So someone has illegally posted your game...

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Dan MacDonald, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    ...and you want to get it taken down. However the site with the infringing content doesn't seem to be responding, so you contact their host. Here's the response I got....

    Tuns out it's a lot of work just to get in the door to talk to someone about copyright infringement.
     
  2. soniCron

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    Doesn't seem to. Looks like all you need are:
    • The name of the property that was infringed upon.
    • The location of the files on the site.
    • Your contact info.
    • The juice of the complaint itself that says the person has no right to have/distribute the property.
    • A claim that you're not lying, followed by...
    • Your signature.

    Seems pretty simple to me. Everything that I would expect and nothing more, frankly.
     
  3. oNyx

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    Quite annoying, isn't it?

    But they are doing it correctly. You know that you're right, but how should they know? They need to know who you are and they also need a proof that you are the one who contacted them. Otherwise everyone could write that kind of stuff for taking randomly pages down.

    Absurd? Na... it isn't. A PC mag here actually tried doing something like that and more than the half of the ISPs took those pages¹ down without asking the right questions. Imagine that would happen to you... d'uh... that would suck.

    [¹ They were of course made by other authors. Otherwise it would have been a real legal mess.]

    But it really looks like a pain. Maybe we could assembly a default letter thingy with some kind of checklist?

    Edit: eh... soniCron pretty much nailed it down methinks.
     
  4. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It's true, I reread it and it's a lot of words for what amounts to a request for a well articulated complaint. I was just a little upset because the site was obviously in copyright violation and I've had sites just pull the offending site with less information. So it was a little weird to get this form response requesting what seemed to be a ton of information. In the end it's just a lot of description for what amounts to a little due diligence :)

    Still I thought it was worth posting for others who may find themselves in a simmilar situation so that they know ahead of time what to pepair to send to an ISP.
     
  5. Stu

    Stu
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    Nobody would like to get a response like that but really, how else could it be handled? They want a written notification that contains six essential elements of the complaint. I wouldn't think it would be reasonable for a host to yank content from a site or shut a site down without that.
     
  6. svero

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    Maybe.. but at the same time it seems a little like.. bah we can't be bothered to help you. We don't really take this seriously. Here's a standard form response and maybe you'll just go away. The hell with you.

    It doesn't feel like they're concerned about the violation at all. I wonder how they would have reacted to a not-properly-formed-dmca complaint if it came from somone like microsoft or a bigger company.
     
  7. Dan MacDonald

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    That's pretty much it, the pre fab form response made me feel like they really didn't give a crap. I'm preparing them a properly formatted response, if they still don't take action I guess I can be legitimately upset.
     
  8. oNyx

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    With that many lawyers? Won't happen. ;)
     
  9. cliffski

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    I really like the idea of a pre-formatted form letter for indie developers to request takedown. the lesss effort we need to go to, the more likely we are to complain and hopefully, the more sites get taken down.
    cue rant from people about how you cant prevent piracy yada yada
     
  10. digriz

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    Maybe GameAttourney could add one to his bargain indie developer pack.
     
  11. Frozen In Ice

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    At least you received a better response than I did. The only response I received was that the ISP doesn't monitor it's customers and if I wanted to pursue it, I would need to contact the local authorities. Their customer is still posting software that has been cracked (keygen'd,etc). In fact, some of the software being posted actually belongs to other members of this forum.
     
  12. Jack Norton

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    You got better results than me, I didn't get any reply :)
    However, if you look at the ISP TOS (term of service) usually they put some rules like "you can't use server space to host warez, illegal material, etc".
    Now I wonder, if they put that rule, users don't follow it, they do nothing? isn't that already a clear violation of TOS?
    maybe if they receive 10 emails from us they'll start considering it? :)

    We live in a crazy world: illegal has become legal...! seems to me that all those little hosts providers live only because of warez/mp3 sites... :rolleyes:
     
  13. Robert Cummings

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    Tried a formal legal sounding letter to the person who is hosting it?
     
  14. soniCron

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    Form letters

    @Dan: If you do send the host a legal sounding letter, it'd be great if you could post it on these forums for us to use as well.

    @Frozen/Jack: You're both mentioning ISPs, not servers. If you are indeed talking about ISPs, I don't know there is anything they can/will do unless the authorities are informed. If you're actually talking about hosts, a lot of them do make lots of money from people hosting warez. Frankly, if you notice a site that has your property on it and there are additional illegal downloads (a full fledged warez site, for example), chances are they got this far because their host didn't care. Or, the site could be located in a country which doesn't respect copyright treaties.

    @Everyone: A cease and desist letter might work better if sent to the owner of the website than a simple "Please take down my software." If you search the web, you can often find warez sites posting cease and desists from owners of software while bragging that they ignored them. While that stinks that they don't respect the letters, it gives us something to copy/paste! Just a thought. ;)
     
  15. Jack Norton

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    Yes I was meaning host, not ISP :)
    Surely there are countries in which piracy=normality (like Vietnam, China, etc). This is really a complex problem with no solution (at least I never found one)
     
  16. arcadetown

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    It's a good sign... this is a standard DMCA violation response and means the hosting company is legit, is listening, and may take action. Just respond to them with the requested information. Most likely they will attempt to contact the webmaster and give them a little time to resolve it, otherwise the hoster may shutdown the server. It sucks but the hosting company can't shutdown a paying customer on the word of a single email from some unknown person.

    That said, if you ever create online content be sure to key is so it only works on the licensed sites otherwise plan on many thieves stealing your work. There's just too many sleazy webmasters out there. It really pisses me off particuarly since it makes it harder for guys like us that do business legitimately.
     
  17. Davaris

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    So how do you do that?

    I think I'm going change my turn my game into an online multiplayer. I can't be bothered with this piracy nonsense.
     
  18. ErikH2000

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    I've gotten two sites to take down my illegally distributed game last month with the following letter:

    One other site ignored me and one other site admin wrote a very weird letter that showed extraordinary pains at moral justification. So that's a 50 percent success rate, I guess.

    I don't know how well it works to send a threatening letter, but I assume that it's at least worth trying to be human and prevail on someone's good side first. There are also many sites which you must admit to yourself are untouchable (especially the ones that end with ".ru" :) ). And then after that, admit to yourself that you wouldn't actually hire a lawyer to go after a pirate site, and the 15-year-old turd pimping your warez knows that too.

    I decided that whenever I see a site with DROD on it where it shouldn't be, and I can find some kind of contact email, to just copy-and-paste this boilerplate their way. It only takes me a few minutes. I know you guys are talking about contacting ISPs and that is something different. My suggestion is to first contact the person distributing the content and ask them to take it down in a polite way. With a quick boilerplate you have nothing to lose but a few minutes of time.

    -Erik
     
  19. soniCron

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    I think a nice cease and desist letter would handle the issue pleasantly. The 15-year-old turd-pimp ;) would take you more seriously and may actually believe it.

    EDIT: Now that I've said that, I just remembered that I haven't read a cease and desist in a while and I don't remember if it explicitly states the issuance of a lawsuit. If you don't intend on suing it's illegal to threaten to, FYI.
     
  20. arcadetown

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    Use a function using whichever development tool you're using to check the url the game is running on and only allow it to run on approved sites. For example in Flash you can use "root._url", in Java "getCodeBase" and "getDocumentBase", not sure in Director/Shockwave.

    That said if you do an online multiplayer game like you said, pretty much protected by default since your game is probably heavily tied to your server.
     

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