Some Fallout 4 Xbox Mods Are Being Stolen From The PC Version

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 authorised 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 authorised 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 authorised 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.


    I am shocked, I tell you. Shocked and appalled!

      As am I!

      I never thought I'd see the day when supposed gentlemen would behave in a dishonourable manner on the internet! The cads!

    Seriously, though, this is a bit shit. What's the point of a 'curated' mod section if the people curating it aren't doing the leg-work? This isn't Youtube with eighty billion videos (which even so, still has a copyright bot combing through it all). This is a few dozen mods, carefully vetted to not have uncovered naughty bits or copyrighted/trademarked things like Spongebob Squarepants. Are they not doing a quick search of the nexus to see if the mod they're currently vetting already exists, as created by someone else?

      The oversight is lacking, but it gets even worse when you consider that mod 'theft' wont just cover mods wholesale, but the code or assets within. That makes it monumentally harder to check for originality.

    File a dmca (if you live in the US) or... Do nothing.
    If a mod ends up being super popular, eventually wins best mod and Microsoft brings the winner up on stage to receive an award- and it turns out they stole the IP to do it..

    What an awesome thought :)

      If your copyrighted work is being infringed in the US (as would be the case for the Xbox Mod store), you can use the DMCA. Yes it would be quite expensive to run an actual lawsuit in the US if you're in Australia, but you don't have to here. If the notice has all the right things, then Bethesda will be obliged to take down the offending material straight away.

      It'll only go to trial if the other party files a counter-notice claiming that they had a right to use the material (i.e. claiming that they wrote the mod, or that they had a license to use the material). It is unlikely that they'd file a counter-notice if they really did copy your mod, so you probably won't get as far as the courts.

      Lots of people complain that the DMCA gets the wrong balance between the copyright holder and general public, but in this case you're on the side the DMCA makes things easy for.

    "slowly claps" nice job console peasants.

      ... except the people uploading these copied mods for use with the Xbox are doing it using the PC version of Fallout 4 plus its mod tools.

      This is basically the same thing that happened when they briefly had a paid Skyrim mod store on Steam, except there isn't even a promise of money this time.

      Since this never happens on PC, which is an upper class society where everyone completely respects and acknowledges the creations of an author and never steals assets or code from anyone else.

      "slow claps" really didn't think before you opened your trap and realised it's PC players doing this?

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