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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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 balding_ape balding_ape Apr 18, 2009 at 00:16 UTC - 0 likes

    Tearstar, if Walmart did what WM does, they would be arrested. This would be like Walmart stealing every 3rd supply truck that Kmart paid for and selling it themselves. You have no fucking clue how this business works. What's worse, you don't even recognize what is good for your own community health. You could host these files? HAHAHA. Yeah, I'm sure your connection could handle a few million downloads per day. Your little PC could serve all those pages, all those files, no problem.

  • Avatar of Tearstar Tearstar Apr 17, 2009 at 23:17 UTC - 0 likes

    So that is the cost of doing business . . .

    If Company A has a "distribution" center for addons. . . which WowUI, WowInterface, Curse all are. much like Aomeisoft, is "A" distributor of Warcraft, but they are not the only distributor of warcaft

    and company B comes along and figures out that they can aquire the same product and distribute by online means, well then it is up to Company A to do something to compete with Company B . . . I'm sorry but it is business . . . Wal-Mart shuts down smaller stores all the time, and the small store can whine and complain all they want, but if the owner doesn't want their product available to the small store is should be up to the owner to have the product pulled . . .

    Look at embed, rss feeds, ftp, and the like . . . if you have something online, you have to take steps to safeguard that stuff, if you want to make money off something "you" the distribtor of the product need to figure out a way to appeal to more people than Company B . .

    It's just another sign to me that it's all about the money and who cares if the product is available to the enduser.

    Blocking WoWMatrix will definately lessen your bandwidth use, cause you will have less people downloading from you, and more people hosting the files freely

    Hell, I can setup a website from my home and host the files if I need to, and won't cost me a dime. Or I can create them into torrents and submit them to torrent share sites . . . any way you look at it, if you want to make money on something online, then spend the money to compete, or spend the money to encrypt . . . don't block, give us freedom of choice, I choose not to look at your ads, or donate, or any of that, I choose free access, I could even have my brother email me the files . . . you gonna block yahoo too???

    If your client sucks, and in my opinion it does, and a better one comes out, then you just have to make yours better, and then I will come back. I'm sure many people don't have the original email they first got online . . . You switch to another company who gives you more or better, maybe with fewer or no ads, so WoWUI, Curse . . . stop whining, blocking and start investing some of our donated moneies and give us what we want, if you would like it to be from your "store" then you have to do something better to attract me,

    I shop Target . . . how would wal-mart take from them . . .

    you need to think the same way

  • Avatar of rodbb rodbb Apr 17, 2009 at 21:57 UTC - 0 likes

    3of9, they don't have to do a better job on the client side. As long as they have a monopoly on the addons they don't need to compete with WowMatrix's client. You will not see an app that doesn't run in the background, require registration or actually work, perfectly.

    Mac users, you can forget a Macintosh application. What you are getting is an wxWidgets app, a port of the windows app with the UI and usability as an afterthought. Again, they don't have to do it right. They have a monopoly and no incentive to put more resources into it.

    And hey, Curse has a page of blue posts on their website. Could Curse actually be "leeching" and "scraping" this information from Blizzard's website and reposting it on it's own, complete with advertisements?

  • Avatar of ckknight ckknight Apr 17, 2009 at 21:15 UTC - 0 likes

    For anyone having issues converting from WowMatrix to the Curse Client: http://www.curse.com/articles/curse-en-news/447600.aspx

  • Avatar of ullho ullho Apr 17, 2009 at 18:16 UTC - 0 likes

    hey has any of you wow matrix hating people stopped to think its not wow matrix u hate, but the people that use it because really your complaining basicaly about not getting customers anymore, well sorry to say people go to what they like and if they like this better then why dont u try to do something like it but maybe with some teaks to make it better and more appealing cuz i mean the adverage person who plays wow just wants a quick easy way to get their addons up to date. its not like they are going "i hate curse" or what ever and are going out of their way to not go to you, so stop and think about that when dissing wow matrix, your doing is just alienating yourselves.

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

    Laren, If it's the same problem I had, open config.wic in the install directory and change the path to wow.

  • Avatar of Laren Laren Apr 17, 2009 at 17:50 UTC - 0 likes

    How can I get the WoWInterface Updater to work? All I get when starting it is an error saying that it cannot find the JRE, although I have the newest Java Runtime Environment installed. System: Vista 64bit SP1 Is there a fix or do I have to wait until the new version is released?

  • Avatar of Borhast Borhast Apr 17, 2009 at 13:55 UTC - 0 likes

    @rsavoie

    It costs money to host a site like curse, so they have to make money to cover that and even more to make a profit of it, WM reduces that profit by being a parasite so they block them (there is no such thing as unlimited or free bandwidth), I really don't see that as any threat to a free market.

    And you can believe what you want, I do disable AdBlock for the sites I want to support and trust (most of those has nothing to do with wow tho), and yes I do click ads I find interesting in some way.

    What Brimmstone says about the parasitic nature of WM makes total sense to me, and with wowinterfaces and curses own updaters, there isn't any reason to use WM at all as far as I'm concerned.

    Skipping the ads is something that's been done since ads started popping up on TV back in the 50's, people went to get a beer or a cup of coffee when the ads came on, so there's nothing new about that, the people making and using ads are well aware of this, but there will always be some looking at ads, so they keep producing and using them. Ads still increases profit.

    Like you I dislike monopoly's, but I hardly think curse has one, I prefer WoWI as an example, I think they have a better organization of mods so stuff is easier to find. WoWI also have useful RSS feeds which circumvents ads but also saves on their bandwidth. So there are useful alternatives to Curse, which means the are not cornering the market. They might be the most popular alternative, but that's not a monopoly.

    And if Blizzard takes over the distribution of addons (which I find highly doubtful) they'll host them too, that's implied in "taking over the distribution" so I don't really see that as any sticking point.

  • Avatar of Brimmstone Brimmstone Apr 17, 2009 at 13:23 UTC - 0 likes

    @rsavoie: The difference is that Firefox and Safari are browsers. They are merely displaying the content of the web server. They are not bypassing the ads that are on the pages in order to insert their own. Google is not a parasite as they're not delivering the content themselves, just helping you find it. Google is still redirecting you to the original page content.

    Parasite: noun
    1. an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.
    2. a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.

    WowMatrix is absolutely parasite. They are building a product that is designed to make money that uses resources that they don't own. The folks over at WM can jump up and down all they want about how they created it for themselves and just want to share but the fact of the matter is that it contains ads, and there's only one reason to contain ads, and that's to make money.

    Honestly, I don't think that Blizzard wants to get into addon distribution. If they were to take that over they'd have to insert themselves in the support chain for a whole bunch of 3rd party modifications. It's a whole lot a work for very little return.

    At the end of the day, content delivery is all about making money. It doesn't matter if it's TV, radio, online distibution, etc. None of it is free. Either advertisers are going to pay for the delivery (which is why you can listen to the radio for free) or you're going to have to pay for the content (as like XM or Sirius).

    I think the one thing that we can all agree on is that WM was successful because they found an underserved market and created a tool to server those people. The problem was the way they went about it. If WM was providing a tool to update only addons that they actually hosted we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

    On a side note: WM's FAQ says that they would be willing to host addons on their own servers if bandwidth is a problem. I wonder if anybody has run a packet-sniffer to see if an addon is hosted in multiple locations if it actually pulls from WM's server or another one. I wouldn't be surprised if they hosted it just so they could say they do, and yet kept the client downloading from another location.

  • Avatar of ullho ullho Apr 17, 2009 at 09:32 UTC - 0 likes

    pardon me if i am abit ignorant but i have never , nor will i ever click on an add or a banner on anyones website, also i think if people CHOOSE to make an addon it shouldnt matter how people get it, because YOU CHOOSE to make it, hopefully to make the game better, but if you did CHOOSE to make an addon for wealth and fame then perhaps blizzards new stand on charging for addons might give u a clue that you aught not be making money off blizzard, and also isnt the curse client much the same as wowmatrix? granted its been forever since i used it cuz it tended to be a resource hog and wow is not.

Facts

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

Author