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Unread 04-13-09, 01:23 PM   #1
Cairenn
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WoWInterface and Curse working together to help protect authors and other site-users

Recently WoWInterface and Curse got together to come up with a solution for an ongoing problem. The problem in question is WowMatrix. The reasons they are a problem are many:
  • WowMatrix violates author copyright and intellectual property rights:
    • They redistribute addons without authors' permissions;
    • When they first started they would scrape the legimate sites for addons then upload them to their own site in addition to deep-linking from the sites;
    • They edited authors' files to remove donation requests and links to their home sites, etc.; and
    • They have failed on many occasions to honour authors' requests to remove addons from their application;
  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date. This leads to authors having users complain about bugs, bugs that were fixed days or weeks ago in versions that are available on the legitimate sites, causing problems for both the authors and for the end-users;
  • Until the community raised a hue and cry, Wowmatrix didn't even supply the authors' names as to who wrote the addon, let alone provide a link to where the addon was legitimately hosted;
  • WowMatrix leeches from the legitimate hosting sites without permission, let alone compensation. Originally, they scraped our sites so they could upload addons to their own site without permission, in addition to deep-linking from our sites. They have finally stopped hosting the addons on their own site, but they still deep-link from our sites, using our resources to run their program. WowInterface and Curse use a lot of bandwidth every month which costs a lot of money. The way we pay our bills is through site ads, which are directly dependent on users viewing them, and premium memberships. WowMatrix bypasses our download pages, and, as a result, people are not viewing the ads. Of course, this means the ads aren't generating any revenue to pay for the bandwidth. At the rate they were going, if they were allowed to continue using our resources without any compensation, they were going to drive us right out of business. Not only are they stealing our bandwidth and preventing us from being able to recoup that loss, they also have their own ads all over their site and application. They are directly profiting from the stolen bandwidth; and
  • Due to the massive resource drains they put on our sites, we have all experienced heightened loads and weaker performance, especially on patch days. During those days they download so much from our sites that sometimes we have a hard time keeping up to the demands; thus causing legitimate users to experience problems accessing our sites. That's just flat out unacceptable.
For months now, both sites and multiple authors have been trying to come up with solutions to the problems caused by WowMatrix. However, WowMatrix just keeps ignoring authors' requests to remove their addons from their application, working around the protections we have put in place, and proving repeatedly that they have no intention of ever becoming responsible, legitimate members of the community. Instead, they choose to continue to leech off the community. Well we, WoWInterface and Curse, have gotten together and between us we believe we may have found a solution to prevent them from pulling authors' addons from our sites to redistribute without permission and stealing our bandwidth any longer. Unfortunately we cannot release details on the solution, so as to keep it viable.

"Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah, get to the important question: What does this mean for me, your sites' user?" For the majority of users it should be completely transparent, you should not notice any difference whatsoever, other than improved site responsiveness during patch days. We hope that we will be able to revert the changes made to our sites eventually, if Wowmatrix ever stops violating authors' copyright and ceases stealing our bandwidth and other resources.

If you were previously using WowMatrix to keep your addons updated, please use our official updaters (WoWInterface, Curse). You may also mark addons as favorites on both WoWInterface and Curse in order to be alerted when they are updated.


Cairenn
Administrator, WoWInterface

Kaelten
Administrator, Curse & WowAce

[Note] If you are having any problems with being able to access files now, please post in this thread with details as to what OS you are running, what browser you are using, etc.

Last edited by Cairenn : 04-13-09 at 02:12 PM.
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Unread 04-13-09, 01:35 PM   #2
Tristanian
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*applaud*

Let's hope that the measures in place, will bring some sense into these people and they will finally decide to claim a legitimate position in the community, so that such extreme actions are never again required.
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Unread 04-13-09, 02:40 PM   #3
fewyn
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Awesome, been hoping for something like this to happen for a long time.
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Unread 04-13-09, 03:03 PM   #4
Jesamyn
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For the sake of both sites and the authors, I'm genuinely glad to hear a solution has been found.
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Unread 04-13-09, 03:17 PM   #5
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yay
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Unread 04-13-09, 03:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Stormrage View Post
yay
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I want nothing to do with
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Unread 04-13-09, 09:02 PM   #7
Elloria
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This couldn't be better news. Ive had a rough day but this made it all better. Great job guys! Hopefully this will keep them at bay for a long time. Thank you for your hard work!
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Unread 04-14-09, 04:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rendus View Post
And therein lies the problem. The authors of addons feel that the ability of the user to actually find and use their addon should be inhibited for whatever reason - I'm not sure if it's vanity, if it's some misplaced desire to control every aspect of their project, if it's just open hostility toward the people they wrote the addon for.

I have never, and will never, argue that WowMatrix's method was the correct one - I'm, believe it or not, on the side of the site maintainers in that regard, as the owner of a moderately popular site of some variety myself. Hotlinking denies them the ad revenue they'd receive from visits.

My point is solely this: I cannot understand why the addon authors, who have no stake in WoWInterface or Curse, are so vehemently against alternate means of getting their addons. This change did, as far as I can tell, break other addon updaters that did not have the issues people speak of with WowMatrix such as editing of addons and unauthorized rehosting (which is it - Do you want them to host the addons themselves, or not? You get arguments from both sides of that fence). There's likely no technical solution that would single out WowMatrix that wouldn't make it trivial to work around, but baby with the bathwater and all that.

The 'I'm going to rehost for my guild' comment was as much truth as bait of sorts to draw out the very sort of comment it did - DMCA takedowns for redistributing an unmodified copy of a work that is freely available, and almost certainly doesn't have licensing information made available on a page I can access without actually downloading the addon. This rehosting provides no further burden to WOWI/Curse, provides fantastic convenience to the users of these addons in that they will have a one-stop shop for addon updates that have been verified to work by their guildmaster and without having to deal with the oddities of the 3.1 Survival Guides and such that will crop up all over the place, with many of them being of dubious accuracy.

But, authors > users.
You don't get the point.
Curse and WoWI use tons of bandwith to provide addon updates to their users. They need to pay for that bandwith somehow, and they do so by displaying ads on the download pages of addons. What Wowmatrix does is circumvent these download pages by "hotlinking", e.g. linking directly to the files inside the curse/wowi servers. Now, you might ask, why are the sites' own updaters, most notably the curse client, different? Because the sites can put ads in there, too, thus can use that income to pay for the bandwith they use. If you support WoWmatrix, you support making Curse/WoWI bankrupt, and that would also mean no more addons quickly available to you.

regards,
stolenlegacy, addon author.

Originally Posted by Rendus View Post
Myself, I have my addons updated. It's the other hundred or so people that'll be looking to me for help that I'm not looking forward to, and no amount of sloth on my part is responsible for it.

Want to walk your average WOW users through this? At a casual glance, I can't even find the WoWInterface installer. Find? Nothing. Community? This. Addons? Well, those are addons. Projects? Nope, a SVN repository of addons in various questionable stages of quality. Forums? This heap again.

I google for "wowinterface addon updater", and first hit has this gem:

Please Note: This updater is being discontinued. We're allowing you to continue downloading this current version until the new one is ready, but please be aware that it may not work as well as could be hoped for.

Well... That's... Good. So do I download that or not?

I know I wouldn't. And given the Downloads: 74,943 figure, I suspect many others aren't convinced either.
It has been stated multiple times in this thread, download the curse client until the new WoWI updater is ready, most addons avialable here are also avialable for download at curse, thus being updatable via the curse client.

Last edited by StolenLegacy : 04-14-09 at 04:39 AM.
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Unread 04-14-09, 04:36 AM   #9
Rendus
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Originally Posted by StolenLegacy View Post
You don't get the point.
Curse and WoWI use tons of bandwith to provide addon updates to their users. They need to pay for that bandwith somehow, and they do so by displaying ads on the download pages of addons. What Wowmatrix does is circumvent these download pages by "hotlinking", e.g. linking directly to the files inside the curse/wowi servers. Now, you might ask, why are the sites' own updaters, most notably the curse client, different? Because the sites can put ads in there, too, thus can use that income to pay for the bandwith they use. If you support WoWmatrix, you support making Curse/WoWI bankrupt, and that would also mean no more addons quickly available to you.

regards,
stolenlegacy, addon author.
I believe I get the point quite clearly, as demonstrated in the very block of text you quoted. For your convenience:

I have never, and will never, argue that WowMatrix's method was the correct one - I'm, believe it or not, on the side of the site maintainers in that regard, as the owner of a moderately popular site of some variety myself. Hotlinking denies them the ad revenue they'd receive from visits.

My point is solely this: I cannot understand why the addon authors, who have no stake in WoWInterface or Curse, are so vehemently against alternate means of getting their addons.
If the only argument addon authors made was the concern about WoWI/Curse, sure, I'd be onboard. The argument brought up more often than not from what I've seen, though, is the mod author's rights.

I think some of this is anger/fallout about the changes to the Blizzard UI policy regarding donations (another common complaint - They can't see my donation buttons!), directed at a target they can actually do something to.
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Unread 04-14-09, 04:58 AM   #10
Glocknine
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i dont trust other addon sites other than wowinterface and curse!!
if wowmatrix leeching these legit sites!! is it not possible to implement a situation where you have to be login as members before you can download? and put alot more security features like confirmation code that changes everytime you download the same files so that they cannot deep-link files in wowinterface and curse to wowmatrix?
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Unread 04-14-09, 04:59 AM   #11
Rendus
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Originally Posted by Glocknine View Post
i dont trust other addon sites other than wowinterface and curse!!
if wowmatrix leeching these legit sites!! is it not possible to implement a situation where you have to be login as members before you can download? and put alot more security features like confirmation code that changes everytime you download the same files so that they cannot deep-link files in wowinterface and curse to wowmatrix?
It is technically possible for them to do this, and in the past WOWI used to require logins to either search for or download addons. They need to refrain from making the site more difficult to use, though, really.
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Unread 04-14-09, 08:28 AM   #12
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Good for you!!!

WoWmatrix is nothing but a bandwidth leech. And then doesnt even bother to give Authors proper credit...
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Unread 04-14-09, 08:52 AM   #13
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I'm gonna try and stay civil here. But I really don't think the people who made this decision really understand how the internet works. I'm going to point out a few problems.

First, you realize that wowmatrix is going to work around this. "Oh, but we found a really *good* way to keep it out!!!" Tell that to the DVD-CCA, Apple, Stardock, and literally thousands of other people who "outsmarted the hackers". The hackers always find a way. They built a simple, elegant user interface, something that's really *hard* to do. You think they can't work around whatever you've put into place? You're very full of yourself if you think they can't.

Second, I'm now relegated to updating my addons by hand. So I'm going to be using *more* bandwidth than just leeching them down with wowmatrix. Right now I just grab the addons, which are generally pretty small files. Some of the web pages on your site, with graphics, comments and so on, are bigger than the addons I'd be downloading. And, since I use Firefox and Adblock Plus, you'll get no additional ad revenue, but at least I'll be using more bandwidth. Net loss there.

Why do I use AdBlock? Well, it's not really to block ads, it's to block all the stuff that comes with ads. You know, the malware that auto-installs with a zero-day exploit to put a keylogger on my system, that kind of thing.

Third, how much time did you spend on this instead of updating your addon manager that doesn't work right? You realize that most of us use WoWmatrix because it's easy, fast, and clean? Which is basically the story of the entire Internet in a nutshell. Basically Wowmatrix is napster. And you're the RIAA. Grats.

I completly understand how much it costs to run a site like this. And I appreciate what you're trying to do with this change. I just think you've gone about it completely backwards. The actions you've taken aren't going to work, they aren't going to increase ad revenue from me anyway, and really all they do is provide annoyance to me and more bandwidth costs to you.

So what's the answer? Build a tool that's light and easy but put your own ads into it, and you'll find success. Build up a program and take donations for a "premium" version for $20 a year and trade on your name, the fact that you've been around a long time and you're not going anywhere. License it, open your accounting so the mod authors don't think you're making money off their hard work (because you'll probably just break even) and have a happy community.

Down the path you're on lies only frustration and misery for you and the people who you want to use your site.
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Unread 04-14-09, 09:06 AM   #14
dexorama
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This is Bull. You are freaking jealous little babies. I use Wowmatrix and love it. I also Use the option when you right click the addon to go the Authors page and I always give thanks/check out what else the author is doing. So F U guys for breaking it. Now I am going to have to manually update everything, the whole time being more angry at you a-holes for ruining a good thing. Your updaters suck balls I tried both of them before even hearing about Wow Matrix, I deleted them both and I went back to updating everything manually because they sucked so bad. GG retards. You are the freakin' Microsoft of WoW, you can't make anything better so you cripple the best thing out there.
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Unread 04-14-09, 09:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by chris_the_elder View Post
First, you realize that wowmatrix is going to work around this.
Not before the vast majority of users update their addons manually or with the official site updaters this patch cycle.

Originally Posted by chris_the_elder View Post
Second, I'm now relegated to updating my addons by hand.
Here is my shoulder. You may cry on it.

Originally Posted by chris_the_elder View Post
And, since I use Firefox and Adblock Plus, you'll get no additional ad revenue, but at least I'll be using more bandwidth. Net loss there.
I use ABP as well. Guess what? We're the minority. It doesn't block my donation link, either.

Originally Posted by chris_the_elder View Post
Third, how much time did you spend on this instead of updating your addon manager that doesn't work right? You realize that most of us use WoWmatrix because it's easy, fast, and clean? Which is basically the story of the entire Internet in a nutshell. Basically Wowmatrix is napster. And you're the RIAA. Grats.
I wasn't aware they were obligated to write the applications you demand, for free. Apparently the world owes you free music as well, because you cry like a spoiled child when your illegal activity is shut down. Comparing WoWI and Curse to the RIAA is laughable and shows your ignorance. I suggest a visit to wikipedia.

Originally Posted by chris_the_elder View Post
I completly understand how much it costs to run a site like this.
You've already made it abundantly clear that you do not, in fact, have a f'ing clue. Without ad revenue, this site eventually goes down, and then WM would break. So either way, WM breaks.

I think I get more satisfaction from the whining of users like you than I do knowing WM's authors are getting what they deserve.
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Unread 04-14-09, 11:22 AM   #16
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I just want to say we appreciate every ones feedback.

A reply to some of the comments I have read about limiting bandwidth. Right now we can't fully detect them at least I haven't been able to figure it out. We are only able to either remove info WM needs or make a download button that would be difficult for a program to use. Wireshark shows they use a random user agent every time they visit along with other things so we really can't detect them. I agree that may be a better solution though.
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Unread 04-14-09, 01:05 PM   #17
Thengus
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Angry Are you ppl joking?

Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
If you were previously using WowMatrix to keep your addons updated, please use our official updaters (WoWInterface, Curse). You may also mark addons as favorites on both WoWInterface and Curse in order to be alerted when they are updated.

And I use the Curse Updater… and I also download some add-on manually from WI, when they are not on Curse… and I did not want to use wowmatrix for a number of reasons (but I have to use it on my mate computer, however, as I cannot run the Curse updater on that one)

However, let me repeat it: This is Crap

The Wow interface application do not exist (the one that exist is windows only AND discontinued) and the Curse one (now at version 3) is just barely usable, still crashes and on OS X only works if you have 10.5 and an intel processor.

If the ppl at WI and Curse want to resolve the issue with WM, just buy the damn product from them… and use it as your manager!

We already know that WM manager works with your websites and it works better than anything you currently offer. it works basically everywhere, uses less resources and is faster…

If you had a good product out, almost no people would use WM in the first place, and the problem would be non existent… But you decided a manager was not a priority… guess what? all the ppl that uses WM thinks otherwise…

I do not know how many users have WM instead of Curse manager or using manual downloads from WI, but they must be A LOT if the problem is so pressing…

The solution is never to try stop someone to do something… You will spend more money and in the end fail at that. The solution is to offer something that render the product offered by that someone unappealing…

So the owners of WM are so uncooperative? Reverse engineer their SW and create one that work almost the same… and that have a good interface and do not cause more problems than it resolve…

Wanna get an amicable solution? i said it earlier… buy and use the damn thing!

my .02€

Thengus, EU Shadowsong
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Unread 04-14-09, 01:12 PM   #18
Zirco
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Originally Posted by Thengus View Post
This is Crap
Thengus, EU Shadowsong
Thengus,
I'm just curious. If you had to pay to use WowMatrix how much would you pay? $1 per month? $5 per month? If paying was the only way to use a really nice client like WowMatrix would you go back to manually downloading?

Last edited by Zirco : 04-14-09 at 01:17 PM.
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Unread 04-14-09, 01:19 PM   #19
Thengus
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Originally Posted by Zirco View Post
Just curious. If you had to pay to use WowMatrix how much would you pay? $1 per month? $5 per month? If paying was the only way to use a really nice client like WowMatrix would you go back to manually downloading?
I do not know. I spend enough money for my WoW acoount, i think.

But I can live with adds on a website or on a add on manager.

At the moment I'm worried of the time that Curse will start asking for subscriptions, as it might became a problem for me, but I'll think about it then. They might improve the client up to stability and usability or even buy WM in the meantime… you never know…

Thengus, Shadowsong
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Unread 04-14-09, 02:01 PM   #20
bennykurns
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So the new way to do things is to use the official addon updating programs provided by Curse and WoWInterface. Too bad they suck ass. Maybe you guy should consider working WITH the WoWMatrix team instead of against them?
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