Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using Copyrighted Artwork

June 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own. The weapon in question, the "M4A4 | Howl," was created by two CS:GO players, and sold for a whopping $175 due to its rarity. But in a statement to the community Valve said that it had received a DMCA takedown notice regarding copyright infringement for the artwork on the weapon, and a community sticker submitted by the same duo.

Because of the infringement, Valve has banned both players and will not be sending future proceeds from the sales of the weapon to these players.

"When we launched the CS:GO Items Workshop, our goal was to provide artists with a space to share their creative ideas," explains the statement. "By design, the Items Workshop has very low friction for artists to submit their work – new contributions do not require Valve review or approval."

Steam Workshop contributors sign a legal agreement with Valve when they register for the Workshop, affirming that all their contributions are original. That means that the two creators of the weapon hare liability for the claims of copyright infringement with Valve.

"The cost for everyone involved in the resolution of this issue has been significant, including our players and community members," the statement continues. "It takes considerable time and effort for the CS:GO team to resolve copyright infringement disputes, but fortunately copying is rare – the CS:GO community has submitted tens of thousands of unique entries to the Workshop, and we have shipped dozens of your designs without a problem."

Ultimately Valve decided to remove the weapon from the game, and replace the artwork on the weapon for anyone who had already bought it, while putting a new "Contraband" level of rarity on the weapon. As a result, the price of the weapon has shot up to $400 in some places.

You can read Valve's full statement here.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using ...

Did the two creators not contest the DMCA? Or were they not even offered a chance? Is a DMCA takedown the equivalent of a court order now?

Re: Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using ...

The DMCA is a notice and takedown system. In this, the copyright holder, or the person who professes to be or represent the copyright holder, sends a company like Valve or Youtube a notice stating that the linked item is an infringement of said person's copyright. That company, in this case Valve, is now legally obligated to remove said item from public access. This can be as simple as "unpublishing" the item or in some extreme and thoughtless cases, completely deleted. That company, in this case Valve, would send a message to the uploader informing them of the DMCA notice and the removal of the item. The uploader then has 14 days to dispute the DMCA. If they fail to dispute the DMCA notice, then the item is permanently removed. If they dispute the item and the person sending the DMCA notice backs down, the item goes back up after the 14 day period. If the person sending the DMCA notice does not back down, then it goes into legal action and off to the courts and the item remains down.

Any further action by the company hosting the content, Valve in this case, is up to their discretion. In this case, Valve felt the infringement was enough to warrant permanent banning of the uploaders.

I hope that clears thing up. If not, let me know.

Re: Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using ...

It does, thanks. It's actually a worse thing that what I thought I remembered it to be. This law should never have passed >.> Thanks for the complex explanations, by the way.

Re: Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using ...

Yet they're otherwise happy to allow shitty games to be released with copyright content... games which are still for sale. Games which they have been made aware of. I guess they have to wait for the power of the almighty DMCA to act.

 
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