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Deletions & Archiving at Nexus Mods


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1 hour ago, Gruffydd said:

An interesting idea that I had while responding to some posts over at the Nexus...

An argument could be made that the changes there are commercial in nature. Collections - in addition to providing a service that many mod users enjoy - appear to be designed to increase sales of Premium Member subscriptions, for which prices have just been increased and the "lifetime" option removed. All of the arguments against why opt in/opt out or authors being able to delete old versions of their mods or remove them entirely appear to be based on such activities breaking the new business model. And the service itself adds a convenience function of one-click installation that is only available to Premium Member subscribers. In other words, the company is instituting changes that are apparently specifically designed to increase revenue, while at the same time explicitly claiming eternal publishing rights to mods hosted on their site to use with this new business model.

Given this, I think an argument could also be made that 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.

I'm starting to think that the issue is no longer do I want or not want to have my mods hosted there, but can I legally allow my mods to be hosted there and still meet the licensing obligations on the assets (fonts, images, textures) I am using. A good number of them are specifically licensed to me for non-commercial use only.

on the face of it sounds feasible, I would however think they would have had their legal department check it out before this stage.

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15 minutes ago, Uncus said:

on the face of it sounds feasible, I would however think they would have had their legal department check it out before this stage.

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....

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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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