The Take Down SDVMods.net Initiative - Help remove this content thieving website here!

Discussion in 'Mods' started by madelinealex, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. madelinealex

    madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

    Welcome to the Take Down Stardewvalleymods.net Initiative!
    » FIND UPDATES & RELEVANT COMMENTS HERE!

    Update on 11/01/16 @ 11:40 AM: Here
    Update on 11/01/16 @ 10:40 AM: Here
    Update on 10/31/16 @ 02:40 PM: Here
    Update on 10/28/16 @ 11:15 PM: Here
    Update on 10/28/16 @ 06:05 PM: Here
    Update on 10/28/16 @ 02:50 PM: Here (More just relevant info on the response I received than an update)
    Update on 10/28/16 @ 02:40 PM: Here - Original Update (changed to TDSI)


    » So, what exactly is this thing?

    Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a website called stardewvalleymods.net. I discovered that my some of my mods had been stolen and uploaded on the website back in July. The website has a button with the words "upload and get paid" on it, shown here. This immediately concerned me. My mod had been uploaded here without my consent, and now you're telling me that someone got PAID for it?! Not only that, but there are ads on the page that the website's creator must be profiting off of. There were dozens upon dozens of other mods on the site, too, and I had a hunch that there was no way these modders all consented to having their content rehosted on this website. I began contacting the site's Facebook page and all emails/contact info I could find on their website in order to get my mod removed. After my first few attempts were unheard, I did get my mod removed - but I'm not stopping there! I want to head up a movement to get all stolen mods removed from this website and then have the actual website itself taken down.

    » Okay, I can get behind that! What are you going to do about it?

    I have plans to do the following:
    • Sort through the website & contact every single modder who has had their content stolen and reuploaded to the site to make them aware of the situation [PROGRESS: ~80/400]
    • Contact the provider of the website to make them aware that their TOS is being violated by the creator [DONE]
    • Contact ConcernedApe/Chucklefish to discuss info related to our rights to the content we've created and whether or not the website's creator is legally infringing upon the rights of CA by creating and profiting off of this site [PROGRESS: Half-done - did not email Chucklefish but one of their employees has responded in the forums on page 4]
    I'll be consistently updating this thread with any progress I've made. If anyone wishes to help me in the process or has any useful info please comment here or inbox me!

    » I'm a modder who has had my content stolen by this site. What can I do?

    1. First off, take screenshots of your content on the website and email them to yourself with the date the screenshots were taken on.

    2. Next, email hoanglam.bk57@gmail.com with links to your content on the site and demand that he remove your stolen property from his site. I suggest something like this:
    To whom it may concern:

    I need you to immediately remove my mod(s), found here: (insert a link to your content) Your website/company never sought permission from me to reupload my mods to your website. I would not have given permission and do not give it now. As such, this is theft of my work and my property. Remove my mods from your website as soon as you receive this message or I will be forced to take further action to get it removed.

    Your legal name
    Your online persona/username
    Your email address/contact info


    3. Consider filing a DMCA complaint. Even if they end up removing your content, your mods were still stolen and profited on. The more complaints this site receives, the more likely it is that their provider will remove the website. You can submit a complaint to Cloudflare through this link: https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/

    Thank you to users Koihime Nakamura (for first suggesting submitting a DMCA to Cloudflare) and Entoarox (for submitting the first complaint, linking to Cloudflare's abuse form, & helping other users in the thread to submit their claims) for their help here!

    4. Add disclaimers to all of your mods! User eemie suggested a universal disclaimer in the comments on this thread, which I've slightly modified and added here:
    WARNING: Do not download this mod from any place other than NexusMods or the Chucklefish forums! WWW.STARDEWVALLEYMODS.NET STEALS MODS AND UPLOADS THEM ON THEIR WEBSITE WITHOUT PERMISSION. DO NOT download any mods there! If you see my mods anywhere other than Nexus or the forums, please link me to the site asap. Thank you!


    5. Follow the advice in the "what can non-modders do" section.

    6. If your attempts at communication with the website creator are not heard, message their Facebook page (linked on the website) and comment on every one of your mods that it is stolen and that it needs to be removed. They won't respond to your Facebook messages but still send them. They sometimes post links to certain mods they upload. I suggest finding your mod (if linked) and commenting that it's stolen. Do keep in mind that this may end up getting you blocked from the page. I haven't been yet, but it's a possibility. Comments on the website have to be approved before they are posted, so your comment likely won't be approved. The point of these steps is to make it harder for them to keep your content up than it is to take it down.

    7. Finally, PLEASE let us know in this thread what your plan of action is! I'd like us to all share our progress in getting these mods removed and the responses from the website creator so that we can figure out exactly what to do to make sure the mods get taken down as quickly as possible!

    » I'm not a modder. Is there anything I can do to help?


    Yes! Read this thread and if you have any input, please comment! I'd also recommend that everyone use an ad blocker while viewing the website. Most ad blockers can be customized to only block ads from certain websites. Add the website to that list so that they won't profit off of your checking things out.

    - Submit a Google AdSense Violation report. You can do this at https://support.google.com/adsense/contact/violation_report. I've submitted one and I suggest everyone else do the same. I've copy and pasted the message I sent below. I used the main page of the website as the page to submit and I checked the two different "offense" boxes:

    - This site is distributing someone else's copyrighted material, possibly without permission.
    - This website does not adhere to the Webmaster Quality Guidelines. (The specific guideline that it doesn't follow is creating enough original content since he's literally just ripping off the work of others.)​

    http://community.playstarbound.com/...ve-this-content-thieving-website-here.126229/

    Please read the above forum post for additional info. This website is stealing content from "mod" creators for the game Stardew Valley. While the exact extent to which modders hold rights to their content is questionable, many of the mods stolen & uploaded to this website have original pixel art, dialogue, and code written/designed by the modders themselves, making this theft of property. The site's owner, [name redacted], is using Google ads to profit off of content he has stolen, which violates Google's TOS for AdSense. He is based in Vietnam & the hosting provider (Digital Ocean) is based in Singapore, both of which have bilateral copyrights relations with the US, so he is committing a crime by stealing this content. Please email [YOUR OR MY EMAIL HERE! If you want me to be the contact, you can enter my email address. Just PM me for it.] for additional information.

    Thank you,
    [Your name here]

    As mentioned in the spoiler, if you'd like to submit a complaint with my email address as the contact info instead of your own, just PM me & I'll let you know my email address. If you choose to do this, though, you'll have to enter your own email in the first box provided. Only enter my email in the actual violation details box! This way Google knows the complaint is coming from multiple parties, not just one person (me) spamming them!


    Thank you to user jwdred for suggesting this! UPDATE: Either Google has extremely quick workers or he is reading this thread & changed the ad provider he was using after reading that we were going to report him. I'll update this section accordingly at a later date. 11/01/16 @ 12:25 PM

    - Email Digital Ocean, the site's hosting provider, at abuse@digitalocean.com. Edit the following message as you'd like (or write your own).

    To whom it may concern:

    I'd like to report an instance of what I believe to be abuse by the domain you're hosting for [name redacted] listed as http://stardewvalleymods.net.

    Stardew Valley is a popular farming simulator that was released in February 2016. Many players of this game, myself included, have "modded" or made changes to certain elements of the game's code to change how characters, buildings, animals, etc. look & act in the game among many, many other modifications to enhance our gameplay experience. These modifications or "mods" take time to create and are the property of the modder/developer who makes them as they involve creating original artwork, dialogue, and writing code. [name redacted] has used their site to steal this property and rehost it. They have not contacted any modder I've seen to get permission to do this. They certainly did not contact me when they rehosted my mod, though it has since been deleted.

    I have contacted them through the only working email found on the website, messaged them on their site's Facebook page, and submitted comments through the website itself to no avail. They will not take down their website. They have been removing mods after we request their removal, but this does not undo the crimes that have been committed and that he is continuing to commit as he uploads new mods to the site without permission almost every single day.

    Given the fact that this site advertises that you can get paid for uploading mods to their site and that there are ads on the pages, I can assume that [name redacted] is making money off of stolen, rehosted content. This is unacceptable. I have not been able to read all of the TOS agreement so far, but I'm assuming that stealing content and rehosting it is in violation of their contract with your company. Though [name redacted] is based in Vietnam and the part of your company they are using is based in Singapore, both countries have bilateral copyright laws with the US where most of this content is created. This means what [name redacted] is doing is in direct violation of modders' copyright over their content.

    I would like to know what steps I need to take to get their site removed.

    Thank you to user scrptrx for posting the information they received back from CloudFlare so that we knew to contact Digital Ocean in the first place!

    » Why do you care so much about this? Aren't there bigger problems in the world like the Syrian refugees, this election, climate change?!

    I realize that it's a little silly to get so passionate about something that seems insignificant. But I, like many others here, have an immense respect for this community. ConcernedApe is a wonderful developer who worked so hard to create this beautiful, simple farming game that players can escape their busy worlds with. All of the content creators and users on this forum are so nice and just genuinely enjoy sharing their work with others. These kind users have been taken advantage of by a content thief and it angers me. It's just not right for someone to profit off of the work of others, especially when those others shared their work just so players could enjoy a carefree, fun game even more than they already did.

    So, I recently got back into modding and I discovered that someone ("Goinggoing") has uploaded some of my mods to stardewvalleymods.net without my permission. It pisses me off that this website is apparently making money off of developers' content without their consent. I've tried emailing the support@kspmods.net or whatever and got an unable to send email. Submitted a comment through the website and emailed the TOS help email but I'm sure nothing will come of that. I messaged their Facebook page requesting that my mod be removed and I have yet to hear back. I tried reporting the post where my mod was shared & the page itself on Facebook but that does nothing. What else can be done?

    This is ridiculous. I shared my recolors here and on Nexus because I wanted others to be able to use my edits to customize their game. I did not do it to make a profit, and I DEFINITELY didn't do it to let other people profit from my work! I feel frustrated and helpless.

    Has anyone else had their mods stolen and put there? Were you successfully able to get it taken down? Is there any kind of legal threat that can be made to force them to remove it? I know that's extreme but that's how upset I am.
     
      Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
    • Ladysarajane

      Ladysarajane Phantasmal Quasar

      As far as I can see there is no one you can complain to. There is no list of admins. I have a feeling that Goinggoing is an admin. I also posted on their facebook page about the site.
       
      • Naesaki

        Naesaki Star Wrangler

        Just looking at that site now and I don't think you're the only one who has had their work taken and uploaded without permission, there are tons being uploaded by this Goinggoing. :/


        -edit- Seems like everything is being uploaded by Goinggoing, and looking at the welcome message on the homepage its not very well structured English either.

        Seems this site has been mentioned on the Nexus as well and its been stealing mods from there too.
         
          Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
        • madelinealex

          madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

          It's just so infuriating. I'm someone who cannot STAND when things can't go the way they're supposed to, and this is not how this is supposed to go! I mean what kind of degenerate is this person? It's theft and taking advantage of people who just want to share their content with this lovely community.
           
          • Ladysarajane

            Ladysarajane Phantasmal Quasar

            I would be careful downloading too. It could have viruses or trojans in the downloads. Never know since it seems the mods are being stolen and reposted without consent.
             
            • Koihime Nakamura

              Koihime Nakamura Scruffy Nerf-Herder

              It's actually hosted THROUGH Cloudflare. But not by, which means I can't locate the underlying host. You could try submitting a DMCA to Cloudflare to get the ball rolling, I suppose.
               
              • SKKN

                SKKN Aquatic Astronaut

                Aww shit I just look through it. None of his mods are his and there are A LOT of mods there, damn thief.

                We should spread the news through here and Nexus. Also through steam too so that people stop going there.
                 
                  dollbae likes this.
                • eemie

                  eemie Cosmic Narwhal

                  Hey!! My mods were stolen as well. Now ever since I put up a warning in the description on nexus that no one should download from there because they steal, none of my new mods have been uploaded. I urge everyone to do this as well. Make it loud and clear you dont want your mod uploaded there, because it seems like they skip over those. It doesnt work when you put the message AFTER the mod has already been stolen unfortunately, I see most of my old mods are still on there. But it's better than nothing.

                  Spread the word! Warn the downloaders!

                  Edit: I suggest everyone just copy and paste my message, it's easier and universal:
                  "WARNING: DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS MOD ANY OTHER PLACE THAN NEXUSMODS. WWW.STARDEWVALLEYMODS.NET STEALS MY AND OTHER PEOPLE'S MODS AND UPLOADS THEM ON THEIR WEBSITE WITHOUT PERMISSION. DON'T DOWNLOAD OUR MODS THERE."
                   
                    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
                  • Eurion

                    Eurion Master Chief

                    Have you tried emailing the email address on their main page? It's the same email that the domain is registered under. Email address is hoanglam.bk57@gmail.com
                     
                    • Acerbicon

                      Acerbicon Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                      Looking for more info into them through their email address brought me to the Kerbal Space Program forums, where they were talking about mods for that game being stolen by the same person, even mentioned Stardew Valley explicitly when talking about it. The first post on the page gives interesting information about the person apparently behind the website(s). Another user claimed they emailed them detailing their mods that were being hosted on his KSP mod site, requesting that they be taken down, and having that request listened to. So I guess that can always be tried.
                       
                      • eemie

                        eemie Cosmic Narwhal

                        So they're doing it with other communities as well?
                        Also read this on the forum: "What makes me mad is, that they started with Stardew vally and everbody over at that community is cool with them doing it. So they think its ok."
                        Now this makes ME sad, because we're NOT cool with it.
                         
                          lannihamm, Acerbicon and madelinealex like this.
                        • Ladysarajane

                          Ladysarajane Phantasmal Quasar

                          If you have a facebook account, post on their page. Especially if you have had a mod stolen. Lets try to spread the word that this person is unauthorized for mods and *gulp* with the recent hackings on computers, who knows what has been added to the mods.
                           
                            madelinealex likes this.
                          • Naesaki

                            Naesaki Star Wrangler

                            Is there any way you could bring this problem to ConcernedApe / Chucklefish's direct attention and get them to send in a cease and desist to this thief?
                             
                              dollbae likes this.
                            • madelinealex

                              madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

                              THANK YOU SO MUCH! That thread has extremely valuable information that I'll be using!

                              So, to update everyone, as far as I can tell my mod has been removed! I never received a single response from the Facebook page or email address but my mod is gone. Unfortunately, there are still dozens to hundreds of other mods on this site that have been stolen and it looks like this person will continue to steal. I have family in town tonight & tomorrow night but I'm going to keep going until this website is completely taken down. It doesn't matter that just my mods are off the site, s/he's still profiting from the work of others and that is NOT okay.

                              Every modder should listen to this! I have plans to sort through every single mod on that page, find the creator, and message them to let them know that their mod is stolen and that they should add a similar disclaimer to all current and future mods. If we ALL band together and keep constantly emailing, commenting, etc. etc. until our mods are taken down they won't be able to do anything else!

                              As far as other action I've taken goes: I've emailed a registrar abuse complaint to Domain.com LLC, where it appears the site's name has been registered. Once I have time to sit down and sort through the server's info I'll be contacting that company as well with a similar letter reporting the abuse of their services. If anyone can help locate the company the server/database is actually registered with, I would greatly appreciate it! THANK YOU EVERYONE who has helped so far! We can do this!
                               
                              • madelinealex

                                madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

                                That is definitely in my plans. I won't be able to do that until about two days from now most likely. Possibly tomorrow morning but no guarantee. I'm not sure as to our actual rights to this content, to be honest - for example, my mods are essentially just a recolor. Very few things have been retextured. So the content is really ConcernedApe's, I've just modified it. But what right do I have to the work I've put in and final product overall? Surely I have some right to that. If I don't, then SMAPI modders and other modders who have to actually write code, etc. would definitely have rights to that since it's something they independently produced, right? Is this all considered intellectual property even though it's "physical" (digital really)?

                                Edit: Also, they are making money off of content that is linked to CA. Surely that is not within fair use as just creating mods seems to be.
                                 
                                • Naesaki

                                  Naesaki Star Wrangler

                                  The fact this guy is trying to monetise the mods should be a big red flag and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes against the TOS for the game.
                                   
                                    madelinealex and Ladysarajane like this.
                                  • monteso

                                    monteso Void-Bound Voyager

                                    Thank you for bringing this to light for the rest of us. I check the site and about a dozen of my mods are up there too. The word needs to get out about this site and what this guy is doing. Someone should post a thread about this on the nexus so people there can know about this too.
                                     
                                      Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
                                      madelinealex, lannihamm and Naesaki like this.
                                    • dollbae

                                      dollbae Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                      I almost downloaded from there but noticed a few people saying most of their work is only supposed to be here and on Nexus. DOWN WITH THE SITE!
                                       
                                        madelinealex and Naesaki like this.
                                      • Androxilogin

                                        Androxilogin Cosmic Narwhal

                                        I messaged through Facebook to get a few of mine removed months back. At the point of saying I gave no permission to repost my content he asked for permission which was an obvious "no". A few were removed, I haven't checked back since. His excuse was "because he had faster servers" (for files that average around 1kb, yeah..). Stardewmods.com was the same, a bunch of stolen mods reuploaded and rehosted. I faught, collected evidence and contacted their provider. It was a pain but it finally got taken down after some months. Take screenshots, mark your images in the descriptions/youtube video links, ping their page, get their ip, find out who is their provider, email everyone you can involved in their service, explain yourself and send screenshots of the content.
                                         
                                        • Entoarox

                                          Entoarox Oxygen Tank

                                          I have just send a DMCA complaint to CloudFlare (They will send it to their hosting provider) for my own mods, unfortunately, I cannot do the same for anyone else, as I am not your authorized agent.
                                          Because of this people, make sure to file a DMCA for your own mods with CloudFlare so that stardewvalleymods.net can be penalized for their illegal actions: https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/
                                           

                                          Share This Page