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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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 Cedon Cedon Apr 20, 2009 at 15:09 UTC - 0 likes

    Ace and Curse a pretty much one now Balding. So that would at least give us one good client. And WoWInterface might be persuaded to allow it access too.

    Because neither Curse or WowInterface can give people what they really want. A one-stop use program. WowInterface's client is so bad it makes Windows 3.1 look cutting edge at the moment and Curse's leaves much to be desired.

  • Avatar of balding_ape balding_ape Apr 20, 2009 at 15:06 UTC - 0 likes

    I'm curious: what was so good about WAU? As far as I can tell, it handled fewer addons (only those from Ace), and it had a much, much worse UI. Why do people like it so much? What could it do that the current Curse Client doesn't?

  • Avatar of Cedon Cedon Apr 20, 2009 at 14:40 UTC - 0 likes

    Kaelten: How was WAU unsustainable? You talking about the bandwidth usage to update it? Easy fix there. Have Curse and co simply have their databases have a query that generates an XML file containing the addon, version number, etc. The client side does the same thing. No scanning, nothing.

    Think of it as something along the lines of Gentoo Linux's Portage tree where uses make a query, a difference file is downloaded and shows updates. When they update the tree they rsync the tree with directories and small install files. When they go out to install/update software, it then polls the download site and then pulls the package.

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 20, 2009 at 14:35 UTC - 0 likes

    "If it is getting too expensive to run the site, man-up and say so. Thank everyone for being a part of the Curse.com world and say you have to close it down. But please stop blaming WM."

    How would that be fair to our users and authors if we can avoid it by blocking a harmful parasite.

    "In retrospect, WM was wrong not to ask permission to link up like they did. But they were not costing Curse as much, if at all, as Curse would have us believe."

    Have you completely ignored the #s I've put out. 30% of our traffic dropped the moment we blocked them. Our bandwidth bills are in the tens of thousands monthly, and there is no 'unlimited hosting for $30!' solution that's viable.

    "Curse is 10x more guilty of what they accused WM of. Please base your rebuttals on what WM does now, not what they used to do, thank you."

    No we don't host files that weren't uploaded to us, and we handle takedown requests _very seriously_ in the event someone uploads someone else's work. And regardless up until monday they happily leeched off of us and the other hosting sites without care or remorse.

    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 doncorneo doncorneo Apr 20, 2009 at 07:31 UTC - 0 likes

    I forgot to mention that WM provides links to the Author's home site (when known) and Donation site (when know). CC does neither, and Curse.com does in a few cases. Of AddOns WM linked and the same ones available from Curse, WM linked the Donation sites on around a dozen, Curse linked the Donation site to about 3. WM had direct linking to the Author's home web site, Curse you have to look for it, if it is available at all.

    Curse is 10x more guilty of what they accused WM of. Please base your rebuttals on what WM does now, not what they used to do, thank you.

  • Avatar of doncorneo doncorneo Apr 20, 2009 at 07:24 UTC - 0 likes

    How long before the Premium Membership is launched? That is what all this is really about. Few, if any, users would pay for Curse's Premium Membership when they can use a free and better updater.

    If Curse was suffering problems with revenue before, wait until the door you cracked opens all the way. Curse needs WM client to stay viable, it is the only way to prevent more loss of traffic to your ever precious ads.

    CC does not show any ads at all and it bypasses the site ads the same way WM did, so you can't say WM is keeping users from seeing those ads and preventing you from gaining income from the ads.

    Also, I block those ads, as do a lot of power users. The IP of a lot of those ad companies are blocked on my routers. It is such a pleasure seeing a blank white square/rectangle instead of some bs ads. Get sponsors like nVidia, AMD/ATI, and other PC/MAC component builders/sellers, then I might view them.

    If it is getting too expensive to run the site, man-up and say so. Thank everyone for being a part of the Curse.com world and say you have to close it down. But please stop blaming WM.

    In retrospect, WM was wrong not to ask permission to link up like they did. But they were not costing Curse as much, if at all, as Curse would have us believe. WM is a threat to Curse's Premium Membership and that is what has Curse's panties in a twist.

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 19, 2009 at 22:47 UTC - 0 likes

    "It doesn't recognize them because CC assumes one naming convention."

    Really what code are you talking about? We use a complicated fingerprint system. No naming convention.

    "From what I have been reading many are having trouble the CC. Attacking/insulting this person is inappropriate."

    But many many many more are not having an issue. We have than 800k people using the client every day, we are however going to be focusing a lot of effort of improving stability for the people who are having issues.

    "What continues to fuel the debate is the arrogance displayed by the Curse supporters in it's defense. The offenders don't realize how they are hurting their own cause. There can be no debate with the arrogant, they are irrational. Those in the Curse camp that understand this should try to put a muzzle on them."

    Really? Every time it starts to die down, I get called a liar and a thief and a scoundrel. I doubt it'd be my supporters doing such things.

    "WM provides a service that Curse CANNOT, they have tried, but failed miserably. Until they can provide this service and fulfill 100% of the customer's requirements, then they need to do the right thing, and let the pros handle it. I would much rather have a solid working piece of software than worry about who's bandwidth is who's."

    Of course you would, it's not you who has to out of pocket the thousands of dollars needed to keep their service running.

    And I beg to differ. We've had some false starts with the client due to a variety of issues I have no intention airing, but that does not mean that we 'cannnot' do a good job.

  • Avatar of mxmissile mxmissile Apr 19, 2009 at 20:36 UTC - 0 likes

    WM provides a service that Curse CANNOT, they have tried, but failed miserably. Until they can provide this service and fulfill 100% of the customer's requirements, then they need to do the right thing, and let the pros handle it. I would much rather have a solid working piece of software than worry about who's bandwidth is who's.

  • Avatar of rodbb rodbb Apr 19, 2009 at 19:45 UTC - 0 likes

    "Always? Are you sure about that? You might want to be 100% sure about things before you call people liars."

    It is an embellishment and people see through it.

    "It doesn't recognize them because of WowMatrix. WM alters the addons TOC files and their code in some cases. There's already a link below to a video on how to get it to recognize them."

    It doesn't recognize them because CC assumes one naming convention.

    "This can be disabled. If you really can't find it, you can disable the Curse Profiler addon".

    This is insidious. Why even implement this at all. No user wants this. At the very least it should be disabled as a default.

    "correction - doesn't work for you / you don't know how to use it. It works perfectly fine for others".

    From what I have been reading many are having trouble the CC. Attacking/insulting this person is inappropriate. I don't see that many having trouble with the WM client. Even now it works great. Updates 75% of my addons and the rest there is a link that takes me right to the download page.

    "If you really were paying attention, you would know that they are getting better. Do you have some magic pixie dust that you would like to share? Besides, with such hostility, and since you're claiming you will never use them anyway, why should we make them better for you? ;)"

    Cut the sarcasm and address his point.

    "Okay. Go ahead and boycott all addons from Curse and WoWInterface".

    What continues to fuel the debate is the arrogance displayed by the Curse supporters in it's defense. The offenders don't realize how they are hurting their own cause. There can be no debate with the arrogant, they are irrational. Those in the Curse camp that understand this should try to put a muzzle on them.

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 19, 2009 at 17:54 UTC - 0 likes

    Cedon: Switching from one unsustainable solution to and older unsustainable solution doesn't fix anything.

Facts

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

Author