NeoGAF Allegedly Sold Kotaku User Content Without Permission

NeoGAF Allegedly Sold Kotaku User Content Without Permission

Earlier this evening, I tweeted a screencap of NeoGaf user Nanashrew, who had high hopes that Breitbart.com journalist Milo Yiannopoulos would be jailed for his efforts in uncovering corruption among the video game press. On one hand, it was funny, like Milo himself told me on Twitter. But, on the other, it sends chills down the spine. It confirms what I, and many others on our side of this battle have said. These people want to censor dissenting voices at all costs, and the evidence proves it. It’s not just Leigh Alexander. This is how they all think.

After I tweeted it out, I was sent some very sensitive information by a source with intimate knowledge of NeoGaf operations. If true, this goes directly to the character of Tyler Malka and Kotaku. We can say one thing for certain: they stole user content and let Kotaku use it without paying the author of it anything. Whether or not Tyler Malka was paid, he and Kotaku still screwed this user.

In October 2011, NeoGaf took a post from user ScOULaris and, without his permission, had it published verbatim on the website Kotaku. He wasn’t asked previously. He also did not receive payment for his efforts. Kotaku ran ads on this story, and presumably profited off of his unlicensed work. Classic Gawker Media: they tout progressive ideals when it suits them, but want to gain access to someone else’s work without paying for it.

Since it wasn’t expressly articulated in their terms of service that they had the right to appropriate user content, NeoGaf changed it after the fact. Many users complained about this arrangement, so much so that Malka opened another thread for them to bitch about it. On page 5 of this thread, he claims that he did not receive payment from Gawker Media, and dismisses the idea as utter fantasy. Why he didn’t just say that from the beginning isn’t addressed. The source has told me the reason is because Tyler Malka is lying, and he did in fact receive payment from Gawker Media. That might explain why he’s so protective of them and their interests lately, as they would pretty much have him by the balls from then on out. It looks at lot worse for him than it would for Kotaku. Even though the source has told me that the payment wasn’t substantial, this is a very serious transgression, if true.

I have tried to convince this person to speak out on the record, but they rightfully fear retaliation by the NeoGaf and the industry insiders who frequent the site. They’ve given me enough information and detail to where I can say that I believe their allegation to be truthful. But the rest of you will simply have to look at this story, use your best judgement,  and decide for yourselves.

I have been told by an attorney friend of mine, within the last hour that I have to throw the word allegedly into all this. Malka claims that he didn’t take the money, and due to the fact that my source will not come forward publically, I can’t say it here in the story that Malka for certain received payment from Gawker Media. So, I’ve had to change the title from the one I sent out on Twitter earlier. To be clear, this is the official story that should be credited to my name, not the Twitter headline. The attorney said I needed to say that as well. I’ve also included links to Malka’s denials in the text above.

So, to recap: A source with deep knowledge of NeoGaf affairs has alleged to TheRalphRetort.com that Tyler Malka and NeoGaf stole user ScOULaris’s work, and sold it to Kotaku for profit. Malka has denied receiving payment from Gawker Media. He did take the work without permission, and then change the terms of service after the fact. That is beyond denial. I’m not sure why he would do that, other than for legal protection. And why would he need legal protection if he didn’t sell the content? I guess only Mr. Malka can say.

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Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • Ranond

    DAAAAAAAAAAAAYUUUUUUUMM

  • Diamond Doges

    Hahaha. How about that.

  • Satori

    Listen……AND BELIEVE

  • John

    So he changed the TOS after allegedly stealing the content. So fucking skeevy and shady.

  • Italy GG

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe any unregistered content you post on a site then belongs to said site.
    I.E. if I post a picture of my dick here you could use it to sponsor a campaign for maxi condoms and there would be nothing that I could do about it.

    • cen

      you are right at least depenting on the agreements signed before signing up to the forum anyone interested here is a similar case it seems http://www.intelproplaw.com/Forum/Forum.cgi?board=copyright;action=display;num=1197144478;start=

    • Cyberxion

      Nope. They’d have to have it in their TOS, and even then it’s not entirely black and white.

      In this situation, however, Malka went back and edited the TOS AFTER stealing a member’s work, so your post couldn’t be any more irrelevant.

      As an aside, I always find that people who preface their posts with shit like “Sorry to burst your bubble…” tend to have no idea what they’re talking about. It almost never fails.

    • d0x360

      Incorrect. Anything you write is copyrighted for you. There is no way around it. Now a website can have in their TOS that they are allowed to use that content for themselves however the law becomes murky when talking about sending that content to another site for use. There hasn’t been any legal precedent as far as I know buy I could be wrong since people sue everyone all the time.

      If the TOS was changed after the post was made the post is still protected by copyright laws as it was written with the explicit purpose of local consumption only in a place approved by the original author.

      It is not fair use to simply copy text word for word even if compensation hasn’t taken place. Its only fair use to take pieces of that text for purpose of review, satire or commentary.

  • Angel

    I’ve never been to neogaf. i don;t know what criteria they use to ban member, but there are so many banned people on the first page alone…

  • raze2012

    Is there a way to see NeoGaf’s ToS before the change? I’m sure it was just that they added what is now section 1C (“All your post are belong to us”), but I just want to be sure

  • Pepper

    Kind of like how Anita was caught stealing Tammy’s work, deleted the picture and then would later file for a 501c3 to get out of legal trouble. Such fucked up bullshit there.

  • CD falsificado de Playstation

    Weird stuff. I think the owner of NeoGAF saw that what he did was actually wrong, but didn’t want to back down and appear to be wrong on the eyes of the community. So he patched up the NeoGAF TOS. Seems really shady.

  • Pekola

    Their GamerGate thread is really odd and clean. And honestly, it’s not worth going there to discuss it. It would be like throwing yourself at the wolves.

    It’s very one-sided and insular in that thread. I’d steer clear of it and actually do some google searching and what not, to come to a conclusion.