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  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date.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 rsavoie rsavoie Apr 16, 2009 at 17:08 UTC - 0 likes

    Sorry - I sympathize to a certain degree with your plight, but if you had not screwed up so royally time and time again over the years people would not have been compelled to seek out WowMatrix as an alternative. The bottom line, as a user, is that I have a right to choose whichever web client I want to download my addons - whether that be Firefox, IE, or WowMatrix. WowMatrix simplifies the task and does it well. WowMatrix is my choice. That is how a free Internet works and nothing Curse/WowAce does will change that. If Curse/WowAce dies because of its inability to pay for bandwidth then so be it. That is the risk that you take when you open up shop on the internet.

    Time and time again you have shown that you were not up to the task of handling the massive load volumes around patch days. This is not a problem caused by WowMatrix, but by the sheer popularity of the addons and to bad website design on your part. Now you are holding the users of WowMatrix hostage. Don't think you won't feel a backlash from you actions!!!

  • Avatar of Seerah Seerah Apr 16, 2009 at 15:07 UTC - 0 likes

    lordlitwicki: Now... I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since I don't recall if it was said in this thread or not, but I will still say this just in case: please read up on the issue. WoWI and Curse tried to contact them. They ignored us. Authors tried to contact them. They either got ignored, the run-around, or slow actions. Finally Curse sat down with them (as much as one can "sit down" on the internet) and tried to work out a deal. WowMatrix countered their deal with something preposterous and insulting, and when Curse refused that, WM ignored everyone again.

  • Avatar of lordlitwicki lordlitwicki Apr 16, 2009 at 12:54 UTC - 0 likes

    The truth is Wow Matrix was and still is the best WOW add on updater by far. I understand they may have done some unethical things but the program was excellent, update all your add ons in one place not to mention it didn't crash all the time, or not find half of your add ons. Instead of fighting them curse/wowInterface et all should come to an agreement to work with them because they got the client right that is for sure, it's way better than curse or wow interface's clients. Honestly this little war is BS and is doing nothing but hurt the WOW community.

  • Avatar of myria myria Apr 16, 2009 at 12:45 UTC - 0 likes

    You know, I really don’t care about this little war. I’ve never even been to the WM site, I don’t use their software any more then I would use that laughable PoS Curse Client, but I’m really getting tired of people who clearly don’t know the first thing about legal issues accusing them of criminal actions. Put up — if they’re engaged in criminal activities then report them to the appropriate authorities — or shut up. Just running around saying “they’re thieves because I say so!” or calling them “downright criminal” is irresponsible in the extreme, absurd under the circumstances, and in some cases potentially actionable.

    For god’s sake, learn the bloody difference between criminal law and civil law, would you people, please?

  • Avatar of hadens hadens Apr 15, 2009 at 22:07 UTC - 0 likes

    It's simply amazing...

    The level of ignorance regarding intellectual property rights, the lack of comprehension of a websites' business model, the total arrogance of some people expecting everything handed to them on a silver platter without an ounce of effort put in on their part. It truly is astonishing.

    WoWMatrix is unethical at best, to downright criminal. Distribution rights need to be granted for intellectual property. Violating a license that needs to be agreed to as part of a distribution agreement is a violation of law.

  • Avatar of Tuhljin Tuhljin Apr 15, 2009 at 22:04 UTC - 0 likes

    If you're one of the many WM users who say, "Okay, yes, what WM does isn't very ethical, BUT..." - what in world could possibly follow after that "BUT" that justifies its use? Generally, it's "BUT WowMatrix is the best updater there is, and updating 'by hand' isn't convenient." Are you really so willing to sell your principles down the river for convenience?

  • Avatar of Starinnia Starinnia Apr 15, 2009 at 22:00 UTC - 0 likes

    The 4 of 48 addons thing is because Wowmatrix strips info from the addon files and so the "fingerprint" of the files doesn't match anything the Curse Client knows automatically.

  • Avatar of asbjornu asbjornu Apr 15, 2009 at 21:08 UTC - 0 likes

    While I completely agree with your effort to block WowMatrix, I have to say that I still use WowMatrix because it's the best addon updater I've found so far. The only reason I use it is because it updates absolutely all addons I use, no matter where they come from (well, almost).

    If the Curse Client did the same in a just as elegant and unobtrusive way as WowMatrix, I'd use that instead. But the Curse client doesn't, so I don't. It's only recently become available for Mac as well, so for a long time, WowMatrix has actually been my only (good) choice.

    Opening the Curse Client on my computer now, it shows me a total of 4 addons I can update with it. WowMatrix shows me 48. So yea, I agree that what WowMatrix does is despicable, but unfortunately it's the only really great option available for automatic addon updating. I really despise it, but that's the reality.

  • Avatar of DigitalSorceress DigitalSorceress Apr 15, 2009 at 20:24 UTC - 0 likes

    I think what it comes down to is:

    What WowMatrix it trying to trying to do (provide a one-stop place for all addons, with a client that updates accurately and painlessly) isn't a bad thing... it's how they're going about it that's a problem.

    Curse.com, curseforge.com, and Wowace.com combined to a LOT MORE than just provide addons to users. They provide a community for developers. I'm an addon author, and without the help of wowace.com's developer community I probably would never have gotten mine up and running. Curseforge gives me a place to host / manage my addon and trouble tickets, and Curse.com provides the hosting and provides my addon to a wide audience.

    All of these things are doing a lot to enable me to provide a useful addon free of charge to the WoW user community.

    My addon is rather niche in its appeal, and very few people would mourn its passing if it went buh-bye, but I can't help but to think that a lot of other addon authors... ones who write the addons that so many of us just couldn't live without (Omen, HelBot, X-Perl, Decursive, Bagnon, Mapster, and Auctioneer are my MUST-HAVE's) ... probably also get the same support and benefit from the community (I can't speak for the wowinterface community cuz I never really participated there, but my assumption is that they're more than just a place to cram yer addon files).

    As a WoW player, I religiously check curse for updates, and I make it a point to occasionally donate to the developers. As a an addon author, I truly appreciate how much the addon sites and communities do.

    ciara1013 said it and I agree: the sense of entitlement of the wider addon user base is really astonishing.

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

    Serial211 says: "if your sites didnt suck with stupid adds all over the place you would have never had the problem in the first place. try cleaning up the site and remove the annoying adds and banners all over the place and watch traffic come back directly to your site."

    ...Epic, epic fail. You obviously have no understanding of anything on the internet. Do you have any idea what advertisements are? You fail to realize that ads PAY FOR THE SITE. THAT'S THE POINT OF THEM. THEY'RE THERE SO IT STAYS FREE TO ACCESS AND USE.

    It's exactly like commercials and billboards. Companies pay a TV station money so that the company can air commercials on that TV station. Someone owns a billboard, a company has to pay that person to use the billboard for an advertisement.

    Same thing with websites. Company A pays Curse money so that Company A can advertise on Curse websites. Curse makes money so it can pay for bandwidth costs and server space.

    More people coming to the site = more people seeing the ads. More people seeing the ads = more money that the advertisers give to Curse. More money advertisers give to Curse = more money Curse makes. More money Curse makes = more money Curse spends on keeping itself alive.

    If Curse and WoWinterface DID remove the ads, then sure, maybe more people would start coming to the site, but then they wouldn't be able to make any money. Bandwidth usage costs money. Their bandwidth usage would skyrocket, and they wouldn't have the cash to pay for it. If they were to remove ads, they'd have to force visitors to pay to access the sites. Do you want the sites being free and littered with ads? Or do you want to pay a $10-per-month subscription fee? That's what I thought, dumbass.

    Just quit posting.

Facts

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

Author