Hello all

A niche proposing for people to post covers of songs was recently rejected.

There were a lot of diverging approaches in the comments, so it might be useful to continue community engagement on the topic here (thanks Denis Wallez, for alerting me to this).

This is a good example of the grey areas that arise when copyright and the TOS come into play, so it  is important for us to become savvy on how to vote in these situations!

The rejected niche (and associated comments):

https://alpha.narrative.org/n/...r-songs-song-request

Original Post

So, I have a question, please: I was looking at niches that need moderators and I came across a niche suggested by a founder called Grand Theft Auto. There is no description of that niche (which I sought), and it was approved.

I'm curious; is this niche about the movie, how to do it, how to survive it, how to get away with it, how to do time for it, or...? (I'm sure you don't know, btw.)

For me, this niche is somewhat strange because of its 'theft' wording, and I'm wondering about the type of content people will create there.

I'm apologizing early if this comment is stupid. I assure you, I'm asking because I'd like to better understand this one. I am reluctantly posting this question.

Actually, no, the name of the Niche is GTA. The description is Grand Theft Auto.  GTA is a commonly used abbreviation for games of the series.  Almost always on game review sites, industry news sites, and sites of that nature it isn't "Grand Theft Auto 4," it's "GTA4."  

But it's a poor description, I don't know what it meant....
No, it's not. It is a perfectly fine description for people that do know what it means and if you don't know then you're not the Niche's target.

And now you know.  

There's no reason to be reluctant to ask. 100% of unasked questions go unanswered. Now you have an answer.  

Hey Jayme!

I was hoping this thread would be about the Cover Songs niche.

My take on the GTA niche: it was voted in very early (April 2018), pretty much right at the beginning of the Alpha.

I think now, I would have considered the description lacking because the word 'game' should be in there somewhere.

@David Dreezer and I disagree on this approach.  He feels it is enough for people who know the game to be able to find it, but to me, that's ignoring half of the role of content.  Content isn't just for people returning to something they already know.  It is also, and perhaps more excitingly, about discovering things they don't know.  Search for games, and this niche will not come up.  That's such a basic failure, I personally don't think we should settle for it.  Thinking long term, ten or twenty years of people searching for games and not finding the GTA niche makes our short term concerns about heart break for rejected niches seem irrelevant.  We really should be taking the long view here, in my opinion.

We currently have no mechanism to enforce improvements being made to niches, so just assuming niche owners will do it is not ok.

We also can't just say 'oh well' the niche will fail and another one will take its place, because niches must be unique, so nobody can make a new GTA niche as long as this one exists.  This one will have to be sold to a new owner before it gets another chance of being improved, if the first owner decides not to improve it.  That could take one year, or it could take 10.  The first owner might be happy to keep it for 10 years without making any improvements.  And the second owner might not improve it either.

We're all learning how to vote for niches.  No doubt our views will evolve further as it is still early days.  But so far, this point seems like a large amount of potential lost for no good reason at all.  Are we trying to set the bar low so the next social network can leapfrog us more easily?  If so, that's a little too kind of us.

So we still don't have any answers about intellectual property rights and things like the Cover Songs niche. This is an important thing to discuss, with various international organizations making harsh penalties for violating intellectual property rights, like Article 13 in the EU.

Twitch, the livestreaming platform, has suspended and banned long-time popular streamers for playing unlicensed music on their channels because Twitch doesn't want to get sued for hosting copyright violations around the world.

Narrative needs to take a solid stance on this now. I think the CYA answer would be to REQUIRE niches (like cover songs) to have descriptions that EXPLICITLY state that the narrator must be the rights-holder or have properly licensed the content they are using.

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