"[Disney Pins] Much Ado About a Database, Or Who Knew Shiny Pieces of Metal Had This Much Drama?"

Discussion in 'Disney Pin Discussion' started by gargress, May 4, 2020.

  1. gargress

    gargress (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Marilyn :・゚✧ DPF Charter Member

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    Grab your coffee/tea—a fascinating pin-related read popped up on the Reddit front page this weekend. As an on-and-off trader, I had no idea about 75% of this PinPics backstory involving LANSAM and TiggerNut. There's also a lot of link-backs to relevant threads in this forum.

    Full article here: /r/hobbydrama
     
  2. akarih

    akarih Resident "Young Person"

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    Wow that is incredibly interesting! I'd seen some of Tiggernut's old posts here when I first joined and went digging but I had no idea about all the history. And wow are there a lot of people in the comments who think pin collectors are crazy(though I will admit some of the park table traders are pretty scary).

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. gargress

    gargress (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Marilyn :・゚✧ DPF Charter Member

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    I hope people in the Hobby Drama forum understand the loudest/most problematic fans are not representative of the entire group. Pin trading is fun! But when it becomes about insular drama or resale value, I feel the fun dissipates. Glad to have the rest of you keeping things light and magical! <3
     
  4. SoraPandora

    SoraPandora Figaro Fan >^..^<

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    Thanks for posting! I’ve been trading for 7-8 years but still didn’t know most of the story!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    Those of us who have been on DPF for a while (at least since 2011 like myself) knew about this story. We read it, we experienced it, OMG.

    But let's just copy & paste the information from the Reddit post here?
     
  6. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...

    ==============================================================================

    [Disney Pins] Much Ado About a Database, Or Who Knew Shiny Pieces of Metal Had This Much Drama?

    To begin with, I am only a very casual pin collector and was not in the hobby when all of this went down. I’ve been able to piece this story together from reading way back in several forums that were very active at the time, but if anyone else knows more details (or sees something I’ve gotten wrong) please speak up. First, some backstory about Disney pin collecting and collectors:

    Hardcore Disney pin collectors are a relatively small and insular community. Most non-traders tend to think of the Disney pins as enamel pins of characters that one can easily find on a pre-packed lanyard and purchase at one of the many gift shops that dot Disney parks along with the occasional set you can find at Wal-Mart or Target. As a general rule, the pins in this story are not those pins.

    To start with, there are three categories of Disney pins:

    • “Rack” or open edition pins are produced without regard for edition number and could theoretically be available forever if Disney finds the pin profitable. These are the majority of pins that one can find on any spinning rack at a Disney park or property, along with most of the pins that proliferate at the Disney Store’s website and at other retailers.

    • “Limited Release” pins are generally only available at a select location (sometimes only Disney World OR Disneyland), and are generally smaller in terms of edition size, but edition size is often not made public. Theoretically these pins could be as open-ended in edition size as a rack pin, or they could be incredibly limited. There is at least one infamous Limited Release pin (Rapunzel from the Reveal/Conceal Girls series) that is considered one of the lowest-edition and hardest-to-find pins out there.


    • “Limited Edition” pins are exactly what they say—a select number are produced, and they generally sell out fairly quickly to both collectors and resellers. While originally many LE pins were available online for Disney fans to purchase from anywhere in the country, these days they are almost all exclusively released at or around the Disney parks.
     
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  7. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...
    ==============================================================================


    It’s not uncommon for older rack pins of popular characters to inflate in price on eBay, but it’s a guarantee that LR and LE pins will immediately double, triple, or more in price once they are sold out and eBay becomes the sole place to get your pin fix.

    Except, of course, if you trade.

    Pin trading became an official Disney “thing” back in 1999, and originally was centered solely in the Disney parks. Today it also takes place online amongst people who don’t live anywhere near a park. Rack pins tend not to trade well with the pin-trading elite, which means that a trader needs LE and LR pins—the lower the edition size and more popular the movie/character the better—as “traders” (i.e. pins they don’t really care about except as currency) to trade for their “grails” or most-wanted pins.

    And lest anyone mistake this for an inexpensive hobby, some of these hard-to-find LE and LR pins sell for thousands on eBay. That Reveal/Conceal Rapunzel pin I mentioned a moment ago? There’s one up on eBay as I type this for $8,000.

    So once upon a time, two Disney pin fans got the idea to create a database of pins. It would be crowd-sourced, which meant that people could take pictures of their actual pins—not just stock images owned by Disney—and people could use it to both keep track of what was “out there” in the pin-trading world. It was also envisioned as a resource to catalog traders’ own collections and to arrange trades with other pin fans around the world.

    Pin Pics was born!

    Since Disney doesn’t keep an official public list of all of their pin releases, and because there are hundreds (if not thousands) of new Disney pins released annually, some of which are never available to the general public and are only sold or awarded to Disney employees, it’s easy to see why a database like this would quickly gain popularity. The owners were pin collectors themselves, they welcomed anyone and everyone to add information to the database, and best of all the pin entries could be easily used to track a pin’s popularity; people who wanted to trade for the pin could mark it on their “Wants” list, and people who owned one and were open to trading it could add it to their “Trades.” The ratio between trades/wants became an easy way for collectors to evaluate a pin’s “worth” outside of its original MSRP and whatever someone had most recently sold it for on eBay.

    One of the other truly valuable things about PinPics was its use as a “scrapper spotter.” Scrapper
    is a general-use term in the pin-trading community to refer to A: a true production overrun that may also have flaws that led it to being “scrapped” in the factory, B: a bootleg pin made using the original pin molds but not authorized by Disney, or C: a counterfeit that looks approximately like the real pin, but may also have significant differences such as paint color, irregular stamping on the back side of the pin, strange margins, etc… Basically, scrapper = fake pin. Disney has an unofficial policy to not really care much about scrappers (why is a hotly debated topic amongst pin collectors—from what I have gathered it’s likely a combination of the cost of trying to shut down counterfeit operations in China as well as a desire not to leave a bad impression on tourists who unknowingly buy grab bags of cheap “park tradeable” pins on eBay to trade on vacation at one of Disney’s parks). Cost-wise it’s obviously better for Disney to keep the vacation-only pin traders happy and spending money on park tickets, food, and other merchandise than it is to make them feel bad for having a fake pin, especially when a real version of the same isn’t even a drop in Disney’s vast bucket. But for many collectors, pin trading is the only point of going to the parks, and scrappers aren’t considered valuable or tradeable if you’re a true hobbyist. Scrap versions of many rack, limited release, and limited edition pins all exist.


    Scrappers ballooned in the mid-2000s, and PinPics was seen as a good way to track pins that had known or suspected scraper copies in circulation, as well as to verify what the “real” pin was supposed to look like. I cannot stress enough how much the Disney pin community relied on PinPics. Tens of thousands of images were uploaded onto it over the years, virtually all of them pins that its members owned or had owned themselves. The database was not-for-profit, free to access, free to use for trading via a messaging system, free to utilize as a catalog of your own collection, and ultimately free for scrapper identification.
     
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  8. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...
    ==============================================================================


    PinPics had its own discussion forum called PinTalk. Another forum called Disney Pin Forum (DPF) came into existence around the same time. From what I have been able to gather they weren’t really competing forums—PinPics was mostly about its database, and DPF had no similar product, it was just a place for people to talk about pins. Both filled a hole left when an older site called Dizpins went offline. Many members participated in both forums under the same usernames, and DPF frequently referred new collectors to PinPics. Most of my links here are from Disney Pin Forum because PinTalk’s archives start in 2013 when the forum moved to TapaTalk. Even the Wayback Machine wasn’t helpful in locating earlier records. Many posts from the current version of the PinTalk forum have also been subsequently deleted, particularly those that related to the drama I’m about to detail. When possible, I’ve included PinTalk links, but there are some pretty large swaths of posts that have clearly been deleted.

    At the outset, PinPics explicitly allowed eBay sellers, some of whom were the same people who had uploaded all of those pictures onto PinPics in the first place, to use its images in their listings. This was notably in the early days of eBay when fewer people owned high-resolution digital cameras, and before eBay required sellers to post actual pictures of the items they were selling.

    Back in 2012 all of this came crashing down around everyone’s ears.

    In a nutshell, the owners of PinPics had tired of the hobby, and as such were no longer interested in maintaining the database. All of those images, all of the traffic, and all of the hotlinking via eBay likely cost quite a lot of money. So the owners sold the database to a trio of fairly new pin collectors that went by the collective moniker of LANSAM


    As new traders (and there were rumors that at least one member of the trio wasn’t a pin collector at all, and was only interested in the potential of making money off PinPics) LANSAM were viewed with a considerable amount of skepticism
    from the larger pin trading community from the beginning.


    To start with, LANSAM very quickly made it clear that they were interested in turning PinPics profitable. Now, the finances of the original PinPics owners were never transparent—periodically there would be fundraising drives to pay for server costs, but the exact cost of running the site was never disclosed—however LANSAM opened their relationship with the pin-trading community by teasing that they were going to upgrade the OG PinPics system to a new, better, more efficient one that would also offer some additional benefits to those who paid annual subscription fees. What those benefits were remained murky at first, but many pin traders were alarmed that content they had provided for the benefit of the hobby and for their own collections could be monetized. Worse, they were worried that they could be locked out of the images and descriptions they had provided if they didn’t pay ongoing fees to LANSAM.

    ****. Hit. The. Fan.

    While many members of the larger community urged calm and noted that LANSAM weren’t likely monsters, that they had been vetted by the original, trusted owners of PinPics and had been found to be worthy buyers of the database, and that the subscriber benefits were supposedly going to be new features that the current PinPics did not offer, a very vocal group continued to run around shouting that the Disney pin sky was falling.
     
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  9. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...
    ==============================================================================

    LANSAM offered to host both a Q&A chat


    as well as to accept questions via private message that would be answered FAQ-style on the forum as a way to quell the furor. According to people who participated, the chat did not go well

    . Too many users, too little time given to answering difficult questions about the future of PinPics, and a growing awareness that LANSAM had few concrete ideas about how they would accomplish some of their stated and implied goals for the site were all highlighted in a thread about the chat on DPF. A few of the more skeptically-minded users worried that the FAQ would turn into just a selection of questions that LANSAM wanted to answer, and that since all questions had to be submitted via PM the larger userbase would have no way to know which questions LANSAM was declining to respond to. Nevertheless, the chat happened and the FAQ were posted.


    Until they weren’t.

    Days after both went live, they were unceremoniously removed from the PinPics forum


    . No rationale was given for their removal, but the negative response to both from users who had previously encouraged others to keep an open mind was fairly obviously behind it.


    At about the same time, LANSAM changed its user agreement to announce that PinPics would no longer allow their images to be used on eBay listings


    , and that they were going to watermark every image that had already been uploaded onto the site as well as those users would upload in the future. Now, keep in mind that use in eBay listings had been explicitly allowed up until this point. Many pin collectors were also pin sellers, and (see $8,000 Rapunzel Reveal/Conceal) eBay pin sales can be big business. Few people on the forums would admit to being sellers as well as traders, but some did freely acknowledge that they had eBay storefronts and were upset that images they had uploaded of pins in their own collections were suddenly PinPics’ to watermark and restrict.


    Internet armchair lawyering is never pretty


    , and plenty ensued on this topic. Lots of yelling and shouting, but ultimately very few people were either able or willing to do the work it would take to get their images (which were not apparently tagged with the username of the person who uploaded them) taken down.


    Things largely died down between the larger collector community and LANSAM for a few months after this, except for an ongoing beef between a Disney Pin Forum user named TiggerNut and LANSAM. TiggerNut was one of the users most vocally upset about the watermarking/eBay issue, and was quite open about the fact that she had a large eBay store and relied on PinPics images, thousands of which she claimed to have uploaded herself, to sell her merchandise. She continued to yell and shout regularly on DPF


    about how much she distrusted LANSAM, but the forum’s users seemed largely tired of the conflict and ready to move on, especially if LANSAM could deliver on a better version of PinPics. She was eventually blocked from PinPics, as were several others

    . TiggerNut remained convinced until the end that all of those who had been banned were being blamed for poor behavior because they were friends with her, though others threw doubt on this theory

    .


    At some point, TiggerNut encountered LANSAM at a pin trading event, and was very upset that it appeared that they were selling high-end pins. Some recent Googling had led TiggerNut to believe
    that one of the members of LANSAM was the relative of a suspected scrapper dealer who had sold faked high-end pins. He also had a felony conviction on his record for passing bad checks. In a since-deleted DPF post, she posted images of LANSAM at a table during the pin event, displaying pins, and heavily implied that she thought they were A: planning to use the site to set up pin sales in the future, and B: selling scrappers

    Now, as you can imagine given the concern over scrappers, reputation is a very important part of pin trading and selling. PinPics and Disney Pin Forum both had a system whereby users could rate one another, similar to the way a buyer can rate an eBay seller (though PinPics’ later went offline and never really came back). Any negative or even neutral feedback—especially regarding knowingly selling scrappers—could tank a trader’s reputation, even if they had hundreds of positive feedback comments and only one or two negative. DPF was very cautious about the potential for libel claims against the site, and disallowed lists of eBay sellers who allegedly sold fakes at the time (a list is now prominently featured on the forum), and TiggerNut was roundly discouraged


    from A: making claims against LANSAM she could not back up, and B: making accusations against someone for crimes an alleged relative may have committed.


    The next phase in LANSAM’s move to monetize PinPics came with the promised PinPics 2.0 site update. For months people asked what the update would look like, would this, that, or the other feature be available, when they were going to get even a sneak peek at the new design, etc… Finally the new site premiered, and while first impressions were mostly positive the overwhelming sentiment turned more sour
    as people began poking more extensively through the site and realized that some of the features they had enjoyed previously were not available. There was also the problem that the site wasn’t actually in its final form yet, and likely hadn’t been ready to debut at all. The fact that PinPics kept its old site still running for months after the supposed changeover did not help matters any; some longtime users simply refused to shift to the new site because using the old site was easier and more comfortable.
     
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  10. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...
    ==============================================================================

    Disney Pin Forum and PinPics had not been friendly for some time at this point, with quite a lot of criticism of the new PinPics owners and site happening on DPF, but DPF users clearly still drove a considerable amount of traffic to PinPics on a regular basis, and many of them continued to be regular posters on the PinPics forum. For one thing, PinPics continued to facilitate trades, but more importantly it was where almost all users still kept track of their collections and wants. Need an image of a pin you desperately want but don’t have? PinPics has it—just copy or hotlink to it and you can put it in your DPF signature for other traders to see. The more views on that signature you get, the greater the chances are that you’ll run into someone on the forum who has what you want and will trade it to you for something in your (also linked) PinPics trade list.

    In 2013, PinPics informed the owners of DPF that all links to Pin Pics must be disabled


    . Not just hotlinked images, which would be understandable from a cost perspective, but straight links between pages. Overnight, all of the links went dead. This decision was reversed

    , but then it wasn’t

    , and neither site seemed to fess up to being the ones to break the links permanently.


    Because neither DPF nor PinPics had informed users about the takedown, at first people assumed that the broken links were temporary


    . When an announcement was made that it had been deliberate and would be permanent, people began to lose their minds. I am going to be unabashedly editorial here and say that this decision is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read on the internet. Hotlinking images costs server money without driving traffic to a hosting site, but straight links between the forums isn’t the same thing. Moreover, Disney Pin Forum brought traffic to PinPics (which at this point was selling pins and accepting subscriptions) through those links. It is just so much shooting oneself in the foot to shut down all links because you’re getting some pushback about changes from your own users via a third party. When tempers cooled over a year later talks about allowing links resumed

    , but the damage was permanently done and most links to PinPics within the DPF archives still don’t work.


    The next major concern for many regarding LANSAM and PinPics came when the newest PinPics business venture was announced. Unlike many other collectables, Disney pins had never embraced (or had an independent body willing to engage in) rating pins. Mint vs. near-mint? There wasn’t a real system in place. Seeing a hole in the market, PinPics began offering a pin-grading service. For a fee, a collector could send their high-end pin to PinPics, have it evaluated, and then get it encapsulated with a grading sticker attached to the box verifying its condition. Given how much money certain hard-to-find pins can be worth on the secondary market, this isn’t an unreasonable service, nor is it outside the realm of what many other hobbies (such as baseball card collecting) already do.

    The only problem was that LANSAM’s biggest weakness in the community from the beginning was its collective inexperience with Disney pins. Many reasonable collectors


    asked for evidence that the person doing the rating had extensive experience with pins in the first place, much less with the very low-edition pins (see again, Reveal/Conceal Rapunzel) that most collectors who’d been in the hobby for years had never seen in person. With so many designs, how could a rater know for sure that a slightly blunted edge on a pin was a defect, not a standard feature on every pin made in that design? What about scrappers? Would the rater be enough of a pin expert to spot well-made fakes? Would he/she be able to tell the difference between an authentic pin with manufacturing defects from a scrapped fake? No clear answers were available, only assurances that the grading service was going to be good for the community.
     
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  11. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    NOTE: no copyright infringement intended. If the original poster to Reddit would like us to take this down, please let us know...
    ==============================================================================

    The grading service launched, and like so many things in this story, some parts went perfectly well and would have quelled controversy had they been announced in a timely manner, and some did not. Tomart was in charge of the grading, which calmed fears about expertise. The graded pins, though, were a different story once they started getting shipped back to their owners. For one thing, the seals that were supposed to assure an owner/buyer/seller exactly what they were trading or selling? Not the most unique or tamper-resistant looking sticker around. Some were worse.

    The service never seemed to take off, and was quietly discontinued at some point in late 2014 or early 2015.


    In late 2013 the first rumblings of a new pin database that would compete with PinPics began. People quickly pointed out that matching PinPics’ catalog would be challenging due to how long it had been around, how many older pins had been added by now-defunct collectors, and how extensively PinPics’ system of numbering pins for identification purposes had penetrated into the collecting community as a whole. This is still true, by the way, a casual search on eBay for “PinPics” nets hundreds of hits as many sellers list the identification number created by PinPics in the title of their listing. Still, there was interest in an alternative database if it offered different features than the current iteration of PinPics while also featuring a deep catalog of pins. Disney Pin Place was born! Less than two months later, it died. As best I can piece together, the site’s architect was scraping data from PinPics, including photos, to build the database quickly. PinPics quickly issued a DCMA takedown notice. The 2019 read on the situation comes down squarely in favor of the takedown, but at the time people were quite upset about it.

    Remember back when the sale of PinPics to LANSAM was brand new and TiggerNut was ranting that she was convinced that they were going to start selling pins? Guess what they did
    ? This venture involved a distribution agreement with ACME/Hot Art, a company that was licensed to manufacture high-end official Disney pins. It was a big freakin’ deal, and some of these were big freakin’ pins. How it worked was that people could pre-order these limited edition pins (costing between $40-$200, and marketed as not just pins, but works of art), pay up front, and then would receive their pins when the manufacturer shipped them from China. In addition to selling pins outright, there was also a game called Pinopolis

    —also the name of the PinPics pin-selling company--that is frankly far too confusing for me to try to explain (and I would explain it poorly), but if you’re really interested their Facebook page
    has posts as recent as March of this year. Only people who placed pre-orders were initially supposed to be able to acquire these pins, but unsold inventory was sometimes later made available to the general public for not much more than pre-ordering customers paid.


    Back in 2018, the Pinopolis/ACME agreement came apart. First, very expensive pins were taking months—6-8 or more—to arrive after pre-orders. Payments made through PayPal have a limited refund shelf life of 180 days. Beyond that, people who had paid hundreds (or thousands) of dollars for these pins were effectively left without recourse to get their money back, even if Pinopolis never delivered their pins. Second, no one really seemed to know what was going on with the pins, including the people who worked for LANSAM and Pinopolis. At one point there was even a testy standoff between two PinPics/Pinopolis reps on Disney Pin Forum about who was allowed to answer which questions. Finally, ACME lost the Disney license, leaving Pinopolis holding the bag on pre-orders that might never be manufactured. Interestingly, many of the 2018 designs have been auctioned off over Facebook Live in the last 9-12 months, so at some point Hot Art/ACME did deliver the goods, though Pinopolis stopped trying to market them on the already-burned forums of both their own PinPics site and Disney Pin Forum.


    So where does that leave PinPics today? Well, it’s not pretty, kids. The site became increasingly glitchy and unreliable as the post-sale years passed, and notably went down multiple times just prior to major pin trading events

    in 2017 and 2018, which is precisely when many traders needed to use it as a trades/wants record. It was all but unreadable for a period in 2019 when more page space was eaten up by ads than content. I first tried to look at PinPics while this was going on, and it was even worse than the screenshot in that last link shows. Per their own forums, at least as far back as 2018 the database itself was starting to crumble under the weight of old, buggy code. In spite of accepting sponsorship donations (with associated ACME pin bonuses) for years, the site struggled to support its servers.

    At present, no one appears to be maintaining the database or uploading new pins that have been submitted by users over the last few months. Lenny, part of the LANSAM group, posted to their forums back in October that the database is not for sale, and that they are working on rolling out an even newer update, but it’s been crickets since then. As much of pin trading has moved to Facebook and Instagram it’s unclear just how big a change the slow demise of PinPics is having on the larger Disney pin collector community, but for its core of dedicated longtime users it’s clearly making an impact. A new pin database has also emerged, one that is generating its content new without using the photos or descriptions that were originally crowdsourced and then copyrighted by PinPics. To date that database has a little over 30,000 pins recorded; PinPics’ database holds nearly 120,000. No matter what happens to the databases in the future, losing PinPics as an active resource almost certainly means losing records of many pins that collectors would like to preserve.
     
  12. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    Sorry for all the posts. Apparently there's a 12,000 character limit per post. There is also an image limit too.
     
  13. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

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    Wow, just wow. I sure remember a bit of this in the 10 years PinTalk/DPF has been here(though I miss Dizpins as I joined up there shortly before they went down). While I have participated in both forums, I was never into the subscriptions/pin exclusives/pin grading aspect though I recall much of the initial excitement before the eventual drama. Hopefully we can look at this period as a to learn and go forward as a growing community...
     
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  14. TheMickeyMouseRules

    TheMickeyMouseRules Cat Expert Mouse Authority and Paperfolder

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    Reading this is making my stomach turn. Its a bit heartbreaking for something meant to be fun.
     
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Cheshirefied DPF Charter Member

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    Aww internet archeology - how cute!

    But when every other sentence is "as best as I can piece together", well, yeah... I mean the gist of it is there but if you didn't live it, you don't know the ugliness and sadness of watching a wonderful hobby and community that had thrived for years being decimated by people who just wanted to make money off of what others had freely given to all...

    The TL: DR is: PinPics was a wonderful free crowdsourced site created, maintained and contributed to by people who loved pins and loved Disney. It was then bought by people who wanted to monetize the hobby and make a profit off of others' intellectual property and work. They achieved that and destroyed the site, the community and all goodwill from former contributors. PTDB is trying to pick up the slack by once again being a free crowdsourced site. But the genuine old timers who knew and lived the history of the hobby and shared the collective memory are mostly gone. And PinPics lost its relevance, usefulness and accuracy as a direct result.

    The moral of the story is: always keep track of your own collections, traders, etc. and don't depend on someone else to do it for you.

    THE END.
     
  16. rik1138

    rik1138 Active Member

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    I didn't read it in explicit detail, but some things I noticed that were missing about Disney Pin Place:
    He wasn't 'scraping' the PinPics database- since the PP database was made, for free, by the public, the terms of use clearly stated that the entire database (including the photographs uploaded to the site) could be copied by anyone for ANY non-commercial purpose. DPP didn't have advertising, and didn't charge people to use the site, didn't watermark the images, and it was clearly created as a free service for Disney pin collectors (the creator claimed he would never seek to monetize the site in any way, including ads, to keep in terms with the user agreement from PinPics). DPP even took the terms a step further and clearly stated that anyone could use the DPP database to create another database website if they wanted to. As a user of PinPics, you agreed to this when you uploaded images and wrote descriptions, so you couldn't claim that YOUR images were somehow exempt from this use.

    That Term of Use was changed I think literally the day after DPP went live. So even if the terms changed and the database was NOW not freely usable, the version that was in place at DPP was still legally in use as it met the conditions of the terms of use at the time DPP was created. They had absolutely no legal ground to stand on with trying to stop DPP. The guy that owned the site just didn't want to deal with a legal battle (despite more than one offer of pro bono legal help), and accepted an offer from PinPics to sell DPP to them, including the domain name (without notifying the pin community until the deal was done, so no one else had the opportunity to make an offer to buy the site and keep it alive). PinPics then just shut it down.

    The guy that made DPP was also working on an iPhone app that could identify pins using the phone's camera. You could photograph a pin and it would find it in the DPP database. Making searching for pins, theoretically, a lot easier. But he wanted people to pay a monthly fee to use the service (and I think it was $5-10 a month or something, it's probably still in the forum here somewhere), and people balked at the idea of paying a monthly subscription for it, so he stopped development on it. And after DPP went down, it would have stopped working anyway...

    And of course the bigger problem now is simply the incompleteness of the database. Before all of this, people would scramble to be 'the one' that had the honor of creating an entry for a new pin. EVERY pin was in the database within 24 hrs (usually just 1 hour) of it being announced by Disney in any form.
    Now I frequently find pins from the last few years that still aren't in the database. It seems all the people that really cared have left the site (or the hobby).
    I can't remember if back in the days of freedom if a newly created pin appeared immediately. I created a test pin a few months ago to see how long it would take for the pin to actually appear on PP, and I think it took 7 or 8 days before the pin was actually available for people do include in their collections/traders.
    One of the things I love about PTDB- new pins appear immediately, and the site is actively moderated... And you can actually talk to the people that can edit the site here on the forum. Not just some 'representative'...

    Also- is PTDB even mentioned in that article? I was skimming hard looking for it, but maybe I overlooked it?
     
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  17. coblj003

    coblj003 DPF Charter Member DPF Correspondent

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    It’s linked to at the end of the article but not specifically mentioned by name...
     
  18. gargress

    gargress (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Marilyn :・゚✧ DPF Charter Member

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    17   0   0

    Thank you for all the extra info! I had no idea. 0___O
     
  19. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    I hadn't remembered the monthly subscription idea with the app. I remember that @markheardjr was planning an app and that got shut down by Disney, but I don't remember the reason why. Mark has moved from So Cal. to FL, btw...
     
  20. rik1138

    rik1138 Active Member

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    Ah, yeah, I see it now... I was looking for the name.

    I'd also question this statement:
    "photos or descriptions that were originally crowdsourced and then copyrighted by PinPics"

    I don't think they can legally copyright the photos and descriptions that were offered to them under a different Terms of Service as a public database without written consent from EVERY person that submitted that information. Maybe they can do a 'unless you opt out' type of thing, not sure...
    I told them, when they changed the terms of service, that they no longer had permission to use any of my images under the new terms of service, and they are legally required to remove them all since I never agreed to the modified terms. They did remove some, but many are still there... It's possible they don't even have records of who originally uploaded them from back in the days of the old site...

    Mark's issue was that he wanted the app to work offline at Disneyland (which back then had really bad internet on phones). So he included 100's of pin images in the app itself. Apple immediately flagged it as a copyright issue and required him to get permission from Disney to make the app... They said no.

    Here's the thread about Ethan's photo-recognizing app. People seemed interested in it, but didn't seem like they would pay enough to make it worth his time, especially since the app wouldn't be used by thousands of people most likely...
    Disney Pin Place - Pin detection prototype iOS app [VIDEO] - Do you want this?
     
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  21. pinnochiolover

    pinnochiolover UK Collector/Trader

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    A nice walk down memory lane. Did I want to relive it? Well I managed to read it without my stomach turning. Back then it was an emotional time, even though I managed to stay out of the arguments.

    I have always maintained that Pinpics is a great resource for collectors, and would not want to see it disappear. Back in the day, I regularly added pins to the database and once a year was happy to contribute to the server fund, I felt part of the community, it was a great time. We all rallied round Pinpics, eager to add information or just see what others had added. Later, I felt it was a good move that Ebayer sellers had to load their own photos of pins, it would protect the collectors. But ultimately when the ownership of Pinpics changed, I started to feel very adrift in the hobby, it no longer felt like a community to me personally. That entity that we had rallied round was no longer the centre of the universe.

    The hobby has evolved into something very different, (and yes I still hang onto the thought that Pinpics could still be what we want it to be), but I'm glad I was there at the start.
     
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  22. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Lived it, spoke very loudly about it, still has a folder of messages saved about it on my computer.
     
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  23. CCofRR13

    CCofRR13 Well-Known Member

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    Wow....interesting. Only remember the last of it when ACME/Hot Art was falling apart
     
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  24. movingthestars

    movingthestars Well-Known Member

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    Omg hahaha, I know I just decided to come back here when the thread was at the top. I forgot about so much of that stuff, thanks OP for the (tumultuous) trip down memory lane.
     
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  25. caw caw rawr

    caw caw rawr Squirrel!

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    55   0   0

    Good times... Good times...
    [​IMG]
     
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