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

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

  1. keion

    keion Master Chief

    Just thought i would make a quick reply here. madelinealex was the one to inform me of my mods being hosted on there. I contacted him on the site and posted on the facebook that I didn't give permission for my mods. He replied on facebook "Stardew Valley Mods Sorry.But you don't talk any about that" but he did remove the mods from his website.
     
    • lilipea

      lilipea Subatomic Cosmonaut

      Guy completely ignored my e-mail so I started commenting on all of my mod pages on his website. I really don't want to have to post on his Facebook page so I'm hoping this will get my stuff removed...
       
      • scrptrx

        scrptrx 2.7182818284590...

        What the hell did he mean "you don't talk any about that"??

        Maybe it's lost in translation, as he's Vietnamese.
         
        • Harzelora

          Harzelora Void-Bound Voyager

          They removed mine too ! feels good man :V
           
            madelinealex, Rosalie and eemie like this.
          • Harzelora

            Harzelora Void-Bound Voyager

            It seems to me like he doesn't want us to publicly talk about it as he is ashamed of his shady actions.
             
            • scrptrx

              scrptrx 2.7182818284590...

              he fucking should be,

              lesson learned. hang that Shame sign from his neck so he doesn't do it again.
               
                madelinealex and Rosalie like this.
              • Ladysarajane

                Ladysarajane Phantasmal Quasar

                Make sure he removes the links to his site from Facebook also. I found that the Posts he has there links back directly to his site. All the mods are clickable. Maybe Modders can contact Facebook and have the page removed?
                 
                • Naesaki

                  Naesaki Star Wrangler

                  Its whether you can get Facebook to care enough about it to remove it, there's some pretty shady pages on FB that get reported all the time but cause it doesn't violate their ToS they just shrug and carry on :/
                   
                  • madelinealex

                    madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

                    You can private message the page; you don't necessarily have to comment. You can see when he "reads" that, too.

                    Wouldn't the link 404 after removal though? And Facebook does not give two licks unfortunately. I tried reporting the page and if you have copyright concerns it just tells you to ask the content thief to remove it. They don't care about your content being stolen because of bigger pages that steal tweets, pictures, memes, videos, etc. and make money for Facebook off of it. The only way we can really use Facebook is to message him and bother him in yet another way until he removes it.

                    See, I interpreted that as him saying "Well it doesn't say anywhere on your mod's page not to reupload it anywhere." He's playing dumb because he steals mods that have disclaimers on them anyway. Thankfully, he is complying when we call him out on his theft. And yes - it IS theft, according to US law (where most of us modders are based I'm assuming), Vietnamese law (where he is based), and Singapore law (where the hosting provider he's using, Digital Ocean, is based). Vietnam & Singapore both have bilateral copyright relations with the US as well, so he can't pull out the argument of it being legal in his country - it's not legal there and US citizens and their copyrights are protected by these agreements between our two countries as well.

                    He is playing dumb and being purposefully malicious. This guy has several other websites where he's doing the exact same thing with different games. This leads me to believe that he makes his living off of this. What he's doing is entirely wrong and I've sent him an email explaining such. If you want to, you can read it here:


                    In case you haven't noticed, I'm contacting every single modder on your website and notifying them that you have been stealing our mods. I don't know if the culture is different in Vietnam when it comes to who owns content, but the vast majority of these modders are from America/Canada/Europe where it is actually ILLEGAL to steal this content and make money off of it. You are breaking the law by stealing from us.

                    We have worked hard to create these simple little mods and share them - FOR FREE, NOT for profit - with the wonderful Stardew Valley community. This little farming game is important to a lot of people. It's their way to relax and unwind in a world that's not stressful or busy like our real lives are. You are tarnishing that happy community with your theft. You are taking advantage of our good intentions. This makes me very mad.

                    I'm going to give you a choice. You can remove the site and ALL mods from the site now and I won't bother with the other websites you're also stealing with.

                    If you refuse to remove stardewvalleymods.net and all mods, I will NOT stop until every single one of your fraudulent, thieving websites are all removed. I will continue to message modders and make them aware that you are stealing. I will contact the legal teams of ConcernedApe (creator of Stardew Valley) and Chucklefish (publisher of Stardew Valley) to inform them that you are profiting off of their legal property (the code involved in these mods). We have the Whois information on you so I have your address to send a legal cease and desist to. We will continue filing copyright complaint claims to Cloudflare, your hosting provider. I will NOT stop until your website is taken down.

                    We can do this the hard way, or you can choose the easy way. Do the right thing and delete your website immediately.


                    I don't expect him to respond to this email in any way, but I figured I would give him a chance to do the right thing. I'll be filing a complaint with Digital Ocean and making them aware of what he's doing and continuing to contact more modders later tonight.
                     
                    • lilipea

                      lilipea Subatomic Cosmonaut

                      Fortunately I don't need to take this any further, he finally deleted all my mods. :) Thank you though!
                       
                        madelinealex likes this.
                      • Naesaki

                        Naesaki Star Wrangler

                        Hopefully he takes your email seriously, the fact he's doing this to several other websites is pretty diabolical :/
                         
                        • Harzelora

                          Harzelora Void-Bound Voyager

                          You are my new hero !
                           
                            madelinealex likes this.
                          • jwdred

                            jwdred Aquatic Astronaut

                            Give him some financial incentive to remove your content-- be sure to notify Google/Adsense of the infringment. It is a violation of their TOS for publishers to use their ad services with stolen, copyrighted material used without permission.

                            https://support.google.com/adsense/contact/violation_report

                            One submission per form (submit multiple if necessary), you might want to link to this forum thread in the addtional details so that they see the evidence here that there has been a pattern of abuse with this site.
                             
                            • Jonesy

                              Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

                              Hmm. I seem to recall this guy making a number of accounts to advertise his site, and getting banned as a result. So, if anyone does come across a newish account being used to promote or otherwise link to the site, do us a favour and report it. His disrespect for intellectual property hasn't gone unnoticed.
                               
                              • Advize

                                Advize Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                I've had my mods stolen and uploaded there multiple times but they keep being re-uploaded by other users. The problem is that the site encourages people to upload stolen content by offering to pay them, while simultaneously claiming they are not responsible for the uploaded content as it was done by a third party. I'm not even going to bother having any mods taken down as it's difficult enough already to request their removal and I'll only have to do it again.
                                 
                                • mollygos

                                  mollygos Super Community Manager IV Arcade Edition Chucklefish

                                  Hello! I just wanted to pop in here and say that we are aware of this site and we are looking into what can be done about it.
                                   
                                  • Ladysarajane

                                    Ladysarajane Phantasmal Quasar

                                    If you have told them to remove your mods, then Pay the people to upload the stolen content again, they are aware by then, it is stolen and therefore responsible for not removing it and/or paying the people for it. By paying the people for the stolen mod, knowing you do not approve of uploads there, they are as guilty of theft despite their disclaimer. That DISCLAIMER doesn't mean anything, if they are aware the content is stolen especially if you have told them to remove it and never post it again. It is their responsibility to remove it as soon as they find it and that is usually when they go to pay someone for it.
                                     
                                    • madelinealex

                                      madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

                                      YES awesome, that's so good to hear! Thank you so much for letting us know.

                                      Ladysarajane mentioned that there was a spammer who hit the forums a few nights ago who was reposting the same message written in Vietnamese on a few different pages. They said that the account is completely gone now after the posts were reported. Maybe that was him? I know that's jumping to conclusions a bit but he does frequent the forums to steal content and this post has been pretty active. I'm sure he's seen this by now. But blocking IPs can only do so much since I'm sure he has ways to fake a different IP.

                                      Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely be doing this. The whole idea is to hit him where it hurts and that will do just that. I'm assuming that multiple hits on a website would bring it to their attention more. After I look into the reporting process I'll update the post to include having others report if that would be beneficial.
                                       
                                      • madelinealex

                                        madelinealex Space Penguin Leader

                                        I've submitted an AdSense violation report 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!

                                        I've also emailed Digital Ocean, the site's hosting provider (according to CloudFlare), this morning. I've also attached the following letter below.


                                        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.

                                        If you feel inclined to submit an abuse complaint to Digital Ocean, please do so! I've redacted his name here (and I believe I don't have it anywhere else, but I'm about to make sure I don't) because regardless of how deplorable he's acting, I don't want to put his legal name all over this forum - even if it's publicly available information. I just don't feel right about that. If you would like to include his legal name, a simple google of the WhoIs information will lead you straight to it.

                                        I'm about to update the main post with these courses of action and the update comments I've posted in the thread over the last few days. Unfortunately I haven't been able to comment many more additional modders but it's still in the works.

                                        Also, a question for everyone: is the site loading extremely slowly for anyone else or is it just me? The rest of my webpages seem to load just fine so I don't think it's my internet. If you go check for me, please use an adblock! Don't give him any more revenue - he doesn't deserve it.
                                         
                                        • jwdred

                                          jwdred Aquatic Astronaut

                                          When I checked it out this morning to determine if my mods had been removed, I noticed the site was actually down and I was being served a cached copy from Cloudflare. It appears to be back up again, and (maybe someone else could help confirm) his ads are now being served by CPMStar (owned by GSN). I'm not sure whether Google has taken quick action, or whether he preemptively switched to his backup plan. Either way, I'm going to shoot off a couple emails and see what kind of response I can get from CPMStar or GSN.
                                           

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