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    1 sound
    2 posts
    Potential bot user spamming downloads


    I checked the download activity for a sound I uploaded and found many repeat downloads coming from the user yuchen22314. Looking at their profile, they have over 3 million downloads. That feels suspicious. Can mods please check or intervene? Thanks <3

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    904 sounds
    55 posts


    Yes, I also noticed some profils created some hours or days ago downloading exactly the same sounds, following the same routine, as if they were bots.
    But, I don't know if the Freesound team could avoid this kind of behaviour...

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    5033 sounds
    76 posts


    Wow that is interesting.

    I'll report it, thanks for letting us know.

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    904 sounds
    55 posts


    Just have a look to this download list for one of my sounds :
    https://freesound.org/people/kevp888/sounds/661626/downloaders/?page=2#user
    See how many users have created their profil 1 week and 5 days ago, and how their download list is similar. It seems they're not malicious, but tthese similarities let me think they would be bots...

  • avatar
    82 sounds
    5 posts


    I wouldn't be surprised if some of these bots are just downloading CC0 sounds to put in bootleg sample packs that they can sell (not that there's anything in the CC0 license that prohibits that). Problem is, some of them also download CC-BY and CC-BY-SA sounds, too.

    Maybe the Freesound team could add a maximum number of downloads per day? And require email addresses associated with accounts to be verified? That could at least slow things down. Or even add a Captcha prior to allowing a sound to be downloaded.

    Just my thoughts as a humble user.

  • avatar
    4673 sounds
    1716 posts


    The new user also seems to be affected by bots:
    look in his first sounds from early Dec 2022. They are downloaded a lot and there is a lot of comment;

    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/663759/
    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/663568/
    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/663328/
    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/663059/
    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/662890/
    https://freesound.org/people/DaveJf/sounds/662558/

    Most of the bots seem to have names that start with a capital letter and some numbers attached to it.

    To hear, you first have to listen
  • avatar
    904 sounds
    55 posts


    Yes, I noticed these peculiarities too.

    Talking about download limitations, personally, I think captcha isn't a good way to solve the problem, as it's almost impossible to answer for blind users like me.

    Have a nice day !

  • avatar
    746 sounds
    278 posts


    Hi everyone,

    This might also be researchers downloading sounds. Recently there was a new dataset published (not by us) and they provided instructions to download sounds "automatically" from Freesound which would result in these kind of download behaviours. We contacted the authors and requested to update their instructions to download using the official channel (the Freesound API) which will not interfere with these statistics. Hopefully it will therefore happen less in the future.

    In any case, tracking the "potentially bad" uses of the website is a very time consuming task and we honestly don't have the bandwidth to do it intensively. We can from time to time take some actions, but out to do list is always much longer than our little time weird

    Thanks for your understanding!

    frederic
    the freesound team
  • avatar
    904 sounds
    55 posts


    Thank you for your reply and for your explanations, Frederic !
    Yes, we can understands that you and the ffreesound team are already very busy actually. And as we love this wonderful website, we just wish to keep it as safe as possible for honest users, of course : wink

    Have a nice day, and thank you so much for all your great work !

  • avatar
    4673 sounds
    1716 posts


    hi Frederic,

    thanks for all your attention and effort. we, happy users, continue to help you where we can with remarkable things, our to do list is shorter. wink

    Have fun and happy holidays and a good new year.

    To hear, you first have to listen
  • avatar
    0 sounds
    1 post


    Hello is this why we can't do a search now ? I have this error : The search server could not be reached, please try again later.

  • avatar
    1 sound
    2 posts


    Thank you for the info, Frederic. I didn't know at all that people could schedule automatic downloads and that's why I was concerned, but auto-download makes a ton of sense considering this user's behavior. And I totally understand that the FS team involving themselves in bot detecting at this detail level would be too time-consuming and unnecessary. On the off chance that this user is a bot, they seem harmless - I haven't been spammed/harassed in comments etc. so it's really not a big deal.

    Thank you and the rest of the team for always being transparent and communicative. smile

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    68 sounds
    5 posts


    Do not limit anything. If you do not want your sounds downloaded then do not release them under CC copyright.

    Talking about "bootleg sample packs" is nonsense. CC license allows redistribution and you should upload file with proper copyright CC-BY metadata.

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    82 sounds
    5 posts


    trader_one, you clearly don't understand Creative Commons; not all CC is CC0 (public domain).

    > Re: "you should upload file with proper copyright CC-BY metadata"

    If someone doesn't that doesn't absolve users of the sound of adhering to the license. On Freesound, CC-BY sounds are clearly marked, and even if that information isn't in the file's metadata, the user still knows the sounds are under that license, and therefore need to abide by it (give credit when redistributing).

    > Re: "Talking about "bootleg sample packs" is nonsense."

    Oh really? What about when they violate CC-BY or CC-BY-SA? I guarantee most of them violate CC-BY-SA-NC at least since they're being sold with no information where the sounds come from. If these sample packs don't include author credits, they're violating CC-BY, and if they're not shared as creative commons themselves, they're violating CC-BY-SA. CC themselves say as much on their website (https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/).

    If a bot is downloading files irrespective of license and putting them in a sample pack, there is a good chance that violates the license of any sound not licensed under the CC-0. There may not be much Freesound itself can do about it, but that still violates the license.

    To compare it to open-source software, it's the same reason you can't modify and re-release a GPLv2 program under a proprietary license but you can if the program was originally licensed under the MIT license. GPLv2 requires any modifications and redistribution be licensed under the same license as the original. Same applies to ANY CC-*-SA license. And everything but CC0 requires crediting the original author.

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