Opinons / Thoughts

Opinion: Custom Content Creators / Modders deserve better recognition

Please note that this article is opinionated and does not reflect thoughts and opinions of other Sims Community staff members.

This isn’t an article about recognition from EA (they’re not really allowed to promote third-party content) but recognition from the simming community instead!

I was spending my Saturday afternoon watching The Sims 4 Let’s Plays on YouTube when I came across a particular video where Youtuber added a WeTransfer link to all the Custom Content pieces she used in her video. Now, I thought this was going to be a link to a list of download links or something like that, but it turned out to be a 1GB .zip file of all downloaded content. I’m sure this Youtuber had no bad intentions considering she put a link to The Sims Resource where she got all her content from, but the issue of redistributing other people’s custom content still persists.

I was notified of a certain Youtuber who dedicated a few of her YouTube videos to downloading, zipping and uploading other people’s content to Mediafire just because. It wasn’t one of those cases where Youtubers are asked to provide content they’ve been using in their Let’s Plays – this was a series of YouTube videos with a clear intention.

Now, this isn’t just a common issue on YouTube – there are many websites out there that hotlink other people’s creations and instead of directing them to the creator’s website, it only offers a download from their own website:

This is an issue that many Custom Content creators and Modders have noticed and try to get through with each creation they put out. I know that many Simmers that download content regularly get tired of ad.fly links and other types of advertisements that they encounter when trying to download a custom creation for The Sims 4 but honestly that’s the only thing that keeps them away from free content that a creator has been working on for a long period of time.

Creators often have their own “Terms of Usage” on their websites where they usually state that you shouldn’t redistribute their content and should give credits to their creations. There isn’t any legal law that forces you to follow their TOS, however you should try and do so out of respect for their work.

I’m not a Custom Content / Mod creator myself but I post about CC / Mods on a regular basis on this website and it breaks my heart when I see that the original creators and their creations don’t get credited appropriately.

Just like you avoid pirating The Sims games out of respect for creators of your favorite game, you should avoid redistributing and downloading redistributed Custom Content and Mods out of respect for CC / Mod creators.

About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I've been a Sims player for over 10 years and counting! My free time is usually spent in writing articles, graphic design and activism.

14 Comments

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  • if they want money, why don’t they get a patreon instead of raping my computer with viruses from ad.fly
    I love cc, but not enough to not use an ad.fly skipper. sorry :/

    • I use AdBlock to a point where ads get really, really annoying. However, there are also creators who place subtle ads on their site that still allow you to download content without going through spam ads. The real issue here is that creators don’t get recognition and credits that they really deserve.

      • You should swap to uBlock Origin — AdBlock has gotten sketchy. The Opera web browser also has a built in VPN and ad blocker (so you can double up).

  • Ooh I’d love to get all the cc in one shot I HATE the sims resource I use a adblocker, a skipper and a restriction remover that removes the time limit on that dang site ..
    I’ve been attacked by more redirects on that site it even was posting adult stuff at one point I haven’t seen ads do to for 3-4 years on every computer every device I use a adblocker I am not supporting it!
    I WILL NOT PAY FOR MODS so I won’t pay for that site ..
    If they started doing that we would get even more of those videos or more of the Paysitesmustbedestroyed sites
    Mod the sims isn’t as bad but I’d rather get a bulk of cc in one shot sorry now that I know that this is possible I will be hunting for these.
    It’s like Minecraft ModPacks.

    Sorry to say get used to it there will be more,
    Sims aka SimPacks
    Minecraft aka ModPacks

    • I mean, if you have permission from the cc creators, thats all fine and good. (most minecraft modpacks DO that) Plenty of cc makers make cc ‘packs’. However, if you do it without permission, you are a ungrateful jerk who doesn’t deserve to even USE the creators cc. They make beans from ad revenue on sites like that, and its one of the few places they can upload. try tumblr with ‘sims file share’ — instead of disrespecting the people you are taking cc from lmao.

  • I can’t believe the audacity of some people to defend outright theft. You are 100% right with this article. If you can’t be bothered to link to the original download and give credit where credit is due, you don’t deserve to be using that content in the first place because you have no respect for that content or the person who put hours, days, and sometimes months of their time into creating it for you. Don’t like ad.fly? Don’t download the content. Don’t like TSR? Don’t download the content. I don’t download anything from those sites because I hate their spammy, pushy ads that are riddled with malware, but I don’t steal that content and hand it out like it’s my own to hand out, either. I still don’t have the right to take what’s not mine and redistribute it. People these days just take take take without giving a thought to how it’s going to affect the person they’re taking from.

  • Adblock is now selling info. Use uBlock and Adfly skipper (there is another one around). Safer options.

  • Okay i know that the picture about the file is Clare if the cc Creator had any problems with that they would probably let her no i know this is your option but i dont use cc i think it takes out the point of EP,SP,GP so stop hating on people maybe she doesn’t know get over it

    • It violates the cc creator’s terms and cheats them out of traffic, which is the only, tiny compensation they get for all of the time they put into making free CC.

      “Get over it” — Seriously? Do you like it when people steal and reupload your content on the gallery, too?

  • I hope MTS doesn’t have any pushy/malware-ish ads. I use it for the outreach, mostly; it’s hard to get people to know that your content exists without a centralized site like that. I try to just ignore the people who re-upload stuff at other places and think of it like free advertising. I’m not getting revenue from downloads, so the most tangible way it can hurt me is in people getting confused about where to go to for questions/feedback/comments about a mod I’ve made.

    I think there is a deeper problem in people re-uploading stuff and that’s the question “why”: Why are they doing it? What do they have to gain? In some cases, there might be sneaky monetary motivations, but I think in others it’s as simple as them believing (without thinking about the modder’s preferences) that people using mods would like to be able to add a lot of mods at once, so it’s easy to organize/manage (especially in the case of CAS or Build Mode CC). Which could mean the community would really benefit from a tool like NexusModManager. If someone made and supported a tool like that, it may kill part of the motivation for re-uploading, as people would now have a tool for keeping track of stuff without a hassle.

    With regards to particular sites, TSR (from a user perspective, I’ve not uploaded mods to it) seems to be a hellhole; you can download (with a wait timer) which may extend in time so they can give you some aggravated message about how it would really be nice for you to pay them money. I think that’s very untoward when we’re talking about content that, strictly speaking, can only receive money in relation to it through legal loopholes (ex: donations). And it’s even worse when you consider that TSR is just offering a hosting service; they aren’t actually making the content itself. I understand that servers/hosting costs money, but I would prefer for a site like that to just admit they can’t continue to fund the site if it’s that big of a deal, rather than get aggressive in asking for donations.

    It’s a bit like the Youtube scenario, but much less sophisticated and less professional.

    As a modder, I would love to be able to receive monetary support for my work (I have a Patreon already). But there are a few factors that make this prospect difficult:

    1) I tend to release large projects sporadically and it eats away my time to communicate with people a bunch, so it’s just hard to put myself in a situation where I’m expected to put out regular content of the Patreon format and get people to trust that I will continue to deliver.

    2) Outreach is a real problem, as I mentioned before. People use these big websites because there’s usually some credibility attached to them and it’s a centralized place that a lot of people visit. But then you have situations like on MTS where you can’t even advertise a Patreon page in the body of a mod’s description (you can only put it in your signature, which means almost no one is going to see it).

    3) A number of modders use “early release” setups on Patreon and some will even make bits of their content Patreon-exclusive. The latter is going into very shaky legal ground (and is probably only protected by the modder being vague enough in terminology that there’s no official statement from them about the content being intended to be forever Patreon-exclusive, but rather, left ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted as an early release) and the former is probably fine legally, but if you’re a modder who wants to be able to focus on your work, not managing an entirely separate project outside of it, managing an early release setup means extra work.

    The reason I mention this is, credit is nice and all and having someone try to take credit for my work would be pretty upsetting, but ultimately, credit only factors in for me on a practical level when it comes time to (for example) use modding experience to get a game design job. Credit might feed my ego, but it doesn’t give me more time to continue modding and continue making projects. Only money (whether through modding monetary support or a RL job) can do that. So although I appreciate the sentiment and I agree it’s highly important that modders get credit for their work, as a modder, at the end of the day, I don’t have the time or energy to expend on credit, unless it’s so bad that someone is blatantly taking credit for work that I did and trying to pedal it as their own.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as aggressive or abrasive in any way. I just wanted to state in clear terms what my perspective is on this at this time, being someone who has now been modding for 5+ months and rather intensely in time spent, too.

    • As a Modder myself i have to say that yes, ppl uploading my Stuff and giving Credit does not give me anything but taking my Mods and Uploading it without Credit is like claiming them as their own.

      Some of my Mods did take a lot of Time doing them and they got “stolen” and uploaded on a Paysite and i have to say it is really making me angry and frustrated! And it takes the Fun out of Modding to be honest!

      I’m still modding but mainly because i do it for myself but to see your hard work where you spent hrs/days in greating them being uploaded somewhere else without any Credit or Permission or even worse on Paysites is not easily ignored at least by me.

      And then to know (like some mentioned here) that there are ppl who don’t even care about that because all they want is the easiest way for them to download everything with one click is just… urgh…