Nintendo DMCA lawyers shut down everything Mario on Garry’s Mod


Why it matters: It’s almost hard to believe that Garry’s Mod has been around for 20 years. What started as a simple mod built on Valve’s Source Engine in 2004 grew into a standalone sandbox “game” by 2006, where users could experiment with 3D models and the physics engine. Eventually, Garry’s Mod allowed user-created games and content, evolving it into a platform for creation.

On Wednesday, Garry’s Mod developer Facepunch announced that it would pull all Nintendo-related content from Steam Workshop. The takedown is in response to Nintendo serving DMCA notices to several content creators and Facepunch. The studio said the process would take some time because it has to shuffle through two decades of uploads. It asked the community for help.

“This is an ongoing process, as we have 20 years of uploads to go through,” Facepunch said on Steam. “If you want to help us by deleting your Nintendo-related uploads and never uploading them again, that would help us a lot.”

The DMCA notices started with individual Garry’s Mod contributors, spurring speculation that the requests were bogus. A content creator who goes by Brewster T. Koopa on X called the notices “false flags” from trolls. He pointed out that the takedowns couldn’t have come from Nintendo because the add-ons being scrubbed date back to 2005 and that the lawyers would have gone after Valve, not individual creators.

When add-ons began coming down, Koopa emailed Facepunch to inform it that the notices were fake. Unfortunately, Facepunch had already reached out to Nintendo, which verified that the takedowns were legit.

If the initial threats were bogus, Facepunch shot itself in the foot by contacting Nintendo. The highly litigious company is not beyond taking advantage of a presented DMCA situation. Unfortunately, whether the notices were fake or real is a moot point; the result is the same – the content must come down.

“This is not a mistake, the takedowns came from Nintendo,” Facepunch said on Wednesday. “Honestly, this is fair enough. This is Nintendo’s content, and what they allow and don’t allow is up to them. They don’t want you playing with that stuff in Garry’s Mod – that’s their decision, we have to respect that and take down as much as we can.”

Yesterday’s announcement of the removals prompted even more emails, direct messages, and forum threads from the community crying that it’s just trolls, some providing “proof.” The response was significant enough that Facepunch founder Garry Newman tweeted in the wee hours of Thursday morning that the studio was launching an investigation.

Unfortunately, that investigation ended about nine hours later when Nintendo reiterated to Facepunch that it was serious about the takedowns.

“I have been assured that the takedowns have been verified by Nintendo as legit, so this will now continue as planned. Sorry,” Newman tweeted.

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