At the risk of causing controversy....

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EvilGrins
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At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by EvilGrins » Tue Feb 01, 2022 4:05 am

...why is it nobody needs to get permission to edit skins?

I mean, I totally agree with the whole getting permission to edit someone else's map... but every time those discussions start up, and they always do, I start thinking about skins.

I edit maps and I edit skins, and no one has ever broached the topic of getting permission to edit skins... which I have done once, for the base skins of Chris Ollis' work (he loved what I'd been doing with it) but the thought lingers.

Been not doing much editing, of anything, for awhile now, and I've been debating releasing some of my edits of others' skins...
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...as one of the reasons I worked out how to skin in the 1st place was to give team colors to skins that didn't have them.
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Thoughts?
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medor wrote:Replace Skaarj with EvilGrins :mrgreen:
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UnrealGGecko
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by UnrealGGecko » Tue Feb 01, 2022 10:01 am

Not just maps, just in general if you wanna edit something someone made, it would be at least good manners to check up if the person is ok with it, ya know, unless the author already said/wrote somewhere that he's ok with it, like the readme file.

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OjitroC
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by OjitroC » Tue Feb 01, 2022 6:46 pm

Yeah, can't see a problem - provided (a) some effort is made to contact the author where possible and (b) credit is given to the original author of the base skin in a readme that incorporates the original readme should there be one.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by sektor2111 » Tue Feb 01, 2022 7:16 pm

Discussion here is for all sort of works (maps, mods, skins, pieces of codes) permissions related things for mods have been written in some of them and/or credits were written there, having even functions/variables names based on their author to not forget credits from "ReadMe" files - it's normal to be grateful when someone else was helping with hints and pieces of codes and/or TEXTURES used a BASE for a future work.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Feralidragon » Tue Feb 01, 2022 8:39 pm

Technically, you can edit whatever you want without repercussion as long as it's kept private.
It only becomes a potential problem when you release it to the public.

There isn't really anyone policing the content, and checking in every case whether the person asked permission or not, it's just assumed by default in many cases that the person did, and in some cases the original work may not even be known and be assumed to be original from whoever released it last.

A person only becomes a target of attention in the subject of permissions when an alleged violation of copyright comes to light, namely editing something without permission.

And, quite honestly, if you're "only" editing skins, or editing maps that no one really gives a damn about, it's generally not a problem: no one is going after you for providing an edit of a GodZ MH map for example, or if they do, it's not over the fact you edited it, but it would be mostly because no one wants more GodZ maps. :D

But it's a whole different thing when it's known work, like known maps, or any other work from known creator, especially those known for holding their rights over their own work closely, and not allowing anyone to edit it by default.
If you do edit any of their work without their permission, and release it to the public, that's when you get into trouble.

And before anyone misinterprets what this actually means: it's NOT that only known creators get the privilege of having their work protected, or that their work is more important.

It's more that these creators (map and mod makers) often take the time to add a license (ReadMe) to what they created, to make it clear what other people can do with it and how, meaning they do give a damn about how their work is handled and distributed, and even edited, so it must be respected as such, whereas others not so much given that in the case of a map or anything else that has absolutely no license or ReadMe file of any kind, then I think it's acceptable to consider it "free real estate" and do whatever you want to with it, even though the courtesy of trying to reach out to the original creator in these cases is still highly appreciated nonetheless.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Tue Feb 01, 2022 9:17 pm

I think the notion of FOSS is important in this discussion. The entire enterprise of that is based on the fundamental belief that "code written by one be useful to many" (as long as there is no commercial interests involved).
Now if someone, especially like me, has put up the code on something like GitHub, and as long as, they have been invariant in their policies (irrespective of whatever acquisitions), the default sense is that it is meant to be used and modified as per the need. Other wise there is absolutely no use of making public repositories (convince me otherwise).
As far as appreciation is concerned, you (one) can recognize your (his) code (if one is worth his salt) and the Value is generated automagically.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Feralidragon » Tue Feb 01, 2022 10:35 pm

Patents are a great example of something that are known and open, yet you cannot use without licensing by default (even for free), unless the patent holder or statement allows it.

And you can patent algorithms (MP3 for example, which only expired a few years ago, hence why OGG took over quite quickly during the time the MP3 patent was still active), which by extension means that you cannot use existing open code to implement it, nor even implement it yourself, hence in this case you can have a public repository with code implementing the algorithm, but you cannot really use it without licensing it first (unless the patent allows you to).

So there are reasons to have a public repository, but still have licenses that protect it.

It's just that generally the licenses applied are permissive, many going to the extent of allowing to commercially use it, because that's generally the purpose of having a public repository, as you mentioned, but it's not always the case as demonstrated above, so you need to be careful with what you use and fork (I didn't even know MP3 was patented until I had to research why UT didn't really support it several years ago, seemed odd).

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Tue Feb 01, 2022 10:56 pm

I am sorry I see no strong connection yet.

Why publicise and brazenly display the code if no one can use it?

Automatically merged

Isn't it like saying that you can have Sun bath but can't have Vitamin D.

xD!!!

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Feralidragon » Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:46 am

The_Cowboy wrote:
Tue Feb 01, 2022 10:58 pm
Why publicise and brazenly display the code if no one can use it?
If it's patented (the algorithm), it's actually to protect it from theft.

Imagine that you take 5 years to develop a new super algorithm, and you succeed, only for maybe a mega corporation to steal it and triple their sales without you receiving anything in return.
By patenting it and have the algorithm known, everyone can learn it and see how it works, rather than be taken to the grave with its inventor, and, given that you would need a license to use it, it also means that if such a mega corporation just takes it without paying an agreed license to you, you can sue them and win.

Of course, the real world is more complicated than that (patent trolls, corruption, etc), but the point here is that opening the code can be a form to protect it, because that way everyone knows who did it and to whom it belongs, while at the same time being able to restrict it just like you would do with closed code (proprietary software).

Another good example is Unreal Engine 4 (and likely UE5), which is openly accessible, but it doesn't mean you can just take it, edit it, build a game with it and not abide by the licensing rules Epic has set for it (namely revenue share terms, etc).
If you just "take" it, Epic will sue you to the ground.

The fact that they opened it wasn't for people to "take" it, but rather for people to use it, and do so within Epic's own terms, and at the same time make it stronger by having developers contribute to the engine directly with new technology without keeping it to themselves or having separate repositories with it.

They want to build an unbeatable engine, so they are doing everything they can by buying entire companies that add value to the engine (Quixel for example, among many others), and having developers around the world contributing pretty much for free.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Wed Feb 02, 2022 1:30 am

Feralidragon wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:46 am
Imagine that you take 5 years to develop a new super algorithm, and you succeed, only for maybe a mega corporation to steal it and triple their sales without you receiving anything in return.
I don't have to imagine. Linux is the prime example happening in front of everyone's eyes. Linus Torvalds should sue Google and Microsoft to the ground by the very same logic (which you mention later in your post).
Feralidragon wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:46 am
By patenting it and have the algorithm known, everyone can learn it and see how it works, rather than be taken to the grave with its inventor, and, given that you would need a license to use it, it also means that if such a mega corporation just takes it without paying an agreed license to you, you can sue them and win.
Clearly by patenting you are claiming an ownership. Now why are you interested in exhibiting publicly (other than to rub everyone else's face in it?) or there is something more that you are getting! Either admit that or make it private.
Feralidragon wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:46 am
Of course, the real world is more complicated than that (patent trolls, corruption, etc), but the point here is that opening the code can be a form to protect it, because that way everyone knows who did it and to whom it belongs, while at the same time being able to restrict it just like you would do with closed code (proprietary software).
You can bet your pay grade on that complication. It is nearly impossible to prove that the code that you produce or write is not a figment of someone else's imagination. Something that you may have picked up while browsing. Good luck fighting legally with that.
Feralidragon wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:46 am
Another good example is Unreal Engine 4 (and likely UE5), which is openly accessible, but it doesn't mean you can just take it, edit it, build a game with it and not abide by the licensing rules Epic has set for it (namely revenue share terms, etc).
If you just "take" it, Epic will sue you to the ground.
I think I have answered that. See above!

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Shrimp » Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am

The Linux/UE example is perfectly demonstrative of the situation though. It all comes down to licencing and the permissiveness and requirements of the licences involved.

Linux releases its source code under a licence (GPL) which allows other people to create and distribute derived works, so long as the source for those derivatives are made available to users of them. In the case of people like Google or Microsoft who run their data centres on in-house custom Linux derivatives, since they're not distributing those derivatives, there's no need to distribute the source, so there's no cause for Linus to sue here even though big companies are profiting off his work and not sharing certain modifications upstream.

For the UE case, which seems exactly the same as the sharing of UnrealScript sources back in the day, Epic have to make the source available to facilitate people using the engine. They can't exactly keep the engine secret and then expect people to make games with it. The difference comes down to a much more restrictive licence which prevents you from modifying and redistributing binaries or the source outside of the licence terms. Many companies make their source available for various reasons, not because they expect you to copy it - but in order to integrate/inter-operate with their products, you often have to hook into various subsystems which is just easier to do if you can see how those subsystems work (or even compile against).

I mean, just because you walk past an unlocked car on the street doesn't mean you can just jump into it and drive away and claim "If they didn't want it to be stolen they shouldn't have left it on the street/unlocked". An otherwise commercial project with the source available is kind of the same thing.

---

On the main topic though, in general software/content licencing terms, it comes down to the following points:
  • if there's nothing in the README about modifications being allowed, and there's no accompanying licence: you are NOT allowed to make derivatives.
    • absence of a restrictive licence is NOT permission to go ahead and do whatever you like - quite the opposite!
    • you should definitely contact the author in this case and ASK for permission. if no permission is forthcoming, you are still NOT allowed to make derivatives!
  • if there's a note in the README about "not to be modified" (as I've seen in many maps): it's quite explicit that you're NOT allowed to make derivatives
  • if there's an explicitly permissive licence included, or a note in the README allowing modifications: this is the only situation under which you should ever consider creating and distributing derivative works
If you want to violate the licence terms (or lack thereof), as has been stated, rather keep those changes to yourself for offline use, and don't distribute them.
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Feralidragon » Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:26 am

Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am
  • if there's nothing in the README about modifications being allowed, and there's no accompanying licence: you are NOT allowed to make derivatives.
    • absence of a restrictive licence is NOT permission to go ahead and do whatever you like - quite the opposite!
    • you should definitely contact the author in this case and ASK for permission. if no permission is forthcoming, you are still NOT allowed to make derivatives!
While that's correct for software in general, context is quite important, and copyright does expire after a set number of decades (which varies by country).

We're talking about a game that is over 20 years old, and which most content ever released for the game still consists of 90% original Epic assets, especially in maps where what a mapper generally does is to just assemble geometry and objects, with everything else being from the game itself, meaning that at the end of the day what the mapper actually owns is the geometry alone and not much more.

I doubt that 90% of the mappers that ever did any maps for UT cared that much about copyright and permissions, or that you can contact them anymore.
Most of these maps do not even have a way to reach out to its creator at all.

So, going the extra mile to enforce copyright protection by default over 20-year old maps done by mappers that are no longer around for almost the same amount of time and that have no way to be contacted nor have they included a license on it seems a bit excessive to me, and I do really think we need to be a bit more reasonable than that, hence why I think that allowing such work to be edited without explicit permission is something we can follow as far as UT99 is concerned.

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:29 am

Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am
I mean, just because you walk past an unlocked car on the street doesn't mean you can just jump into it and drive away and claim "If they didn't want it to be stolen they shouldn't have left it on the street/unlocked". An otherwise commercial project with the source available is kind of the same thing.
This analogy is completely out of sync and in-apt with my contention. Learning from some code and then implementing in your own program is worlds apart from jumping into an unlocked car that don't belong to you.

If you can look at the car and build the similar car then no one should stop you from building it. It is that simple.

Now at the risk of repeating and thus rendering my self utterly useless, allowing Sun bathing and then restricting the generation of Vitamin D is going against Nature. If you wanna do that, BE MY GUEST!

As always, an humble opition!

Automatically merged

The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:29 am
Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am
I mean, just because you walk past an unlocked car on the street doesn't mean you can just jump into it and drive away and claim "If they didn't want it to be stolen they shouldn't have left it on the street/unlocked". An otherwise commercial project with the source available is kind of the same thing.
This analogy is completely out of sync and in-apt with my contention. Learning from some code and then implementing in your own program is worlds apart from jumping into an unlocked car that don't belong to you.

If you can look at the car and build the similar car then no one should stop you from building it. It is that simple.

Now at the risk of repeating and thus rendering my self utterly useless, allowing Sun bathing and then restricting the generation of Vitamin D is going against Nature. If you wanna do that, BE MY GUEST!

As always, an humble option and opinion!

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Feralidragon » Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:48 am

The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:36 am
If you can look at the car and build the similar car then no one should stop you from building it. It is that simple.
Hmm, so if someone happens to be able to do a perfect clone of yourself by just pointing a camera at you, are you fine with that someone making multiple clones of you running around?

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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:52 am

Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am
Linux releases its source code under a licence (GPL) which allows other people to create and distribute derived works, so long as the source for those derivatives are made available to users of them. In the case of people like Google or Microsoft who run their data centres on in-house custom Linux derivatives, since they're not distributing those derivatives, there's no need to distribute the source, so there's no cause for Linus to sue here even though big companies are profiting off his work and not sharing certain modifications upstream.
Well that is not what I heard last time I watched Linuses interview. He took the moral high ground by saying if others benefit from my (his) work, then so be it. The use of work is a reward in itself (or something like this).

Automatically merged

The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:52 am
Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:51 am
Linux releases its source code under a licence (GPL) which allows other people to create and distribute derived works, so long as the source for those derivatives are made available to users of them. In the case of people like Google or Microsoft who run their data centres on in-house custom Linux derivatives, since they're not distributing those derivatives, there's no need to distribute the source, so there's no cause for Linus to sue here even though big companies are profiting off his work and not sharing certain modifications upstream.
Well that is not what I heard last time I watched Linuses interview. He too the moral high ground by saying if others benefit from my (his) work, then so be it. The use of work is a reward in itself (or something like this).
Feralidragon wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:48 am
The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:36 am
If you can look at the car and build the similar car then no one should stop you from building it. It is that simple.
Hmm, so if someone happens to be able to do a perfect clone of yourself by just pointing a camera at you, are you fine with that someone making multiple clones of you running around?
That'd be the dream!
More or less. Ethically yes, idiosyncratically maybe not!