I'm an active participant in the NinjaTrader forum, and although I have communicated with Big Mike and other members directly via e-mail, this is my first post on this forum an Elite member.
I was unaware that "bots" and other unscrupulous people were downloading indicators and posting them on other sites as their own, or even worse - selling them. I'm 100% in favor of doing whatever is necessary to protect the contributors to this forum from the actions of such parasites. The good people who share their time and skill with others on this site deserve to receive recognition for their efforts and to be protected from thieves. If that means restricting all downloads to Elite members, or even more drastic measures, then so be it.
"It seems the best way to protect the collection of downloads the users have worked very hard on, is to restrict access to only those who are serious about trading."
I'm struck by your words: "protect" and "serious". How can you determine what level of protection the collection needs; from such a large group of people (traders and people being less of a trader), and how serious these folks are. Really, can you come even close to knowing that level. What is so wrong now that you think you have to step in? I want you to try and pay for costs, but unless that is the sole reason you make changes, then you are being what you call yourself, "Big Mike" among us that don't have control of what you have control of. If people wanted their uploads protected then they probably wouldn't upload their material. Major changes should be based on costs only. Nobody wants you to pay money for all of our benefit. If costs are your reason then make all the changes you need, otherwise let the group benefit the way it is now.
The following user says Thank You to drummer for this post:
This is quite a dilemma that there are some visitors that have such an effect on the forum that it creates unpleasant issues. You have a great forum, Mike, and its a lot of responsibility to administer it. I can see your point in wanting to make the downloads section restricted to elite membership and the other responses from members shows that they are concerned as well. I participate in discussions in a number of trader's forums and I'm not looking forward to all of them charging for downloads, but maybe that's where these issues will lead all of them. It is my preference that the downloads remain free; however, I respect any decision that you make, because I know that you are taking care of all us members.