Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own. The weapon in question, the "M4A4 | Howl," was created by two CS:GO players, and sold for a whopping $175 due to its rarity. But in a statement to the community Valve said that it had received a DMCA takedown notice regarding copyright infringement for the artwork on the weapon, and a community sticker submitted by the same duo.
Because of the infringement, Valve has banned both players and will not be sending future proceeds from the sales of the weapon to these players.
"When we launched the CS:GO Items Workshop, our goal was to provide artists with a space to share their creative ideas," explains the statement. "By design, the Items Workshop has very low friction for artists to submit their work – new contributions do not require Valve review or approval."
Steam Workshop contributors sign a legal agreement with Valve when they register for the Workshop, affirming that all their contributions are original. That means that the two creators of the weapon hare liability for the claims of copyright infringement with Valve.
"The cost for everyone involved in the resolution of this issue has been significant, including our players and community members," the statement continues. "It takes considerable time and effort for the CS:GO team to resolve copyright infringement disputes, but fortunately copying is rare – the CS:GO community has submitted tens of thousands of unique entries to the Workshop, and we have shipped dozens of your designs without a problem."
Ultimately Valve decided to remove the weapon from the game, and replace the artwork on the weapon for anyone who had already bought it, while putting a new "Contraband" level of rarity on the weapon. As a result, the price of the weapon has shot up to $400 in some places.
You can read Valve's full statement here.