Please Notify Users When Purchases on the Asset Store Are Fraudulent

I bought a ton of fraudulent assets in the past, and if not for a random youtube video I saw that happened to be talking about asset store scams, I would have never known the audio I had purchased could get me in a heap of legal trouble.

Sure, the assets say "deprecated," but that doesn't mean stolen. It usually just means that it's no longer supported, or simply outdated; that is not the case, using these assets could get us in serious trouble.

You guys really should be footing the bill for these and refunding people by the way, but the least you could do is actually inform people of the danger.

This is ridiculous.

Isn't "depreciated" something (only) the asset uploader can do? Unity might not know anything about it being a compromised asset (as in that case they rather delete so even buyers cannot download it anymore).
Sadly that's something you'd have to take out with the asset provider directly via a civil court.

I think asset store team gave a response to a similar question here:
https://discussions.unity.com/t/912624
https://discussions.unity.com/t/912624 page-3#post-8895429

[quote=“neginfinity”, post:3, topic: 913912]
I think asset store team gave a response to a similar question here:
https://discussions.unity.com/t/912624
https://discussions.unity.com/t/912624 page-3#post-8895429
[/quote]
Ah, what a load of BS. I’ve never received any warning emails from Unity and I bought a ton of stolen stuff. There’s also assets from proven thieves like Sidearm Studios that are marked as “Deprecated,” not “Disabled” in the “My Assets” section of my account.

I can only view this as negligence on Unity’s part.

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I don't care about suing, I just don't want to get sued. I think Unity has a responsibility to inform customers when they've been sold stolen assets. Unity may not know that assets are stolen, but they should make figuring this stuff out a priority.

They shouldn't remove the ability to download the stolen stuff though, people need a way to identify what's stolen in their projects.


That really does not work legally because that would make them directly responsible for knowingly distributing the copyright-infringed stuff.

I think it's because Unity only disables specific packages and then either removes the author or the author tries to deprecate everything first. Magic Spells Sound Effects (which was also the Unreal free asset that brought attention to Cafofo) is marked as Disabled. However, all of the other sound effects I had gotten from Cafofo are just marked as Deprecated.

I have also never received refunds let alone emails about any packages being disabled as the link above says they do though.


Well, they're currently doing it...

Like I said, I can still download stuff from Sidearm Studios, and they were outed quite a while ago.


Hmm... if the author deprecating the assets before they can disable them is actually giving Unity issues, then they should really fix that.


Getting sued is an unfounded fear. It just doesn't happen. What happens is the company will typically send you a letter demanding the removal of the asset. If you fail to comply the next step is to issue takedowns to the various stores. I say typically because some companies (eg Nintendo) jump straight to the takedown stage.

Getting sued would require you to upload the game again with the asset after receiving the takedown request.

Companies approach the situation in this manner because suing someone is very expensive and the majority of cases is someone ignorantly using an asset they didn't own. Yes, these companies have lawyers on staff or on retainer, but you have to pay court costs and it's far less money to have that lawyer issue a notice than to sue.

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(Just noting here, there are two similar words with different meanings, spellings and pronunciations. If you deprecate (deh-preh-KATE) something, you dismiss or disapprove it; a non-technical use is "self-deprecating humor." If you depreciate (deh-PREE-shi-ate) something, you prorate or discount its value based on the amount of its expected lifespan that has passed.)

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Yeah, I'm aware that getting sued is unlikely, I said that facetiously. However, having to rework your game with all new sound effects, or whatever other stolen assets it may contain can be a massive endeavor. I would like to avoid this.

This happened to Archangel Studios recently with their game Bleak Faith: Forsaken. They used Unreal Marketplace animations in their game, and it turns out they were ripped out of FromSoft games. Obviously, FromSoft isn't suing them, but the backlash from their customer base has been pretty harsh. Archangel didn't know the animations were stolen, but uninformed customers spoke badly about them regardless. They've been forced to deal with undeserved criticism, and now have to swap out potentially dozens of animations in their game.

So all that is to say that there's a lot to fear even if you aren't likely to be sued. I just want marketplaces like Unity and Epic to take more responsibility for this stuff since they're making a profit and giving out the licenses most of the time.


You can avoid it now if you create your projects in a way that doesn't make it a massive endeavor to replace assets.


I remember reading through the reviews for that game and it wasn't just the assets that were giving it the negative feedback from the community. Go through the reviews and you'll discover it's buggy, is poorly optimized, and has poor design decisions at times.


You need new assets that actually fit with the game and that is what can be time consuming. In Archangel's case, it's going to be months, maybe even years before they can replace everything. If FromSoft sent a cease and desist, they'd be screwed.


No. I would have to see more information on the assets that were reported stolen but there is no way that it should take you months to years. If it takes you that long you greatly over scoped your project for your team's capabilities.


Okay. I just finished using the Wayback Machine to check out some of the assets that were taken down, and as someone who has extensively played the Dark Souls series and Elden Ring I recognized most of the poses and animations in the screenshots and videos immediately.

https://web.archive.org/web/20230312042452/https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/en-US/profile/PersiaNinja?count=20&sortBy=effectiveDate&sortDir=DESC&start=0

If someone is a fan of the Dark Souls series to the point they're inspired to make their own they should be familiar enough with the series to be able to identify them. Seriously, check out the video in this Twitter post if you want to see a side-by-side comparison of the games.

https://twitter.com/meowmaritus/status/1634775876406575105

Previously I just wrote the situation off as being bad luck on the part of the developers, but this is making me question whether they were truly ignorant of the situation. We've had people over the years that have asked if someone could use assets and escape notice. I'm seriously wondering if that's what's happening here.

Swapping out a handful of animations shouldn't be that big of a deal.

The actual changing of animations is cut and dry. If gameplay was depended on timing of the animations and you have to go rebalance stuff, that would be the pain in the butt. But just doing the bare minimum to put your animations in place to replace others is more like a couple weeks of work, assuming its in the dozens.

I understand that everybody wants to deviate away from a responsibility Unity should have. That's ok with me and I've seen it in every thread that is posted that is like this one.

We need to, at some point, figure out why Unity say one thing (they refund and actively monitor and communicate) when it is clear that they don't.

I mean look at what the OP is saying. He just wants to be informed of what's happening, why it happened and then think about how to proceed. All his fears have been laid out and each one is valid.

Now, Unity come into practically each one of these threads and state that they always send notification and refund buyers when assets are clearly stolen, ripped or just plain data theft. But they don't refund or notfiy a buyer when this happens. You can see that because they come here and start a thread which is basically the same as all the other threads started regarding this issue. There are always two key points each OP makes in their thread. The first is that they were not notified. The second is that they were not refunded.

So ask yourselves if Unity is really notfiying customers and refunding them as they state they are.

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On the other hand people who were notified and did receive a refund are unlikely to come here and tell us. While I do agree that Unity needs to step up and better handle situations like these we're only seeing the negative sides with these threads.

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Unity has provided answers in the threads mentioned above. So, you know their response, you now need to choose to either accept those risks or find another solution for getting assets for your game. Complaining and arguing about it is not a practical solution for creating a game. Closed.

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