Sim Racing Design and the strange community surrounding NASCAR 2003

Online communities fight. This has been a thing since Geocities was introduced in the mid 1990’s. People get mad at each other on the internet and do dumb shit. Sometimes they send the SWAT Team after Call of Duty rivals, and other times they embarrass little girls simply for making a stupid YouTube video. You’d think that when virtual race cars are involved, this kind of absurd drama dies down since everyone’s united by a common bond.

It doesn’t. It gets worse.

NASCAR Racing 2003 season, released for the PC in February of 2003 by Papyrus Motorsports, is widely regarded as the best NASCAR video game ever made. Not only does the game accurately portray what it’s like to drive an American Stock Car from the comfort of your own home (and has been used by several drivers to train for upcoming races), the game easily allowed for other people to freely make and distribute their own cars and tracks to extend the lifespan of the game.

While the game ships with only content from the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season, a large add-on community spawned from the success of the game. Over the past eleven years, almost every major and minor NASCAR series and season dating back to 1963 has been faithfully reproduced for the game by the community – all free of charge and readily available for you to download and insert into your own game. I must stress that you did not have to pay for these “mods”; they were all made by people who simply loved the game and were meant to be freely distributed on a multitude of sites, usually competing amongst each other for notoriety among the community – a constant battle to see who could make the best tracks/cars/mods to the community’s benefit.

NR2003 2014-03-28 20-00-22-36Because of the game’s extended lifespan, a good 60% of content made for NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (NR2003) has been lost due to broken links and closed websites. Fortunately, I have been playing this game since launch, and have saved almost everything noteworthy that the community (which spans a multitude of sites, countries, and multiplayer racing leagues) has released for the game.

As the game is eleven years old and only has a mere handful of people still playing it and producing content for the game, it is very hard for newcomers to not only find this game in the first place (copies go for several hundred dollars on eBay), but also find these elusive add-on’s that extend the lifespan of the game that add either current or historic NASCAR and other oval racing series to the game.

NR2003 2014-03-22 23-33-34-24In the spring of 2014, I felt nice enough to package all of the freeware third-party mods I’d collected for the game over the past ten years, and uploaded them on my own personal Mediafire account. Finding even a fraction of what I included in my personal collection would take weeks, sometimes months of browsing through the few remaining NR2003 add-on sites; uploading my collection would allow people to simply find everything they could ever want for the game in one place. I also took things a step further and created another Tumblr page to have all of these downloads in a place that was easy to navigate and understand. I shared it amongst a few friends and they were all pretty thankful to have such a huge collection of hard-to-find content in one place.

NR2003 2014-04-20 14-40-46-92Nothing about what I did was illegal – again, these were freeware pieces of content for a game that’s nearly a decade old, made by the community as far back as 2003. It’s like if someone packaged up 200 of the best Quake 3 maps, or 100 of the best Doom WAD’s. It’s just someone being a bro and uploading a massive collection of historical community-made content for a game that almost nobody plays anymore. You know, just to be a bro.

I posted the link to the Tumblr site on a website called SimRacingDesign – what appeared to be the most active of the few remaining NR2003 fansites. Guys who would probably be really happy to see mods that were uploaded and lost ten years ago were actually being preserved by some dude in Canada.

They were furious.

NR2003 2014-04-02 18-25-27-64

Members at SimRacingDesign claimed that every single car and track made by the community for NR2003 over the past eleven years is copyright to the person who created it, and that by merely uploading this package of historical content, I was violating several copyright laws and could be sued or put in jail. The thread exploded. I was instantly cast as this evil villain, and I hadn’t even been on the site for more than an hour.

Let me break it down for you – these people were more or less stealing real world copyrighted logos and designs off the internet to slap onto their pretend race cars, uploading them on their preferred site, and then claiming their cars were pieces of “art” and they owned them outright, and it was illegal to upload it anywhere else.

Try making a Porsche mod for an ISI sim and tell me what happens. These scrubs didn’t own shit – the original creator of the IP’s, however, does.

NR2003 2014-04-21 20-33-04-82

That’s not how that works at all. And it’s not illegal to download a free file from one place, and upload it somewhere else. That’s called mirroring.

They did not care. This was a travesty. I was a horrible person. And they kept calling me “Todd.”

Who’s Todd?

Shortly after, I began receiving weird shit by the truckload in my Tumblr inbox.

image
And…
image

This literally went on for two weeks straight.

But then other shit started happening. I started receiving emails from Tumblr administration that the account I’d set up for the NASCAR content was under DMCA investigation. I didn’t actually have anything on there that violated DMCA agreements. Like I said, it was all just mods for a game I’d saved over the years. Like if a guy packaged up all his Skyrim mods, because as you know, hunting for that shit takes forever.

Eventually, the entire Tumblr page was shut down. Again, I was not given a reason for this, Tumblr seemed quite fine with acting before asking questions. So I moved everything to Wix, and made what was basically the same site. The actual links to the mod packages on my Mediafire page were untouched, so I spent a couple hours setting everything back up. Within 48 hours, that page too was under DMCA investigation. And like that, it was gone. Apparently these huge sites are so scared of DMCA complaints that they shut your site down at the click of a button, regardless of how valid the complaint was.

nr2003 2014-07-24 18-50-59-35At SRD, the shitstorm continued to brew. The same people who were so adamantly against the sites I’d set up were now organizing to do the exact same thing. A proper NR2003 “encyclopedia.” Somehow, my idea was good, but I supposedly went about it the wrong way. Users from a thread I frequent on 4Chan signed up on SRD to polietly inform other members that what I was doing had nothing to do with DMCA or copyright infringement. The longtime SRD members reacted so drastically that they banned all members who had signed up in the past 48 hours, as well as disabled the creation of any new accounts for the forseeable future.

I was again also accused of being a guy named Todd, who was supposedly the biggest asshole NR2003 had ever seen. Todd, who went under the username “sb70”, was apparently some crazy schizophrenic out to destroy what was left of the NR2003 community.

This alleged schizophrenic asshole reached out to me, and holy shit I was not prepared for what I walked into.

cEgtkB1There’s an 86-page thread on SimRacingDesign.com dedicated to talking shit about this Todd guy, although now it appears to have been trimmed down to just 43. And it was full of posts like this:

https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/zPK8kGE.png
And this…
https://i2.wp.com/files.iclanwebsites.com/sb70/threat3.jpg
 With the help of a real life female friend who encouraged him to continue his hobby away from the message board drama, Todd left SRD to create his own website, quick-model.info. This caused problems. SRD user “bowtie214” has created a web page devoted to cyberstalking Todd’s friend, a single female clear across the country that he has never met before (also 30 years younger for that matter) – and all over drama related to a racing video game.

bowtie214 became privy to her personal information after his online friend (Danny Coral of BigDogOnline) served a fraudulent DMCA complaint to the domain host of Todd’s site. All in hopes of not only censoring Todd’s stuff, but also to acquire any personal information of his in hopes of cyberstalking/harrassing him out of template making.

You can read that DMCA in it’s pathetic entirety, here.

That DMCA would be the 4th or 5th in a series bowtie214’s buddy had served in attempt to suppress Todd’s work on various sites aside from just his own (such as nnracing.com). Todd’s friend set up the quick-model domain during the summer of 2013 as encouragement for him to keep contributing to this hobby. All of the work on the site and anything you can download from there might be by Todd, but if not for his friend, none of it would have remained online. Of course neither of them imagined at the time this site was launched that his female friend would become the victim of committed cross-country cyberstalking by the likes of a 67 yr old loser who has:

  • snooped and stalked her social media.
  • posted images on his ‘muzak’ page of which restaurants and public places she frequents.
  • posted images on his ‘muzak’ page of which restaurants and public places she frequents.
  • posted images of her home residence from Google maps on his ‘muzak’ page after acquiring that information courtesy of pal Danny’s lame-ass DMCA

These images can be found on bowtie214’s stalking page:

http://files.iclanwebsites.com/sb70/creeperwayne.jpg
http://files.iclanwebsites.com/sb70/creeperwayne2.jpg
 Mere hours after the creation of the original source of this info, SRD member “RacerXero84” had taken to the online message board Reddit to defend the community’s decision to file false DMCA complaints on both myself and Todd, continuing to claim that uploading freeware mods for a video game is piracy, copyright infringement, and a whole host of other things that aren’t actually true.
RacerXero84 also took things a step further, claiming that he had filed a DMCA and Copyright complaint against yet ANOTHER site I frequent – a wiki page for a racing game thread I routinely shitpost in on 4Chan, justifying this by spouting legal gibberish – which you can read here:
https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/s69Xoq7.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/nED7l3W.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/gX8VOUq.jpg

In short, he is accusing myself and Todd, a guy I hardly know, of doing exactly what SRD have been doing to Todd for almost four years, and that hosting other people’s freeware mods for a decade old game is violating copyright somehow.

RacerXero84 also claimed he was not stalking Todd. Todd was able to dimiss this with proof of RacerXero84 trying to sign up for Todd’s personal site, quick-model.info. RX84 simply denied everything.

<br/><a href=

The continuing craziness, almost a year old at this point, can still be seen flaring up on Reddit, as well as a new thread on SimRacingDesign.com where the same four or five guys sit around spouting the same weird shit about some guy who made a few nice templates for an old oval racing sim.

This is what’s left of the NASCAR Racing 2003 community.

ayyI don’t recommend even bothering to try and have a sensible conversation with these guys. It doesn’t go anywhere:
SRDIf PretendRaceCars.net mysteriously goes offline, it’s because of another false DMCA complaint. These are the guys responsible.
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35 thoughts on “Sim Racing Design and the strange community surrounding NASCAR 2003

  1. This is like… Autism or Mental Retardation at it’s finest, haha, I honestly chuckled at those emails, can’t tell if their 12-yr olds or just old guys that can’t accept a loss of control over their ‘corner’ of the internet.

    Like

    1. I remember reading all of this stuff on the NR2003 Reddit a long while ago, didn’t know you were one of the ones unfortunately involved in this. Damn.

      Like

  2. So sad to hear. I remember in the heyday of the NR2003 how great everyone was in the skinning and modding community. Shit, I remember I could post a paint scheme request and some friendly person would have it done by the next day. Shame it’s degraded to being just these kind of people, but good on you for trying to keep some of those great creations around for people to enjoy still.

    Like

  3. How about just getting your own server box and hosting things yourself. I doubt the traffic would be significant for NR2003 mods, shit someone’s old P4 box could probably handle it and you can find those anywhere for free.

    Alternatively, eastern european servers lel.

    Like

  4. It’s truly sad that a bunch of grumpy old men resort to stalking and death threats and then have the nerve to say that they are in the right to do so.

    SRD has pretty much blacklisted/banned anybody I know in the NR community with a few exceptions. This RacerXero84 guy clearly seems to care despite what he says given he signed onto the Ernhrtfan boards simply to be mad at us. They also shame any cars, tracks, and mods that aren’t made in the SRD circlejerk.

    Aside from that, it was greatly appreciated that you posted all of the NR files that you had before they were taken down for those BS DMCA reasons. You made a lot of people in the community very happy.

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  5. Where do they make people like this? Can’t even imagine how frustrated and stupid one has to be to do such shit to other people because of a fucking game. Unbelievable. I hope it all goes good for you and Todd. Keep it up guys and don’t let those retarded fuckers spoil your hobby.

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  6. This is ridiculous. It’s just sad to see grown-up people doing such stupid things once they sit in front of a computer. On a side note however, I wonder what would happen if these guys landed on the SMS forums.

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  7. Sad really. Having played a lot of NR2003 over the years I’ve went bonkers trying to find some stuff. A centralized site with a lot of content would be excellent for the game and just what new players need. Very sad indeed.

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  8. This stuff goes on online, too. I remember a couple of weeks ago a league tried to go to a track built by Openspeedway (NOTORIOUS for being a bunch of hypocritical old farts, and in fact this league had broken away from them), and Mouse (OSW leader) flipped shit. He claimed that we were infringing on his rights and he even threatened a DMCA. They had to change tracks at the last minute. Keep in mind I’ve run that track about 5 times at other leagues.
    Also, this kind of BS in the OP is why most leagues (or at least league drivers) make their own tracks or base them off of tracks from creators that don’t act like preschoolers.

    Like

  9. James, you left out the creepy and corny-ass song SRD user ‘bowtie’ wrote and sang to celebrate SRDs crazy-ass cyberstalking drama. Listen to this screwball shit performed by one of the same four or five guys attempting to convince others that their cyberstalking victim is “off his meds”

    And yes, the guy singing that is the same guy with the weird-ass dedicated cyberstalking site.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. HAHA this is some demented shit. God forbid the barrier to entry for new players is made easier without having to kiss the ring.

    Like

  11. Holy Shit, I had to read this twice because I thought at first it was a bad parody. That old man is cracked! Racerxero totally lives up to what you’d expect to see behind the screen typing up that smarty ass sounding legal tripe. Man what a bunch of speds!!

    Like

  12. Thing is though they are right.

    You cannot distribute copyright content – even if that content is “freeware”, a mod, or 12 years old, unless you have the permission of the copyright holder.

    As for DMCA takedowns you should have read and followed the procedure to submit a “counter notice” – if you didn’t then it’s no surprise your page(s) were closed.

    So yeah, you discovered people who like Nascar are like, well, like the stereotype, but unless the mods you have were distributed with files / licenses give you permission to redistribute then, yes, you are breaching the (c) of the creator by putting them online (albeit if the person who filed the DMCA isn’t the copyright holder you could have easily countered the claim)

    Like

    1. Except they’re not right.

      The copyright holder for any NR2003 mods, as described in the NR2003 EULA that you agree to when you install the game, is technically iRacing – and they’re made it pretty clear they don’t give a flying fuck about what’s done with NR2003 mods – where they’re distributed, how they’re distributed… No rules. The game is dead. iRacing doesn’t care.

      So in short, SRD runs around filing false DMCA complaints on people for mirroring mods they don’t own, featuring an abundance of stolen IP’s from companies that most certainly did not give their approval to appear in said mods.

      Is it possible to file a counter claim? Yes. Is it worth trying to explain the in’s and out’s of an ancient oval racing sim’s modding scene to Tumblr administration? lol no.

      Like

      1. You’ve already invested the time explaining your position across multiple sites/forums and copy/pasting it again here. How much more time would it have cost you to simply link said information in a counter claim?

        If you have the blessing and permission of the original modders, I don’t see how any level-headed person could possibly levy any issue against the aggregation of free mods.

        Tight butthole, I has.

        Like

  13. I agree, seems all to be a one sided story that is played out over and over again. This guy seems to think everyone is out to get him. Why does not this SB70 post the other things that he is leaving out that got this whole mess started? He is not the victimless person he claims to be. Where is the posts or screen shots many other have seen when he went on rants at other sites? I am sure when those are posted, more people will get a fuller understanding of this whole circus act.

    Must be nice to have James & Oggy, friends who it seems to have no part in this game OR were ever heard of before, to want to spend their donated time to upload files of a game they never played. Makes one wonder just where they got all those files from.

    And then there is a racer guy, he tends to spout off about things and jump fences faster than a cat chases a mouse. He has a opinion about anything that seems to be popular does he not? Not all of it is true either, but then again it is also one sided.

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  14. He claims the cyberstalking is all about him but he has the exact same info about the ones he claims that is stalking him pictures and all. He posted one guys wife’s picture online and even information about a tragic killing of one of the guys daughter and then rubs it in all over the place like salt in a wound. Why wouldnt someone strike back at a person that low?. So how is he any differant to them and why is he the victim instead of them?

    Like

  15. This is crazy. It’s only a game. Recently they have gone after the Wild Customs and Cars page on Facebook too.

    These are grown men right?

    Like

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