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  • started a topic Protecting your rights as a Mod Author!

    Protecting your rights as a Mod Author!

    Hi everyone,

    So, there's been an ever-increasing trend of server owners monetising the mods they have installed on their server as a means of microtransactions. This essentially means that server owners are blocking access to either parts of mods or completely with the intent of making money from the works of mod authors. While they can be doing this to offset the cost of server renting, without the permission of a mod author, it still does not justify it and it is a serious breach of rights. Creative Commons has created a licence that can help with this issue. The Attribution Non-Commercial and No Derivatives (4.0) license covers you in the best case. This licence also protects you from other mod developers that you have shared your code with, where they have implemented that code directly into their mod, and are using it without your permission, for monetary gain or otherwise should you wish to take action.

    A quick and basic thing you can do to give yourself the legal backing required to be able to prevent such things from occurring is adding a Creative Commons NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence declaration on your Steam Workshop page.

    Code:
    This mod/code/work is protected by the [URL=http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode]Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons License.
    [IMG]https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-nd/4.0/88x31.png[/IMG][/URL]
    The above will appear like so on your workshop page:


    If you find yourself in this situation with either a mod of your own creation, or the works of another you know, here are some things you can/should do;

    ~ If it is not yours, and the Author has attributed this licence to their Mod, you should notify the Author of the infringement. The Steam Workshop page will probably be the fastest route otherwise, if they allow it, a personal message or comment on their profile should get their attention.

    ~ Gather evidence of the infringement. This could be screenshots of either the website(if they have one), in-game instructions and offers or some other means of engaging in the infringement showing the mod feature/access being advertised as "for a price" or "comes with a 'donation'".

    ~ Document the Server IP AND Port Number. Several servers run out of the same IP, so the Port number is important. It may even be best to screenshot the arkservers.net page of the server, showing the active players as well. This may help if needing to prove the server had a chance to make a profit off of other players.

    ~ If a website exists and is involved in the infringement(offering/advertising mods for "sale"), document the URL of the website and use whois.net to obtain the hosting provider for their domain and the hosts contact information.

    ~ Try and get some sort of contact information for the server owner/operator. If you have their contact information, send them a DMCA Takedown Notice. If you have obtained the website host information, send the Notice to the Host of the website, this in turn requires the host to forward the notice to the owner and act on the notice should the infringer not comply in a reasonable period of time as it helps remind them how to avoid legal liability in the event of any Copyright claims that could proceed to lawsuits.

    DMCA Takedown template is attached(as .docx and .txt files (in a .zip due to file size limits) - also in the code box below to cover all bases for people to access it), tweaked to reflect the nature of this a litte more accurately, replace all of the capitalised/bolded text - you only need to provide one formal means of communication however(most commonly a valid email), also it would help to use your real name and provide your Steam moniker(name) to associate yourself with the mod(s) in question more clearly. If you wish to send the notice directly to the owner/operator then the notice should be altered further as the template is directed towards hosting providers.

    Furthermore, if the infringer has made available a PayPal address/button for people to send money to, you can also contact PayPal with an infringement report(as this is less to do with content and more specifically the money side of it, a DMCA notice will not work here) and they have their own policy for this. You can find their template/form at this link - you can also right-click and 'Save As...' as it's a PDF file. The PDF has form features built in so you can fill out the required information(note: this one will require information such as your name, address, etc. as it's a much more "official" means of reporting infringements) and once done so, you're instructed to either fax or email the completed form to infringementreport@paypal.com.

    -WM (Discord ARK Modding Admin)


    Code:
    Takedown Notice Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
     
    To Whom It May Concern,
     
    This is a notice in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) requesting that you immediately cease to provide access to the copyrighted material. I wish to report an instance of Copyright Infringement, whereby the infringing material appears on a website for which you are the host (according to WHOIS information).
     
    The works being infringed upon are:
     
    “NAME OF MOD”
     
    The original works, to which I own the copyrights, can be found at:
     
    http://www.steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=MODIDHERE
     
    The unauthorized use and infringement can be found at:
     
    URL TO PAGE WHERE INFRINGEMENT HAS OCCURRED.
     
    My name is INSERT NAME and I am the author and copyright holder of the works described below. The party involved in the infringement is violating the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License by monetizing the original works without authorization.
     
    This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.
     
    Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.
     
    I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights I own are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and that I am the copyright holder of the works involved.
     
    Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.
     
    Thank you.
     
    Signed:
    YOUR NAME
    ADRESS
    CITY, STATE, ZIP/POSTAL CODE
    PHONE
    EMAIL
    Date:
    DATE
    Attached Files
    Last edited by WoefulMacabre; 03-17-2016, 04:30 PM. Reason: Added information regarding reporting infringements to PayPal.

  • replied
    Gladly as the author of the work you DO hold certain rights to the content. While these do not and cannot infringe on the copyright of the game it is created for, the author still retains full rights in every other respect - for example in the case of people monetizing the content. While some companies - including Bethesda and Valve - try funny business with special clauses in their ToS it is important to note that these are not legally binding if they violate copyright laws, and these clauses do (e.g. Valve makes the uploader agree that their only compensation is being allowed to upload content, and that does not hold up at all legally). Studio Wildcard have stated that server owners can hide ARK content behind server shops, however that naturally does not extend to content they hold no copyright to. Sponsored mods are a special case as Studio Wildcard purchased the full rights to these creations, so one can assume that they fall in the same category as base game content.

    TLDR: Save yourself some trouble and add the license

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Nope nope and nope. Not new to Modding. Bethesda made this clear a long time ago. Creative Commons protects a mod author from nothing. The content you add to ARK is the sole property of WildCard because you are using their assets to produce said content and as such WildCard may have the rights to prosecute but you have none. **/me looks at self saying "good luck telling an content creator their work is not their property"** People charging access to their servers maybe a Wildcard violation but is not a concern of yours. Ooops did I Necro? Doesnt matter because I wont be looking for a reply just as long as the poor shlubs stopping bye from google get their facts right. The cold truth about modding is YOU OWN NOTHING. Merry Christmas and hope ur new year is better than the last.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Angrytoilet View Post
    long post made short:

    https://creativecommons.org/licenses.../4.0/legalcode

    make sure you read and understand 100% of this, as, it doesnt protect you as much as stated in the original post. Section 8 is a good one.

    "copyright holder"

    You do not hold a copyright to your material unless you paid for one, and, no one that i have seen, has. So, your doing a lot of barking, and you have no "real" rights here. Be also mindful, that, if you pursue legal action, due to not holding a copyright on your material, you maybe counter-sued for all legal fees .... So in the long run, it may end-up biting you in the rear. Best practice, is, get a copyright if your that worried about it.
    If there is no other copyright for such material, the creator is granted inherent copyright privileges. Yes its hard to go to court with inherent copyright, but that's all that is needed for a DMCA.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    long post made short:

    https://creativecommons.org/licenses.../4.0/legalcode

    make sure you read and understand 100% of this, as, it doesnt protect you as much as stated in the original post. Section 8 is a good one.

    "copyright holder"

    You do not hold a copyright to your material unless you paid for one, and, no one that i have seen, has. So, your doing a lot of barking, and you have no "real" rights here. Be also mindful, that, if you pursue legal action, due to not holding a copyright on your material, you maybe counter-sued for all legal fees .... So in the long run, it may end-up biting you in the rear. Best practice, is, get a copyright if your that worried about it.
    Last edited by AP_Studios; 07-06-2016, 02:38 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hey Guys,

    i'm Not keen on international right of authors, but with german rights i am.

    If your german and See a violation of your authors rights, just look for a lawyer and let hin work. Hamburg is always a good spot, the judges are known as very strikt with that violations.

    Because of the internet is all over the world, the crime scene is it, too for a german judge. So it's possible for you to pick Hamburg

    An author is s.o. starting to realize an idea. And with that starting ( hopefully with a Date anywhere to proof) a german get's several rights.
    1. You decide who May use it and how long
    2. You decide If s.b. May use ur work and change it. (scaling a picture or Photoshop it etc.)
    3. You decide if it can and how it will bei published.
    4. several other rights Not useful here in general.

    So if you get to know s.o. using your content, ask a lawyer, try to figure out a similar license cost. (In general with photos etc. min. 200€) and let the lawyer write a nice little Letter. Even Steam can't get the copyright, Because in germany it's just possible to allow s.o. to "violate" your rights, but you will always bei the owner.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Vindomire View Post
    this cant be done... people keep thinking "oh that is my idea and works teh same as mine... THEY STOLE IT!!!!". Wrong answer. When you cook the mod we cant add it to our dev kit, it wont open. i cant download your mod and steal your assets.
    While this may be true for compiled assets that are put into a binary format for run time speed, this doesn't apply to textures. You can view them in the devkit and even export them no problem by moving the cooked mods folder over to the devkit's mod dev folder. Binary assets will crash the devkit but textures will not.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Encryption767 View Post
    What about other mod authors who are using custom work from your mod? What recourse is there with this?


    This was actually answered else where by a helpful admin. Steam has a DMCA take down page for those unaware.

    It can be found here:
    https://steamcommunity.com/dmca/create/
    this cant be done... people keep thinking "oh that is my idea and works teh same as mine... THEY STOLE IT!!!!". Wrong answer. When you cook the mod we cant add it to our dev kit, it wont open. i cant download your mod and steal your assets.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    What about other mod authors who are using custom work from your mod? What recourse is there with this?


    This was actually answered else where by a helpful admin. Steam has a DMCA take down page for those unaware.

    It can be found here:
    https://steamcommunity.com/dmca/create/
    Last edited by Encryption767; 05-17-2016, 11:04 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    This was a really good read and great information. Thanks woeful for posting this, i appriciate it!

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Ok, no more bumping.. It's now a part of sticky nation!

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Bump for the sake of bumping.

    -WM

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    bump to the top

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    I have no issues with servers accepting donations and turning their server into a pay 2 win if they want.

    I also have no issue with a mod dev creating a mod specifically for donations, or creating a mod just for their server to help promote donations.

    What I do have a problem with, is the clear violation of creators rights concerning mods. 99.9% of these problems are solved just by contacting the mod dev first.

    Even if the mod item is completely available to learn for everyone on the server, the fact that you can buy that mod item to help support the server is the same thing in my opinion too, and without the permission of the mod developer, I still see this as a violation of the creators rights.

    ArkHappens is still selling industrial grinder, and whatever titan forge is. I have tried adding the mod dev of industrial grinder to my steam friends to notify, but have yet to receive a response.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    The Ark Dev has already spoken about monetizing on the Ark content.

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110...5406656761009/

    Both TheRightHand and Drake has commented on that thread. However, custom mod content is another story.

    Leave a comment:

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