The Steam Workshop enables users to improve everyone’s game experience through creativity and innovation. We have designed the Workshop to enable the free flow of ideas with as little friction as possible, without requiring Valve review and approval of every new contribution. We depend on the community to ensure originality, by:
requiring all Workshop contributors to promise that their contributions are original, and
allowing the community to identify copies and plagiarism via the report flag (announced here).
As expected, the vast majority of contributions to the Workshop are incredibly creative and fundamentally original. Where that hasn’t been true, community reporting has led to the take-down of over 1,400 items from the Workshop to date. This has worked great for content that exists only on the Workshop, but it becomes more complicated if a Workshop item becomes offered for sale on Steam or in a game, and the item later turns out to infringe on someone else’s work.
We recently had an example of this problem. A user submitted a mace for Dota 2, and based on strong community ratings, the mace was made available in the game as “Timebreaker” in Sithil’s Summer Chest. 24,603 users spent money on keys to open the chest and ultimately receive the mace. Recently it came to our attention that this mace was in fact a copy of a mace from the game Aion[www.aionarmory.com]. The copying has had negative consequences for everyone involved: users lost the mace and received an alternative weapon instead, the contributor has been banned and will lose out on any proceeds from the sale of the item, and it took a lot of time for us to investigate and remedy the situation.
Please help us out by contributing only original work, and continue to help us to spot these issues when they do appear on the Workshop.