10/26/17: Internet Safety Overload

I took a simple day off to celebrate my birthday with some close friends – yes, those actually exist, shocking I know – and returned only to discover all hell had broken loose within the span of about twenty four hours. All three of these stories truly deserve separate articles because of just how wild the individual stories are, but there is no use in falling behind schedule when it’s possible to cover everything in one swift click of the “Publish” button. The world of sim racing continues to be a complete clusterfuck of drama and miscellaneous bullshit that would put off any casual gamer from partaking in the shenanigans alongside us; with October 26th, 2017 establishing itself as a day in which a major developer, iRacing Twitch personality, and former YouTube show host all made themselves out to be examples of why this genre simply doesn’t grow at the rate of others.

This will be a magical journey.

We start with a post over at RaceDepartment, entitled “How did a mod from Assetto Corsa wind up in Formula One 2017?” For those who call Assetto Corsa their simulator of choice, most of the demographic are probably well-aware that the Ferrari F2002 mod created by seven very talented individuals is objectively one of the best third party mods you can obtain for the popular PC racing sim, one which is absolutely free of charge. The mod sees Ferrari’s 2002 world championship entry faithfully recreated while also exhibiting the same level of quality seen in the officially licensed content released as downloadable content by Kunos Simulazioni themselves. Regardless of how you feel about Assetto Corsa as a racing simulator, this modding project is one of the true masterpieces churned out by the sim racing community in recent memory, and something that deserves to be in the collection of every Assetto Corsa player. In much the same manner as we talk about the CTDP 2005 season package for the original rFactor, the F2002 will easily go down as one of the definitive third party mods ever made for Assetto Corsa.

The first iteration of the mod was released in January of 2016, according to RaceDepartment’s upload statistics.

In May of 2017, Codemasters revealed the Ferrari F2002 would be included among a list of Classic Formula One entries for their upcoming title – now out on store shelves – Formula One 2017. The Assetto Corsa mod’s 3D artist, SalamanderSoldier, was extremely excited to see how his rendition of the F2002 would stack up to the same vehicle as modeled by a professional team. Of course, when you compare the two side-by-side, it turns out the Assetto Corsa third party mod is almost indistinguishable from the Codemasters variant, indicating Salamander did a fantastic job working out of pure passion for sim racing.

Apparently, Codemasters thought so as well.

As we’ve covered before on PRC, there are indeed websites – both legal and illegal – that allow you to obtain or simply view assets from various driving games. Salamander had gone on to one of these websites and noticed that a user had posted the Ferrari F2002 as seen the Codemasters release, Formula One 2017. Upon examining the Codemasters rendition, he discovered that it was actually his own model of the F2002.

Fast forward to the F2002 Assetto Corsa mod where I wanted to update but strangely I come across an Artstation page containing some assets for the F1 2017 game. One of those assets was you guessed it the F2002. Now looking at the wireframe was a dead giveaway that it was indeed my model F2002 that I worked on for months. I could see all the choices this artist made that nearly matched all the same choices I made. My heart sunk and I felt disgusted. So the only thing left to do is contact the artist that and await a response. Days go by with no response except that the Artstation page is now taken down. I’ve received no response by either the artist or Codemasters as of this time.

Codemasters will have a lot of explaining to do in the coming days, as it appears the Ferrari F2002 as seen in Formula One 2017 is actually a model taken from a prolific Assetto Corsa mod team without their explicit knowledge. As much as myself and others have enjoyed Formula One 2017, there is probably a lawsuit on the horizon. Codemasters have yet to respond to the allegations, so I encourage you to follow the RaceDepartment thread for further developments. This one is going to get messy in a hurry, especially considering wire frames alone can prove Salamander’s case beyond a reasonable doubt, and mainstream sim racing websites will be sure to cover this story once it gains traction.

We now shift gears to the world of sim racing multimedia personalities, an ecosystem which has taken off in recent years thanks to the popularity of streaming on platforms such as Twitch, and the influx of YouTube commentators dubbing over their driving footage with lengthy voice-overs. One personality who managed to attract a small following from his online notoriety and lengthy Twitch streams would be Jason Jacoby of Athens, Georgia.

The Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in his late twenties burst onto the scene late last year with his elaborate sim rig constructed in a proper Super Late Model chassis, promoting himself in a way that implied his sim racing prowess would help him to obtain a shot in a real car – complete with custom fire suits and mock interviews on his YouTube channel to demonstrate his “media-friendly persona.” Though iRacing themselves did their part to help Jason’s cause by giving him the appropriate positive social media attention, it later came out that the cost of the simulator put him into pretty extensive financial peril. Response to the highly-publicized “Room Tour” video was mixed; deluded iRacers supported Jason’s willingness to “live the dream” and indulge in his fantasy, while more grounded sim racers and amateur drivers opted to mock his questionable life choices. A few gave genuine advice as to how he could step into a real car without blowing money on video games; this went largely ignored.

Jacoby then turned the intensity up another notch and created a GoFundMe campaign; the goal to convince fellow sim racers to pay for his shot in a real car. The campaign asked for $13,000 USDof which $310 has been raised – in order to purchase a Legends Roadster, a popular amateur car based on a 1930’s Ford coupe. Keen observers watching the madness unfold did their own research and discovered Jacoby had recently obtained an ARCA Menards Series show car, promptly slaughtering him for requesting donations while simultaneously blowing thousands upon thousands of dollars on useless impulse items. The absurdity of the story surrounding the iRacing Twitch persona drew devious outsiders into the fray, who were eager to prank call his workplace, and in the process discovered his girlfriend acting as a moderator for his iRacing streams was still in high school. The unwanted attention from his sim racing exploits nearly got Jason fired from his beloved gig at Domino’s, after customers complained the pair were live streaming for his iRacing followers during work hours.

Today, Jason issued a short apology for the GoFundMe campaign on Facebook. Response to the Facebook post demonstrates precisely why things were allowed to escalate this far in the first place; Bible-thumping southerners – whom I’m going to guess are relatives – act completely oblivious to why such a negative reaction occurred in the first place and are quick to dismiss critical comments as “bullies” and “haters,” even as the guy responsible for all of this is admitting he did something profoundly retarded. As I hypothesized back when all of this began, I believed it was a lack of proper guidance from the people around him that allowed Jason to indulge in his delusions. I seem to be correct on that front.

There’s a Romanian saying that goes “if one person at the bar says you’re drunk, you’re probably not drunk, but if twenty people are saying it, maybe it’s time for you to head home.”  This is a pretty fitting way to describe at least one person within the sim racing community who has outstayed their welcome, despite all of their contributions to the hobby over the previous decade. Another year has passed in which somebody has made a lengthy video detailing their experiences with InsideSimRacing’s Darin Gangi, this time coming from SimRacingPaddock’s Will Marsh.

InsideSimRacing was a YouTube show created by sim racers Shaun Cole and Darin Gangi in the mid 2000’s, at a time when YouTube itself was in its’ infancy, and the concept of proper YouTube “shows” were still a few years away from becoming a mainstream thing; the duo could be considered almost pioneers in this regard. However, signs of a strained relationship off-camera began making their way into full-length episodes as YouTube’s worldwide popularity exploded – despite the increase in view count, the pair seemed less charismatic than in years past, and the contrast of hosting a hobbyist show with a busty Instagram model had a lot of people pondering the circmstances behind the scenes. By 2013, Gangi had began using ISR videos as his own personal soapbox to lash out against seemingly random people in the sim community he didn’t approve of – conflicting with the show’s otherwise professional approach to sim racing news topics.

Cole departed soon thereafter, with Lopez following. A string of replacements were brought in, none of which lasted very long. OG sim racing personality Matt Orr, better known by his call-sign “EmptyBox”, uploaded a video telling a story in which Gangi attempted to recruit him for ISR, only to become enraged when Matt declined the offer. It was hard to deny the story that was playing out behind the scenes.

Caught in the crossfire happened to be Will Marsh, who was one of the replacements brought in to help continue ISR as a news outlet. Now running his own operation in SimRacingPaddock, Marsh’s twenty-seven minute video reveals much of what occurred behind the scenes during his time affiliated with InsideSimRacing. This is a long video that’s best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or some snacks from your local 7-Eleven, though to summarize, Darin exhibits traits commonly associated with an individual suffering from some kind of debilitating personality disorder. Will was essentially led to believe he would be the next “main guy” behind InsideSimRacing and persuaded to move out to Spokane to help with the show, only to be told he has autism and be subjected to some pretty hectic verbal abuse.

It’s very difficult to come out in public and say a notable member of the sim racing community was especially cruel to you, considering their face is practically everywhere and marketed as some highly knowledgeable bastion of the hobby. Massive props to Will for following through on this.

Unfortunately, Will most likely won’t receive any sort of apology from Darren for his past behavior, because that’s how these people tend to operate; instead, we as a community will all have to interpret the revitalized InsideSimRacing – hosted by John Sabol and Billy Strange – as an admission of guilt. Gangi recently washed his hands of InsideSimRacing as a brand and handed the keys to a private owner, essentially acknowledging that he himself was too toxic to continue his involvement with the outlet. From what I recall, Gangi is now the customer service guy for a simulation hardware company, though I don’t remember off the top of my head which one.

Anyways, that’s the complete summary of October 26th, 2017 in the world of sim racing. Be careful on the internet.

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60 thoughts on “10/26/17: Internet Safety Overload

  1. So….hold on.

    Modder makes unlicensed F2002 mod, and CM picks it up when they have the rights to put the F2002 in their software?

    Regardless of if they stole the model or whatever, CM, legally speaking, had the green light to reproduce the F2002, the modder did not and that may be the crux of any lawsuit. Also, modders vs Codies….Codies will probably win.

    To sum up:

    Blatant copyright infringement by modder leads to modder bitching about their illegal work getting stolen by a bigger company who has the rights to said car, legally, in their program? Bigger company’s in the rightEnter your comment here…

    Yeah, I’m siding with the rights holder (CM) here from a purely legal standpoint…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The AC modder of the f1 2002 would have to have rocks in his head to pursue the FIA backed codemasters. Codemasters know this, which is why they had no qualms about “stealing” his model.

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      1. If I take a photo or make a sketch of a F1 car during a test or promotional session it is mine and I hold the rights to the photo or sketch. Only during FOM mandated events the right belong to the FOM. In itself the model is an artist impression, there is no proof its made based from FOM mandated events photographs. Publication of the work it gets tricky, but the ownership of the model in itself is quite clear, and its not codies.

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    2. There are two parts to this statement.
      The first one is completely true in the sense that the modder does not have the FIA authorisation to distribute a product with the likeness of an F1 car, in this case a F2002. This is what could land the modder in trouble and why I suggest downloading and backing up the mod ASAP.
      The second part completely misses the point, it matters not whether the modder has the rights to the likeness of the car, as long as he doesn’t use it commercially (see point 1). In every conceivable circumstance, the model is the intelectual property of the creator (as there don’t seem to have been contracts between the man who made the aforementioned model and Codemasters) and its use without the permission from the creator in a commercial title is strictly forbidden.
      I’m guessing codies have more to lose here than the modder, if it is in fact his model.

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      1. The model is actually the property of FOM. No doubt codemasters modified it slightly, which would make it impossible to even prove that they stole his model.

        Like I said, he would have to have rocks in his head to pursue legal action against codemasters.

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          1. @Fmecha:

            I thought the teams signed away their commercial rights to FOM regardless a while back didn’t they though for their depictions in movies and games and so forth (not that I want an F1 movie but it’s an example) and Codies license from FOM who are….particular about how their shit gets depicted.

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            1. @Ferrett, correct.

              Also how do you prove that someone stole your model if all you’ve got are 2 similar digital models, which are in turn similar to an original design by Ferrari and which is owned by FOM?

              Also in the unlikely event that the modder wins the case, the court would simply order Codies to pay him for the modelling work, which wouldn’t be much, and Codies would have had to pay for it anyway.

              Codies would also no doubt counter sue for the loss of income resulting from an unlicensed Ferari car being available and competing with Codies Ferrari cars, which that had to pay licensing fees to be able to include in their game.

              So from the modder ‘s point of view the juice just ain’t worth the squeeze.

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                1. That’s a good gesture from the guy at CM. CTDP 2005 Ferrari had its cockpit used for a silly Shell promo flash game but luckily it was not a commercial thing.

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        1. It’s been a few years since law school, but you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

          The wireframe/mod may or may not be protected, but it’s definitely not FOM’s property. Nor is it automatically infringing. That the creator uploaded it to the public w/o FOM’s permission isn’t helpful to his cause, but he didn’t charge for it. AC’s Ferrari license may further muddle the waters, especially if they have a F2002 license.

          Regardless, FOM doesn’t own it.

          It’s either Codies’ IP or it’s not, but if the story gets out, it won’t be a good look (unless the original creator is delusional).

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      2. No it’s a myth that if it’s not commercial it’s safer. There’s no trutht to this, in fact the very thing came up in a stream with an actual copyright attorney on Youtube who hosts weekly streams and he explained, and I’m going to paraphrase it here:

        It doesn’t matter if it’s commercially released or freeware, you are still seeing copyright infringement and the rights owner is still going to be fully right in coming after you.

        The example used was the guy who posted frame by frame shots of Top Gun on his Twitter account, no money involved, he got shut down for it.

        Or the fact vR got a C and D to stop talking about all unofficial F1 content despite that falling squarely under fair use.

        Or Universal pulling down all Battlestar Galactica mods on ModDB a while back to promote their then-new BSG online game

        I could go on, but short version…..

        Whether its free or not doesn’t magically protect you from getting shit on for using somebody else’s work at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The difference is, if you do it free, “remove this publication” is all they can expect, if you are selling it, they can sue for damages and expect to take your money.

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        2. Commercially was probably the wrong word there, what I meant to say is that if he keeps it to himself, he can do whatever the bloody fuck he wants and if his model ends up in say a commercial F1 title he has the right to defend his intellectual property. When he starts distributing it, whether free or otherwise, he can have legal action taken against him, anything from a cease and desist to more annoying and potential bankrupting measures, and whether it is distributed free or not has little bearing on the kind of sentence you get.

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    3. My guess is that this will go quiet on all fronts.Codemasters will agree to pay the modder for his work.Anything else is just to messy & expensive.

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      1. Now that we can see 3DS Max 1:1 comparison shots (see post #15 over at RD’s forum), it’s obvious that large parts of the two models in question show suspicous polygon overlap(!).

        My guess how this happened: 3D modelling is mostly outsourced these days. CM commissioned a 3D modeller to create the F2002. Said modeller took the AC F2002 mod, changed some things to cover the tracks and – voilà! – sent the finished patchwork back to CM.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. On the Jacoby thing, I like where his FB friends are saying “there’s no shame in asking”.

    That’s interesting, because I’m from the same part of the USA and, last time I checked, begging for nonessential items (like a shiny race car) wasn’t considered appropriate behavior (marrying your cousin and going to church 3 times a week are still A-OK, however).

    It’s not like he’s soliciting donations to help his family who lost everything in a hurricane. I give him credit for apologizing. His was not *the* most ridiculous Gofundme I’ve heard about, but it was definitely up there.

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    1. I kinda feel bad for him. He clearly does not have a normal mental capacity. It’s his family and friends, who have enabled this behavior, that make me angry.

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      1. Maybe they know something we don’t. I’ve theorized previously that his family might be quite well-off and therefore in a position to bail him out of his credit card bills at any time. Which begs the question: Why don’t they just buy the race car in the first place?

        So yeah, I think you’re right. The people around him let this guy dig himself a pretty big financial hole. Not sure why. What’s disturbing is that the people on FB (friends, family) seem to be actively encouraging him, not just letting him “learn a lesson”.

        That makes them culpable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As I’ve said before, financial responsibility is, for the most part a learned behavior, generally from one’s parents.

          I’d be willing to bet jacobys parents are just as bad with money and debt as he is.

          There are also people who just don’t care how bad their financial situation is.

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  3. You missed the 4th big event. An article written by an apologist of pC2 trying to explain that people on console can’t play with their gamepads because he doesn’t like it among other things.

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  4. this william marsh is such a piece. He’s just another James, only on his youtube channel and sometimes on his blog too.

    Sim racing is basically 50% drama, 50% complaining about the sims, 10% playing.

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      1. I knew these posts would come, but that’s exactly my point. People focus so much on both that actually playing is just an afterthought.

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  5. You missed a story last week. At the end of us f1 qualifying, sky ran a promo for next year’s sim racing f1 series.

    F1interviews on YouTube may have it.

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  6. Looking it up again, it seems like the F2002 model saga will be a lose-lose situation for everyone. A modeler of a licensed game (allegedly) plagiarizing an unlicensed mod does not seem to have a winning party…

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    1. Correct. Although Codemasters did the wrong thing by stealing the model, the modder had no legal right to make and distribute it in the first place, and therefore will have no recourse.

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      1. If that was illegal the entire TurboSquid site couldn’t exist. Individuals are definitely legally allowed to make a model of anything they want, advertise that the model exists, and then sell it to someone who wants a model of that thing and has a license to use the model in a game.

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      1. “SOME” members of the modding community have higher standards, the majority of them steal material from the big boys (GT, forza etc) other companies (Simraceway laser-scanned tracks) or they just follow the lazy approach and copy-paste more than a decade old shitty tracks and car models conversions from the GTR2 rF1 era.

        FTFY

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gangi replied in the forums.

    I’m not going into detail about what happened but I will say that William is far from innocent in all of this. If sharing private company info publically, betraying someone that befriended and mentored you is ok, then William did nothing wrong. I overreacted and said some really mean things that I shouldn’t have, but did so after being pushed over and over again by someone I took under my wing. Should I have done that, no.. Should have just ignored him and chalked it up to being betrayed again.

    I never tried to shut down his operation.. not sure why he thinks I did. I gave him an opportunity, taught him a lot about this industry and how to make videos only to have him take that information to start up his own deal. The only thing I did wrong when he worked for me was trust him.

    Two sides to every story and William is not sharing a lot of details of what actually happened. Before he created that video, I offered to go on his live show to discuss what actually happened. Instead he wants to share his jaded view of how he thinks things went down without me being able to tell my side. I could go and do my own rebuttal video telling my side, but why bother. Based on what I did watch in that video, I think he’s got some deep rooted personal issues that I’m having to pay for.

    In closing, I think Williams primary goal in making that video was to look for sympathy by playing the victim, make me out to look like a villain to attract views and subscribers to his channel. Looks like he succeeded. Believe what you want but realize that there’s two sides to every story and the story you’ve been treated to is far from accurate.

    Call me a bully, asshole, whatever you want.. but I know the truth and so do the people that matter most to me, my friends and family. I hope you all enjoyed more sim racing drama at my expense.

    Like

    1. Gangi unloads on Ben Cornett during an ISR show because… he doesn’t like Ben? Or something?

      Also unloads on some guy in a Daytona 24 hour race that NEVER EVEN TOUCHED HIM but according to Darin it’s his fault anyway and rants about it on video for a while.

      Shaun Cole dips out of ISR, won’t say why. Immediately starts his own outlet.

      Lopez leaves too.

      EmptyBox reveals private conversations of Gangi throwing a tantrum.

      Jason Dunnington, upon seeing the EmptyBox video, comments “That actually looked really nice… Compared to what I got.”

      Now Will Marsh.

      “I know the truth and so do the people that matter most to me, my friends and family.”

      Actually Darin, it looks like there’s a pretty distinct pattern of people wanting to get the fuck away from you transpiring over a period of several years.

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  8. I’ve got a feeling we’re about to lose most of our modding community

    Either they’ll start cracking down on modders for making their cars and releasing them for free, or the modelers will quit because they don’t want corporations making crazy amounts of money from their unpaid work.

    Great job codemasters

    Like

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