What to do about Valve's recent fan project takedowns

Urich Lawson | valve

from Black Mesa To what was recently launched Portal: RevolutionValve has a reputation for being very willing to let modders run wild with new creations based on its popular games. Recently, though, a series of legal threats and takedowns of fan projects related to Valve have some concerned that… half life The manufacturer is following the path of Nintendo in strictly enforcing its intellectual property rights against projects and modifications that it considers to be infringing.

While there are differences between the situations that led to three recent fan project takedowns, there are also some similarities that point to specific types of fan projects attracting Valve's legal attention these days.

What happened so far?

Valve's latest effort began last week, when the company sent a DMCA takedown request to Amber programa team of volunteers looking to reshape aging Castle Team 2 In Valve's more modern Source 2 engine. DMCA Notice, as well Published on Amper's GitHubfocuses on the team's use of “TF2 Origins [that] transferred to source 2 without permission” and “unauthorized transfer and redistribution of Valve assets without authorization, [which] It violates Valve's IP.”

S&box YouTuber Eridium discusses Castle Team 2 Source 2 Takedown.

In subsequent social media posts, the Amper team said so He confirmed that the DMCA request was real And He said It was the “nail in the coffin” of a project that was already having problems. Problems with the new version started Back in Septemberwhen Facepunch's S&box (Sandbox) platform (Which Amper was using to build TF2 Announce source port 2). A “big retooling” is coming For client/server architecture and entity-based coding environment.

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At that time, Team Ember I reacted to those changes Saying that they are “postponing our efforts until the future of s&box becomes clearer and more stable…for us at Amper Software, it may be time to explore new ideas.” This situation has not changed over the past week, when Amp Certain The project had already “generally moved on” even before the DMCA request.

“We can't return it, and we've brought it to Valve's attention. It seems like they definitely don't want us using their IP (which is completely fair and legal of them),” Amber said.

Gate 64

In the days following the removal of TF2 Source 2, another high-profile Valve fan project was quickly halted. As we reported last week, the “demake” project outlet The Nintendo 64 console was removed after “contact from Valve” over concerns that “the project relies on Nintendo's proprietary libraries.”

Gate 64 Developer James Lambert talks about why Valve shouldn't be blamed for the recent takedown.

The use of Nintendo's libultra development library meant that “the project was probably doomed from the beginning”. Gate 64 Creator James Lambert he said in a YouTube video Posted over the weekend. “I can't say I didn't expect this at some point,” he continued. “I don't blame [Valve] Not at all, and I don't think you should either. “Don't be mad at Valve here.”

While Lambert said Gate 64 It might still one day be ported to an open source N64 environment like libdragon, and he added that he (and Valve) probably wouldn't want to risk even that without Nintendo's explicit approval. “I don't think Valve wants to explore the legal sphere of what happens when a big company backs a project that's an unlicensed game for another big company's console, even if it's 30 years old…”

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“It makes sense for Valve to ask me to stop the project,” he added. “I may not be a big enough target for Nintendo to go after, but Valve is…”

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