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NexusMods stealthily changes policy to screw over content creators
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Pangaea 29 Jun
Recently I've been active on a couple of Witcher-related Discord servers, and tried to dip my feet into the modding pond. That didn't go so well because too much relies on Windows and Wine couldn't quite handle it, but never mind that. A couple days ago NexusMods dropped a bombshell, well that's being too generous, they tried to hide it as well as possible, and there isn't any notice of it anywhere really, except on a private part of their forum apparently. Practically any mention of it anywhere is deleted. So what's it about? The short of it is that content creators, the people who make the mods, or 100% of the real content on the site, have lost control of their own creations. They are no longer allowed to delete mods they have made themselves. Because Nexus wants to put them into mod packs, which they euphemistically call collections, with the aim of making a profit off of those. To the extent modders actually know about this in the first place, they are rather upset about it all, and some have already said they will stop putting anything on Nexus, and some have also removed mods from the site. Due to the change, they are no longer allowed to delete them, they will be archived and still reached by the API, but the intention is to drop Nexus for good and move elsewhere. Unfortunately there aren't other good alternatives, but putting heads together is a start.

As with much else, the below post was deleted, but please read the content from the attached image. It gives a good overview of what has happened.

link

Read the following with an unhealthy dose of salt (from Nexus)

link
Pangaea 1 Jul
I suppose the blowback from modders was big enough for Nexus to actually make an announcement about this policy change.
https://www.nexusmods.com/news/14538

Again, it's very dishonest and tries to portray modders, the people who supply them with 100% of their real content, as trying to hold them back or whatever. So many lies, half-truths and strawmen in that statement. Well, if anybody are interested, you can give it a read.

The little light in the tunnel is that they are giving modders the option to delete their files. But only if they delete every single last bit. All or nothing. Very gracious of them :rolleyes:

Meanwhile, people have started to move over to GitHub and probably other places. I know many big Witcher 3 modders either have done so, are in the process of doing it, or are on the fence. I don't know what is happening in the Skyrim community, but I do know that some of them were very upset, based on previous threads on reddit (as mentioned, Nexus basically deleted everything to try to keep the change hidden).

Unfortunately there isn't really a good alternative to NexusMods right now, but maybe it will change. Not the first modding site to shoot themselves in the foot and consequently in practice disappear.
Pangaea 1 Jul
I posted this in a couple Discord servers. Admittedly I'm not 100% sure if everything is correct, but hopefully not too far off target. I do have a little experience with these licences off the back of being active on some wikis, but maybe some of you can clear things up?

As mentioned above, many of them are upset about losing control over the work they have carried out themselves, and then that Nexus will try to profit off of it via a paywalled/premium 'service', where these modpacks (which they call collections) will be hosted, or locked in. That is why I looked into this from the perspective of the mods not going back to nexus and then going into this paywall scheme.

------------------------

In case [modders] intend to use this opportunity to delete all files from nexus and move them over to e.g. Github: A license that may be fitting is the NonCommercial (NC) one: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

It includes these "you are free to"
* Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
* Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

Which is normally great, but perhaps dodgy here if people want to prevent people copying it back to Nexus. However, this applies "under the following terms":
* Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
* NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

NC would then be crucial, if my interpretation of this is correct. By going to the legal section (the above is from the human-readable part) we find something else that may be crucial: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode

Under Section 8 - Interpretation
a. For the avoidance of doubt, this Public License does not, and shall not be interpreted to, reduce, limit, restrict, or impose conditions on any use of the Licensed Material that could lawfully be made without permission under this Public License.
c. No term or condition of this Public License will be waived and no failure to comply consented to unless expressly agreed to by the Licensor.

Admittedly I'm not 100% sure, but I think that combined this means that mods with this license cannot be copied back to Nexus by some random, and then put into modpacks/collections, which are behind paywalls/premium. Because that touches on "reduce, limit, restrict", which is not allowed.

Last edited by Pangaea on 1 July 2021 at 8:23 pm UTC
razing32 2 Jul
Kinda scummy to drop it on them like that.
If they were warned ahead it would have been much better.
I understand the site needs money to operate, but screwing over creators like this can mean that a lot o them won't come back.
razing32 2 Jul
Also , if they monetize them , they have to support them , no ? How do they do that without the author's support ?
Pangaea 6 Jul
Quoting: razing32Also , if they monetize them , they have to support them , no ? How do they do that without the author's support ?
If I understand things right, there is a slight trickle down already - something they call Donation Points. Even for big mods (many downloads), the sum is pretty tiny, but at least it's something. The big ones can buy a chocolate a month or something. Woot.

A bird may (or may not) have been in contact with Electronic Frontier Foundation. Will they help or advise? Only birds will know.

Thought this meme was rather on-point:

link

I honestly hope a whole pack of modders ditch the site and move elsewhere. It's a tough choice of course, because they don't want to hurt the end users, and lose the visibility the platform offers, but I simply feel that there has to be some real consequences for doing something as scummy as this, and with a swoop essentially steal millions of mods that people have worked millions of hours on, and offered to the world for free.

I also really wonder what Nexus will throw at us after the 30 day period has passed, when modders can no longer delete their mods. It's "all or nothing" now, which is another scummy move by Nexus, but at least it's possible to remove them. In a month it won't be. If I had mods there, I'd grab that opportunity with both hands and move them to GitHub or elsewhere. It's always possible to move them back to Nexus later.

Though one concern I've heard, since Nexus have shown to have no scruples anyway, is what happens if some random dude then uploads the mod to Nexus, and the real creators can't show it as proof, because the original has been deleted.

Oh, and unsurprisingly, that news thread was locked down fairly fast. It was open for two days, and got well over 2000 comments. Nexus have since deleted some of them, though I naturally can't know what for, or what those posts contained (but we can make some good guesses based on what else they delete and lock).
metalinux 9 Jul
Quite disappointed to see this kind of behaviour from NexusMods. I thought they would try better to support their creators. These websites just don't seem to realise, that if you treat the people who create the actual content for your website like garbage, they will just go elsewhere.

Good find Pangaea!
Pangaea 16 Jul
A week back I contacted Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) [link] about the NexusMods situation. They just replied. Seems like it's grown quiet about the theft lately, but if any modders want to look deeper into this case, and are seeking legal advice, please contact EFF directly. You should use the info@eff.org address.
Quote[...]if you know of any individual modders who are seeking legal advice here please have them reach out to us directly.
I don't know what kind of support they can offer, or if they'd be willing to take on the case in an official capacity, but it seems like a good first step. Presumably they can tell a bit more about whether modders would have a leg to stand on legally.

More information here:
https://www.eff.org/pages/legal-assistance

Perhaps it's unlikely any modders will frequent this site and see this, and then contact EFF, but just in case, I wanted to reach out where I could.

Last edited by Pangaea on 16 July 2021 at 8:59 pm UTC
slaapliedje 7 days ago
This pisses me off, as I got their lifetime account a few years back. Then again they have shit Linux support for anything even though vortex is open source...

I usually prefer games these days to use Steam Workshop for mods, but then I can see why a developer / modder wouldn't want to, as then they're pretty much stuck on Steam.
Pangaea 4 days ago
Quoting: slaapliedjeThis pisses me off, as I got their lifetime account a few years back. .
Sorry to break this but your lifetime thing appears to be dead.
https://www.nexusmods.com/news/14543

They couldn't even bother waiting until the deletion period was out, which is good I suppose. Showing their middle finger yet again. With both hands. The way they lay it out as well is so incredibly dishonest. Feels like I'm getting stomach acid in my mouth just reading it. So much greed, so little respect and appreciation for the people who have supplied them with their life and income. I hope EVERYBODY remove their mods from that toxic site. They don't deserve us.
slaapliedje 4 days ago
Quoting: Pangaea
Quoting: slaapliedjeThis pisses me off, as I got their lifetime account a few years back. .
Sorry to break this but your lifetime thing appears to be dead.
https://www.nexusmods.com/news/14543

They couldn't even bother waiting until the deletion period was out, which is good I suppose. Showing their middle finger yet again. With both hands. The way they lay it out as well is so incredibly dishonest. Feels like I'm getting stomach acid in my mouth just reading it. So much greed, so little respect and appreciation for the people who have supplied them with their life and income. I hope EVERYBODY remove their mods from that toxic site. They don't deserve us.
Well fuck them then. It's a good thing I tend to stay away from mods, though the only game that I usually mod the hell out of is the Elder Scrolls ones, which have started to be hosted on Steam anyhow.
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