Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not all right...

Heads up folks.  I have some new details to pass along to you, and much of it is pretty woeful.  To allay the fears of anyone concerned that Wilfully Obscure will be going offline, it wont.  In fact, new posts are to follow, albeit less frequently.  While the site is intact, every Rapidshare link was dismantled in one fell swoop this Sunday.  I was not notified of this unprovoked "transition," and it wasn't until I logged onto the R/S homepage that I learned that something was terribly amiss.  For the last five and a half years, I took advantage of the Swiss file sharing company's services, and for the bulk of that time was a paid "Pro-Rapids" member.  Upon learning that my account was "locked" and that the rug had been pulled straight out from under me, I emailed them for an explanation.  I received an utterly canned response this morning.  Portions of it follow below:

We have been informed that you violated our terms of use by distributing
copyrighted data through RapidShare. In case of premeditated violation of our terms of use, we reserve the right to close accounts and delete all content.

Accounts which have been blocked for this reason will not be restored...
the locking of accounts, due to suspicion of
distributing copyrighted data through our service is handled manually.
In your own best interest, we strongly recommend that you make sure to avoid
copyright infringements in the future.
I followed this up with both an email and a phone call to Switzerland.  The customer service representative adamantly refused to let me speak to someone in the division that made this decision.  As of now, I have no idea what files were in violation, who reported me, and worst of all I'm being denied any recourse.  It is unclear if my files (over 1000 of them) have been deleted or not.  I have not even been given private access to them, which is all the more frustrating.   
I fear that any further email from my end will be met with blind eyes, but there is strength in numbers.  If anyone would like to vouch for me (particularly folks in bands or those who own record labels that gave me permission to share any given piece of music) please email me and I will pass along details on how you can contact Rapidshare in my defense.  Despite any amount of protest I know that I'm likely screwed.  The obvious question is 'what next?'  Over the years I have gone out of my way to ensure I wasn't sharing anything commercially available, physically or digitally, so who's to say this won't happen again if I opt to resume and rebuild?  My policy has always been that if there's any possible instance I might be cheating an artist out of anything resembling earnings or royalties, it's not fit to be published or disseminated on this blog.
Rapidshare had provided such a reliable and consistent service for the entirety of Wilfully Obscure's run.  Certainly, there are other options - Netkups (which I'm taking limited advantage of), Sendspace, Divshare, Zippyshare, and likely a dozen more, but  I'm opening myself up to just as much vulnerability.  All it takes is one complaint, one DMCA notification, or the ill-advised discretion of some trigger happy moderator at one of these file sharing joints.
Nonetheless, as long as I stay online, much of what was lost will be coming back, just not all of it.  This will be a very long term project.  If anything else, over the next week or two I'm going to attempt to restore what I've shared in the last couple of months.  After that, I'm not promising anything.  You're welcome to make a polite request, and I'll do my best to fulfill it.  Above all else, I would appreciate your feedback on how you think it would be best for me to proceed.  A hearty thanks to anyone that's contributed to and read these pages.  Keep it lit.


Unknown said...

Well, it happened to me as well, so join the club. Anyway i won't bore you with my mediafire soapbox, it's uncanny how similar my situation was to yours. My approach is to get to some of the older post as I can fit them in or if there is just an overwhelming request frenzy for an older post. Otherwise, keep moving forward. The content is still available, just not the download, so its not a total loss. Your reviews are some of the best written in the community in my opinion and I've bought stuff just based on your reviews alone. Forge ahead. Thanks!

Mike said...

Sorry to hear this - just looking at the stuff you have posted its clear your are not pirating the latest big releases, just sharing a few old singles that would otherwise be forgotten.

I can see it from RS point of view though - assuming they received a complaint they probably had no choice.

Have you checked out the new Mega service? I know its getting a lot of press at the moment and is promising 'privacy' to users?

Good luck!

Matt Nauseous said...

A shame. I don't have any advice but wanted to convey moral support.

Unknown said...

Sucks to hear. You've posted some rare and obscure stuff that I can't imagine anyone would be upset about. Hell, you posted Popkid (my label) releases and I was just happy to see the music get out to people who might appreciate it.

Like Matt, I don't have any advice but wanted to just pass along a thanks for what you've doing and a best of luck in regards to picking up the pieces and continuing on.

I still have some stuff I want to send your way from Popkid bands. Live tracks, demos and outtakes that have never seen the light of day. When you're ready.

WC said...

So sorry that this happened, you aren't the first or the last, sadly :(

Sorry I can't type more, I have alot to say. I love your blog, like I'm big and gay for it and I check everyday. :)

Here's my point: OpenDrive. Church of Zer doesn't seem to have any problems, and Terminal Escape had similar problems as yourself (maybe even with RS) and switched to open drive.... so far so good!

Anyway, good luck! Please don't give up!


Michael Toland said...

That sucks. I can only echo the other folks here in that you've turned me on to a great number of bands I'd've never heard otherwise.

The Great White Wonders blog uses a service called filespot.io that seems pretty easy to use on the download end, as long as you can parse the cluttered pages. I don't know how it is on the upload end, though.

Josh said...

This same thing happened to me and bsidesrus, except it was with Megaupload.

Unfortunately I didn't have the time or energy to continue on at that point in time, I kind of wish I'd stuck it out sometimes.

I'm glad you're going to.

As for advice, I'm not sure if any one particular site is much better, as you said, they can - and do - seem to do this type of thing fairly regularly, and almost always without much of a warning.

The more permanent solution to this problem would be to shell out for a private server. But I'm sure that's not on the cards. And even then, that isn't foolproof.

I know how frustrating this whole situation can feel and hope you can get back on your feet without too much trouble.

All the best.

spavid said...

Thanks for your feedback and support, and moreover your patience for absorbing my long-winded spiel from last night. I'm going to carry on the best I can, though it's debatable what will become of the five-year backlog.

In short, my house was ravaged by a hurricane. I want to rebuild, but not in the face of another debilitating disaster. I will have to be extra judicious about what I share in the future. Too bad Rapidshare won't point out the specific posts that sank the entirety of my links.

Mega looks promising, and I'll also be investigating OpenDrive.

Glad you appreciate my writing Vinyl. Means a lot. Nice to hear from you as well Alan! Send me an email whenever: trusty73@roadrunner.com

Lucas Gelati said...



(read this as if I'm screaming, which I'm actually doing.)

spavid said...

Easy there Lucas, easy.

Duncanmusic said...

Try Adrive.com ...secure and easy.

Lucas Gelati said...

ok, ok.

Zippyshare seems like a good host, though it seems like Mega is going to be safer.

Unknown said...

hi spavid,

this is so rubbish - not all right indeed.

i hope you are able to get your data back.

don't think about throwing in the towl - that would be the saddest thing to come out of this unfortunate episode.

best and thoughts,

duncan (uk)

Benj said...

Wishing you the best of luck in the rebuild. I have no suggestions for file hosting but I know that we are all, in some way, at the mercy of internet mega-sites, regardless of privacy laws. I wish it were otherwise but it is truly David vs. Goliath out there.

I have found some true gems on your blog - either stuff I only have on vinyl or stuff I used to have on cassette many years ago. Our shared ties to upstate NY make is the icing on the cake. Hopefully you will find a solution soon!

WC said...

Please PLEASE keep writing and thinking aloud about music on the internet, even if the downloads are no longer possible. It's only half about the d/ls and some of us get alot out of music blogging besides free music.


gabbazoo said...

I always thought of the downloads as a bonus. Many times if I have been interested in something you posted on, even OOP items, a physical CD can be attained for a minimal expense. I realize this is not always the case or workable for many users, but just wanted to say that the content of the posts is valuable apart from the sharity. Even though there are alternatives, I suspect they are going to be picked off by the industry over time, so you will have to be changing no and then. If old files are n/a that might just become a fact of life...

spavid said...

Ultimately, if I meet the same fate with another file hoster as I did with R/S, this blog will still exist as an archive. The written content will remain intact (unless of course Blogger goes on a purging tear). Ugh. None of this is easy but I'm still giving it a go.

I appreciate the praise for all the writing I put into this, which believe it or not was the most challenging aspect (up until a few days ago at least).

Still haven't settled on a file hoster yet, but the good news is that this weekend I should have a progress report for you regarding repaired links and such. Thanks.