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Report stolen mods here


Delta dart
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It has come to my attention while chatting with user @epicfailure2020 on the topic of people stealing mods (specifically sm armory) that were deleted and in some cases using it to spread viruses and/or charging money for them and we came to the decision to create a thread to report stolen mods that were deleted or are available and re uploaded under a different name. If this thread finds anything that meets these criteria I will report this to the original mod authors and hopefully get them taken down. I will say that this is not the place to download your favorite deleted mods as many of these links are very sketchy.

Edited by Delta dart
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One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the license, someone re-uploading a mod is not "stealing".  Some might consider it in poor taste but it is allowed depending on the license.  Using them for nefarious things is a problem.

It may be better to try and classify them less as "stolen" and more as "unsafe".

I don't know anything about SM armory or what its license was, but just pointing out that stolen may not apply to all cases.

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8 hours ago, Delta dart said:

I will say that this is not the place to download your favorite deleted mods as many of these links are very sketchy.

Which site?  The forums?

@Delta dart, if you would kindly include some more details as to what you mean, it would go a long way to let people understand what is going on.   Which mods have you seen?   What sites are you downloading from?  What malware have you seen? 

But like @goldenpsp said, if the license allows it, simply rehosting a mod is not theft.   Even if it doesn't, it is up to the rights holder to enforce it.  Although a community awareness of which sites are hosting illegally distributed mods does go a long way.

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8 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Which site?  The forums?

@Delta dart, if you would kindly include some more details as to what you mean, it would go a long way to let people understand what is going on.   Which mods have you seen?   What sites are you downloading from?  What malware have you seen? 

But like @goldenpsp said, if the license allows it, simply rehosting a mod is not theft.   Even if it doesn't, it is up to the rights holder to enforce it.  Although a community awareness of which sites are hosting illegally distributed mods does go a long way.

I have found people such as user noodleoflake in the comments of this video implying that you can email someone (unspecified) to receive a copy of SM armory after it was deleted and I remember the big deal around some guy re uploading some of the SM armory mods on spacedock without permission and @SpannerMonkey(smce) taking them down. And I am sorry for not being detailed enough but I intended to report it to the author and he can take action if he chooses.

 

16 hours ago, goldenpsp said:

One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the license, someone re-uploading a mod is not "stealing".  Some might consider it in poor taste but it is allowed depending on the license.  Using them for nefarious things is a problem.

It may be better to try and classify them less as "stolen" and more as "unsafe".

I don't know anything about SM armory or what its license was, but just pointing out that stolen may not apply to all cases.

In the case above it is very suspicious to have to email someone for a file especially if its some random guy in the comments of a video. And I feel in that case that it is likely a virus. And if it isn't it still better to be safe than sorry.

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Yeah.. I remember there was a nefarious "site", that was hosting mods, that IIRC, you had to pay to use, or something, that was hosting mods, regardless of their license. They had open license mods (meaning why should you pay), as well as ARR, (meaning your basically paying to pirate)...
IIRC, it was a Chinese domain... vOv

Warnings of that nature would be nice to list here... (with greater detail than I gave, of course...)

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TBH the more I think about this thread the more I'm uncomfortable with it.

 

Here's the thing.  We are talking about 2 different scenarios.  One where the mod is being distributed counter to its license.  I would first question how widespread this issue is, and whether it requires a dedicated thread for it.  Also as @Gargamel stated,  only the license holder has the power to enforce the license.  In these cases it seems more appropriate to notify the license holder, and let them handle it if they so choose.

For the second scenario, suspect download locations it certainly can be a good PSA to let people know, however it really needs to be specific.

So far in this thread of 8 posts we have one concrete example, but even with it the accuracy is off.  @Delta dart posted a youtube video that is over a year old.  Add to that this comment

21 hours ago, Delta dart said:

In the case above it is very suspicious to have to email someone for a file especially if its some random guy in the comments of a video. And I feel in that case that it is likely a virus. And if it isn't it still better to be safe than sorry.

Which isn't even accurate.  The user who posted the video put the email comment directly in the notes of his video,  with an address that matches his youtube account.  The same guy replied in the comments with his same email address.  So no it wasn't just some random dude,  and I wouldn't overall call that super suspicious.  It still could be violating the license of SM armory, but I wouldn't know since the mod is no longer available to view the license.  And at the end of the day that is between the license holder and the youtuber.

 

Bottom line,  the concern is that a thread like this will effectively become less of a useful tool, and more of a witch hunt/public shaming thread.

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On 8/2/2020 at 1:14 AM, Delta dart said:

mods (specifically sm armory) that were deleted and in some cases using it to spread viruse

SM Armory has a single (3rd party?) dll staying unchanged for years.
It's all about parts. Unlikely it can spread viruses.

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  • 3 weeks later...

dlls can spread viruses.  Don't doubt that ksp will not happily run viral code for a second.  Unity does not really know how to distinguish.

That said, I agree.  If there is no clearcut license violation, there is no need to report.

 

Edited by R-T-B
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6 hours ago, goldenpsp said:

You are a virus makers wet dream.

Probably you know special voodoo of doing with the archive files anything else but unpack.

And I would say that the number of SM users makes making it virussed somewhat like a road light in the middle of desert.

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9 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Probably you know special voodoo of doing with the archive files anything else but unpack.

And I would say that the number of SM users makes making it virussed somewhat like a road light in the middle of desert.

I'm just saying that archive files have been a common file type used to spread viruses.  Historically many virus scanners can run into trouble scanning the contents of a zip file.  So yes I employ my "special voodoo" whenever dealing with an archive file from a person or site I don't 100% trust.

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On 8/1/2020 at 7:50 PM, goldenpsp said:

One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the license, someone re-uploading a mod is not "stealing".  Some might consider it in poor taste but it is allowed depending on the license.  Using them for nefarious things is a problem.

It may be better to try and classify them less as "stolen" and more as "unsafe".

I don't know anything about SM armory or what its license was, but just pointing out that stolen may not apply to all cases.

Technically speaking, T2 EULA allows almost any form of MOD spreading. So most of the cases should not be considered as "stolen".

I would say, this is showing our respect to the modder. "Stolen" is describing the emotion not about the rules.

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3 hours ago, flywlyx said:

T2 EULA allows almost any form of MOD spreading.

T2 EULA is irrelevant for original material they have no claim to, and that includes most KSP mods. Licencing of mod code and assets is largely at the discretion of the author.
 

3 hours ago, flywlyx said:

"Stolen" is describing the emotion not about the rules.

"Stolen" is an emotional translation of "copyright infringement".
If the mods licence allows redistribution and that redistribution happens in compliance with the licence terms, then there's no problem. If it doesn't then it's copyright infringement, plain and simple.

There are apparently special extra "rules" restricting perfectly-legal redistribution and forking on this forum, but those don't matter whatsoever anywhere else.

Edited by steve_v
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18 hours ago, steve_v said:

T2 EULA is irrelevant for original material they have no claim to, and that includes most KSP mods. Licencing of mod code and assets is largely at the discretion of the author.

"Original material" had been modified to a mod which directly connect to the KSP, so as cited in EULA "You hereby waive and agree never to assert any moral rights of paternity, publication, reputation, or attribution with respect to Licensor's and other players' use and enjoyment of such assets in connection with the Software and related goods and services under applicable law." And "use of assets" are described as "use your contributions in any way and for any purpose in connection with the Software and related goods and services, including, but not limited to, the rights to reproduce, copy, adapt, modify, perform, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, or otherwise communicate to the public by any means whether now known or unknown".

18 hours ago, steve_v said:

"Stolen" is an emotional translation of "copyright infringement".

If the mods licence allows redistribution and that redistribution happens in compliance with the licence terms, then there's no problem. If it doesn't then it's copyright infringement, plain and simple.

The exclusive copyright is in T2's hand now. Unless T2 said so, there is no "mods license" could compete this "exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully transferable, and sub-licensable worldwide right and license".

18 hours ago, steve_v said:

There are apparently special extra "rules" restricting perfectly-legal redistribution and forking on this forum, but those don't matter whatsoever anywhere else.

Since T2's exclusive copyright is worldwide, for sure you could have some special extra "license" on this forum (which obviously violates the EULA since T2's license should be exclusive), but those don't matter whatsoever anywhere else.

As I said, this is more for showing our respect to the modder, "Stolen" is describing the emotion not about the rules.

Edited by flywlyx
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5 hours ago, flywlyx said:

The exclusive copyright is in T2's hand now.

A great many mods have licences that long predate the introducton of that EULA. Take Two asserting that they retroactively own any and all material related to KSP doesn't change that in the slightest.

Many mods have, and have had for many years, licences that explicitly forbid such unilateral transfer of copyright.

Copyright law will trump an EULA any day of the week in any court you like.

Edited by steve_v
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16 hours ago, steve_v said:

A great many mods have licences that long predate the introducton of that EULA. Take Two asserting that they retroactively own any and all material related to KSP doesn't change that in the slightest.

Many mods have, and have had for many years, licences that explicitly forbid such unilateral transfer of copyright.

Copyright law will trump an EULA any day of the week in any court you like.

This is only true if the MOD is created/updated before Mar 6 2018. After that data, claiming a separate license on MOD update violate EULA, and claiming T2 license violate any other irrevocable license if modder claimed previously.

I believe the mod we discussed here is way newer than that miserable day.

As I said, forum license is more for showing our respect to the modder, "Stolen" is describing the emotion not about the rules.

Edited by flywlyx
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2 hours ago, flywlyx said:

This is only true if the MOD is created/updated before Mar 6 2018.

In the specific case of SM Armory, that's not entirely straightforward to determine as most of the github repo is gone. The oldest component (common library) remaining is GPL licenced and appears to have been since July 2017.
With this library being GPL, it's probably safe to assume that the rest of the mod in question was as well, at least as far as plugins go. And it's using code from other GPL projects... Aren't viral licences awesome?

I wish T2 all the luck in the world trying to retroactively appropriate GPL code, they're going to need it.

As for the assets, at least some of them are ARR, specifically the legacy boomsticks parts. That makes redistribution pretty darn fraught whichever way you look at it, and unless T2 can prove that the original author agreed to the new EULA, they can't have those bits either.

Ed. Actually, all models in the pack appear to be ARR:

Quote

Reuse of models only with permission. No reselling. No redistribution of the whole pack without permission.

Quote

Copyright © 2017 Tony Jones

^ :sticktongue:

 

2 hours ago, flywlyx said:

After that data, claiming a separate license on MOD update violate EULA, and claiming T2 license violate any other irrevocable license if modder claimed previously.

Indeed, thanks to T2's bogus and overreaching EULA boilerplate, the entire modding scene is in a properly confusing position. There are many mods out there that simply can not legally be re-licenced, whatever T2 might want.


Barring any reliable legal advice on the matter (I don't pretend to be a lawyer, though there is one in the family), it all really comes down to whether an EULA can override pre-existing licences, or indeed lay legitimate claim to independently created content that takes no assets or code from the game to begin with, and whether anyone can prove who did or did not agree to the new EULA...
That and whether T2 is willing to risk the almighty ****storm that will undoubtedly ensue if they try.

Personally I doubt T2's claims would stand up in court, but without precedent there's probably no way to be sure.
I also highly doubt T2 would ever try to enforce their EULA claims of mod ownership, as doing so would obliterate the entire modding scene overnight.

 

2 hours ago, flywlyx said:

As I said, forum license is more for showing our respect to the modder, "Stolen" is describing the emotion not about the rules.

There is no "forum licence", there is only the licence the material is distributed under and the forum requirement to state it if you provide download links here.
Legal forks and repacks are often seen as disrespectful around here, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with licencing. Unless those doing the redistributing can produce the original licence (as found in source code headers, github repos and release archives) and show they're abiding by it, the question of respect is completely overshadowed by the matter of legality.

If you want to get into semantics regarding the word "stolen" that's your call, but I'm not going to play.  Someone redistributing a work in contravention of licence terms is still copyright infringement regardless of the language used...
And yes, people do get emotional when they see someone passing off another's work as their own. They should probably get equally emotional about T2's ham-fisted attempts to do the same.

Edited by steve_v
More hunting for shreds of original licences...
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29 minutes ago, steve_v said:

There is no "forum licence", there is only the licence the material is distributed under and the forum requirement to state it if you provide download links here.

Technically speaking, T2 licence is the only license you could use to obey the EULA, so what I said as "forum licence" is the license requested in the forum which is basically spitting on T2's face.

Although I am totally fine with spitting on T2's face, the "thief" could still use T2 license to defense what they did, until any judge makes a decision.

Just like what you said:

33 minutes ago, steve_v said:

without precedent there's probably no way to be sure.

 

44 minutes ago, steve_v said:

If you want to get into semantics regarding the word "stolen" that's your call, but I'm not going to play.  Someone redistributing a work in contravention of licence terms is still copyright infringement regardless of the language used...
And yes, people do get emotional when they see someone passing off another's work as their own. They should probably get equally emotional about T2's ham-fisted attempts to do the same.

I don't think accuse other's probably totally lawful activities under an active EULA license as "stolen" is appropriate language, but as I said emotional disrespect for this kind of activities is definitely acceptable, just don't forget who made this kind of activities "totally lawful".

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9 minutes ago, flywlyx said:

don't forget who made this kind of activities "totally lawful".

Given we're talking about a mod released well before the EULA change, and the conspicuous lack of proof that the author(s) agreed to or even saw said EULA, I'm not buying even "slightly lawful".
T2 granting "permission" regarding material they have no claim to or control over means exactly nothing at all, and if they can't prove the author handed over their rights, that's exactly what they're doing.

Edited by steve_v
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13 minutes ago, steve_v said:

Given we're talking about a mod released well before the EULA change, and the conspicuous lack of proof that the author(s) agreed to or even saw said EULA, I'm not buying even "slightly lawful".

The latest updated of SM armory is after 1.4 release, so as far as the "thief" is spreading latest update, they are covered by T2.

17 minutes ago, steve_v said:

T2 granting "permission" regarding material they have no claim to or control over means exactly nothing at all, and if they can't prove the author handed over their rights, that's exactly what they're doing.

Using the game and creating a mod base on the game means "constitutes your acceptance of its terms". It is the disgusting fact that modder has to take. 

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