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Old 25th Sep 2014, 3:18 AM DefaultSims4Forum and Content Theft #1
leefish
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As some of you may be aware, Sims4Forum has been copying and hosting sims 4 content from all over the web, without explicit permission from the creators. Indeed, in some cases, they have hosted content that specifically had a TOU stating not to upload elsewhere. Additionally, the site is monetized allowing the forum owner to profit from these works that have been stolen from around the web and hosted without permission. Despite his claims, this IS copyright infringment.

Copyrights include intellectual property that is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression". The owner is the only one with the right to control reproduction, redistribution, and display of the work. Also, the copyright ownership is valid as soon as the work is fixed in the tangible medium. What does that mean for sims? If you have created any piece of custom content, it is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. It's no longer just an idea and therefore, you are the sole owner of that piece of work. You have copyright over the items you have produced and it cannot be distributed or displayed without your permission. (Source: Copyright Basics; AllLaw.com)

So what can you do if your content is being hosted somewhere you did not authorize?

First, ask the person who is using your work to remove it. In the case of sims creations, this includes not ONLY the actual download but the pictures and text you have written. If they do not remove the content within a reasonable time frame (3 days) then you can contact their web host.

Follow the steps outlined below (as found on Mcanerin International regarding copyright law and DMCA notification criteria). In general, you need to:
  • Send the notification to the correct party.
  • Send it using the correct delivery method (ie fax, email, registered mail).
  • Clearly identify the date and jurisdiction (your location).
  • Clearly identify yourself and your website.
  • Clearly identify the copyright violator.
  • Clearly outline the copyright violations using searches, screenshots, and so forth.
  • Demand removal of the offending material.
  • Attest that you are the owner of the copyright and send it's registration (if you registered it).

Additionally, it would be wise to have a visible TOU (if you don't already) prohibiting the redistribution of your work.

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Last edited by leefish : 25th Sep 2014 at 4:13 AM.
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Old 25th Sep 2014, 3:21 AM #2
leefish
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Following is a Sample DMCA Notice that a creator can submit to the web host of sims4forums.com

Send the email to E-mail: [email protected]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement

The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on PUT LINK TO THE PAGES WITH STOLEN CONTENT HERE


The URLs where our copyrighted material is located include PUT LINK TO MTS CONTENT HERE

You can reach me at YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS for further information or clarification. My phone number is YOUR PHONE NUMBER and my mailing address is YOUR ADDRESS

The email address of the website owner, who has reprinted our content illegally, is [email protected].

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


YOUR FULL NAME (CREATOR NAME IN BRACKETS)
September 25, 2014 [14:50]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Last edited by leefish : 25th Sep 2014 at 4:16 AM.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 4:27 AM #3
plasticbox
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Just a little translation help for non-English users and those who aren't sure where all the shiny buttons are:

DMCA = Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Bluehost.com is the ISP for Sims4forums. On their terms of service page they give instructions for what to do in case of copyright infringement (this is what Lee posted, only in more words) and also some interesting definitions of what constitutes acceptable use:

Quote:
2. Prohibited Offerings.

No Subscriber may utilize the Services to provide, sell or offer to sell the following: controlled substances; illegal drugs and drug contraband; weapons; pirated materials; instructions on making, assembling or obtaining illegal goods or weapons to attack others; information used to violate the copyright(s) of, violate the trademark(s) of or to destroy others' intellectual property or information; information used to illegally harm any people or animals; pornography, nudity, sexual products, programs or services; escort services or other content deemed adult related.


Some of their content is explicitely marked as "18+"/"NSFW".


Quote:
5. Violations of Intellectual Property Rights.

Any violation of any person's or entity's intellectual property rights, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or other personal rights is prohibited. Bluehost is required by law to remove or block access to content appearing on or through the Services upon receipt of proper notice of copyright infringement (please see the Copyright Claims Policy here for more information).


Since the owner is claiming "We only host the files [..] because we want files to live on for as long as we exist. [..] know the frustration of looking for a mod I used to have and not being able to find it because the person who made it deleted their tumblr or their blog for whatever reason" (see other thread), maybe this would also apply:

Quote:
14. backup STORAGE.

BLUEHOST OFFERS ITS SERVICES TO HOST WEB SITES, NOT TO STORE DATA. USING AN ACCOUNT AS AN ONLINE STORAGE SPACE FOR ARCHIVING ELECTRONIC FILES IS PROHIBITED AND WILL RESULT IN TERMINATION OF HOSTING SERVICES WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
(emphasis original)

All quotes from http://www.bluehost.com/acceptable-use-policy .

Please be aware you can only make a copyright claim in your own name (or in case an author has authorised you to act on their behalf). Don't file claims about the content of other creators!


TOU = Terms of Use = your "Policy" for MTS creators. This does not have a free text option but you can check "Special -- see profile" and then edit your profile accordingly (scroll down to "About Me / Policy / Other Text"). This is an option that only creators have, because others don't need it.

(I left mine as it was, only added "No reuploading of any part of my uploads (including pictures and description) at sims4forum.com. See here as for why." at the bottom)

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Last edited by plasticbox : 25th Sep 2014 at 4:09 PM.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:11 AM #4
emifan
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Thanks leefish & plasticbox for explanation. Not everyone is techy enough to figure it all out on his/her own.
But, let's be honest - once you "share" something on Internet, even if you just post it on cloud drive (DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive), or even use email to send it -
aware it can be used without your permission.

Neither your own pledge nor law (DMCA whatever) can stop it. As long as something yours gets to computer/service you do not own - it's no longer yours.
So, if you want to keep anything secure - do not upload it anywhere, including e-mail, and store it on a PC totally disconnected from Internet (and better do not plug any external storage that does not belong to you too).
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:26 AM #5
Grig 32
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Sadly, this is one of the problems of the internet - it's like pee in a swimming pool; once it's in there it's in there. You can't take it out... and once someone pirates or posts something without permission, it's going to be hosted on other sites
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:29 AM #6
sailfindragon
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No doubt we will get the peeps saying. You put in the game and now EA owns it, so I can do what I want with it. I have had that before!

You can find some of my creations here and the rest over at the following Dragon Black Sims
Old 25th Sep 2014, 10:50 AM #7
KirNoLan
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First post here, but I joined that site and made the mistake of believing some of the mods there were created by the site owners. When I thanked them for one of them, they responded some time afterwards that the person that needed thanking was from here and that the mod was originally posted here. I felt awful and felt a need to apologize to scripthoge for mistaking the ownership.

Ok, I'll go back to lurking, downloading, and trying to figure out how I can share my sims here now.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 11:24 AM #8
Inge Jones
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I've trained myself not to care if it happens to mine. Keeps the blood pressure even.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Old 25th Sep 2014, 11:31 AM #9
FifthAce2007
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Yep they've nabbed my wedding dresses as well...and probably other things I've yet to find.

FifthAce2007

My Sims 2 creations are no longer supported. Regardless of what the individual post says, feel free to clone, recolour, chuck on a bonfire or mix in a blender! Just credit me/this site with the upload, and upload here only, thanks
Old 25th Sep 2014, 12:23 PM #10
plasticbox
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Here's a list of content he had C+Pd as of two days ago -- not saying it's complete:
(This is from the posts in the mods forum)


Mods

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535402
get-town-population

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535846
moveobjects-on-cheat

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535751
social-event-destination-party

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535549
change-sim-name-or-gender-mod

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535512
longer-shorter-pregnancy-length-mod

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535438
smaller-censor-mosaic

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535780
expanded-physique-range-mod

reduced-townie-generating
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535110

simocide-kill-your-sims
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534853

babies-for-everyone
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534978

cheaper-bills-mod-not-too-high-not-too-low
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534681

no-friendship-romantic-relationship-decay
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534925

no-motives-decay
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534590

sims-4-tv-and-computer-menu-revamp
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533779

weirder-walkstyles-disabled
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534038

no-blur-in-the-distance
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532909

no-intro-title-mod
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532966

slow-time-mod
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533026

stand-still-in-cas
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532891

sims-4-adjustable-lighting-mod
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533562

no-fade-sims-and-objects
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533846

To me it looks like ther's even more now .. in their entire Mods category I only see one that might not be from here. All are uploaded by the site owner, so he can't even blame it on "some newbie who uploaded something to our site" like he did in the case of kiwisims.


CAS Parts

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535895
the-joker-heath-ledger <-- funny how yesterday he he bitched about how this was illegal and copyright infringement .. when he had already C+Pd it himself

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532918
sims-4-superman-outfit

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533140
sims-4-logo-black-tshirt

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534882
star-wars-costume-sweaters

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534715
sims-4-spash-of-colour-wedding-dresses

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532472
michael-jackson-sim-by-lunararc

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=535354
captivating-eyes-20-colors

[http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=532453
black-alien-eyes-by-lukeproduction

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534331
heliantheas-super-bland-comic-eyes

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534004
sims-4-dead-trees-female-back-tattoo

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534447
star-trek-original-series-male-shirts

http://modthesims.info/download.php?t=534882
halloween-party-dresses-by-kitonlyhuman



Lots

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=534138
villa-capra-an-italian-masterpiece

http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=533397
lilly-house-no-cc-by-volvenom



Basically one can just go to Chris' profile: http://sims4forum.com/members/chris.1 , scroll down to "Find all content by Chris" (sic) and get an 8 page list of stuff he C+Pd from here.

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Last edited by plasticbox : 25th Sep 2014 at 1:39 PM.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 12:43 PM #11
mustluvcatz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emifan
....Neither your own pledge nor law (DMCA whatever) can stop it. As long as something yours gets to computer/service you do not own - it's no longer yours.


So not true. It's attitudes like yours (Hey, it's on the internet so I can do whatever I want with it and nothing can stop me!!) that helped the DMCA, and similar laws/acts, come about in the first place.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 1:06 PM #12
plasticbox
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It's a bit like saying "if you park your car in the street, it's not yours anymore", yes (which is obviously nonsense) -- but emifan did not say "Hey, it's on the internet so I can do whatever I want with it" .. he's only being very pessimistic. That is not the same as actively taking advantage of others.

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Old 25th Sep 2014, 1:11 PM #13
mgomez
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If you would like to remove their mods from Google's search results, file a DMCA request with Google through this tool.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 1:49 PM #14
plasticbox
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@Volvenom @Amichan619 @KitOnlyHuman @MaclimesZero @flanah @Helianthea @LukeProduction @Vampire_aninyosaloh @Lunararc @FifthAce2007 @guidion @Shimrod101 @IceM @BiscoMix @AgonistAgent @fetusdip @EVOL_EVOLVED @MasterDinadan @scumbumbo @Zerbu @TwistedMexi -- just making sure you see this thread.

Discussion thread with posts by Sims4forum is here, for reference. Please do not quote this post when replying! It'll fire off a new notification every time. Thanks!

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Last edited by plasticbox : 26th Sep 2014 at 1:18 PM.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 2:08 PM #15
FifthAce2007
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Thanks, although that topic has now been closed.

Just want to clear up the confusion/grey area about copyright ownership: In the case of clothing, or buy/build mode items: Regardless of if the result is owned by EA by way of the EULA, they ALL contain IMAGES made by the individual user who created the clothing/object, and copyright ownership of those images remain with the person who created them.

Ego, even if they can successfully argue that the .package is owned via EA and not the creator, in order for them to make use of them, they would need to remove the image files within each package first

It's based upon the same principle as photography. Regardless of what the photograph is of, the person who TOOK it automaticaly has full ownership unless they explicity give up that ownership.

FifthAce2007

My Sims 2 creations are no longer supported. Regardless of what the individual post says, feel free to clone, recolour, chuck on a bonfire or mix in a blender! Just credit me/this site with the upload, and upload here only, thanks
Old 25th Sep 2014, 2:19 PM #16
plasticbox
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Yeah sure - also this is not just about the CC files themselves but also about the pics and descriptions he copied (which now make up 98% of his Mods forum). This is content just as well which took time and effort to make.

All he wants IMO is spiffy up his site in order to get more people to pay for those "VIP accounts" he's advertising all over the place.


(That thread is closed, yes, but his comments are still very entertaining.)

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Old 25th Sep 2014, 2:20 PM #17
TwistedMexi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
@Volvenom @Amichan619 @KitOnlyHuman @MaclimesZero @flanah @Helianthea @LukeProduction @Vampire_aninyosaloh @Lunararc @FifthAce2007 @guidion @Shimrod101 @IceM @BiscoMix @AgonistAgent @fetusdip @EVOL_EVOLVED @MasterDinadan @scumbumbo @Zerbu @TwistedMexi -- just making sure you see this thread.

Discussion thread with posts by Sims4forum is here, for reference.


Thanks. I'll send a DMCA request shortly. Hopefully it gets somewhere.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 2:54 PM #18
KitOnlyHuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
@Volvenom @Amichan619 @KitOnlyHuman @MaclimesZero @flanah @Helianthea @LukeProduction @Vampire_aninyosaloh @Lunararc @FifthAce2007 @guidion @Shimrod101 @IceM @BiscoMix @AgonistAgent @fetusdip @EVOL_EVOLVED @MasterDinadan @scumbumbo @Zerbu @TwistedMexi -- just making sure you see this thread.

Discussion thread with posts by Sims4forum is here, for reference.


Thank you for tagging me. =)
Old 25th Sep 2014, 3:35 PM #19
FifthAce2007
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Could people please stop quoting the comment by plasticbox with the tags in...it triggers a new PM each time

FifthAce2007

My Sims 2 creations are no longer supported. Regardless of what the individual post says, feel free to clone, recolour, chuck on a bonfire or mix in a blender! Just credit me/this site with the upload, and upload here only, thanks
Old 25th Sep 2014, 5:52 PM #20
Christine11778
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The one thing I have never understood about people stealing content because "some people are too lazy/whatever your reason here" to look for it themselves, why not just start a finds site? It is obvious you have spent enough time trolling the internet looking for content to steal, why not just have a finds site and you can send people to the original creator to download the item?

CC4Sims
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Jealousy would be far less torturous if we understood that love is a passion entirely unrelated to our merits.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 8:55 PM #21
fakepeeps7
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If this guy is breaking copyright laws and making money by doing so, why can't his site be shut down? Seems to me that what he's doing is kind of illegal...
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:03 PM #22
leefish
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@fakepeeps7 - the way it works is that you first ask them nice; if they don't comply then you write to the host.

A lot of hosts, when faced with a LOT of complaints about one site, just suspend the site. Basically shuts it down.

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Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:18 PM #23
plasticbox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
why can't his site be shut down?


I kind of assumed that that was the whole point of this thread .. =P it's not going to shut down by itself.

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Last edited by plasticbox : 25th Sep 2014 at 9:32 PM.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:48 PM #24
mustluvcatz
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To speed things along, everyone plasticbox mentioned should send their "Please remove my content" request NOW. So should anyone who's content is there that wasn't mentioned. And hey! Spread the word so those who's content wasn't from here to begin with will know to send one, too.
Old 25th Sep 2014, 9:54 PM #25
Volvenom
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Claim sent, thanks for letting me know.
Closed Thread


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