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Author Topic: Stolen Mod  (Read 816 times)

larSyn

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Stolen Mod
« on: December 15, 2018, 11:23:29 AM »

As some of you may know, I made the Smokeleaf Industry mod.  I was recently notified by a user on Steam that someone else had uploaded a mod that is using all my art and code.  This mod, called "More Smokeleaf", uses my mod as a base and adds a some other stuff on top of it (just strains as far as I can tell). 

For proof check the dates on the uploads and check the pics: 
here's mine:https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1140051385
here is the offending mod:https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1590127548

The pics show my art in this mod, and the same exact research tree (he didn't even change the names).

The "creator" never contacted me for permission to use anything and now I really don't want them using it.  I'm looking for advice on how to deal with this.  Do I report to Steam?  Try and deal with it myself?

It would really suck if Rimworld modding went the way of Fallout and Skyrim with the whole stolen mod controversy.

Edit:  I've downloaded the mod and compared the art files and the code.  This person just changed the prefix of all my xml files, defNames and art files.  Descriptions are the same, all values are the same.  They've added on to my mod a little and taken a few things out but they also left stuff in the files that isn't being used (ie my terrain art, references to custom dll's).  Gotta say, I'm a little >:( about this...

« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 01:01:19 PM by larSyn »
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Canute

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 03:40:59 PM »

You should report it to steam support.
I think they are the only who can help you.
Ofcourse you can try to denounce him for copyright, since you are both from the states :-)

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Albion

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 08:54:11 PM »

Well that's the problem with the license you chose... You give the right to use and redistribute your mod and all its content. This technically doesn't exclude re-uploads of your mod under a different name.
However what the offending party in fact did wrong is that they are required by the license to give credit to you as the original author and reference the same license, neither of which has been done.

You therefore technically don't really have a case in regards to copyright infringement but you are not being credited when you should be!

Regardless of all that: it's bad form to just re-upload someone elses mod and I hope we won't see many other examples of this happening.

larSyn

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 09:26:06 AM »

Well that's the problem with the license you chose... You give the right to use and redistribute your mod and all its content. This technically doesn't exclude re-uploads of your mod under a different name.
However what the offending party in fact did wrong is that they are required by the license to give credit to you as the original author and reference the same license, neither of which has been done.

You therefore technically don't really have a case in regards to copyright infringement but you are not being credited when you should be!

Regardless of all that: it's bad form to just re-upload someone elses mod and I hope we won't see many other examples of this happening.

This is what I was wondering about.  I'm not well versed in the details of the licenses and was pretty sure that this was the case.  But I also found this, which, if I understand correctly, means it violates Steam's rules regarding content creator's rights.  Does my license supersede Steam's rules? 

Anyway, now that I've calmed down, I'll make a comment about it on his page to let him know. 

Edit:  Here is what I wrote:
"Hi.  I'm the author of Smokeleaf Industry.  While it's technically ok for you to use my mod as a base for your own, it would have been a lot cooler if you asked.  Or have just made an add-on for SI.  Regardless, you need to read this page (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) about the license of my mod and how you now have to use it and give credit to me for making it.  I would also appreciate that you make retexturing a priority. And maybe do some stuff to differentiate the two mods more.  I'm all game for a little competion in the smokeleaf mod department, but it'd be better if I wasn't mostly competing against myself. 

Thanks - larSyn"
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 09:58:14 AM by larSyn »
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Albion

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 04:43:03 PM »

I'm not a lawyer but regarding the steam license he would technically have the right to publish the mod since the main argument in the text you linked is that he never had the right to upload it in the first place and is therefore violating the user agreement.
However since you're using the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license redistribution is technically allowed (again: WITH proper crediting and using the same license!) and since it is allowed he is not in violation with the user agreement.

Long story short: He is allowed to do what he did if he credits you properly, which he hopefully does after your message.
The whole thing is a bit of a mess though and again: I hope something like this won't happen more often.
I for one am using the same license for my mod and would not like to have someone simply re-upload my mod. If this would happen a lot the modding community would probably get more secluded and less inclined to share source code.
I like to share my source code since it helps other modders create similar stuff but if it gets abused I would probably change my policy and would be more protective of my mod/code.

Anyway... I'm curious how this plays out. Please keep us/me informed.

larSyn

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 08:43:57 PM »

Thanks for your help Albion.  I spoke with the creator and he has set up proper credit now.  He has also assured me he's going to be changing things a good bit, so the mods won't be identical.  I think he just got excited and jumped the gun on releasing.

I chose the license because it seemed to be common amongst Rimworld mods (SI was my first), and I guess I fully didn't get the details til now (maybe someone familiar with them all could make something in the Help section if there isn't already).  I learned from other peoples mods and don't mind someone using mine to learn either.  It just seemed a bit blatant to me, using the exact same stuff with some additions/renames.  It's not something I would have done, that's all. 

I hope this doesn't become common in the future, either.  It could easily discourage an open community, like you say.  We'll see what happens, though.
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Albion

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Re: Stolen Mod
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 02:14:32 AM »

Glad to see he did the proper steps now. I guess you're right and he just got overly excited to release what he did so far and was working off your mod as a basis.
Not everything that looks like bad intentions is intended that way.

The CC license is pretty much standard and although I was already aware of the implications there is a difference between knowing someone could simply reupload your mod and actually seeing someone reupload your mod.