DotA 2 custom item lifted from Aion; Valve bans designer
25,000 players lose their custom axe
25,000 DotA 2 players have had a community-created axe taken away from them, after it was discovered to be in violation of intellectual property law.
Using Valve’s Steam Workshop service, a user created the custom weapon and after receiving the requisite number of community ratings it was made available to the DotA 2 player base. However, as it would turn out the axe wasn’t an original design at all – it was copied directly from South Korean MMO Aion.
Upon receiving the IP violation claim, Valve removed the weapon from the game (giving the 24.603 players an alternative weapon instead), and the designer was banned and had his item earnings taken from his account.
Valve designer Alden Kroll said, “The vast majority of contributions to the Workshop are incredibly creative and fundamentally original.
“Where that hasn’t been true, community reporting has led to the take-down of over 1400 items from the Workshop to date.”
“This has worked great for content that exists only on the Workshop, but it becomes more complicated if a Workshop item becomes offered for sale on Steam or in a game, and the item later turns out to infringe on someone else’s work.
“We depend on the community to ensure originality, by requiring all Workshop contributors to promise that their contributions are original, and allowing the community to identify copies and plagiarism via the report flag.
“The copying has had negative consequences for everyone involved.”