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Team Fortress: Source 2 fan project gets a DMCA from Valve

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The Team Fortress: Source 2 project is now officially dead in the water after getting hit with a DMCA from Valve, although the creators were already stopping development.

For a quick bit of context — Team Fortress: Source 2 was a complete remake being done in s&box, which is a game creation toolkit from Facepunch, it's supposed to be a next-generation Garry's Mod. While it may be based on Source 2, it's quite different, and naturally under a specific license for Facepunch to use. That doesn't mean anyone can just use Valve's game assets inside s&box.

You can see the DMCA on GitHub which notes:

The original copyrighted work is Valve's game Team Fortress ("TF2") https://store.steampowered.com/app/440/Team_Fortress_2/. The TF2 assets have been ported to Source 2 without permission and are being redistributed by Amper Software in a game mode for Facepunch's S@box. Facepunch has not licensed any Valve assets for S@box. The unauthorized porting and redistributing of Valve's assets without a license violates Valve's IP.

For some reason they kept calling it S@box, but it's s&box. Quite a few thought it might be someone pretending to be working for Valve to be malicious, like apparently has happened with the take-down of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game engine OpenXRay recently.

Speaking on X (formerly Twitter), the Team Fortress: Source 2 mentioned:

While we were discussing the project's future internally recently, we already came to the conclusion to stop the development of the project due to the current state of the code being unusable anymore with s&box's recent major engine changes, and that we overall moved on from it.

And in a follow-up, mentioning this is basically the final nail in the coffin. So regardless, they were stopping anyway and it would be broken.

This has caused quite the commotion on social media, with many (even a few bigger industry names I've seen), calling out Valve about taking it down forcefully in such a way. Many arguing this is "not the Valve of old", and that Valve are "going after modders" and plenty more. But, there's a difference between modding an existing game, and remaking them entirely in a different game engine. I've said this before when it comes to Nintendo, Rockstar and *insert big name*, if you use someone else's IP, they will eventually come knocking and take it down. And in this case, it was a remake of a game that is still online and still technically (debatable I know) supported and making Valve money.

Even Garry Newman of Facepunch has now commented on the situation to make it clear too:

I think while it's maybe out of character for Valve to take down fan projects like this, it's hardly surprising when you have their entire game uploaded. I somehow don't think the "old Valve" would have let anyone port Half-Life to another engine and host it all publicly either.

S&box doesn't have a license to use Valve's content, only the engine. It's not a mod, it's not gmod. We didn't want to commit a chunk of profit so early in development when we don't even know what the final product will look like.

Amper did a really great job porting and making this all work. Sadly it was going to all be broken next week with the Scene System update, so at least this saves them the job of updating to be compatible.

Additionally, Valve also asked the creator of a recent Portal Nintendo 64 port to take it down (not a DMCA), as it used proprietary Nintendo tech. 

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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sonic2kk Jan 12
Quoting: Altefierso why take it down?

As far as I understand, they were redistributing assets. Engine re-implementation projects explicitly do not include any data files for this reason, and you have to supply those yourself, usually with an existing copy of the game (OpenMW, GZDoom, etc). I suspect if it weren't for this, Valve wouldn't have issued a DMCA.

I decided to check the Wayback Machine and found a link to the repository (Wayback Machine archive from September 2nd 2023 ), it cannot really be browsed but it does archive the Readme, which suggests the game can just be downloaded and played. They may have re-created all of the assets, I cannot verify, but I would imagine if a DMCA was verified over redistributing assets, that they were in fact redistributing assets directly from Team Fortress 2.

I'm not familiar with the Source engines in any way, but I would guess many of the assets wouldn't be backwards compatible and couldn't be drop-in replacements. But that doesn't mean they weren't including at least some directly from the game.


Last edited by sonic2kk on 12 January 2024 at 2:07 am UTC
LoudTechie Jan 12
s&box's own reaction is the most interesting of all.
It's the reaction I'm used to from fan fiction writers, but now for a game.
Basically full compliance and even protecting their striker.
axredneck Jan 14
Are many Doom mods in danger now?
Arten Jan 15
Quoting: axredneckAre many Doom mods in danger now?
Only ones which distribute IP which they can't. Look at Sigil megawad from Romero. For playing it you need original DOOM WAD. Problem is only if they distribute original resources.
axredneck Jan 15
Quoting: Arten
Quoting: axredneckAre many Doom mods in danger now?
Only ones which distribute IP which they can't. Look at Sigil megawad from Romero. For playing it you need original DOOM WAD. Problem is only if they distribute original resources.
I mostly mean Simon's Destiny, Robocop Doom, Batman Reborn, Golden Souls series, Jazz Jackrabbit Doom etc.
Altefier Feb 8
Quoting: sonic2kk
Quoting: Altefierso why take it down?

As far as I understand, they were redistributing assets. Engine re-implementation projects explicitly do not include any data files for this reason, and you have to supply those yourself, usually with an existing copy of the game (OpenMW, GZDoom, etc). I suspect if it weren't for this, Valve wouldn't have issued a DMCA.

I decided to check the Wayback Machine and found a link to the repository (Wayback Machine archive from September 2nd 2023 ), it cannot really be browsed but it does archive the Readme, which suggests the game can just be downloaded and played. They may have re-created all of the assets, I cannot verify, but I would imagine if a DMCA was verified over redistributing assets, that they were in fact redistributing assets directly from Team Fortress 2.

I'm not familiar with the Source engines in any way, but I would guess many of the assets wouldn't be backwards compatible and couldn't be drop-in replacements. But that doesn't mean they weren't including at least some directly from the game.

Yes, I see this reply a lot. It doesn't answer the question: They have redistributed assets — so what? Still doesn't explain why Valve felt the need to go after them and take it down.
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