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Deletions & Archiving at Nexus Mods


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2 hours ago, Gruffydd said:

any mods hosted there are now being used commercially, and as a whole this commercial use is specifically designed to generate profits for the site.

But hasn't this been the case for many years now?  Robin has been running a business with paid employees at least since he began hosting mods back in 2006.  At that point the site stopped being a small forum-only fan site run by a teenager from a computer in his bedroom and gradually turned into, as he says, a "fast-growing company" with a "modern office". 

Now I do not know the legality of what he is doing, and I am not arguing either for or against it, but I do know that he couldn't afford to host 4.8 billion files unless the site was a profitable business.

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1 hour ago, Gruffydd said:

I'm not so sure on that... it doesn't really affect them directly, as they're not the ones with the non-commercial use only licenses.

I'm the one with the licenses, so if I then license my mod to the Nexus by posting there, and they're considered commercial use, I'd be the one in violation.

I'm also not sure how much they're sending through legal at all, since the whole "we can change the ToS any time we want and it's your responsibility to spot when it changes, but as soon as we change it if you use the website you're agreeing to it" thing has lost big in a number of court cases, including one where the judge declared the entire ToS invalid because, since the ToS could change at any time without notice, it was in his words "illusory and therefore unenforceable". But that's a different issue....

I can definitely confirm this. Somebody else looked up Terms of Service protocols on a legal website, and found that, according to said website, if a Terms of Service includes a "unilateral provision" stating that the company can change it willy-nilly and not tell a soul, then the TOS is entirely unenforceable.

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8 hours ago, Pseron Wyrd said:

But hasn't this been the case for many years now?  Robin has been running a business with paid employees at least since he began hosting mods back in 2006.  At that point the site stopped being a small forum-only fan site run by a teenager from a computer in his bedroom and gradually turned into, as he says, a "fast-growing company" with a "modern office". 

Now I do not know the legality of what he is doing, and I am not arguing either for or against it, but I do know that he couldn't afford to host 4.8 billion files unless the site was a profitable business.

Well, to me the difference is that when the site was simply a distribution site, then the mods themselves, as property of the individual mod authors, were not being used commercially by the mod authors. Since the Nexus was just a distribution site, and the mod authors had the final say in when, where, and how a mod was distributed, a solid argument could be made that the mods themselves were noncommercial, and that the site made its money not on the mods, but on its memberships and ad sales.

However, now that mod authors no longer control their work there, the Nexus is saying "these mods are ours to distribute", and they're putting them together into collections to both change how they are distributed and to encourage people to buy newly-pricier memberships (because they get the one-click button). So now, the mods are needed for the collections, and the collections are driving the business model, and the business model is designed to increase profits. They have effectively become a publishing house instead of a distribution center, and that's a pretty clear step in the direction of commercial use of the mods.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hadn't actually read the CK EULA lately, so I'd forgotten this bit...

2. GAME MODS; OWNERSHIP AND LICENSE TO ZENIMAX
A. Ownership.  As between You and ZeniMax, You are the owner of Your Game Mods and all intellectual property rights therein, subject to the licenses You grant to ZeniMax in this Agreement.  You will not permit any third party to download, distribute or use Game Mods developed or created by You for any commercial purpose.
(emphasis added by me)

I asked in the forums at NexusMods if it is even permissible under the Bethesda CK EULA for Bethesda mods to be hosted on NexusMods now under the current system, which is obviously (to me at least) commercial use, asking for someone to please give a rational reason why it is permissible (because I like using mods, specifically for Bethesda games) so I don't have to worry about it.

Within a couple of posts, I was informed by a moderator that it "didn't impact" the EULA, giving no reasoning as to why, and the thread was closed.

This does not instill me with confidence. I hope Bethesda doesn't see this as an opportunity to try to shutter the main competition for Bethesda.net. Because unless someone can give me an even remotely reasonable logical reason why this doesn't violate the EULA, I've got to think that it does....

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I'm aware of what the argument has always been. In fact, until last month I'd have been making that argument myself. As with most other mod sharing sites, the relationships were between the authors and the users, and the Nexus was just the medium. The mods themselves were not being used in a commercial manner, and income was derived from providing the medium in which authors and users could connect.

Donation points for me are also not the issue.

The issue - what has changed - is that the relationship is no longer between the author and the user. Now the author uploads their work, and the Nexus claims all rights to it, including distribution, in perpetuity. The author can even be banned or choose to delete their own account, and the mods remain. They can't be deleted unless the Nexus says so, and they've already shown that will only happen in very rare circumstances. They can't be edited by the author, because Nexus functionality only allows an update, and the old version remains alongside the new version. Even "hidden" or "archived" mods are still available to anyone who can get the proper codes for the mod and version they want. The mods are no longer the author's to control, distribute, or remove, as all management of them has been "licensed" to NexusMods the moment they were uploaded.

NexusMods is doing this - has stated so explicitly - in support of their new business model, which is designed - again stated explicitly - to among other things increase traffic to the site. Increased traffic will result in increased profits, either through increased ad revenue (free users) or increased subscription fees (paid users). At the same time, subscription fees have been raised - significantly - for the first time in years, directly coinciding with the rollout of the new product, with in-demand functionality in the new product (the one-click download of an entire collection) tied specifically to said subscription.

NexusMods is now in the business - again explicitly stated - of distributing the mods, and has stated that they have distribution rights for eternity because their ToS says they do, and authors agreed to the ToS (as stated in the ToS) the moment they used the site. Whether distributed through one-click download of collections, through self-download from the list for unpaid users for collections, or individually from single mod pages, it's no longer the author doing the distribution. Now that the deadline is over, this applies even if the mod author for whatever reason no longer wants their mod on the site. The answer is now "No, we're not removing it. Doing so would cause problems for our new product, and you licensed your mod to us to use how we want."

So, they are a business. In fact, they are the largest business of their kind on the planet. They are being run as a business, with paid employees and everything else that goes with being a business. They are not a non-profit. They are no longer serving as intermediaries between the authors and users, and are now in the business of directly distributing the mods to the users themselves.

How can we see this as anything other than them distributing the mods provided ("licensed") to them for commercial purposes?

Does this not make them a third party (not Bethesda, not a mod author) distributing mods controlled by them (not the mod author) for commercial purposes? And are we, the users of the CK, not explicitly prohibited from allowing our mods to be distributed by a third party for commercial purposes?

Please, someone find the flaw in my reasoning here, because I really don't want this to be the case.

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I assume nexus has a contract with bethesda, otherwise bethesda would have reacted. It is give and take, like it's always with business: Nexus is the most important medium to keep bethesda games alive. In return they get rights to act like they do. There is nothing wrong with it, but now it affects the modder comunity in a bad way.

For the new TOS, I can say that nexus just does what other platforms do since years. I read through all the TOS and everywhere it's explicitely said that they may change the terms without informing the users at anytime. That they may distribute all content to all existing other platforms or social media sites at any time. So the fact is, if you want to delete a mod from a platform you can be sure the content is already spread everywhere throughout the net and if they tell you you can delete your files whenever you want, they are already sold elsewhere. Nexus now just catches up.

Yes, you are completely right, nexus role changed. They are now distributors. They are a commercial site, but this is not just recently the case. This is since years. I dare to say this endeavor was long planned if not a goal from the beginning.

I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing. Bad for us unhappy modders. The next generation of mod users and creators will not even notice the changing. It will be forgotten soon.

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I've been silent on this subject because I didn't want to generate any controversy over the issue beyond what's already out there, but as this is going to become apparent soon enough anyway, I figure the time is now to say something.

I have just submitted a file deletion form to purge 100 mod pages that have been uploaded to Nexus over the course of the last 15 years. I did not want to do this, but Nexus has made it clear they do not respect mod authors in the slightest and I felt that I had to respond to that in the only way they've left us. This represents a great deal of time invested for me and I'm sure folks can imagine it hurt like hell to submit that form, but IMO my rights are far more important.

That said, yes, I am leaving a handful of things up for Skyrim Special Edition. You can all call me a hypocrite for doing it, but I don't fancy starving to death due to lack of money either. No further updates to any of my mods will be done, and no new material from me will be uploaded in the future.

Due to existing agreements with the Unofficial Patch team, the patches will be the ONLY content under my account that will receive its regular updates. So don't ask about the rest, because it won't be happening.

And to be absolutely clear on this, no permission is granted to anyone to upload any of my work to Nexus Mods or any other site. Do not ask, because the answer is no.

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Yes, I understand perfectly how that hurts. But I'm convinced that your decision was very clearheaded. I feel the same and I made my decision one day after the announcement was out. There are always two sides: One who does things and the other who let things happen. Sometimes you have to say no.

I'm sure there will be better times. Other options will be available in future. Thanks for all what you've done for us. It will not be forgotten.

And I had to smile about some of your recent comments on nexus. Could not have said this better.

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2 hours ago, Tasheni said:

I assume nexus has a contract with bethesda, otherwise bethesda would have reacted. It is give and take, like it's always with business: Nexus is the most important medium to keep bethesda games alive. In return they get rights to act like they do. There is nothing wrong with it, but now it affects the modder comunity in a bad way.

For the new TOS, I can say that nexus just does what other platforms do since years. I read through all the TOS and everywhere it's explicitely said that they may change the terms without informing the users at anytime. That they may distribute all content to all existing other platforms or social media sites at any time. So the fact is, if you want to delete a mod from a platform you can be sure the content is already spread everywhere throughout the net and if they tell you you can delete your files whenever you want, they are already sold elsewhere. Nexus now just catches up.

Yes, you are completely right, nexus role changed. They are now distributors. They are a commercial site, but this is not just recently the case. This is since years. I dare to say this endeavor was long planned if not a goal from the beginning.

I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing. Bad for us unhappy modders. The next generation of mod users and creators will not even notice the changing. It will be forgotten soon.

Well, that's the thing though... the CK EULA isn't between NexusMods and Bethesda, it's between Bethesda and us, and I sure don't have any kind of a contract saying it doesn't apply if NexusMods is the third-party distributor.

Will Bethesda make an issue of it? Probably not. Are we still technically violating their EULA every time we post a Bethesda mod to NexusMods? I've got to think we are. And as I no longer trust either Bethesda or NexusMods to have anything other than their own interests in mind, that kind of thing hanging over me makes me nervous. One more reason I'm glad I took my mods down from there, I guess.

One thing though, regarding your post. Unless the ToS states that the rights are transferable, they aren't, which means that while a company with a ToS like that can distribute the content to end users, they can't give or sell it to other distributors for redistribution. At least, not legally. Also, that "we can change it at any time without telling you and you agree to the changes just by being here thing" is common, but it's also losing court case after court case here in the USA. Unfortunately to challenge such a ToS requires a court case, which requires money, so it's unlikely to ever happen.

You're right though that a lot of the other sites have similar stuff in their ToS. It's one of the big reasons I chose here.

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2 hours ago, Arthmoor said:

...

I have just submitted a file deletion form to purge 100 mod pages that have been uploaded to Nexus over the course of the last 15 years.

...

I don't know if you have a way to check this, but once they process your request, if you can you might check to see if the files are actually gone, or can still be accessed for those with the right codes or whatever, or are still accessible to NexusMods staff for retrieval.

In other words, were they really deleted, or just archived?

The reason I say this is that when my deletion request was processed, the name of each of my mods was changed to include the word "DELETED" in the title, but the pages for them are still there, and I got a message for each file in those mods stating this:

image.png.80f184c98cf3247e18b2bd29dd2e16cd.png

So I really have to wonder, did they actually delete the files as I requested and as they said they would, or did they outright lie to me, and simply archive them under their new archival system?

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I collected all of my file IDs for everything I submitted a deletion for. So I'll be able to check if those files are still being served by the API after confirmation is sent.

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I wouldn't call myself a refuge as I've never posted a mod on Nexus, but I do use mods from Nexus and I'm just following a few of my favorite mod makers here as they're great content re-inventors.

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34 minutes ago, ZonZon said:

I wouldn't call myself a refuge as I've never posted a mod on Nexus, but I do use mods from Nexus and I'm just following a few of my favorite mod makers here as they're great content re-inventors.

Welcome, the refugees were originaly first the people who left the now closed Bethezda forums but now we welcome all who need a new home.

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As I have posted elsewhere, this is indeed sad for so many.  To use my favorite quote "Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain."  And although there will be some who will argue one way, and others who argue the other, the manner in which the whole issue was handled smacks of the very meaning of that statement by Schiller.

 

But, we will all make it past this, and things will continue, and if everyone pulls together - though mods may be hosted in other places - we can all work to ensure that people know where to find them, and so continue to have access to all the wonderful work done by so many wonderful and talented people.

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3 hours ago, smr1957 said:

But, we will all make it past this, and things will continue

Yes, absolutely.   I have no doubt about that.  I have been around long enough (too long, I sometimes think) to have seen a great many popular mod hosting sites come and go.  But the modding community has continued to thrive despite these setbacks.  Modders are very resourceful people.  It's what makes them good modders.  If the Nexus goes down in flames, as so many other sites have done in years past, the modding community find or invent another another way to distribute this important work.  

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When I retired from modding years ago I deleted everything, that was my intent. Completely deleting everything (all of my accounts, websites and my content).  I do feel bad that those who wanted to try out my content are no longer able to. But in the same breath, my content was a buggy mess and the one thing I did (probably to the point of annoying my friends) was obsess over it every day. The last thing I ever wanted was people using a buggy version of my content that would ruin their game, and if I was still a mod author and using the nexus, I would fret over not being able to delete the earlier versions

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Wow, I've been out of the loop and didn't know this had happened. I usually don't read site specific news but for content creators this is an absolute gut punch. I've got copies of everything saved (for what I want to use in game) and hopefully some people's old Oblivion, Morrowind, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 mods can still be found but they (Nexus) really made a mess of this.

It wouldn't surprise me if this isn't the herald of something different for modding in general, especially with ES6 sometime in the future - fully micro transactional modding only - what you're seeing now are the attempts to get a fully realized plan in place for when those titles (possibly Fable too) hit.

Sorry to see the mods deleted Arthmoor. Guess I'll be visiting here more often reading up, but I cannot just support the Nexus anymore.

Hopefully other mod authors can recover for now.

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Could anyone please provide me with means of supporting this page besides Patreon? I don't do recurring donations/subscriptions on principle. And the only time I actually tried to set up a Patreon donation, resulted in instant/immediate cancellation by my Pay-Pal account (before the first payment), followed by two weeks of email conversation between Patreon, Pay-Pal and me leading to absolutely nothing at all.

I believe it is important to support the alternative hosting sites to Nexus now, despite me not seeing eye-to-eye with Arthmoor on a lot of things.

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If you follow through the Patreon link, click on the "Show More" link under the About Arthmoor post, there should be a direct link to use for Paypal.

Unfortunately at this time there are no other alternatives to use for sending donations, but I am open to suggestions for those who may want an alternative to either Paypal or Patreon.

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On 8/7/2021 at 3:32 PM, Arthmoor said:

If you follow through the Patreon link, click on the "Show More" link under the About Arthmoor post, there should be a direct link to use for Paypal.

Unfortunately at this time there are no other alternatives to use for sending donations, but I am open to suggestions for those who may want an alternative to either Paypal or Patreon.

I think there are some Paypal and Patreon integration plugins for Invision but the last one I saw (a while ago) for the latter was more of a board-wide integration to one single Patreon.

With a little digging it might be possible to gin up some alternatives for revenue; for example how is LoversLab handling things?

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Hey, all. I'm another one who jumped ship! I ended my Nexus account. I considered taking my mods with me, but they are small low-effort creations that already had open permissions w/ TTW ports; and I burned FO3 players once before deleting my Dogmeat mod. TBH I still ghost the site on a baby account just because the FF Pixel Remasters are getting some great mods that fix SE's shoddy work.

I have nothing to add to the Nexus discussion that hasn't been said already, just that I've used or contributed to that site since TESOblivion had zombie outbreak mods! And it sucks to see them "change with the times" like this. Regarding AFK Mods though, I think the best help to give is just letting other content creators know it's here it open arms. The rest will happen with time.

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