Nintendo-based content being removed from Garry's Mod Steam Workshop - The UpStream

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Nintendo-based content being removed from Garry's Mod Steam Workshop

posted Saturday Apr 27, 2024 by Scott Ertz

Garry's Mod, the popular game design workshop available through Steam, has begun removing content containing anything Nintendo-related. This comes following a takedown notice from Nintendo, as confirmed by the Garry's Mod team. The Steam Workshop contains user-made content spanning 2 decades, making this a long and arduous process.

Garry's Mod: A Playful Canvas for Digital Architects

Garry's Mod, often abbreviated as GMod, is a sandbox game developed by Facepunch Studios and published by Valve. Originally created as a mod for Valve's Source game engine in December 2004, it later expanded into a standalone release in November 2006. The game's base mode has no predefined objectives, allowing players to freely manipulate objects within a virtual world. Using tools like the physics gun and the tool gun, players can spawn non-player characters, ragdolls, and props, and interact with them in various ways.

Garry's Mod also supports user-created content through Lua scripting, enabling mods and custom game modes. Notable game modes include Trouble in Terrorist Town, Prop Hunt, and DarkRP. The game's versatility and creativity have made it a popular platform for experimentation, machinima, and player-generated content. As of September 2021, Garry's Mod has sold over 20 million copies.

In Garry's Mod, players can unleash their creativity by building, experimenting, and creating custom experiences. Whether it's constructing elaborate structures, staging scenes, or inventing unique game modes, GMod provides a canvas for imagination. The game's community-driven content includes mods, maps, and add-ons, all accessible through the Steam Workshop. From manipulating physics to role-playing in custom scenarios, Garry's Mod continues to captivate players with its open-ended possibilities and collaborative spirit.

User-generated content increased scrutiny

Increased copyright scrutiny in user-generated content has become a contentious issue, particularly on digital media platforms. These platforms, such as YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming, host a vast array of content created by users, from gaming streams to podcasts and music performances. However, the tension arises from conflicting interests: copyright holders demand better protection of their intellectual property rights, while content creators and their fans argue for more leniency in applying copyright regulations.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) plays a central role in this debate. While it aims to prevent unauthorized access and copying of copyrighted works, it also allows for "fair use" of such materials. Fair use permits content creators to reproduce copyrighted material for purposes like commentary, criticism, and parody. However, the application of these rules has become increasingly restrictive. Platforms face pressure from copyright holders and employ aggressive algorithms to flag potential infringements. As a result, they often take down content even before infringement is proven. This cautious approach, driven by the fear of fines, can stifle creativity, limit free speech, and hinder innovation. For instance, Twitch reported a significant increase in copyright claims, potentially resulting in substantial penalties if moderation is deemed inadequate.

Takedown notices in gaming

One of the companies in the gaming world that issues a lot of copyright takedown notices is Nintendo. The company is infamous for issuing DMCA takedowns or cease-and-desist notices for anything they believe comes close to infringing on their IP, including fan art. And that is exactly what has happened here. Nintendo went after another source of fan-made art claiming violation of IP.

However, this is obviously different than a local artist creating t-shirts or posters featuring Link. These were whole games made using Nintendo's characters - literally the thing that Nintendo does themselves. Plus, the games often included aspects of gameplay that are outside of the Nintendo realm, such as Mario with guns. Not only does this compete with Nintendo using their own characters, it potentially damages the family-friendly brand image that the company has worked so hard to build.

For their part, Facepunch Studios confirmed the request and said that they were complying.

Some of you may have noticed that certain Nintendo related workshop items have recently been taken down. This is not a mistake, the takedowns came from Nintendo.

Honestly, this is fair enough. This is Nintendo's content and what they allow and don't allow is up to them. They don't want you playing with that stuff in Garry's Mod - that's their decision, we have to respect that and take down as much as we can.

This is an ongoing process, as we have 20 years of uploads to go through. If you want to help us by deleting your Nintendo related uploads and never uploading them again, that would help us a lot.

20 years worth of content is a lot to have to go through. Dedicated members of the community should help by removing any infringing content to make it easier on the GMod team.


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