He's not done.... updates added.
Consider this a warning. If you deal with this guy; you deserve what you get.
It has come to our attention that there is a specific website out there that has decided to blatantly copy VPUniverse. We will not mention any site names, site initials are VPD. He has decided to copy almost everything; from the site layout including the "Beer Me" mod that VPU paid to have created. Most importantly; he's copied all of the hard work that our content creators have created. He's copied basically everything.
THIS SITE, VPD, IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY OF THE PEOPLE THAT CREATE CONTENT FOR THIS HOBBY.
This is the very same person that caused VPinball.com to close their site. This person is also trying to trademark "Virtual Pinball". This person is a known cabinet seller and includes community created content. This person said that since everything for this hobby is online, it's free for use... He is now trying to sell subscriptions to people to obtain content that was NOT uploaded by the people creating the content. It has been known that files from this site have included malware as well.
If you are new to this hobby; you need to understand that our table creators and content creators are the lifeblood of this whole hobby. Each table release has taken someone, or a team of people, hundreds of hours to create. Just because this hobby is online, and done for free, does not give ANYONE permission to upload or re-host any files that they themselves DID NOT CREATE. Our content creators have the rights to upload their content to sites, of their choosing.
This is a fly by night site and will eventually go by the wayside, but it is dangerous to the community as a whole...
It is highly suggested that people DO NOT SUPPORT that site. Stick to the well established sites; those sites where the people creating the content that you use have a voice.
The guy that run VPD is known to post on his site as multiple prominent members of the community. He has impersonated @TerryRed, @NailBuster, and several others. This guy has multiple Facebook accounts in which he trolls the various groups with, below are 2 of his known Facebook accounts (yes, these accounts are the same person). He seems to want to gloat that people are supporting him.... Even if NONE of the people that create the great content this hobby requires.
This is a warning...
This guy will kill the hobby. If we let people like this continue; our content creators will stop creating. No content creators; no hobby.
This is the person that you are supporting by using that site...
11/16: He's now trying to DOX me and has contacted my place of employment.
6:30am CST - Received more messages. Messages stating that he was going to send more fabricated information to my employer.
7:50am CST - Received another private message with the following:
"Hey mate im sorry the way i spoke to you Im abit stressed and please accept my apology to the community I only ever wanted to help and preserve all the data Since it was shut down It made me mad that i was attacked on many levels from day one. Believe it or not im very passionate about pinball I love making cabinets I can assure you people have gone steps above and beyond trying to make me look bad on Facebook and everywhere So tonight i have had enuff of all this Ive spent so manynweeks months collating data and shareing it Just for the fact rhe website went down I actually lost everything and had to re do it all agian. It was my break away from life as good old mum passed away i April ans ive been mad at the world since Also i charged people to cover the costs of hosting Which was expensive Anyways VPD is closed permanently now I hope the other two sites stay up i have saved and backed up all tables everything so if it ever needed give me a yell untill that day Vpd is no more No more hard drives I will just make cabinets and the customer can download of thw genuine sites I will no longer offer my builds Thanks for all your hars work over the years and your tirelessly content and contributions I will forward this to everyone"
8:00am CST: I checked his site and it is indeed offline, but I'm not sure how to take this. Could this nightmare and attack on the digital pinball communities possibly be over? Perhaps he could post a sincere public apology to the community on his offline page; as well as an apology to my employer about his fabricated posts. I'd love to reach out to the guy and offer my condolences and support, but I'm afraid to. I have not responded to ANY of his private messages. Everything he has ever sent me, or incriminating evidence posted in the VPD forums (has been sent to me), I have made public and have screenshots available. I do have a meeting with a lawyer later this afternoon, but hopefully that will not be needed.
I really don't know if this is over or not. I do know.... That I absolutely LOVE the outpouring of support that has been show amongst the multiple communities, Facebook Groups, and Discord Groups.
Thank you all!
Well, we knew that wouldn't have lasted long. The following was sent to his members:
VPD DEAR MEMBERS THE SITE DATABASE HAS BEEN CORRUPTED
ALL DATA IS SAFE YOU CAN ACCESS ALL DOWNLOADS HERE
ALL TABLES *link removed*
ALL PUP PACKS *link removed*
ALL B2S *link removed*
ALL MEDIA *link removed*
THIS WILL BE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AND INDEFINATE
Wed 6:47 PM
Received following message from Damien Holmes:
"Hi mate ive done the right thing can you just delted all mentions of vpd so we both can just move on as with you im just fed up with all of this, and if we have forum,s and comments then people are just going to carry it on regardless, its ok to talk mate im done with all the rubbish, im just here to play pinball now"
Wed 10:02 PM
"Dazz so im open to wanting to be a part of the community so how do we go forward. i have shut down the site and no longer selling or installing software, so we need to start from day dot if your open to communication thanks i know this is hard and ive caused a barrier between communities and what i was trying to achieve by sharing all data, let me know your thoughts"
I actually took a second and responded to him:
This is the ONLY message that I have ever sent this person
Thu 12:04 PM - You sent
"Damian, if Damian is even your real name...
If you want to start and show sincerity; the first thing you need to do is post a public apology on your site... It can be done on the offline message via IPS. You need to publicly apologize to those people that you obviously impersonated/created fake profiles for, Terry, Nailbuster, etc. You need to apologize to the whole Digital Pinball community and the authors whos files were added to your site without their permissions.
Personally, for me, you took it tooo far when you contacted the company that I work for and posted a fabricated story. I was drilled by my management because of you. I lost a full day of work and $$$ because of you... You need to post an apology to my company about the fabricated posts that you made. I never even saw that picture that you said that I posted...
I understand what it's like to loose your mother or anyone close. You have my condolences. I've personally lost my mother, father, grand parents and last Saturday I lost my Aunt... the last elder member of my immediate family. I would have NEVER posted anything about your mother...
Perhaps once all that has been done; then we can try to move forward. I am not going to remove references to VPD, right now. I will continue to post updates and any messages that you send me. Once we can determine that you are sincere; then we'll see how you can repair your trust with the community."
Thu 7:16 PM
"Hello i have seen your message this morning , I was obligated to give paid members those files, there is no packs there no live build or anything, the site is closed ive done my part. I could not simply leave members who paid a subscription to not have access. Im not advertising it anywhere, these are not public and there is no packs, i think its abit unfair and you still continue this on, also your previous note im in the middle of writing an apology about shareing files etc but im certainly not going to apolifigse for people making fake accounts on social media and my website , which undoubltly was either vpforums members or your site, like i said they were ip addreses from usa florida and hamburg, im not continuing this anymore i have done my part closed the site as promissed and stop selling drives and isntsalling them but yet you want to keep carrying this on by posting more content about me, ive done my part"
Mr Damian Holmes has now set his profile to private and no longer accepting messages.
"This person is unavailable on Messenger."
He never had any intentions to remove his site or change the way he acts towards the community. His site is back up. He is back to stealing content. He's stolen the new layout from VPU. Even the footer from VPU has been copied, nearly word for word, with my idea of the Digital Pinball Network (in which his site will never be part of) has been stolen.
This fool just will not stop with his stealing and ripping off of VPUniverse... If this person put half the effort into creating a decent legit site instead of just ripping off the community; we may have actually had another decent site. Instead this person just continues ripping off VPUniverse and continues to con people... thus his "Membership Purge" and everything is now behind a paywall.
The theme that VPU uses is not a default theme. It is a purchased theme that I paid the creator of the theme to have customized specifically for VPU needs (including larger header and moving the member bar to the top). I paid for several customizations of the theme to be done to make it different than his original theme. VPD went out of his way to purchase the same theme. He also messaged the creator of the theme, posted a pic of VPU, and asked the theme creator to make the same exact modifications to his site. Thankfully, the theme creator is a nice and very honest guy. The theme creator messaged me saying that someone by the name of VPD posted a picture of VPUniverse and asked for the same modifications to be done. The theme creator told VPD that he would NOT make the changes since VPUniverse paid to have the work done. He told VPD to be creative and come up with his own ideas to make his site unique. VPD got very mad and called the theme creator some choice words then promptly deleted his thread... VPD must have paid someone else to do the header work on his site, but thankfully they screwed it up and it looks like other parts of the theme is broken. Looks like VPD hasn't realized this yet...
VPD has also stolen a Seasons Greeting image that Mr. JoePicasso created specifically for VPUniverse. Which we haven't unveiled yet as it's not completed. JoePicasso posted this image on the Virtual Pinball Chat Discord. Within a matter of hours after being posted in Discord it showed up on the VPD site, without any permission.
12/03 - 7:15AM:
Since the posting of this update; he has since taken the site private and requires login.
Consider this a warning. If you deal with this guy; you deserve what you get.
Nous avons été averti qu’un certain site dont nous tairons le nom a décidé de copier intégralement VPUniverse. Nous ne mentionnerons pas le dit-site dont les initiales sont VPD. Il a tout simplement décidé de tout copier, même le template du site, avec notamment le mode « Beer Me » dont nous avons payé la mise en place. Plus important encore, il copie tout le travail acharné que font les créateurs de contenus. En résumé, il a tout copié …
CE SITE, VPD, N’EST SUPPORTÉ PAR AUCUNE PERSONNE QUI CRÉE DU CONTENU POUR NOTRE PASSION.
C’est la même personne qui a entraîné la fermeture du site Vpinball.com. En plus, cette personne est entrain d’essayer de déposer la marque « Virtual Pinball ». Cette personne qui est connue pour vendre des pincabs incluant tout ce que la communauté crée sans autorisation. Il considère que tout ce qui est en ligne sur notre site est libre de droits. Et maintenant, il tente de vendre des abonnements pour télécharger des contenus que les créateurs ne veulent même pas mettre sur son site !
On sait également que certains de ses téléchargements contiennent des virus / malwares.
Si vous êtes nouveau dans le monde du pincab, vous devez comprendre que les créateurs de contenu sont le nerf de notre passion. Chaque table qui sort, a pris à quelqu’un, seul ou en équipe, parfois des centaines d’heures de travail. Juste parce que la table est en ligne, ça ne donne en aucun cas le droit à quelqu’un de mettre en ligne la table où bon lui semble. Nos créateurs de contenu ont le droit de choisir où ils veulent partager leurs créations !
C’est un site temporaire qui sera sans aucun doute amené à disparaître, mais il est dangereux pour toute la communauté.
Il est donc fortement recommandé de pas supporter ce site. Restez sur les sites connus, les sites sur lesquels les créateurs ont la parole.