Matt / PRHQ owner checking in. I think it’s important to state a couple of things:
It’s not a secret that PRHQ uses the RustIO plugin to generate map images - full credits and a walk through were given on how to even set it up on the previous incarnation of the website. The website was updated in June (I think) with a new design which remains incomplete to this day. I’ve actually had little to do with the website since then.
The back end of PRHQ uses a cached version of the RustIO plugin - this is functionality the author himself added which we use to speed up the process. If you didn’t know (or perhaps don’t remember), if the plugin looks for a RustIO.dll file in the Managed folder before proceeding to download / update. We took this cached method because the update method inside the plugin often failed and we didn’t want our backend hitting his web server tens of times a second - we thought this was a nice and polite thing to do. As of right now, it’s using a cached version from sometime in July - the map generation code hasn’t changed since then so no update has been needed.
Last month, the author emailed in stating we were claiming ownership of the maps generated and financially gaining from his plugin. I was a little bewildered by this because PRHQ was created in January with full knowledge of the plugin author because I remember posting many times in his Oxide thread - nothing has actually changed on our end since then, and I’ve not had anything to do with Rust for at least 4 months now - and featured many times in community updates.
Looking further into this, in August, the author added a watermark to map images generated from the plugin and added some kind of license agreements where by it states that images generated from the plugin can’t be used for financial game. This is completely fair - however, you can’t add an license agreement to something which has been in the public domain for 7 months prior. Obviously, if we’re using a cached version of the plugin, it’s not going to have this code in there. I believe this is where the confusion comes from.
His email was ignored on the basis that the author was yet again trying to control what other services do - there’s been a history of this with him. Previous versions of his extension provided APIs which we and other services used. It was stated these were going to be added back in upcoming versions but still have yet to be added even though many have asked for them back - in fact, these APIs are already in there, but he restricts them so only his website can request them. Of course, the author is free to do as he pleases. This hasn’t mattered to us, but I feel was worth mentioning.
On a final note regarding the email sent in, the author requested that we redirect all users from our map gallery to his. The author never had any kind of map generation or gallery facility (outside of automated ones generated through server scraping, as we do) up until a few weeks ago. From what I assume, the author probably believes we’re receiving hundreds of donations a month and generating an equal amount from ad revenue - when the truth is the network of PRHQ (let’s not forget that it was once the most popular public server, only to be let down by my lack of enthusiasm for Rust over the past months) received somewhere in the region of $200 in donations in total and only tens of dollars a month in ad revenue which most comes from our server listings. Given the monthly fees exceed $400, it’s safe to say that there’s been no profit since it first came up in January.
Now we’re at a point where the author is resorting to defamation publicly on the Oxide forums and now here. No-one has stolen any code, modified any code or similar. Given the shady nature of the author and his childish tactics, I won’t be engaging in a conversation or debate any further than this - a public forum isn’t the place for petty vendettas. Any further queries, direct them to my email (contact details on the website).