Regarding Beatmap Commissions

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The topic of paid mapping commissions has come to the forefront of a lot of discussion lately, and we've had many people asking us to clarify what the official stance is on this.

There are two main points we’d like to touch on here:

Firstly, the issue of monetary influence upon the ranking process.

To begin with, we’d like to remind everybody of osu!’s most important core value: “free-to-win”. This means that anyone, regardless of financial situation, can pick up osu! and enjoy it to the fullest without needing to spend any money. Everyone can equally attain success - whether ‘success’ means reaching #1 on the leaderboards, becoming a distinguished mapper with a plethora of popular ranked maps... or even less grandiose goals like simply having some fun wasting time with your friends.

This core value is very important to us.

We believe that if not handled correctly, mapping commissions could run counter to this - with money seeding an underlying corruption into the mapping and modding community.

Put another way, this introduces the idea that anyone involved in making a beatmap (e.g. the mappers, modders, nominators, Quality Assurance Team and everyone else involved in getting a beatmap ranked) could now expect to get a cut from a commissioned beatmap. This leads to the hypothetical situation where unless a beatmap is financially enticing, it would be not seen as worthwhile to help mod/rank a given beatmap. Ultimately this results in an unfair playing field when it comes to creating beatmaps and getting them ranked, favored towards people willing to pay.

We do not believe that this is in the best interest for players or the mapping and modding communities as a whole.

To this end, we have decided that all members of any osu! team involved in the ranking process (e.g. Beatmap Nominators, Quality Assurance Team, etc) will be explicitly forbidden from undertaking or participating in paid modding, ranking OR beatmapping commissions while they retain their role on the team.

There should never be any question as to the legitimacy or motives of members of any “official” osu! team (BN, QAT or otherwise) involved in the ranking process. Should we leave this unaddressed, it opens the gates for unscrupulous individuals to abuse the privileges and trust they have been given.

This coming week, ultimatums will be issued to any osu! team members that are currently participating in commission projects and they will be required to choose between either ceasing participation in said commision projects or withdrawing from the osu! team. Any reports of people on the team receiving kickbacks (e.g. in exchange for receiving fast-tracking) or participating in commissions going forward will result in the immediate expulsion of said people from any and all teams they are on.

Secondly, we’d like to address the issue of mappers seeking to profit on the back of unlicensed content.

As you may know, we are actively pursuing a future for osu! built on collaboration with producers and artists whose work literally makes osu! come to life. Efforts like the Featured Artist project and the work of the Mappers’ Guild are part of the osu! team’s effort towards this goal to create a huge library of officially (and correctly) licensed content that is free for everyone to use within the osu! ecosystem.

While we’re not about to actively outright ban commissioned beatmaps, we’d like to ask people to be mindful of the implications involved in creating paid content; particularly when it comes to the licensing of any audio or visual assets being used - whether that be music, backgrounds, hitsounds or anything else used in the creation of a beatmap.

If improperly handled, commissions that aim to directly profit off the use of unlicensed work and/or unauthorized reproductions (i.e. attempting to utilize cover versions of songs to ‘bypass’ copyright) only serves to damage osu!’s reputation and that of its community amongst the very artists whom we are seeking to collaborate with in the future. This is something we see as a step in the wrong direction and something we dearly wish to avoid.

So it comes down to this: we ask that all individuals who undertake commissioned work to do so tastefully, with utmost respect given to the license/rights-holders of any works involved in the creation of a beatmap - this includes obtaining proper licensing/clearance for all media/art/etc involved.

Please, act responsibly.
I'd also like to state that mappers who opt to take commissions that are built purely around creating "farm maps" or other sets that are designed to take advantage of or otherwise abuse the scoring system for money are engaging in what may just be the most morally repugnant thing that I have witnessed in osu! in all of my near-decade's worth of tenure.
I like this change, stops certain individuals from abusing their power and creating, in my opinion, unwanted content at this point.
While a lot of my thoughts are intertwined in the post above, let me add a few things.

I did not participate in the vote, but the rest of the team was unanimously for the team member commission ban. There were varying degrees of strength-of-opinions but there was no one against this ruling.

Back at the start, osu! used to be a hugely creative game. Over half the community was here for the mapping/skinning side, not the farming/ranking PP side. This has obviously changed beyond return, but I hope that we can agree to uphold that mapping and modding is one of the many of the enjoyable aspects of the game and community.

I tend to let the community drive this game, which is why I am very hesitant to make calls like this, but due to the amount of heated internal (and external) discussion over this point I believe the above needs to be said to set some level of precedent. Hopefully you can understand.
this is epic
lol rip mapping commission (for ranking) not really
I agree with you guys and thats what I wanted to show with my reddit post. Would be sad if people start mapping for money and not because they want to improve the qyality of the game or just making content
That's really good move. Cool to see osu staff reacting fast to that kind of issues
Thank you.
finally, this took waay too long
good shit
I love this
Very glad to see the official stance given on this, full support!
Nameless Player
this is epic
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