Update (05/28/2020): Today, the FIA WEC mod has been taken down. We have been notified by Valve that the reason for the takedown was the use of the FIA WEC name and branding. We love and respect the FIA WEC and respect their wish that no unofficial content carries their name and branding. Since we already changed that and uploaded a new mod with different branding last night, we are in the clear. Onwards and upwards!
Over the past months, we have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our content. It’s a sad day when that content is under threat of being taken down. Unfortunately, that nightmare has become reality for us this morning.
This morning we noticed that a DMCA claim has been filed against the FIA WEC 2019/2020 mod in the Steam Workshop. For those who don’t know, a DMCA claim basically means that someone has filed a report that copyrighted and/or trademarked content has been published illegally and has requested removal of that content.
Let’s be clear here. We are using the FIA WEC trademark and a lot of other copyrighted content without proper licensing, as that would be far too expensive. Usually, this is not a big deal as long as there are no profits made from this content. However, the owner of the trademark and/or copyright has the right to determine where their trademarked and/or copyrighted content can be published. So if the owner (in this case the ASO) files a DMCA claim, that means the trademarked/copyrighted content needs to be removed to avoid legal action.
As the claim is still being investigated and we haven’t been contacted by Valve yet, nothing is for certain at the moment. Anyone can file a claim and the required action will be determined by who filed the claim. However, I think we owe it to our dedicated subscribers to notify them of the possibilities that we see for the future.
There is a small chance that the DMCA claim isn’t followed through by Valve, meaning that everything will stay as it is. However, Valve has been very consistent so far and now that our mod has been put on their radar, we’re pretty sure that this will not be the case.
Depending on who has filed the claim, we might need to modify our mod, removing the copyrighted content that has been named in the claim. In case it is the FIA or the ASO, we might be good with just a change of names and graphics. In case this is indeed what we need to do, the mod will remain on Steam Workshop (maybe taken down for a short while as we work on replacing the copyrighted content).
If the copyright issues are too deeply rooted in our mod, we might be forced to take down the mod entirely. To avoid legal action, we won’t upload the mod in its current state anywhere else.
We don’t want to abandon our mod entirely though. If we are really forced to take down the mod entirely, we will create a different mod, which will keep a few of the vital functions of our current mod: the 4 different classes, BOP, the optimized tracks and all other features that aren’t risking copyright infringements.
These are the options we think are most likely at this moment. However, pending the outcome of Valve’s investigation, there might be other consequences. A complete shutdown of our modding team is the last thing we want, but it’s a possibility that we do need to take into account.
Until we know what the consequences of the DMCA claim will be, we won’t release any updates or host any events with the mod.