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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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 Tearstar Tearstar Apr 16, 2009 at 20:33 UTC - 0 likes

    I agree with rsavoie . . . as a matter of fact, I went to update my QuestHelper and low and behond, the author put a link to a torrent . . . super fast download and no need for the curse client.

    Well played Questhelper

  • Avatar of rsavoie rsavoie Apr 16, 2009 at 20:30 UTC - 0 likes

    To DigitalSorceress:

    You accuse me of "treat[ing] curse and wowinterface like they owe [me] something." An interesting point. I never claimed they owed me anything. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. However, they certainly owe the content creators the service of hosting the apps and making them available to users. That is their stated mission. And that is where they often fail, and I believe they are failing again here.

    Curse creates an explicit contract with the content creator: let us host your stuff here and we will make it available to anybody who wants it so you don't have to maintain a server or web page. Fine. They are hurting the content creators as much as the users by engaging in the ridiculous pissing match.

    Taking a step back from this whole mess I can see one very clear way to reduce the bandwidth load and improve service for everyone: create a torrent-style client for distributing addons. That way everybody wins!

    R

  • Avatar of Tearstar Tearstar Apr 16, 2009 at 19:29 UTC - 0 likes

    Ok . . . put on your reading glasses cause after dealing with my local government office . . . I'm ready for this discussion now.

    Wow Matrix IMO is similar to any ftp client, telnet client, email software . . . you can access files through a "back door" or another means than through the main portal. I have used WowMatrix for bulk updating after a patch such as the one we are going through. It's alot easier to have wowmatrix change the Interface number to match, rather than surfing, searching for, blocking the ads, downloading and manually installing, just to get a number change in one line of one file. Yes you able to download the files without going to the sites and it works. WowMatrix is similar to WoW AddOns . . . it makes it easier for you to get to the content you need in a more efficient and well presented way.

    According to your arguements than I would assume any addon that changes a frame, or removes or adds buttons to a frame should be banned in much the same way you are talking, if it allows you to bypass a few buttons or screens then its theft?

    Stealing bandwidth? If anything they are saving you bandwidth . . . Person A is looking for WowAddOn1 and uses wowMatrix, he clicks update it downloads the files only and installs them locally, (bandwidth used = file size downloaded) . . . now PlayerB is looking for the same addon and starts looking on Curse, now (bandwidth == file size downloaded, ads, picures, sounds, flash, etc, etc, etc) . . . Bandwidth stolen MINE!!!!!

    If anything we should charge these sites for using our bandwidth, which some isps charge according to bandwidth usage.

    I do also browse Curse, WowInterface, WowWiki, and a few of the other addon libraries out ther, and I do download and install addons manually, have I ever donated? No, have I ever clicked an ad? No, How long have I been playing Warcraft and using addons, better part of 2 years . . . so you call me a thief cause I've never downloaded, I've never clicked an ad . . . maybe not, but I have posted about bugs, I have suggested your addon to friends, I have even helped to mod, update and adapt a few, not only that but I may have used one of your addons to help another player in a raid . . .

    So I pay you with praise, promotion, advertising, usage, quality control, and you "want" me to pay you money, or click on an ad that could hurt my system, and block me from any other source just cause 1 out 100 people click donate, yet 1 in 2 use the addon due to friends suggesting, and posts of people saying "what's that addon on?" or "Does anyone know of an addon that does so and so . . ."

    I think many addon authors (I being a new one in this group) need to ask themselves,

    1.) Is it more important to make the few dollars I do, or have more people using my addon?

    2.) Why did I originally design, develop or code the addon? Was I looking to get paid then?

    3.) If Im coding this addon for the end user, then shouldn't I give the end user what they want, "especially" if I want money.

    4.) I buy groceries at the grocery store, what if they banned Frosted Flakes cause it was being bought at some other store?

    5.) What if Blizzard takes my idea and includes it in the next patch? How will I make my money that way, cause I can't fight them, and it is their copyrighted game . . . .

    In the long run, I speak from both sides . . . Addons that have been around for a long time such as "Auctioneer" "Fubar" "Perl" etc, I applaude and wish I could donate, you put so much work into something that I get enjoyment from, You keep it updated, and I know come next patch . . . a day or two later most of the bugs will be worked out.

    But there are so many addons out there, many small, under 100 lines, never updated, never respons to bug reports, outdated, broke, etc that it's a pain to find, DL, install and then uninstall if you don't like or it's broke.

    I love WowMatrix I have used it for years, but I also use the other means . . . I would like to see the authors get together and find a mutual agreement.

    BTW - WowMatrix does give you a link to the addons page, gives credit to the authors and has the updates ready pretty quickly

    Why don't we applaud WowMatrix for the great work they have done on the development of their delivery system and realize that wowmatrix might be the next YouTube. We can go on doing as we are doing, developing our addons and appreciative of the ones who donate.

    If you really want to get around Blizz's new policy and the whole wowmatrix, ad revenue, and general income thing, why not offere advanced support for your addon by way of subscription. then you pay for beta updates, accelerated response to issues, etc

    Let's get along and enjoy WoW

  • Avatar of rodbb rodbb Apr 16, 2009 at 19:11 UTC - 0 likes

    wxWidgets means it isn't really important and you just want a quick port.

    The best you can achieve here is just a functional app hindered by it's UI.

    You might learn something here: http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/index.html

    But, you are getting the users right where you want them so none of this matters.

  • Avatar of wakarimasen wakarimasen Apr 16, 2009 at 18:47 UTC - 0 likes

    I am now addon free because I don't trust Curse and nobody has worked around your flash buttons yet. Blizzard's inventory UI sucks :(

  • Avatar of DigitalSorceress DigitalSorceress Apr 16, 2009 at 18:05 UTC - 0 likes

    rsavoie,

    Yes, sure, you have as much of a right to choose as Curse and Wowinterface have to decide what they will allow.

    You treat curse and wowinterface like they owe you something.

    When's the last time you donated to an addon? When's the last time you wrote an addon? When's the last time you filed a useful, accurate, and on-topic problem ticket on an addon? When's the last time you helped test and provide useful feedback on an addon?

    In short, have you ever done anything to support the community?

    I'll tell you what's going to happen if things keep going the way they have been... you'll end up with Balkanized addon sites - most of which will have broken and/or out of date addons, many of which will have trojans, spyware, and/or other malware, and the deveoper communities will wither and die as their hosts close up shop due to high bandwidth cost.

    Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little, but truthfully, you've got a LOT to thank the bigger legitimate addon hosting sites for. Maybe the curse client isn't perfect... Heck, I prefer to keep my three computers up to date manually, so I understand..., but they're constantly improving.

    Maybe if more folks would provide proper trouble tickets, error reports, CONSTRUCTIVE feedback and criticism (not just QQ and FIX THIS OR ELSE garbage), then the native updaters would get better faster.

    I feel like I'm being harsh, but the amount of selfishness and ignorance among a certain vocal section of the addon user base is really deplorable.

    [EDIT]: While I was posting my rant you posted an update and mentioned that you DO in fact donate. So, thank you for providing some support to the community. Still, I stand by my statements about it being as much curse and wowinterfaces right to block as it is yours to use the client of your choice, and about how there's a lot more willingness to complain than to actually do something about it by a large portion of the user community.

  • Avatar of rsavoie rsavoie Apr 16, 2009 at 17:59 UTC - 0 likes

    @Borhast

    Who's using the bandwidth without permission? WowMatrix? Hardly! That is exactly like saying Firefox is using bandwidth without permission. Your argument doesn't hold water.

    By the way - I use AdBlocker on Firefox so I miss most of the ads on most sites. Does that imply Firefox is stealing your bandwidth? Or maybe AdBlocker is stealing your bandwidth? No, of course not! If a user goes to the site with a normal web browser and doesn't pay attention to ads, is he steeling your bandwidth then? Nope.

    Your arguments are weak and would never hold up in court.

    Look - I am not an ogre: I have voluntarily donated money for addons that I wanted to support. However Curse/WowAce are starting a war that they cannot win, at the expense of the users. Good luck with that.

    R

  • Avatar of Seerah Seerah Apr 16, 2009 at 17:46 UTC - 0 likes

    legine: And WoWI did prefer people used WUU or similar over wowmatrix. (Of course, this is the real world, and we prefer if you use our own updaters over WUU, etc, but they were tolerated.) They were at least part of the community, and their developers talked to us and to the authors and to users. Not to mention that they weren't nearly as hard on the websites as WM is. Unfortunately, though, this was the only way to block WM. Sorry.

  • Avatar of legine legine Apr 16, 2009 at 17:41 UTC - 0 likes

    I am very unhappy now. Not because of WoWMatrix. I never used that one. And I dont like if they violate Copyright issues.

    The thing is that Open updaters like Wuu are banned too by your try to monopolize the addon Sections. You try to hit the right ppl, okay. But you hit also the wrong ones. Please, stay open and leave people choices beyond WoWInterface updater and Curse updater. (WowInterface page is empty on my Browser and Curse doesn't offer a Linux Client. :( )

  • Avatar of Borhast Borhast Apr 16, 2009 at 17:22 UTC - 0 likes

    @rsavoie: Sorry, but no matter how you look at it, using someone else's bandwidth without permission is very easy to equate to stealing. The "information wants to be free" mindset fails to work as soon as someone is paying for it.

    I use both wowinterface's and curse's updaters, and even if they don't really work the way i want them to, they work well enough. Being lazy isn't really an excuse.

Facts

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

Author