Here at BYOND we’re not really fond of rips. That is to say, we –shouldn’t- be fond of rips yet half the community seems to love them and defend them like they would for their Call of Duty games and 2 liter bottles of Mountain Dew. As we should know ripping can be generally defined as using a source, programming, or pixel art that is not open for public usage. Some users give the definition some more depth, others make it even more vague than that (“You no make? YOU RIP!”), but what was stated above was my general idea of ripping. If it isn’t something that is put up to be for free usage, it was ripped. Now, some can say “Well my friend let me use their source, so technically it was given to me!” sure kiddo, but let’s figure that your friend probably got that source from another friend who got that from a friend, all the way up until they hit the download link on some website with sources. But that is for my own personal blog to rant about, not here!
But what if you’re not necessarily using the sources? Is being a collector, being a ripper? Let’s say that you happen to make games that use pixel art and programming that are ‘handmade’, yet at the same time you like to keep about 20 sources of various games, just to have. Does it make you a ripper, or just a collector? Personally I figure since you’re not using any of it, it would be fine to say you’re just a collector. And we’ll disregard how you obtained the sources.
Which is an interesting point; does how you obtain the source change who you are? If you just google “DBZ BYOND Source” and download it, is it innocent collecting? What if instead I decided to enter your game under the guise of some programmer and worked my way up to where I was given a copy of the source, and after I obtain the source I just “drop off the face of the earth” only with the sole purpose of collecting and obtaining sources (personal experience with this one, kinda). If we look at that last example, you pretty much gained someone’s trust and then once you have the source, you just up and bolt. In this example, you’re not going out and making a hub, you’re just storing it just to say “Oh, I have the source for that”. Maybe the source type matters?
If the source is out for public usage, no one cares if you collect it right? We’ll assume yes, no one cares. What if the source isn’t supposed to be leaked? For some reason let’s say NEStalgia gets its source leaked (maybe Jared somehow gets the source, and him and Silk have some large argument and split, but Jared wants to be a dick and give it out). The source wasn’t intended to be leaked, it was obtained in ‘illegal’ ways, but you’re just keeping it in your system to have it. Would someone be claimed to be a ripper, or just a collector?
Let’s take it one minor step forward. You adore your collection, and you decide to start working on a game. One game you play regularly, you love, and you love a certain system the game has and you have no idea how to remake it. You remember you have the source in your collection, so all you do is take that little bit of code, and change it around. I’d like to assume at this point, you’re a ripper not a collector.
Is source collecting even ethical? Do you see it as morally incorrect? Do you think that even collectors should be branded as rippers?