By Lisa Shock on Wednesday, July 4, 2001 - 09:17 pm:
Before reading this section, make sure that you are aware of COPYRIGHT LAW. We expect everyone, this means you, to read this linked webpage before going any further. Here is my official response.
About once every two weeks now, I get a request from some enterprising n00b who wants to put up a website about Monster Rancher. (As we all know, most search engines will tell you there are already over 400,000 of them!) These people ask if they can use the posts here: the charts, the methods, the CD list -one guy even wanted me to give him the whole site including the message board software!
in its entirety,
before emailing me with regards to the MRM copyrights.
Back in the days of MR1, a lot of people made websites. they posted their best monsters, their experiences, and CD lists. They may or may not have gotten friends to help. Each site had about the same info, with differing art and layouts.
A few message boards popped up. They were a rough-and -tumble mix of people spreading wild rumors, outright lies, and bragging about impossible monsters. (2 year-olds with all stats maxxed out!) Once in a while, people would give honest answers and help others. Once in a while real discoveries were made; but it was really hard to tell the hoaxes from the big news.
When the time came and MR2 seemed to be looming in the near future, a guy with the Japanese game named B. Campbell decided to start his own board. He had a few simple rules: be polite, be truthful, and contribute to the effort as a team. This was revolutionary in the world of MR. (Although a common practice in the olden days of Compuserve, where I was moderating the CyberForum.)
As the game came out and people started to play, information was posted. But unlike other places at the time, each post was peer-reviewed. Claims that seemed too wild to be true were tested. If false claims were posted they were deleted. Good information was archived, distilling itself into a strategy guide.
When the site was deleted by a hacker in February 2000, much of this info was lost. After a few false starts, we managed to set this place up and re-build. And we keep the same rules: be polite, be honest, and work as a team.
What this means in real life is that we delete a lot of false claims (over a hundred deletions a week), discourage a lot of poseurs, and work hard to help our researchers. The product you see before you is a team effort, in that we work hard to create a space for serious research, and celebrate our contributors.
It is an ongoing work of art, maintained through the constant hard work of moderators, researchers, and fans.
Now that the number of interested ranchers has waned, and we no longer have 5,000 posts a week, many, many competing sites are dead due to a lack of interest and a lack of participants. Anyone wanting to start a new site needs to think long and hard about how they are going to get new players interested in buying and playing the games, because right now, there really aren't enough active players to support the exisiting sites.
What we feel we offer, that no site simply copying our data can, is:
* Peer-review; new posts are tested and evaluated before being categorised and archived.
* Ongoing contact with authors; most posts have email links so that our visitors may question authors directly. Also, users are welcome to post questions about the topics on the board itself, often encouraging new research, and always providing personalised attention for each visitor.
* A haven for those wishing to conduct research, and have their work reviewed.
* A site that is updated daily with news and topics of interest.
* A site that is compliant with COPPA.
Here are the guidelines that must be followed with regards to use of Monster Rancher Metropolis copyrighted information:
* The entire board is copyighted from 2000 onward as Monster Rancher Metropolis. This is to protect all users on an ongoing daily basis.
* Permission to use anything from Monster Rancher Metropolis must be verifiably obtained, from the original author of each post. Sites doing so further understand that they will be responsible for maintaining their own support systems for their visitors. Monster Rancher Metropolis will not provide consumer support in these situations, and cannot be linked as the outside site's visitor support resource.
* All copyrights revert to original authors to do with as they wish. This right supercedes MRMs rights to prevent further distribution.
* Monster Rancher Metropolis will assume that if you want to cut and paste or copy word for word from the site, that you do not have the author's permission to do so, (in the absence of reliable evidence to the contrary)and we reserve our right to prohibit you from doing so, unless you have our written permission to do so.
* Monster Rancher Metropolis is not (currently) a profit making website. All ad revenue currently goes to site maintainence. (I took in $30 last year, outlayed over $600, and spent hundreds of hours working on it.) If MRM ever becomes profitable, authors will be notified, and contractual negotiations will proceed. Profit making sites need to inform authors that they are profit-making.
* Don't pester me about these guidelines. I (Lisa Shock) will not over-rule an author's decision. Multiple emails will be considered harrassment, and dealt with to the full extent of the law.
In closing, if you feel the need to approach me with regards to copyrighted information, I need to know answers to the following:
* What will your site offer the web that is unique?
* Why do you feel you need to mirror our site, duplicating info that is already available to the public?
* Are you capable of daily updates?
* What is your copyright policy?
* How do you comply with COPPA?