Roshpit Champions, the user mod in question, contained content stolen from other player’s as of then unapproved community submissions as well as one instance of an unauthorized boot icon taken from Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. The creator of Roshpit Champions, Ryan ‘ChalkyBrush’ Racioppo, tried to explain his use of the community content by stating:
- “Anything submitted to the workshop is Valve’s property and can therefore be used in Valve’s game. Roshpit Champions is subject to the same rules, making the game also a property of Valve’s.”
As for the stolen World of Warcraft icon, Racioppo was quoted as saying:
- “I didn’t think a low-res screencap of a screencap would be an issue. The picture is awful anyway and probably needs a replacement. Does blizzard [sic] care though? In the end, Blizzard is the only one with the right to complain about this low quality image existing in this little sub-realm of Dota 2. If Blizzard or Valve informs me that this is an issue, I will replace this image.”
Some may remember last year when the first paid Skyrim mod was removed for using stolen content, something Valve clearly didn’t want to have happen when they relaunched the idea with Dota 2. Quick to apologize for using the unauthorized content, Racioppo removed the infringing materials in a patch released over the weekend, then addressed the community both internally and on Reddit.
Though any lawsuits were avoided, this does bring up one of the most obvious problems with monetizing mods; that by nature, many of them borrow content from other creators, often without the creators realizing it. How this affects Valve’s Custom Game Pass program remains to be seen.