work of many contributors during the years, porters like Squarepusher only own copyright for limited portions of the program, the most part being licensed to them for use by original copyright owners. Therefore, a website cannot claim any specific rights on them or change the way they can be distributed, which is handled by the software specific license.

    I’m glad you founded this website because any other commercial websites (not only PSX Scene, and I bet you got some “generous” proposal to be hosted by other PSX-something.com or .net) work the same way: they want active devs on their forums because it’s a cheap way of making their website popular and increase their monetary value. It’s all part of their business plan, minimum investment (look how moderators are happy to work 3 hours a day for free), maximum benefits.

  4. To be more precise, that part:

    “You may not submit content or materials trademarked or copyrighted by anyone other than yourself.”

    implies that released apps (mostly emulators indeed but I guess Multiman is also based on MPlayer code) should be removed immediately to fulfill the new TOC as they are all 90% copyrighted to somebody else…

  5. Good move Squarepusher

    This “Terms of Service” bullcrap was literally the last straw for the forum and you, just like every developer has enough of this bullcrap!

    Well done for getting out of the sinking ship that is PSX-Scene!

  6. This isnt the first time QJ have played these games, they did the same with the PSP scene, sad to think that PSx scene sold out to these people, seems theres not many truly independant homebrew sites anymore that dont have millionaire owners, over the years the likes of xbox scene, psphacker, psx scene, maxconsole, PSp3d have all been sold to mega bucks owners, i remember when DCemu.co.uk was mega popular (in the worlds top 2000 sites), QJ owners at that time wanted to buy them but the owner said no, good for you for making a stance.

  7. BTW – looks like psx-scene just ‘restored’ all the threads that I as a moderator had supposedly ‘permanently deleted’ – so I guess if you as a moderator ‘physically remove’ threads, it is not so ‘permanent’ or ‘physical’ after all or perhaps they just restored a tape backup from the other day –

    http://psx-scene.com/forums/f190/snes9x-ps3-4-4-4-fw-1-92-fw-3-15-fw-3-41-cfw-3-55-released-75378/

    The threads are all still owned by me but my nick title just states ‘Retired’ (LOL) – I guess I am their ‘legally owned entity’ now even though they banned me and my alternate account which I used to rub the salt in their wounds.

    I wonder if they restored opium2k’s emulator border themes too – most probably.

    So I guess this is them throwing down the gauntlet and going ‘we own your stuff after all’ even though I signed up back in 2004 and was never bound by that POS TOS.

  8. Apparently someone said, “So…didnt Squarepusher want this shit removed?”

    Their reply was to ban him within a few minutes of the post. I replied saying the website has gone to shit just to reinforce what they already know so I expect a ban here in a few minutes as well.

  9. I joined PSGroove when it first started, then it ‘merged’ (if that’s the right word) into PSX-Scene, I smelt a bad egg then, it appears that the bad egg just exploded. I wondered why the news article ‘Olive Branch’ was posted… Now I know better.

  10. They won’t get their devs back. The site appears to be admin by people who act like teenagers and can’t even form proper sentences. Whatever TOS agreement they want to apply on their site doesn’t matter anymore. They lost the trust of everyone who makes the site worth going to.

  11. AND NOTHING OF VALUE WAS LOST.

    Harhar – which is why, of course, they felt it necessary to restore all the emulator threads (expressly against my wishes and against all my final actions as ‘Moderator’ on that site).

    Oh, and BTW, Dlanor – consider me a disappointed man. In any case – it doesn’t matter much if you believe my stance against ‘psx-scene’ amounts to ‘propaganda’ or not – the truth is that without me fielding questions, fixing stuff and dealing with user feedback in those threads, those threads are a shadow of their former self.

    So really, I shouldn’t even have gone to the effort of ‘removing’ them – since they have been ‘removed’ in the most effective way possible – by me simply stopping to use them. I find it funny that out of all the ‘devs’ that talk a mean game, exactly nobody has offered to step up to the plate and improve the emulators except for myself in the past year or so. Everybody wants to talk about how much they COULD be doing if they WOULD – except they never go and do just that. Instead, bitching, moaning and whining about features instead of implementing them yourself is far more important – leaves me having to go and do all that. Nobody elected me to be Grand Imperator of the PS3 emu scene – I always welcomed other people to join and help out – except there hasn’t been much of that at all.

    So really, all these people saying ‘and nothing of value was lost’ and all these armchair Generals feeling they could do it ten times better – let me just suggest here they start walking the walk rather than just talking the talk.

    That is pretty much how I started back in September – improving on other people’s work. If I hadn’t – SNES9x PS3 wouldn’t have amounted to Jack right now.

  12. For what it’s worth, I’d like to apologize to you and all the other developers and members of PSX-SCENE who have been alienated by the sale of the site. This is not what I had hoped for the future of the site. =(

  13. That is the correct blog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You understand so much its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!

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