To report a site that might be illegally redistributing mods, please open an issue in our issue tracker.
We do currently target reposts of the following content types: mods,
resource packs, maps, and modpacks. In addition, we target websites
providing malicious Minecraft content.
Why is mod theft a problem?
The feeling of finding your work on those websites. Just the feeling of finding your mods on those websites is extremely discouraging for many people. Lets say that you wrote a book. The day after, you see the book in a shop, with a big "9books" logo on the front page. You haven't even been notified. How would you feel? You then read the books ToS, and see that "9books" is claiming to own your book! This is extremely discouraging.
Outdated versions. When users find a bug, they then go to the mod author to report it. The problem is, that the bug was fixed 2 months ago! This is very annoying for both the author and the user.
Wrong Minecraft versions. Those websites are marking the mods as working with wrong Minecraft version. They do this to get more downloads. The user will then go to the mod author and complain.
Possible malware. Mods from those sites are untrustable, and may contain malware.
Making money of other peoples work. Those sites are placing other peoples mods behind AdFly links, and other ads, and are directly earning money on other peoples work!
Stealing money. When many people download from those sites instead of the official sites, the author loses revenue. Modders don't earn much from their mods, but small amounts of money can be a big motivation.
Stealing downloads. Maybe one of the most encouraging things about making mods, is seeing your mods getting lots of downloads. When many users download from those sites instead of the official sites, the author loses many of downloads from his/her server. This is extremely discouraging for the modder.
PSA: If you come across a site that you believe to be illegally re/distributing minecraft mods, you can PM me, and I'll check it out as soon as possible.
If you want to block those sites automatically, take a look at this Firefox addon, this Chrome addon or this Opera addon!
Equip this signature banner, and help spread the word!
I also came across a youtube channel that during a few days uploaded dozens and dozens of "mod reviews" (automated scripts?), and then they slapped the mod download behind adf.ly links. I only watched one video, which was a "review" of my mod. The video had an utterly crappy screenshot as the picture, and a speech synthesized audio that read more or less my description of the mod. And then the download link was behind TWO adf.ly links which lead to a 3rd party download site. Surprisingly though, at least the md5sum of the actual file matched that of the original, so it was probably at least free of malware that time.
I tried to report that video to youtube, but got a possibly automated reply a few days later and nothing came of it, I don't understand all that legal stuff and frankly I don't care to and don't want to deal with it. So that is another form of crap some people are doing with the work of other people. (the channel is this one: youtube /channel/UCcM0u7xoMCoJUrmgFBteCSw/videos)
Edit: obfuscate the url some more so that it hopefully doesn't get picked up by search engines.
This seems like a fantastic idea. I have a question though. Many mods are distributed using very permissive licenses (eg GPL, Apache). Copying and distributing (eg) GPL'd mods is not actually against the terms of the license at all. These licenses are actually intended to promote sharing and derivative works. I agree that there are less scrupulous websites out there that are essentially stealing web traffic from mod authors, but for permissively licensed mods, what recourse do mod authors have for redirecting that traffic back to their sites without changing the licensing terms?
This seems like a fantastic idea. I have a question though. Many mods are distributed using very permissive licenses (eg GPL, Apache). Copying and distributing (eg) GPL'd mods is not actually against the license at all. These licenses are actually intended to promote sharing and derivative works. I agree that there are less scrupulous websites out there that are essentially stealing web traffic from mod authors, but for permissively licensed mods, what recourse do mod authors have for redirecting that traffic back to their sites without changing the licensing terms?
There's a reason I'm not a fan of licences allowing monetisation. It causes a lot of trouble.
Thanks for getting the ball rolling on this, CoolSquid. I've poked 9minecraft about removing my mod, and I'll start poking some of the others "Soon™". I didn't know about the hashtag when I first posted that, but I'll use it in the future.
(Thanks way2muchnoise for linking me to this, really appreciate it)
That is a good question. I have my mods (source code) licensed as LGPLv3, but I also state in the mod's thread/original posts that redistributing the mod file is not allowed. Are those contradicting? Can I say that you are not allowed to re-host the compiled mod, but still keep the source as LGPLv3. Afaik LGPLv3 does say that if someone would be re-hosting the mod, they would also have to have the source of that version available, right? (which these sites don't do afaik) Again, legal stuff I don't understand... :/