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Author Topic: Why does OOPA not use torrents?  (Read 1877 times)
Squish
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« on: March 23, 2015, 10:12:18 AM »

Hi there

All the magazine releases are so far provided through download services, but these are annoying, ad filled, slow and tedious (unless you shell out the cash).

Does OOPA get some kind of revenue from using these? Otherwise it seems like it would make everything a million times easier for everyone involved to simply use bittorrent to distribute.
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meppi
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 04:25:43 AM »

Well the problem with torrents is two-fold.

In the past, when talking to certain publishers they made it clear to us that they didn't want us using torrent sites due to their nature in providing just about any kind of illegal materials you can find on a computer.
Granted, from what I recall, and I may be mistaken here, these were US based publishers, but still.
I forgot the exact details since it's quite a while ago and my memory isn't really the best.

Another issue with torrents that we ran into in the past was the problem with seeding them.
The sad truth is, most people just hit and run, leaving the seeding up to us.
And having to keep seeding hundreds of files with new ones cropping up on a weekly basis if releases go smoothly just isn't something that's viable for me.

I'd be the first to admit that a filehost isn't the ideal solution, especially since many of them have turned out to be very fickle and burn their paying customers when they seem fit without blinking an eye.
It wouldn't be the first time that they suddenly change the TOS in such a way that we either lose the option to store everything we've got, or distribute it all in a somewhat download friendly manner.

I've picked file factory after the last instance when such a thing occurred, for the fact that they were, and still are as far as I'm aware, the most download friendly site that lets us have 100GB of trafficshare. Which means that every month, people can download a certain amount without any hassle before the system reverts to the catcha type of stuff.

There is some kind of reward system in place at file factory, but I would in no way call it a revenue stream.
We've been using the download site for about two years now and in total, right at this point I am able to redeem a voucher for an extension of 180 days. That's it! lol
Seeing as a one year premium account costs about €80 and the site hosting is another €150 a so a year, I don't think we'll ever get in the black, and that's not the goal either. Wink
It it was in any way shape or form about the money you wouldn't see publishers give us permission (publicly or privately) to do what we do.
You won't be seeing a paypal button on the site anytime soon, certainly not as long as Neil, Carl and myself run this place.

At the very start of OoPA we actually were at the point of tearing the whole site down due to a previous partner wanting to monetise it with casino ads and the likes. That didn't go over very well with us, let us keep it at that. Wink

I did notice that with the latest update to their site, traffic share has been automatically turned off, even though it was always on by default before. So I switched it back on. Keep in mind that we run through that 100GB high speed bandwidth in less that 10 days, even in a slow month.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 04:34:50 AM by meppi » Logged
Squish
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2015, 06:24:31 AM »

Well, I can certainly see how that'd be a problem.

Perhaps in the future torrenting might not be such an issue.
For one thing, the overall Internet upload pool has increased and the prevalence of always on, low power computers is much greater. In the first few days of OoPA I'm sure you couldn't set up a reliable, always on NUC box and run servers on it for <$500.

Maybe also OoPA can think about giving seeding members earlier access to new releases or something as an incentive to maintain seeds. And using a passkey system (like private sites do) would keep the archive out of public trackers.

Anyway, just some suggestions.
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Nreive
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 02:11:29 PM »

I don't know about other countries, but in the UK, ISP services are legally obliged to block torrent sites.  So without resorting to backroute shenanigans, which could land the user in trouble - we can't access torrents.  Since around 50% of OoPA's visitors are from the UK, that would be like blocking out half of our visitors.  Torrents do have their place and they can be useful, but they have also been abused by users looking for copyright material.  It's the same with most things: someone abuses the system so everyone else suffers.
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KiwiArcader
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 04:47:23 PM »

Every couple of months I have the same questions around using torrents asked over at OGM and the answers are essentially the same as you have described here.

Sites like ours run on the smell of an oily rag. E.G we foot the bill for site hosting, file hosting costs and generally finding money to buy magazines and when needed, new scanners to replace the ones we've worn out. Unlike you I have a PAYPAL donation link but the fact of the matter is 999 out of 1000 people downloading the content we make for free never give anything back other than the occasional comment (either positive or negative). In fact the donations received towards my site in two years barely covered the cost of shipping a scanner off EBAY from the USA to New Zealand and that's about it really. However, like you guys I too don't like the idea of paid advertising links on my site as it then in my eyes takes the site to a whole new level. A donation is just that but advertising I regard as a revenue stream and I too won't go down that path.

However, the interesting thing with torrents is that it would decrease the costs of paying for a file host (or hosts if like me you use more than one for resiliency) thus making it cheaper. Most anyone can scrounge up an old PC that has been relegated to the basement due to it not being able to run the latest games anymore. My NAS runs 24/7 and has a torrent client built in too. At the end of the day other factors also come into play when shying away from torrents. Broadband plans that are "all you can eat" in NZ are traffic shaped and torrents are heavily shaped to ensure normal HTTP traffic doesn't suffer and no-one wants torrents sucking up bandwidth when you pay per MB or get throttled after your bandwidth is used.
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EarMuffs
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 10:22:47 PM »

Maybe not for download, but for preservation you could use something like BittorrentSync (there's an open source alternative). I have a 4tb hard drive in and always on server that could have presumably your whole (torent zipped) collection synced.

A different style platform would be ideal but that will come in time something like mnet/mojonation projects that Bram Cohen worked on prior to bittorrent. They would be well suited to archival and in a few years derivatives of these programs or derivatives of their ideas are going to reshape the net once again Smiley
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meppi
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 05:41:45 AM »

That certainly looks very interesting, although I'm not 100% sure about how it actually works.
Like you say, the net is always evolving and who knows what we'll be using in the future.
I certainly hope that something comes along that is much more convenient both for the people who want to download and for us who like to keep the files online as well.

As we all know, nothing lasts forever so that's why I always recommend for people to get the highest quality versions and keep them safe.
Files get corrupted, HDDs die, people pass away, or even monetary problems can get in the way of a project such as this.
Not to mention time constraints as I have been finding out myself recently.

So I would like nothing better to have the peace of mind that when, for whatever reason OoPA would cease to exist, these files would still be available to the people who'd want them.

Just to be clear. I'm not planning on going anywhere. Wink
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