Recently we received a DMCA takedown notice regarding copyright infringement with respect to the the M4A4 | Howl, and a community sticker, Howling Dawn, claiming that the artwork was not originally created by the stated contributors. This matter is extremely serious, and we have taken appropriate action to resolve it. When we launched the CS:GO Items Workshop
, our goal was to provide artists with a space to share their creative ideas. By design, the Items Workshop has very low friction for artists to submit their work – new contributions do not require Valve review or approval. To ensure that these contributions represent original content, we require that all Workshop contributors sign a legal agreement
confirming that their contributions are original. We also enable the community to monitor Workshop submissions and identify copies and plagiarism via the report flag
. All contributors share joint responsibility for the originality of their Workshop submission, and therefore share joint liability for claims of copyright infringement. That is, if two or more artists collaborate on a submission and the submission contains intellectual property that isn’t their own, all artists involved in the submission will share in the consequences. For the items in question, the following steps have been taken:
- Both contributors have received Steam Community bans. They receive no proceeds from either item, and both items have been removed from the game.
- For owners of the M4A4 | Howl and Howling Dawn sticker, those items have been replaced by an alternative designed by the CS:GO team. These items will never be produced again, and have been assigned the ‘Contraband’ rarity.
- All other in-game items that involve at least one of the contributors in their revenue share have been discontinued.
- The Huntsman Case and Community Sticker Capsule have been revised to replace the copied and discontinued items.
- Moving forward, we will no longer work with the contributors and we will not ship any existing Workshop submission that credits their involvement.
The cost for everyone involved in the resolution of this issue has been significant, including our players and community members. It takes considerable time and effort for the CS:GO team to resolve copyright infringement disputes, but fortunately copying is rare – the CS:GO community has submitted tens of thousands of unique entries to the Workshop, and we have shipped dozens of your designs without a problem. To ensure that we don’t have issues in the future, we need your help. Please only contribute original work. If you see any items that appear to violate the Workshop copyright policy, please direct the copyright owner to tell us via Valve’s DMCA takedown
page. Together we can keep the Workshop a safe place for artists and their hard work.