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Copyright and the Games Industry

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the your-super-mario-toilet-paper-is-probably-illegal dept.

Games 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

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No such thing (2, Insightful)

deprecated (86120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321750)

Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion. Scratch a weasel word, find a thief.

Re:No such thing (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321904)

IP /exists/ by virtue of artificial scarcity. Supply and demand. When supply is infinite...

Re:No such thing (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326408)

Supply of what is actually licensed - the /original/ idea/creativity/etc - is not infinite though.

Re:No such thing (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30349804)

IP /exists/ by virtue of artificial scarcity. Supply and demand. When supply is infinite...

Original production consumes time and money and talent in prodigious amounts. Original production is rare.

The production cost of a Pixar feature is about $200 million.

It can take ten years for story and tech to evolve to a point where commitment to production is feasible. Four years more to theatrical release.

Four hundred people will earn production credits. In the top tier there will be perhaps forty whose entire professional career will be defined by five to ten films.

Re:No such thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322166)

grow up you sad, pathetic thief. When you actually get a fucking job you will realise that there is value in the works of others. Till then, go tidy your room and beg your mommy for some allowance to buy sweets. ok?

Re:No such thing (3, Insightful)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324536)

The best example of using Valve's assets in a community creation would be Gang Garrison. Gang Garrison is a sprite version of Team Fortress 2 made in a parody style. Instead of the pyro you have the firebug. Instead of the heavy you have the overweight. Instead of eating a sandvich (spelled with a "v", I swear) you eat a manwich.

Although the gameplay is interesting by itself, the faithful 8-bit midi renditions of all the Team Fortress music is pretty much worth downloading the free game. Its not the best game I've ever played, but I'd be sad if it never existed because Valve screamed foul over IP rights.

Re:No such thing (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30328734)

Not to mention all the various 2D ports of Portal.

Heck, there's even a fan project to remake Half-Life for the Source engine, which won't require you to own any actual Half-Life games (just a Source engine game)... and Valve has actually advertised for this project by posting Steam news updates about it.

Re:No such thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339074)

Heck, there's even a fan project to remake Half-Life for the Source engine, which won't require you to own any actual Half-Life games (just a Source engine game)... and Valve has actually advertised for this project by posting Steam news updates about it.

Black Mesa Source was one mod I was really looking foward to. They have said they are "committed to a 2009 release" but the last update on their website is from November 2008. I'm thinking this is one of those mods that turns out like a vast majority of the mods out there--unfinished.

Re:No such thing (1)

BeefMcHuge (1594193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350090)

From the Black Mesa Forums, posted today "Hello Black Mesa fans! We come to you once again with an update. It's now the end of 2009, and we know many of you have literally counted the days down until this fateful month. We are floored by the level of support you have given us and are very excited we're so close to reaching our goal. Unfortunately, to our great disappointment, Black Mesa will not make a 2009 release. Cynics may now rejoice, bets may be collected, and I think a mod team member has to eat his shoe, but we hope our loyal fans will forgive us and realize that the delay will translate into a better final product that's (hopefully) more easily available to everyone. Once again we apologize for what has to be very disappointing news. We placed a 2009 deadline on ourselves to motivate us and bring this 6 year project to a close. And while we didn't quite make it, we have come very close, and you can expect a complete, polished game to hit your hard drives in the near future. We'll be sure and update if anything changes. Until then, hang tight, it's coming!" http://forums.blackmesasource.com/showthread.php [blackmesasource.com] ?

Re:No such thing (1)

bigngamer92 (1418559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331744)

My problem with the game is the lag. But they did a great job of converting the style of TF2 to a low power PC title.

Re:No such thing (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323058)

Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion.

In the US, it's unconstitutional. IP is property, all right, but constitutionally this "property" belongs to the people. The copyright holder merely has a "limited" time monopoly on its publication and distribution. Unfortunately, Professor Lessig lost his Eldred [wikipedia.org] case [harvard.edu] , and the SCOTUS ruled that "limited" means whatever Congress says it means.

But Steamboat Willie, Star Trek, and all the other intellectual properties, all belong to us. It says so right in the Constitution. [archives.gov]

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Re:No such thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30326742)

"Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion. Scratch a weasel word, find a thief." ... sez the Pirate looking to get all things digital for free, but calling everyone else thieves.

Re:No such thing (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30328300)

Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion.

I am not so sure about this. If I spend many hours thinking of very novel and original way of doing something useful, should I not be able to live off the resulting earnings for a while before the person who did not invest any time in the idea can just copy it and undercut me? Since they did not have to invest the time in its invention, their costs will be lower so I cannot compete on that basis.

In my ideal world I would freely share all my ideas for the good of mankind, but unfortunately the good of mankind does not pay for a roof over my head and put food in my belly. Until it does I want to be able to do something I enjoy and earn money for it, since this beats earning money for doing something I hate.

Many people often answer this with the service argument, but this does not always work. Some things simply do not suit the software as a service model, especially computer games since many people are resistant to pay for play.

I cannot help but think that until we have abandoned the concept of money, then we will always have to allow a certain level of IP protection to someone who invents something original. So the real debate should maybe become about how much IP protection there should be and how long it should last.

And as a final note, I am just going to rehash one of Richard Stallmans recent points: That the whole GPL and open source concept relies on copyright law. Without the law of copyright and IP then some private company could just take any open source product they liked and then sell it or a derivative product for a profit.

Don't say "IP" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332264)

If I spend many hours thinking of very novel and original way of doing something useful, should I not be able to live off the resulting earnings for a while before the person who did not invest any time in the idea can just copy it and undercut me?

Your use of "novel" and "live off the earnings for a while" makes it sound like you're talking about patents, but the article is about copyrights. Copyrights and patents differ in their scope and their rationale, and the casual use of the term "IP" to refer to both confuses the issue by ignoring these differences [fsf.org] . For one thing, patents are more defensible in this respect than copyrights because they last 20 years, not life plus 70. If you mean patent, say "patent"; if you mean copyright, say "copyright".

the whole GPL and open source concept relies on copyright law. Without the law of copyright and IP then some private company could just take any open source product they liked and then sell it or a derivative product for a profit.

Without copyright, it would be lawful to disassemble an app, comment it thoroughly, and spread it throughout the Usenets. Crackers would be encouraged to make software free.

Torrent (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321828)

Someone post the torrent already, preferably with both projects in the same .torrent
 
For, uh, my student paper on IP laws. I need this as a first hand source. Thanks!

Copyright and Plagarism (1, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321858)

I'm getting fed up with these two concepts. There is only one kind of Plagarism... cheating. If you didn't do the work on your paper, then you're cheating. If you didn't provide sources, you better have research. If you don't have research, your paper is baseless and should be given a failing grade.

Copyright is the idea that you control the copies of your creation. Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. Or letting people download it for free off the internet. (Hey Pirates, you think you aren't stealing? Well why don't you download a random assortment of bits. Oh that's right, because you want somebody else's *work*).

However, Copyright has turned into this idea where as soon as you make a "Dark cloaked figure who kills people for a living" you can go bully anyone else for doing something like it. No, it lets you own your words. Not something like your words, your words only.

Trademarks protect against people making Harry Potter books or Mickey Mouse movies. There is no need and purpose for copyright to cover that issue.

IP is not a failed idea. Our system is what's broken (or more likely, those who are in charge of the system).

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321902)

IP is not a failed idea.

Yes, it is a failed idea. You childish identification with the ego is unreal. Get the fuck over it.

The only way to have anything is to share it. What you try to keep to yourself is lost.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324666)

Yes, it is a failed idea. You childish identification with the ego is unreal. Get the fuck over it.
The only way to have anything is to share it. What you try to keep to yourself is lost.


Pseudo-intellectual blathering. That you posted anonymously is the wisest thing about you.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322092)

IP is only 3 centuries old in the anglosaxon world, 2 for the rest of Europe and 1 for the rest of the world, and in that time it has become a cesspit of creation murdering nonsense that has been slowly making sure creativity in this world is killed because your ideas might make vague use of common tropes someone else with the money wants to sue you about, making sure most of the artistic creation of the last 10 millenia could get sued the fuck off if it was made today. The ideals of feeding the public domain while removing the need for the patronage system were very worthy, but they just created an even more oppressive system of patronage because from a social class standpoint, artists have to be either wildly successfully distributed or will not be able to distribute full time anyway, making things moot. Clinging on the idea of IP as implemented is thinking you can make the Titanic float by repainting the grand staircase.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (5, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322384)

Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. Or letting people download it for free off the internet.

Linux.
Firefox.
MySQL.
Apache.
Gnome.
KDE.

And if you're going to redefine your original statement so that GPL counts as payment, I give you:

Chromium (browser and OS) [google.com]
Open BSD [openbsd.org]
Free BSD [freebsd.org]

Hey Pirates, you think you aren't stealing?

Do we HAVE to go over this again?

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322482)

Those software have other sources of funding, and they also restrict usage with licenses. GPL isn't the most free license there is, it implies restrictions for reusing the code the same way that other software have restrictions in copying them. If you wanted something to be truly free, your license.txt should contain "Do whatever you want with this".

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322672)

Have you looked at the licenses on the last three?

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323664)

Yes, to restricting!!!
I can not hold the developers responsible for the explosion that occurred of the capacitors on my motherboard while running their software...

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324104)

Hey, you know those money booths where you can get real cash for free? I'm going to use those as an excuse to rob a bank now.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324660)

Yeah, I'd like to go ahead and apologize to everyone. I downloaded a song off the internet last night, permanently removing it from everyone else's iPod, CD collection, hard drive, tape, record, and long term memory. Hopefully Kanye West is hard at work making a replacement so that we won't have to go without for long.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324704)

First of all, no I don't know those money booths where you can get cash for free.

Second, that's a completely flawed analogy. The purpose of copyright is to encourage people to create music/video/software. If people are doing those things without the copyright incentive, that means that we don't need copyright after all.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30325626)

The purpose of copyright is to encourage people to create music/video/software.

LOL.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

PixelBread (1693128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324210)

Microsoft gave away IE for free in order to disuade netscape navigator from charging for its browser and taking control of the market I believe. They also offered perks to people for promoting it.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324524)

"Do we HAVE to go over this again?"

Yes. Just because you don't agree with the notion that piracy is a form of theft, doesn't mean that we won't go over it again.

"Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. Or letting people download it for free off the internet."

You listed applications that were given out for free willingly. It's a different story when a company does not want you to give out their apps for free and you decide to do it anyway.

Do we have to go over this again?

My problem is that many people (and it seems like you too) feel it is their "right" to download and freely distribute intellectual property. Yet, in the same breath feel that people using GNU software in proprietary apps and violating the license is wrong when it's really the same thing: license violation.

Businesses aren't just going to sit and allow you to take away their revenue stream (and it will not lead to all software, music, and movies being given away for free). It will just lead to more DRM like protections for music and movies and all software being hosted remotely as service.

Don't blame the companies on these things, because you gave them no choice.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324798)

Ok, fine, I'll explain it.

Piracy:

[X] -> [] X

Piracy removes the original.

Copyright infringement:

[X] -> [X] X

Copyright infringement does not reduce anyone else's ability to use the original.

This is why I, and many others, believe that we do have a right to download whatever we want - it doesn't hurt anyone. And please don't lump use and distribution into one. Use doesn't harm anyone unless you're using the software to launch nuclear weapons or something. The argument that distribution is harmful is a much more feasible one: distributing something means that you're competing with the original distributor (unfairly competing, since you didn't have to pay development costs), and therefore hurting their ability to sell their product.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325320)

According to Wikipedia, an early references to copyright infringement as "piracy" was Daniel Defoe in 1703, refering to unauthorized copies of his book "True-born Englishman"[1].

Tell me, does making copies of dollar bills "not hurt anyone" either? It's not a perfect analogy, but it has the same basic effect of devaluing the original product.

You maintain that making a copy of goods "doesn't hurt anyone". You're correct that copyright infringement doesn't prevent anyone from using the original. After all, it's a perfect digital copy, and an infinite number of copies can theoretically be made. But you're missing the point of copyright altogether, I think. The point is to product the value of the product for the creator in order to provide future incentive for the creation of original property.

Tell me, do you think that so many creative and innovative products are designed and developed (if not manufactured) in the US and other countries with strong IP laws? Why do you think that is? It's because with our free-market + IP-friendly system, a company has a huge incentive to develop and market new and interesting products to consumers, with reasonably assurances that a competing company can't simply copy the idea and design work (the hard part) and undercut the original creator.

I'll admit, I have a dog in this fight. The videogame I'm currently working on is probably going to cost our company well over $50 million dollars over four years to develop. We have over a hundred people employed, and are working extremely hard on this product, and doing some pretty amazing things. We consider the art and code we've development to be worth quite a bit. Again, please tell me... when the game is shipped, does making a copy of the game without re-imbursing us for our work harm us in any way? Or will you tell me the old joke about how we should somehow sell "support" services for our software, or that we're working with an antiquated business model?

Look, I don't care for all aspects of current IP law. The perpetual copyright is clearly unconstitutional, and software patents should be burned at the stake. But there's a very good reason to allow people control over their creations, even when technology allows easy circumvention.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement [wikipedia.org]

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325500)

Sorry, that was my mistake. I meant theft when I said piracy in my diagram.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325584)

I'll rebutt the dollar bill analogy as well. When someone downloads a movie, they can watch it privately without telling anyone, so there is no consequence to the outside world from the act of privately watching a pirated movie. Copying a dollar bill, however, is useless until you use it, at which point the counterfeit money enters circulation and you harmed everyone else who owns money through devaluation.

You maintain that making a copy of goods "doesn't hurt anyone". But you're missing the point of copyright altogether, I think. The point is to product the value of the product for the creator in order to provide future incentive for the creation of original property.

You just repeated my argument against distribution, not downloading. Two different things, two different sets of arguments.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30328890)

I'll rebutt the dollar bill analogy as well. When someone downloads a movie, they can watch it privately without telling anyone, so there is no consequence to the outside world from the act of privately watching a pirated movie.

Actually, you have still cost the company who made the movie the value of one rental. You might say that this does not apply since you would never have paid, but if that is really the case then why did you spend the time watching it? You obviously had a certain level of interest in the product in order to invest the 2 hours of you time, so why not pay a small amount to cover that enjoyment you received.

Remember, if nobody ever paid to watch any movies or play any games then people would stop producing them in their current form. As much as I love
Linux and free software, I recognise that somethings simply do not work as free software. I have been looking for an open source first person shooter for many years, and I have never found one that compares with the paid for products produced by the likes of ID, IW, etc.

You just repeated my argument against distribution, not downloading. Two different things, two different sets of arguments.

Remember, without someone to distribute copyright works illegally you would not be able to download them illegally. Are you saying that someone posting a game to the internet and giving it away free should be prosecuted and yet you who knowingly benefited from their illegal act should not?

Also, how do you download paid software for free without indulging in a certain level of distribution? The Pirate Bay? Bittorrent? This involves you sharing the torrent as you download it? Or do you limit your software so that it never uploads a byte? On many torrent sites that counts you as a "leech". They often boot users whose ratio goes below a certain level. All of this forces people who download copyright works, to distribute them as well.

Distribution and downloading are opposite side of the same coin. Without one, there can be no other. And saying that you should be able to download something but the person providing you with that download should not be able to is a ridiculous level of hypocrisy. If you were not downloading it, they would not be distributing it.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Demonix (140379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325730)

Well that depends. Is this game going to have a demo? If I'm interested in the game and it does, the demo will give me a good idea whether or not I would enjoy more of the game. If not and I'm interested, I just might look for a pirate version to evaluate your game, then buy it if I find the game worth it.

I mean, its not like I can buy a game, find I dont like it, then return it for a refund, can I? Oh no! That would promote piracy!

I have many games that sit collecting dust because they weren't worth the CDs they were stamped on. I'm tired of being burned.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326816)

If you think that copying a song is stealing then consider this:
1. I sneak in to a studio, go where they keep the master tapes, find a tape with the song(s) I want, take it, leave a reel of brand new blank tape in its place, leave.
2. I download the song from the internet (or borrow and copy it).

Is the "loss" the same in both scenarios? In the first, you won't be able to say that I stole the tape - I left a new one, so I just stole the contents. But I stole them - you don't have them anymore. In the second scenario, the studio still has the master tape and its contents.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329460)

If you think that copying a song is stealing

I never claimed that copyright infringement is "stealing" (so far as I can remember), nor do I believe that. Others have made that argument, but I agree with you on that particular point.

Still, there are lots of things that are either morally wrong and/or against the law that aren't "theft", and that don't involve direct actions against another person. How about counterfeiting? Insider trading? Slander or libel? Those sorts of things all have the same sort of indirect consequences to others, and so laws were passed prohibiting them.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326440)

Does that invalidate his points? I don't think so - replace "nobody" with " not everybody". Not to mention that this software is not produced for free, and is often supported by the deep pockets of corporations or friendly donors.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332334)

All of the works you mentioned are primarily computer programs. Most video games, on the other hand, are primarily works-other-than-computer-programs: meshes, textures, music, sound effects, scripts, etc.

IP is not a failed idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322574)

...just the last outgrowth of greedy, late capitalism gone wild in despair.

An attempt to extend land grab nowadays, when practically all land is grabbed.

Just Say No to IP.

(Note: I haven't any issues with copyright, with trademark -- and to some extent with patents -- if applied with measure).

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322974)

I'm getting fed up with these two concepts. There is only one kind of Plagarism...

...misspelled.

cheating. If you didn't do the work on your paper, then you're cheating.

plagiarism [reference.com] /pledrzm, -dirz-/
-noun
1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.

English? YOU FAIL IT!

Copyright is the idea that you control the copies of your creation. Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties.

I've spent hundreds of hours developing articles for Everything2. I shudder to think at the hours which have gone into Wikipedia. Human Emotion? YOU FAIL IT!

However, Copyright has turned into this idea where as soon as you make a "Dark cloaked figure who kills people for a living" you can go bully anyone else for doing something like it.

The courts let you do that. They also provide a mechanism for recovering the costs of frivolous lawsuits. Understanding Jurisprudence? YOU FAIL IT!

IP is not a failed idea. Our system is what's broken (or more likely, those who are in charge of the system).

you are the government
you are jurisprudence
you are the volition
you are jurisdiction
and I make a difference too [sing365.com]

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323430)

-1, Retarded.

Stop screaming memes.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323450)

Stop screaming memes.

Some write the songs, I scream the memes. I do not, however, repeat them without significant analysis, because I'm just like that. Yes, anal. Very good *pat pat*

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323662)

IP is not a failed idea. Our system is what's broken (or more likely, those who are in charge of the system).

If the system can be broken by having the wrong people in charge of it, then it is a broken system. A proper system has checks and balances for that.

Look at the big picture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30324574)

You are very misguided. Other responders have enumerated the ways. I will only add this one:

Copyright is the idea that you control the copies of your creation

Ostensibly, yes. However in actuality a digital copy is an entirely passive entity. It cannot be controlled by its author. So in an effort to seem to maintain control, copyright law aspires to give you control over something that can be controlled...specifically...other people.

Everyone in the world, in fact, if the law is to serve its purpose.

And as history has shown time and time again, the moment people feel a chain on them, they yank on it.

Laws that punish those who harm others are one thing. Laws which go against the grain of human nature are quite another. And one is much more likely to succeed than the other.

Re:Copyright and Plagarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30325920)

(Hey Rapists, you think you aren't murdering? Well why don't you go have forced sex with a random inanimate object? Oh that's right, because you want somebody else's *life*).

I kind of wish we had a Comiket... (2, Interesting)

zalas (682627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321886)

In Japan, you have a ton of people making derivative works (doujin) and selling them at low volume at various events, the biggest of which being Comiket [wikipedia.org] , which half a million people attend. A lot of times, these derivative works are with the approval of the original creators, who set out guidelines as to what they consider proper and improper derivative works. The biggest content creator I can think of is Nihon Falcom (Japanese video game maker), who recently offered fairly liberal access to their entire library of music.

Interesting split in developer perspectives. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321894)

Would Valve be any more approving of, say, people selling Half-Life comic books as SE is of their properties? Especially with more risque contents?
While Valve in particular may be relatively forgiving, it seems less of a single sliding scale between PC/free and console/not free and more of a dichotomy of PC devs smiling upon derivatives as long as they're games that reuse assets, and console devs smiling upon derivatives as long as they're not games and don't reuse assets.

Re:Interesting split in developer perspectives. (1)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30327034)

Valve has, in the past, been less OK with selling items (except craftsworks - there's a reason they started offering the Headcrab plushies!), but they have been OK with unsold goods like comics.

Console devs are often OK with smiling at derivatives that are games... As long as they don't reuse assets (See fanmade Touhou games for a fair example of this, because I can't think of anything better atm)... Or they're not games that do (see: 8-bit Theater).

Weird, overall, regardless.

Epic is not evil (5, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321920)

The author really should have done more research for this article. Epic games is, typically, not one of the overly protective companies desperately trying to nail down every fan with an idea in the name of Intellectual Property enforcement. The event cited (C&D over a gift doll) was actually done in error and was not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team. Mark Rein (PR dude) later explained the incident [epicgames.com] as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

Typically, Epic has been more in stride with Valve in that they actively encourage people to mess with their games in not-for profit ways. They have also released free SDK's and source code for their engines. They've held contests [makesomethingunreal.com] (with cash prizes, noless) in order to cultivate talent and often recruit employees from the community. They've even taken a mod to retail status (Tactical Ops) just like Valve did with Counter Strike. They've also helped to pioneer the feature of community made mods and maps being offered on consoles.

On the whole, Epic is one of the least "evil" gaming companies on the planet right now. And while they're not immune to making mistakes, I personally don't believe they deserve to be unfairly placed on the wrong side of this particular fence.

Re:Epic is not evil (4, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321960)

One word (well, acronym): UDK [nvidia.com]

It's essentially Epic releasing all their hard work for FREE for non-commercial use. That at least puts them on par with Valve and their free "Source SDK".

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325418)

It's essentially Epic releasing all their hard work for FREE for non-commercial use. That at least puts them on par with Valve and their free "Source SDK".

If I understand the terms of the recent UDK release correctly, it's actually much more that what Valve offers, since UDK includes a free (for non-commercial use) Unreal Engine. So with Source SDK you can make a mod for any Source game, but it will need that game to run. With UDK, you can create your own game, and distribute it yourself with engine included, so it's fully self-contained.

Re:Epic is not evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322054)

Epic not evil? Read up on the working conditions of their game developers, and how they sabotage any initiative to improve industry-wide conditions, then come back and say that.

Back on topic: Capcom is actually pretty good about not just tolerating, but actually supporting fanmade stuff. Their official blog [capcom-unity.com] often has links to fan projects they think are awesome, including a 2.5D remake of Mega Man 2.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322154)

Epic not evil? Read up on the working conditions of their game developers, and how they sabotage any initiative to improve industry-wide conditions, then come back and say that.

You can at least provide some links to articles that support your claims. Are you referring to the Mike Capps interview where he said that he demands people to put in their effort and an extra mile when needed (i.e. crunch times?) Maybe you should read this (followup interview): http://www.joystiq.com/2009/04/22/joystiq-interview-epics-michael-capps-responds-to-accusations/ [joystiq.com]

Yes, it would be great if Epic (and the rest of the Game Industry) wouldn't demand/need crunch times. But it is not just the game industry that has crunch times. They are everywhere, every job that involves projects with deadlines has crunch times.

And my past 10 year experience with Epic is that they are really supportive with respect to fan made/fan run stuff.

Re:Epic is not evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322380)

You can at least provide some links to articles that support your claims.

Um, GP was the one who made a very broad, unsupported claim: "Epic is not evil". I'm merely calling BS on that.

Anyway, I was in fact thinking of the famous IGDA panel, which is probably the "interview" you are referring to.

I hadn't seen the followup you linked to, so thanks for that. It only enforces my opinion. If you read the followup, he actually admits that the very reason he joined the IGDA was because at the time he felt the IGDA's Quality of Life efforts were (and I quote) "misguided" and "a bunch of crap". After joining the IGDA, he and a few other game development CEOs succesfully put a stop to those efforts.

You'll also notice from the followup interview he (as an employer) is proud that he has to kick his employees out of the office at 2 AM, and that he feels it's normal for developers to put in 6-day, 12-hour workweeks for 1 to 2 months at a time when it's "crunch time".

He casually dismisses anyone who disagrees as someone who doesn't want to work more than 40 hours a week, ever. Someone should tell him that there's a reasonable medium between rigidly refusing any overtime ever and actually pulling 72-hour weeks for months on end.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325426)

Um, GP was the one who made a very broad, unsupported claim: "Epic is not evil".

Yes, expecting someone to prove a negative is entirely reasonable.

Rob

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322124)

Electronic Arts is not all that evil either in that they have allowed all kinds of liberal use of the IP for the Command & Conquer series including its use for the Red Alert: A Path Beyond mod and (more notably) the RenegadeX mod for UT3.

Microsoft (as owner of the Halo franchise) will go hard on anyone making any kind of game that uses anything from the Halo IP.

Nintendo are one of the worst in the industry and will shut down anything that even smells like an IP violation.

Vivendi Universal Games (owners of Blizzard and Activision plus former studios like Sierra) seem to be negative against fan mods based on the way they have shut down fan-made Space Quest games (for example)

ID Software seem to be friendly to modders from what I have seen (they even released source code to many of their games and I expect the Doom III engine will follow suit once its no longer in use and assuming any legal issues can be resolved)

U.S. Patent 6384822 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332284)

I expect the Doom III engine will follow suit once its no longer in use and assuming any legal issues can be resolved

Id Software is a U.S.-based company. It can't release Doom 3 under any GPL-compatible license until October 2019, when U.S. Patent 6384822 on depth-fail shadowing [google.com] expires.

Re:U.S. Patent 6384822 (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30332328)

According to a statement from ID software, there is a non-infringing workaround for that patent that comes at a performance cost. So ID would be able to release the code with the non-infringing workaround in place.

Re:U.S. Patent 6384822 (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 4 years ago | (#30350306)

Id Software is a U.S.-based company. It can't release Doom 3 under any GPL-compatible license until October 2019, when U.S. Patent 6384822 on depth-fail shadowing expires.

Why does it have to be GPL? Why can't they release it under BSD or just make it public domain? What you really mean is that you can't use the code until October 2019 because you won't consider anything but the GPL. I'm assuming you're not bound by U.S. patent law, or the license wouldn't be an issue -- Americans can't use a patent until it expires under any software license.

Re:U.S. Patent 6384822 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30352418)

Why does it have to be GPL? Why can't they release it under BSD or just make it public domain?

I didn't say "GPL"; I said "GPL-compatible". You go on to answer your own question:

Americans can't use a patent until it expires under any software license.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322170)

The event cited (C&D over a gift doll) was actually done in error and was not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team. Mark Rein (PR dude) later explained the incident [epicgames.com] as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

Yup. I didn't rape her, your Honour, but rather my trigger-happy penis. I later explained the incident as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322174)

not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team

With all due respect, that's complete and utter apologist bullshit. Anyone on Epic's payroll is Epic. Nobody forced Epic to pay legal attack dogs, and nobody else was responsible for them doing what they were paid to do. Epic are not the victims here.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322442)

So when one of your employees (if you have any, you may be one yourself) heads out and gives your IP (or products) away in a busy city centre, that's your new plan is it? That's your business model? Because that guy is your company. He makes all of the decisions, and he obviously consulted you first, or doesn't need to.

When your legal team is in Vancouver and your office is in Redmond (just picking random places) it might be difficult for everyone to chat about every single thing. Accept that this decision could have been made by some jobsworth solicitor, and the guy at the top may not have known until the fallout.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323134)

So, let's see. I buy a rabid attack dog and put it on my front lawn. Someone climbs over the fence, and it bites their face off.

You, sir, would argue that I could have only meant my rabid attack dog to bite the faces off of people that I explicitly command it to. Apparently, according to your argument, I may have let it roam outside the house simply because I was an incompetent retard too stupid to understand what a rabid attack dog will always do unless I prevent it from doing so. And that's not, according to you, my responsibility.

If you don't like drawing an analogy between lawyers and rabid attack dogs, then we could pretend that it's a zombie with a chainsaw, or a velociraptor with PMS. Either way, it's doing exactly what any reasonable person should have expected it to do.

Re:Epic is not evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323468)

Do we know that much about the lawyer? To stick with your dog analogy, maybe you had a regular dog that you got to play frisbee with, and then it bit someone's face off. Yes, you were aware from the beginning that dogs were capable of such behavior, but that doesn't mean you anticipated and meant for that to happen. Couldn't an apology from you be sincere in that case?

Re:Epic is not evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30332146)

Dogs? lawyers? Could we please keep the analogies to cars... I don't understand a think of what you guys are talking about :(

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322478)

not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team

With all due respect, that's complete and utter apologist bullshit. Anyone on Epic's payroll is Epic. Nobody forced Epic to pay legal attack dogs, and nobody else was responsible for them doing what they were paid to do.

Epic's apology could mean something if they fired and sued that crack legal team for hurting their name.

Re:Epic is not evil (1)

neai (1693202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325220)

Epic gave their players right to use and redistribute their content, straight in the EULA. (c) We just LOVE the idea of you using and distributing content or script from any prior Epic Games, Unreal franchise game in Unreal Tournament 2004 Mod. Therefore we grant you a license to use content from any prior Epic Games Unreal franchise game in your Unreal Tournament 2004 Mods. For the sake of clarity you will not gain any ownership whatsoever in any Epic content or script nor can you use any Epic content outside the scope of the rights granted here. Any attempt to do so will bring about the wrath of our attorneys. The UDK EULA gives you right to use and redistribute included UT3 code for commercial purposes of your own game. Also, US copyright law obliges them to pursue any copyright infringments. Any failures to do so may and will be used against them in court. So if you don't like that, go pester your politicians.

Touhou (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30321928)

I was reading about a series of Japanese games called the Touhou project a few weeks back. What was interesting is that while the single author of the franchise enforces his copyright to the games themselves, he doesn't on the characters and settings that games revolves around.

This has allowed many groups to create works (primary comics, but also remixed music and other things) based off his work. He doesn't mind people even selling these things. All they're required to do, is to make sure that they state they're not an original work.

This has made him and his franchise surprising successful, but it seems he is now worried that it'll grow beyond his control. After a project announced that they would produce an short animated film with some well known voice actors, he ranted in his blog that about it. Some people would argue that Touhou is currently better known for the community's work rather then the creator's original work, and unless he starts really enforcing his copyright, this may not change. On the other hand, if he did that, it would also kill off most his community.

Stuck behind a rock and a hard place.

Re:Touhou (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322044)

To give perspective on the scale of popularity, there's a yearly event devoted solely to his games and it quite handily sold out the 35,000 capacity of its venue tin 2009.

The issue with Maikaze's project didn't appear, also, to be so much control as worries that it would actively "fork the project" so to speak. ZUN has been glad to fold fanworks back in in the past, but animation as a completely new medium and a semicommercial project (backed by a partially foreign team and intended for overseas sales, too) definitely had potential to exist completely outside of the current oeuvre.

Re:Touhou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322168)

As an addendum, not that preventing a fork doesn't both require and enforce control, but to give a software metaphor it's far less "Linus gets political on MLs, shouts down someone trying to fork a realtime kernel" and far more "Linus gets political on MLs, shouts down someone trying to fork a kernel version in C#". The Touhou licence is based, first and foremost, around ensuring that the whole community is roughly on the same page and can feed off itself, enforced primarily by a BSD-style attribution clause and occasionally by a general agreement to respect ZUN's opinion.

Re:Touhou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322300)

Stuck behind a rock and a hard place.

Many unpaid workers make copies of his work much more popular than it would otherwise be and he's somehow "stuck"? I think he has an entitlement problem.

---

Ownership, by definition, is the right to control something. Any ethical (not legal) argument based on "because they own it" is bogus.

Re:Touhou Hijack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322890)

*ahem* I'm not a lawyer, especially not a japanese lawyer, but as I'm aware, the reason they can make fangames is because japanese copyright law DOESN'T care if the product is free. Zun prolly would care if someone made their own touhou 13.0 and SOLD it, but if its free then it's protected

Re:Touhou Hijack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329530)

Many (most?) Touhou fangames are sold. Occasionally pricier than ZUN's set rates of \1200 day of and \1500 at retail--Scarlet Symphony was \1800.

Re:Touhou Hijack (1)

Raptor851 (1557585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329908)

Most of the doujin games based off touhou are NOT free, they're sold. Check out himeya shop online, they have a pretty good listing of them and are one of the few companies that buy them up and resell them to US customers.

And then some companies switch... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30321956)

Some companies support "modders" making derivative works, some block or threaten legal action, but some start one way and switch. I don't suppose the Devs want to do it, but Legal probably get twitchy these days.

The main one that irks me is Relic. Dawn of War was a great game with a good modding community. Dawn of War 2 came along and (in part because of the GfWL networking) really locked down on modding such that most of the community gave up. There were some incredible mods and textures for DoW1, and any "pure graphics" changes were user-side only and didn't break games. Mods were properly handled and a handshake before the game failed if you weren't running the same Mods. Then DoW2 was released, it was "more complex" (like that ever stopped the community!) and modding didn't get anywhere near the same support (plus even textures needed to be put in as mods the last I saw). You can't even easily add custom badges and banners, FFS!

I can see the point of copyright and intellectual property to some degree - working hard on something and then having someone else duplicate or modify it or appear to be an official part of it without your permission and without credit or recompense, potentially making a bad impression on those who don't know it isn't official, is wrong and serves no good purpose. The problem is that corporations take it too far.

Re:And then some companies switch... (1)

minasoko (710100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322628)

I think most people reading this would sympathize with that DoW situation, but remember that Relic are a business, with commercial interests behind them.

It's a fine line to tread for developers; making a title accessible enough to the enthusiasts to create, erm, enthusiasm for the game via a community (which in turn creates sales and good-will), but at the same time they want you to buy DoW II, III, IV and all the expansion packs.

Re:And then some companies switch... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330268)

Some of the mods have kept interest in DoW1, which isn't good from a business point of view, but then making a sequel that your devoted modding community can't mod doesn't seem like a good move either! From what I'd read the lack of minor customisation like badges is part of the terms of GfWL, but the change in the rest of the system is a design thing. It probably is more complex and harder to work as it is a newer and more complex game built on a new engine, but it is still a shame.

title goes here. (4, Interesting)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322064)

A mod, modificacion of a game, often have to distribute files of the original game modified. On some games this is allowed, so is not gray area, is white area, but on others theres not text that allow you to do that.

Is sad, but mods that use a popular IP are... popular. Not all mods are based on movies, books, etc.. but there are big group of then. These mods are almost all gray area, very few have the authorization of the owner of the ip.

Modding use to be something that add value to a game and the studio that created that game. People are more inclined to buy a game where there are a strong mod community and cool mods.

But Microsoft changed this with the concept of DLC's. Now companies salivate with the idea to create these mods thenselves,... small amateurist modificatios that can be created in a hour of work, and sell for $10 or $4. As a result, modding is something that remove value from a game. DLC's is modding done by the original authors. It was created on the consoles, because consoles can't have modding, but now is leaking and poisoning the PC world. Games like Total War have started to encript the datafiles, to stop modding from flourish.

Modders thenselves have changed. The original profile for a modder where Hackers, in the old sense of creative people that like to hack fun stuff. Thats what created these hacked wolfesten.exe's. Nowdays the modder scene is a hybrid of indie and amateur developpers. Amateur people that have a voice, and claim for quality in the SDK. Mods tend to be total conversions (everywhere but a few games, like the TES serie), made by people that invest time and maybe money, and some expect that to help then take a position in the game industry and get experience in game developping.

So modding is more or less dyiing. And the companys will change his opinion and modders, and there will be some badwill.. and probably we will return again to the hackers, times, where to change the weapon speed on a MW2 server, you first need to hack the exe. So we hare returning to these wolfestein.exe times.

Re:title goes here. (2, Insightful)

PriyanPhoenix (900509) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322678)

I think two things affected the modding community: one is, as you said, definitely the tightening reins in an attempt to monetise additional content post-release. The other, which I think had begun to take effect well before the propagation of paid-for DLC, is simply the spirally complexity and cost of game development. The chief time expenditure for any major mod has always been asset creation (while I fully admit what separates good mods from bad is still overall game design). In the past, a couple of talented individuals could roll out a mod in a couple of months that looked as polished as the original game. Now as engines allow for far more detailed graphics, high quality asset creation takes significantly longer. Thus the dev cycle for mods has increased just as for the original game. For a handful of bedroom coders, putting together larger teams has generally been found impractical so the result is that the best-looking and most promising mods still have smallish teams and end up in limbo for years, during which many falter and disappear. The alternative is a cheap-looking mod which is unlikely to garner significant interest.

Re:title goes here. (3, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325676)

I agree on some points but not all. Modding is still very prevalent in PC games but has taken a different path then it used to. It is true, that every mod to be released now-a-days is a Total Conversion, I haven't seen a simple "Mod" in a long time. But I think its mostly in part to more and more source code being available to change. The times when you would simply Modify weapon damage and speed and jumping have changed because NOW you have access to put in your own models and textures and even tweak some aspects of the engine itself. Those people who would spend a Month pumping out a mod will now spend 5 months pumping out a TC.

But in recent developments, it has actually turned into a profitable hobby. Alot of these people would -LOVE- to get into serious game development, but simply don't have the time to start up a game themselves, they need to be hired by one of these large companies. Valve is an -EXCELLENT- example of a company who hires hobbyists. Counter-strike was developed by 1 man in his basement. The guy who made the Minerva Mod was hired on to make maps in upcoming HL2 games. The team who made Portal had a demo of Portal (Narbacular Drop I think it was called?) in an old quake/doom engine, and Valve hired them after it being demo'd at a fair. The lead developer behind the flash version of Portal created his own additional storyline content - and Valve purchased it and they worked with Microsoft to release it for profit on the Xbox Live Arcade version of Portal.

Modding is no longer about modding the original game - but rather creating something of your own. It is NOT dying, the only sense of it dying is that the PC market is dying. But Companies that develop for the PC mainly (Like Valve, and Epic, and even Blizzard) tend to be a little more lenient with their IP because they know that when the community creates something amazing, they have an opportunity to add it to their assets.

As long as there are PC developers, there will be a modding community, their motives just might change.

I can understand the companies (1)

cyronix (615169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30322158)

I can understand square/enix, the developers of this "fan-sequel" tried to get fame for doing another chrono trigger. Chrono Trigger is a brand, it was probably the most famous rpg on the snes. Square build up this brand, why should they let somebody else make use of it? The creators of the chrono sequel could have also made their own rpg, but probably noone would care, so they make a rpg in the chrono trigger scenario, so they get world famous for doing the chronotrigger sequel. You know if you want to make a game related to a film, like batman, you also need to pay the licence holders of batman money, for creating a game with the tag "batman". And above else this game could also be a bad game and would damage the brand then, which would lead to less income for square, which square needs to be able to exist.

Bad example (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322524)

Nah, the whole C&D thing was pretty much a fabrication on the part of the creators who had either lost interest in the project or were unable to finish it, because they wanted to be remembered in a positive way.

Think about it, if they actually cared they could have easily continued working on it - there's hardly a lack of strong anonymizing systems available online today, Tor and Freenet being the best known examples. They could also have simple hosted the ROM on a server in Russia or China where issuing a takedown notice, let alone obtaining the required paperwork for a lawsuit, would have been nigh-impossible. Plenty of people who commit much more blatant violations get away with it that way.

No, this was just a lame cover-up. I'm not saying they didn't recieve a C&D (many sites do, and the standard response is simply to switch hosting), I'm just saying that wasn't their real reason for cancelling the project.

Re:Bad example (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325314)

Nah, the whole C&D thing was pretty much a fabrication on the part of the creators who had either lost interest in the project or were unable to finish it, because they wanted to be remembered in a positive way.

Not true. They finished the beta, and were at the 99% mark... completely playable, and were at the point of just final proofing and stripping out debugging code. If not for the C&D from S-E, it would have been out within the month. I suspect that it was the fault of S-E America; S-E Japan probably wouldn't have cared at all. An acquaintance I know spent time talking to S-E over the issue, but was never able to get anybody to say anything. I think the lawyers have the employees as scared as the modders.

Re:I can understand the companies (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325440)

I can understand square/enix, the developers of this "fan-sequel" tried to get fame for doing another chrono trigger. Chrono Trigger is a brand, it was probably the most famous rpg on the snes. Square build up this brand, why should they let somebody else make use of it?

Why not? Fame isn't a limited resource, some fans making a mod don't "steal" it from Square Enix. So long as it's non-profit, and clearly identifies all original property rights (not plagiarism)...

Japanese people hates openess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30322616)

It's not so a complex matter. I don't know why, but Japanese publishers hates opening up their resources. Programmers prefer closed, hard-coded software structure design with less capability of modding. Take a look at Doom. Highly moddable. Any .wad accepted. Engine licensed open-source. Take a look at any Japanese PC game(Bio Hazard, Lost Planet, whatever). Any moddable feature? Where's the Mod Dev Kit? Where's the seperate vanilla mod folder or file? Any GPL, Apache, BSD licensed component? None, because they hates opening things up. Even if you establish an open project, some people dislike opening everything up in Japan.

# Not a racism, I'm just happened to born in Japan.

Divineo and the slippery slope (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323174)

Kind of odd that this comes up a day after Ninendo lost the preliminary hearing in a rather important case against Divineo in France.

To summarize Nintendo sued Divineo over the production of flash cards for the Nintendo DS. The judge ruled that consoles should operate more like "windows" and that anyone should be able to develop for them without the companies approval.

http://www.assentek.com/communique-presse-nintendo-vs-assentek-linker [assentek.com]

In the first round I guess the "homebrew" community will get what it wants...of course if it hold up after appeal it will have the side effect of destroying the console industry (with no need for licensing or control over their platforms there is no revenue stream) but hey at least they would be open right?

Re:Divineo and the slippery slope (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325254)

Making money on the actual sale of your product? That would never work, what a stupid idea!

Re:Divineo and the slippery slope (1)

hldn (1085833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30326384)

In the first round I guess the "homebrew" community will get what it wants...of course if it hold up after appeal it will have the side effect of destroying the console industry (with no need for licensing or control over their platforms there is no revenue stream) but hey at least they would be open right?

i fail to see a problem. if someone wants to sell a piece of hardware, they shouldn't have control over how the consumer uses it.

Re:Divineo and the slippery slope (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30331938)

with no need for licensing or control over their platforms there is no revenue stream

Well, other than, you know... selling consoles and in-house developed games and thus actually making money on their product like any normal business.

I know, *crazy*.

Speaking of Squenix... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325494)

One thing I never got: Why hasn't Brian Clevinger [nuklearpower.com] been sued off of his ass yet?

Rob

Path to the Dark Side: PC Gaming Prioritization (1)

portal42 (1693204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30325642)

The war between open and closed source has coalesced in the gaming community. Take Infinity Ward vs Steam for example. Both have great games; however one allows for open source utilization and private dedicated hosting, while the other has recently chosen to horde their source code and even the rights to multiplayer dedicated hosting. You would not think that these two giants would be conspiring, especially with both of their track records in the gaming community, but I have drawn some dangerous conclusions for the entire gaming community in my mind about such things: We must examine the recent developments to come to this insane conclusion of mine: Both corporate giants Infinity Ward and Steam have sold out to each other: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/11/06/non-steam-digital-deliverers-uninterested-selling-mw2 [gamepolitics.com] You can’t play Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 2 without steam on the PC version, and at the same time Infinity Ward has decided to not allow the PC version to have private dedicated servers! This is a dangerous leap towards PC gaming prioritization, all in the name of “keeping the PC on a level playing field with consoles”. How many more people will buy into the amazing DRM abilities of Steam and then lock every open source aspect of their game? Will Valve follow suit? I fear that there is an inevitable slow prioritization happening in the PC gaming world. For once the PC world becomes as DRM restricted as efficiently as the console world, both console and PC gamers will be screwed in quality, hosting, and pricing. I do not believe that anything good can come from this new trend seen emerge with the Steam/Infinity Ward convergence with the CoD:MW2 release. Unless PC gamers are able to restrict themselves from supporting these colossal game giants to protest their move to not allow things like their disabled dedicated server capabilities, we will be allowing these companies to succumb to the inevitable greed that will prosper in this world of PC gaming prioritization. The scary part is Infinity Ward is apart of Activision, and Activision is apart of Blizzard. You can see how the conspiracies can fly off the handle from here.

Valve cares. (1)

yanguang (1471209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30334338)

At least they bother to embrace their fanbase. Do companies think before they go shooting their own fans?

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