The awesome-looking Morrowind 2011 mod collection has been taken off line following complaints and threats of legal action from several of the original mod authors.
On January 3, we pointed you at Morrowind 2011, a massive, 4GB collection of Morrowind mods assembled by Tyler Smith of Alberta, who also whipped up a painfully detailed guide for making all the mods work together without blowing anything up. He wrote on the his Wordpress site that he was a little concerned that some mod authors might not be happy about being included in his compendium, although he added, "I do care about them [and] I have included a credits file in the zip."
His worry turned out to be very well-founded. The day after the mod collection was turned over to the public, Smith said he began to receive complaints and threats of legal action from various mod authors along with demands that he take the package offline. He was also banned and IP blocked from Bethesda's Morrowind forums.
"I was kind of expecting some response but the head-hunting part was a bit more extreme than I was expecting," Smith said. He added that he was in the process of updating the credits in the mod collection but said that the complainants weren't interested in "reaching a middle ground."
That jibes with an email he received from one aggrieved mod author, who said that the list of credits is largely irrelevant. "The bottom line is that your compilation violates copyright law in about a dozen countries and a vast majority of the authors whose work was included aren't happy about it," he wrote. "Fixing the credits, nice as it may be, doesn't solve the issue of the whole package being illegal."
Smith was also accused of keeping the package under wraps until just before it was released and then contacting news sites in order to maximize publicity, a charge he denied. He claimed to have posted word about the project on Reddit "weeks ago" and had no hand in spreading the word to other sites. Not that it matters; Smith was asked (politely, for the record) to remove the collection and told that if he refused, Wordpress and any other site hosting the package would receive "DMCA and other applicable copyright takedown notices."
Smith said he was disappointed that he wasn't given a chance to correct the issues with the mod collection in some way that would make everyone happy, although whether or not that's even possible at this point looks rather doubtful. It would be nice if some accommodation could be reached, because the YouTube video promoting the collection pack looked mighty sweet. A discussion about the matter on the Morrowind forums was underway but appears to have been removed, so for now, we'll just have to sit back and see what happens next.