PSA: keep an eye out for stolen works and content

I don’t usually make posts like this, but I thought I’d bring a topic to the attention of modders, artwork makers, etc. Keep an eye out for your work being reposted without your permission. I know this is by no means a new issue, but it can be quite easy to completely forget about.

Just today I found out someone had reuploaded an animated zombie face (that I made over 3 years ago) on Unturned’s community hub on Steam (which I rarely visit)…and not only did it reach virtually the top of the Artwork page, but I wasn’t aware of it until @Pork notified me. Fortunately, due to the quick action of community staff (thank you @MoltonMontro), the post was taken down immediately.

However, the person had already received over 100 upvotes and managed to pass my sprite off as their own to many oblivious community members (as the comments of the repost confirmed). I don’t care about the upvotes, but few things anger me more than people claiming others’ work as their own.

It seems like content being stolen and reuploaded like this is becoming more and more common, and it hasn’t been limited to artwork - I’ve seen other cases in the past months of mods being ripped off from my friends and even DMCAs having to be taken. My artwork being stolen was luckily a pretty minor incident, but there’s been much worse cases I’ve seen in the past where the offender even lied about their right to use the content in question.

In summary, for those of you out there who make content like this, this post is just a reminder to be wary and always vigilant of stolen content. Sometimes, it may be wise to do occasional and brief searches to see if your content has been reuploaded anywhere without your consent. If you see something that you suspect is stolen, please report it and notify the original creator if possible. This holds true for any official community medium.

Images of the incident in case you're interested

The repost (now deleted)

My sprite in the Artwork section of my profile

My sprite posted on /r/unturned around the same time

Hm.
image

P.S: If the animated zombie face sprite looks oddly familiar to you for some reason, it might be because you were in the Unturned Official Discord when they used it as their logo for a while in 2019. It’s literally my oldest animation, but I was pretty happy about that so I can’t complain tbh

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curated content creators often get all their assets ripped and re uploaded. Most don’t care, though some take issues when credit isn’t given.

All of the Christmas In July assets were stolen and re uploaded by a bunch of Russians awhile ago, I’ve not been able to track down the mod, but it’s in one of JSwag’s videos.

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That’s a solid yikes from me chief.

I feel like it’s pretty bad when it’s curated content, given how much work usually gets put into those assets, but if it hasn’t had a stint in the official game, it’s even worse because most people have likely never seen the assets before.

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Personally, I’d say this would be the case for many post 3.28 mods. However what if someone wants to update a map for post January 2019 use? Like the Driftless, a map who’s owner no longer updates. I believe he hasn’t even uploaded a single mod in 18 months.

If they’re just ripping a mod off that’s updated quite a bit, stealing the assets and code yeah I see exactly why you should send a DMCA. However for certain maps that are no longer updated and get the permission of the person who made the map, I don’t see why not.

Most authors probably don’t mind if credit is given. Assuming it’s a case like you described. I know @Dieselsisel doesn’t care if people re-upload his mods, since he isn’t.

PSA keep an eye out for the laziest, boring, and god awful re-uploads of roleplay maps

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inb4 washington rp pro edition :sunglasses:

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I think it’s a little bit funny whenever the person stealing the mod is Russian. Apparently in their eyes they can do whatever the fuck they want and violate any sort of copyright that exists to steal content from someone else (obviously not true of all of them).

At one point I noticed a guy who stole a shitload of content because he gave “permission” to someone to update one of his mods and I ended up being contacted to do what I could with the files. Worst part of that incident was the effort in explaining that the content was stolen.

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images

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oh wait this is about steam artwork?

ohh well if your somebody who steals artwork your just a scumbag

No, get fucked

Literally the ONLY way to do it

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Thankyou @GreatHeroJ, very cool!!! :slight_smile:

People cant steal my mods if I dont upload them

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oh boy another topic I can rant about
lets get loud

it’s because most of the actual modders have largely left the scene or are working on curated content, and most of the workshop users who are still with the game aren’t exactly skilled so they have to rely on other people’s content
most of those people happen to be server hosters, so they go after the most well known mods and cram their own shit into it then reupload it for their servers, leading to low effort content like this flooding the workshop

absolutely this, it’s why I’m looking into as many possible methods of preventing people from taking Stasven’s content without going curated or having to pay money for a legit copyright
2+ years of hard work could get swiped by some rando and reuploaded as Stavsen BR RP and easily get many times more subs, likes, and views as the original because it’s for a server

had a guy tell me straight to my face that “you can’t do anything” when I politely asked him to take down his reuploaded version of PEI v3
as expected, he was from a country with different copyright laws than the US, which may be why people like them are so defensive of their shitty reups

absolutely, that’s why watermarks should be used way more often
hell it’s why all images of my mods that I post have stupid huge watermarks on them, because I’m pretty sure at least one dumbass would love to get a few hundred thumbs off them

it varies between authors, for example I don’t allow people to do that with my content because I feel it’s stealing my stuff and reupping it for their own benefit
however another author might be cool with it, and may even encourage it because they have a different take on people doing that sorta thing
either way it helps to ask nicely and respect their wishes before you do anything that might end up getting you in deep shit

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I might set out just 10 mins every day working on master bundle override mods to add stuff like all sorts of new craft able items and secret storage etc. I don’t understand why people bother making horrible vault models and stuff when they can use vanilla stuff with less effort.

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yeah mods like that are okay imo, since it’s just changing the stats on existing items

hell that’s how we used to do it back in the pre-Unity 5 days, when Unity 4 would cost you money to bundle assets (and the only way you could do it then would be to get some wacky ass tool from the Unity forums to make bundles that’d work with the game)

had a guy tell me straight to my face that “you can’t do anything” when I politely asked him to take down his reuploaded version of PEI v3

as expected, he was from a country with different copyright laws than the US, which may be why people like them are so defensive of their shitty reups

Few things to consider:

Many nations are a part of the Berne Convention. If you want to know how other countries work with the US in relation to copyright, view this: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf

Steam complies with notice-and-takedown procedures as laid out by the DMCA, which applies to content you report for violating U.S. copyright. https://store.steampowered.com/legal/ Additionally, any content uploaded to Steam has some rights transferred to Steam (or a game’s developers).

Anyone saying that they’re protected by [some other nation’s] copyright laws are usually wrong. U.S. law applies copyright automatically. File a DMCA. Registering a copyright only adds more information to the public record, which Workshop creators often don’t need. It also allows for successful litigation bonuses (eligibility for damages).

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I thought of Putin and then realized why you were right.

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Can we not derail with geopolitics please.

As mentioned prior, it’s typically because some people are under the fallacy that US copyright law does not apply to them on Steam just because they are from other countries. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not defending them in the slightest though.

I’ve considered the use of watermarks in the past, but I’ve always been on the fence about them for some reason. I think after this and other recent incidents though I really ought to use something more potent than my tiny logos on some of my content.

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Alrighty then.

That kind of sucks. Why don’t those countries have copyright laws that protect content on steam, seeing as it is supported internationally?