Curse and WoWInterface working together to help protect our authors and other site-users

Recently Curse and WoWInterface got together to come up with a solution for an ongoing problem. The problem in question is WowMatrix. The reasons they are a problem are many:

  • WowMatrix violates author copyright and intellectual property rights:
    • They redistribute addons without authors' permissions;
    • When they first started they would scrape the legimate sites for addons then upload them to their own site in addition to deep-linking from the sites;
    • They edited authors' files to remove donation requests and links to their home sites, etc.; and
    • They have failed on many occasions to honour authors' requests to remove addons from their application;
  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date. This leads to authors having users complain about bugs, bugs that were fixed days or weeks ago in versions that are available on the legitimate sites, causing problems for both the authors and for the end-users;
  • Until the community raised a hue and cry, WowMatrix didn't even supply the authors' names as to who wrote the addon, let alone provide a link to where the addon was legitimately hosted;
  • WowMatrix leeches from the legitimate hosting sites without permission, let alone compensation. Originally, they scraped our sites so they could upload addons to their own site without permission, in addition to deeplinking from our sites. They have finally stopped hosting the addons on their own site, but they still deeplink from our sites, using our resources to run their program. Curse and WoWInterface use a lot of bandwidth every month which costs a lot of money. The way we pay our bills is through site ads, which are directly dependent on users viewing them, and premium memberships. WowMatrix bypasses our download pages, and, as a result, people are not viewing the ads. Of course, this means the ads aren't generating any revenue to pay for the bandwidth. At the rate they were going, if they were allowed to continue using our resources without any compensation, they were going to drive us right out of business. Not only are they stealing our bandwidth and preventing us from being able to recoup that loss, they also have their own ads all over their site and application. They are directly profiting from the stolen bandwidth; and
  • Due to the massive resource drains they put on our sites, we have all experienced heightened loads and weaker performance, especially on patch days. During those days they download so much from our sites that sometimes we have a hard time keeping up to the demands; thus causing legitimate users to experience problems accessing our sites. That's just flat out unacceptable.

For months now, both sites and multiple authors have been trying to come up with solutions to the problems caused by WowMatrix. However, WowMatrix just keeps ignoring authors' requests to remove their addons from their application, working around the protections we have put in place, and proving repeatedly that they have no intention of ever becoming responsible, legitimate members of the community. Instead, they choose to continue to leech off the community. Well we, Curse and WowInterface, have gotten together and between us we believe we may have found a solution to prevent them from pulling authors' addons from our sites to redistribute without permission and stealing our bandwidth any longer. Unfortunately we cannot release details on the solution, so as to keep it viable.

"Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah, get to the important question: What does this mean for me, your sites' user?" For the majority of users it should be completely transparent, you should not notice any difference whatsoever, other than improved site responsiveness during patch days. We hope that we will be able to revert the changes made to our sites eventually, if WowMatrix ever stops violating authors' copyright and ceases stealing our bandwidth and other resources.

If you were previously using WowMatrix to keep your addons updated, please use our official updaters (Curse, WoWInterface). You may also mark addons as favorites on both WoWInterface and Curse in order to be alerted when they are updated.

Kaelten
Administrator, Curse & WowAce

Cairenn
Administrator, WoWInterface

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  • Avatar of FaustusX FaustusX May 12, 2009 at 14:17 UTC - 0 likes

    The sad thing is that when providers fight like this, everybody loses. The users lose, the addon authors lose, everyone, because instead of collaborating to provide a better experience for all, people divide into camps, and those camps each provide only a portion of the resources and support to the community that the whole could have provided. How many of us have a favorite addon (mine is LightHeaded) that's not supported by Curse Client? So, now, we have to manually update addons because people are drawn into camps. Furthermore, all parties in this have different public versions of the events....WowMatrix claims that they tried to resolve this situation and that they offered to help pay for the bandwidth they used. Their reasoning on their approach seemed logical. http://www.wowmatrix.com/faq/site-updates.html

    One thing I've heard; never chalk up to conspiracy what can be explained by misunderstanding, or stupidity. I seriously doubt the wowmatrix guys tried to create a mess or intentionally tried to screw people. Most folks don't act that way. Most folks just get confused and forget to look at a bigger picture.

    I don't care who's right or wrong in this disagreement, at this point, I cannot even tell who's perspective is closer to what actually happened, or if someone is bald-faced lying to me. The GPL doesn't really come into play, because if you read it, there's nothing that says you *have* to distribute software you use, if you *do* distribute software, you must include your changes and you must include source. So, Curse and anyone else can host a GPL addon and they don't have to use their bandwidth to share it with anyone...the GPL was designed to let people use software, and to ensure the sharing of new ideas and intellectual property, not to control behavior.

    By drawing lines in the sand with each other, fighting over audience, and not collaborating, the various sites are limiting their ability to serve us, the community, and are forcing us to pick and choose as well. Its a losing, high cost struggle that ultimately demonstrates IMO a short-sighted understanding of customers.

    IMO, the owners of the various add-on sites could probably better serve their users if they rethought this strategy and decided to provide the consumers, us, with the broadest, best supply of resources possible, by working together.

  • Avatar of Brimmstone Brimmstone May 10, 2009 at 13:28 UTC - 0 likes

    @ burcakb: Go to Tools, Options, and uncheck "Automatically install Curse Client updates".

  • Avatar of burcakb burcakb May 09, 2009 at 06:07 UTC - 0 likes

    I wont go into the GPL stuff. My problem isnt with the decision to disable wowmatrix. I completely understand the point of the admins & respect that.

    My problem is CURSE IS ACTING IN NO DIFFFERENT WAY. Curse client updates itself. Without asking me. It also ninjaenables information gathering options that i had SPECIFICALLY disabled. In short, in my eyes curse client is leechware & no different that wowmatrix.

    I can understand that hosting these addons takes a lot of money and that has to be taken care of in some way. I can understand ads etc. I cannot understand and do not look kindly into software sneaking extras onto my pc without my explicit knowledge & approval.

    Until curse comes up with a client that doesnt sneak around my back AND MAKES IT CLEAR IT CHANGED, i'm going to be downloading manually via web & cursing (pun intended) every single time.

  • Avatar of Dlougach Dlougach May 05, 2009 at 20:42 UTC - 0 likes

    free software != open source

  • Avatar of movix movix May 05, 2009 at 15:32 UTC - 0 likes

    Just incredible to see how much ppl are putting so much energy in arguing against something legitim and normal in the only aim to preserve their lassyness.

    Just incredible to see how agressive ppl get when they have to pay for something they want to have and the reasons they find to explain to the providers that they have to continue their free service.

    Curse and WI are doing a great job and this for years; WM leeches and that's definitively not ok.

    Honestly, i do not agree that Blizzard remains so possesive among the addon authors community instead of trying to start an "Authorized Addon Developer" programm in order to preserve their wishes without blaming authors. How many addOn author provided ideas that blizzard has build in, that's leeching too! And why do authors of addons used by a majority of wow gamers do not deserve something for their work ?

  • Avatar of Brimmstone Brimmstone May 04, 2009 at 18:49 UTC - 0 likes

    @oryriss: If there is anybody here that needs to learn to read, it's the people at dvhardware.net. Blizzard's UI policy can be found here: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/policy/ui.html

    Please note that the term open-source used. It merely states that the code must be visible and not obfuscated. Again, just because something is clearly visible does not mean you have any rights to it. You can go to any library, copy a clearly readable book and start distributing it, but you'll find yourself on the wrong side of a courtroom soon enough.

  • Avatar of osyriss osyriss May 04, 2009 at 04:56 UTC - 0 likes

    Only 2 things to say:

    1) learn to read. http://www.dvhardware.net/article34771.html

    2) Learn about open source: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    that is all

  • Avatar of honem honem May 02, 2009 at 03:08 UTC - 0 likes

    @Aries66

    It was never about the clients. It was all about the bandwidth wowmatrix wasted in the operation of it's program. Bandwidth that wasn't being recouped in advertising or page impressions. There was a significant reduction in traffic after they did this. Saving them thousands of dollars of money that they can now spend on better things.

    BANDWIDTH IS NOT FREE BRO

  • Avatar of honem honem May 02, 2009 at 03:04 UTC - 0 likes

    @balding_ape

    I may have to correct you on a few points there old bean.

    1) Most addons aren't released under a GPL or Open source License. There was a forum thread on the O. Forums petitioning authors to do so. The consensus was that for 90% of the authors who posted there don't have a GPL or Open source license on their addons.

    2) Openly readable code != (is not) open source. Open source software is covered by a specific license an author has to agree to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_software

    Is interesting reading here.

    3) Wowmatrix can host addons on their own server sure. But only if they have the authors permission to do so. 70% of most addon authors out there categorically won't ever give wowmatrix permission to do so because of their past history with addon authors. That and they don't offer the author any tools to manage their addons

  • Avatar of daxdax daxdax Apr 30, 2009 at 18:44 UTC - 0 likes

    As a user - Wowmatrix worked on windows 2000. Curse client doesn't. As a developer - Wowmatrix for reasons unknown kept downloading an old version of my mods, leading people to complain to me how my mods suck.

Facts

Date created
Apr 13, 2009
Last updated
Apr 13, 2009

Author