YoYo Games user snowyowl yesterday blogged at Ludum Dare saying that he had discovered that his recent contest entry, Jump Pirate, was being distributed without his permission on the Romanian software index Softpedia.
Other Game Maker games on the site include Karoshi and CrimeLife 2 both of which have been downloaded over 100 and 7,000 times respectively.
In total 18 games belonging to snowyowl had been taken from his account at YoYo Games and posted on the site. He puts forward his opinion on the ripping/syndication/further free promotion (call it what you will) in a rather nice way.
“Some of you may consider this a good thing – as you are right to, since Softpedia is a popular website and your game will be downloaded more if they feature it. I personally consider that they are benefiting from my work without my consent. I don’t mind YoYo Games advertising on my game’s page, since they maintain the tools I use to create games and the forums I use to discuss them, but anyone else is a no-no.”
I agree entirely with the points laid out above. Yes this free promotion gets more people playing your game but Softpedia is business and certainly isn’t short of traffic. Effectively it’s a scraper site where content creators have no control over how their work is used.