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UH-OH...what happened to DVDCoverart.com???

UH-OH...what happened to DVDCoverart.com???

 
Old 06-17-04, 10:12 AM
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hey many be an FTP server or something, but Michael I'm up for those Disney covers too. It's too bad Disney didn't have the forethought to hire you to do there covers for them.
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Old 06-17-04, 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by DarthVong
The writing was on the wall once Lucasfilm dropped the hammer. I suspected that eventually other companies would follow suit. I think we were fine when DVDCA was below the radar, but it just got to big and was easily noticed.

As far as the whole making-money issue. There's no other way to host a site with that much bandwidth usage for free. Sure there are alternatives, but nothing as stable as a website vs. peer-peer.

It was fun while it lasted. I'll miss seeing the numerous submissions by lesser known artist who contributed.
Hey Darth... long time no see
Well I have to say I agree with most of what you say, but theres a diffrence between making enough money to cover the costs, or makeing a lot more...

So lets see... 100 downloads cost 10$ right? And then lets say each cover is about 6mb in size (I know most are smaller) that makes a whooping 600mb traffic for the 100 credits. So what does traffic cost? The price for 1gb of traffic is about 1$ give or take a few cents, depending on your ISP... I know some are way more expensive, but I doubt the depot guys pay more then they have to... they're not dumb... so with that 1$ for one gig you can easily figure out that the 600mb traffic cost 60 cents right? so what happened to the other 9.40$? I know the admins didn't get paid... so where did all the money go? I mean last time I checked dvdca had nearly 100.000 users... if every user bought 100 credits the site had a revenue of 940.000$... not to bad I would say... but don't mind my brainless ramblings...

I just miss the good old days where we traded our labours of love just among the insiders and there was no money involved... *sigh*
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Old 06-17-04, 12:50 PM
  #53  
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Originally posted by Scaramanga
I wonder how it would eliminate the bandwith issues ?
P2P networks, at least the better ones, manage bandwidth very well. As covers get propagated, the load will be spread across everyone who is sharing them.

P2P is a great idea and with setting some standards (like filenames), it could work out very well.
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Old 06-17-04, 08:59 PM
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Sebastian,

Keep in mind you also get credits for downloads if you submit a cover. That means many people get free downloads in exchange for helping the database grow. The extra income from people who pay for the credits probably goes towards offsetting the free downloads. Judging by the size of the cover database, I would say there are alot of people who never pay for a download.
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Old 06-18-04, 06:56 AM
  #55  
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your calculations ignore the fact that by far way more downloads were made with credits earned from uploads or given free at signup than were purchased. it also ignores the costs of the servers, and the bandwith used by the pages themselves and the small/large previews (which is not negligible). before we shut down, we were using nearly a terabyte of bandwidth per month. shop around and see how much a reliable host offering a dedicated server, 100GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth per month costs. it's certainly not cheap

Originally posted by Sebastian
So lets see... 100 downloads cost 10$ right? And then lets say each cover is about 6mb in size (I know most are smaller) that makes a whooping 600mb traffic for the 100 credits. So what does traffic cost? The price for 1gb of traffic is about 1$ give or take a few cents, depending on your ISP... I know some are way more expensive, but I doubt the depot guys pay more then they have to... they're not dumb... so with that 1$ for one gig you can easily figure out that the 600mb traffic cost 60 cents right? so what happened to the other 9.40$? I know the admins didn't get paid... so where did all the money go? I mean last time I checked dvdca had nearly 100.000 users... if every user bought 100 credits the site had a revenue of 940.000$... not to bad I would say... but don't mind my brainless ramblings...

I just miss the good old days where we traded our labours of love just among the insiders and there was no money involved... *sigh*
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Old 06-18-04, 07:14 AM
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Wether or not any money is made out off it is completely irrelevant. The illusion is there, that's all that matters.

Someone somewhere suggested paying for MB's of bandwith instead of credits. So if you d/l 4 MB's you lose for example 4 credits ... 3,5 MB's and you lose 3,5 credits ...

No matter how hard I try, I just can't believe NO money AT ALL is made out off it. Sorry ....
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Old 06-18-04, 08:11 AM
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No matter how the pie is sliced it is obvious that money is being made. DVDCA is not a cover-the-cost only operation! That line went out the window a while ago. Sebastian's figures may not be 100% accurate but he cetainly is correct generally speaking.

Recent events only serve to verify this fact! There is one reason and 'ONE REASON ONLY' for the studio's to take this sort of action.
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Old 06-18-04, 08:26 AM
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Well regardless of where the money was or was not going it doesnt change that fact that without some type of cash system there's no way in hell the site would be as large as it was.

I'm sure there are not many here who havent benefited in some way from the existance of DVDCA. It's so easy to throw out accusations or criticisms, yet you cannot deny that the site served a purpose and provided many with covers, cover elements, tips, and a place to truly showcase their labors of love.

Was it perfect? No, not at all, but it was/is the best coversite out there. I'm glad Matt gave me the chance to have a place to offer my covers to others and to give me the ability to contribute in other ways to a hobby that I have loved for over 3 years.
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Old 06-18-04, 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by johnf14
No matter how the pie is sliced it is obvious that money is being made. DVDCA is not a cover-the-cost only operation!
what are you basing that on? that's exactly what it is/was. believe me, if we wanted to make money we would not have priced things the way we did. the printout service was running at a loss as it was,
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Old 06-18-04, 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by mdX
what are you basing that on? that's exactly what it is/was. believe me, if we wanted to make money we would not have priced things the way we did. the printout service was running at a loss as it was,
Hi Matt,

Just simple observation. I freely admit that could be misleading but try and put yourself on the outside looking in. There are little nagging questions that have been floated since the advent of the new DVDCA. The involvement of an established business etc.. The simple question of why a business would allow itself to freely loose money is now a new question. I mean come on, WHY? Sure there could be an good answer but I haven't heard it. Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word 'obvious' (it does 'seem' so however).

Look, here's my position. I'm a hobbiest cover designer. I gain a great deal of relaxation working on my covers. I also gain a certain satisfaction from knowing that some people enjoy the covers so I go through the annoying process of uploading, filling out forms etc. (not fun/not relaxing at all). I gain nothing from this. I know you'll want to remind me that I receive credits. But I now have/had something over 1100/1200 credits last time I looked. These are useless to me even if the site goes back on line what am I going to do with 1100+ credits?.

Chris seems to have the notion that I owe you some sort of gratitude for allowing me to upload my (our) covers. From my point of view it is you who owes gratitude to cover designers (after all without covers DVDCA would have no reason to exist). In the interest of good will lets just say gratitude should be mutual. If all I needed was a showcase (as Chris mentioned) well all I can say is you can't do better than DVDtalk.

I've maintained my thread here since day one and with 17000+ hits well enough said, thats a good enough showcase for me. Of course if you want people to be able to download that's another story. I did, and DVDCA became my site of choice after some enitial misgivings. The point to all this, as stated before, the money perception is out there and the studio's have swooped in. I have nothing against DVDCA or you or anyone else connected with it (well in most cases). I just want the site back (with the top 30 list reinstated / that was my only feedback source / the excuse that the 'perception of competition' was the reason the list was removed is another question, but off topic).

Your use of the phrase "that's exactly what it is/was." doesn't bode well so I guess all this might be academic.

Last edited by johnf14; 06-18-04 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-18-04, 12:43 PM
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John,

a little history...

dvdcoverart started as a place for *me* to showcase my artwork, and make it available for others. Slowly more and more artists asked about hosting their covers too, and the site grew. Around Oct. 2002 it got to the point where the site was using enough bandwidth that I could not long afford to run it out of my own pocket. Dv-depot stepped in and offered to help, because many of their customers were wanting keepcases for discs that came in snappers, and were unhappy with bilingual covers. Dv-depot offered to host the site on their servers, and would charge a minimal fee for downloads to cover the hosting and bandwidth costs. The goal was to provide the cover art community with a central location for showcasing and downloading, and to not lose money doing it. My choices at the time were to either scale back the site, accept dv-depot's offer to help, or shuit down completely (some of you recall we were offline for a month or two in oct/nov 2002). I thought at the time that partnering with dv-depot was the right choice, and have no regrets with that decision. The legalities of the situation are unfortunate, because what we are doing only enhances the studios' products. I never would have bought all the Bond films if it weren't for Zinema's covers. Same is true for many others with the various sets, especially Ric Easton's Star Trek sets and Michael Corvin's Disney collection.

The whole reason we took off the top downloads list was because we had a few people who were obsessed with having their covers at the top of the list. They were making covers for all the wrong reasons, and causing disruptions in the forum to boot.

I agree that the perception of money being made is probably why we are in the situation we are today, but to be honest I don't know how we could have done it otherwise.
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Old 06-18-04, 01:02 PM
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I'm not sure where all this is going, but I think Sebastians #'s are way off. The majority of the users are the contributers, so there is no monitary compensation. I think at last look I had d/l around 80 covers. I didn't pay a penny for them. Who covers that bandwith? Part of that $10 that a non-contributer pays.

I too find it hard to believe that zero money was being made. If it was that close to having Matt use money out of his own pocket, the free credits would have been curbed and other things would have changed. So I think some money was made but I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't $940,000. And even if it was, way to go! I mean he had the brains and know how to create and maintain the site. It just looks bad if he did, when the studios are breathing down his neck.

Lastly, I'm on the fence about the top 30 cover artists, it was a quick easy way to find browse stuff w/o having to search the whole site for an individual cover. But on the other hand, it got to where some of the top guys would knock out a cover before release, whether they even liked the film or not, just to get those 800 d/l the first week. Not to mention, I was right under the 10,000 mark when it was removed. Now w/o my Disney series that drops to a few hundred. Maybe a top 30 cover artists without the d/l count. People that have proven themselves, and have been contributing for a certain length of time.
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Old 06-18-04, 01:08 PM
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I agree with you Matt.

I was around during most of the history you describe so I'm pretty well versed in that. I'm just looking at things from a different perspective and passing along my perception. I have no facts that say otherwise so I accept your word. They carry the ring of sincerity.

Now: Is there any hope or does all look lost?

John
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Old 06-18-04, 01:34 PM
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I honestly can't say at the moment - need to wait til the legal issues clear, then go from there
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Old 06-18-04, 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by mdX
your calculations ignore the fact that by far way more downloads were made with credits earned from uploads or given free at signup than were purchased. it also ignores the costs of the servers, and the bandwith used by the pages themselves and the small/large previews (which is not negligible). before we shut down, we were using nearly a terabyte of bandwidth per month. shop around and see how much a reliable host offering a dedicated server, 100GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth per month costs. it's certainly not cheap
Uhm maybe I'm stupid, but weren't there nearly a 100.000 users and less then 10.000 covers available? And IIRC you stopped giving away free credits very quickly after the site opened. So how exactly could 100.000 users have been freeloading all the time when the ratio of users to covers is 10 to 1?

If I have the numbers wrong I'm sorry, but I find it kinda hard to believe that there was not a decent amount of money being made with a userbase of that magnitude. But of course this doesn't really matter and I sincerely hope you get out of this mess without to much problems.
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Old 06-18-04, 10:00 PM
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That 100K is not an accurate number..that 100K is in reality perhaps more like 35-40K because there are people with more than one account and many with SEVERAL Accounts that were trying to upload garbage covers stolen from over quality sites or from lower quality crap sites and had their accounts deleted everytime they were caught, and all they did was sign up again....and again, and again...trying to get upload credit for work they did not create, pushing the same crap over and over and they were caught at it everytime.....no one ever makes mention of that now do they? of course not - everyone only sees whats on the surface...the same applies with that user base number...no one ever notices how the site tried to keep obvious bootleg activity from getting upload credit to allow the getting the high quality covers that were labored over and researched, that they so desperately need, so there is how it can be seen, that the site did take measures to discourage bootlegging and piracy. but for whatever reason, the site is looked upon as the bad guy regardless of its intentions.

Then there was the incident with Digital Forums where they were download ing covers from DCA and distributing them - the primary individuals from DF that were resposible, once he was found, the admin staff was able to determing that they had several - in one case, one of them had 13 accounts. and then of course there would be the bootleggers, who to hopefully prevent being caught and possibly removed also held several accounts, one of which was confirmed to have at least 6 .

A database only records new additions to a numbered list of users everytime someone signs up and as the ID for any particualr user is a primary key for that table in a database, those deleted user rows do not get deleted - only continues increasing so that number of 100K is not an accurate figure - I would not put it at any more than 25-50% of that number - and if you think thats modest, examine the forum where only about maybe 100-150 different people frequent on a regula basis - I cant imagine that there are that many users that either dont know about or dont visit the forum there.

Do you really feel and believe that there are 100K users, thats a little naive and anyone with any database programming knowledge whatsoever can verify and back up everything Im saying here. Yeah yeah, I know any real actual professional DB programmer would say that the proper coding and integreation of a DB would account for what Ive been saying and show actual numbers, but thats not what we're talking about here - we're talking about a canned add-on component/module for a set of generic online web creation tools.

100K members - no chance in hell - i can beleive 25-30K at the most - maybe - and even THATS a lot ...even over the lifetime existence of the site, I wouldn't place the actual active user base at more than 40K actual individuals over lifetime...not to mention that number being even less, to reflect the number that leave for whatever reason or who only visit as a casual user to replace a single damaged or missing cover or insert (video store/online retailer, pre-owned, pre-viewed, resale merchandise, etc.).

Last edited by JupiterPrime; 06-18-04 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 06-19-04, 10:22 AM
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In response to my quote that several people have 'me too'd', I would just like to say that my comment was intended to show support for Michael's excellent work - I would happily pay him for his time, effort and resources needed to create them.

I agree with Jupiter that it would be too risky for Michael to send these out to those who request them, and my comment was in no way intended to 'entrap' or trick him.

I don't post very often either here or on the DVDCA forums, also my own output of work has not been as large as I would wish (Still working on those Alien covers!). It is a real shame to see what is happening to this hobbie of mine, and I hate the fact that there are people out there trying to stop us / catch us out.

Looking forward to enjoying your covers Michael, however you manage to distribute them.

Matt
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Old 06-19-04, 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by mattgoble
I agree with Jupiter that it would be too risky for Michael to send these out to those who request them, and my comment was in no way intended to 'entrap' or trick him.
That wasnt my intention towards you Matt, when you posted that, it was simply a blanaket statement for Michael's benefit to help protect him from any possible problems for having done something that the average ordinary person might not have initially thought of.....the G-men dont care whether your sending to a pirate or to your mother. I didnt intend for my statement to sound off, making you look like an "entrapper" and I apologize if it came out sounding that way.
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Old 06-19-04, 03:13 PM
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Jupiter,

I think we might have some Internet wires crossed - I didn't intend for my statement to sound defensive against an accusation - I know that you weren't implying anything against me.

My concern was that people with less honorable intentions might jump onto my comment, and I wanted to distance myself from that as soon as possible.

It's still nice to see when everything is working 'right' we are still a bunch a enthusiasts who look out for each other, play nice, and apologise for an un-needed apology!

matt
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Old 06-20-04, 01:02 PM
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I'm getting DVDcovertart.com withdrawls. I buy $5 worth of credits (I know that isn't a lot). Then I download two inserts because I didn't have the right paper to make a cover. I then go out and buy paper that I can make covers with (a $20 value) and now I can't get any covers.
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Old 06-21-04, 10:23 PM
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I am not a designer. I have neither the talent nor the inclination to design covers. DDCA filled my needs. I am thankful the Matt shared his covers with me before the birth of DDCA. I gave a tiny amount of money when he had trouble with the bandwith. I wanted to show my gratitude. I am thankful that all my friends (yes, I consider you all my friends) shared with me and filled my requests. When they traveled to DDVA I bought credits to download the wonderful covers. I also thank John for continuing on DVDGreek until that was discontinued.

This is just my little missive of thanks to all the designers, those mentioned and not, for the enjoyment I received in downloading and printing the covers.

I look forward to whatever venue we go to share the covers. I do not beleive we will stop creating and sharing.

HOWEVER, if we go to a newsgroup someone needs to teach me how to download and print from there. I cannot figure it out.

Last edited by Randy810; 06-22-04 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 06-21-04, 11:18 PM
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Originally posted by Randy810
I also thank John for continuing on DVDGreek until that was discontinued.
Better to have no covers at all, than use the covers that were on that site. Ghastly.
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Old 06-22-04, 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by Michael Corvin
II too find it hard to believe that zero money was being made. If it was that close to having Matt use money out of his own pocket, the free credits would have been curbed and other things would have changed. So I think some money was made but I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't $940,000. And even if it was, way to go! I mean he had the brains and know how to create and maintain the site. It just looks bad if he did, when the studios are breathing down his neck.
this is something I would like to clear up, since it's a common misconception. Whenever a user purchased something, be it credits or a printout, that purchase was made through dv-depot - payment made to dv-depot, not me. Even after we discontinued the free credits, the site wasn't quite breaking even, which is why we raised prices on the credits the one time. After that, the site pretty much broke even. If there was any money made, you'd have to ask dv-depot about it, since myself and the staff just managed the site.
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Old 06-22-04, 08:49 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up matt. I know with all this going on, everyone is curious and just speculating.
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Old 06-22-04, 10:15 AM
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I'm sure that 99% of thr users knew that to be true anyway, but good for you Matt, coming out and making this clear.

Let's hope all goes well.

Al
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