Illegal content and copyright infringement

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Often then not, we receive messages and feedback about how MikuDB is illegally publishing albums for free and why are we doing it. There were also some doubters having concerns for the producers, who are hardworking and finding their hard work then goes unrewarded. Should we stop doing what we are doing and move on with other projects?

The reason why I am writing this essay…

Recently,  you noticed the website got slower, that is because we are once again facing a lot of DOS attacks, messages full of hate and wishing for us to crash and die. With this, I hope I can clear some doubts surrounding us.

Let me first explain why I believe we are actually helping Vocaloid. From my point of view, there will be always illegal content (let’s call it shortly warez) on the internet of any and everthing. Where there is light, there will also be shadows and that’s it. Because Doujin as a whole is not yet widely popular, there are hardly reliable sources to get the albums. Some of the more popular albums can be found on iTunes, lesser known ones on Bandcamp, or nowhere at all online. This is where the problem starts.

Similiar songs that I purchased. a.k.a iTunes and Bandcamp

Regarding iTunes. So after you found the song you want, searching for it on iTunes is easy. But what if you want to find more Vocaloid music? iTunes is so big, mainstream English music, underground, instrumental, OST, anime music, kpop, diverse languages etc. Going straight to the current problem, there is no market for foreigners that would unite all the Vocaloid works. Bandcamp is a good idea, but it isn’t so united. Each author just has their own page and that’s it. Not the right approach, in my opinion at least.

There are also lots of albums available only via events, physical CDs. If you are some one from far away, there is just no way you can ever obtain those songs. And this is where we come in and continue our work. We want to spread Vocaloid more so everyone knows about them and can get the album they wish for. The Vocaloid fan base contains many young people, young people who aren’t working and cannot afford to purchase and buy albums. I am not trying to defend our actions, but I truly believe by making it easier for people to browse, having them able to download their works, it actually helps the market. Without sites like MikuDB, I would hardly have known that there were composers like livetune, doriko, 40mP and more…

I’m new to Vocaloid

If you are a newbie with Vocaloid, I doubt you can just browse tons of albums available on VocaDB, where you go through the album crossfades, or by browsing YouTube. It is very hard to go through all these to find tracks that you might like. When I started with Vocaloid, there was no MikuDB and the only way to find some pretty good works was via Youtube and NicoVideo. But checking it everyday was really painful and it was more by chance to find a song that I really liked. That’s why my aim at the beginning was to completely transform MikuDB to become a website more accessible for newcomers and regulars, so they can rate it, see the Charts, checking some videos, use our music player to find music suitable for them. Features like these are nowhere to be seen.

People grouped into 3 different categories…

There were also some thoughts about how people are split into 3 categories. One is the kind that would never buy any albums or merchandise even if it would be available for them to purchase (majority). The second kind would be the people who are downloading, but will occassionally purchase albums and lastly, those who only buy the stuff and never download. Yes, we know that and let’s be honest, whose works are not being pirated? Does Warner Brothers or Disney go mad about it? Yes, time to time they ask google to take down a few links, but they will never be able to stop it completely. They know that thanks to piracy, their works are more popular and maybe someone will download let’s say, Iron Man, but they might go to the cinema for Iron Man 2, so on so forth.

What I also believe is that every fan will always try to support their favourite artist by purchasing some of their works as a sign of gratitude and appreciation. That is why we always put the purchase link or at least the official website when we can. I definitely think that thanks to MikuDB, some producers became more famous worldwide outside Japan and their works are reaching more people than they could have without.

If a producer contacts us…

We are also understanding and whenever a producer asks us to take down a link, we do so without hesitation, we value their work. If there would be an iTunes version for all Vocaloid stuff and anime music, then I don’t think it will be necessary to have MikuDB as it is now. Who knows? Maybe we will one day be the pioneers and do it ourselves. There were great examples like Crunchyroll, Fakku and more.

Last but not least…

If you have reached my last lines, it is my opinion concerning this matter and you are always welcome to discuss with us about this matter. Let us hear your opinion.

Thanks for supporting us and defending us.

addition: you can read the old post created by zaku dono few years back here.

  1. MikuDB is not illegal, there are many many songs and albums that have to be purchased abroad with very high charges! and fortunately the Internet helps us and especially MikuDB!
    So thank MikuDB, thank you for the service you offer us in the end the passion prevails even on the money and affairs. Please do not let yourself be crushed by lawsuits and attempts at jamming the website!

    • Okay, it’s still illegal, though. I’m not saying that mikudb is bad, but it’s just flat out wrong to claim that it’s not illegal.

  2. I am Hispanic and forgive me if my English is not good.
    When I started in the Vocaloid, I knew no more than Miku, Rin, and IA, and had no idea quen produced its songs. That’s when I met your blog and quickly I was totally immersed in the world of Vocaloid. I met 40mP, Livetune, Doriko, Deco * 27 Doriko, HoneyWorks, Keeno and other new talented producers.
    Thanks to you, the Vocaloid has come to me and has changed my life. As always, I will be grateful to you for your great work. 😀

  3. If it weren’t for you, I couldn’t find one of my old favourite albums, since there’s no info of it even on VOCALOID Wikia… And of course, one day I will buying my favourites albums!

    Also, illegal content not only work like advertising, it’s like having a demo, so you can decide if that, let’s call game, movie or album, worths it.

    And, even if I new here, I wish that MikuDB never dissapears!

      • we are still always linking our albums to your website, don’t worry. Hopefully it helps boosting the visitor count (juding on alexa.com, it did)

      • Information of an album and available to download illegally is very different things. I can’t find your logic in it

        If you have bazillion of album , us pirates won’t find it useful other than those album information.
        I bought few a songs (iTunes mostly) that worth my penny.
        I’m pretty sure almost 80% vocaloid albums are shit.

        • The person I was replying to was asking about album information and comparing to Vocaloid Wikia, saying there’s no information about those albums. I wasn’t comparing VocaDB to MikuDB, those are obviously two completely different purposes.

  4. As for copyrighted works, I don’t know any better way to put this, but sharing their full copies are definitely illegal. But still, I believe there are some producers out there who even though have sold their album for money, won’t have any problem with sites like this to re-host their works for free (for love for Miku).
    Though, even with that said, I’m truly grateful for MikuDB. Without this site, I wouldn’t be able to get myself more and more of Miku’s. I’d certainly bought the album if I were to have the money. But the case was, I didn’t have. And most of the times, it wasn’t only because of money, but also because it was hard to get myself a copy to this country (living in Indonesia).
    Also, MikuDB introduced me to songs that I’ve never heard before in my life through their choices on their music player. If that didn’t exist, I suppose I wouldn’t have known that there were a huge variety of Miku’s songs, and that there were a lot of talented/skilled producers out there.
    So yeah, my point is, despite the fact that there might be some copyrighted works lying around, you can’t simply deny that MikuDB is also a good media to introduce producers that were only working with Vocaloid voices.

  5. I can’t agree more! Although many can throw rocks at me for agreeing of course and I understand that. Different people look at one subject/problem in different ways, I can’t help that.

  6. I like how you bring this up.

    I don’t want to argue about the justification of our piracy (because I know it’s always wrong no matter what your justification is. deal with it).
    Instead, I want to point out some other problem:

    “we are suffering again alot of DOS attacks”
    who did it? japanese vocaP? or might it be our fellow pirates out there?

    if it’s coming for our fellow pirates, seriously guys, just grow up already. What’s the point competing on something so filthy like piracy? damn.

    if it’s coming from japanese IPs, why don’t you just block ’em?
    because you said:
    “some one from far away, there is just no way you can ever grasp those songs”
    see? there. What’s the point of distributing albums to those who can (theoritically, at least) easily get it? I don’t see a point on that, tbh.
    What I see, is that we’re declaring an open war to them japanese vocaP.

    If there’s someone from japan who really want to grab the album from us, let them use any kind of way that internet allow them to access our site.

    …okay, so please consider going a bit more discreet.

    oh. and don’t misunderstand me. I love this site. I love how I can grab great music for free.
    But c’mon. no need to act like a saviour. We’re wrong but we like it. So let’s just live with our guilty pleasure, shall we?

    • I agree totally with you. Any way if some day I see one album of those great producers I´ll definitely buy it if I had enough money.
      Thanks MKdb for all.

    • if you got a way to really distinguish between people who are from far away and those who can easily grab it, there you go.

      As for the DOS attack, it was from France.

      Regarding the open war to the producers, I dont see a line of hate nor convincing them to stop it, even supported them by writing:”If a producer contact us…

      We are also kind and whenever a producer ask us to take down a link, we do it without hesitating, we value your work. If there would be an itunes version for all Vocaloid stuff and anime music, then I don’t think it will be necessary to have MikuDB as it is now. Who knows? Maybe we will one day be the pioneers and do it ourself. There were great examples like Crunchyroll, Fakku and more.”

      That is not a way I am declaring a war

      And last but not least, never acted like a saviour, but thats it, if we fall, where will people obtain Vocaloid music easier? I mean there are maybe 1-2 websites who are also uploading, but they are not completely into Vocaloids, but take that just as a small field of theirs.

      Your comment is quite full of contradictions and is really hard to understand

      • First of all, I feel ticked off when some post like this gets more attention compared to other posts like album reviews. I can see that your album writers are capable with their own style and I really enjoyed their posts. I’m sure they put a lot of work into what they write and obviously the content will be beneficial to anyone (at least me, I really love their reviews) looking for new albums. It is kinda unnerving that trivial post like this one gets more attention. Or maybe that explains how people’s brain work. Hardy har har.

        This yakomaru person’s comment is full of contradictions because what you posted is a contradiction. Can’t you see it? but it is not hard to understand.

        About declaring war.
        Have you tried changing your point of view for a bit?
        Like if you were a famous vocaP like deco, kz, doriko, 40m? Do they even care about your act of Robin-Hood-piracy?
        Like if you were a new vocaloid user who has just composed a new song and put them in bandcamp? How much money do you have to spend to get the mastering done? Contemplate on this one harder please.
        Like if you were your “competitor” in providing pirated albums? If it was them who did DOS attack, what makes them to do so?
        Like if you were that “small child” who can’t obtain said expensive albums? What does he/she feel when he/she is guilty enough in downloading those albums and you rub it in with this post?
        Well, not only you who needs to try and see different perspectives. Other mikudb team should also contemplate. People like me who download pirated albums occasionally also. People who download pirated albums all the time also.
        My point is, I know deep down people know piracy is bad even though they do it everyday. You can’t completely eradicate piracy. But defending yourself by writing this kind of post? Give me a break. Why can’t you just quietly pirate things and lay low? It’s everyone’s purpose who visit this website anyway. Get free albums. That’s why I’m really glad to read more interesting contents like your fellow writer wrote. It’s like you guys are showing real effort in contributing for vocaloid society, not this narcissistic self justification. I really encourage more people to write noteworthy contents. I especially enjoyed the one posted on miku’s birthday, Kuusou Memorize. Great effort for video and cover. Also the one with abandoned town cover picture, Azalea no Shinzou. Splendid job. Keep up the good work, guys.

        • What I tried to hint in my post were the current problems and the solution for it. Also why should we stop or keep going with mikudb. The justification was just from my own thought you can agree or disagree. What more important was why does sites like mikudb exist.

          Also what I wanted to say is we were facing lots of attacks for a long time and had to solve it but I never said and erased lots of emails silently. After some time even this boils down inside you as I’m always trying to let other members focus on their field of are while I’m doing the other job. This post was a way to ask the producers and others to stop all this meaningless hate and just ask politely for us to take down the links as we are really ready t cooperate.
          Thanks for ur comment, you got a point with the discrecy and I thank you for your suggestion.

          • If my observation is correct, you are sort of leader of mikudb team, am I right? Or if you guys don’t call it leader, the person in charge or something like that. Now I have a question for you, you don’t need to answer here. “Do you maintain communication with your team and support each other?”

            As why I have this question. Your comment above reveals so many things. This is only a hypothesis: there are problems inside the team. The hints are:
            * a post about “current problems and the solution for it”. I doubt this essay of yours is reviewed by your team, maybe because you think you’re the person in charge. But in my opinion, if this really is a problem, the team should brainstorm together before deciding to post this. The team should think about the long term effect if this essay goes to public. You’ll attract angry people like Mr./Mrs. abc below and that will be problematic. You wouldn’t want to create commotion, would you?
            * “but I never said and erased lots of emails silently”. This makes me really believe you don’t maintain communication with the team. Of course, something as big as “lots of emails” shouldn’t be something to be kept quiet about. But maybe, the teammates are not capable so everyone has to rely on the leader?
            * “I’m always trying to let other members focus on their field of are while I’m doing the other job”. I’m really really sorry but everytime I read this sentence and trying to decipher it implicitly, I always conclude that you see that your teammates are not capable enough. The other alternative is, your teammates don’t respect you. But since you were the one who posted this, I strongly believe it was the first one.

            Please keep in mind that what I have just said is a hypothesis from an outsider. Once again, you don’t need to answer that one question here. But if that question is disturbing you, please communicate with them, instead of blowing off some steam by ranting to public.

            This community has promising members, I can see them on the website and on the facebook group. I’d like to see it grow. But maybe restructure and proper management is necessary.

            I think two comments are already too much on this topic so I’ll bid my farewell. I don’t think you want to read more from me, though. Also thank you for reading, anyway.

  7. I also want to support the author too! But alas Vocaloid related stuff is really scarce here in Indonesia and when there is they charge a skyward amount of money. Much like you said there isn’t alot of group uniting the niche scene and one of those is vocaloid, so MikuDB has been invaluable in me connecting with the authors and sharing the passion with other people! So i will keep both the author and this community, cheers!

  8. There is no way having easy access to vocaloid music is hurting the scene at all. If there was no easy way to listen to these albums, people wouldn’t simply buy them, they would just give up and go listen to something else. And *that* would be bad for Vocaloid in general.

    As a little personal anecdote, I’ve been a fan for about a year now, and I’ve bought about 15 vocaloid albums from CDJapan and Amazon.jp over the last few months. If it wasn’t for MikuDB, I would never even know about any of these albums, much less listen to them or end up eventually buying them.

  9. This site is a cancer to the Vocaloid community. It’s not exactly the piracy idea as a whole, but how this site practices it, and how it gives oversea Vocaloid fans a poor image.
    First of all, It SICKENS me so much how this site asks for donations while being a piracy site. I mean what the fuck, people donate to you so you can get more albums for them to pirate? Replace that donate to MikuDB with a donate button to the author(s) of the work.
    ASK THE PRODUCER FIRST BEFORE PUTTING YOUR ALBUM HERE. ASK THEM IF IT’S OKAY TO PUT IT UP. Seriously, adding their work illegally is literally flipping them off. This is perhaps the greatest flaw to Mikudb, without a doubt.
    If somebody likes their work, how about you add the producer’s social media sites so we can directly tell them our thoughts? Instead of all of this “copyright is love blah blah blah”.
    The direct link to VocaDB does jackshit. Take the time and actually LINK THE ALBUM DIRECTLY TO THE DATABASE ENTRY.
    I understand that there are plenty of albums where we can’t purchase internationally, which is why you’re putting them up here. BUT, WHY DO YOU HAVE ILLEGAL LINKS FOR ALBUMS THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE OVERSEAS? NOT ENOUGH MONEY? OH FUCKING WELL.

    If this site wants more respect from other Vocaloid fans, the mods here must change their ways.

    • so you’re basically saying that piracy needs to be stopped no matter what and thus sites like this should not exist.
      in that regard, banning donations should be reasonable then, because it will make us unable to pay the server cost.

      asking producer before we put the album here, that actually is a good idea.

    • Oh my jharbort u commented on my post finally? This comment seems more structured then our last conversation.

      As for donations just seeing how u think sickens me how u are not realistic. I mean u suggested me to get some ads and nor aware other issues. Well we can do that, that’s true.
      Like I said we got a place where the author can contact us and ask for taking down links. I mean how can we control the uploading albums flowing in and then asking for permissions? If u got a way to make it please tell me.

  10. MikuDB is not illegal, because it does not store anything of the music (just as TPB). On the site itself, you can only find download links for lots of albums, but you cannot download any of those from MikuDB itself. You have to go to 3rd party sites for each download. TPB is doing the same thing. It’s just a collection of links (torrents) and nothing more. And still everyone says it’s illegal.

  11. No es justo que lo den por ilegal ya que es la única pagina que puedo obtener álbumes digitales ya que los demás solo se encuentran en Japón y no puedo descargarlo de mi plataforma que es Windows Phone. Por favor denle permiso aun que sea haganlo como drezzer para teme canciones offline.

  12. I am a die-hard vocaloid fan since 2008. I buy albums of well-known producers, i.e. doriko, livetune, supercell, deco, pinocchio, #8prince, mitchie-m, kikuo, oneroom etc.
    I have over 80 albums on my shelf laying arround. But y’know, when comes to vocaloid, things are different here.
    Albums are releasing frequently every week. It’s not possible to buy every album…is it?
    Now i want to extract every bit of juice from new producers as well as new albums. What should i do then? Do i cash in on those albums or try it out and then decide to buy it or not?
    Also, there are albums are only itunes specials. Let me tell you, i really dont like itunes, why? Because i think they’re selling inferior quality (aac~256) with full price and fools us.
    This is not the way music meant to be. Actually i think, they’re ruining the music industries.
    Anyway, as i said i want to extract every bit of juice from new producer’s works. Tell me then, do i spend my bucks buying those stuffs from itunes or amazon? or do i just download from mikudb
    to experience it and decide to put it in blacklist or not?
    I remember, there are albums from producers like, TOA, yuxuki waga, shakeP etc. that i never intended to buy, but after downloaded the mp3s from mikudb i decided to buy those albums…cause i loved it.
    Because someone said here, ‘you have the physical disc, that matters.’
    mikudb is all about sharing stuffs as well as VOCALOID, to the world, where there’s a very small possibility of getting vocaloid albums or even not. Yes, there are some people who have those chances to buy but still pirates, this is a different matter.
    But you can not discriminate those from others.
    If any of you are against piracy, then i assume that you dont know about VOCALOID at all. Btw…why you come here to say those lengthy stuffs? Ain’t you wasting your time? Go on…get a job.
    THANK YOU MIKUDB what you guys are doing, you have full support from me. I’ll forever grateful to you.
    Y’know, there’re always haters no matter what you do, so it’s better to avoid them.
    Thank You once again..
    Love You mikudb.
    May miku-san bless you all.

  13. I will say it honestly. I won’t say that mikudb is illegal. heck, of course there’s no way I would say that mikudb is legal. so, I only say that mikudb is ‘good’, since it brought me a lot, a ton of benefit. hm, maybe there are producers out there that suffered because of this. but, fuck them. as long as I get unlimited free album, I care any less, lol.

    yeah, I know i’m a chep poor bastard. God said it Himself that my soul made from one penny coin. I admit it. I love live this disgusting live. I think it’s better than being delusional and trying grasping grey area that maybe never existed.

    in short word, just shut up and download everything. if you don’t like it, just stay away from our utopia.

  14. With stuff’s going on with copyright issues (like that news on the new copyright laws that’ll effect doujin being made openly. didn’t know how it went or if it’s gonna be implemented or not), I can only hope it doesn’t halt progress on this website (or being shut down. having such a thought gives me the chills…).
    It’s has probably become a safe haven for me and many other vocaloiders. Not many websites is as dedicated to vocaloids as this one. And it’s not likely to find such sites in every corners of the web.
    Yes, this site needs to known by most, but still it needs to be under the radar because of laws and such.

    This is giving me a headache….

    • If you compared to other doujin , like Touhou , just a small fraction of pricks copyright hunter existed because there are major site outside there. Unlike the Vocaloid fanbase , which is not quite famous as them and thus making site like this as easy target for copyright hunters.

      Why so less of Vocaloid site? Because Vocaloid is not that good. That’s why there are so less a website that dedicated to vocaloid.

      If you look other Doujins category , merely , people give shits about the copyright.
      I don’t know why, in Vocaloid fanbase , a lot of dedicated people to be mad over something that they don’t create lol. If the user don’t want to support , its their fking problem.

      You , as webmaster , just gotta deal with it. Hate message is just small thing. You have the ability to ignore

      This argue have lost since the start. Never start a debate about piracy on piracy website.

  15. Having a website which shares links to obtain copyrighted material is in a grey zone since you’re merely providing links but also facilitating it’s acquisition.

    But lets face it, you really want that event-only physical CD and you don’t have the time nor know-how to travel to Japan and navigate the event (most likely Comiket) to find the author.

    Either that or you live in a 3rd world country where every other foreign currency is stronger than yours and thus you can’t afford to even buy digital copies because making a living is hard enough but you still want to introduce others to a certain composer or Vocaloid and hopefully they have the means to support the authors if not spread the love further.

  16. Piracy is illegal whether or not the media in question is easy or hard to obtain. It’s just if these albums were easier to get, there would be less of a reason to pirate them. I think that if more artists used Bandcamp/iTunes/sold their albums on Diverse Direct/Melonbooks DL/dlsite/etc, and that more western people knew about these sites, then there wouldn’t be an issue. Or if it was easier for westerners to order from Toranoana/Yahoo Auction/etc.

  17. I’m in the boat that in Oz its really hard to purchase or give an album a listen before deciding to purchase it. Often I’ll double buy it physically do after coming here to download it to try it first, I.E I downloaded “Desktop Cinderella” because I was unsure if I’d like it but since I found it totally awesome I bought the physical disc. That and that as said above a new album is released daily and it’s really hard to decide whether its worth buying without listening to it first! Its the market separation that makes it difficult to obtain albums and here on this site it unites them all together in one place! That is why as a producer I have no issues with people illegally downloading my music to find out first whether they like it before buying it!

  18. Simple: if there were no websites like this I would not have known my favorite producers and I would not be working to be a vocaloid producer like them.

    Also

    I ‘m sure here are people like me who want to buy an original album to support our artist. The funny thing -they probably do not want to accept- is: without mikudb (for example) WE would never have known their work and we never would look for ways to support them, PLEASE thanks to this, now I have my idols! And sincerely I want to support their work! I speak for the people outside of Japan who enjoy Vocaloid Music and regardless of cultural difference and the great distance between us I’m sure we all want to be a part of this, and more importantly:

    we all want to support the creators of our favorite music.

    Thanks mikudb for give me the inspiration to be like my idols and for let me know their work. Keep doing it possible.

  19. Thanks to mikudb i found a lot of great music and producer like nekobolo, Caz, Teddyloid, Adys, and a lot more, im from Colombia i have no idea that it was such a fantastic music as vocaloid, i dont think that this site is commeting any crime in fact sometimes i bougth some albums to support the producers so its like a kickstarter or something.

    Please keep going with the awesome job and THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

  20. Don’t cave in to the illegal content or copyright infringement arguments. Those are people who have been brainwashed by the MAFIAA. Laws will always be on the side of the rich, but technology will always be one step ahead of the law. Copyright is the tool that the MAFIAA (MPAA, RIAA, and whatever AA) use to protect their profits, nothing more. If the heat gets to intense, shut down MikuDB as a website, become a mailing list or host the site on I2P as an EEPSites. There are ways to stay a step ahead.

  21. This website is awesome, I found a lot of new music and artists I didn’t even heard about thanks to it. I understand that some people think that it may be illegal but trust me when I say that I would buy every album I like if I had the chance. I live in Argentina and here is very difficult to buy stuff from abroad. It’s REALLY expensive and complicated and this website just saves me a lot of trouble. Maybe in the future, things will be better and I’ll be able to finally buy stuff without any trouble. But for now, MikuDB is my best option right now.
    Thanks for everything you guys do to keep this place alive. I made this account just to say this. 😀

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