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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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

You must login to post a comment. Don't have an account? Register to get one!

  • Avatar of Cedon Cedon Apr 19, 2009 at 15:57 UTC - 0 likes

    Kaelten:

    So if WowMatrix is so bad, why not bring back WoWAceUpdater? It is because WAU got killed that most of us switched to WowMatrix in the first place.

  • Avatar of tgwtpt tgwtpt Apr 19, 2009 at 14:38 UTC - 0 likes

    Seerah: ad 1: My point was the "wowmatrix seems to understand their rights wrt Free Software" part. If they previously hosted proprietary addons without permission, that's a different thing.

    ad 2: No, I didn't trust their installer. What part of "never any" was unclear? I previously used curse's "manual download" option.

    ad 3: I did read it, so what? My only issue was/is that "protecting themselves" causes such a fallout (no site accessible without a graphical browser, ace nagging @every downlad with a captcha, curse completely unusable without JS)

  • Avatar of Seerah Seerah Apr 19, 2009 at 02:57 UTC - 0 likes
    "Sorry, but those 'facts' you are giving for taking down WoWMatrix are just a big cruel lie. First of all, WoWMatrix had always a link to the Authors Page, the Authors name and the Source where it came from in its Information Window of the Addon."

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

    "it doesn't even recognises the Addons accurate enough to update at least 75% of them!"

    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.

    "Also, i dont want an Addon Updater to be gathering information about my Character O.o"

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

    "Why do i have to use and PAY for updating my Addons using your Clients?"

    You don't. They're free.

    "(btw. the WoWInterface updater must be a joke, it doesn't even work properly) Thats just insane!"

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

    "Give us WoWMatrix back, or at least make your pile of shit updaters more comfortable for users which are not just using Addons from Curse OR from WoWInterfaces -.- And no, i will NEVER install that shitty Curse Client ever again!"

    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? ;)

    "fantamichi, who is deinstalling all addons at the moment which were hosted on Curse"

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

  • Avatar of fantamichi fantamichi Apr 19, 2009 at 02:34 UTC - 0 likes

    Sorry, but those 'facts' you are giving for taking down WoWMatrix are just a big cruel lie. First of all, WoWMatrix had always a link to the Authors Page, the Authors name and the Source where it came from in its Information Window of the Addon. Then, why are you taking down a product which was perfectly working, updating ALL of my Addons with the most up-to-date version? Sorry but your Curse Client is just a big pile of shit in comparaison to WoWMatrix -.- it doesn't even recognises the Addons accurate enough to update at least 75% of them! Also, i dont want an Addon Updater to be gathering information about my Character O.o And the most important thing why WoWMatrix was better then your pile of shit Client is, it updated all of my addons, no matter on which site they were hosted, no matter if a client for that page existed or not! Why do i have to use and PAY for updating my Addons using your Clients? (btw. the WoWInterface updater must be a joke, it doesn't even work properly) Thats just insane!

    Give us WoWMatrix back, or at least make your pile of shit updaters more comfortable for users which are not just using Addons from Curse OR from WoWInterfaces -.- And no, i will NEVER install that shitty Curse Client ever again!

    fantamichi, who is deinstalling all addons at the moment which were hosted on Curse

  • Avatar of Seerah Seerah Apr 19, 2009 at 00:30 UTC - 0 likes

    @Tearstar:

    /clap /clap /clap Congratulations for taking that post out of context and entirely disregarding the date it was posted on and the issues/discussions within the community at that time.

    That post isn't about wowmatrix at all. That post is about Blizzard's UI AddOn Development Policy (made public on 3-19), discussions about authors and donations, and WoWInterface/Curse creating more visible donate buttons for authors on the sites (WoWI's was released on 3-24 - one day before that author's blog post).

    edit: besides - no one said WM was hurting the authors' pockets.

  • Avatar of balding_ape balding_ape Apr 18, 2009 at 18:38 UTC - 0 likes

    Tearstar, your last post was not even coherent.

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

    taken as a direct quote from the author of an addon in his blog, I have removed the addon name but rest assured it is a majorly used addon, very popular as shown here by curse's count, and this blog post by the author was made on Tuesday, March 25, 2009

    Downloads Today: 12,629 Downloads Total: 8,177,616

    "I had a PayPal donate button on the Curse.com page of 'MyMod' for about a year. The total amount of money that was donated there over this year was $60. Thanks to everyone who donated! But that's still just $5 a month, not even enough to pay for a World of Warcraft account. . . But it's very hard for me to imagine that any addon author ever earned nearly enough money from such a donation button to live from it. I don't want to say that donation buttons for addons in the game are pathetic, but are a few bucks per month really worth "defacing" the GUI of an addon? Addon authors are still free to ask for donations on their own web page or on Curse.com. Another way of earning money from an addon is using ads like we do on this page here. The revenue from the ads on this page is sufficient to pay for the server this page is hosted on, but not even nearly high enough to live from it."

    sounds like wowmatrix is really hurting the "AUTHORS" pocket, *scoff*, *cough*, *chuckle*, *snicker* I'm not sure that many addon authors are griping about wowmatrix, as I said, Im an author and I would rather someone use wowmatrix get mine for free, and use my work and be happy about it, then any other option . . . To me it's all about getting it out there . . .

    Too many fly by night addons to seach and browse . . . my case closed

    So in the end . . . as it has been put . . . I see this whole thing hurting one group of people . . . the ones making money off other peoples "FREELY AVAILABLE" work, and when did me hosting some addons mean I would get that much traffic, I could host it for my guild, or my friends, I don't have to spend the money or resources to promote my site, if the bandwidth gets that high, I either take it down, or I spend my own money to upgrade my system . . . If I can't compete, I shut down . . . easy.

    complaining about someone, giving away a free product, freely when you are trying to make money from it is in my opinion, stupid, childish, and greedy and shows me in no way do you care about the end user

  • Avatar of Seerah Seerah Apr 18, 2009 at 17:26 UTC - 0 likes
    1. I wouldn't say most. Maybe 30% are.
    2. That's your problem. ;) If you trusted WM, why not trust Curse or WoWI?
    3. I'm going to assume that you at *least* read the post by Kaelten directly below yours, and just shake my head.
  • Avatar of tgwtpt tgwtpt Apr 18, 2009 at 16:57 UTC - 0 likes

    1. Last time I checked, most addons were either Free Software or public domain. So in most cases wowmatrix (as well as everyone else) was given explicit permission to host the addons on their own site. The wowmatrix FAQ states they host addons "as requested by their authors, or those released with free distribution rights" on their site, which indicates they understand this. It's not their fault if someone puts his code under (L)GPL whithout realizing the GPL is an elaborate "screw intellectual property" scheme.

    2. The recent change has made curse.com completely unusable to me, as I never allow any website to run any code on my computer. (The wow addons themselves are obviously an exception, as I trust blizzard to have gotten their sandboxing right.) Thankfully wowace and wowinterface only made using their website more annoying.

    3. Of course, deeplinking your files when you've told them "don't" is ethically wrong, and I symphathize with you. I'd just whish you'd stop them without the fallout in 2.

  • Avatar of Kaelten Kaelten Apr 18, 2009 at 05:56 UTC - 0 likes

    f this was _any_ resource situation that directly affected you in real life you'd do the _exact_ same thing and after all other options failed you'd stop your resource from being taken.

    What would you do in our situation that we haven't done if someone was taking something from you?

    • We asked them to stop.
    • We informed their users.
    • We tried to negotiate with them.
    • We even tried to pay them for their work and purchase the software.

    In the end we had no choice but to protect ourselves, our legitimate users, and our authors.

    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

Facts

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

Author