Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Day: November 8, 2000

Just an update on the eBay incidents. Apparently the seller in question wasn’t aware of what she was doing and thought it was just a way to make money. No harm was intended however after doing a little searching on eBay and some emails from people, this isn’t the only incident. There are several people selling users content on eBay. Now I can’t say that everyone is in the same boat as the first person I was told about, I’m sure some of them know quite well that the work they’re passing off isn’t theirs to do so with. In any case, the original seller has pulled the software and has offered to refund money to the people who did purchase it which was good of her. This still doesn’t excuse the dozen or so people selling the nude patch or other peoples skins or software on eBay, especially in CD format (selling it in CD format directly violates eBays policy as listed below).

Some people think that just because they’re not offering a CD (they will send you the files via email or provide a link to a place to download it from) or that they’re only charging a minimal amount ($10 or less) that they’re in the clear. This is not the case. You’re still selling other peoples work, and in the case of Maxis’ software, they will hunt you down and make living large is miserable thing for you. Just don’t do it. As for those that are selling their own work on eBay, I don’t see much sense in this. There are plenty of good quality sites that you can download all this and more from out there.

You know that I’m not too fond of anyone making money off of other peoples efforts when it comes to The Sims (well, if you didn’t know that before, you do now). I’ve just found out that someone is selling CDs on eBay with gobs of Sims stuff on it including some of my software. I’m all for distributing my software and everyone is free to have it but I draw the line at someone making money off of my efforts and even more so, the efforts of the hundreds of skin designers, object makers and house builders out there. This guy did not contact me and I’m sure that nobody else has been contacted for permission on this. Of course, part of it is my fault. I should have included a license agreement that stated that my software cannot be distributed for profit and I’m changing that right now so future enterprising individuals don’t get the same idea. This same issue happened within the Quake scene years ago where a company had taken peoples works, new levels, slapped them on a CD and sold it for profit. None of the original authors were even contacted much less compenstated over the sale of the CD and the creator of the CD even went to the lengths of removing any readme files from the level files so nobody was even aware of who the content creators were.

eBay’s policy clearly states:

“As a matter of eBay policy, software on CD-R (including CD-RW) may not be listed on eBay, unless the seller is the copyright owner and states this in the item description. This means that, among other things, compilations (e.g., multiple software programs on one disk), “freeware” and “shareware” on CD-R may not be listed on eBay”

I urge everyone to go to the item on eBay and write a negative report for this guy. People should not get away with this type of piracy. If you would like to report this item to eBay for removal please click here and fill out the forms to report a violation (you’ll need an eBay account to do this). Select “Questionable Item”, then “Software”, then “Infringing Media” and continue with the item ID# (492019723), your eBay ID, and comments. Thank you.