My work copied and hosted without attribution. What to do?

  • Hey all,

    I'm not really sure what to do here. :/

    I recently created a few games for game jams, and I just found that one of them was taken from GameJolt (where I hosted the game) and uploaded to AtomicGamer.com (which I'd never heard of until minutes ago).

    No one contacted me to request permission, or even to just tell me that they were doing it, and my game is now being hosted on AtomicGamer.com, with no attribution to me. No developer is listed, and no credit is given. I don't know why that information wasn't simply copied from my GameJolt page, since my entire game description was copied verbatim from the same page that lists me as the developer.

    What concerns me even more is the considerable difference between how I released my game, and how AtomicGamer.com is hosting my game. I released my game for free, with no registration of any kind required to play it, and yet...

    AtomicGamer.com is offering a download of my work, without crediting me, and placing the download of my game behind a queue timer on their server, and in the download popup, AtomicGamer informs you that you can bypass the queue timer, to download my game immediately, if you pay them money.

    I don't want to assume there's any malicious intent here, it may just be a mistake on their part, and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I haven't been releasing games for very long, so I don't know what to think.

    The whole thing makes me uncomfortable. :/

    Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

  • I would contact Gamejolt and/or AtomicGamer, but really with if they dont contact back there really not much that can be done

  • This is strange.

    How they can make a a downloadable files from an online game.

  • Thanks for the advice

    I think I may contact GameJolt soon and see if they have any suggestions.

    Hey A0Nasser, :)

    I created distributions of my game for HTML5, Windows, OSX, Linux32, and Linux64. The Windows version is the one that was copied.

  • Contact them, and demand that they amend the game's attribution to you.

    If they fail to do this, and do not respond at all after a couple of warnings, you have three options:

    1) legal action. Expensive, and probably not an option for you;

    2) do nothing. Learn to live with it;

    3) start making noise on forums, blogs, anywhere and any place Atomicgamer is advertising their site (their facebook is a good place to start). This may take a while before they take note, but it can be fairly effective. Write to larger indy game blogs how Atomicgamer abused your license. And so on.

    Good luck - next time be sure to include your attribution/developer info in the game itself.

    I, for one, will tell other people to avoid Atomicgamer. Let us know how this pans out.

  • # 3 should be the last thing you try. It can backfire on you. Like they could sue you etc.

    Also it should be possible to find a lawyer to work for what you sue for, and may not even need a deposit.

    Don't expect to get much other than the removal of the game.

    They have contact info on the site, and a whois will give you a bit of useful info as well.

  • those sites have bots that track files from game sites like kongregate, gamejolt etc... there is little to do when this happens

    but what you can do to take advantage of the situation is this:

    -always put your credits INSIDE your game with a image and not with a text, it can be below the title in the title screen

    -for .exe games, make the package separated; ex: linux version, windows version etc.

    -read this tutorial: https://www.scirra.com/tutorials/860/si ... ame/page-1

    -put information about where you upload your game, ex: this game is being updated on gamejolt etc etc, please download from there before report any bugs etc etc...

    i think there is more you can do but you will lose your time if trying to combat this stuff, is better to think on creative ways to make ppl aware that this is your work and how to help then find more of it and support your work

  • If they are based in the US, you can issue them with a DMCA takedown request, which is free and obligates them with some legal responsibility to respond (IIRC).

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  • Contact them first. Give them a chance to take the content down:

    http://www.atomicgamer.com/contact.php

    As Ashley suggested, a DMCA will most likely get their attention. It's a dirty bit of law that has been bent to some less-than-scrupulous purposes, but if AG refuses to remove your content, this is the biggest gun you have available, and you would be more than justified to use it.

    Unfortunately -- and fittingly -- googling for DMCA doesn't turn up a government website with applicable information and forms, but http://www.dmca.com, a private organization that's looking to help you...have a lighter wallet.

    Since you would only need to file a single takedown, this would probably be your best bet:

    http://www.whoishostingthis.com/dmca/

    Honestly, if it were me, I might just skip to the DMCA. AtomicGamer looks downright slimey: full of other peoples content (indies no less), a bunch of ads that link out to malware, trying to scrape more cash thru accelerated downloads. For shame.

  • Thanks for the replies Rayek and Embedding developer info is a good suggestion. I honestly wasn't expecting game jam entries to make it that far. Also thanks for the tutorial link, valdarko.

    Thanks for the Whois suggestion I'll look into that.

    And, thanks for the DMCA info Ashley and

    You guys are awesome. I really appreciate all the suggestions and advice. :)

    Weird update:

    When trying to get back to the AtomicGamer page, I inadvertently came across PlayerAttack.com, which also has a copy of one of my games, and it looks like they may have copied it directly from AtomicGamer. It's exactly the same outdated version found on AtomicGamer. Likewise, a third party on AtomicGamer had added a few lines of their own description to my game, and that third party description was copied word-for-word by PlayerAttack.com. PlayerAttack seems to differ from AtomicGamer in that they put my game behind embedded video commercials, instead of charging for download acceleration, like AtomicGamer.

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