Morrowind 2011 Graphical Project is attacked, slain and looted by modding community

The Morrowind 2011 Graphical Project is no more. Following its free release early this week, the Canadian creator responsible for putting together the compendium of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind mods has been forced to abandon the project after receiving legal threats from Bethesda and the ire of Morrowind modders.

On Tuesday, we reported that a Canadian Morrowind fan by the name of Tyler Smith (aka warwon) had compiled years of Morrowind mods in one, convenient downloadable package for the PC. Since then, Smith has come under attack from Bethesda and fellow modders who claim that their work was unfairly pilfered and distributed. The blowback has resulted in the shutdown of the project's site, and has forced Smith to pull the torrent.

Over the last couple of days, Smith has set up camp at Reddit where he continues to fight his case. He's also posted snippets of warnings from Bethesda and politely worded threats from some of the original mod authors, including this one from a “Sean” which sums up the Morrowgate 2011 shitstorm quite nicely:

“The Morrowind community has a no tolerance policy when it comes to plagiarism and the restrictions a modder puts on their work are supported by international law. While asking would have gotten you permission from quite a few folks, as we tend to be friendly when given a bit of respect, keeping this hush-hush until release because you knew it wouldn’t go over well really didn’t help matters any.”

In his defense, Smith says that he had included credits to the original authors as part of the download, and that his motives behind releasing the Morrowind 2011 Graphical Project were simply to showcase the work of his fellow fans.

“In the end I'm just very disappointed that I wasn't given a chance to correct the issues with the package, as I knew there were issues that were [in the process of being] fixed/updated,” Smith told Joystiq.“But the file is out on the internet, and it will be very hard for anyone to remove it from all the sites.”

At time of publishing, Smith appears to be fighting back against his modding oppressors. According to his last message, “I'm like a cockroach. New Wordpress [website] and domains coming shortly.”

Indoril Nerevar would be proud.

[Source: Reddit via Joystiq]

Jan 7, 2011


  • Gurkogg - January 9, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    I do not remember the authors of any mod I have ever used for any game because I could care less. If they charged money for the stuff I might pay attention, but would not purchase any of them.
  • Ultima - January 8, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    What a bunch of miserable sods. This actually made me want to go right out and buy Morrowind just to try it out and I'm sure many others felt the same. yonderTheGreat is totally right, this guy has done us a huge favour to avoid the hours of tedium required to get all the files and get it running manually. Anyway I just went to FilesTube and now I'm downloading it so yah boo sucks to you modders community.
  • yonderTheGreat - January 8, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    Bunch of egotistical jackholes. WHY would you not want your awesome mods as part of a compilation of awesomeness? Idiots. This is one of the biggest problems w/ the community. "Q:How I DL this thing?" "A:You go to seventeen different websites and join fourteen communities and make a login name/pass for 7 different fileservers and THEN you have to load them manually in order and blahblahblah" Is there any way to support the awesomeness that this guy is doing?
  • alphaman - January 8, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Also, it's not that betheseda isn't supporting modders- quite the opposite. They're supporting the actual creators of said mods. (They're a pretty supportive company when it comes to modding; Betheseda not only provides tools to mod their entire games with, they are often posting good/recommended mods on their blog. They don't get anything out of this, unless you think they're making all that much money off of NEW people buying a decade old game because they see a new mod is out)
  • alphaman - January 8, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    The problem with what he did is that no matter if there are NO profits made off of something, a creation is still under the creator's control. What he did was consolidate them, meaning that a) they were being released as a packaged the authors didn't intend and never were given the chance to agree to (the big point is that they weren't even asked), and thus there work is diminshed because: while credited, that's doesn't actually mean anything if you don't have their permission. It's an excuse, and it hides their part in the work in credits. It also removes any recognition they get from when their files are downloaded from where the authors put it themselves. Lastly, nothing he did improved these files- it just combined them. He wasn't modding or adding his own inspiration, just making them together... when you can already get all the individual ones. So he isn't helping anyone, if that's your argument.
  • Spybreak8 - January 8, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    Lol this is just bizzare. Companies support people creating stuff with their products until it goes viral and that company isn't making money off of it. Sssseessh
  • vorpal77 - January 8, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    No offense to the modders or Bethesda but when you give away the toolkit for free to modders (note the word free), and then modders post their work online for free for others to download (note the word free), why the hell should either party be pissed when someone distributes their free stuff for free (note the words free used twice). He should be free to use the free toolkit, and allow others to download the free mods as long as its free and he is making no money off it (free used thrice in that one). If he is profiting from it then that is different.
  • Fredie007 - January 7, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    These modders objected because -in the end- it's still their creation and their decision to make whether it can be included in another project. The fact that he didn't even ask permission when it is common courtesy to do so says enough. Anyway, it has nothing to do with a narrow-minded community because a graphical morrowind compilation can be made with the support of the modders who made those mods. In fact, it is being done as we speak, just take a look at the following thread and admire the pretty images.
  • darkmagshin - January 7, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    wow, that sounds like a really irrational and closed-minded thing for those modders to do. i wonder how they got his site taken down? did he do it of his own will or was there a suit involved? this is so odd.
  • Longnuts - January 7, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    Yeah, what the hell, these mods are made for free from the community anyways and he's taking flak for putting all the mods in one file. Come on.
  • skeletalbutton - January 7, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    I'm glad that he's fighting his case, why would Bethesda take legal action against him?
  • Fusionmix - January 7, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    Damn it, I'm certainly going to download once he puts it back up. I'd be honored if my mod made it into such a compilation.
  • Robx - January 7, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    Wait, didn't the Tyler Smith dude gave credits? Did he removed the original readmes from the mods or something?
  • Denrok - January 7, 2011 7 p.m.

    Who's Indoril Nerevar?
  • Theevenger - January 7, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    Dude this is kind of eerie. I downloaded most of the files last night and I had his main instructions page up on my browser when I went to bed. I'm really glad I didn't close it or delete my download files.
  • SOUND_DIVE_ALARM - January 7, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    damn i was planning to download that soon, love morrowind still playing it today
  • hagenbombel - January 7, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    First...oh wait i got nothing to say....oh morrowwind...yes its ah...wrong what he did...i hate him...

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