I want to begin this post by saying that I am not giving an personal opinion on this whole situation. I would like to bring up some points that I, as a consumer, feel about what is being said on this board.
First, when a person buys a domain, the cheapest way to go is to register the domain publically, this allows the whole world to do a whois lookup and see your details. This opens your private name and address to be listed. However, you can pay the domain provider to keep this information hidden, protecting an indivdual business person's privacy from easy access on the Internet. This is done, not to "hide" from people, but rather it is a way to protect the individual from such things as identity theft and unwanted corrospondence delivered to the individuals home. You can't call microsoft and get Bill Gates Cell number.
Now, let's discuss what this site "says" they want to do. They feel that there are several problems wrong with the magic market.
1. People make DVD's at home, sell them for typical prices, with sub-par quality. Some small company may buy it and get it out to the world.
2. The big publishers release DVD's with great quality, however, they are extended into multiple disk sets, much of which is seen as filler by the customer. To add to this, the current trend seems to be to release the complete DVD sets as one, increasing the typical cost of from $35 to $100 to purchase a DVD to obtain, lets say, one desired effect. This can probably be seen as a direct reaction to the copying of DVD's. Many people will spend $35 to get a DVD and make some copies, but they may be less willing to spend $100 to do the same.
So as a consumer of magic in today's world how does all of this effect me? I have had to stop buying magic for the love of the art. I purchase only what I really feel I need. I personally am tired of buying magic products that are worthless. There are few products that I will buy on name recognition alone.
How do I determine what to buy. Well, there are many reviews available in the various magic magazines. However, I personally feel that some of the reviewers are 1. not qualified to review or 2. not confident enough to make a serious attempt at reviewing a product, because they don't want to hurt someones feelings. There are only a handful of reviewers in the magazines I trust, and who have similar opinions as me. How many reviews have you read lately, of rip-off material, that say wonderful things about the effects?
I have personally turned away from traditional magic purchasing and have turned toward buying items directly from creators.
I don't want to ramble, sorry, but my point is instead of jumping up in arms over a site which is emulating a solid free market system already in place in mainstream culture. Instead, maybe the community should come together and try to cure some of the overal woes of the consumer magic market as a whole.
I personally would never use the site discussed in this thread. I don't have $20-$35 a month to waste on "reviewing" copies of magic DVD's I may want to buy. I have a local magic shop that is willing to discuss quality of magic items produced, which will help me make decisions. The internet has opened up great opportunities for individauls to come together in ways like never before, however it has also opened up a can of worms which we have not seemed to be able to overcome as a community.
I mean no disrespect to those who create quality magic and sell it to help make a living. I appreciate when creators offer thier ideas to the community. At this point there may be points I wanted to make, but can't remember, so I will finsh now.