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About zircon

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    Balance and Ruin Director, Voices of the Lifestream Director
  • Birthday 06/23/1987

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Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Bitwig Studio
    FL Studio
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)


  • Real Name
    Andrew Aversa
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  1. New build went up today with the basic save/load system, a new class, and a whole host of other fixes and improvements!
  2. To predict the capabilities of the Switch it may be worth looking at the iPad Pro, which AFAIK is the most powerful ARM-based tablet. The Pro has a faster CPU than the PS4 or Xbox One but an inferior GPU. It's also $800. https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/3u5sdc/curious_ipad_pros_benchmark_numbers_vs_xbox_360/ Now, the iPad Pro has a display of 3.1million pixels and a 9.7in screen. The Switch will be smaller and cap at 720p, so it need only display about 25% of the pixels. The display will doubtless not be of the same quality as an iPad Pro in other ways (i.e. will be cheaper.) The Switch would also not need some of the hardware of the Pro. No high-end camera, fingerprint sensor, etc. If the GPU of the Switch is something like a GTX 1050 in terms of performance - that would be the low-end of Nvidia's Pascal architecture - it would be at least on par with the PS4/Xbox One... And a 1050 has relatively low power draw and pricing... I'm cautiously optimistic!
  3. Earlier this year I decided to pursue a longtime goal/dream of making a video game. Over the last few months it has been my main "nights & weekends" project and though it's still quite early on, it's at the point where I want to share it with whoever wants to play! The game (awful placeholder title - ImpactRL) is a turn-based dungeon crawl inspired by some of my favorite SNES and early PS1 2D RPGs, a real homage to the golden Square age of gaming. Enter a procedurally generated dungeon, fight monsters, build up your character, and eventually reach the bottom. It's fundamentally a roguelike but with elements from JRPGs and some modern improvements. I invite you all to give the game a try, with the warning that it is definitely nowhere near done and there is lots to do - but I'm always open to suggestions & feedback! WINDOWS: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-23-16.rarMAC OSX: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-23-16.app.zip Full Development Log on Tigsource Alpha 6 Gameplay (10/8/2016) Key & Upcoming Features Fully procedural gameplay with a unique dungeon every time Polished 16-bit style presentation with charmingly retro animations. @OA is doing some amazing work on the art side! A focus on accessibility over the needless (and often overbearing) complexity of many roguelikes, without sacrificing depth and interesting choices. Job system - Gain JP as you fight to spend on abilities in whatever order you choose, and eventually mix & match jobs/abilities Dynamic combat - you must move about the battlefield and make full use of your abilities to succeed! Wide variety of monster behaviors, from stalking beasts to cowardly creatures, with lots of emergent behavior Balanced stat & equipment system with a focus on not having worthless stats, dump stats, "clearly better" items etc. ... And much more as I think of it...!
  4. 1. Whether or not you use VGM samples, a publisher could still send a takedown or flag the video. The use of a few samples here and there would not make a difference one way or the other. As for exactly what we would do, the situation has not yet come up so it's hard to say. We would consult with our multi-channel network (MCN) who has far greater resources to see what they advise. Chances are we would contest the claim in some way. Worst case scenario, the video stays claimed/down and that's it. 2. A claim on OCR's channel would not affect you in any way regardless of the outcome.
  5. The purpose of this thread is to give people a clear idea of how OCR operates, how revenue is generated (and where that revenue goes), and the relationship between OCR, its operations, and the people that contribute to it. Is content on OCR licensed? No. We do not license the ReMixes distributed on our site (and through channels like YouTube). (There is one exception, which is described below.) Why aren't the remixes licensed? It's simply impossible to do this for several reasons. 1. Mechanical licensing via the compulsory licensing permission (the one that does not require publisher permission) requires that the source material be published commercially in the United States prior to licensing. Many remixes on the site are of source material never released in soundtrack form in the US, therefore they cannot be licensed. 2. Even if the music could be licensed, since OCR is founded on the concept of distributing music for free, it would be impossible to support the massive licensing costs necessary for all remixes on the site. To use some napkin math: assume 3400 remixes are each downloaded 100 times per month, which is a gross under-estimate. At 9.1 cents per copy downloaded, this would require licensing fees of over $30,000 a month - for downloads alone. 3. No established license mechanism could cover free downloads of MP3s and ad-supported streaming. Compulsory mechanical licensing only covers downloadable copies; as a result, custom licensing agreements would need to be made with every publisher (which they could simply reject, unlike a compulsory license.) For total emphasis, there is no conceivable way that the content on OCR could be licensed, and especially not while remaining compatible with the site goal of distributing free music. Does that mean OCR is illegal or infringing copyright? By default, any use of copyrighted material without express permission of the copyright holder is considered infringement. However, US copyright law makes provisions for "fair use" of copyrighted material as a defense to infringement in a court of law. Fair use is the legal principle that allows for things like educational usage, commentary, parody, and satire, among other uses. While fair use cannot be established except in a court of law, and there are no strict guidelines allowing anyone to decide whether a use is fair or not outside of the court system, it's possible to make an educated guess as to whether a use is fair or not. This educated guess is based on an evaluation of the factors evaluated for determining fair use, and precedent. The biggest of these factors are whether a work is transformative, and whether it is 'commercial'. These are both loose and nebulous terms, but that being said, our strongly-held belief (reinforced by the belief of consulted legal counsel) is that OCR's distribution of fan-created arrangements for non-commercial educational purposes is fair use. This has been discussed at length in other posts but suffice it to say that when analyzing all these factors, we've made a very strong case for this if a court case were ever to happen. Isn't it worse to upload music to YouTube, especially if it's monetized? No. If fair use applies to OCR's activities, it would certainly extend to YouTube. If it doesn't apply, then the site's current activities (on and off YouTube) would be considered infringement, in which case it's a moot point. YouTube is actually a better place to address issues of infringement than elsewhere, because Google provides content creators with several tools: the ability to claim a video (which grants the publisher/claimaint all further revenue from the video) or issue a takedown. Both of these would not entangle either party in the court system, as Google/YouTube mediates any disputes, avoiding a costly legal battle. In short, we'd much rather defend ourselves to YouTube, ON YouTube, with the assistance of YouTube specialists who have extensive experience in copyright disputes. Also, keep in mind that on YouTube (and off), a creator can claim infringement regardless of whether someone is generating revenue from a work or not. My own personal experience with YouTube claims and takedowns has exclusively been with un-monetized videos. In short, if a publisher took issue with OCR, not running YouTube ads would not protect us in any way. Does OCR generate revenue from its content? Yes. Since the early 2000s, ocremix.org has run ads throughout the site. Other revenue is generated from sales of OCR merchandise (not music; music on the site is not sold commercially) such as t-shirts and hoodies. Within the last few years, OCR launched a Patreon page which also generates revenue. Ads were also enabled on <1% of videos on OCR's YouTube channel from June-August 2016 for testing purposes, which has also generated a small amount of revenue. Until OCR officially becomes a registered non-profit organization, and YouTube ads are discussed further with the community, YouTube ads will only be served on the videos of ReMixers who have given OCR their explicit permission. Why does OCR need to generate revenue? OCR as a website has technical costs, such as the cost of a dedicated server, mirrors, and bandwidth. These expenses are necessary for the basic operation of the site. Revenue is also needed to create promotional materials for the site: that includes merchandise like t-shirts and hoodies, as well as strictly-promotional physical copies of album projects. (These promotional physical albums are not sold, and the content on them is available for free on ocremix.org. They are given away at conventions). OCR has also been attending conventions such as Otakon, MAGFest, and PAX (among any others) to evangelize video game music, promote recent album releases, and give away free stuff. Expenses directly related to OCR panels at these conventions (such as technical equipment needed for panels) are sometimes covered by OCR as an organization. There are also many plans for the organization that require revenue to achieve. For example, the OCR YouTube video template has not been updated in many years and looks dated. We're in the process of commissioning custom visualization software to produce better-looking videos strictly for the enjoyment of viewers and fans. Also, we're looking to obtain true non-profit organization status, which we believe will take a substantial amount of money to file and maintain properly. Where does surplus revenue go? For a long time, there was no surplus revenue. Expenses were often paid out of pocket by Dave and other staff. Now that revenue is exceeding expenses, the revenue... isn't going anywhere. It's staying in OCR's accounts until it is used for purposes like those described above. The aforementioned non-profit filing process will likely take most if not all saved money. So is OCR a non-profit organization? From our submission agreement: OCR legally cannot distribute submitted materials for for-profit endeavors. Furthermore, OCR is legally bound to spend any revenue on costs directly associated with operation and promotion of OverClocked ReMix. However, OCR as an entity does not have true non-profit status - 501(c)(3) - which is why achieving that official status is a major goal. Are any ReMixers or site staff paid for their work? No. Nobody has been paid for their work contributing to the site either as a remixer, staff member, or administrator, djp included. (Fine print: OCR has released one commercial album, For Everlasting Peace: 25 Years of Mega Man, as an officially licensed release in partnership with Capcom, with Capcom retaining ownership of the music. ReMixers were paid for this release, which was licensed directly with the publisher. This music is not available on the site and was not submitted through the normal channels, so it's an outlier.) Will ReMixers ever be paid? Not for regular submissions to the site, which are distributed for free. Not only would the logistical overhead be unmanageable, but it would invalidate our fair use case, as it would be impossible to justify those payments as necessary to the direct operation of the site as a non-profit entity. However, we'll continue to explore separate licensed projects like MM25, or officially licensed commercial albums through our sister site OverClocked Records. We view these as separate from the core work that OCR does: distributing and evangelizing free music. Will site staff ever be paid? There is absolutely no plan to do this, nor has it been seriously discussed among site staff in all years of operation. It's conceivable that it could happen someday, after 501(c)(3) status is achieved and we're complying with all regulations for transparency, corporate bylaws, etc. djpretzel wants there to be a plan for the site should anything ever happen to him, and operating a 501(c)(3) will require more administrative duties for things like bookkeeping and accounting. Again, if it were to ever happen, it would be executed properly to the letter as per federal guidelines for non-profit organizations and in full compliance with our own legally binding submission agreement. Is there anything to prevent revenue from being distributed as profit to staff now?! Of course. Just because OCR is not a 501(c)(3) yet does not mean our submission agreement isn't legally binding: it is. And that agreement, which applies to OCR as an organization, strictly limits how revenue can be used. Again, site staff have never been paid nor are there any plans to do so.
  6. I don't know if there will be any kind of opt-out for monetization of videos. It hasn't been discussed. Dave can speak to it more since it's ultimately his call. Re: legality, again if you want to take a hardline stance, not only has OCR been "illegal" by making fan arrangements from day 1 (1999), but every arrangement you (Brandon) have made is also "illegal", meaning you infringed copyright as well, along with every other remixer on this site, on YouTube, and SoundCloud, ever, regardless of monetization, regardless of whether they were distributed free, downloadable, streaming,e tc., unless the works were explicitly licensed (and I can guarantee of all published fan arrangements on YouTube, less than 1% are licensed.) That interpretation of "illegal" is - imo - unproductive as a result. A more productive conversation is ethical vs. unethical, and why people feel that way. Most of us would probably agree that outright selling (charging money for) an unlicensed game arrangement and pocketing the money for yourself is unethical. People have been doing this for years on Bandcamp, btw. Most of us would probably agree that making a fan arrangement and distributing it for free is probably not unethical. This is what OCR has been doing since 1999. It's also what the vast majority of fan artists do. They make fan works and give them away. The spectrum in between that is what we're talking about. OCR has generated revenue from ads for a long time. Nobody seemed to think this was unethical, especially given that the money was (and still is) used to pay for operational costs, those being things like the dedicated server, software, mirrors / bandwidth, and promotion (such as OCR t-shirts, or promotional album giveaways.) So before even addressing YouTube specifically maybe it's a good idea to think about whether one thinks its ethical, or not, for OCR as an organization to distribute work for free but use tangential revenue (ads, patreon) to cover those operational expenses.
  7. If that were true, then as Dave said, we would have monetized all the videos and not asked for the community's opinion on the matter. Why the assumption of bad faith? What has anyone done to merit thinking the worst? Brandon no doubt has me on ignore but someone can again tell him that the entirety of the site's library will not be licensed, nor will remixers be paid, with exceptions like MM25.
  8. It would be impossible to license all music on OCR.
  9. I want to re-pose a question I asked before that nobody answered, for those that are against YT monetization. Google ads are already almost dead. In a year let's say they are completely dead. Now imagine Patreon goes away, because maybe Patreon itself is shut down or gets purchased. Who knows? That kind of stuff happens every day in silicon valley. How do you expect OCR to keep running in that scenario? Now go a step further - imagine the trend continues of fewer and fewer people coming here and downloading MP3s, and more and more people going to YouTube. Imagine that the audience here shrinks to almost nothing while the YouTube channel becomes the #1 source of consuming the content. Again: How does OCR keep running in that scenario?
  10. 1. The remixes have already been on YouTube for years. If anyone had a problem we would know by now. I have dealt with this stuff myself and if a publisher has a problem with your content they will claim it or takedown regardless of whether you are monetizing (I've seen & dealt with this multiple times, and it was always unmonetized content.) As I've been saying over and over, offering downloads is definitely worse. 2. Monetizing the content on YouTube does not do anything to increase its visibility. 3. If a company did have a problem, dealing with that problem on YouTube is FAR better for OCR than dealing with it outside. If a company has an issue with OCR MP3s they have no recourse other than directly reaching out from their legal team. That's very very bad for us. On the other hand, on YouTube, they can use existing systems like content ID/claims or takedowns. These don't require anyone to have legal counsel to deal with, and it allows OCR to defend its usage with Google as a mediator - no courts needed. Furthermore, on YouTube, we have the benefit of an MCN that has its own resources including connections at Google itself. Here is where I will (again) point out that people have been monetizing arrangements on YouTube for years and years, including big channels, unlicensed, with no issues, and those are people actually turning a profit and pocketing 100% of the money.
  11. As I've said many times, and explained pretty thoroughly, having the mixes monetized on YouTube would not make any material difference toward fair use. OCR has been distributing downloadable MP3s of remixes for many years, with ad support on the site. If THAT is fair use, then YouTube is. If that isn't fair use, then YouTube isn't. End of story.
  12. OCR staff are volunteers. None of us are, or have ever been, compensated for our work (including but not limited to judging, moderation, running projects, etc.) Site revenue goes to things like hosting costs (dedicated server + mirrors), merchandising (OCR shirts, hoodies), promotional albums (which are not sold, but given away as prizes at cons to help promote the music), and similar.
  13. Nintendo is not going to sue for copyright infringement. There is no pattern of behavior on their part to support thinking that way. They do C&Ds and takedowns, as do basically all other publishers and developers. Nobody wants to go to court. Legal proceedings are costly, both in terms of time and money, for all parties. Again that's not to say publishers do nothing to protect their IP... But they do it using tools like cease & desist letters for fan projects, content ID on YouTube, or DMCA takedowns. I'll reiterate also that YouTube in particular gives more tools to copyright holders to deal with infringement, by allowing them to automatically claim or take down videos through Google's system. It's actually very friendly to big companies with lots of IP for that very reason, and further reduces the chance that any legal action would happen. At the same time, YouTube also offers creators unique ways of defending and protection uses which might be fair. For OCR specifically, working with a MCN would give us even more shielding from liability. All in all, it's far better for a copyright claim to happen on YouTube than off.
  14. Again. OCR has been using monetized ads (on all pages, including remix pages) for.. I think 10 years now...? So it's not as if this would be pushing the line somehow further. Especially since offering downloadable MP3s has traditionally been viewed more harshly than non-downloadable streams. There is absolutely no reason to think that YouTube would be any worse, or put OCR in a position of great liability. Again, let me go over this: 1. YouTube has tools for content creators to take down (or claim) infringing content via content ID/claiming and takedowns. These are always the first tools used and a copyright holder will use them as opposed to pursuing legal action outside of YouTube. Happens every day. 2. OCR itself is more shielded on YouTube by being part of a multi-channel network with greater resources and connections. 3. If what OCR does is infringing, then it is infringing with or without YouTube. There are tons of developers + publishers (not to mention composers) whose works have been arranged on OCR. Many of them have offered their explicit approval and endorsement, and nobody has taken any legal action in all this time. Since Fair Use is a defense, it's true that the only way to be 100% certain is to be brought to court. But Dave has been doing this for a long time and not without legal counsel. He believes (and I agree) that if it EVER came to that, OCR would have a strong case for Fair Use. That case has not changed since day 1. The material is highly transformative, it's offered free of charge, it adds to the original works, etc.