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This one is really getting on my nerves. Very often, when I’m looking around for homebrew applications, mods for games, plugins or similar, I find these on various sites and forums by googling around. Mainly on forums.

So, I’m googling for that particular file, a latest version of someone’s cool application, and find it in a thread somewhere on one of the many thousands and thousands of forums out there discussing similar topics. You can read the forum thread and everything, and when you click that little “Download” link and think that you are going to get the file shortly… you are greeted with an “Error” page, stating that you have to be a member of the forum to be able to download any files from it.

Register To Download

“But it’s ok, it’s FREE!

Yes, it always is free, naturally – it’s free (and legal, mind you) software and the site usually don’t have anything that would remotely be worth paying money for. So, you are forced to fill in registration forms and submit them, confirm your e-mail adress and all that, and create a whole new account on that site just to download this ONE file. And you will most probably NEVER return to that site to download anything ever again, because face it, it’s probably quite a niche forum with little else to offer you personally.

I have become a member of countless such forums, sometimes when I’m out looking for new versions of homebrew applications for my Nintendo DS it could be, say, 2 or 3 forums a day. Just to get one little emulator here, one little updated version of a chat client there, and so on. And I know for a fact that I’m not alone.

What… is the deal? What could you, as the owner of such a forum, possibly gain from having people create tons of accounts that they just forget and let die the moment they have downloaded their files? I never get any spam from such sites, so it can’t be they are selling my e-mail to someone, I guess. That, or my spam filter really works wonders. Ad revenue? No, there are seldom any ads on such sites, and if there are, I certainly won’t bother even looking at them – I’m at their site for ONE purpose and ONE purpose only, and that is to get THAT particular download. Is it that… they marvel at their grandness as they see that little “total number of members” counter go up? …could someone seriously be that sad? I hope not.

So, what the HELL is the deal? Let me just download the file already. I WILL create an account that will go dead and litter your system. If I want to write in your forum, then fine, of course that justifies me creating an account – But… having me create an account just to download a file, when I can otherwise read the entire forum, that is just tedious – not to mention inconsistent. As I have no account I am in a read-only mode, I get it. So why can’t I simply read the files? It’s technically the same thing, and I leave no other mark than use of bandwidth THAT I WILL USE ANYWAY AND MORE since I have to create a FUCKING ACCOUNT and THEN download!

That really grinds my gears something fierce. I seldom even know the names of the sites I register to, and couldn’t care less either, and when it comes to sites that are tedious and force me to do awkward things to get what I want… well, naturally, I will think twice before going back there. I know it sounds like a silly “threat” but it’s just a simple fact.

You do get that, right?

What sites do I keep coming back to, sites that I even might bookmark? Sites (or any other service) that I put efford in remembering the names of? Those that can give me what I want with as little hassle and obstacles as possible, naturally! And when you get someone to stick around and like you, the chance of them actually generating ad revenue and spreading the word of your services greatly increases!

I’m so sick of amateurs floating blindly with the stream.

They do it for some to me unknown reason, then so must we! We can’t question what we don’t understand!”

I have had professional people at my previous WORK say things like that, fearing progress and new ideas, without any rational reason!




  1. Just a thought on this. I would immagine that the requirements to create an account to actually download something might be a side effect. And that the main reason for account creation is that to avoid spam and stuff like that. Since its easier to spam if you need to create an account.

    • KarmaSlave
    • Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm
    • Permalink

    True, but as I mentioned, I do understand being required to register in order to write to the forums. But you can read the text there (read data/download data) so why can’t you download files (which won’t have any other impact than bandwidth) without registering? It does say “can’t find the download link?” and not “in order to reply you must be a registered user”. And considering various different forum systems do this, it seems there is a thought behind it – but it eludes me.

  2. Maybe they see the bandwidth as a problem? I don’t have any figures but if you can download a file directly from the site, and that file is published on 2000 other forums all around the interwebs there might be complications. Can be that the file is on a slow server or whatnot. Guess they think of it as “better safe then sorry”.

    And they might even think that “ok, someone wants to download a file from our forum. If they want the file they should want to join in on the discussions about the file. Its best we force them to register, cause if we don’t we will never have any discussions about it” 🙂

    • KarmaSlave
    • Posted February 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm
    • Permalink

    First, bah. And I’ve seen cases where files cannot be linked to like that… I mean, since you can see the origin of a clicked link somehow, you can block that sort of referal-download-link stuff. To prevent bandwidth abuse, that is.

    And second, bah.

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