I'm happy to say that I have finally created a system whereby:
- You are notified that you have already downloaded an item (when viewing it).
- You can re-download items "for free" (without paying DC).
- You can upgrade your license to commercial use and pay only the difference in DC (between pu and cu).
This should prevent people losing DC unnecessarily.
The caveat to this announcement is that this new notification/re-downloading system will for now only be available to people who have donated at least $5 to Pixel Scrapper. If you'd like to, you can donate now.
EDIT: the "already downloaded" notification system is available to everyone for now, though re-downloading is still limited to donating users.
Why the need to donate?
This is in no way an attempt to "force" people into donating; rather, it is an attempt to deal with the realities of the system we've created. Marisa and I pay directly for each and every download from this site, and from that perspective it doesn't matter if you've already downloaded something or not: a download is a download, and the DC system is there to help keep downloads in check (so that we don't go bankrupt!).
Why not at least notify people about previous downloads, even if they haven't donated? Well, that's a bit more complicated, but it comes down to the fact that checking whether a user has downloaded an item, when we have tens of thousands of download records, is fairly intensive on the database. The issue is is making this check on every page, for every user. And it's just not realistic. In fact, for quite a while I was thinking that we simply would not be able to have notifications of previously downloaded items at all. But then I realized that we could pull it off if we limited the checks to a smaller group of users... like those who have donated.
So please don't see this as an insult to those who haven't donated, but rather as a bonus for those who have. I hope we give away enough free stuff to everybody who uses this site that nobody feels short-shrifted ! I've been over and over the demands on the system, and if I can find a way to make the notifications of previous downloads work for all users, I will jump on it.
As always, feedback is welcome