No More Formula One Modding Content on VirtualR

Today’s not a particularly good day for VirtualR as I have to put a major new content restriction in place for the site.

From now on, VirtualR will not be showcasing or hosting any modding content related to Formula One cars or F1-related content, all past postings featuring such content have been removed from VirtualR.

Exceptions will only be made for Formula One cars & content that are part of officially-released titles which have the appropriate licenses.

As you have probably guessed correctly by now, this action is taken due request from the license owners (Formula One World Championship Limited). Needless to say, I can’t and won’t take any risks in this matter, so the above rule will be enforced with absolutely no exceptions. 

I’m publicizing this not only to inform my readers of the new policy and explain the absence of certain content in the future, I think it’s also a useful heads-up to the sim racing scene as a whole.

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • http://www.autosim.ru/ Max Pautov

    it’s sad….

  • Kris Baxter

    I don’t really give a crap about F1 sim racing (though I enjoy the real thing) but I am completely incensed by this, so much so I emailed Formula One World Championship to voice my concern.
    My fear is the impact this may have on other classes, but hopefully they won’t be stupid enough to alienate fans.
    As I pointed out to them, if official games were licensed to devs that can actually develop a decent sim then perhaps this wouldn’t be so much of an isssue (Codemasters and Milestone).

  • MistaDobalina

    Dear Formula One.
    I was a fan since the early 80s.
    I survived Jean-Marie Balestre, the no-slick-era, the new Hockenheim layout, “let Michael pass for the championship”, a 6-car-GP and Kai Ebel.
    Now I get ugly cars (nose), a poor engine with no sound, no backfire, DRS, (still Kai Ebel) and this disgusting behavior against the modding community, which is also a part of the fan community.
    So, Formula One, you don´t want me anymore?
    OK, I´m moving on to Indycar, WEC, Formula Renault 3.5…

    • EZehnder

      WEC is looking great right now. And at least it’s run by the FIA who have nothing to do with F1……

      /s

      • Glenn Frost

        Yes, but they have locked it down to pay per view….!

      • MistaDobalina

        You find it 2-3 days after the race on Youtube.

      • EZehnder

        Funny, YouTube never asked me to do that when I watch 6H of Silverstone recently…

    • Nicolas Grignon

      so true… It’s been a LOONG time I don’t watch F1anymore… and I don’t regret it ONE bit.

    • MrMaki

      Hey wait! F1 has nothing to do with Kai Ebel! Though he is easily the worst martyrdom from all of them.
      Hockenheim layout still makes me cry :-(((

  • Slipstream Snake

    This is not a trademark issue, and copyright laws universally have exception clauses for news reporting, teaching, research etc. In the US and UK this exception is called the ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’, according to which news reporting forms an exception to the exclusive rights of the copyright holder, whereby one can lawfully incorporate or cite another author’s work in your own work. Similar clauses are written into the IPR laws in civil law countries. Since VR’s news reporting is covered by fair use, FOWCL’s claim has no basis in law.

    • Alex Ball

      I came here to post the same thing.
      You should carry on as normal.

      • Birddogg66

        Well F1 could then in turn go after the modding teams which VR has no desire to facilitate those actions in any way shape or form. This is a wake up call to modders to have enough variance in their car models different from F1 cars and to use fictitious names for their cars. I am sure Formula 1 can’t go after a mod called GP1 now can it?

    • Bakkster

      Pragmatically, if the FOWCL were to sue, there’s no way for Montoya to mount a legal defense against the FOWCL’s lawyers and would be run out of business whether it’s fair use or not.

      • Slipstream Snake

        I understand your concern, and this is precisely what FOWCL lawyers want Montoya to think. I don’t know what they have said to him, but I bet it is along the lines of “…*rights talk*…comply with x, y and z…..or else” without any real legal backing up. That is how it is done efficiently, simply gain maximun of obedience with minimum of effort. In 99% of cases it works. And in 99% of cases they back off when presented with a solid counter-claim.

        If VR was mine, and behind a very small llc. (so they couldn’t get legal fees from me personally), not only would I be unintimidated, but incredibly happy to get sued by FOWCL. If I won, the feather in my hat would show to distant lands! And if I lost, I’d just start a new site and hey, it would still be an awesome story to tell and I’d happily pay something for that :) I bet there are plenty of lawyers in Germany that would take this case pro bono too, and I’d contact a legal aid office asap.

      • Bakkster

        Do we know if VR is incorporated by Montoya? If not, then he would be liable for damages personally, and not able to start a new one.

        My guess is they’d lean on the US doctrine of whether VR “fosters infringement”. Not sure if it’s similar rules on the other side of the pond, but I don’t see a case being summarily thrown out because to the best of my knowledge a distinction is made between “here’s a news report on copyright infringement” and “someone released an infringing mod, for those who want to download it”.

        End of the day, even if I’m an llc, I don’t want to go toe to toe with FOM.

  • Olivier Prenten

    I guess the supreme midget is behind this stuff! Sadly, madly, truely… :(

    • RichardHessels

      No it’s the FIA..

      • SamuelKorthof

        Why would the body that provides en controls the rules do that? The FIA isn’t the owner of F1′s commercial rights. If the FIA was behind this it would ask Montoya to ban all FIA content on his blog not only F1…

      • F1Racer

        The article does say F1WC Ltd made the request.

      • Tim Brokaw

        do you have to change your forum name F1Racer? am I allowed to use the letter “F” followed by the number “1″ in that order? (looks over shoulder suspiciously)

      • F1Racer

        I don’t mind changing it to F1WCKMA.

      • Olivier Prenten

        And who does the FIA belong to? …

      • Bakkster

        Jean Todt.

      • Bakkster

        FOWCL, not the FIA.

  • Lars Bargmann

    How awesome would it be, if one of the “bigger” teams using rF-Pro releases one of their 2-3 year old models to the community?
    I could see the fun in that :D

  • Roy Rki

    No problem with Formula Exos and future Formula A in existence…

  • Justin Cruze

    With Bernie the way he is, only surprise is that it took this long.

  • RichardHessels

    So for F1 related mods we have to find our info somewhere else, big deal.
    I understand FIA needs to defend their logo’s and name. Otherwise they loose their rights in the long run.
    But nobody asks the companies who are actually paying F1 to get worldwide exposure in return.. the advertisers!
    It’s already getting harder for racing teams to find decent sponsors.
    By putting major racing series behind decoders and limiting the exposure companies can get find their luck elsewhere in other global sports, just like us.
    Bye Bye Bernie, good luck on your bribery charges & billiondollar tax scam!
    Next hearing is tomorrow..

    • SamuelKorthof

      FIA and Bernie aint the same….FIA is the ruling body and Bernie is in lead of the commercial rights but not the owner. That is CVC Capital Investments. Bernie is just a employee.

      • RichardHessels

        If he is just an employee, i can imagine what kind of people work there. Extreme greedy people. Willing to bribe or break anybody who comes in their way.

  • Karel Marciniszyn

    F1? What it is? That ugly looking thing without any sound full of baby drivers??? Ahh..OK, no problem, let it go away…

  • Gerardo

    Now all mods can be called “Formula Bernie”, is an elegant solution.

    • SamuelKorthof

      Great suggestion.

    • Birddogg66

      Why Not Formula Won?

  • Ricoo

    Please no more subject on F1. Let them die forgotten.

  • SamuelKorthof

    I understand that F1 has to protect their trademarks. Nothing special nothing new. The best F1 mods aren’t called F1, so it won’t make any difference.

  • Birddogg66

    Things like this are the reason why Grass Roots Racing is still the Best! These mega sanctioning bodies getting too big for their britches and losing a bit of heart and soul of what Racing is all about and it’s just a money thing anymore. Costs have inflated so much that these entities need to act in manners such as this where they feel the need to bleed every turnip to stay on top of the costs and keep things viable

    • Nicolas Grignon

      still these practices has to stop… mods without any financial aspect don’t threaten F1 at all… and if they do, it’s because they often propose a better rendition so what about to give/sell the licence to better game creators [unlike arcademasters]… and also what about the individual creation, after all, most of the serious modders do model the thing from A to Z on their own time and hard work? soon, just to draw a F1 will be considered property theft!!! where the greed stops??? If people weren’t so much sheep and would act: the simple action of closing you TV during the next GP would do better for this over inflated F1′s ego than the last 20 years. Remember Bernie and co, If nobody watch, there is NO F1!!!

      • Ioannis

        I could not agree more.

      • Birddogg66

        I thought of typing a reply but would rather ask how ya doing and how are things going? I hope all is well with ya! You gonna enter Reiza’s Painting Contest?

  • Stan

    Ayrton died 20 years ago today…

  • EZehnder

    This reminds me of porn parodies. You know who takes trademark infringement seriously? Lucas Arts. However, you put the word “Not” in front of it and it becomes “Not Star Wars” (a XXX porn parody). Now you can use all the real names and situations and literally screw the entire trademark to hell and back.

    The realistic rollout of this means things might not be called F1 but everyone will know what it is. It’s functionally no different. No one is going to stop watching F1 because of a bad rFactor mod. People WILL leave F1 when this sort of thing happens. What would make people come TO F1? Embrace sim racing and provide data and licenses at a reasonable rate.

  • Professional Operator

    Formula One World Championship Limited

    You already destroyed this sport with nonsense regulations, But now, what you you are doing with this blog, dening F1 mods news, is way too much. I hope it will backfire you. I for one will no longer care about Formula One.

    Welcome Formula Indy.

  • LogiForce

    Sad news. :(

    Why do these lyrics come to mind all of a sudden…

    Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes
    when I reach for you.
    And now your’re starting to critisize little things I do.
    It makes me just feel like crying, (baby).
    ‘Cause baby, something in you is dying.

    You lost that lovin’ feeling,
    Whoa, that lovin’ feeling,
    You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling,
    Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woooooah

    Lyrics from: The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jlKcpE3j-U

  • EZehnder

    Will there be reporting on Project CARS and their Formula A car or Assetto Corsa and their Lotus T125 Stage 1? These are unlicensed and are basically F1 cars.

    What if a mod comes out called “Fast Cars 1″ which is just an F1 2014 mod for some game but doesn’t use a single real name, logo or other licensed product. Will it be allowed on the site or reported on? Seems like they want you to eliminate the grey area rather than allowing the grey area to be sorted out in the courts.

    Seems like bullying to me.

    • todemanjack

      I think it is clear that they don’t own the open wheel race car concept. Nor the licenses on individual cars.

      • Professional Operator

        Indeed. Reiza Studios is doing lot of open wheelers, cleverly they are not calling them with official names, it’s their business model and it works, seems like nobody can legally stop them.

        So, I think the situation now is the same of Enduracers / Porsche Cup mod, they have been contacted by lawyers, they removed Porsche logo, called it “Flat 6″ and released it anyway. Other modders could do the same.

        Don’t be scared Montoya as long as there are no licenced names involved don’t be scared to post open wheel sim racing news.

  • Jorge Araujo

    F1 sucks nowadays. Codemasters F1 games sucks even more, and will always sucks. Why bother anyway?

  • dd101

    Don’t waste your energy, simracers. Business is business. Rename them with some funny names and carry on. Have fun!

  • Ole Marius Myrvold

    I’m pretty sure it could’ve been avoided with some e-mails.

    Anyway, as one (of the few it felt like), heavily against the promotion of Joux Plane in Assetto Corsa, as the work was illegal by law. I see some light in the situation, that legality matters somewhat at least.

    • Nathan

      I’ve not kept up to date with the community view at large on this subject, but who is it hurting having Joux Plain in Assetto Corsa?

      • Ole Marius Myrvold

        It’s not hurting anyone economically, however, it is a more clear cut breach of copyright laws than this F1-stuff.

        This is the problems that most sites have, let something pass, but not other stuff.

      • Nathan

        If you are against having a great track from a great sim available to play in another great sim, and nobody is being negatively affected, then I respectfully disagree with you.

      • Ole Marius Myrvold

        I’m against deliberate, and straight out ripping without permission from the person(s)/company(ies) that made it.
        When it’s a modded track, some might call it a grey area. However, when you take something out of a game, that is protected by all forms of copyright, a game that is owned by a still operating company, that holds all rights to the material in the game, it’s illegal, as simple as that. There are no grey areas when it comes to that stuff.

        If the stage had been remade, from scratch, just using the original as a template for corners and such, but remade from scratch, I feel a bit different by it, and the laws, well, they aren’t as tight in that area.

        But the stage was ripped, clear cut from how it was in the original game – that is, and will be for a good while. Illegal.

      • Nathan

        If the creators of RBR were doing anything with the copyrighted material and having this material in Assetto Corsa negatively affected that, I might share your feelings. However there are plenty of examples in the industry of people simply sitting on copyrights and doing nothing with them.

        For example there are plenty of games (mostly sport and racing titles) that do not get sold because of licensing and copyright complications. So rather than just release it as abandonware or relinquish the copyright, they sit on it. As a result there are plenty of great games with physical copies no longer being produced, not being digitally sold and not allowed to be freely distributed. Games are supposed to be played, not withheld because of some stupid red tape.

        Maybe they should have asked first, but no harm, no foul as far as I’m concerned.

  • Arnaud dodo

    How is this legal? I mean you are just reporting news…?

    • pez2k

      This comes from the ‘bullying’ school of legal threats, ie. ‘if you don’t comply we will bankrupt you with legal fees’. The big company doesn’t even need to have a solid case, the penalty for Montoya would be having to hire a legal team to fight them. It’s a complete abuse of the legal system, but unfortunately happens much too often.

    • http://youtube.com/user/enterelysium EnterElysium

      AFAIK you’re right. They could, as far as I am aware under US law, file a DMCA takedown notice against any copyright infringing material hosted on VR – but the DMCA does not cover ‘talking’ about or ‘pointing to’ infringing material. Not sure if there is something else that covers that part now as their failed SOPA/PIPA bollocks was going to clamp down on that originally.

  • Metal Machine

    This only show’s me one thing: The brand is collapsing and they are in big big minus. So they are trying last resort to make some plus $. This is not such 1st. case of something like that happening.

  • Arhok

    Then you should just stop posting F1 at all not even official F1 content.

    • dd101

      Such a clever idea!
      There are nice and passionate* guys at Codemasters, but why fight this way when they already have a huge advantage (data, support, money and adv)? Looks like they are afraid of loosing to upcoming projects – AssettoCorsa and rF2.

      Let’s make it even, let them promote their work without fan sites like this one! ;]

      * Wanted to add “professional”, but latest news + shocking fact of releasing the game at closing stages of each championship is pure NON-professionalism.

      PS Talking about licenses… EA got their grabbing hands on Porsche license. What a waste…

  • OneDirection Dad 5/5

    I have just been asked by the twitter page of Codemasters

    @Formula1game “which website am I reffering to” when I asked them why this has to be removed…let’s see what they come back with..

    • Professional Operator

      Arcademasters.
      Formula Troll Game.

    • Mario Strada

      Was it them that complained? I lost track of who made the threat. If it was Codemaster I will have a lot of fun tweeting “Another day of not buying F1 2014″ after they release it. Every single day until it goes on sale.

      • Ole Marius Myrvold

        It is AFAIK not Codemasters.

      • The Dark

        how would you know please?

      • Ole Marius Myrvold

        “this action is taken due request from the license owners (Formula One World Championship Limited)”

      • The Dark

        ok but maybe CM contacted them?

      • Ole Marius Myrvold

        Then I would believe the problem would only have been for modding the same stuff that CM have licensed. With no more F1 content at all on vR, it doesn’t look like it’s only for the stuff CM have licensed – but from Race 1 1950 to last race to date.

      • The Dark

        good point

      • The Dark

        after they release it but before it goes on sale? that has to be a really short time window

    • Ole Marius Myrvold

      Well, it’s not Codemasters F1 games that is the source of the issue here – it is every non-licensed F1-thing.
      And it is not anything Codemasters have started. This is a company that works for more organisations than FOWC&FOL when it comes to take-down of sites that they decide are doing something wrong.

  • rci808

    Is it ok to post news about licensed content?

    • The Dark

      has to be

  • Alan Dallas

    How I read this:
    FOWCL: “Hey! Look, a free F1 resource we’re not making money off of! SQUASH THEM or MAKE THEM PAY!”

    Calling it like I see it.

    • The Dark

      that would work if they asked for money but I dont think they did.

      • Alan Dallas

        Don’t fool yourself. It’s always about the money even if not specifically asked for.

      • The Dark

        but I think they know they cannot ask in this case. I cant imagine them accepting money for VR to showcase mods that mess with their IP.

  • Wally Masterson

    Lame, lame, lame and greedy.

  • Nathan

    It was always my understanding that if no money was being made, license holders had no right to restrict mods (whether it be F1, Porsche, Ferrari or whatever).

    I don’t understand what they have to gain from doing this. If the idea is that “people can’t get the content elsewhere, therefore they will come to us”, then they are extremely naive and misguided.

    • http://youtube.com/user/enterelysium EnterElysium

      Money is only one factor used when determining breach of copyright – sadly non-profit mods are not immune.

      As for why – partly it might be the fact that they want to ensure all F1 games on the block have been licences by them and paid the due royalties. The ‘they can’t get it elsewhere so they’ll come to us’ strategy is one that seems to be used time and time again when big mods based off of well known IPs are stomped on.

      • Nathan

        I really don’t see what they are hoping to achieve by acting this way. All this will do is make people resent them.

        Personally F1 isn’t my thing, but sim racing is. I always thought it was really cool that the modding community was allowed to just do their thing. But now more and more restrictions are being placed due to nothing more than greed.

        Where does it end though? Next it will be tracks or cars that resemble real world cars. The future doesn’t look bright :(

  • jamie

    If it was by Andrew Willatt I have received exactly the same email for my website fantasymotorsport.net they try to claim that my fantasy formula 1 competition is a game on the par of codemasters f1 2013 and thus requires a licence to use driver name etc. Its absolutely ludicrous

    • Ole Marius Myrvold

      The thing is, they do state that they own the rights to FORMULA 1, F1 etc. etc. etc. etc. and all translations of it (ye right).

      It’s idiotic indeed.

  • blastx

    Not that i care about F1, but this is really wierd. Why cant you change your provider to China and post whatever you want. Id love to see how will they take your website down then :)

    Why are you guys afraid exactly? F1 is going to sue you F1Racer? hunt down your familiy? you can always register the website on a hobo’s name. Let F1 lawyers find that hobo and sue him lol !

    How come full of copyright ripped content, gamemodels russian website survives and you guys are scared of an F1 email?

    Ah well. F1 blows anyway. Boring as sht. Kartsim is more fun that F1 lol!

    • F1Racer

      Normally I don’t reply to this kind of daft post but here goes….

      China… the country that blocks off and polices what their citizens can see more than anyone else on the planet ? Sure… good idea.

      This is Montoya’s decision and he must take the right decision for him and his site. If he doesn’t want or need the hassle then so be it. It’s not for anyone to judge him or second-guess him on that. Besides how many F1 mods have VR reported on in the last 12 months ? it’s really not that big a deal.

      It is quite obvious that my nickname is perfectly fine as is the entire content of my website. This is not about the use of the ‘F1′ name.

      Your hobo comment is ludicrous and I can’t bring myself to even go there.

      As for Russia… well I`ll give you an answer as sensible as the question you posed… Russia has nuclear weapons and VirtualR does not (although the US believe Montoya may be planning to build one but he says the plutonium he has is for peaceful purposes).

  • F1Racer

    Guys, I’ve had to edit/remove a few posts in this thread but I won’t be editing your posts every time. If you break this rule you will likely lose your whole post. It’s so easy not to do it.

    5b) Do not use excessive foul language —>>>> (masking your profanity like
    ‘s**t’ or ‘f!&*’ is still the same as writing it in full if not
    worse as it is seen as a deliberate attempt to circumvent the keyword
    filter. <<<<—– Also we still know what you meant).

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      Cmon man, we’re all adults here. Plus this is the internet. Don’t be anti-freedom of speech. Curse words are some of the most versatille and commonly used words in the language.

      • F1Racer

        There is no such thing as freedom of speech. This being the internet is no excuse.
        As versatile and as common as they may be they are invariably used for negative purposes and, even though I myself am a prolific swearer, I know to try not to be that way on public forums.
        If I can hold myself back then anyone can. If someone can’t hold a conversation without the need for it then it says something about them.
        Sorry if you feel it curbs your ‘freedom’ but this is how it is.

      • Alan Dallas

        Swearing in written language is a conscious effort. In spoken language… not so much.
        I swear like a salty old sailor IRL. But when typing… too much effort. :p

      • rci808
      • F1Racer

        Mmm someone didn’t think I was serious. Bye bye.

  • http://s1.zetaboards.com/SimSkinsByDen/index/ PetrolheadDen

    Sad but not surprising in a world where Ford once sued a Mustang forum for using pics of their member’s own cars on a calender! You gentlemen that run this place don’t need the trouble for merely trying to supply a service for your readers and so, my hats off to you and thank you for letting people know. I am not an F1 fan but still I feel it is sad this had to happen for the sake of those that are.

    • Alan Dallas

      Ooooh boy, here we go.
      The Mustang Club you refer too is Black Mustang Club(must own a Black Mustang in order to be eligible for membership, it’s more of a Registry). I am a member of said club.
      We didn’t get threatened to be sued directly by Ford. The Calender company was asked by Ford legal to remove the Calendar as an item to be purchased, before they were even created. A digital preview was available at the time. Use of Ford Logo’s other than those on the Cars in the pictures has to be approved by Ford or Licensed. Which is what got their attention. Our Calendar designer simply removed anything that could be Copyright and all was well. The whole ‘It was because of the members cars’ thing was due to a misreporting by 1 news site and it blew up from there.

  • Robert Every

    Nothing surprising, any real negative comment about certain games but not others, is summarily deleted on here.

    • F1Racer

      Care to elaborate ? Claims like that require some evidence.
      Posts are never deleted based on the game, not ever. They will be deleted if they contain inappropriate content that breaks one or more of the posting rules though.

  • Peter Bone

    This is one reason why i will never pay Sky or anyone else to watch F1, free mods being made by dedicated people being shut down by a company worth billions. Its a joke but this is how the world works, and i for one despise it.

    • Justin Schmidt

      i don’t pay for f1 tv coverage because it’s just an advertising show. the sponsors of the sport should pay for the coverage.

  • Birddogg66

    Nottamod! Just the last Real F1 Simulation Series

    • Birddogg66

      What I’ll be adding to it is a mod and was approved by the developer. Remember the days when the games industry worked with one another?

  • Justin Schmidt

    you should post mods containing cars pre 1976. fom has no rights for those.

  • 2014ww3

    real sim racing died many years ago . Rfactor and GTR2 were the last good times

    the comminuty is a fuc king joke

    all this new garabge is a f ucking joke

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