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About Closing Account.
07-10-2007, 04:10 AM
Post: #21
About Closing Account.
Quote:Hey, I can empathize with the *person* who gets his/her account terminated, but I can't really feel sympathy for them; any way you look at it, at the end of the day, they did it to themselves. Yes, even if their "friend", client, Dad, Son, Cat, or pet turtle actually *did* it, it was *their* account and they are responsible for how it is used.
I see.

rlparker, thanks for the thorough explanation !

Will take your advices for all my existing domains. Wink

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07-10-2007, 04:22 AM
Post: #22
About Closing Account.
Quote:1. Backup everything locally at regular intervals (this can be easily automated).
Can you technically show how to do that ? Wink

Thanks in advance !

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07-10-2007, 10:21 AM
Post: #23
About Closing Account.
There's a sufficient amount of information on DreamHost Wiki page on backups.

No need to thank me, btw.

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07-11-2007, 03:44 PM
Post: #24
About Closing Account.
Although the Website I'm considering to host on Dreamhost will not contain any copyrighted material, these types of stories make me think twice about associating myself with Dreamhost.

For starters, does Dreamhost actually investigate claims of copyright infringement (or other claims) before disabling the Website and/or entire account? It has been widely reported that many people abuse the DMCA takedown process and have successfully convinced Youtube to remove many legitimate videos.

If someone has 10 Websites on Dreamhost under the same account, he should not lose all 10 just because a complaint has been made about 1 of them. Any professional Web Hosting company realizes that this is bad for business.

I would like to know more about how Dreamhost reacts to takedown requests and why they disable entire accounts instead of specific Websites.
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07-11-2007, 06:52 PM
Post: #25
About Closing Account.
We're just customers like you and anyone that has been affected by this kind of problem is no longer a Dreamhost customer.

To find the actual policy, you'll have to look it up for yourself at http://abuse.dreamhost.com.

Based on my understanding of how things currently work, one whiff of a complaint and it all goes offline until the research is complete - now this might not be right away, but there are legal issues if they DON'T respond right away. If DH were to lose it's legal right to be a hosting company (and it could if it were to knowingly allow illegal material to be served), we'd all be out of luck.

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07-11-2007, 07:33 PM
Post: #26
About Closing Account.
Quote:Although the Website I'm considering to host on Dreamhost will not contain any copyrighted material, these types of stories make me think twice about associating myself with Dreamhost.
That's a pretty good indication then that you might shouldn't "associate" yourself with DreamHost. In my experience, one usually regrets not following their "gut" instinct. Wink
Quote:For starters, does Dreamhost actually investigate claims of copyright infringement (or other claims) before disabling the Website and/or entire account? It has been widely reported that many people abuse the DMCA takedown process and have successfully convinced Youtube to remove many legitimate videos.
As wholly pointed you to the Abuse.DreamHost.com site, you should have no problem answering that question for yourself. You might make special note of, in this section, the "serious legal matter" link (which points to a DreamHost Blog entry on "Dealing with a DMCA Crook". Wink
Quote:If someone has 10 Websites on Dreamhost under the same account, he should not lose all 10 just because a complaint has been made about 1 of them. Any professional Web Hosting company realizes that this is bad for business.
I see it entirely differently than yhou do. First, your assumption is wrong to begin with: a customer doesn't loose a site at DreamHost's hands because of a "complaint", they loose their site because the resultant investigation determined they violated the DreamHost TOS, or other published policy (Anti-spam?), or the law.

With that understood, I feel that a customer who violates the TOS he agreed to when he signed up, deserves to have his business relationship with DreamHost terminated. Not only has he violated the mutually agreed upon terms, he has proven that he cannot be trusted to respect those terms.

With over 500,000 domains hosted, a "professional Web hosting" company realizes it cannot possibly be worth their time, or reputation, to deal with the nuances of policing the TOS with regard to such a twit. To do anything other than terminate that persons ability to host on their servers would be "bad for business".
Quote:I would like to know more about how Dreamhost reacts to takedown requests and why they disable entire accounts instead of specific Websites.
While the answer to your first question is probably contained in the links you have been provided, you can always write them and ask via their contact form, or write directly to abuse@dreamhost.com. As for why they "disable entire accounts instead of specific websites", I should think the answer to that is pretty obvious, considering that a DreamHost account can host as many websites as they want under a single account, and at no additional cost.

The money involved is negligible to DreamHost, while the "problem factor" is significant. I suspect the "burn me once, shame on you - burn me twice, shame on me" concept is likely in play here, and they take the action they do as a defensive action. But that's just my opinion, you should ask the yourself. Wink

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07-13-2007, 03:41 PM
Post: #27
About Closing Account.
Quote:I don't see it as being "cruel" at all - it is "unpleasant", but it is often a necessary step for a web host to take to protect their own business interests.

That has nothing to do with it still being cruel. If I host 100 sites and one of them has an infraction (say, a user on a forum attached a file, or somebody links to something illegal in a blog comment), common sense would not jump to "let's kick all those websites and be done with that ***hole", but rather "let's work with that guy/gal to remedy the situation and ensure it does not happen again". You may see it differently -- but it's still cruel. There are better alternatives.

Quote:If everybody got a "warning", there would be no reason for them not to take the attitude, "Hell, if they catch me, I'll just apologize and promise not to do it again, meh!". This could easily result in DreamHost staff spending all its time chasing down these violations.

You paint a pretty bleak picture. Got any data at all to back this up, or is this just straight out of Doomsaying 101 ?
They can apologize once. When the same thing happens again, they are gone. Same effect for abusers, some safe haven for genuine mistakes or circumstances out of your control. Hell, even if you look at some of the threads here asking about backing up copyrighted materials -- DH is not always 100% clear in its policies. Such would help should you run afoul them due to unspoken laws Wink

Quote:With the possible exception of the whole "non-publicly accessible " backups discussed elsewhere in these forums, I think the TOS, and the Abuse Center statements are very clear. Those who post/publish questionable content should be well aware that "account termination" is a possibility if they have read the TOS at all. If they could not be bothered read it, and honestly don't know the risk of account termination for such things, their account should be terminated also, as they have proven they are not responsible enough to be trusted with an account on someone else's server.

This assumes willful intent. It's not always that black and white. There's also that whole "fair use" thing to take into account, but more on that in a sec.

Quote:Hey, I can empathize with the *person* who gets his/her account terminated, but I can't really feel sympathy for them; any way you look at it, at the end of the day, they did it to themselves. Yes, even if their "friend", client, Dad, Son, Cat, or pet turtle actually *did* it, it was *their* account and they are responsible for how it is used.

Since when is "being responsible" being equated with "being an absolute control-freak" ? That's the only way you can ensure that nothing "bad" is going to happen -- assuming, of course, you know the copyright laws of your locale, the Berne Convention, and all related case-law off the top of your head and are enough of a lawyer to apply it Wink
There has to be room for mistakes. I'm not talking about a warez repository or 0day release site or some such nonsense; it's easy to break copyright rules inadvertently. Even if the final outcome is "this account will remain disabled for infractions incurred on domain X" or some such, it would be common courtesy to allow access for backing up (legal) content, should you have been so stupid not to have done it before (and believe me, most people will back up -- once they lived through their first head-crash. Not before, though. Smile

Quote:I see it entirely differently than yhou do. First, your assumption is wrong to begin with: a customer doesn't loose a site at DreamHost's hands because of a "complaint", they loose their site because the resultant investigation determined they violated the DreamHost TOS, or other published policy (Anti-spam?), or the law.

If it's the last that has been violated, abuse@ better be staffed with a bunch of lawyers Smile What may seem to be an obvious breach of copyright to (even educated) some, may in fact be perfectly fine. There are exemptions, after all. A complaint may very well be the cause of you loosing your account (and I damn well hope that abuse@ takes such complaints only from parties that have the right to have a beef with it, i.e. rights-holders, not some random yahoo from Kansas Smile

Quote:With over 500,000 domains hosted, a "professional Web hosting" company realizes it cannot possibly be worth their time, or reputation, to deal with the nuances of policing the TOS with regard to such a twit. To do anything other than terminate that persons ability to host on their servers would be "bad for business".

Here you automatically go again, labeling DH as the gods and the customer as the little ***hole that could Smile While DH is in their right to get out of any contract they wish (I think that's part of the ToS as well) since they are, after all, not a government agency, leniency can be a valuable tool as well. Again, not for twits trying to run warez sites or hosting payload for email worms, but rather your common Joe. In the case of DMCA complaints, for instance, they have the ability to fulfill the demands of the complaint (disable access to the files/data in question), while keeping the account alive (pending good behavior on behalf of Joe, or a damn good explanation of how Vista.iso is actually a home movie with beautiful vistas Smile. Furthermore, Joe may file a counterclaim. If DH has already disabled all of Joe's domains at this point, crap -- no law has been broken (though it seemed so), the ToS is in tact (though it seemed not), and Joe and DH will never be a couple again. Not desirable; they had a connection, you see. Smile

Sorry for my longwindedness today, seems I'm a bit tired.

Quote:As for why they "disable entire accounts instead of specific websites", I should think the answer to that is pretty obvious, considering that a DreamHost account can host as many websites as they want under a single account, and at no additional cost.

That is not at all obvious. Maybe you can elaborate. Maybe you assume Joe will just create another site with the same content ? Yeah, then Joe should go. Joe won't do that, though, if he has half a brain.
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07-13-2007, 06:15 PM
Post: #28
About Closing Account.
Quote:That has nothing to do with it still being cruel .... You may see it differently -- but it's still cruel. There are better alternatives.
You bring up some interesting points, but you are correct that, at the end of the day, I do see it differently (which *is* what I said). A lot of that has to do with what ones perceive to be "cruel". I agree that there may well be "better' alternatives, but most of them that I can think of involve additional expenditure of resources a "value host" could probably better devote to more productive things. One such alternative would be to not let us host "100 sites" for a single monthly fee (which might defray some of the costs for additional support in this area). Wink
Quote:You paint a pretty bleak picture. Got any data at all to back this up, or is this just straight out of Doomsaying 101 ?
Nope, no data at all (though I suppose I could try to look some up). Any that I might find, however, wouldn't change the reality that without penalty there is no risk in violation - I don't have any "data" on that either, just enough years experience working with people to have noticed the anecdotal evidence. "Doomsaying 101" might also be a valid characterization; just because it is a "pessimistic view" does not mean it might not be prescient.
Quote:This assumes willful intent. It's not always that black and white. There's also that whole "fair use" thing to take into account, but more on that in a sec.
To a degree I think it assumes "willful intent", but it doesn't have necessarily assume that. Abdication of site management responsibility and plain old-fashioned laziness can often produce the same visible results as willful malice, and when all is said and done the damage is often the same. Both criminal and civil law has long recognized the concept of "crimes of negligence" (not that we are necessarily talking about crimes at all here, merely the way one company decides it wants to do business), and I think it is perfectly reasonable to respond to the results of the act (or omission) however the company chooses to do so. There are *lots* of hosting companies; I it is perfectly acceptable to base your decision on whether or not to do business with a company on how you feel about the way they do business. DreamHost is a service that no one *has* to use, and if one sees the requirement of complete responsibility for the activities on the sites they host as being onerous, they can easily find a host that handles all that differently. Nobody is getting their arm twisted here.

Regarding "fair use", there is a mechanism under the DMCA for contesting unwarranted takedowns of content, and DreamHost has publicly stated their commitment to not allow their customer to be abused by improper takedown notices. There seems to be some irrational belief that "complaints" are what causes content to be removed and accounts to be closed, and DreamHost has stated that just is not the case. The results of DreamHost's investigations regarding the complaints is what dictates whether TOS enforcement activity is indicated (though the DMCA does require some immediate action when a takedown notice is received).
Quote:Since when is "being responsible" being equated with "being an absolute control-freak" ? That's the only way you can ensure that nothing "bad" is going to happen -- assuming, of course, you know the copyright laws of your locale, the Berne Convention, and all related case-law off the top of your head and are enough of a lawyer to apply it Wink
Well, that whole argument has a couple of problems with it, not the least of which is the fact that your definition of "being an absolute control freak" may very well equate to *my* definition of being responsible - and we could both be "right". There is also no need at all for me to stay on top of the state of the law in all of this, as I can hire lawyers to handle all of that for me, and rely upon their errors and omissions insurance to make me whole if they give me bad advice. What's that you say? That takes money? Of course if does; as does a lot of other aspects of doing business (which if you have "100 sites" I assume applies to what you are doing).

Money comes into play in all of this in more ways than one: You could always operate those sites as individually hosted accounts, with their own legal entities and their *own* TOS responsibilities. There is no requirement at all that you lump them all under a single party responsible for TOS compliance; and it is a business mistake to assume that since DreamHost allows you to do so you should somehow be absolved of the consequences of spreading your control so thinly that you cannot insure compliance.
Quote:There has to be room for mistakes. I'm not talking about a warez repository or 0day release site or some such nonsense; it's easy to break copyright rules inadvertently.
It is my understanding that such allowances are being made; DreamHost has stated that they review each case individually, and having dealt with them, and their people for almost 9 years now, I am comfortable with that (though you might not be) DreamHost has *repeatedly* resolved examples of exploited scripts (particularly as it involves the Anti-Spam policy) short of terminating accounts, as just one example.

Then there is the question of the definition of a "mistake". If it were my business, and the "mistake" was reselling "subsites" under an account to the degree that the customer could not, or did not, exercise control of what was done with the account, I wouldn't want to continue to do business with them (and there is no point in rehashing the reason for that as they are in my previous post).
Quote: Even if the final outcome is "this account will remain disabled for infractions incurred on domain X" or some such, it would be common courtesy to allow access for backing up (legal) content, should you have been so stupid not to have done it before (and believe me, most people will back up -- once they lived through their first head-crash. Not before, though. Smile
I see your point to a degree, and don't really have any problem with anyone advocating that, but no DreamHost user should *ever* assume they will have access to any file on DreamHost's servers (stuff breaks, datacneters blow up, earthquakes happen, the cops pull raids and seize everything a company owns, and so on and so forth). DreamHost is very careful to tell you this in their TOS, and while one can always argue "courtesy" (whether it's of the "common" or "uncommon" variety), DreamHost has a business to run and over 500,000 domains to manage; people should back up their own stuff, and trying to argue otherwise or impose some higher standard than they have agreed to adhere to on DreamHost in this area is as naive as it is unreasonable.
Quote:If it's the last that has been violated, abuse@ better be staffed with a bunch of lawyers Smile
For the violations of the law that you refer to as "the last that has been violated, I agree! I don't think their abuse staff need to be lawyers though, as long as they are well trained, have the benefit of good legal advice, and DreamHost keeps its insurance in order.
Quote:What may seem to be an obvious breach of copyright to (even educated) some, may in fact be perfectly fine. There are exemptions, after all. A complaint may very well be the cause of you loosing your account (and I damn well hope that abuse@ takes such complaints only from parties that have the right to have a beef with it, i.e. rights-holders, not some random yahoo from Kansas Smile
Well of course some of that is true; you would probably benefit reading through the contents of abuse.dreamhost.com and blog.dreamhost.com where some of these issues are actually addressed by "the horse's mouth". While I feel they have these contingencies well covered, you may not agree - the nice thing about that is that no one makes anyone host with any given hosting company, so we are all free to find hosts that do business the way we like it to be done. I have yet to hear anyone complain of an account being terminated because of the receipt of a DMCA notice, but I continually hear about clueless account holdesr being TOSsed for turning their idiot friends loose on their accounts, hosting warez, "fighting the good fight" against music copyright law, naively providing a wide-open upload facility enabling the unwashed masses to place anything they want on a server, etc, so maybe 1 am not as sensitive to this argument, or the perceived potential for unfairness, as you are. Wink
Quote:Here you automatically go again, labeling DH as the gods and the customer as the little ***hole that could Smile
It is interesting that you characterize what I have said in that way, as that was not my intent and it is not, in fact, my thinking. Wink
Quote:While DH is in their right to get out of any contract they wish (I think that's part of the ToS as well) since they are, after all, not a government agency, leniency can be a valuable tool as well.
Now *that* is primarily the point I was trying to make, except that I feel they DreamHost is better served by being less 'lenient" while you seem to feel they are better served by being *more* lenient. In the end, however, our opinions are only marginally relevant (in that we react to policy with our patronage!); what ultimately wins out is what *DreamHost* perceives as being best for its business model. Sure, customer patronage can impact that; sales has a huge impact on most business models. I suspect that DreamHost would rather sell more accounts with tighter controls at the hands of the account holders than to sell fewer account that host "100 sites" that they can't, won't , or dont' beleive they should be "absolute control freaks" over.
Quote:Again, not for twits trying to run warez sites or hosting payload for email worms, but rather your common Joe.
I think we both understand why those types are not desirable. You might also note that it is *precisely* this kind of twit I was responding to with my post in this thread (context *is* important) Wink
Quote: In the case of DMCA complaints, for instance, ... If DH has already disabled all of Joe's domains at this point, crap -- no law has been broken (though it seemed so), the ToS is in tact (though it seemed not), and Joe and DH will never be a couple again.
Your points here are well taken, but I don't see that situation as being what started this thread or what my response was designed to address (if you re-read the whole thread, I think that is pretty apparent) As I said before (and I only repeat re. the DMCA because you did, and I'm trying to maintain continuity) I have never seen this happen, and Dreamhost has publicly discussed (both on their Abuse Center pages and on their blog) the fact they they *don't* do this.

What started this whole thread, and what my response was directed toward, was an "OMG My account is disable, because *one* of my sites was a warez site, and I didn't get any warning, and I don't really care about that site, but I didn't back up my dbs, and DreamHost is ignoring me, so now I can't continue to host my site on DreamHost at all cause when I tried to move it to a friends account they wouldn't let me". That serves as a pretty good, and timely, bit of anecdotal evidence in support of my earlier statement that you asked if I had any data on ("If everybody got a "warning", there would be no reason for them not to take the attitude, "Hell, if they catch me, I'll just apologize and promise not to do it again, meh!"), doesn't it? This guy has no clue, and could care less about the loss of his warez site. To be "lenient" with this poster and allow him to continue to host on DreamHost's servers would just be asking for further trouble, and *that* is what I was talking about in my response.
Quote:That is not at all obvious. Maybe you can elaborate. Maybe you assume Joe will just create another site with the same content ? Yeah, then Joe should go. Joe won't do that, though, if he has half a brain.
That was in response to my statement:

"As for why they "disable entire accounts instead of specific websites", I should think the answer to that is pretty obvious, considering that a DreamHost account can host as many websites as they want under a single account, and at no additional cost."

Actually, I think much of the elaboration you were asking for is probably covered by my earlier responses in this post, spread over several sections; I just think twits such as the original poster generally cost DreamHost more time and money than they could ever contribute to their profits and it is therefore not in their interests to over-reach in catering to them. The original poster's logic in all of this is a good demonstration of what I was talking about; he doesn't at all care about the loss of the warez site.

If there was any incentive at all for him to comply with the TOS, it was to protect his account - and if that is not lost for such behavior, then, given the low cost of hosting "100 sites" under a single account, there is little financial risk to him in ignoring the TOS (and he has already proven he doesn't have the wherewithal to recognize the potential difficulties he will experience in losing that single account).

One of the reasons, I think, that we are seeing more and more of this is that there are no longer any significant barriers to entry to having a website online. The cost can now be as negligible as the technology is accessible. While I am happy about this development, and see it as having an immense potential for good, I also recognize that, because of this, "Joe" no longer needs even "half a brain" to take a site live, and that can often lead to a complete disregard for any of the legal issues involved (and I don't believe *that* is a "Good Thing ™". Now if only one in a thousand domains has such a "Joe" at the helm, DreamHost may have over 500 of these guys to contend with at any given point in time, and I suspect that given DH aggressive pricing model, that number may well be conservative. Wink

Whew! I also apologize for the length of my response and only plead that I think the time and effort you put into your post deserved a considered and thorough response. Reviewing your post, and these responses, I'm struck by the fact that it seems we mostly agree on much (particularly as it relates to the original poster's dilemma), but view the "close it all at once" vs "give them a second chance" response from different perspectives.

You also seem to more sensitive to the potential for DreamHost to be abusively harsh when dealing with such things, while my experience with DreamHost results in my being more confident in their motives and their desire to "do the right thing". I don't think either of us is "right", or "wrong" here - we just see it differently and that is fine.

The convenient thing is, IMO, that there are other hosts with significantly more tolerant business models that one can use if they feel DreamHost handles this stuff badly. I think they handle it very well, and am glad they operate the way they do as they provide me with real value, and I appreciate that.

--rlparker
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07-14-2007, 07:23 PM
Post: #29
About Closing Account.
Quote:(...) "Doomsaying 101" might also be a valid characterization; just because it is a "pessimistic view" does not mean it might not be prescient.

I just took issue with the blanket statement; I have experienced my fair share of twits and "undesirables" as well - and in my experience, giving a warning (and one with teeth that you actually mean and are willing to follow through on) has usually worked well; some of these people stayed customers, others quit, and yet others got kicked when it was clear that there was no way they were going to abide by the rules; I like to think that those who stayed make dealing with those who get dealt with the second time worthwhile.

Quote:(...) and I think it is perfectly reasonable to respond to the results of the act (or omission) however the company chooses to do so. There are *lots* of hosting companies; I it is perfectly acceptable to base your decision on whether or not to do business with a company on how you feel about the way they do business. DreamHost is a service that no one *has* to use, and if one sees the requirement of complete responsibility for the activities on the sites they host as being onerous, they can easily find a host that handles all that differently. Nobody is getting their arm twisted here.

And it's good that way. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to tell DH how to conduct their business; I can voice my opinion on it, in the hopes that it strikes a chord -- if the host becomes better through that overall, all the better (and be it just through discussion having taken place Smile

Quote:There is also no need at all for me to stay on top of the state of the law in all of this, as I can hire lawyers to handle all of that for me, and rely upon their errors and omissions insurance to make me whole if they give me bad advice. What's that you say? That takes money? Of course if does; as does a lot of other aspects of doing business (which if you have "100 sites" I assume applies to what you are doing).

Good lawyers are always a good thing to have :-) I never complained about that taking money; everything does. Negligence is indeed a problem (just look at the countless Matt's formmail.pls out there). Something that LOOKS like negligence, however, would be one of these cases where a second chance would be appropriate, IMHO. In a perfect world, every website operator would read every line of code running on their website (and be appalled at the heaps of absolutely horrid PHP Code in "standard" packages out there); if you make a mistake in judgment about the security of a certain package, and the need for daily checks of their security/announce mailing lists (if they even have one), that's something that may cause a lot of trouble but which I would not attribute to negligence nor malice Smile People make mistakes. Hell, even your own code could contain nifty backdoors.

Quote:Money comes into play in all of this in more ways than one: You could always operate those sites as individually hosted accounts, with their own legal entities and their *own* TOS responsibilities.

Not really. I think the ToS states that you may never have more than one account with Dreamhost, at least not if you are the same legal entity. So if I wanted one account for "fluffybunnies.com" and another for "darkestsexsite.com", I couldn't do that without running afoul the ToS and getting both sites kicked Wink

Quote:There is no requirement at all that you lump them all under a single party responsible for TOS compliance; and it is a business mistake to assume that since DreamHost allows you to do so you should somehow be absolved of the consequences of spreading your control so thinly that you cannot insure compliance.

Even in the "1 website" kind of scenario, things can happen. Practically anything that one would count as part of "social networking" (and to a lesser extent, Web 2.0) containing user-generated content has huge possibilities for abuse. (Think comment fields, image galleries, user profiles, etc.) Surely the solution isn't to condemn those things to never be created, but rather to figure out a way to handle abuse swiftly and efficiently; maybe DH is not the right host for "social" sites, though I'd like to think they want to be, since that's what decent webhosting is about Smile

Quote:Then there is the question of the definition of a "mistake". If it were my business, and the "mistake" was reselling "subsites" under an account to the degree that the customer could not, or did not, exercise control of what was done with the account, I wouldn't want to continue to do business with them (and there is no point in rehashing the reason for that as they are in my previous post).

It's telling that DH has no actual reselling support (or marketing for it) -- they are not meant to be resold; or at least that's the impression I get. If they were meant to be resold, things would probably have to be handled differently on abuse cases. One thing to consider in these cases, of course, is whether your customers should expect any privacy (in the US), or whether it's even legal for you as their host to invade it (in most of the EU, for instance). As a customer, I would not be happy if my webhost went through my private picture galleries just to make sure they didn't contain something fishy; if they do contain something fishy and an abuse complaint comes in, that is another issues; policing on your own as the hoster without due cause is, IMO, a slippery slope. I know there are many who view that differently.

Quote:but no DreamHost user should *ever* assume they will have access to any file on DreamHost's servers

Of course not. But you and I probably know that while you will read this warning EVERYWHERE, it's akin to "backup your data. If your computer breaks and you loose all the documents of the last 10 years, that's gonna suck !"; You can tell them, but they usually only start listening after they actually had something break and they actually lost 10 years of data.

Quote:DreamHost is very careful to tell you this in their TOS, and while one can always argue "courtesy" (whether it's of the "common" or "uncommon" variety), DreamHost has a business to run and over 500,000 domains to manage;

The ToS spells out the bare minimum DH HAS to do. This does not mean that they cannot do more than they promised. Sure, you can't expect it -- but it's not unreasonable to ask them to if it's in their power (earthquakes are out of their control, disabled accounts are not Smile

Quote:people should back up their own stuff, and trying to argue otherwise or impose some higher standard than they have agreed to adhere to on DreamHost in this area is as naive as it is unreasonable.

As said, some data losses cannot be avoided -- others are avoidable. The latter ones are where service can shine. Even if you may not have that person as a customer any longer, giving them their valued data back can make perfect business sense; They might not scream (as loudly) to their friends to stay away from DH, or be quiet on them altogether; It's something of a karmatic business perspective Smile

Quote:these issues are actually addressed by "the horse's mouth".

I read from there every now and then. Honestly, I can't stand to read the DH blog or the newsletter; I know some people like the style, but personally I find it unreadable and sometimes condescending, if not insulting. There are some gems in there, but for the most part it's fluff without much substance -- if I want that, I can go read the angst-ridden blogs of teenage goth chicks in honolulu. Smile

Quote:"fighting the good fight" against music copyright law

Those people always make me chuckle Smile "Us versus them !"

Some of it I look at from a different perspective though; "user"-generated content has been all the rage on the web in the past couple of years; without the "naive" people offering users the ability to upload lots of stuff to their servers, facebook, myspace, youtube, usenet, geocities, etc. would never have happened. There are unique risks with those services, and they are now well-understood. I just don't want to see "the next big thing" be swept under the rug because of a system of rules that is too rigid for innovation in certain areas. Hell, to get back to the "fighting the good fight" dudes -- I submit that without Napster, iTunes would not exist. Without innovation for "piracy purposes", peer-to-peer services such as Skype or Linux BitTorrent releases or BitTorrent World of Warcraft patches would still be years off. It's not all bad, even though clearly illegal Wink

Quote:It is interesting that you characterize what I have said in that way, as that was not my intent and it is not, in fact, my thinking.

Sorry then; sometimes I do read things a bit cynically.

Quote:Sure, customer patronage can impact that; sales has a huge impact on most business models. I suspect that DreamHost would rather sell more accounts with tighter controls at the hands of the account holders than to sell fewer account that host "100 sites" that they can't, won't , or dont' beleive they should be "absolute control freaks" over.

Quote:(...)
That serves as a pretty good, and timely, bit of anecdotal evidence in support of my earlier statement that you asked if I had any data on ("If everybody got a "warning", there would be no reason for them not to take the attitude, "Hell, if they catch me, I'll just apologize and promise not to do it again, meh!"), doesn't it? This guy has no clue, and could care less about the loss of his warez site. To be "lenient" with this poster and allow him to continue to host on DreamHost's servers would just be asking for further trouble, and *that* is what I was talking about in my response.

The counter-point to that would be that the OP might have learned his lesson, will tighten controls, and would just like to get back to a working condition (be it here or elsewhere). He might be clueless now, though he may not be tomorrow.

Quote:I just think twits such as the original poster generally cost DreamHost more time and money than they could ever contribute to their profits and it is therefore not in their interests to over-reach in catering to them.

People who send more than a support request per month are probably costing DH more time and money than they could ever contribute to their profits; let alone call-backs on the higher-tiered plans -- it's that old overselling thing again; you'll loose money on customers that need lots of support, but on average, not a lot of customers will (and those that receive excellent (costly) support will drive more customers to DH, who might need none at all Smile

By the time the abuse department has to actually investigate an account, the money for that month (or year) might already well be blown, no matter the outcome.
I'm not advocating keeping troublesome customers around indefinitely; two chances is all that is needed (perhaps with a decay after a year or two), IMHO. The cost would be twice that of one chance in case of true twits; question is whether more than 50% of people who run into this are twits, or how much of a ruckus a dissatisfied customer can cause in lost future sales.

Quote:If there was any incentive at all for him to comply with the TOS, it was to protect his account

... and by receiving a warning, he still would. Not two warnings, not three, just one Smile

Quote:the legal issues involved (and I don't believe *that* is a "Good Thing ™". Now if only one in a thousand domains has such a "Joe" at the helm, DreamHost may have over 500 of these guys to contend with at any given point in time, and I suspect that given DH aggressive pricing model, that number may well be conservative.

The "cheap bastards who just want to pirate stuff" demographic, i.e. teenagers with pocket money ? ;-)

Quote:Reviewing your post, and these responses, I'm struck by the fact that it seems we mostly agree on much (particularly as it relates to the original poster's dilemma), but view the "close it all at once" vs "give them a second chance" response from different perspectives.

An apt summarization.

Quote:You also seem to more sensitive to the potential for DreamHost to be abusively harsh when dealing with such things

When reading a ToS, I always assume bad faith first, i.e. reading it in the worst manner possible and then asking for clarification or making my decision on that. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence that DH does "the right thing" most of the time -- but that's quite irrelevant when it's your own a** on the line, so to speak, and you can't expect a certain outcome; sure you might get lucky (i.e. the worst penalty offered in the ToS is not being applied), but for a time, that hangs in the balance. The mere potential for DH being abusively harsh is what bothers me, not whether or not that actually takes place (if it does not, the potential should be reduced, if it does, well, whoops Smile

Quote:The convenient thing is, IMO, that there are other hosts with significantly more tolerant business models that one can use if they feel DreamHost handles this stuff badly. I think they handle it very well, and am glad they operate the way they do as they provide me with real value, and I appreciate that.

I'm happy with my DH service so far, as well, though I don't use it extensively (mostly for backups); heck, I don't even have a lot to fear even IF DH should go around my directories to find out whether I am doing something fishy -- it's mostly encrypted, anyway (and no, not for hiding anything; it's just a good idea ™ to encrypt off-site backups Smile. It would just be good to know that they don't do that, and hold themselves to a standard of not doing that without cause (which is something I'd expect privacy-wise -- this would apply doubly if I were to use DH for emailing or IMAP-hosting, for instance). On my own servers I make it a point not to look into users' homedirectories unless asked to by them (or a LEA with jurisdiction, or due to system instability); it's none of my business, so long as they pay on time, don't do illegal stuff I receive complaints about, etc.
(note that this list does not include illegal stuff I do not receive complaints about; while I prefer they didn't (and trust that they don't), I shouldn't use "the power of root" to find out and spy on them (for one thing, it's illegal to do so in my country, for another, it goes against my morals Smile
I couldn't do that with a sub-leased DH account. Good thing I don't do that. Smile Heck, there I go again, off a tangent.

--eike
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07-14-2007, 07:50 PM
Post: #30
About Closing Account.
Quote:I submit that without Napster, iTunes would not exist. Without innovation for "piracy purposes", peer-to-peer services such as Skype or Linux BitTorrent releases or BitTorrent World of Warcraft patches would still be years off. It's not all bad, even though clearly illegal Wink
If we're going to go into hypotheticals, I suggest that if content holders sold their wares into the marketplace at some level of "reasonable" prices, Napster would not have existed. And I mean at the albums are $1 level (at FM radio bitrate). Either that or the subscription model which has some nice corporate revenue characteristics.

At any rate, I'm beginning to think we're not going to see any reasonable DMCA changes until the demographics of our politicians in Washington changes and we have politicians who use peer-to-peer services. The only possibility for earlier action would be if downloaders start voting in higher numbers.

Regarding DreamHosts policies and whether they are draconian, I suspect that the people who experience the draconian policies fall into the customer demographic where DreamHost loses money - they "lose" money from the overselling perspective. I'm figure that if you're actually a profitable customer using DreamHost reasonably, they'll take care of you. I have no evidence for this and I even worry that in just saying this I will encourage people to take advantage of such a reasonable policy.

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