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Old 20 February 2007, 15:53   #1
squirminator2k
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Dream17 offline indefinitely: details to follow...

A couple of weeks ago Dream17 made the move to a brand new server. There were some kinks - there's an upper file limit of 50 MB per file so the larger files such as the Worms3D/Worms4 patches had to be split into multiple files then rejoined on the server. On the whole the move went rather well, and SupSuper used the moved as an opportunity to launch the new design we've been working on since the start of the new year.

The site kept going offline because of high bandwidth use in a short space of time - the 3D Worms games' patches. We made those patches unavailable from the site and everything seemed to be fine.

But then our hosts, Heart Internet, contacted Adam, the reseller who sold us the website and, as it happens, a good friend of mine. Apparently we've broken some copyright law by putting Team 17's Amiga back-catalogue up on the internet, so they have disabled the site until I get on the FTP and remove every single file that offends them. As we are clearly in breach of Copyright law, we have no choice but to comply.



EVen before Dream17 first launched, I contacted Martyn Brown about the idea of us hosting the old Amiga games in ADF format and he didn't have any objections. I had to contact him again later on when we were in talks with the CAPS Project (now SPS) regarding hosting the IPF versions of the disk images. They wanted his blessing for that, and again Martyn gave us the green light. So we've had authorisation to host the files not once, but twice.

Naturally, I'm not going to take the files down.

But! Even in the face of the undeniable evidence they still say that we misled them into thinking that we had made the games and that also they are Freeware, which they're not. So we have to take them down. I have not once, either in correspondence or on the website, claimed that Team 17's games have become freeware or abandonware. We're just in a lucky enough position - as Back to the Roots was a few years ago, to have obtained permission to host the files.

But Heart doesn't care. They want the files gone or they're not reactivating the website.

I'm going to continue to fight this. Adam - the aforementioned reseller and friend - is also going to continue to fight this. The demand they are making is entirely... well, it's b*ll*cks. And to demand we take the files down anyway because we didn't make them is pretty golly gosh darned stupid of them. I'm not resting until this is resolved, which means sadly Dream17 is offline indefinitely.
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:15   #2
alexh
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Ask your ISP to provide the proof that you have broken any copyright. Under UK law you have a right to face your accuser. Threaten to sue them for breach of terms and conditions if they dont provide you evidence or switch you back on.

It is against the law for your ISP to take you down for more than a short period of time (while they carry out their investigation) with out proof that your content is illegal.
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:16   #3
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is there no way team17 can integrate and host the site as part of their own webpages ?
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:23   #4
squirminator2k
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alexh: This is exactly what my friend Adam has done. You may enjoy reading the email he's sent them.

Matt: I don't know, I've not approached them about it.
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:27   #5
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Conversation between Adam and I just a moment ago:

Adam says:
i've asked him what he would consider acceptable evidence that the files were authorised
Adam says:
reply: 'i once again request that the files be removed'
Ben / S2K says:
ON what grounds? He has no legal basis for this!
Adam says:
exactly
Ben / S2K says:
Ah, and now they've taken my blog down, too.
Adam says:
why?

Edit: And now my blog is working again.

Last edited by squirminator2k; 20 February 2007 at 16:32.
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:39   #6
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Hi squirminator,
  • How much web space do you need to host the whole Dream17 website ?
  • Do you have one idea of the bandwidth you were using when the full website was online (by day or by month) ?
  • Is you website 100% legal ? (or do you have all authorisation needed ?)

If those numbers are cool for me, I can offer you one hosting on the abime.net network
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Old 20 February 2007, 16:47   #7
squirminator2k
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  • In its current form Dream17 uses approximately 2.1 GB of space, and we'd probably be looking at more as we still have CD32 games we don't yet have up on the site.
  • Er... *lots*. Certainly before we put the Worms 3D/Worms4 patches up we were approaching the 10 GB per month mark, and this would've gone further.
  • I can confirm, as can Martyn Brown at Team 17, that all of the APFs, IPFs and ISos we have are fully authorised. We are also an authorised mirror for current game patches.

Edit:
* Adam emailed the company to say, in brief, “You’ve got no legal grounds to demand Ben removes the files, so put the site back up or we’ll take the legal action.”
* “Robert” at Heart says, “Remove the files.”
* Adam informs him that we can offer conclusive evidence that we have authorisation to host such files.
* “Robert” at Heart says, “Remove the files.”
* Adam says, “You didn’t answer my question.”
* “Robert” at Heart says it’s irrelevant as such files are against the Terms & Conditions of hosting.
* I ask “Why?”. Robert can’t actually hear me, and Adam says Heart refuses to speak to me because I am “just” the end-user. What a lovely company.
* Adam asks "Robert" to say what terms and conditions specifically have we broken.
* "Robert" at Heart refuses to say what they are. Possibly he has made up some new terms and conditions just to bugger us about a bit more.

Last edited by squirminator2k; 20 February 2007 at 17:04.
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:04   #8
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I would try not to generate too much email traffic in Martyn Brown's direction or he may start to wonder if you are more trouble than you are worth
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:08   #9
squirminator2k
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My Dad has offered some good advice: "You should send letters to every gaming and PC magazine, every website that reviews games and your local TV and radio news and newspapers. I guarantee that if you get then story out there, someone will offer to host Dream 17 and you'll get tons of publicity."

So, if you read a gaming magazine that has a "Mailbox" or "Readers' Letters" page, find out the email address and pass it on to me. You can reach me by typing ben.paddon, followed by the curly "at" symbol, then typing gmail.com at the end.
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:09   #10
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@squirminator2k

If RCK can help you out thats great, but if you need a place to park for a bit

(unlimitted traffic / datastore and no filesize capping ) gimmie a PM i would be happy to help!
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:25   #11
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Wowzer, everyone is offering me hosting at the moment! I've had offers from all over the shop.
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:26   #12
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Unfortunately, it looks like you picked the wrong hosting service and perhaps a switch should be looked at instead.

I would also bring this whole thing up with any potential new hosting service and find out exactly what they need, in writing to allow you folks to host these files on your site before ever going with any hosting service
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Old 20 February 2007, 17:39   #13
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Why, the "user" column in my blog's PHP database has MYSTERIOUSLY VANISHED, thus preventing me from posting further details of the dispute with Heart, my faithful webhosts!
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Old 20 February 2007, 23:51   #14
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Okay, abime.net is already under load, but here is what I offer you
  • a few giga of web space
  • no bandwidth limit (however big files download speed will be under control to prevent flooding)
  • latest php / mysql / mysqladmin
  • daily backup
  • it's free and tuned by me
However, I have some conditions:
  • you will have to use http://dream17.abime.net/ instead of your co.uk address. (I'm not hosted in UK and it will be a kind of 'approved' abime.net website for end-users)
  • all websites hosted by me doesn't have to be "benefit oriented", this mean I don't want to see any Advertisements, Paypal donation or Tshirt stuff.
I see that other people also offer you some hosting, this is a great thing to see scene is moving for hosting such website
If you are interested into my offer, just PM me once decided
ps: there is no time limit
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Old 21 February 2007, 00:00   #15
squirminator2k
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I'd have to think about it. Donate button and ads aside, we're very fond of the domain name (dream17.co.uk) and I'd hate to just set it as a standard HTML page that redirects people to another page.

As an alternative, how would you feel about just hosting some of our larger files - specifically the CD32 ISOs and the Worms patches?
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Old 21 February 2007, 04:23   #16
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I sent an email a while back before the move asking about bandwidth details of dream17 as I was going to offer to host it. Never got a reply :/ However now i see your requirement I'll put in an offer. I run the ExoticA site btw http://www.exotica.org.uk

I do not have unlimited bandwidth but could offer some hosting for the site also, but not wanting to step on toes, the abime offer is very good ;-)

I can also do a similar offer as abime, although bandwidth is not "unlimited" on my server and I would need to key an eye on this if it went out of control. (But for example if the site did 20-30gb a month it would be ok.

You can use your dream17 domain.

Latest php/mysql etc. You will have a page for phpmyadmin and webstats. I can also handle mail for this domain if you wish (pop3(s)/imap(s)/webmail)

No banner adverts, but if you want to flog some tshirts or take some donations that's ok. You can donate some to the hosting in that case though ;-)

There is one caveat for me hosting it though and that is the footer of every page needs to say something like "Hosting provided by ExoticA and Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information page for more details." Text link is fine, it doesn't need to be a banner or anything. Reason being is much of the bandwidth is sponsored by the company who hosts my machine, and this was their requirement (ExoticA also has these links)

Anyway. now you even more choice. The abime offer is very good too though.

[edit] oh you can contact me at buzz[at]exotica.org.uk

Last edited by BuZz; 21 February 2007 at 04:33.
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Old 24 February 2007, 19:27   #17
RCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirminator2k
As an alternative, how would you feel about just hosting some of our larger files - specifically the CD32 ISOs and the Worms patches?
I will have to decline, BW is that will cost me the most in the futur, and I need it for upcoming updates planned here.
Sorry to not be as great as you would like

Anyway, I suggest you to move to BuZz offer, Exotica is a very nice website, and BuZz support will be great. Moreover, you will have all advantages you could whish with no restriction
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Old 28 February 2007, 16:57   #18
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I've heard nothing back, so I guess his hosting problems are already solved ?
Or he's not watching this thread, as the dream17 site was updated today/yesterday. I did fill out the contact form on dream17 also to point him to my reply over here, but nothing.. oh well :/
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