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Curse's terms of use deserve a closer look

Eliah Hecht

There's a storm brewing over in the UI & Macros forum, and it's about the terms of use for popular add-on site Curse. If you use mods at all, you're almost certainly aware of the site; I go there all the time. They're probably the biggest mod site right now. So it comes as something of a surprise to me that such a pillar of the scene would have what seems to be a pretty abusive set of terms service.

According to the analysis conducted in this forum thread, Curse's ToU "specifically removes any and all copyright that we as authors have on our addons." Yikes!

There are other bad parts of the ToU language too, including that Curse can change the ToU at any time without notifying authors. Of course, the site is within its rights to impose any ToU it wants on the users, but it's not nice to take control of creations out of authors' hands. I am not a lawyer, so it's altogether possible that I'm interpreting some of this incorrectly. The forum thread, however, claims that lawyers looked at Curse's terms and agreed that the interpretation is correct.

Until these provisions are changed -- and Curse promises that they will be -- I recommend mod authors use other sites like WoWInterface or In writing this article I read the terms of use for those sites -- or rather, tried to. IncGamers doesn't even have their ToU up! But they've been a pretty well-behaved site in the past (they used to be, so I trust them. WoWInterface's terms of service didn't seem to have anything like what Curse has, and a source at the site assured me that "we never touch an author's zip file without their knowledge and consent, ever." WI has a good history of respecting the community and the authors. Curse folks, are we all reading this wrong? Is there something in this issue that's being missed?

Update: As several of Curse's employees have helpfully pointed out to me, the new ToU are much better. However, I still have reservations about them.

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