Game theft and the importance of licences


Hey !

I just found out that some crappy Turkish game studio just took my sources, updated the graphics and released MY GAME on the Google Play store.

I'm sure they used my sources because :

  • The level chunks are identical
  • The line renderer is exactly the same
  • The SFX are the ones I made during the jam

And of course they put some ads and crappy microtransactions !

Since I didn't bother looking into licences before putting my sources online (Ludum dare rush ftw), I don't have much options to take it down.

I sent a DMCA request to Google just in case, but I'm not confident it'll ever make it through.

So, if you want to help me, go on their game page and comment that this isn't the original!

I hope my mistakes serves as a cautionary tales to all small developers : learn about licences. One day this could happen to you !

All the love !

Pierre

Get ROOTS

Comments

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(+2)

Best of luck to getting this resolved!

(+3)

Outright stealing and using someone’s idea and resources without permission is definitely a crime. I feel really bad that this happened to your game. I hope that Google takes the necessary action to take down that rip-off!

(+3)

Damn this sucks, I hope Google takes them down!

So what license should one use to avoid this kind of thing?

(1 edit) (+2)

This is brutal, I'm so sorry... I love this game and am still very excited to see what you have in store for it.

I never thought about the compo requirement of open sourcing your jam code as a concern. Is it enough to slap a license inside the source code you distribute? Sometimes I wonder if that'd really stop these types of folks anyways.

Wonder if you could get any traction on Twitter to bring this to more eyes...

(+2)

I already recieved some good words of advice from the community. Apparently, releasing source code without a licence does not make it open source by default.

I requested a DMCA takedown, and I will release the official version on Google play, without ads or micro transactions.

(+1)

That's great news, hopefully it all resolves smoothly!

(+2)

In the absence of license, copyright treaties apply and you retain all your author rights. You haven’t given a license to copy or redistribute the game, so you have grounds to claim. Their reply is plain wrong, publishing code does not make it free software or open source without an explicit license.

Man this sucks. I love your game, I recommended it to many of my friends.

It's so shameful how someone can steal not only your source code but even sound effects and then corrupt the whole experience with ads.

My heart goes out to you and I hope this does not deter you from making more amazing games.

(1 edit) (+1)

Yeah don't worry, I will continue making games and releasing them for free ! All this support is really heartwarming, you people are the best <3

(+1)

Saw it and it really looks too similiar, almost like it's the same game, only from  graphics changes. They did not even bothered to change the name, they just attached a different word to another.

I'm pretty sure they stole it >:(

(+1)

Without a doubt !