One of the skins included in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Operation Broken Fang has been hit with a DCMA copyright claim.
CSGO’s new operation came with over 40 new skins for players to collect, but one of them might end up changing. The Galil Vandal, originally named “Robber,” has been flagged for review by Valve for a potential copyright violation according to a warning on the skin’s original workshop entry. While it may sound to fans that the Broken Fang case skin could be the next M4A4 Howl, this has happened before. And unlike the Howl, no other skin has ever gone classified.
CSGO skins have been hit with copyright strikes in the past, but none have ended up like the one-of-a-kind Contraband Howl. The Howl’s design was famously stolen from Andreas Mass, who became the first person to ever issue a successful copyright claim on a CSGO skin. Valve immediately took action and replaced the artwork on the weapon, but stunningly turned around and profited from Mass a second time by making it one of the rarest and most sought-after skins in CSGO. Valve receives 15% commission on every marketplace transaction involving CSGO skins.
CSGO skins like the M4A4 Griffon and the PP-Bizon High Roller both had copyright claims filed against them, but Valve never gave the guns the Howl’s legendary Contraband status. On both skins, Valve changed the design enough to comply with the DMCA, but continued allowing the weapon to drop from cases and post-game rewards. While the Vandal likely won’t become CSGO’s next Contraband skin, the strike highlights how often CSGO’s workshop submissions are either inspired or stolen by their submitters.
It’s unclear whether Valve actually chooses skin cases by the total number of workshop votes cast by Steam users. In fact, the developer has never confirmed that submitters can’t game the system. As CSGO has steadily risen in popularity over the past two years, so has its skin system. More players mean more buyers, and more buyers mean that having a skin accepted to one of CSGO’s cases can be incredibly profitable.
Instead of rushing to snag a Vandal, actual submitters with real art should start asking Valve some of these questions. That said, no one would blame a player for taking another gamble on CSGO’s roulette wheel.