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That's right everybody, it's time for Part 3 of the Poniverse Vs. Silver Eagle Saga, with another open letter from Silver himself. Following his first airing of grievances the powers that be at Poniverse sent out their own reply. The ball is back in Silver's court and here's his return volley.
Below is the copypasta of his letter.
Below is the copypasta of his letter.
Hello again Horse News,
After last week's op-ed and press release and an exciting weekend of hearing absolutely nothing from either PVL nor their new overlords at Poniverse, I thought I'd update everyone who might be curious about what's new in the Poniverse/PVL drama world. Rather than spell it all out in paragraph form, since there are so many little items, I'm typing everything out as bullet points instead.
In a scrambled attempt to defend their actions and justify that taking over PVL, throwing me under the bus and continuing to take credit for my work was all the totally right thing to do, Poniverse and PVL published a press release claiming that their decisions were all based on a lapse of "professionalism" on my part. I addressed their accusations that I "hacked" into PVL's web site in the comments section of the earlier article ( http://www.horse-news.net/
2016/04/ponyville-live-how-my- dream-became-my.html? showComment=1461111878530# c6616367966163284511 ) but let me summarize the same response here:
There was definitely no hacking, and there aren't any backdoors in PVL. Poniverse, in an attempt to skirt the hosting policy of PVL's web host while keeping the benefits of my personal accounts, had asked me to hand over my personal account details to them and move every non-PVL server off that account onto another one. I did this, and they then promptly went around telling every station and podcast that they could do just fine without anything I had contributed to the site. This pissed me off, so I turned those servers, which were still tied to my personal account, off for about a half hour.
Granted, even for that short interruption of service I felt like a real shithead, so I turned things back on pretty damn quickly. What Poniverse didn't tell you, of course, is that the week in which that happened had been such hell on earth for me, between PVL booting me out the door and a furry site threatening to sue me, that about that same night I was in my truck headed to the nearest flyover to hop off it and kill myself. For whatever reason, I decided not to, and went to the ER instead (which cost me a cool $1,600 or so). They didn't mention any of this because it doesn't fit the narrative they've stuck with, that I'm an aggressive mastermind plotting my own former network's demise, and not an imperfect human being fighting demons that a lot of us fight every day. It's just another in a series of shameful things they've done in their handling of this situation.
- They Finally Updated the Footer Copyright, but with Some Conditions:
One of the biggest issues from the whole kerfuffle was that Poniverse had updated the Ponyville Live site footer to say "Copyright 2012-2016 Poniverse", as if their newfound ownership had retroactively assigned them copyright to the network, its code and branding, all the way back to its creation in 2012. This was obviously a seriously dick move, but they dragged their heels on fixing it, and refused to do anything about it at all when it was just me raising a fuss.
It was only thanks to pressure from other developers and station owners inside PVL that they did the right thing (just this once) and updated the site's footer to say:
Copyright © 2015-2016 Poniverse Networks. All Rights Reserved. Portions of this site originally copyright © 2012-2015 Bravely Blue Media LLC and Silver Eagle.
If it reads a little strangely to you, there's probably a good reason for that. They only approved the change under the following conditions:
- They only allowed their site (Poniverse) to be a link, refusing to allow "Bravely Blue Media LLC" or "Silver Eagle" to link anywhere, even to my Twitter.
- They deliberately used the phrase "portions of this site" to downplay the contribution involved, despite the fact that, as of this writing, 98.55% of all commits related to PVL (and 99.99% of the lines of code contributed) were written personally by me. To them, the only acceptable way of describing that was "portions".
- They're Gutting PVL's Station Hosting, but Still Charging for It on Patreon:
Last summer ( to be exact), I purchased a one-year extension to the license for CentovaCast, the broadcast management software that PVL has always used to host the radio stations that didn't want to host their stations on their own (receipt attached). This was one of the original purposes of PVL, to provide shared infrastructure for little stations that didn't have the money, means or interest in hosting their stations themselves. The license cost $165, just as it did for the prior years that I paid for it out of pocket.
Right around the same time that PVL director Dusk was telling me that I wasn't welcome around there, he was also telling station owners that Poniverse was gutting this service ahead of its June renewal. The stations would have to figure out some hosting arrangement of their own, though they weren't told what that arrangement could be or given assistance with migration of content.
If PVL isn't hosting radio stations any more, and they're not covering conventions any more, then what's left? Well, a web site, pretty much. All that's left of PVL will be its web site, the content aggregation system that I had built to support PVL's more ambitious operations in previous years.
So Poniverse isn't renewing its broadcast management software license, and the last time it was renewed, I paid for it. It's curious, then, that their Patreon page says that you'll be paying for (screenshot attached):
- a shared radio server for Ponyville Live!'s radio stations, complete with broadcast management software
At the current rate, it won't be long before PVL is a shell of its former self, but Poniverse would still like your money for their hard work in that process. It's almost like the iceberg sending the Titanic a bill for "penetration testing".
- A LOT of People Want Me to Set Up Another PVL:
In the fallout of last week's letter to the editor and resulting press release, a number of station owners, podcast hosts and personalities in the fandom have said that they don't think what's happening is right at all. Some have expressed that support in the form of leaving PVL, and several have offered to support me if I were to fork the open-source Ponyville Live codebase and continue right where I left off, except as a new site.
On one hand, I do sincerely believe that handing PVL over to Poniverse was a mistake, that Poniverse has squandered almost every opportunity to use its supervision of that project for the fandom's benefit, has failed to dedicate almost any attention to its improvement in the almost 5 months they've fully controlled it, and that forcing me out of the organization, then throwing me under the bus repeatedly, was about the worst way they could've handled that situation. If "another PVL" were to spring up with my support and energy, it would be the ultimate lesson to their leadership that no amount of power and control can make up for the passion they pushed away.
On the other hand, nobody wants another "media war". Competing against the very network I had worked so hard to build all those years would rip to shreds years of progress in "Bringing Pony People Together" (PVL's increasingly-ironic slogan), and would require starting at square one in almost every regard. Maybe if we were still living in 2013, with that same fire and energy in the fandom, that would be a possibility. Today, though, there's no question that the fandom's golden age has passed us by, and building a media network in PVL's shadow would be a low-yield exercise.
So, would I make my own PVL? Not the way you're thinking.
Let them run the web site. If the day ever came that they decided this whole PR disaster was more trouble than it was worth and handed me the keys again, I'd take PVL back and love it like it never left me. This isn't likely, though, especially considering how aggressive they've been in asserting their control of the site.
But I do still have some things that could prove useful: a few suitcases full of camera equipment, a video editing rig and software for it, and nothing much to do with my free time.
If nothing else, I might just...keep recording stuff until there's no more stuff to record.
People still like seeing things that happened at conventions, after all, and without anything to do that gives me a feeling of purpose or usefulness, I think I'd just lose my mind.
Plus, I might just start writing for Horse News. Those guys have a good time.