Takedown Notice Sends Battlestar Galactica Modders Fleeing

A swell Battlestar Galactica mod for Nexus drew the attention of NBC Universal, who sent a cease-and-desist over to ModDB, which had been hosting the work on it. And 19 other BSG mods. All have been wiped out.

"I was shocked and saddened when i got the message from ModDB admins that our mod, the Nexus BSG mod is being pulled due to copyright claims of NBC Universal," one of the mod's leads wrote. "This we cannot fight, these are the terms of ModDB, and we are making our projects based on NBCU's intellectual property."

Nonetheless, this rag-tag fugitive fleet is on a lonely quest for permission from NBCU to continue with the mod. They're asking people to start an email writing campaign through the company's official contact-us page.

We've seen big bad IP holders show mercy in these situations before, but it sometimes takes years, and that's involving companies whose IPs were already video games. NBCU simply may not have any sympathy for the modders because they have little exposure to such communities. The ModDB thread is not full of much optimism; many are talking about boycotts and anger and exacting any kind of revenge they can, which will probably be not much.

That's for the Nexus mod. Apparently those who worked on the BSG Diaspora mod are pissed that their work was obliterated now that NBCU finally noticed what was going on.

This only means that the mod work is gone from ModDB; maybe these projects will be taken underground to another host meantime.

Calling Out to All Battlestar Galactica Modders! [ModDB — Thanks Paul W!]


Comments

    Well, that sucks. I am not a big fan of BG, but I still don't mind it, and this sort of stuff is stupid. Homage to a franchise is what the modding community do best, and when you piss them off, all it will take is a call to 'anonymous' and I will bet NBCs site will be down in a few days...

    Hopefully they will show a little mercy, because its kinda stupid that they'd shut all these modders down (was really looking forward to diaspora and btrl). It's meant as an homage, it'd be like if they went to common and told the cosplayers to undress :-/

    I hate it when IP holders do something like this.

    I get that NBC own the copyright, and that they want to protect any future earnings from games they make, but shutting down people who love the universe and want to show it seems incredibly short-sighted.

      What's more short-sighted. The IP holder's actions - or that the MOD didn't start with an email or phone call to the IP holder.

      Yeah, but as the article says, the IP holder might not even be aware of the scope of the modding community.
      I would be better if they offered to take the development onboard or (although mabey it goes against the TOS), offer to take over control of the game in it's current state! C'mon NBC Universal, do some research and see the potential here!

    Kneejerk reaction from a company that just wants to throw its weight around. With the work that's gone into this mod I reckon NBCU could have invested a few grand and come out with a stellar BSG game, made some money and improved their standing with fans.

    But they didn't. *sigh*

    Modding communities keep the torch burning within the fans, they were actually HELPING the IP for free. So long as they weren't making money from it I don't agree with what NBC Universal has done.

      Take the Zelda movie, for instance.

    Nice to see a corporation that welcomes fan's efforts.

    This is a risk that many modders take when they depend on someone else's IP. It sucks but it is legally safer to use your own IP.

    so on Oct 3rd there was an article here by Luke Plunkett (first link in this article) highlighting these mods to a wider audience and now on Oct 10th NBCU has issued their cease-and-desist...

    LUKE !!! FFFFUUUU

      lol....I noticed this too.

      Really saddened by this. Some of these projects have literally taken years of peoples lives. For a company to come in and say "No sorry, we don't give a shit because our wallets need filling" is just really slack, and in this day and age, where alot of these shows are backed largely by communities like this, is really counter productive.

      I don't understand why companies seem to fail at noticing that SUPPORTING your fan base, giving good will and encouraging those who like your products to continue to be involved in it will not only keep those fans happy (and willing to spend money on the IP) but will be more likely to draw in new customers/fans because of it.

      Who the hell wants to get into something if all their friends tell them that the owner of the product will smite you if you utter their product name without their express consent...?

    Wouldn't it be better to work out the interest in the mod, see how much money could be made from it.. and then hire these guys to finish it? I know that they can't really ask for money for what they have already done due to the copyright stuff.. but it would make sense for NBC to look for how they can line their own pockets and at the same time please fans...

    *insert nonsensical hateful ranting at NBC*

    Seriously not cool guys

    The response from moddb staff seems to have been rather poor also.
    Not notifying the project lead that the mod was taken down or why, not replying to his email for 3 days.
    Even worse, the staff replying rudely on the thread (link from article) claiming that they don't need to provide notification, BGS mods are a tiny and not significant part of moddb and that they should shut up and stop complaining.

    I don't understand why companies send 'cease and desist' letters to projects that are so much better than anything they've actually commissioned and condoned... I could understand if it was of poor quality, but it seems like only the really high quality projects get the attention, and therefore, the legal axe.

    I think it would be better for their own interests if they actually allowed, if not supported, quality community projects like this. It's of no cost to the copyright holder to produce and if it becomes something that can be sold, then they get a cut.

    How is this a hard concept to get ahold of?

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