You may remember CS:GO's M4A4: Howl as one of the most expensive weapon skins available for the game. Today, Valve announced their receipt of a DMCA takedown notice, stating that both the skin and the Howling Dawn community sticker were not the original work of the item's Steam Workshop contributors. "This matter is extremely serious," Valve wrote in a post to the CS:GO community , "and we have taken appropriate action to resolve it."
"By design, the Items Workshop has very low friction for artists to submit their work – new contributions do not require Valve review or approval. To ensure that these contributions represent original content, we require that all Workshop contributors sign a legal agreement confirming that their contributions are original. We also enable the community to monitor Workshop submissions and identify copies and plagiarism via the report flag."
Valve aren't messing around with their response, which contains some heavy punishments for the IP infringing item-makers:
- "Both contributors have received Steam Community bans. They receive no proceeds from either item, and both items have been removed from the game.
- "For owners of the M4A4 | Howl and Howling Dawn sticker, those items have been replaced by an alternative designed by the CS:GO team. These items will never be produced again, and have been assigned the 'Contraband' rarity.
- "All other in-game items that involve at least one of the contributors in their revenue share have been discontinued.
- "The Huntsman Case and Community Sticker Capsule have been revised to replace the copied and discontinued items.
- "Moving forward, we will no longer work with the contributors and we will not ship any existing Workshop submission that credits their involvement."
It's a stark message for those tempted to claim ownership for another's work. The new Contraband rarity and Valve-designed paint-job has, of course, meant a spike in the skin's desirability. Since the item was updated, StatTrak Minimal Wear versions have been sold for around $400.