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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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 Kaelten Kaelten Apr 14, 2009 at 18:52 UTC - 0 likes

    xtoq: it does prevent some revenue, but a pageview is still a worthwhile thing for a site to have as it adds intrinsic value.

    d_town: I understand why people use wowmatrix. I don't argue that they fill a need and present a good product. Their business model however is non sustainable. We're not a multi billion dollar company with other revenue streams to cover this one's losses.

    hunding: it will continue to improve, you have my word.

    WowAce.com & CurseForge.com Adminstrator
    Check out my new addon, OneChoice, it helps you pick quest rewards faster.
    Developer of Ace3, OneBag3, and many other addons and libraries
    Project lead and Mac developer for the Curse Client

  • Avatar of hunding hunding Apr 14, 2009 at 18:45 UTC - 0 likes

    I used WoWMatrix because until recently, there was no Mac Curse client. When I tried the Mac Curse client a couple months ago, it was a buggy windows port, so I stuck with WoWMatrix. The latest version seems better, but still doesn't seem quite there.

  • Avatar of D_Town D_Town Apr 14, 2009 at 18:27 UTC - 0 likes

    It's simple really. I use wowmatrix because I don't want to have to deal with a bunch of bullshit when I'm updating addons. It's the same reason I used wow ace updater back in the day.

    I want a program that I can open whenever I want, and I want to press one button to keep it updated. I don't want to deal with logins or remembering them, I don't want to deal with registering, and I don't want to deal with ads that I can't block. The curse client is bloatware.

    I don't use wowmatrix out of spite. It simply works, it's easy like wow ace updater used to be. That's all I want.

    In the end, you aren't really "protecting the author" you're forcing people to go through specific channels so they can generate more ad revenue. You're screwing us over for money, and who could blame you? I'd probably do the same thing. I hate you for this, but I understand - this shit isn't free for you.

    I do have a solution for you though. Re-create the ease of use of wowmatrix, and sell it. I'll buy it if it's reasonable. I just want easy.

    EDIT I just wanted to let you guys know that despite all of this I'm giving the curse client another shot. The newest version looks promising compared to the initial release which is what I had tried before. I'm not ready to say that this is a replacement for wow ace updater or even wowmatrix, but the newest version of the curse client might be worth a shot for some of you.

  • Avatar of xtoq xtoq Apr 14, 2009 at 18:16 UTC - 0 likes

    If you block ads with Ad Block Plus or something similar, does the website still lose out on revenue? I was under the impression you get one revenue stream for page vists, and another if users click on the ads. Am I correct? Because if what adamb10 says is true, I imagine that neither of those sites get much revenue from visitors, since many surfers use some sort of ad blocker.

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 14, 2009 at 17:56 UTC - 0 likes

    actually using curse's site is much better on our bandwidth than using wowmatrix. Between the scraping and bursting their solution was much rougher on our servers.

    The curse client however beats both out for efficiency.

  • Avatar of adamb10 adamb10 Apr 14, 2009 at 17:49 UTC - 0 likes

    If by doing this you're trying to force people to use the Curse Client you failed pretty hard:

    Having to goto Curse's site directly to download addons is more bandwidth consuming than wowmatrix.

    Those ads you place on curse? I block them with ad-block plus so you dont earn revenue from me.

    Having a program pull files from a site is less bandwidth consuming than a user going to the site loading all the graphics and stuff.

    Theres another updater(WUU) I'll use over the Curse Client.

  • Avatar of smurfy smurfy Apr 14, 2009 at 14:28 UTC - 0 likes

    ckknight. on curseforge i only found a flash variant, but thats better than the way it works on curse. i can just click on the flash element and noscript enables only the flash movie.

    on curse you have to enable js for the whole site to get the flash movie. i know the captcha for non js but thats even worse :D (than flash).

    but most of the time i use curseforge, because most function on curse requires js anyway.

    i think the flash variant is great. almost all users have flash, and the flash elements are nicely integrated into the site.

    its really sad you are forced to do such things in the first place. (shame on wowmatrix)

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 14, 2009 at 14:05 UTC - 0 likes

    Kunda, we agree that having to do it is stupid, however, it's sadly necessary. Please read above as to why.

  • Avatar of kunda kunda Apr 14, 2009 at 12:24 UTC - 0 likes

    Please remove this recaptcha.net/JavaScript CRAP to download files from wowace.com asap, thanks!
    What a plain stupid idea.

  • Avatar of ckknight ckknight Apr 14, 2009 at 11:41 UTC - 0 likes

    smurfy, no, we don't. If you don't have flash, you can fill in a captcha (doesn't require javascript, either) to download.

Facts

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

Author