Because users have been modding Bethesda’s games on PC forever, a functional community has evolved alongside the practice. On console? It’s the Wild West, and surprise, some people are being dicks about the finer points of mod creation and crediting.
There have been numerous reports (see also: this Reddit thread) of mods—including parts of some of the most popular ones available—being taken from the PC version of the game and essentially stolen, uploaded onto the Xbox One’s Creation Kit by new users and without credit being given to the content’s actual creator.
In response to the shadiness, Bethesda has announced a plan to tackle the issue. The company is asking any mod creator who sees their stolen work appear on Xbox to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice.
Which sounds swell! The problem is, filing a DMCA notice takes a ton of work, because you need to submit (and these are Bethesda’s words):
- A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
- Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
- Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material. Providing URLs in the body of an email is the best way to help us locate Content quickly.
- Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
- A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Meanwhile, all the thief/uploader needs to do is rip off your shit and press some buttons. I realise that Bethesda’s hands are probably tied legally here, but still, for those affected it hardly seems fair.
Here’s hoping that at least the threat of DMCA takedowns is enough of a deterrence to slow the dodgy uploads down.