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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Sims 2 Paysite Controversy

Tierney Dawkins writes: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has been one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and with its impressive opening weekend it is guaranteed to be one of this year's biggest hits. Everyone loves a pirate, right? Well, maybe not the owners of sites which sell custom content for EA Game's Sims 2.

The self-proclaimed pirates of Paysites Must Be Destroyed ( are leading the charge and staging a mutiny of sorts. Not against EA Games but against sites that sell modified content for use in the Sims 2. According to the EA Games licensing agreement — "You may include materials created with the Tools & Materials on your personal noncommercial website for the noncommercial benefit of the fan community" — it's a big no-no to sell custom content.

But EA has not taken any steps to stop paysites from charging customers hundreds of dollars for modified hair and a sleek new wardrobe for their Sims. In some instances it costs more to buy the custom content library of these sites than it does all the Sims 2 expansion packs combined. Sites like Sims2Studio charge $132.16 for 28 sets of custom content. And there are hundreds of these sites with some offering monthly subscription rates (The Sims Resource and Peggy Sims) and others charging per item or per set (Simfreaks2)

So, what's a pirate to do? The pirates of Paysites Must Be Destroyed have pooled their resources to buy server space and pillaged the content from hundreds of Sims 2 paysites. They now host the content for free.

Paysites Must Be Destroyed was founded September 2006 and it has been a bit of rough journey for these would-be pirates. Paysite owners were, not surprisingly, less than pleased when the site came into being. And, somewhat surprisingly, the Sims 2 community at large was also not happy with the piracy. Many Sims 2 players expressed concern about artist's rights and hosting of items against the artist's wishes. Paysites Must Be Destroyed could not be referred to by name on many of the largest Sims 2 forums and quickly acquired the moniker "The Site That Must Not Be Named".

"The Site That Must Not Be Named" was the elephant in the room that everyone knew about but no one seemed that comfortable in acknowledging until recently. And it was not the Sims community but EA Games that brought the pirates some mainstream Sim acknowledgment.

After years of silence EA Games has suddenly become more responsive when emailed about the legality of paysites. EA claims in emails that selling their items is infringing on their copyright and that they are in the process of investigating sites. EA's sudden involvement has inspired a community wide "Free the Sims" letter writing campaign on some of the Sims 2 largest sites ( and

Will EA Games ban paysites? The pirates wait for news but in the meantime they continue to fill their booty with the latest paysite creations."

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