Poni-versus Eagle Part 3 - PVL, Patreon, and Squandered Potential?

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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.

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.
  • Poniverse's Press Release was (Naturally) Missing Some Details:
    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 3 hours later 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 (June 20 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.

Silver Eagle

Comments (20)

  1. I don't see much of a reason for Poniverse to publish that Silver Eagle refuses to take care of his own health. If such things drive him to the ER then it's best to chalk it up as a loss and try to tread the rocky road to recovery rather than the smooth road of 'IDGAF'...But I digress.

    I wish I knew more about copyright law, I really do, so I have no actual knowledge of whether or not code developed as part of a site is different from that of freelance work (I would believe the latter tends to have more weight since said code is property of said coder rather than the site coded for). So without knowing the contract of sale what's to say that because the code was a part of PVL that it was sold alongside the site itself and Silver is pretty much shit out of luck.

    I hate to be the 'I told you so' asshole but if Silver actually did keep me around (I'd be one hell of an advisor) rather than shoo me off for being predictive I could of easily told him all this shit was gonna happen...Alas.

    P.S. I still firmly believe this fandom never had a need for radio stations and convention recording. The former probably because I can load all the songs that I enjoy onto my modified iPod Click Wheel and shuffle it while the latter I kind of felt ruined the idea of going to a con and experiencing it (Note: I'll accept it being used for attendees to watch panels they missed rather than online streaming).

    1. Who the fuck are you even and why are you so fucking smug all the time? Jesus fucking Christ on a tricycle, be gone!



    3. Purple Tinker lecturing someone else on being smug? Does she lack all self reflection? Then again I would avoid mirrors if I was her too

    4. And that is probably not actually PT since she usually uses an an account with a visible icon.

  2. No body actually cares about this crap. I wouldn't even register this as fan/brony drama as it had little to do with the fandom and is just some private squabble between individuals that contribute so little to the community, few would notice if they up and left without word.

  3. Idk, I like a lot of the live programming that PVFM does. DJs, early releases, their support of Legends of Equestria, etc... But just loading up the station to listen to tunes, I really only tune in when I don't know what I wanna listen to or when they air their no-pony playlist to see what artists that left the fandom are up to. There is a place for it, just not 30 of them.

    However, convention streaming is eh. It's great to have it recorded and uploaded later but I agree, streaming it removes the purpose of actually attending. I'm sure people on the fence of attending a con have thought, fuck it I'll stay home and watch it and get some work done.

    At the end of the day this just seems like Silver made a mistake and misses being relevant.

    1. I don't think their support of LoE is considered a good thing...

    2. Well I do have some wonderful dirt on one member of PVFM staff but that can wait. Oh yes that can wait until or if they start trying to pull the bullshit they were doing again.

    3. What BS was PVFM doing? Oh yeah NOTHING, cause PVFM tends to stay out of drama as a station. Yes some of the DJs not so much, but the station keeps itself out of crap on purpose.

  4. O yea. Definately start writing for HN.
    For example, you could write clop reviews. We don't get many of those here.

  5. Honestly Silver Eagle could take back the station if he has everything in writing. If it clearly states in the agreement that he is turning everything over to them as long as he stays an administrator. He would have every right to contact the host site and show them the emails and say I would like to take back my station now. Would it be worth it, probably not.

  6. Jesus, all these back and forth text walls. How much autism is in this fandom?

  7. For someone like Silver Eagle who seem to have experience in the industry, he sure do lacks communication through paper. Looking through the past comments, I would agree that it's his fault for this unproductivity. He could have prevented this whole acts of immaturity by something what we call in the workplace, "Signed documentation". You know, the paper that acknowledges agreement between two or more parties? If Silver Eagle doesn't know about that important aspect of an agreement, he shouldn't even be taking a heavy responsibility of maintaining a well-known website. Even something as little as borrowing a LAN cable should be documented. Call it paranoia, but it guarantees a quick fix on a mis-communication like this shit happening right now.

    I would even go on a limb here and say that Silver Eagle fucked up when he blindly agreed on acctepting an agreement that he would soon regret. And that's not even the reason why this shit is happening to him. It's the fact that he expects people to understand his fuck up, and undo the agreement he had established. Seriously? You can't blame people for your fuck up. Don't get mad just because they didn't gave something to you back because if you do, well, you just discovered a reason on why people call you "unprofessional". You would know this if you expose yourself to the workforce more than what you sound like, because you'll be seeing alot of it.

    The best thing I could recommend is that Silver Eagle can make a simple apology. That's not a bad thing. Apology can fix a lot of things, and if you just say it right, you can convince people at PVL to just make things the way they used to be under your administration. Don't think of apology as something to look as if you're iinferior or "losing the game" because honestly, it's a way to win. Here's hoping to fix your fuck up. Cheers.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Well, the depressing part is a lot of this stuff going on here mirrored what he went through when he moved a few years back. So I think it's just more or less the unfortunate fact that some people simply don't know how to look at past errors and try to avoid them in the future. Granted as for the 'workplace' I'm not sure of his employment status. I have a feeling he tends to speak his mind there and it doesn't end well for him.

    3. Well said Prismatic. Well said.
      I'm actually proud of you that you can sound very calm while still putting your foot down and say "If only you would have listened."

    4. Well many folks can be like that and aggression tends to burn bridges faster. I'm still amused that he blocked me on Twitter due to similar circumstances. Sadly if it weren't for those bronies and furs that pity him due to his failure to foresee obvious conclusions I'd be silent...

    5. I've worked with Silver before. Operating in a capacity where his name goes on things is not his MO. He tries to keep his name off as many documents so that he can hold more ground when taking advantage of public opinion, such as right now. Look, he's gotten three Horse-News articles out of this because he prevents paper trail.