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The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 10:21:40 (edited 2006-11-04 13:50:11)
There appears to be much more of a controversy surrounding the animelyrics.com dissolved partnership than I had at first been led to believe.

The players:
  • Sailor Bacon AKA Allen
    The creator and original innovator of the website.
    He maintained the site for several years before moving on to other things. He has not seen so much as a penny for all his hard work.

  • Igor Bass aka Kaitou Ace
    Owner of the domain name animelyrics.com.
    Helped has made no significant contribution to the website coding or content.
    Provided the server for years, until traffic required the site to be migrated to a bigger server.
    Recently used a web spider to copy all of the lyrics content.
    Plans to recode the website from scratch.
    It is not clear how much money he has received from the partnership, aparently not as much as was agreed upon. Claims to have submitted design elements but that Philip never applied them.

  • Philip Mak
    Owner of the new domain name animelyrics.tv.
    Coded the majority of the website.
    Owns the current server, including all code and the lyrics database.
    Plans to run animelyrics.tv all by himself.
    Igor claims he has received $32,000 from the partnership.

  • XAZY AKA Julie
    Maintainer (person who does all the hard work!) for animelyrics.com for several years.

The timeline:
  • 2000
    Site launch with Sailor Bacon in charge. I remember the good old days! Animelyrics.com appears to have been fully coded (thanks archive.org), mostly by Philip. It bears mention that Igor is the original owner of the domain name, for what its worth. For contributing the domain name, Igor was to be allowed to post ads on the site as per the partnership agreement.

  • 2001
    Website is moved from Igor's server to Philip's server. Philip locks Igor out and begins slowly removing Igor's ads, replacing them with his own.

  • July, 2004
    Sailor Bacon takes off, leaving XAZY in charge of maintenance.

  • 2006
    Igor is tired of being a "doormat", allowing Philip to use the domain for his own profit. According to Philip, Igor offers him $5,000 for the web program and content. Philip says Igor was offered $100,000 (obviously fake IMHO) for the domain from a separate agency. So, Philip refuses and, according to Igor, offers $5,000 for the domain or $90,000 for the content. After this insult, Igor says he "couldn't see a way to continue working with [Philip]".
    However, according to Igor, "Philip first contacted me with an offer for $5,000 for the domain. I turned him down, and asked what he'd charge for the content, and he replied back with $90,000. At that point I told him that I'd be willing to give him the same five thousand he offered me, and told him about the 100k offer, which did happen, but honestly, it was probably a bogus offer, and not one I had any intention of taking, but it was there, and I certainly used it in negotiations."

  • November, 2006
    Philip decides to redirect traffic to his new website, animelyrics.tv Notice how it Philip acted first, but Igor had already made up his mind to dissolve the partnership! In response, Igor redirects the domain name to his own placeholder site. I receive a form email from Philip saying animelyrics.com has moved to animelyrics.tv! I begin communication by calling up Igor, since first instinct is to go to the whois record. My impression is that he is hiding things, which he was as it turns out. So, I decide to email Philip, in attempts to get the whole story. Philip informs me that Igor plans on posting the content that he did not help generate. I buy this exaggeration, and in my frustration post a nasty thread and news article ripping Igor. Also, I update the lyrics links in my database to point to the new animelyrics.tv domain.

  • Today
    After further communication with Igor, i being to question my decision to side solely with Philip.

I pose these questions to my users:

1. To which site should I direct my users for lyrics (.com or .tv) and why?
2. Do you think it was right for Philip to remove Igor's ads from the site?
3. Do you think it is right or Igor to use the content he took using a web crawler?


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by on 2006-11-04 10:31:56 (edited 2006-11-04 10:36:24)
I say screw it and let us transcribe all the lyrics from scratch. :P

Seriously though, this is a tough decision. :/


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 10:39:56
Yea. It seems Igor is out to make money. All the evidence suggest that is what he does, and wants.
He does, however, appear to have given Philip quite some slack. He even left up Philips other domains (animewallpapers.com on animeforum.com) which he hosts. It doesn't seem right for someone to spider all the content and make a copy of the site, but, it does seem like the partnership was clear that the domain name animelyrics.com and its owner owned the rights to the content. So, Philip was foolish to enter into such a one-sided partnership. A lot of the facts are still shaky. I am waiting for both sides to verify a lot of this, still. Also, from the looks of this article, it looks like Philip has had trouble with partnerships in the past.


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Xazy on 2006-11-04 10:48:04 (edited 2006-11-04 10:53:00)
The most ignored player is honestly MYSELF. ME. XAZY. Hello. *waves*

And probably Sailor Bacon, too. You know, the guy who started the site? The guy who is pretty much solely responsible for the site even existing?

And then there's me, who's been maintaining the site for 2-3 years almost single-handedly.

To be completely honest, even as the site/forum/database admin, most of the information you have here is news to me. News to me!

I had no knowledge of this server, advertising, hosting, or domain-name rankle. If anyone was seeing revenue from the ads, it was certainly not me. If anyone decided to change the ads or the hosting, it was not me. All the information I ever received was "The site was down for a few hours to switch servers". You know, something that's pretty standard for websites.

I'm annoyed at both sides honestly for leaving me completely in the dark. I'm disgusted that all of this happened without my knowledge. I'm disgusted that all of this petty bickering went on without any concern for the feelings of the site's CONTENT GENERATOR(S). I'm especially disgusted if Philip was making money from the site and not sharing it with the person/people who did constant site management rather than just occasional DB poking. Or I don't know! Maybe Philip did more than that. I wouldn't know.

If anyone's a freaking doormat here, it's me.

I'm sickened.

EDIT (OP seems to have been edited):

bull freaking crap Philip is going to "run" animelyrics.tv by himself. It's MY work that runs the site. MY. WORK.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by pocko on 2006-11-04 10:59:14
Since right now it's virutally impossible to determine which of the two is "right", I think it would be okay to continue linking to whichever site you're currently connected to and wait until things are more clear to decide whether you should change "sides".

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 11:00:50
I agree with you fully, Xazy.
From my personal experience on this website I know that maintenance is 99% of the work.
Obviously, Philip never dispersed to you any ad money since you have been volunteering your work.

Hey, I don't disperse any revenue received on this site to anyone except my web host, and they take all of it! :P
But then again, I don't have ads.

You might be able to tell Philip you will only continue working for animelyrics.tv if he offers you X% of ad revenue.
Also, you still have the choice to side with Igor, if you think he will run things better.

Myself, I am still quite undecided at this point.
It is an interesting problem and very complex indeed.


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by SailorBacon on 2006-11-04 11:30:56
Well, Xazy linked me here so might as well give my little piece. After graduating from college and taking up a full time job doing website things for CNET Networks, I just didn't have time for working on animelyrics.com so I handed over the admin keys to both Xazy and LockeVanish so that the site would continue to get updates. I dropped by time to time and aside from that just vanished. My personal life went to hell and I moved cross country 3 times in as many years.

As for this whole issue, it was just brought to my attention yesterday. Never once have I been a part of any discussion involving the ownership or maintenance of the site. Never once have I ever received a penny for keeping it running (thus why it was forced onto the backburner when I moved to pursue real life goals and ambitions). As for Philip vs Igor, I can assure you that Igor never did a damn thing for the site. Anytime I wanted something done, I would email Philip and it was handled. It has been and always would've been myself with some help from Philip who did the work, and Igor who sat around apparently making free money.

I don't care about money. I'm well enough off money-wise and Sailor Bacon's Anime Song Lyrics Headquarters -> AnimeLyrics.com was always about having fun and providing an awesome service to me. As long as the lyrics are up for people to use, everyone wins and I don't care who profits. But as for which site to link to, I would say animelyrics.tv. It's the pure site, and it's maintained by someone who has actually had something to do with the growth of the site. If I ever have the ability to help out on either site, it would be that one and not the new leech site.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 12:02:49
First I must say, I am honored that you posted in my forum, Sailor Bacon!
I am impressed with the wisdom of your policy in regards to money, which I also share. :)
Thank you for your clarification about Igor's non-contribution, which to me, is a critical point.
Thank you also for all you have done to create and help maintain the awesome service!
I am sorry to hear about the trouble in your personal life, but am happy to hear of your fun job and that you are spending your time on what is truly important in life.


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by belldandy428 on 2006-11-04 13:31:11 (edited 2006-11-04 13:37:03)
Just to clear up some of the missing facts. Since May of 2004 PMak has made over $32,000 in revenue off of AnimeLyrics.com. He has signed ad agreements for Gorilla Nation Media claiming to be the sole owner of the site. Which if you don't know is illegal, since he's not. When Kaitou Ace asked him to put up an ad he would for 3 months, which combined with 2 other sites tuxedomask.com and animeglobe.com got about an average of $700/month and that was in 2003. So, I'd have to say Kaitou Ace has gotten little to no revenue for the site.

Kaitou Ace has made a layout, banner and buttons, none of which PMak used. He locked him out of the server PREVENTING him from helping at all. So not helping was not a choice for Kaitou Ace. He had no way to help. At some point, if you remember, the site went down for 3 weeks this summer. At that point Kaitou offered to move the site back to our servers and was turned down.

I go by Princess Minako on Animeforum.com and AnimeGalleries.net the sites that Kaitou Ace and myself own. He also happens to be one of my best friend. Everything I've told you is fact, facts that can be backed up with documentation including the financial reports from GNM the ad company.

We would LOVE for Sailor Bacon and Xazy to come help the new AnimeLyrics.com We would even be willing to compensate them for their help.

Thanks <3

On a side note, if we knew how to contact you Xaxy we would have, the only email we had was the @animelyrics.com. We would LOVE to have you help us with the content and as said above would be more than happy to compensate.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 13:39:17 (edited 2006-11-04 13:56:26)
Clearly Kaitou Ace didn't get what was agreed upon, but, all he has to offer is ownership of the domain name its self. That does not, in my mind, mean he deserves the money, but a deal is a deal. It seems like maybe its not Kaitou Ace's fault he didn't contribute, and that in fact he wanted to, as belldandy428 has mentioned.

Not to make light of this unfortunate conflict, but this plot keeps getting more and more interesting!

Thank you for your input, belldandy428.

Just can't help but think, it seems to me like a new website should start at a new domain, you know?


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by belldandy428 on 2006-11-04 13:55:46 (edited 2006-11-04 14:00:23)
Kaitou definately wanted to contribute enough to deserve the money, but was TOTALLY unable to. He has always owned the domain name, and we (I say we because he and I are partners) have tried to work with PMak in any way possible. PMak apparently likes to run solo and take advantage of the people he works with, i.e. not compensating Xazy with the wealth of money he was making. We run things differently. We use the money made on the sites to help the people who help us. We've given money to one of our head moderators when they got into a bad car crash and needed to get a new car, we also give another server mod the money to pay for the car he has as well. We have used the money to help our head admins attend AX06. And as stated before are more than willing to give Xazy compensation if she would be willing to join and help us run the new animelyrics.com.

We did not want to pull the domain name from PMak and offered him money to purchase the database from him. His answer was this apparentslander campaign and to throw out half truths and dirtying our name as much as possible. I just want to clear up some of the facts so that the true story gets out there. I'm sorry this had to be made public so that everyone has to get involved with the childishness of it all.

We would still love for people to come to our site, enjoy the new forums and the community we have worked very hard to build at our other sites. I'm sorry for anyone affected if they feel they have been done so in a negative way.

My email is Belldandy428@gmail.com and I am more than willing to talk with anyone about the matter. Or you may email Kaitou Ace at Webmaster@animeglobe.com Thanks <3

P.S. the company that offered us $100,000 for AnimeLyrics.com was Duna Internet Inc out of the UK. So its not a lie, FYI. I can go so far as to post the email, altho I would prefer not to, to protect their privacy.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by gendou on 2006-11-04 14:04:58
When it comes to running solo, gendou.com is a good example of that being effective (most of the time :P).
I can understand that desire and it is a good strategy. But not for a partnership! lol

The slander campaign was my fault, I misread the situation entirely when I talked with Philip over email.
Of course, we was giving his side of the story, which was very incomplete and understandably misleading. So, sorry for dirtying your name (referring to posts in the previous thread about this issue, which I deleted promptly upon hearing the other side of the story).


Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Xazy on 2006-11-04 14:15:31
I've been contacted by both parties and my current stance is that I'm not making any decisions until everyone comes clean with me. I'm seeing a lot of things said here that are totally bogus to me (okay, Kaitou was blocked from the site back in... 2003? He still owned the domain, he could have done something about it way back then if it was an issue). On the other hand, I'm willing to believe that he would have comped me if he had been able to, and that he would comp me if I kept on with him. On pmak's side, I've heard about his business practices AND I think it should have been obvious to him after a time that I was the one in charge, not Sailor Bacon... but I still have ties to (what is now) animelyrics.tv, and the forums in particular, so it's not like I can just throw it out.

Obviously I have a lot more than that to consider as well. I expect it will be at least a week before I make any kind of solid decision.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by belldandy428 on 2006-11-04 14:27:23
Kaitou is very passive agressive, I am not. He even said in an email to Pmak that he should have yanked the site in 2003 when he did that. And hind sight is 20/20. You're right, we should have. We were, at that time, still running our forefather sites, tuxy and Animeglobe. Those sites are not really around anymore and we've finally come into our own with Animegalleries.net and AnimeForum. At the time we really couldn't do anything, and what good would have pulling the sites done us? Kaitou, the eternal optimist, at the time thought that things would work out. We didn't realize this is how it would come to pass. I totally agree that you can't throw away a community that you worked hard to build.

But please know that we harbor no hard feelings towards anyone on the matter. We do recognize the work that you did to make Lyrics what it was, and wish for you to continue that work with us. If you decide not to, we won't bother you nor feel you did anything other than follow your gut on the issue.

I appreciate your appology about the statements made about us. Stuff like this never goes over well, especially when its so public. We never expected this to go quietly, but we hoped it wouldn't go over in a mean spirited way.

We look forward to hearing your decision Xazy, and I do hope, hey you can't blame me!, that I can look forward to working with you. <3

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by SailorBacon on 2006-11-04 16:12:10
I think what annoys me about this whole situation is that this database of lyrics belongs neither to pmak nor to kaitou ace. This original database (and I'm talking about the lyrics, not the site code), was 100% completely provided by me, which was in turn provided to me by all of the submissions to SBASLH. To this day, neither pmak nor kaitou ace have really handled lyric submissions nor was it their name and original content that drew the audience to the site.

And yet despite all of this, both of them have made money off my work in some form or another, and there is a big debate as to which of the TWO OF THEM "owns" the lyrics database when obviously the correct answer is "neither". The lyrical database is entirely the work of myself, xazy, lockevanish, and everyone who has submitted anything to the site. This is what angers me about this, considering that I found out from neither of these individuals what was going on and instead found out from RL friends asking me wtf was going on with the site. It's sad when the guy who originally brought it all knows less than random internet users about a situation he SHOULD be so involved in.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Cat on 2006-11-04 16:44:28
I don't think you should side with anyone, that the lyrics should be provided by members here who know how to speak/read/translate Japanese, that way we stay out of any controversies.

"Do, or do not. There is no try." ~Yoda

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by belldandy428 on 2006-11-04 16:45:10
at the moment we're reconstructing our own database. Pmak never intimated that it was anyone elses but his own when we offered to pay him for it. So we didn't know any different. He never told us that anyone other than him actually wrote it.

As to what officially happened to the site, no one knew other than Pmak. We sent him an email with our final offer on the 31st, and he took it down yesterday and has not contacted us. So we were just as surprised as you were that it was taken down and the redirect put up. I will appologize again for not contacting you all, but frankly I personally had no idea who was involved in the site and in what manner. Should we have researched it, yes, was this handled perfectly? no. It happened quickly, and we also didn't want it to seem like we were trying to do this in a back hand way and sneak around to talk to you guys behind PMaks backs. Now that its all in the open the shoulda/woulda/coulda's are very easy to spot. I'm sorry you were annoyed or upset by anything that has taken place, and if I didn't care or wasn't trying to make this right, I wouldn't have registered here or posted. Nor would Kaitou have even responded to the email Gendou sent him. We're trying to do the right thing, now that we know what it is. At the time we were unaware.

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Xazy on 2006-11-04 17:22:09
This will probably be my last response to this thread, though I'll keep watching it;

I just want to echo Sailor Bacon here:
"both of them have made money off my work in some form or another, and there is a big debate as to which of the TWO OF THEM "owns" the lyrics database when obviously the correct answer is "neither"."

At this point I've received apologies from both Pmak and Kaitou. Both have admitted to screwing up. As of now only Kaitou has offered me compensation for past (?) and future work; pmak assumes I will keep working with the .tv site as though nothing has changed (...ahem). I'm all for forgiveness where it's due and I don't hold any lasting negative feelings towards anyone despite being immensely frustrated by everything.

I keep to my word that I'm going to wait at least a week before bringing my final decision. I think that will be sufficient time to think, let everyone finish saying anything they have to say, and most importantly give me time to work on honestly more important things (like a project this whole animelyrics situation has left me unmotivated to work on but is due Wednesday whether I like it or not).

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Deona on 2006-11-05 12:14:13
I'm staying neutral on this one (not enough information)...although this article explains why AnimeLyrics has constantly been saying for the past few days that the site is down for maintenance. Sounds like that the bit about maintenance is a lie...

Re: The Animelyrics.com Controversy
Link | by Cardcaptor Raa'Shaun on 2006-11-05 14:09:09
Mind you, the following is based on my knowledge in partnerships and is my personal opinion. As we say on Slashdot, IANAL ^_^

Although I believe that both sides acted in error here, I personally will use animelyrics.tv seeing as it is actually still online. If this was an equal partnership, which I believe from reading everything that has been posted so far, everyone involved should have equal rights to money and products generated i.e. the ad revenue and the database. The terms of the partnership may have been unfair and probably should have been handled a bit more delicately between the parties however, as long as the founder (SailorBacon) has no objections to them using the database as it's been built off of his original work, they both should have the right to use the database as it was when the partnership dissolved. So to answer Gendou's questions to us users:

1: I think that you should direct to animelyrics.tv for now at least since it's the one that's working and make a 'quality of the website' based decision if they both get up and running.

2: I think that removing the ads without informing the owner of said ads was a bit shady. What should have been done is splitting the profits from the ads after site costs.

Note: When you have a single site maintainer that is working for free and the site is making money, it's probably best to start paying the maintainer. Suddenly having the maintainer leave does nothing good for a website.

3: As I said in my opinion above, I believe that they both have the right to use the database, if and only if, SailorBacon doesn't object to the database that he started being used in this way.

From the new master of the cards, have a wonderful anime filled day ^_^

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