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 PostPost subject: Concerning crediting a release        Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:41 pm 
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There seems to be some questions, confusion and conflicting opinions about how our crediting system works, so let me explain how it works and how it came to be...
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On a suggestion by Battler a few years ago we implemented a crediting system that would allow each uploaded release to be credited to the member that took his/her time to find it, pack it up and upload it to us. Each release (after being verified by me) is then tagged with the member name, unless the member specifically tagged the release as anonymous, or if the upload didn't have a proper uploader tagged.

This credit system has been revised a couple of times over the years, as development of BetaArchive is an ongoing process we've refined and upgraded the process which means older releases may not have the full source information. I try to fill in this information as well as I can, but the fact is that some info will be lost to time.

There is a set of guidelines and procedures I follow when setting the proper credit information. There are a few exceptions and optional conditions but I'll try to outline it all:

  • Uploader always get primary credit. If you uploaded it to the FTP under a member name this is the name that will be added to the credits. If the release was uploaded using a member account that member owns the credit. If it was uploaded using the public upload account the upload folder name owns the credit, but only if it's a valid BetaArchive member. If not then the release is tagged as anonymous. Exceptions: If member adds a readme giving away the credit to an another BetaArchive member or if member requests anonymous release. This only applies to member account uploads and not public upload accounts.
         
  • Public links on the forum don't count as proper credit source. If you just post a public link to the files on the forum anyone can download it and upload it to the FTP, then the previous guidelines automatically applies. I don't always read the forum posts before I process releases and I am not going to initiate a full investigation for every release. For every public link I find I reserve the right to download it myself and credit it anonymously or to myself for doing all the work of obtaining the files and process them for BetaArchive. I also reserve the right to find alternative sources for the files if it helps me getting the files faster and safer, again crediting it anonymously or to myself. Exceptions: If you contact me privately with links (that are not available on the forum) I'll do what I can to help you with the download, with full credits to yourself. Do not give me baidu links! I will be spending half my life downloading those...
         
  • External non-member credits are not permitted. You can't credit the release to a member not part of BetaArchive. Exceptions: In some special situations we can add an external name as source in the separate "release_readme.txt" file, but then it has to be part of some additional info in the readme written by the source.
         
  • Websites can't be named as source. Every release must be able to be traced back to a member (unless anonymous), which excludes the possibility of naming a website as source. Just as above, in some circumstances the external source can be mentioned in a standalone readme, but not by default.
         
  • Improved releases transfers credit to new uploader. If a member uploads a better and improved copy of a release the credit is automatically transferred from the previous uploader to the new one. Exception: The new uploader may choose to give away the credit to the old uploader, or a different member.
         
  • Anonymous uploaders stay anonymous. Under absolutely no circumstances will the anonymous uploader be revealed to anyone. Only two people on BetaArchive may have access to this information, being Andy and myself, and neither of us will reveal any sources. As the FTP admin I always hold the primary contact with uploaders. Any public uploads uploaded in an anon folder or invalid member folder will be treated as anonymous. If you do a member upload please leave a message with the upload or contact me immediately through PM to inform me. Exceptions: None!

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For those of you interested, here are the major revisions we made of the crediting system:

  • Version 1.0:
    The members name got credited in the file "www.betaarchive.co.uk.info" at the very top with the prefix "Uploaded by [member name]". On the second line the date of the processing was added, which doesn't correspond to the date the member uploaded it, but the date I verified and packed up the release. All previous untagged releases remained untagged as the source can't be determined, but these will considered as anonymous and tagged with a simple "-" as member name.

  • Version 1.1:
    We changed the main domain address to http://www.betaarchive.com, so all the tags were adjusted accordingly. The general layout remained the same.

  • Version 1.2:
    I added a fourt line (third one being just a blank) noting if the release was original, i.e from an original source. This could be from tape, floppy, optical media and even from a web address. The line was simple, "This is a copy from original media..

    Code:
    Uploaded by mrpijey
    2015-03-23

    This is a copy from original media.

  • Version 2.0 (current format):
    The old "www.betaarchive.com.info" format was decided to be defunct with the major changes the FTP went through. We went from single RAR archives to multi-RAR archives and folder names, as well as deduplication. We also added the new highscore list. To better fit the new FTP layout a new file format was devised. This time an additional file was added to the release, called "release_info.txt". This new file is supposed to over time replace the old format, but at this time it was decided to keep both for a multitude of reasons, most importantly that my release tools I use still rely on the old format. release_info.txt contains several lines, here is an example:

    Code:
    Uploader : mrpijey
    Date     : 2015-03-23

    Original : Yes
    Source   : Microsoft MSDN

    --------------------------------------------------------
    [general BetaArchive release disclaimer]
    --------------------------------------------------------


    The contents is pretty clear. First line is the member who uploaded the release, second text line is date of processing/release. Third text line is if it's original, i.e dumped from an original media or sourced directly from a web address. One requirement to have this flag set to Yes is proper scans included, or a web address that still works. Fourth text line is the actual source which can be anything from "CD-ROM", "DVD-ROM", "Floppy" to just like the above, "Microsoft MSDN" or even a web address if needed. Everything below the fourth line is a general BetaArchive release disclaimer, removed in the above example but can be found in every release.

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Now, the change from Version 1.2 to 1.3, and 1.3 to 2.0 has caused some glitches. First, the information if the release is original. Since I didn't tag the Version 1.1 releases as originals a lot of our releases on the FTP may be original, but lacks this tag. Second, the Source info is missing in a lot of releases. I try to fill in this as much as I can (easiest with original discs, floppies and MSDN releases) but some of this info will forever be lost. I am currently working on ways to re-process all releases and make sure pre-2.0 file tags etc are removed and properly merged into the 2.0 format. So a lot of files may lack some or all the proper FTP files depending on their age.

There are some future ideas on how to expand this file with more information. To reduce the amount of release files each folder has some of the ideas are as following:

  • Include license numbers in the release (removing release_serial.txt).
  • Include a secondary external source. This could be problematic as it often wouldn't be possible to verify it, therefore it could be abused and falsified.
  • Include additional release information (removing release_readme.txt).
  • Include additional file name information (removing release_altname.txt).
  • Include media error log (removing release_errors.txt).

Remember however that the entire filename system could be scrapped once the new database goes online, since all the relevant information will be contained there. However how credit is given will remain the same.

If you have any ideas on how to improve the crediting system, or got some questions or concerns let me know. I am always open to realistic improvements of the current system.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Concerning crediting a release        Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:44 pm 
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What has me concerned is that although I've uploaded more than 9 releases, I still haven't actually been credited.
Not that it really matters, but maybe you just forgot to edit them.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Concerning crediting a release        Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:39 pm 
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That can be of a lot of reasons... you could have uploaded them wrong. You could have just linked to the files. They could have been replaced with a better copy by an another member. They could have been discarded due to incomplete upload etc.... PM me with what you uploaded and we'll see what's missing.

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