Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Time Travel to the Era of the BBS and ANSI Animation

I am sorry for all the dead videos at my blog at the moment, but as I mentioned in my last post, my primary YouTube account is currently in status "suspended". I tried to contact YouTube several times via email and fax (yeah, that machine that sends paper over the phone wires). I also tried to call them, but if you do not know the extension of the person you want to reach then you got stuck in an automated computer menu jungle or the system hangs up on you.

I complained about this horrible support at one of the business blogs I write for and home that I will hear something from YouTube within this year or so. I have not given up my account yet. I probably lost the hundreds of subscribers, but I hope for YouTube that my 160+ videos are still okay.

I still have my other YouTube account with the user name "sacreleases" where I upload demos, intros and cracktro videos recordings and ANSI animations or ASCIImations. That account has over 200 videos available for watching. In the case that you did not notice, but I made the first 199 videos accessible from the homepage via a YouTube JavaScript widget.

One Video that I uploaded last night was the ANSI animation by Jed and Tracer of ACiD Productions for the BBS "The Bog" from around 1992. I added audio to it, just for the fun of it and to support the visual images. I did a voiceover for an ANSI animation earlier, if you remember, for the BBS "Korova Milkbar" and the animation Blade Runner of ACiD did for it.

Here is the video of the new ANSI animation with voiceover for "The Bog".

Backup Link to Video at

I also expanded the page about my old BBS, Closed Society, because I stumbled over an old partial backup of the PCBoard installation and tried to make it run, just to see, if that is possible. To my amazement was this actually possible and I was able to get one node up. I captured a browsing session and made a video out of it. The file listings were broke unfortunately so I could not show how they looked like with the file_id.diz content nicely added to the file descriptions and the "FS" PPE by PWA in action to highlight, view and mark files for download.

I added some more gimmick to the video capture and some sound. For whatever stupid reason did most video sharing websites messed up the sound. I tried 50,000 things to get it right, but none worked. The funny thing is that I have videos with the same sounds that work perfectly fine. It's a miracle to me and beyond comprehension.

Luckily for you and me did at least one video sharing website get it right and that's the one that I used for the embedded video version that now follows.

Time Travel to the Era of the BBS V3

I hope you enjoyed the short trip back in time. Stop sobbing! It is over, live with it! We all have to, including myself. However, it was still nice to forget about the hard facts and truth for a couple minutes.

Btw. If you like the video and would like to have/see it in nice and clear 640x480 pixels resolution, I have good news for you. I put the video in AVI file format up on for free download. It is about 67 MB in size. Here is the link.

Enjoy and Cheers!

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

YouTube, Depeche Mode and Infringement of Crap

I am really mad! Things get worse more and more. I still did not have the time to write my planned article about the current issues with the existing copyright laws and their inadequacy for the real social web world of today.

I am staring since Saturday at a suspended YouTube account of mine (my main one at I cannot log-in to the account to check messages etc. and all of my 160+ videos under the account are not accessible.

The "nice" thing is that YouTube did not even bother to send me a notification about this. They just suspended the account. I wrote them an Email and also sent a fax asking why my account was suspended and that they enable it again. I got a few hours earlier an email from YouTube about the removal of one of my videos due to infringing the copyright of Depeche Mode. I had six Depeche Mode videos uploaded under my account, five of them were the different music video and live versions of my favorite DM song "Never Let Me down Again". The Sixth song was the 1988 live version of "Everything Counts" at the Rose bowl in Pasadena. They were all added to my account about 9 months ago.

One of the DM videos was already taken down in March (3 months ago) where I asked YouTube who exactly claimed the copyright and requested to take the video down. I also asked to get a copy of the 72 user comments the video had acquired that I can send it to the band and ask them, if this is what they consider infringement of their copyright and harming their record, video or concert ticket sales?

YouTube was not willing (or able, or both) to provide me with those comments.

And now also the take-down of the second video and to top it all off, the suspension of my account. Are all my videos infringing copyrights? "No" and "Jain". The "Jain" could be made a "Yes" technically, but if a TV station grabs a promo video of somebody and airs it without asking for permission, that somebody is very unlikely to sue the TV station for copyright infringement... more of the opposite would be true, that somebody would probably be thrilled and happy. It's like writing a press release and a newspaper actually picks it up and publishes it. I am surprised that marketing material (which is intended to expose as much people as possible to) is not automatically treated like a press release, but I am not a lawyer to be able to answer that question.

Guess what, YouTube, who is quick to take crap down without checking is always slow when it comes to responding to the inquiries and communication of the content publisher. This is not the first time. YouTube took down in the past a video from a different YouTube account of mine on behalf of a company who did not own any rights on the video at all. The video recording of the MS DOS PC demo was released under what we call today "creative commons", but without using the legal gibberish. Back when it was released, creative commons did not yet exist as far as I know. In that case YouTube did also not bother to respond to or put the video back up. I re-uploaded it again with a nasty message to the ownership-thief to check first that you really own anything about a video before you claim it to be your own.

I am also mad at Depeche Mode, who I expected to know better than this.I used to be a MySpace friend of the band and sent them a long message via the MySpace mail system yesterday. They have probably their henchmen reading the messages for them and give a crap about the rant and unhappiness of a 22 years long fan of the band. At least Ronan from VNV Nation is reading and responding to his messages personally. I also talked to Ronan and Mark from VNV about copyright stuff and they are much more realistic and relaxed about this.

I will now post my message to Depeche Mode that I sent yesterday at MySpace, before I removed myself from their MySpace Friends list.

Subject: Disappointed and Pissed off, thank you and well done

I made all video versions of my favorite song of yours "Never let me down again" available on YouTube in shitty 320x240 resolution. I took it from ALL your concert and singles DVDs that I own. I also added some personal comments and details to the description to express my support and love for you.

The videos attracted many comments and multiple discussions and sharing of memories and experiences. Really good and heartwarming stuff.

On April 25, 2008 was the first video taken down, the 1987 singles version, after being up for over 6 months and attracting 72 comments (real comments, no junk and no spam). YouTube stated that "Depeche Mode" was claiming the material being infringing.

I am sure that you never looked at the published video yourself. I even doubt that your henchmen look at the stuff and simply filtered videos by name.

Yesterday was the live version from 2005 taken down (Touring the Angel, Live in Milan). That is not all, my account at YouTube was suspended yesterday too, My account with over 160+ videos and only 6 of those were Depeche Mode videos. Now all of my videos are inaccessible. I did not get an email about the suspension. The last email that I got was the info that "Depeche Mode" claimed that the video (Never Let me down again, Live 2005) is infringing and taken down.

This is f(self-censored)king* great!!!

*I don't use the "f" word lightly; it’s the second time within the past 12 months actually. The last time before now was when I got my Green Card after living for over 7 years in the United States, with a short break, where I was forced to leave the country, because I ran out of a visa because it reached and exceeded its maximum lifespan... I wanted to let you know this to put things into the right perspective.

What do you think was happening to your content? Do you seriously believe that you lost any album sales, let alone concert ticket sales as a result of the fan postings of low resolution videos of a song of yours on a video sharing site?

Looking at the responses and comments, I'd say it did the opposite. You probably had album, video and ticket sales as a result of this. I was asked to post other songs and versions of your music. I only did it for one song, the Everything Counts version of 101. I declined the other requests and responded with the info which DVD the song is on and where to get it.

I cannot believe it that I was a fan of yours since 1986 when I was still living in East Germany and thought that it will be the end of the world, because I could not get a ticket to your one concert in East Berlin in 1987 (at the Werner Seelenbinder Halle) and believed that I would never be able to see you live. Well, fortunately for me the Berlin Wall did come down 2 years later. Who’d known? A friend of mine spent the equivalent of over 4 months salary of an average East German worker to buy off a ticket from one of the guys who got a ticket. My friend was 14 t that time, I was 13. The tickets to that concert were not sold. They were given for the most part to schools and they gave it to "exemplary" good students (Depeche Mode fan or not). Most of your real fans never had a chance to get a ticket. They had to buy it off from the "good" students for small fortunes. Not many had that kind of money, I certainly didn't even own 4 months of salary of an adult at that time.

What I have (and still have, shipped from Germany to California) is the original and only published Vinyl record with Depeche Mode songs in East Germany by "Amiga". You have no idea how hard it was to get that.

But all that is now past and you could file it under teenage stupidity or whatever you want. I am now thinking about throwing away all my Cd's and DVDs and even that damn Amiga Vinyl record of yours, considering your attitude towards your fans who do nothing more than evangelize your music and promote your albums, videos and concerts by publishing low quality version of your music and concert videos.

Good Job.

I will now remove you from my MySpace friends; however, I always had an open profile that allows messages to be sent to me, even if you are not a friend of mine.

It does probably also not matter, because I don't think that any of you even bother to read your own emails and have just another henchman do it for you and file this message under "rants"... done, thank you very much. We appreciate your damn money and business, but give a crap about you and your stupid personal problems with us.

a former Depeche Mode Fan.
1986 (starting with "A Question of Time") to 2008 (ending with infringing on your shit)

So... that was that. Now I still have to battle with YouTube to get my account back up again. That I am not just full of s... and make up an issue where there isn't one can be seen, if you have a look what else is going on at YouTube and other social media sharing sites. The Prince vs. Radiohead incident for example speaks volumes, all by itself.

I will not go further into details with this post. There is a lot more to say and to point out to make you understand the whole extend of this problem. I got to start working on my post, dang it. :)

There is only one last thing that I would like to mention. The purpose of the Copyright law is to protect content producers from rip-offs and not getting paid for their work appropriately when they should. It also prevents the commercial exploit of somebody’s intellectual and creative property, leaving the creator out of it. The law does not exist to be self serving. If a law is either not sufficient to do what it was created for or if it harms somebody else or does not cover relevant scenarios that are becoming norm and not exception, then a change of that laws become necessary or they will create more and more harm and less and less good.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Sunday, June 01, 2008

New ASCII Art Contest at deviantART

Hello Everybody,

After a series of posts that were relatively unrelated to ASCII art and text art in general, now a pure one that ONLY talks about ASCII Art and nothing else. Ha, I knew that you missed those hehe.

Maija Haavisto aka DiamonDie organized another ASCII art contest over at You might be familar with DiamonDie from Finland, because I have her ASCII Art Tutorial up on my site as part of my ASCII Art Academy for some time now.

click to restart animation

What is she looking for?
Draw something in ASCII that I haven't seen before, something creative in technique, style, concept and/or subject matter. You could make something surreal, abstract, political, dadaistic or otherwise strange.

What is she NOT looking for?
... no kittens, Pikachus, roses or Santa Claus, unless you can make them stand out somehow.

No pornographic entries or anything that would violate the U.S. law, pretty much everything else goes.

There are the following technical requirements, because ASCII art is a bit too broad and not everything that falls under the term Text art or ASCII art is allowed for this contest.

  • The entry must be an ASCII picture, of at least 10x10 and at most 80x200 characters (that's 80 characters per line and 200 lines). The entry must be drawn in a fixed-width font. Sorry, no extended characters (8-bit), colored ASCII or ANSI this time. If you don't know what this means, make sure you only use characters included in the green part of this table.
  • The entry must be original and created by hand. Entries made with an image to ASCII converter are not taken into account. If your image looks converted or ripped, you will need to present a proof that you made it (ie. so called "step files", save the picture into several different files while drawing it).
  • You can enter at most three pictures. You don't have to be a DA member to enter*.

* Just FYI. The deviantART membership is free and should not have been a hurdle for you in the first place that prevents you from entering the contest (or it would have been a very lame excuse if you would be using this excuse as a reason not to enter). Well, she does not make it a requirement this time, so it does not matter. One lame excuse was just eliminated before it even started hehe.


Send a link to your artwork for download (you can upload it free at or also at your account at deviantART (which is a bit trickier) via a personal note to DiamonDie using the deviantART internal mail system or via direct email to maija AT writeme DOT com.


The deadline of the contest is 7/7/2008, July 7, 2008, no matter how you interpret the date (its the same in US and UK date format) :)

What is in it for you?

The winner gets a "Dark Domain DVD" from ACiD Productions shipped free to your place anywhere on this planet (but where mail can be delivered). So living not in Europe or the United States is also not a reason for not entering the contest. :)

Dark Domain is a DVD-Rom (for the Computer), which contains text art from 1987 to the present, art packs, emags, text files and more. A complete and detailed list of all files included on this DVD-ROM may be found at The DVD is full and almost impossible to check entirely, unless you have some months of time to spare to look at the tens of thousands of images, ASCII and ANSI art pieces.

I list the DVD for a long time already at my scene related "online shop" here at There are a lot of other nice gems that might be of interest for you (sorry, but not part of the prizes for this contest)

To read all the details about the contest yourself, check out the original news post by DiamonDie at Happy drawing and good luck to you.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

p.s. I might throw in something as well, like I did for Diamondie's ASCII art contest in 2006. I just don't know what I should throw in and if I should make it a surprise again as I did last time. I will check with Maija ;-).