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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 01:06

In response to Sim Architect now using a paid direct download service, and the following e-mail I received:

Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] QESsyYT



Hello User!!

I see you don't like our decision. But that's OK. In our line of work, it's really not possible to appease everybody. I could be cheesy now and simply say that if people don't like it, they can grab their direct downloads elsewhere, and that would be the end of the topic. But since I want to make this type of (semi-) off-topic commentary somewhat more frequently from now on, I don't want to miss the opportunity to elaborate more.

And you know what, just like with the last announcement of this type, I shall raise some political thoughts and implications.


Let's start with a little preview or introduction. With the advent of modern societies, or probably even earlier, humans have copied stuff from others, without their permission. Starting from copying entire books, or re-building some kind of machinery and taking full credit for it. Copyright and Patent enforcement measures were soon introduced, with limited effect I shall add. But fast forward today, with all technological advancements, we now have torrent swarms being monitored, direct downloads taken down, and social media pages removed/de-listed/shadow-banned. Not to mention the practice of simply cutting off one's internet if they are being warned too often by the ISP. How did we get there?

Well, definitely not in a day. And if things were to turn around (very unlikely), then it would take longer than a day as well. Now, someone will say:


Hypothetical commenter wrote:But Gh0stm4n! In the U.S., the entertainment sector is a very crucial part of the economy, and it's likely that publishers/film studios/etc. have close connections to government, lawmakers, and so forth...

That may indeed be true. But this is merely a statement or description of current affairs, and not really a justification or answer for the question as to why the situation came into being as it is now.

The basic question that needs to be asked, and for which - admittedly - there is no clear-cut answer: if someone pirates something, does this prevent them from using their own funds, to then purchase a legal copy, after the fact? One could point out that with certain items such as music and motion pictures, that once a person has viewed or otherwise enjoyed them, they won't be much inclined to go buy legal copies. Unlike with software or video games. But still, the question needs to be raised.

Isn't it so, that in most Western(ized) countries there is the common mantra of "individualism"? If someone falls ill and they cannot afford proper healthcare, it is being said that it is solely the fault of the person falling ill: he/she/it should have just signed up for a more expensive healthcare plan. If someone's job is being outsourced to a country with low labor costs and taxes, it is being said that it is solely the fault of the person that has just become jobless. He/she/it should just switch jobs or have learned something else. And if someone is poor? Their fault, they should just work hard, and everything will turn out just fine. Or something like that, anyways.

But alright! Let's extrapolate from the foregoing, some implications for G4TW's activities here. And those people that we happen to endorse. So if someone grabs a copy of something from G4TW, does this prevent them from going out and buying something, if they happen to like it enough? I don't think so. And after all, it's an individual decision, right?

No wait, scratch that. In reality, individualism only goes so far as the political elites in Washington D.C./Ottawa/London/Paris/Berlin/#whateverthehell want it to. And not according to logical principles. Now I bet there is somewhere around here a person with a background in medical science or psychology, pointing out:


Hypothetical commenter wrote:But Gh0stm4n!! What is commonly known as "cherry-picking" is in fact a psychological defense mechanism, which our ancestors employed to stay alive ...

OK, I'm willing to understand that, actually. But as with every single one of these theoretical principles, that's just going to invite problems as far as community management is concerned. For example, should we ditch the Forum Rules now completely, because everybody can then say the magic phrase "psychological defense mechanism"? Make no mistake: I do not hesitate in real-life as well to call people out if they are being too naive on issues.

Now back to topic. What does all of this have to do now, with the original concern raised by the commenter who e-mailed me? Assuming someone is a proponent of the mantra that everything in a human being's life is determined by "purely individual choices", then I suppose the same goes for these downloads, right? If someone does not like the format of something, there are alternatives available? Right??


As far as G4TW is concerned, we have talked to Sim Architect in the past about certain types of ads on his website, and he has agreed to modify or remove some of the more aggressive ads. We all make dubious or even unwise decisions at some point, so I would ask you to bear with Sim Architect. As of right now we see no reason to stop endorsing Sim Architect.

Sim Architect assists us a lot in the background with various things, even though he may not be as visible on the actual G4TW Forum as myself. And in contrast to that misleading e-mail, Sim Architect does ONLY ask for money, for direct downloads. These are OPTIONAL downloads. Something that by the way the old Admin on G4TW did as well, back in the days.

Again, I'm fully aware of that fact that many people cannot torrent from their home internet connection anymore, but also understand that - at least as far as G4TW are concerned - we only have so much to give. And don't get me started on using a custom VPS for hosting these direct downloads. I might as well paint a target circle on my forehead, and throw money into the trashcan.

Most people do not realize that managing direct downloads is extremely hard, especially if you don't have much technical resources, such as is the case with smaller communities like G4TW. The question that always raises itself, whenever a new TS4 DLC or update comes out: is it worth going through this hassle? I can tell you that using paid direct download services is only going to attract heat, at some point. These downloads tend to get taken down easily and quickly...but if Sim Architect decided that this is the way to go for him, then good on him! On G4TW here, we would be a lot more hesitant though, for various (and hopefully obvious) reasons.

Sim Architect also messaged me about this a while back, but due to internet problems I was unable to respond to it earlier. The money that is earned through these paid subscriptions goes back again to maintaining better hosting solutions. So yes, I see no problem with Sim Architect doing his thing. Time will tell whether - and to what extent - people will appreciate the service. All of that will solely depend on Sim Architect and how he makes his decisions.

Nobody has to agree with my stance on the issue. But then don't make a drama out of it, and just move on to other offers for direct downloads. For example, if you don't mind enduring the Linkvertise-ads on G4TW, then just use our direct downloads-stuff instead.


To conclude with the issue. When ThePirateBay uses a bitcoin miner and pornographics ads, there are no issues at all. When a former guest contributor/news reporter on G4TW uses our platform to ask for donations to another - and unrelated - video game repacker: no problems. When a staff member from an entirely different download platform uses G4TW to ask for money to them: who cares?

But then again, I feel that for some strange reason many people are a lot more critical when it comes to a tiny fringe platform like G4TW. As much as this may offend certain people, I am somewhat surprised by that. Is it really just constructive criticism, or rather a pretext for personal and hidden agendas?

Again, my personal opinion as far as G4TW operations are concerned is, that we can do direct downloads without asking for money. The néw format of TS4 repacks offers something like an attempt to create consistent direct downloads for everything about TS4. We yet have to see how good the links will "hold" in the longer term. But I myself would not ask for money, in return of me simply uploading these things on GoogleDrive.

We use the Linkvertise, and we have purely optional donations, and that is all.

I also don't accept donations to my persona, because that has been asked on occasion. If you like our work and want to support us, then endure the Linkvertise. And if you really have too much money left, then use the official PayPal button on G4TW.

Make The Forum Great Red star from Carlos


Last edited by The_gh0stm4n on Sun 23 Feb 2020, 16:58; edited 1 time in total
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by Freezer Bunny on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 22:03

I think paying some money in return for direct downloads (especially for bigger items like an All-In-One) is reasonable, but everybody has to decide on their own if it's "worth it", in the end. 

G4TW also offers now direct downloads, and we are working on a supplement to the new format for TS4 repacks too. Razz

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 22:35

In the meantime I got a follow-up (from the same commenter as before):

Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] 512LTnN


No, just because we endorse Sim Architect, it doesn't mean we will endorse scamming-websites. Very poor attempt at a counter-argument, I've seen better ones honestly!

And yes, everybody "can" create a torrent based on a Sims 4-folder. But not everybody - including the commenter sending these e-mails - may realize the potential value of presenting the format in such a way. Look: most repackers just create .iso files or other fancy installers. And in itself that's cool, nothing inherently wrong with that! But having a torrent where you can pre-select individual components of it in the torrent preview when you load up the magnet for the first time, can serve as a backup repository of the latest Sims 4 files.

I suggested the idea back when anadius was still very active on G4TW. The basic idea was that Sim Architect's All-In-One torrent would then serve as a supplement to anadius's validator-tool, in that people can load up the torrent and download fresh versions of specific files. I mean, fresh versions of files that showed up as defective or otherwise missing, according to the log of anadius's validator tool. Nowadays we kind of have the same now, with the new TS4 format. But I still think that a torrent that directly contains an entire TS4 folder can serve as a helpful tool. Even though it is unusual, and not without difficulties of its own (people must configure antivirus exclusions beforehand).

Not sure about the last paragraph of the e-mail. Fake attempt at flattery? Because in my mind, someone who implies that
A) I am stupid ("you misunderstand my reasons") and
B) I support scamming websites

definitely doesn't care about G4TW. Oh, and the argument about "it will destroy G4TW's reputation". Well, people said the same when we introduced the Linkvertise. But guess what, we're still here, and have no plans of going anywhere else. Besides: unlike pretty much all other video game repackers, I don't think that being 'too popular' is necessarily a welcome trait, in our line of work. It will just attract unwanted attention, and make us more susceptible to hostile interferences; unfortunate victims of "popularity" included ThePiratebay, GoodOldDownloads, among many others.

I understood your initial concern fully well, thank you, but I'm not convinced of your "arguments" (I use the term loosely here). Not even remotely.

Next!
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by Sim Architect on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 04:36

Hi. Thanks for clarifying everything @The_gh0stm4n!

Let me explain why I made made some unpopular choices, so people understand my context and some of my reasons.

1. I am a poor "semi disabled" foreigner with an income that's less than half of what's considered minimum for welfare standards where I live. I had to be without the heat on during most of last two winters, no pain medication or visits to the doctor because I can't afford the co-pay. Some people who criticize us are born in the first world already, have (or had) a nice job, saved money etc;

2. My content is always available for FREE if you use Torrents and I also even give priority to the IPs of people who asked for it by leaving comments on my website, even though I should not have to do that, but I do my best whenever I can;

3. Our "conversion rate" (revenue per visitor) for ads is WAY WAY WAY low if compared to a regular YouTuber / Blogger, because we don't attract wealthy people;

4. The paid premium membership is completely optional and the few people who donate do it because they want to help and knowing they could totally download the content using torrents;

5. I have been working on it for years, most of my productive time (when not sleeping or too tired / in pain), for FREE, and only started monetizing about a year ago because I was really desperate and unable to fund my "volunteer work / hobby" without some help from ad revenue or the likes, anymore. My YouTube channel would make me less than 10 USD/month typically;

6. Besides the time and energy everything costs money! We need a proper internet connection to be able to seed a torrent, even if it's only for the first couple of days, or the files on a 50 GB torrent could take days, maybe more than a week, to be fully available. A decent computer is also a necessity to do proper work. Computers burn tons of electricity as well, specially if you're working intensively on them for 16 hours a day.

7. A few generous souls suggested that I should offer Patreon and Donation links on my website, and so I did. I am VERY grateful for the people who subscribed to help me out.

8. I am NOT begging for money to feed myself here or anywhere else (if I ever have to do that, I'll just do a "go fund me" thing or make a post somewhere saying I am starving and needing money for food etc, it was not necessary so far), just explaining my situation. Anybody that helps does that because they want to. I am not starving and I don't want people donating me money so I can have heat, medication or pay up to 885 euros / year to see a doctor and have blood tests that can wait another couple of years, I won't die from it. But I think it's fair enough, considering the amount of energy, time and resources I put onto this, that I get a little extra money here and there that can help me on keeping the lights on and not applying for a personal termination (euthanasia, I can have them "put me down" with dignity if I give up, and I was close to do that many times during the past decade).

I really appreciate you all understanding my reasoning and, please, do not go donate me money as a charity thing, I am NOT starving, I will survive. I promise I post something on my website asking for help before I move forward applying for euthanasia, if that ever happens.


Last edited by Sim Architect on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 16:30; edited 1 time in total

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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by Rikerbabe on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 15:26

I have NO problems,Sim Architect...Just wanted you to know that

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Post by Sim Architect on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 16:28

@Rikerbabe wrote:I have NO problems,Sim Architect...Just wanted you to know that

Thanks for understanding! I do the best I can with what I have. I hope I am not "cancelled" because I am poor and need revenue.

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Post by Unesty on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 18:57

It's a very spoiled thing to think people should just do things for free for you. Preparing these downloads, it takes time, finding a decent host for the direct download, that takes time, seeding the torrent - takes time. 

@Sim Architect and @The_gh0stm4n you guys take time out of your lives to make the downloads happen and keep the forum tidy. I have no problems with the ads nor the money thing, though i didnt know it because i dont care about sims 4 anymore.

Working is trading your time with money. And when people spend their time to make stuff happen it is not my choice to decide if it should be free or not. Decision belongs to that person and I don't think we get to critisize it. 

In conclusion, I am behind this decision.

And about @The_gh0stm4n 's first message, I will buy the games I like. I have a few games right now which i like but dont have the money to buy. Do you know what I'd do if there were no pirated versions of them? I wouldn't buy the game! It's just that simple. So no, piracy doesn't effect the sales made, at least to me and I can guess a lot of people are like me.

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Post by Sim Architect on Wed 19 Feb 2020, 19:06

@Unesty wrote:It's a very spoiled thing to think people should just do things for free for you. Preparing these downloads, it takes time, finding a decent host for the direct download, that takes time, seeding the torrent - takes time. 

@Sim Architect and @The_gh0stm4n you guys take time out of your lives to make the downloads happen and keep the forum tidy. I have no problems with the ads nor the money thing, though i didnt know it because i dont care about sims 4 anymore.

Working is trading your time with money. And when people spend their time to make stuff happen it is not my choice to decide if it should be free or not. Decision belongs to that person and I don't think we get to critisize it. 

In conclusion, I am behind this decision.

And about @The_gh0stm4n 's first message, I will buy the games I like. I have a few games right now which i like but dont have the money to buy. Do you know what I'd do if there were no pirated versions of them? I wouldn't buy the game! It's just that simple. So no, piracy doesn't effect the sales made, at least to me and I can guess a lot of people are like me.

Thanks for your kind words @Unesty!

I could not agree with you more! People donate money to streamers all the time on Twitch and Patreon, it's optional, they get "perks" like icons and shoutouts. People can still download everything for free from my website, the only difference is that, if they want a direct download link, I need them to subscribe so I can send them a direct personal invitation allowing them to download the files directly using Yandex Drive (which I have to pay, due to the size of the files etc).

Sadly, the people who criticize most are usually the ones who don't need money, so it's easy for them to say anything, they don't relate to us.

Thanks for the support @The_gh0stm4n and @Unesty!

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 00:58

Thank you for sharing your perspective as well @Sim Architect. I shall offer myself some additional context. This is not exactly what the commenter from the e-mails talked about, but I will address that too.

It is absolutely possible to run G4TW completely without ads. Not that this really is a point of discussion, but in theory it is doable.

But: if - in a hypothetical scenario - we ran this thing without any ads at all, it would ultimately just make things harder for us. Now the question I have for the people here is this. Who benefits in the end from us having more difficulties? I see two major entities there. Most obviously one of the entities is going to be the actual copyright holders (EA). But a less obvious entity are going to be other video game repackers, with an agenda of their own. Maybe these other repackers have ads of their own, or maybe they just want to gather enough clout, so that introducing ads at a later point might be accepted more readily by their followers. The old Admin on G4TW for example did not use any ads for the first few years on this Forum, until he started to put some links behind the adfly.

So I ask the people again: what's the chance that a random commenter on the internet postulating that "repackers should not use ads or ask for donations", falls into one of the two above-mentioned categories? I'd say at least 95%, though of course this is really just an opinion that I cannot back up with direct evidence.

Couple that with the tendency in Christianity-based cultures (= the majority of Western countries) to hide monetary/pragmatic motives behind a wall of either idealistic or pseudo-rational arguments, and you have e-mail messages like the above. Accordingly, what some people openly say is that ads are bad because they "make things difficult for users", but what they actually mean to say is that ads are bad because the ads conflict with whatever their own agendas may be.


Hypothetical commenter wrote:But you guys on G4TW also have an agenda!11111

Yes, we do. But the difference is, that I don't go around to unrelated sites and complain and argue all the time about ads or other internal policies that they may use. We mind our own business on G4TW here, and I suggest everybody else does the same. Not sure why people from unrelated websites feel so inclined to lecture me all the time about "how G4TW should be run".


Hypothetical commenter wrote:But is it not allowed to criticize things anymore?!?!11111

You are absolutely allowed to provide constructive suggestions, in a polite manner. But again, in reality most of the "criticism" that we get around here boils down to suggestions to not use ads at all. Which we won't do.


Hypothetical commenter (on American social media platform) wrote:I am a representative of [insert scene/warez group here]. Repackers are not supposed to use ads at all, unless they have explicit permission from the scene.

So I thought I briefly address this one here as well. And yes, this is a literal quote from a very well-known and big American-based social media platform. But let's see ... at the end of the day everybody can pose on the internet as a "representative of the scene", and post whatever they fancy. Whether they really are, who they claim to be; or how exactly "permission from the scene" is obtained, will never be known for sure I guess. Now I don't want to say this is completely out of this world. But nonetheless, if you want an attempt at a moral justification of what we do on here: we try and give explicit credit to the creations of other groups, and we also provide Support to the best of our experience and knowledge.
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Post by Sim Architect on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 02:29

I am ruminating on this since I got to know some people hate me (even if it's a minority) just because I was forced to use ads and have a premium access program so I could make a bit of a revenue.

If anything happens to me some of my blood will be on their hands.

Crying or Very sad

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Post by The_gh0stm4n on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 02:46

@Sim Architect wrote:I am ruminating on this since I got to know some people hate me (even if it's a minority) just because I was forced to use ads and have a premium access program so I could make a bit of a revenue.

If anything happens to me some of my blood will be on their hands.

Crying or Very sad


You know what, I will do something very controversial now. Without exposing the user's personal info, I will say this. The user who sent the above messages is a personal friend of the rogue ex-Admin, and he has been "vocal" in the past about these policies. I'm not saying more, and I'd prefer we all leave it at that. But just as a little bit of additional background. This whole topic is really just about a personal bias towards you @Sim Architect. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am fully aware that I could just ignore idiotic e-mail messages. But the reason I am starting these #beef #drama threads is to get a point across, if I deem it necessary. And for a little bit of entertainment as well, I suppose.

I tip my fedora.
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by Sim Architect on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 03:05

If that's the person I think it it shame on them, because they're monetizing on YouTube since a while ago and they don't seem to need revenue, meaning I was actually accurate when I said it's easy for them to judge me.

I would not have ads (who likes ads?) or premium memberships if I did not need the money.

I don't feel the subject entertaining, but hurtful, sadly. VERY hurtful, I could not even sleep last night, to be honest.

But the matter had to be brought to light, because it's quite unfair of them to discriminate me just because I have ads on my website and offer paid extras that are completely optional and only for people who want more convenience and don't want the side effects of peer to peer to download their files.

Crying or Very sad


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Enjoy the game however you want it, because you own it!

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The Sims 4 All in One Portable [All Versions Available, Including the Latest, Always HERE]
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by Mynxie on Sun 23 Feb 2020, 01:34

I'm a struggling college student and I love The Sims series. If it wasn't for people like @Sim Architect and @The_gh0stm4n I wouldn't be able to play The Sims at all. Words cannot express just how thankful I am for the work y'all put in. Thank you so much. ^_^

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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Rihanna_signature_by_spakkietto-d3fyvow
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by grieralexander on Sun 23 Feb 2020, 02:51

@Sim Architect wrote:If that's the person I think it it shame on them, because they're monetizing on YouTube since a while ago and they don't seem to need revenue, meaning I was actually accurate when I said it's easy for them to judge me.

I would not have ads (who likes ads?) or premium memberships if I did not need the money.

I don't feel the subject entertaining, but hurtful, sadly. VERY hurtful, I could not even sleep last night, to be honest.

But the matter had to be brought to light, because it's quite unfair of them to discriminate me just because I have ads on my website and offer paid extras that are completely optional and only for people who want more convenience and don't want the side effects of peer to peer to download their files.

Crying or Very sad

People love to complaint and be opinionated...so, following that trend, I will give you my 2cents worth: Do not even care about what someone else's think on how or what you should be doing. For my part, I appreciate your efforts Carlos is tha man
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Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama] Empty Re: Someone says we should not endorse Sim Architect because of paid direct downloads: my response. [#beef #drama]

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sun 23 Feb 2020, 16:57

I got another - and particularly stupid - response from that same person, but I think I already gave them too much clout. Time to close this thread. Because otherwise we're getting into the territory of delirious rambling.

"See" you all again, on the next #beef #drama-thread! In fact, I may already have a (very controversial) topic for that, but let's see!

I tip my fedora.
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