City Builder Game Taken Down By DMCA Abuse Back Online After Several Weeks
from the damage-done dept
It was a couple of weeks back when we highlighted the story of how one game, Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic, was suffering as the victim of very clear DMCA abuse. If you don’t recall the post, you can get all the details in the link. The short version of it is: a fan of the game and member of the game’s community wrote a guide for making the game more realistic, the publisher liked it so much that they wanted to incorporate some of it into a new “realistic” game mode they were already creating, they offered to give him credit after the game mode was released, and then everything went sideways.
This community member, who the publisher claims is a lawyer, began DMCAing everything about the game, from the website for the game to the game listing on Steam. And… it all worked! The sites went down. The game got delisted from Steam. The studio’s YouTube videos for the game got taken down. All fraudulent, none of it legit. That was middle February.
Finally, in early March and the game got re-listed on Steam.
Dear Community and Players,
We are pleased to announce that our game is now back in the store! We thank you for your patience, support and understanding as we navigated this tricky situation.
We want to apologize to those who were looking to purchase the game and were unable to. We realize that we underestimated the situation, and it quickly escalated to a point that posed a threat to our game. We greatly wish that this had not been the case.
But we are now back on track and you can fully enjoy the game! We are excited to get back fully to the development and put this matter behind us.
How many potential sales were lost due to this whole episode? It’s impossible to say. How much reputational damage was done due to it? Also impossible to say. But the answer to both of those questions is absolutely not zero, that much is sure.
And more to the point, this highlights that the system is freaking broken. For a game to be disappeared for 3 weeks as a result of one person’s ability to take advantage of the DMCA takedown process shows the flaw in the system. It’s way, way too open for this kind of abuse. The sites are too quick to comply with takedowns, clearly. The online stores likewise.
But that is how the system currently works, unfortunately. And nobody seems all that keen on fixing it. So instead you get a publisher apologizing to its customers for being the victim.
Filed Under: copyright, copyright abuse, dmca, steam, workers & resources
Comments on “City Builder Game Taken Down By DMCA Abuse Back Online After Several Weeks”
When DCMA was first proposed, we were assured that nobody would fraudulently claim copyright violation since the had to swear a legally binding statement that they were the legitimate owners of copyright, and so could be prosecuted for perjury if they made a false claim.
Which immediately turned out to be false. Has anyone every been prosecuted for a false claim? Indeed, some made a living out of claiming others’ Youtube videos.
From what I’ve read in the past, they’ve never once had the monetary penalty provision used successfully for a fraudulent takedown.
Well they also said the NSA would never spy on us so….
Why do we keep believing the lies?
Because that is what we pay “lawmakers” to make. And to say they are bad at their jobs says that we are bad at ours. And we can’t say that.
Speak for yourself, I didn’t pay my lawmakers jack shit. Well, technically we did, but companies are capable of paying lawmakers even harder. And no amount of civilian taxation is going to shift that needle.
… and the “lawmakers” are not in favour of creating laws that would in any way penalise them for their failure to perform their duties to even a minimal level.
I wish there would have been some detail on what the devs needed to do to get their product re-listed. It could have acted as a guide so that future devs could follow it and overcome DCMA abuse faster.
One needs to mount a campaign of DMCA takedowns against lawmaker’s content. This will provoke a change in the law.
probably by making lawmakers’ content immune to dmca notices