Why did Valve get DMCA’d for Counter-Strike: Go?

In shocking news, Valve revealed that they just received a DMCA takedown notice for Counter-Strike: Go. What happened here? Simply put; someone messed up with their community created content.

To be specific, the Howling Dawn sticker and Howl M4A4 designs were plagiarized, as explained by creator CanisAlbus on his Deviantart. This was not created by Steam, but some fans via the game’s community creator tools, in violation of Steam’s own user agreement but without Steam knowing it.

Steam quickly took action on this, banning the creators and cutting all ties with them, as well as replacing the designs with an alternate design made by Steam.

Steam explains their stand on community created items:

When we launched the CS:GO Items Workshop, our goal was to provide artists with a space to share their creative ideas. By design, the Items Workshop has very low friction for artists to submit their work – new contributions do not require Valve review or approval. To ensure that these contributions represent original content, we require that all Workshop contributors sign a legal agreement confirming that their contributions are original. We also enable the community to monitor Workshop submissions and identify copies and plagiarism via the report flag.

All contributors share joint responsibility for the originality of their Workshop submission, and therefore share joint liability for claims of copyright infringement. That is, if two or more artists collaborate on a submission and the submission contains intellectual property that isn’t their own, all artists involved in the submission will share in the consequences.

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