Do you folks ever remember a time when Geometry Dash really made NG musicians flourish? No, I don't either.
I know I haven't been posting much due to my state of mind and my circumstances, which have made me worse for wear. But now that I am putting up a frontpage post for this, I think it's time to address something that has been eating away at NG for three years now.
We moderators and regulars of the audio portal have had to deal with this... cancer, there is no other way to put it... since Geometry Dash's release. You know the drill, what the vast majority of these users do:
- They treat off-brand and new artists on Newgrounds like shit.
- They harrass well-established musicians on Newgrounds, like @Waterflame, @Xtrullor and @ThisIsTheFatRat, pressing them to enable download on ALL their songs or make them available for use on Geometry Dash.
- They don't treat music as an art form, but instead treat it like some sort of commodity.
- They flood the Audio Portal with Skrillex, MLG, Five Nights at Freddy's, and a whole host of songs made by others which they do not have rights to.
- They impersonate well-established artists on Newgrounds and outside, just so that they could have their songs played in Geometry Dash. @Rukkus suffered the same treatment recently, with a user pretending to be him going by the name of @sukkur. We've also had people impersonating Pegboard Nerds, @OfficialPandaEyes, @ThisIsTheFatRat (which prompted him to make a page here on this site), Xtrullor, and even J- and K-pop artists.
- Once banned, they revenge flag users' legitimate songs (yes!), but of course we moderators can see that what they're doing is a whole load of rubbish and that gets undone very quickly.
- They fire off abusive comments on people's songs, and passive-agressive messges on people's inboxes. The relevant artists and moderators take the brunt of it, of course.
And why? Because they think they should be able to steal whatever they want just for their five minutes of fun. Of course, all the moderation on Newgrounds is done by humans like you and me -- there are no bots that automatically give revenue to the people and parties whose rights are infringed.
I'll give you an example of the kind of mail we are given on a constant, along with a response I posted, for demonstrative purposes.
GD user whose name I will not disclose:
Hello! I would like to talk to you about other people's songs in ng. You say that we put other people's songs, and it's not a dump ng for songs that you want to see updates to Geometry Dash. But if not, our team and the GD robtop your website you would not have become popular ever! Your site no one knows except us! The same rukkus xtrullor and express our gratitude. I ask you to unlock and everyone who puts other people's songs. Waiting for your reply!
One: our site knows TheWeebl, James Lee, Egoraptor, the late Eddsworld, Chluaid, Waterflame, Xtrullor and F-777. We knew Alien Hominid, SexualLobster, Castle Crashers and Meat Boy, a good few of which have become actual MASS-SELLING CONSOLE TITLES. PS4 and Xbox 360. I go to Game and CEX and I still see the hard copies and gift vouchers for Newgrounds creations.
So don't be so fucking pretentious as to think that just because your precious little game has exploded in popularity that NG was never big. I got news for you buddy, NG was achieving big looooong before you guys showed up.
Two: Talking about Waterflame, Ruckus, Xtrullor. Let me give you a scenario.
You make music that you put hours into. Someone approaches you saying "let me put this in my game." You get the fans -- but not the money. RobTop doesn't fucking care about musicians like us. While the ad revenue is all going into HIS pocket, us musicians are getting absolutely ZERO.
Oh and, fans aren't gonna pay the bills. UNLESS they give the musicians their fair share of remuneration (hint: which they WON'T).
I might add that an ever increasing number of musicians here, including Waterflame and Envy, have now taken to performing rights societies in their respective countries to insulate themselves from people like you who think they can use their music for free without consequence, after all the hard work.
I am NOT going to unlock anyone's songs for Geometry Dash if they are not going to comply with NG rules. That is to say, if they didn't make it themselves, it does NOT BELONG HERE. End of story. And if you think RobTop is behind you on this one, you can go tell him to fucking stuff it.
A few months back, I remember saying in my newsposts that I was determined to start a petition calling for the removal of Geometry Dash from the Play Store and its Apple equivalent.
EDIT: While I am appreciative of all of you who supported me and others who are frustrated by this, I have an important update. @BrentHeMan in his comments has said that he is working on a solution with RobTop with regards to the mechanics of GD's audio share. I doubt anyone is ready to disclose what it is at the moment, and I understand. I just wish it was all disclosed earlier, and that our frustrations didn't have to explode -- because it's one thing going to the upper echelons, it's another thing when the rest of us are dealing with seemingly futile damage control.
I am going to mull over it, over the night, and probably table some recommendations tomorrow. If we reach an amicable solution (which I sincerely hope we do!), I will gladly void the petition, because the threat that we saw coming to NG will have been averted.
EDIT: Comments have told me that the game has effectively been removed from Steam, and some people are saying it's also been removed from the Play Store. I'm glad the petition has sent shockwaves pretty much everywhere, because it took this for not only the GD people to get pissy, but also for the NG staff to actually say SOMETHING with regards to where we are at with GD hotfixes.
Yes, you heard that right, hotfixes. It took something as extreme as a petition, which has been in the pipeline for six months, for things to finally get a fucking move on.
So calm yourselves down, the game is coming back eventually. As for when, it's anyone's guess. Us regulars and mods who deal with the strain day in, day out, consider this a victory of sorts. To be honest, I'm quite pleased. I don't miss it. But if it comes back, then I sincerely hope that it comes back in a way that actually gives respect to the users over here. Don't just think about RobTop and yourselves. Think about us lot too. Screwing people out of ad revenue and $ share which is rightfully theirs would not be allowed on Newgrounds, so it shouldn't be fine on GD either.
Oh and, the vitriol in the comments and on Twitter are proof enough as to just how toxic the GD community really is, it's proof enough for yourselves. And yes, sometimes I am pissed off enough to give off a few uncharitable responses too. At this point, I am sorry ONLY FOR THE UNCHARITABLE RESPONSES. I am not sorry for this petition. I have no regrets.
For all the comments related to my mother, my supposed voluntary lack of virginity or whatevs, there is always gonna be that one user in ten who has a modicum of common sense, even though they disagree. Keep being awesome.