CSGO skins removed by Valve after alleged copyright infringement

CSGO skins for the AWP rifle have been removed by Valve following claims that they infringe copyright, as the Steam FPS game hits a new record player count.

CSGO skins removed by Valve after alleged copyright infringement: A soldier in a red flat cap firing a machine gun in Steam FPS game CSGO

A selection of CSGO skins for the AWP rifle and other inventory items have been removed and replaced by Valve after claims that they were based on “stolen artwork.” The change follows recent CSGO updates which alter maps including Ember and Boyard, as the Steam FPS game also breaks its own record for concurrent players.

On February 9, as part of the Revolution Case, CSGO released a new skin for the AWP called ‘Doodle Lore.’ A colourful, snarling dragon, the sniper rifle skin was available for around $300 USD (£248 GBP).

“High risk and high reward, the infamous AWP is recognizable by its signature report and one-shot, one-kill policy,” the Doodle Lore skin’s description reads. “It has been custom painted with doodles of hearts, flowers, an MVP trophy, and a brightly-coloured dragon.”

On February 15, however, a post on the official Counter Strike blog noted that the Doodle Lore AWP and inventory skins had been removed, and replaced with another design called ‘Duality in the Revolution.’ As reported by Dot Esports, the removal comes after a Twitter user, ‘Danidem,’ claimed that the skin was based on the work of artist ‘Vexx_Art.’

Observing that other CSGO skins, including one for the M4 assault rifle, may be based on “stolen artwork,” Danidem says that Vexx_Art filed a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice, to get the Doodle Lore skin removed.

“I’ve been contacted via PM and it seems the M4A4 ain’t the only one with stolen artwork,” Danidem writes. “The AWP by Jimmba [an alternate name for the Doodle Lore skin] is basically a dragon by the artist Vexx_Art. Apparently, they have already been contacted and they’re going to file a DMCA.”

Danidem shares an image of the Doodle Lore skin alongside the original dragon artwork by Vexx_Art.

CSGO skins removed by Valve after alleged copyright infringement: An image comparing dragon artwork with a CSGO skin for the AWP rifle

In response to the skin being removed from CSGO, Vexx_Art has also posted a response, saying they would be amenable to redesigning the Doodle Lore skin themselves. “Stolen art has been deleted,” Vexx_Art says. “If CSGO is down to let me redesign the Doodle Lore, I’m in!”

The removal comes as part of other CSGO updates which have altered textures, clipping issues, and various assets in CSGO maps including Ember, Boyard, and Chalice. The Steam shooter recently beat its own record for concurrent players, which previously stood at 1,308,963, but is now a gigantic 1,320,219.

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