Crypto copycat store duplicates Itch.io, gets slapped down by founder
Probably wasn’t the best idea to tweet at the person whose site you copied
The creator of indie game storefront Itch.io has called out a website that appears to have taken the site’s code for itself and begun selling creators’ games without permission. Dubbed 'W3itch.io', the copycat site's creator replied to a tweet from Itch.io founder Leaf Corcoran, who promptly asked them not to "rip off" Itch.io anymore. W3itch.io even described itself as a “free-as-freedom open marketplace for independent game creators inspired by Itch and Gitcoin”. Not the most sensible of ideas to engage with the person whose work you’re replicating, W3itch.io.
The crypto-promoting copycat has since apologised for taking Itch.io’s CSS files for their own site, with the excuse that they were short of designers. Corcoran accused them of theft and pointed out that most of the projects on W3itch.io’s site were taken from RPGMaker.net. You can read the full, bizarre exchange between Corcoran and w3itch.io for yourself here.
One Twitter response also pointed out the extent of W3itch.io’s copying of Itch.io:
did a cursory glance at different parts of their website and noticed they didn't even attempt to change the about me with the exception of a few words pic.twitter.com/KuhRVHEbvR— rodney parker (@funclerodney) June 29, 2022
Now, Itch.io aren’t fans of crypto shenanigans, including NFTs, to begin with, as Alice O. reported back in February. I’m not the most knowledgeable person about decentralised autonomous organisations, Web3 or any of that general emperor’s new clothes cryptobro stuff, but if someone expresses a really strong opinion against your technological pet project then it’s probably best to leave them well alone. Not put a witch’s hat on top of their outfit, pretend it’s yours and parade it in front of them. Each to their own, I suppose.
Corcoran proceeded to report W3itch.io on Github for stolen intellectual property, saying:
You have stolen the UI of itch.io, blatantly ripping it off, in addition to using our name directly in your project. As far as I'm concerned, this is scam to trick people by using @itchio's established brand on an unrelated project for your own profit.
I request that you immediately remove any likeness, including our name, from your project.
Additionally, upon going through the content on your platform, it appears you have stolen many games (see rpgmaker.net) for reupload without the consent of the creators of the games. For the sake of respecting creators and their work, I request that you remove stolen content from your platform.
W3itch.io responded to the accusation of theft, promising to remove any misappropriated software if the owner contacted them first. “If you find that your content has been stolen, please leave a comment under this tweet or give me a DM and we'll contact its uploader to coordinate with him/her to remove these contents,” they said. “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the community for the offense we caused.” What a weird, weird situation.