Earlier this week we had an encounter with Soldier, one of the staff members of AntiCheat Inc. Also known as ACI. Metabans staff received a "Takedown notice" of an image-link that was posted in a ban appeal topic.

This image-link, the image is hosted on imgur.com, was posted by one of our forum members who found it on another website. This image is showing a list of masked IP's & masked PBGUID's. We can assume this image was a screenshot taken from the well-known and heavily abused History Tool from ACI. The image did not show anything remotely related to ACI. Not the ACI name, nor the ACI logo.

Still Soldier insisted we take down the link to this image, since it was containing proprietary and copyrighted information taken from their website. Now, the question raises: Is a list of IP-addresses & these PBGUID's captured in an image THEIR copyright? These IP's and PBGUIDs belong to their respected players. ACI does not own this data.

We asked Soldier these same questions, but he refused to answer them. Resulting in him threatening and blackmailing us.

Metabans is not liable to what our users post / link to on our forums and / or website.
At first we denied his request, knowing this "copyright infringement" would not lead to anything.

Unfortunately that was not the answer Soldier was looking for, so he decided to throw some big threats against us, but more importantly: threats against ACI’s OWN users who also happen to use Metabans.

The threat:

Quote Originally Posted by soldier
Hello,

I notice that the original poster has already removed his link. The one that remains is in your post.

The fact that your posters have trimmed our copyright data from view does not absolve you from liability.

But we can have it your way. First, since your official position is that you will facilitate ACI members breaking their Terms of Service, we will be informing our members that if they are maintain an active account at Metabans they will no longer be eligible for ACI membership.

More importantly, I have discharged my obligation by requesting in writing that you take down the link to the infringing material. Since you have officially refused on the record, we will be proceeding with our DMCA complaint. From then on it will be between you and your domain name and hosting services.

-soldier
Besides the threat to harm our users who also stream to ACI, the user that posted that image-link has already been punished by ACI for doing so. Since posting information from their History Tools is against their Terms of Service, we can understand these measures taken.

However, claiming copyright to a linked image, not hosted by Metabans, with IP’s & PBGUIDs is just absurd. At first we decided to remove the image after all, since we feared more repercussions for that user if we would leave that image-link in this particular post.

But after some more discussion within the staff we decided this image, which is (again) not hosted by Metabans, is in the public domain and has been vital to proof a player’s innocence by several of our users. The link to the image has been restored in this particular post.

We refuse to let some ACI staff member, who reigns ACI with an iron fist, threaten and blackmail us to get their way and so should their users.

ACI is responsible for their own History Tool and who they grant access to. It's well-known the ACI History Tool is being used by people who shouldn't have access to it in the first place, like known cheaters. Current ACI staff is holding onto a world from 10 years ago and seems to forget times have changed drastically. Online abuse and bullying has grown over the years. ACI is facilitating this abuse with their History Tool and they partake in online bullying with their attitude towards other communities like Metabans.

To prohibit their users from streaming to Metabans is just absurd and doesn’t help stopping abuse and cheaters in the gaming community.

Threatening their and our users not to use Metabans because THEIR security fails is not something we will ever accept. Unfortunately ACI staff members like Soldier cannot be reasoned with and a healthy discussion is impossible, without them resulting into making threats.

We, as Metabans, believe ACI should change their attitude towards the gaming community and work harder to keep innocent players safe while being open to critiques from this same gaming community without being punished for speaking their minds.

The Complete Metabans Staff