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.
Jan 7, 2011