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Uro

Should the Arma 3 Steam Workshop be curated?

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Should the Arma 3 Steam Workshop be curated?

 

I ask this because for year upon year now addon authors have been fighting against those people who choose re-upload content to the Steam Workshop without permission nor license to do so.

 

Those users could instead create a Collection on Steam, a collection creates a list of published items, a list that is then available on Steam for anyone to subscribe to and the mods within that list will be downloaded by Steam onto their computers.
Instead they choose to re-upload content when they have no legal rights to do so.

 

The community up to now has been working together to fight against these breaches of IP rights, license and permission by reporting offenders to the appropriate authors, who will then file DMCA take-down notices on the uploaders.  

 

Following on from this happening en-mass the community collaborated to create the Workshop Crawler, which offers many authors a relatively quick way to search the Arma 3 Workshop for their own content and flag up any items which match their own, these are re-uploads.

 

For those in the know, and those with the ability to read, by submitting content for publication onto the Steam Workshop you are signing a license agreement with Valve that states you have read, understand and agree with the Steam Workshop license and that you have full license and IP/Author rights on the content you are submitting to the Steam Workshop for publication on to their platform.

By these people submitting content they do not own nor have license or permission to they are immediately breaking the license they are signing.


Steam offers a report function on every item, where you can submit a DMCA take-down notice. 

For all intents and purposes they have done their part in providing a means for authors to report IP theft and file DMCA complaints on content hosted on their platform.
(I'm not going to go into the technicalities of the actions that happen after filing a DMCA report as that would be quite lengthy and not the purpose of this thread.)

 

After a DMCA claim is validated and the item is removed from Steam, they do not punish nor block these accounts from being able to submit content. 

(If they have some internal flagging system then the existence of it is down to pure speculation, Valve do not make public how they handle the Workshop or accounts with DMCA strikes against them.)


Up until now anyone can at any time, provided they have the Arma 3 game on their Steam account, upload any content to the Steam Workshop.  

 

This is a good thing in principle because it gives everyone the freedom to publish their own content.  
The downside to this is that anyone is also free to publish content which they have no rights nor permissions to and are not the authors of that content.

 

This is where the old honesty-based system that the Arma community relied on prior to Steam integration breaks down - because there is no way to prevent these users from re-uploading any content what so ever.

If those users have items removed from the Workshop due to a valid DMCA claim, they are free to re-upload that content again, and they can just rinse and repeat this cycle if they wish to do so.


If the Arma 3 Steam Workshop was a Curated Workshop, each item submitted for publication would need to be reviewed pending submission, those items would then be reviewed by the game developer/curation team and with a clean bill of health they would be published on the Steam Workshop.  
Similarly, if they were deemed to not have a clean bill of health they would not be published and the author notified of any reasons why.

 

By curating the Workshop you would immediately close the door on people re-uploading content they do not have license or rights to, as well as having the ability to prevent the publishing of items which contain any IP from other titles.


Bohemia publicly state that they openly support content creators, modding and the community that surrounds them.  

 

They could show that community support by actively Curating the Workshop, a service which would give those authors back the time they are currently having to spend on protecting their IP, instead they could get back to creating more free content for the community!

You already have a trusted community moderation team on these forums, their scope could be extended to include the curation of the Workshop or extended to assist any curation team you create.

 

Fix this problem before it gets even worse, when DayZ gets a Steam Workshop this problem will only become exacerbated.

 

More information on Curated Workshops - https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/workshop#curated_workshop

Edited by Uro
Added Curated Workshop link
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On 26.8.2018 at 8:31 PM, Uro said:

those items would then be reviewed by the game developer/curation team

Most of it can easily be automated using file indexing like the workshop crawler does.

 

Just block upload if someone else already uploaded the exact same file. But to prevent abuse allow the author to dispute the claim and THEN get a real human involved to solve the conflict. Abusing the anti-abuse system just earns people a ban, which means any of their uploads are automatically declined, without ability to dispute.

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On 26/08/2018 at 7:31 PM, Uro said:

After a DMCA claim is validated and the item is removed from Steam, they do not punish nor block these accounts from being able to submit content. 

 

 

Valve and Steam will have their reasons, no doubt commercial motivations are most the most important influence to what they do, but if Steam were to ban repeat offenders, the problem would go away.

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6 hours ago, callmejacklogan said:

Yes, I personally use it. It's just awesome, take my suggestion and use it for about a week, I promise that you will surely love it from the core of the heart.

 

Yep for sure they would, Valve only EVER take action towards the Steam platform when they have a direct threat in the terms of bad PR, or anything detrimental to their sales or the health of their sales platform. 

Steam IS a Digital Store, sure it has trashy forums and all the bolts and whistles you would traditionally associate with a community website, strip those back and it is merely a sales/marketing platform.

 

Valve will never do anything to upset the balance of them creaming in profit, so it is up to the users of their platform to voice their concerns or any concerned developers who use their platform to make interim arrangements to deal/mitigate Valves shortfalls.

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