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Aug. 17th, 2007

Britta Thorsdottir

Interesting Results in Download Statistics

Out of curiosity, I checked my download site stats for various Sims I've uploaded onto 4shared.

Most of the higher numbers are Sims posted earlier, but not all of them!

Here are the Popular Kids:

Criss Angel (illusionist) 49
Lorelei (self Sim) 28
Sheila  (friend's self Sim) 22
Neil Gaiman (awesome writer) 22
Milla (self Sim) 11
Stacy London  (What Not To Wear hostess) 11
Countess Generica (generic vampire) 10
Mariska Hargitay/Olivia Benson (Law & Order) 10
Clinton Kelly (What Not To Wear host)10
Chris Noth / Mike Logan (Law & Order / "Mr Big" on Sex & The City) 9

And here are the rest:

Diane Neal / Casey Novak (Law & Order)  8
Michael (generic Sim) 6
Jerry Orback / Lennie Briscoe (Law & Order)  6
Noel Gallagher  (Oasis...guys, he's SQUINTY! It's in beta!) 5
Liam Gallagher (Oasis) 4
Jarvis Cocker* (Pulp) 4
Mark Hamilton (Ash) 4
Tim Wheeler (Ash)  2
Rick McMurray (Ash)  2
Charlotte Hatherley (Ash)  2
Jordi Sim  (MATY member; note that this file IS available elsewhere) 1

I'm pleased that several of my "beta" version Sims were liked enough to download (Noel is the most egregiously unfinished, but the squintiness IS rather funny).

In other news, I'm surprised my self Sims have been so popular, though I suspect this is because as lot of MATY people are downloading me to torture me in their 'hoods, which is okay by me.

Another pleasant surprise is how popular Sheila Sim is, given that my friend does not actually play The Sims and helped design the character with me. I guess we did a great job!

Congrats to Criss Angel Sim, who is off being The HOTNESS in at least 49 other Simhoods.

Speaking of THE HOTNESS, ladies (and cute guy appreciators who are not ladies), your opinions are needed for a HOTNESS Poll. Got a few minutes to look at menfolksez and vote for beautimousness?  Go here!

* NOTE: File name says "C0ck3r" and this is not due to "leetness" but is instead thanks to overzealous anti-porn bots at 4shared)

Aug. 16th, 2007

Maxwell MemeCat

Disinformation for Fun and Profit

Apparently TSR has been claiming that there have been changes to the EULA that support their money grubbing ways.

As it happens, they were blowing smoke.

HawkGirl did some sleuthing:

I just spoke to Alex over at EA [and] there are ZERO plans to change the EULA agreement for the Sims 2. The custom content manager has always had a different EULA than BS or Home Crafter, because (and he just said the same thing I have said all over the place) You cannot create CC with the content manager. They are not giving paysites licensing agreements (not Thomas or anyone else) and asked where I heard this from. I told him it's obviously Thomas telling people he's in some deal with EA. He said, "NO, we are not in any deal with TSR, nor [with] any other paysite".

So now, please, I encourage everyone to call and ask to speak to Legal. The changes (
for how CC will be handled) have already been implemented in Spore and the Sims 3. So you can't cause any harm there. It's the lies that are circulating now that are "P"ing me off.

Want to see what Will Wright really thinks about paysites? Go to a Spore show and see how CC will be handled for it, how he's ensuring that CC remains free for his whole community. Then ask him why.

Curious? Call and ask if there are plans to change the EULA to support paysites.
press 0
and just ask to speak to Legal or someone in the legal department.

So there you have it. TSR has been caught telling a big, fat lie. What a shocker. *clutch the pearls* Why, I never!

In other news, Squinge from Insiminator (and other fora) has gotten sick of community drama and bunked off. You can get his hacks and mods from Sims File Vault or from my file respository (http://britpoptarts.4shared.com), and, as always, they are available for free.

Squinge will be missed, and we hope his departure is not permanent.

Aug. 2nd, 2007

Colin Harris

SIM STORY: Colin Harris, BMOC and Boy Toy

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Top row (L-R): Colin Harris, Christian Hallin, Jon Hansen, Lynette Walker, Jade Pickett, Kerry Landau
Bottom row (L-R): Lori Garret, Barry Womble
Dormitory: Smithfield House
Residence Advisor: Cara Olshfski

A peek into Colin Harris' life. We previously met him in a Harper House story. But what is he really like?

Next time, back to our usual cast of characters.

I also hope to have more actual stories to share! I haven't been able to play Sims due to a lack of free time, so these are old snapshots I had laying about.

Jul. 31st, 2007

Milla Harper

Open Letter From Delphy at MTS2 about their policies.

MTS2 has instituted a new policy. From now on, no pay material or links to paysites will be allowed. Their goal is to keep the site 100% free for the Sims community.

This note was posted on modthesims2.com and will explain the details of the new policy.

As you know, Sims2_Snapshots supports MTS2 policies, PMBD "pirates"/filesharing, and MATY hacks. As such, you typically get more community news-related comments here than "snapshots," though I hope to do better about this in the future.

(If only I had free time to play the game!)

Here's the note, posted by Delphy, from MTS2:

Hi All,

Every so often we re-examine the existing rules we have in place, compare them to the downloads and see where they - and the site - can be improved. This is one of those times. :)

MTS2 is, as you all know, the premier resource for free content and help with the Sims 2 game and we pride ourselves on having the best downloads, best creation help, best tutorials and best game help in the community.

We were founded on the belief of free access to all the content here, and have, traditionally, allowed content that essentially advertises other peoples sites (be it pay or not). Recently we cracked down on such advertising, but since MTS2 is one of the best free sites in the community, it stands to reason that we should showcase and highlight free content wherever possible. To continue with this ethos, I would like to announce these changes to the current upload rules.

Read the Short Rules if you are impatient, but before asking a question, please read the Long Rules and the Frequently Asked Questions for more clarification.

The Short Rules:

1. Any uploads to MTS2 that require pay content will no longer be accepted for upload!

2. Any uploads to MTS2 that have optional pay content will no longer be accepted for upload!

3. All content must be showcased using free content only.

3b. Asking people for content included in pictures but not linked should be confined to PM or the Where can I findonly.

4. All existing downloads that require pay content to function (including recolours, hairs, etc) will be moved to an archive in 2 weeks time.

5. For sims and lots: if you do not know where you got something, don't include it in the picture or the text! Remove it from the download or it will be rejected.

6. With regards to the signature rules: remember that removal of links is at the absolute discretion and final decision of the admins.


ps Thanks to all the MTS2 staff for giving feedback, clarifying points, helping with FAQ answers and generally being awesome! :) 

I heartily approve of this.

For those not familiar with MTS2, you are missing out on a lot of excellent content. For those of you who do not wish to go to the trouble to maintain your own free site to showcase your stuff

I am personally too busy and lazy to do it, and choose to host mine at http://britpoptarts.4shared.com, and all downloads are always free; please look at any text files that may relate to any downloads. They do not contain terms of use (my TOU is always "do what you like, play with these downloads how you like, tweak them how you like, just don't charge other people for them, and it would be nice to hear that you liked them, but that is not required, and I would prefer that you not claim them as your own work...that is all), they describe file contents and known issues (such as, for example, Sims that were uploaded in beta version form because the requester got impatient and wanted to do final tweaks on his/her own).

This is MTS2's Mission Statement. It includes an interesting look back at how the Sims 2 fan community began. Worth a look, if you missed it when visiting MTS2.

Also written by Delphy, to whom all credit / praise / questions should be directed.
Just imagine for a second... Close your eyes and imagine a world where you have to struggle to put each creation in-game. Imagine there are no tutorials, hardly any tools, and everything possible is done by sheer hard work poring over hex editors in the small hours, hand coding file formats and making the game explode at the slightest change. Welcome to the beginning of Sims 2 modding as we know it, and the foundation of MTS2.

Take a moment to imagine that world and then fast forward 3 years to where we stand today. The Sims 2 community contains millions of players, thousands of creators, hundreds of sites, and dozens of tools, all of them striving forward to produce works that the average player adores and uses everyday in their games to make stories, movies and enter contests, or to simply have fun.

Since that time, early in 2004, we've seen some great creations and some amazing talent from people and groups alike. We continue to push forward the frontier of modding every day, and it is through the tireless work of people in the freely sharing information in the Create section here that we break boundaries and produce things that were previously thought impossible.

For those of you who don't want to read all that, here's the short version:

Free sites give you:
  • Tools
  • Tutorials
  • Game help FAQs
  • Custom content help FAQs
  • Projects (Simstones, Poser Initiative, etc)
  • Lots and Housing
  • Hacks and new objects
  • Clothing and skintones, etc
  • Hair, bodyshop meshes
  • Artistic karma
  • Warm fuzzy feelings

Paysites give you:
  • Lots and Housing
  • Hacks and new objects
  • Clothing and skintones, etc
  • Hair, bodyshop meshes

Which would you rather support?

PS: This entire mission statement was not meant to guilt people into giving money. Instead, it is meant as a part-history lesson, part-wakeup call for those of you who did not know how this community - this site - came to be, and all the effort put into it from the start. I thank all of you who have donated, but this rallying call is for all of you - those who can donate and those who can't - to realise where we are going and the cost it's taken to get there. Spread the word. Spread the message - to all.

Create it. Share it. Play it.

NOTE: For a wikified version of this page, go to http://sims2wiki.info/Mission_Statement

In my opinion, this is all totally awesome.

Yay for Delphy and yay for modthesims2.com!

Jul. 20th, 2007

Milla Harper

But I Don't Use EA's Tools To Make My Pay Stuff!

But I Don't Use EA's Tools To Make My Pay Stuff!

Doesn't matter if you use PlayDoh and a flamethrower to make your stuff, once it goes into a .package file so it works with the Sims 2 game, it cannot be sold.

Says Who?!

Says EA.


Next lame argument, please.

This one is PHAIL.

Jul. 11th, 2007

Thierry LaTourneau

Sims 2 Comic Strips

Thumbs Up time!

I've been busy with school stuff, but I had to pop in to share the fun.

There are some incredibly lulzy comics here: http://forum.djssims.com/viewforum.php?f=27

The mastermind behind the funnies is jfade from DJsSims.


Jun. 30th, 2007

Milla Harper

MATYhood: The Feminista Household Has Girls' Night Out

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The Feminista household moved in next to Lucky's Pub and across from the SooSoo Recording Studio.
Eventually the ladies decided they needed a night out after a busy day of being moved around by the Great Sky Hand and reacting exhaustively to every minor redecorating they saw.

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The Feministas squeeze seven adult women into a two seater car to drive next door. They are then beseiged by strays for attention.

MATYville needs new leash laws.

Read MOAR about MATYhoodCollapse )

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Time to climb back into the Tardis-like clown car and go the eight feet back to homebase.
Only in the Sims can a car that seats two fit seven adults with ease.

A successful night out socializing. No one peed, fought, died or cried. Well, maybe that's a wee bit on the boring side. There's always next time!

Jun. 29th, 2007

Maxwell MemeCat

Another Open Letter To The Sims 2 Community

More pro-paysiters appeared, failed to read any of the existing threads, and posted the same arguments EA has already clarified repeatedly.

Frustrated open letter on the subject follows:

What is so difficult to understand?

If you make something for sale that does not require EA's games or tools to work or have usefulness, good for you.

If your creation depends on the game to work properly or have usefulness, you may not sell it.

The end.

As HawkGirl said, it is a moot point. You can create anything you like for use with the game as long as it is non-commercial.

What's "non-commercial" mean?
Non-commercial means you don't get paid. Period.

What is a pay item?
An item is a pay item if any money must be paid in order to acquire the item.
You can call it a gift, donation, surprise, bonus, present, or invent your own special term, but if you accept any money at all for it, it is a pay item, and that makes you in defiance of the EULA, and your activities thus illegal.

So, let's review.

What are the rules if my item is intended to work with The Sims 2?
EA owns the rights to it
If it is a .package file, Sims2Pack, Sims2Skin, or similar proprietary format, EA owns the rights to it. It's not a Word document, people, where a .doc does not belong to Microsoft, this is EA, where their .package (etc) files are protected by their legal documentation.

What if my creation will not work without Sims 2 tools, games, or products?
EA owns the rights to it.

Some charities give away incentives, why can't I do that?
Point one: they have filed papers to declare themselves charities, and charities have different laws and rules applied to them.
Point two: you are not a charity.
Point three: incentives given away do not break the EULA of another company which has specifically made it illegal to sell them.
Point four: many people give to charities and reject the gifts.
Point five: Please consider donating to a real charity. Ask madamehecubus   about Money Better Spent.

Is it illegal to go to the grocery store or doughnut shop and buy a cake and then sell it as yours at a school bake sale?
Technically, yes.
However, the embarrassment most people would feel trying to pass of a grocery store baked good or Krispy Kreme doughnut as their own prevents most people from trying this dodge in the first place.
Also, no one is pretending to be Dunkin' Donuts when selling those doughnuts.
Also also, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts often work with schools and give them a reduced price on their products specifically so they can be resold for fund drives.
EA does not allow anyone to buy their games directly from them at a reduced price or to resell them for fund drives, and do not allow content specifically designed to work only with their games to be sold for a profit either.

Do people have a right to make a living?

Do people have a right to make a living selling content they are not legally allowed to make a commercial profit from?

Isn't the booty illegal?

Are the items in the booty "stolen"?
No. They have been paid for.

Is filesharing booty items illegal?
No. According to EA, FREE filesharing is okay. It is a big part of what makes the Sims enjoyable for their customers.

What has EA said about the paysite versus freesite issue?
In addition to their EULA, which clearly states you can modify the game with custom content as long as you do so in a NON-COMMERCIAL manner (which should have been the end of the debate right there), EA has sent several letters to concerned Sims 2 community members clearly stating:

* that they are okay with paysites.mustbedestroyed.org
* that selling content is not okay
* that their legal department is looking into how to approach the issue.

Note that EA has also intervened on behalf of pro-freesite creators and forced paysites such as TSR to release those creators' content.

Does EA have something against creators?
No. EA is not against creators, EA is clearly against creators making a buck off the community by selling custom content illegally.

What about that bandwidth loophole we enjoyed during Sims 1?
That was a MAXIS decision.
That loophole is gone.

MAXIS used to take care of Sims community issues, and MAXIS issued the bandwidth loophole statement. This was years ago, when bandwidth was costly. Now MAXIS is only very tangentially involved. EA has taken back all control of their intellectual property. MAXIS rules no longer apply at all.

What if I really need to recoup the costs of my server/bandwidth?
There are many legal ways to do this without selling content.

Such as?
* You can talk to several people at the PMBD site about hosting.
* You can put a donation button on your site and make sure that no content is exchanged for donations.

* You can post your creations to free sites (MTS2, SFV, et cetera) or the Exchange and let them host your work.

* You can work with sites that are grouped together and host your work on a site network. S2Chost and Wicked Sims are both options.

* You can use file hosts like 4shared to host your work.

* You can use Yahoo Groups to host your work.

* You can e-mail your files to interested parties using mailers like gmail.
* You can make products for sale at CafePress, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, et cetera, as long as they do not break EA's copyrights. In other words, selling items with the official Sims logos or art is out, but selling items with your own logo, art, or creative designs are okay.

But the EA home page has website links that include paysites!

Please note that those weblinks have not been updated in a very, very long time, and predate EA taking control back from MAXIS. Stay tuned.

But the EA home page has interviews with paysite owners!
Please note that those interviews were, in many cases, held before the Sims 2 was even available commercially. This, again, predates EA taking control back from MAXIS. Stay tuned.

But the English / German / [other country here] Sims 2 website has a different policy about PMBD / filesharing / paysites!

These sites are dependent upon EA Games to decide what the company as a whole wishes to do, and since EA is still consulting with legal advisors, they are in the unenviable position of trying to please both their fans and to not speak for the parent company without permission.

But the laws in my country are different!

The contract you signed is with EA, and the laws in EA Games's home country are the ones you must obey, no matter how your local laws may differ.

How can I get rich and make a profit in the Sims 2 community and not break the law?
You can't. To attempt to do so is to break the law. Why is it right for you to make a dollar off of EA Games? You didn't make the game, you didn't make the file formats, you didn't make the tools, you didn't write the code, you are not paid by EA, thus you need to make a buck in another way.

I don't like your attitude, you are surly pirates.
Too fucking bad. We don't like YOUR attitude, nor do we like you stealing from the community and feeling self-righteous and above the law.

If you were nicer, I might join your cause.
If you need candy and flowers to do the right thing, then you are in need of more help than we can offer. Most people do the right thing without expectation of reward or a pat on the head.

But I like [paysite owner] more than I like you guys.
This is not a decision that can be made based on personalities you prefer and dislike, it is a legal matter. Besides, paysite owners are people, too, and most of them are very nice people who genuinely think they are not doing anything wrong. We do not dislike paysite people. We dislike the illegal behavior.

But [paysite owner] swears that they are doing nothing wrong!
Help educate them. They may truy believe that they are in the right. For one, the situation has changed with EA taking on roles that MAXIS formerly was in charge of. For another, it's the kind thing to do. It may save them from legal hassles down the road, or embarrassment when they are told to cease and desist.

What if a paysite owner wishes to stop charging? Will the community ever accept them?
Of course! Several former paysite employees and owners have been welcomed and assisted by the pro-freesite community! We don't dislike the paysite people, we deplore the illegal behavior that causes division and stress in the community.

If paysites are outlawed, what will happen to all the good content?
First of all, most paysite items are not great quality and you can find similar or superior quality items for free. And there is always the booty.
I thought that paying for something meant that it had to be better stuff.
It's usually not, and may be far less, quality-wise, than similar free stuff.

* Paysites do not typically refund your money if the item breaks your game.

* Paysites do not typically issue refunds if the scale of the items are wrong and bleed through walls or Sims.

* Paysites do not typically bother to let you know if their items are high-polygon, and thus lag-inducing.

* Paysites typically do not reveal that their meshes are ripped off from Poser and other mesh sites. Poser artists are less than sanguine about their work being stolen.

* Paysites which specialize in hair typically do not show you the gaps in the Sims' necks or poor animations or hair cutting through Sims; in fact, many paysites show their hair meshes on Photoshopped images.

* Paysites typically do not bother to do currency conversions, so some people pay more than others for the same item they legally should not be buying in the first place.

* Paysites occasionally refuse to release content when creators choose not to sell their work anymore, and hold it hostage until threatened by EA.

* Paysites do not typically process subscription requests in a timely manner, so if you pay for a month, you may get two weeks or fewer.

* Paysites make you pay to download their goodies, and some have punished subscribers from downloading "too much" or using download accelerator programs.

* Paysites often use copyrighted images and brand names to make their pay items more appealing, which is breaking the copyright of those companies, the professional photographers who took the images, the designers of clothing used in the photos, et cetera.

What if I can afford to spend money on pay stuff because I want to have things that not everyone else has?

Then you are buying things for the rarity or "snob factor", and this is a problem you have to work on yourself.

What if I want something someone has made, but they refuse to share it?
If they made it, that is their right. They can make whatever they want and keep it to themselves if they choose. It is only when they charge money for it that it is wrong. This is, by the way, one way to indulge an urge to have rare things no one else has: make your own, and refuse to share them with anyone else.

If I only have one pay item, and another site has 50,000 pay items, are we equally wrong?
The scope of your wrong-doing is smaller, but you are still wrong.

If I am usually a free creator and have only one donation item, does that make my site a paysite?

But I need to feed my chillunz / can't work a "normal" job / have an illness / am agoraphobic / need to be compensated for my talents and time!
Then you need to find a legal alternative to earn money.
Your talents as applied to Sims 2 game content can not legally be sold.
Apply your talents legally to make money, and use your talents within the Sims 2 community to share your hobby for free.

But I wouldn't create anything for the Sims 2 if I didn't make money!
Then you need to stop playing Sims 2 and find another outlet for your skills, because clearly being part of the fan community is not important to you.

But I have come up with something so new and special that it deserves to be rewarded with cash!

Submit it to EA, then, if it is truly so new and special, and see if they are willing to hire you.
Do not think that your item(s) is/are so special that you and you alone are allowed to break the law.
Also, it is likely that someone else has already made that new and special item, and you simply have not found it yet.
And they are probably offering it for free.

But if I call something a donation, it's a donation!
You can call it a purple unicorn, but it doesn't make it so.

Do you have Pescado's phone number? I think i have a crush on the Fat Obstreperous Jerk and wish to stalk him.
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
*dies laughing*

Show me the booty!

Maxwell MemeCat

Scenes From Sim Pescado's Bunker

Welcome to MATYhood! Today we will visit Sim Pescado's lair.

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The Pescado Bunker in neighborhood view. Cunningly camouflaged with foliage and shrubberies.

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J M Pescado and Ms Anne Thrope (a.k.a. Miss Terry Sim) move in!

She can kill a Sim 30 ways by just using her thumbs, and her garments convert into battlegear.

Could it be true love? Or, at the least, mutually convenient? Time will tell!

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Ms. Anne celebrates moving in by immortalizing Pescado in oil paints.

Every bunker should have a Scowling Pescado portrait!

It is Awesomesauce.

ETA: Please note Awesomecat's First Kill on the wall. Alas, poor MoosCowt, we hardly knew ye. Your sprinkler-fuxx0ring days are over.

Jun. 27th, 2007

Maxwell MemeCat

The Great Legal Debate: Featuring Internet Attorneys At LOL

So PMBD gets all kinds of posters, which is a good thing. We like diversity!

What we're not particularly crazy about is when Attorneys at LOL pop up to define EA's legal documents ofr us, while simultaneously ignoring the publicly available information, letters and comments posted recently directly FROM EA which help clarify EA's position on the matter.

Says JoJo, PseudoPirate:

(The red bits were red in the original post as well.)

Let's see what we have here, starting with the last point first. We're not real pirates because we do not actually steal the ISO of the Sims2 games themselves and torrent them far and wide? Well, duh. The whole pirate thing is what is commonly called an "in-joke," something that JoJo, despite having lurked for a while and posting more than a few times, has failed to understand. (I almost suspect someone snitched JoJo's password, because normally s/he seems pretty astute.)

There was, in fact, a thread that asked PMBDers what "real" piracy they engaged in online. (IT'S A TRAP!!) The results may have surprised many. The vast majority said that they ONLY shared, legally, Sims 2 game content. Out of the many copyrighted items available online, be they MP3s, films, games, images, eBooks, et cetera, only a small handful of the so-called pirates actually used the items in ways that were not Fair Use. Some were deejays who only used MP3s downloaded for preview and broadcast purposes, and as samples to help the program director and music director choose which CDs to purchase for their radio stations. Some acquired fan-dubbed foreign anime, but did not keep the material on their harddrives after viewing it, both due to space and due to having satisfied their need to view the material.

So, PMBDers are, on the whole, not so good at the real-world illegal kind of pirating, really. Yarr.
*woeface, bottle of rum consumed*

The other claim is that EA has "no right" to any content not made with EA tools. Not quite true. Once the material is converted for use in the Sims 2 games, it then IS legally EA's property, because it requires their intellectual property to function. (We won't get into the legal issues of selling content made with Maya or Photoshop if you do not legally own and have registered the copies of those software packages that cover selling content made from them; the typical version of these packages the average user has access to are not those professional versions, and technically, technically, one should not sell meshes or artwork made with them. But we'll let Maya and Adobe fight their own battles, because those are beyond the scope of PMBD.)

Anyway, as you might have guess, several of us said "WOT?" and responded. Want to see my response?

The whole pirate schtick is a joke that clearly flew right over your pointy little noggin.

Everyone else got it, I'm not sure what your problem might be.

The fact is, we are not "pirates" per se, because we do not steal that which is not legally ours. Nor do we distribute EA's property in a way that defies their EULA. EA knows about the booty, and have no complaints.

Once someone buys the pixels, they own the pixels, and can share them freely with friends. Sharing, of course, is something that is encouraged by the EULA. The fact that they had to buy the pixels in the first place is what is NOT okay with EA.

What one can NOT do, according to the EULA, is make content that only functions properly if tools specific to The Sims 2 are used, and SELL IT. If you need the .package format to make it work, or if the item in question needs the game in order to have any perceived value, it belongs to EA, legally, and EA was gracious enough to allow us to mod our games in this fashion, even going so far as to provide some tools to help us do so.

Some paysites try to get around this by saying, hey, we use Photoshop, and Maya, and those aren't EA tools. No, they aren't. But in order to convert your Photoshopped texture or Maya mesh to the game, you must make it conform to game code using tools specifically designed to work in concert with the game engine. As HystericalParoxysm once pointed out, it would be okay to make textures and sell them (though, frankly, a professional artist who has not bought the full version of Photoshop is constrained in many ways from doing this, something that was not touched upon.)

Once you create content using BodyShop, or by using other Sims 2 specific tools, and package it for the game, it is not supposed to be sold. EA is the only entity that should make money off of their intellectual property.

Especially when you get into the issue of how some content is created in the first place. Photoskinning designer logos or images of some fashion designer's work, using corporate logos without the corporation (e.g., H&M, Coca-Cola, Ford) allowing it, stealing meshes from Poser creators and converting them, ripping off someone's photography to add detail to hair, skins, accessories, or using a brand name to sell your custom content are all rather reprehensible once you try to make a buck off of things. Be it Starbuck's, Disney, the estate of A A Milne, SubWay, McDonald's, Varga, Gucci, Chanel, Emorio Armani, Joe Boxer, Calvin Klein, Garnier, L'Oreal, Maybelline or whoever, there's a fine line between paying tribute (something some of these corporations dislike anyway) and trying to make your content more appealing by piggybacking on the hard work the corporation has done to bring their product to the public's attention in the first place.

Creators should get credit for their unique interpretations and ideas, but not for items created using brand names, nor should they insist on being financially compensated once they use Sims 2 specific tools, or make an item usable for the game.

What we do here is not piracy. That's the joke that you failed to grasp.

Now, if the EULA did not specifically and clearly state that all commercial benefit to anyone other than EA was forbidden, then MAYBE you'd have a point, but even then, no one has HAXXORED a paysite and/or stolen any content. Everything in the booty has been paid for. Again, once you buy something, you can do pretty much anything you like with it if you do not then try to repackage and resell it as your own original item. No one is being uncredited (all the better, because that will make it even easier for EA to track down those who have made the most illegal profit in defiance of the EULA).

There are several creators for paysites that we are particularly sad to see creating for pay, because their work is above the usual shit standards of the average pay item, and several of those creators have been approached and offered assistance so they can go free. We are not anti-creator. We are anti-thief.

The "you just want free shit" argument is specious at best, because there are some people on here who have NO paysite content in their games at all. It's usually of lesser quality than freesite work, which is typically done out of a sense of community spirit.

Not only are paysites illegally profiting in defiance of the EULA, very few of them offer any technical support. Many people have reported poor or non-existent customer service. Many people have reported deceptive marketing (images of hair meshes, for instance, that pointedly do not show the neck gaps or crappy animations or Sim-body-impaling that occur when the hair meshes are used). Many of the wealthiest paysite folks do not actually play the game.

Also, when you get down to it, our behavior, aside from some frustration, some snarky pirates indulging their inner angry 12-ness, and a few angry outbursts, has been overall far more ethical and community-spirited. For example:

* No pro-freesite people have initiated campaigns to vilify or defame other community members for activites unrelated to the community.
* No pro-freesite people have initiated (or threatened) DDOS attacks or Black Hat server hacking.
* No pro-freesite people have shared sensitive personal and financial information on a forum.
* No pro-freesite people have snuck onto other sites and tried to lure away custom content creators who create for everyone in order to make them create only for those who can pay for content.
* No pro-freesite people have refused to release creator content once the creator wishes to remove it.

Then there's the annoyance factors involved with the paysite / freesite schism in the community.

* We hate the hide-and-seek game we have to play, chasing down meshes hither and yon because some content won't work without them, and illegal paysites are holding them hostage for money.
* Some pay content has been known to actually break your game, be it temporarily or not.
* There's the issue of charging for (typically vile) recolours of EAxian meshes. What gall.
* There's the issue of paysites that make high-poly items that lag or bork your game, and which refuse to acknowledge this may be an issue.
* There's the issue of paysite items that do not sit properly within the grid constraints of the game, and instead go through walls or Sims, or are out of scale.

Those are lesser complaints, but the so-called pirates here are fed up with them just as much. We are not only backing EA's legal rights as defined by the EULA everyone who legally bought the game in the first place was told to read thoroughly and agree with, but we are also campaigning for better content which should be free and available to everyone.

The real pirates, as far as plundering and theft go, are paysites who are stealing not only from the community, but from EA, without which there would be no cash cow teats for them to milk in the first place.

You can raid the booty or not, it is your choice, and EA is well aware of PMBD and have issued letters of approval for what we do here, and have issued letters clearly stating that any commercial profit off EA goodies is illegal, and a pack of rabid attack lawyers are probably sitting by eagerly sharpening their teeth, just waiting to be sicced on the worst offenders.

MAXIS looked the other way. MAXIS is no longer calling the shots in any significant way. EA is definitely not feeling as benign about the matter, and we don't blame them.

Note that I have nothing against JoJo personally. I think that s/he posted what s/he did out of a gap in knowledge, and in an attempt to be playful and kid around, but the factual errors and misconceptions were worrisome enough that some of us felt the need to comment.

Also, if you are foolish or naive enough to buy content, it should, at the very least, be supported and should work properly in the game. Many paysite items do not have any kind of recourse should you want your money back for a faulty or broken item, and there are far too many items that bork your game! Unacceptable, on so many fronts!

What are your thoughts?

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Milla Harper

March 2008




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