Itch.io User Stealing Games

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
12,605
Reaction score
12,925
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Unfortunately by contacting them all you did was tip them off. NEVER contact a suspected thief. Now itch.io cannot do anything and you lost any chance of catching them that way, as now they will probably poof, change their name and repost these games in a while.

Remember, it takes time for a copywrite investigation. Companies have to investigate these claims in detail and that takes days or weeks, as I'm sure your claim isn't the only one on the entire site they have to investigate. And sadly they cannot block sales of the game in that time else anyone could file a fake claim and block sales of a game just because they hate it.

Edit: That being said, all their other games are still there. Maybe try patiently investigating these this time and see if you can still catch them. Though you may need to get the holder of the games to DMCA them. I happen to have a couple of their games thanks to a Black Friday bundle, so if someone can tell me which game this is similar too:

https://kieferd20.itch.io/cave-of-sorrows

I can check it out more as itch says I own it due to a bundle I bought it was included with.
 
Last edited:

MushroomCake28

KAMO Studio
Staff member
Global Mod
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
3,597
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
For the United States, you can get compensatory damages in a lawsuit if you can prove the damages enough but that's hard to begin with. If you register your copyright or trademark with the government for your game however, although it's hard to prove for compensatory damages, the judge in the case can apply an arbitrary punitive penalty that goes well beyond imagined compensatory damages. This can go well into six digit figures.
Not true (US legislation is similar to Canada in that regard, but what I'm about to explain is from Canadian law, so might have some little details off). Registering a copyright in a public registry only helps to prove you own the copyright on a material (which is still possible to do without registering). Getting punitive or compensatory damage has nothing to do with being registered or not, you have to prove damage for the latter and malicious intent, or at least intentional harm in some states/provinces.

Source: saw that in my law exam (law student in Canada), and it was an exam question lol.

Also, punitive damage, although an "arbitrary" number is not really arbitrary. I mean, it is arbitrary, but the judge will take into account what the jurisprudence has condemned previous offenders, and they will take into account the offender's ability to pay and the gravity of the copyright infringement (which I suspect wouldn't give much in this case).

EDIT: However, it is true that in some spectacular cases the punitive damages were in the millions, but that's usually when it's a big corporation that's paying the bill. The nature of punitive damage isn't to help the plaintiff (which is what compensatory damages are for), but it's to give a penalty to the defendant, trying to convince them to not do it again in the future. 100$ might be a lot for a struggling minimum salary family, but millions might be peanuts for Google, so the amount vary depending on the person (Canada Supreme Court is very clear about that).
 

Switz

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
173
Reaction score
134
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm more upset over the fact that she has been doing this for years now and how it undermines RPG Maker games as if our reputation is not already hostile in the overall gaming community. And then her attitude about it. She won't stop. Something is wrong in her head from what I have seen.

How this still happened after the PVGames thing I'll never know.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
104
Reaction score
353
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Not true (US legislation is similar to Canada in that regard, but what I'm about to explain is from Canadian law, so might have some little details off). Registering a copyright in a public registry only helps to prove you own the copyright on a material (which is still possible to do without registering). Getting punitive or compensatory damage has nothing to do with being registered or not, you have to prove damage for the latter and malicious intent, or at least intentional harm in some states/provinces.

Source: saw that in my law exam (law student in Canada), and it was an exam question lol.

Also, punitive damage, although an "arbitrary" number is not really arbitrary. I mean, it is arbitrary, but the judge will take into account what the jurisprudence has condemned previous offenders, and they will take into account the offender's ability to pay and the gravity of the copyright infringement (which I suspect wouldn't give much in this case).

EDIT: However, it is true that in some spectacular cases the punitive damages were in the millions, but that's usually when it's a big corporation that's paying the bill. The nature of punitive damage isn't to help the plaintiff (which is what compensatory damages are for), but it's to give a penalty to the defendant, trying to convince them to not do it again in the future. 100$ might be a lot for a struggling minimum salary family, but millions might be peanuts for Google, so the amount vary depending on the person (Canada Supreme Court is very clear about that).

I just checked and saw this on the U.S. Copyright Office's FAQ for copyright registration. Could we both be wrong?

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”
 

Jesse - PVGames

Game and Graphics Developer
Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
2,750
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
What happened with me was different. They did not steal a game of mine and sell it, nor did they steal my resources and resell them under a different name or anything like that. They simply accused me of stealing their artwork and selling it (which was my artwork, naturally). I have absolutely no clue what possessed them to do that nor any clue as to what they thought they were going to gain from doing so other than having heightened scrutiny brought upon themselves.

I didn't push it further because the mod told me that the admins were aware of the issue and were looking into it, so there really wasn't anything else for me to do.

This person has been doing this for years, it's not a recent thing. They are notorious over on RPG Codex for their shady shenanigans. Yet, it doesn't seem like any site really takes much if any action against them.
 

MushroomCake28

KAMO Studio
Staff member
Global Mod
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
3,597
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I just checked and saw this on the U.S. Copyright Office's FAQ for copyright registration. Could we both be wrong?

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”
Not a US lawyer, however I suspect that it means that you have to register to sue for copyright infringement USING the copyright laws. However, you can still sue for infringement using the general civil responsibility laws.

The main difference between registering or not your copyright is who has the burden of proof. Like the Copyright office said, copyright rights are born from the moment the material/art/music/writing is created.
  • If not registered: the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff (meaning the person who claims to own the copyright). The plaintiff will have to prove to the judge that he/she is the one who created the material and is the owner of its copyrights. An insufficient proof will lead to the defendant's victory. The criteria is the balance of probabilities (also called preponderance of probabilities), and not beyond reasonable doubt in criminal trials.
  • If registered: the burden of proof falls on the defendant. The judge will assume that the plaintiff owns the copyright and it is the burden of the defendant to try to prove otherwise. The criteria is still the balance of probabilities (also called preponderance of probabilities) though.
Now, compensation you can get depends on which law you use as your basis to sue the other party for copyright infringement.
  • Civil responsibility laws usually allows for compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctions (take down of the copyrighted material), and reimbursement of any sum that the defendant made while exploiting your copyrighted material, even if it was only a part of the profits.
  • Using specific copyrights laws (like what you have cited, and which apparently don't allow lawsuits if the material isn't registered) can offer advantages (like for example help from an agency, like DMCA), but it can also have disadvantages (like different allowed compensations). Unfortunately it's more of a case by case depending on the specific law you use to sue, and I don't know the specific of this particular law.
So every law that can be used to sue someone has different process, require different burden of proof (on the defendant vs on the plaintiff), different compensations, different criteria for proof, different elements to prove, etc.

In any case, going to trial for a small project like a RPG Maker project isn't really realistic because of the low budget and often international relationships.
 
Last edited:

KillerGin

Freddie
Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
331
Reaction score
163
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Wow, thats crazy bro!

People these days!

I am so glad you caught this person. Now lets hope some form of justice will be applied.
 

Elliott404

NotRookieGamedev. NotAdvancedEither.
Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
545
Reaction score
1,592
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So... An old hag rather than acting her age complaining about kids these days destroyed the economy, she acts worse than a kid, shamelessly stealing the youngsters work, and didn't learn her previous shame.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
104
Reaction score
353
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The violator may have removed the product page, but apparently they still haven't removed a self-incriminating post from their profile. Assuming the text and screenshots are ripped, they're still openly violating copyright law for all to see.

https://itch.io/profile/kieferd20
 
Last edited:

Elliott404

NotRookieGamedev. NotAdvancedEither.
Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
545
Reaction score
1,592
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I reported that deleted game page with some proof- others might've done as well.
The problem is we don't know who owns the rest of the games.
 

Shaz

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
38,485
Reaction score
12,027
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So... An old hag rather than acting her age complaining about kids these days destroyed the economy, she acts worse than a kid, shamelessly stealing the youngsters work, and didn't learn her previous shame.
You are assuming what you read on her facebook profile is true.
 

Elliott404

NotRookieGamedev. NotAdvancedEither.
Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
545
Reaction score
1,592
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Really? I don't even know her fb, I just assumed according to what I read.
 

Switz

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
173
Reaction score
134
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So Itch.io hasn't done anything. Noticed today that they "released" a new game called "RuneScape and Magic as seen here: https://kieferd20.itch.io/runesword-and-magic

And surprise surprise, another stolen game.


Ive come to the conclusion itch.io should be held responsible at this point. I'm assuming they take hosting fees on each sell made on their website and obviously after so many repeated abuses by this developer, they don't care, only that it makes them money.
 

gRaViJa

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
787
Reaction score
282
First Language
Dutch
Terrible. I agree that we are at the point where itch.io is responsible. Anyway, I reported again and i dearly hope one day someone will take that criminal to court.
 

Switz

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
173
Reaction score
134
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Just another update. I know (confirmed) of at least five people alongside me who reported it. I guess it comes as no surprise two weeks later we still have no response from Itch.io and of course the game is still on their store.

Is anyone else getting PO'd over this? Or am I letting it get to me because of my previous experience with this Lunatic Games scammer?

It's weird, I'm more angry with itch.io

I just always assumed store sites are safe. Yeah sure, I expect to see free copies of games on torrent sites and stuff. But actual store websites and being sold???

I am absolutely stunned over this.
 

RachelTheSeeker

Suddenly, a summer breeze...
Veteran
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
266
Reaction score
295
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I remember this being a big issue back on RMN over a month back. Is a shame that it's leaked to peoples' games here, too. :x
 

Jesse - PVGames

Game and Graphics Developer
Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
2,750
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Hopefully they freeze his payouts and give refunds to the people who ultimately purchased the products he was selling.
 

Elliott404

NotRookieGamedev. NotAdvancedEither.
Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
545
Reaction score
1,592
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
About time. Finally.
@Jesse - PVGames you mean stealing?
Guess some of my reports has finally been reviewed-
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 2, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

You know, I sometimes ponder if working on the story and details is more necessary than the game itself. Its... technically work, just not direct.

Like for me specifically I never stop evolving the story based on what avenues I can approach in gameplay and then I get anxious thinking "hey good thing I thought about that now instead of later". Repeat ad nauseam.
World Of Final Fantasy Livestream~!
(Ft. Kaliga)
So my office building has 8 individually rented offices in it; 3 of which are social workers and 2 are marriage therapists... Unsurprisingly it always sound very angry out there. Glad I have my own private entrance. :LZSexcite: :thumbsup-right:
I wonder if there's ever been an art challenge that involves drawing faces from the generator.

Forum statistics

Threads
94,375
Messages
920,417
Members
124,145
Latest member
RizkyBiznizz
Top