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Wouldn't it make more sense for the profits to actually go toward the donation goals, regardless of how ever small they are or how often RedBubble pays out? Could this not be classified as an "offline donation?"

 

While the designs themselves are original, they're using the CustomsForge "brand," which IMO was built upon the hard work of the site founders, admins, and community/CDLC contributors. As a community, everyone has a stake in whatever level of success we've achieved, based on the merits of our contributions.

 

Based on that, shouldn't the store profits be shared by everyone, i.e. contributed toward the donation goal? This is not to mention the possible (?) legal ramifications of essentially making a profit from music that one does not own. If we can't monetize the CDLC we create (and understandably so), then it seems unethical to me to make any type of profit from a community that exists under the umbrella of "fair use."

 

I say all this respectfully, of course. 

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@@GetTheLedOut The profit goes in the same account as the donation does if i'm not mistaken (i'm not @@Unleashed2k account manager :D ) so i guess it can indeed diminish the donation goal, not sure how it would be for unleashed to manage that though :D

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@@GetTheLedOut The profit goes in the same account as the donation does if i'm not mistaken (i'm not @@Unleashed2k account manager :D ) so i guess it can indeed diminish the donation goal, not sure how it would be for unleashed to manage that though :D

Well, the OP explicitly says that the proceeds will not be going toward the donation goal. Presumably it goes into @@Voyevoda 's RedBubble account. 

 

You might be right, but there's no shared information regarding anything finance-related, so we're left to assume that everything is being managed in an ethical fashion.

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@@GetTheLedOut The profit goes in the same account as the donation does if i'm not mistaken (i'm not @@Unleashed2k account manager :D ) so i guess it can indeed diminish the donation goal, not sure how it would be for unleashed to manage that though :D

Well, the OP explicitly says that the proceeds will not be going toward the donation goal. Presumably it goes into @@Voyevoda 's RedBubble account. 

 

You might be right, but there's no shared information regarding anything finance-related, so we're left to assume that everything is being managed in an ethical fashion.

 

Alyx is unemployed so she is using this method as a way to gain some extra side money. Please note it's only $3-5 per sale so she won't earn a lot. I hope everyone is okay with this. She's just selling brand-named CF shirts off RedBubble with zero connection to Rocksmith as it has no logos or anything showing it's rocksmith related. I came up with this idea to try to help her.

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Yeah, what Unleashed said pretty much, I hope that won't be a problem with anyone. Seriously I don't get a huge cut off these shirts, for a $24 shirt I make about $3 back.

 

http://i.imgur.com/cCZ3Szp.png

 

Like Mark said I'm unemployed (disabled) so this is only a few bucks a month to help towards cost of my meds and other needs (shit gets expensive), BUT if you're 1000% not happy with that you can leave me a note or something along with your purchase to send the $3 from your sale into the CF PayPal account. 

 

 

And to answer the legality question, Customsforge is Unleashed's creation, with no affiliation with Rocksmith, so he has sole ownership of the brand and if given permission someone can just use the site's name on a shirt or something. But if I were to make a Metallica shirt for instance, they could have me take it down because I haven't gotten permission from them to use it. I hope I'm making sense? But yeah there's no monetization of licensed content or brands so there's no issue. 

 

I hope that clears everything up and everyone doesn't hate me for this haha. We've made a couple sales in the last week or so and I'm really happy to see people like the designs! Also - I do make custom shirt designs if anyone wants to PM me I'll do what I can. 

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I don't know if it's that simple - you own a brand and sell items with this brand ...  you are an administrator of the site.

Why is the site popular - is it because you all want to talk about Rocksmith and guitar playing or is it the Metallica custom which is shared (as GTLO said) under the umbrella of fair use. Ofc there is no automatism - if you don't make a profit it's not automatically fair use and if you make a profit it's not always *no* fair use.

I can't answer the question "is a merch shop related to the sites name or to the links or whatever you get from a site".

 

My personal opinion - a website requires a lot of work, many unpaid hours where you never get a thanks. I'm sure nobody would mind if a developer or an admin gets a small gift/donation or compensation especially if the personal situation is like that. This should not be discussed in public and decided by the staff - it is not to hide something or making a profit behind the back of a community. Everybody has to pay bills - the open source developer/admin and the commercial developer/admin.

If you're creating a custom designed shirt it's your work - if people like it they should give more than the 3$

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Voyevoda, I know we've never really spoken, but nonetheless I'd like to wish you a speedy recovery for whatever ailment is troubling you. You seem a kind person.

 

I know we aren't talking about large sums of money and that alone makes it difficult to frown upon especially for a good cause of helping out a fellow member. I find it very mature of you to offer to take the cash back and put into the donation fund when it is requested. It shows something about your character.

 

I agree with Papillon that I personally am not opposed with really hard work being met with a token of our appreciation such as a small % of the donations. The concern I have about that is that there are many other members that work excessively hard and they are expected, even per the rules of this site, to get no compensation for their hard work. I ask you, does it make sense that we give remuneration to a handful or so, when prolific charters, mods, devs like raynebc, cozy1 and Alex360 (just to name a few that I know more than others and for whom I have a passing awareness of their hard work.)

 

I'm guessing Ubisoft won't come knocking on CF with a lawsuit over this initiative, but it sets a precedent money being indirectly made under a "fair use umbrella" as GTLO put's it.  I think I'd prefer that no financial compensation occurs here since everyone does this out of a labour of love.

 

It was a thoughtful and cool idea by Unleashed, though an awkward one. I was even going to say, I'd prefer to just go ahead and give you a $25 donation which is nothing but hopefully does add up, but given we are a huge community, I'd also like to avoid this site becoming a site with full of "Help Me" ads and worst, with forum posts that flare up like, "Why are you helping x but not y person?" and have to start classifying personal tragedies. It's just not we're about and frankly we are too big a community to even properly mourn the tragic events of all members in a way that is fitting above and beyond words. What we are about is the "free gestures mean more than paid gestures" type of site. For example, "Hmm bummer, you are sick or got into a huge car accident, name a custom you would wish to see on this site and consider it done." You can even make a written or video tribute to the recipient. I've said it before on Smithy, CDLC is our community's prime currency.

 

The last thing I want voyevoda is for you to feel guilted into retracting your kind offering to the community. I guess it just stimulated a bigger picture discussion of the principles upon which our site is run.

 

Heal well!

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There's no money made out of the CDLC we "store" here, and it's clear that we'll never do it for quite a lot of obvious reason but that's not the case here.

 

Streamer get compensation out of the work of others too and i don't see people taking issue with it (LeFrenchStallion would probably be less popular without the 20k and more of CDLC) and they aren't the one donating a lot of money into the site either nor do they have any obligation to do so.

 

I think you are taking two different things and making them into one when there's no real point in doing so. At least that's the way i see it.

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I don't think that they are 2 different things - they are related. The base of the community are the customs - without any customs this site would not exist or would have a very low attraction to people coming back regularly. If you're using the popularity of a site and the main purpose (customs) have copyrighted material for fair use to make a profit I don't know how this combines with fair use. The fair use is having songs to learn guitar which is a educational purpuse.

It's your decision, but I agree what Berneer said.

 

I don't think that there's a wide discretion in streaming the copyrighted music to make money of it (>40'000$ if it's without any permission of any copyright holder) - a broadcaster usually pays fees to music companies and if Sony or anybody else sues him and he has no licenses good luck to him when he explains that he's doing it in the space of fair use :D

The donations are related to the customs (songs) and not to anything else. Ofc I don't know if he has the permission of the bands or record companies to promote their songs and they are ok with making money of content they own.

 

If you upload a video it's the same - you've no copyright, but at least you've no commercialization.

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First off, thank you for the get well soon wishes that's extremely kind of you. However it is a chronic condition I will be living with the rest of my life sadly. Man if only getting well was an option haha! 

 

Now, I'm kind of with firekorn about that it's two very different issues. But I'm not going to pretend like I know every aspect of copyright laws, I don't wanna lie and act knowledgeable, and all I know is now I feel like I've sparked a debate just by selling a few t-shirts with a couple letters on them and to be honest, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. All I wanted to do was say "hey, if you like the site, buy a shirt" and I get where you guys are coming from but now I have two sides torn on how to handle the income and that's the absolute last thing I wanted. I don't know how to come to a conclusion that makes everyone happy and this is causing quite a bit of stress on my end (I don't like making anyone unhappy, conflict for me is one of those things I avoid at absolutely all costs). 

 

I'm really not sure where to go from here. I considered several times today just taking the merch site down and getting a bit sick over it. I don't want a ton of people bothered and upset with me for the choices we've made (we being myself and Unleashed). Really guys I just wanted to put out a few shirts but I guess in the process I kinda fucked up. If it pleases everyone I'll just use the CC paypal email for my Redbubble account and let everything go there, because as of right now, that's the only way I see everyone being happy without me removing the entire store. I feel like shit that it came to this but what else can I do? 

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"The donations are related to the customs (songs) and not to anything else. ".

This is 100% incorrect. The donations are to run the community and development. It's not cheap to keep a website with millions of views per month running. The website via donations is 100% ran by the community. I don't make enough to pay for it out of pocket. We're constantly developing features and improvements to the website. We run 4 servers with tons of development tools. Right now we're alpha testing the new website and search engine. If we didn't run ignition to where you could find customs, we could just be a place to discuss Rocksmith similar to The Riff Repeater. We make $0 money from the donations. I've been asked about merch for a long time now as people (and streamers) would love to wear our name. It doesn't mention Rocksmith, just our brand name. Alyx doesn't have a job (I do though) so I had her design some shirts so she can make some money on the side. We never forced anyone to buy any of the merch, it's 100% optional.  

We actually plan on doing some giveaways in the future with some merch packs, which will be out of our pocket for the community. We will be giving away shirts and stickers at MAGFEST 2017 as well. 
 

I hope this clears up some confusion. 

"Just remember: when something breaks, kick it as hard as you fucking can"

-Trent Reznor
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Follow up on Berneer's post:
CDLC is strictly forbidden to be sold. We will never go there. 
One of the main reasons we take CDLC down every week is so we can have official DLC purchased. 
 
 "Why are you helping x but not y person?"
That won't happen because buying the shirts are completely optional, and we're just doing it for the fans.
 
& papillon:
"The base of the community are the customs - without any customs this site would not exist or would have a very low attraction to people coming back regularly."
This is incorrect as well, just for the fact that The Riff Repeater has a huge user base and people come back there every week.
People love to discuss. Even if CDLC didn't exist people would still have a community forum to discuss the game & guitars.

Unfortunately, this post has turned into a debate. Last year our last debate was about MAGFEST. We still went, and it was successful.
If you want to donate, please do. If you want to wear the CF brand with pride, go ahead. It's 100% optional.
Money from donations go to the website, money from RedBubble (which is a very small percentage, we're not talking $20 every purchase, or even $10...) goes to support Voyevoda. She'll make more designs as more sales come in.
 
I hope this clears up everything.

"Just remember: when something breaks, kick it as hard as you fucking can"

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I wanted to follow up on this post as we've hidden posts due to it becoming a debate about legality and copyright issues when it never should have in the first place. It will remain locked, but thank you for your concerns and to those who have already picked up a shirt we appreciate it and wear it with pride! More designs in the future are planned =]

"Just remember: when something breaks, kick it as hard as you fucking can"

-Trent Reznor
Support Me (Via Patreon)

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