At the risk of causing controversy....

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

Post by Swanky » Wed Feb 02, 2022 9:56 am

Feralidragon wrote:
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.
Partly agree. If such a case arises and the original author still wants their work to not be modified, that modified work needs to be taken down ASAP.
There are also fringe cases where maps are part of mappacks that are still being cared for when the map itself is not, such as some of the recent MH map conversions.

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

Post by Shrimp » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:30 am

The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:36 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.
Perhaps the outright theft of a vehicle was a bad example. Let's try this: A random company produces a "media kit" on their website with a layered PDF or PSD of their logo, so that other companies can include it in news posts, etc. Just because they've made their logo available in a format that allows people to modify does not mean their logo is open source and open to remixing. Usually they come with very strict usage instructions. That's how I'd see something around the licencing of Unreal Engine working with the source on GitHub.

Seeing someone's map and being inspired to create something similar, versus taking their map and changing the weapon placements and then slapping your name on it, is a very different scenario though. The first is perfectly valid use in any scenario, the second will depend on the licencing, implied or otherwise, under which the original author released that map.
The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:53 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).
That's pretty much exactly what I said about that licencing regime. The licensing of Linux is such that you're allowed to profit from it as much as you like, as long as you either share your modifications if you distribute anything based on it, or alternatively, do not distribute anything and keep your changes private. In either case, profit away.

Feralidragon wrote:
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 guess we can argue this in circles forever :lol2:. Which is probably why it keeps coming up.

I don't see a difference between a map, some UnrealScript, a painting, a piece of music, or Microsoft Word. They're creative works governed by licences and/or copyright. In terms of everyone using Epic's assets, they have explicitly allowed that (I don't recall whether it's part of the EULA or if I read it somewhere else - I do remember Epic granting use of their assets for the purposes of modding [I think they did this explicitly for Make Something Unreal UT2003/2004 since there was actual money involved]). Just like Yamaha lets you make music using their musical instruments, the artist just arranges the notes but the arrangement is theirs and covered by copyright.

I agree that copyright may expire, in which case things enter the public domain, but I'm not sure anything created for UT, in any country or region, has reached that point yet. Copyright seems to be in general around the world, the life of the author + 50 to 70 years.

Though I'm absolutely not an expert on copyright law nor do I expect everyone to have to be before deciding whether or not the map they're about to modify is covered by the original author's copyright. I just think people should be aware of what licencing, and the lack of specific licencing, generally means.


At the end of the day this really means nothing, because people are going to do what they want, regardless of how you've explicitly licenced things in a README or LICENSE file, and nobody is going to get sued or have takedown notices levelled at them, outside of perhaps a forum post complaint.

And after everything I've written here, I'm painfully aware that Unreal Archive hosts a trove of legitimate copyright infringements :omfg:
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:45 am

Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:30 am
The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:53 am
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).
That's pretty much exactly what I said about that licencing regime. The licensing of Linux is such that you're allowed to profit from it as much as you like, as long as you either share your modifications if you distribute anything based on it, or alternatively, do not distribute anything and keep your changes private. In either case, profit away.
I don't see how this is exactly same. Either your definition of congruency is different from mine or I am being really stupid.

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

Post by Shrimp » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:59 am

The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:45 am
Shrimp wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:30 am
The_Cowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:53 am
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).
That's pretty much exactly what I said about that licencing regime. The licensing of Linux is such that you're allowed to profit from it as much as you like, as long as you either share your modifications if you distribute anything based on it, or alternatively, do not distribute anything and keep your changes private. In either case, profit away.
I don't see how this is exactly same. Either your definition of congruency is different from mine or I am being really stupid.
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by The_Cowboy » Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:12 am

Ok good we are on same page now.
The rest part of my contention is that any code put publicly and especially on GitHub should mean to have a default license of FOSS unless otherwise assigned.
If the assigned license is NOT FOSS related, I don't know what you are doing on GitHub, publicly.

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

Post by Hellkeeper » Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:35 am

I'm amazed at how fast this has devolved into a discussion about copyright and intellectual property, I don't believe this has any bearing on the matter at hand. I'm pretty sure any work on Unreal is somehow Epic's theoretical property.
Regarding the original point: since you can do whatever you want and edit what you want, since nobody can stop you and nobody has any legal case against you when you edit someone's map, skin, etc., it's important to remember what asking for permission to edit really is: curtesy. In the end, nobody gives a damn. There's a slim chance the creator of something 20 years ago stumbles upon youk work, a slimmer chance he recognizes his own original work under your edit. If he does, he'll probably be satisfied with a mention of his work in the readme, if there's none and he sends you a mail, a promise you did at least minimal effort to contact him will make him happy, and if he doesn't like it, then one man somewhere in the world will be angry you changed the colours on his precious pixels without asking. Boohoo.
It's just being polite, but nobody can stop you anyway, it's all the big play where we pretend it matters. I like to think this dates back to when we were all 14 years old and the game was new and we didn't want anyone to change our Copyright Original Content Do Not Steal™©® because we thought we were the best creators in the world.
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by EvilGrins » Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:30 pm

Hellkeeper wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:35 am
I'm amazed at how fast this has devolved into a discussion about copyright and intellectual property, I don't believe this has any bearing on the matter at hand.
It doesn't, but it's been an interesting evolution of the conversation.
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Re: At the risk of causing controversy....

Post by Barbie » Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:31 pm

Hellkeeper wrote:
Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:35 am
I'm pretty sure any work on Unreal is somehow Epic's theoretical property.
Wut? :omfg: If I use a pen - let's say from Montblanc -, then all my stories is Montblanc's property? If you use MS Word, all written texts with it belong to MS?
"Multiple exclamation marks," he went on, shaking his head, "are a sure sign of a diseased mind." --Terry Pratchett

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

Post by Feralidragon » Wed Feb 02, 2022 1:22 pm

@Shrimp: Strictly speaking, yes, copyright is the same across the board.
What I meant is that for UT99 we can relax what the laws require down to a reasonable level, because no one is really going to sue anyone over UT99 maps and mods (I believe), meaning that things like respect for the work and permissions overall is something that ends up being only enforceable by the community itself: by removing posts here in the forum for example, or even ban the user altogether in the absolute worst cases of infringement.

Otherwise, like you mentioned, most of your UArchive project would be screwed, but it isn't, nobody is going to hold you accountable for anything as long as you provide the files as they were released.

Also, on the usage of UT content in other UT games, it was an update to the overall EULA where Epic explicitly states that maps and mods for a given UT version are allowed to use assets from previous UT versions.

I bolded the "previous" because this is something often people miss, namely that using UT2004 or UT3 content in UT99 for example is actually an infringement.
Yet, you don't see Epic pointing any guns to any of released or ongoing projects that bring UT2004 and UT3 to UT99, and they know these projects exist and have always existed, and they didn't really care and still don't, but do not want to update the EULA allowing for future assets to be used, because that could screw them over, furthering my point that ultimately is up to the community to define reasonable rules for all of this, so we can all play in the same playground together.

@Hellkeeper: The only thing Epic can do is to use your mods and maps as if they were their own, but they're still your work, you still hold copyright over them and you can apply licenses that are compatible with their EULA.
However, strictly speaking, the EULA may not even be legally enforceable to begin with, especially depending on how it's presented and the country, but I am not going to open that can of worms.

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

Post by The_Cowboy » Thu Feb 03, 2022 12:10 am

Goccha
https://beyondunrealwiki.github.io/page ... se.html[hr][/hr]

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Of course there are variants, look at the same place for more!

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

Post by f7r » Thu Feb 03, 2022 2:15 am

I adhere to the point of view that intellectual property is damned absurd, but I respect someone else's position and attitude towards one's own work and time.
But IMHO.
If you came up with something and told / sang / revealed / sold to another - it is already impossible to steal from you. You released it yourself. By bell, book and candle. Of course, someone else can steal authorship or first release rights and that's it. But not the idea that flew out. Why can't I replicate anything? You are too corrupted by extreme capitalism trying to dry squeeze all. We reached the point that attempting to get the dividend of the all pieces of universe even fictional. To the detriment of good sense. If I heard a song, I can't sing it? Really? Even if I do it much better? Or not? And if I do it anyway, then I should be punished with a surcharge / prison or what? This is indefatigable greed guys. Surround everything the fence, put the peacocks and prohibit peek and tell about.
In fact, intellectual rights are important part of our world, but I do not consider this part true. It is like an ancient Egypt that spent incredible efforts for the afterlife. Their life since born was set on it. This was considered correct and important. And now we take mummified result all of these mindless efforts and put on the survey just for nothing.
Although you do not think that I will take someone's work without permission. :D Deviation from the accepted ritual in Egypt Pharaoh was condemned and punishable by death. Regardless of anyone who thought. :lol2:

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

Post by The_Cowboy » Thu Feb 03, 2022 2:30 am

Well then it is a good thing that we are living in 2000 AD
and don't hafta think about all that crap, anymore!!

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

Post by Feralidragon » Thu Feb 03, 2022 2:52 pm

f7r wrote:
Thu Feb 03, 2022 2:15 am
If you came up with something and told / sang / revealed / sold to another - it is already impossible to steal from you. You released it yourself. By bell, book and candle. Of course, someone else can steal authorship or first release rights and that's it. But not the idea that flew out.
You're contradicting yourself here, or at best being very inconsistent in your definitions: you first say that's impossible to steal an idea, however then you say that someone else can steal the authorship of that idea... well, that's what "stealing an idea" is, it is to take an idea that took time to form in someone else's head to themselves, and then either claim authorship over it, or use it to their own advantage in the detriment of its actual original author.

An easy example of this: the vast majority of people believe that Minecraft is an original game, the first of its kind, and that everything else afterwards was inspired or a clone of it.
What most people don't know is that Minecraft is actually a clone/ripoff of Infiniminer, and guess which one got all the fame and money...

I am not saying that everything should be protected, since things like game mechanics, dancing moves, new instrumental sounds, etc, are actually not protected at all, so games (for example) can implement exactly the same mechanics as another game and it won't be infringing on anyone's IP at all, because the IP is the game as a whole.

But going to the other extreme and stating that IP shouldn't even be a thing, I mean.... I get the impression that most people capable of saying that are the ones who never actually built a serious IP of their own in their entire life, or they have an enough comfortable life with their tummy always full to not really care about those things, which to me sounds a lot like intellectually lazy people who don't understand the hard work that often goes into these things and would rather just have all the freedom in taking things to themselves, which is just easier than coming up with something new by themselves, and this is exactly why IP is a thing and should continue to be a thing, as a protection from the vultures circling around what other people create, and which in the longer term do force people to come up with their own ideas instead of latching in existing ones.

The people interested in actually improving existing ideas will just end up using those as inspiration and come up with new ideas of their own, that's what "improvement" actually is.

From there, whether IP makes sense for some stuff and not for other stuff, that's where the real discussion is, and is a discussion that will keep going forever, and will evolve as the technology itself evolves.
After all, we already have things like "fair use" in place, which allow limited usage of copyrighted content without anyone's permission, for the purposes of criticism, parody, etc.

And I am saying this as someone who has been developing open-source stuff for years, mind you, and I always applied highly permissive licenses to my stuff, to the point that it can be used commercially without any limitation, but that doesn't mean that I am ever entitled to use stuff from others just because I opened my own for grabs.

Equalizing it to greed or capitalism is just wrong: the greed/capitalism that comes with it is just a consequence by how well these protections tend to work and are enforced, and that of course leads to abuse, just like anything else in life.
But then again, even though anything that can be used for the good of people, it can be used for bad too, and having nothing at all in place is a LOT worse.

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

Post by The_Cowboy » Thu Feb 03, 2022 7:44 pm

I think he is trying to point something deep:
One can not steal the idea, however, the form, in which the idea is implemented, can be stolen or replicated (potato patato).

There is absolutely no concern about the former.
If you are concerned about later, well, welcome to the ignorance (and in a good way) of real world functionings!

Automatically merged

For instance, Newton's laws are Newton's laws and no one can challenge that.
Electric car, based on the working complying with Newton's laws, is a manifestation of Newton's law in certain form (+ many things that are not relevant for this purpose).

Now consider Newton's laws as IP
What are you crazy?!?

Then consider the electric car realisation as IP
Huh, how that happened? What does it even mean?
Yeah you can now start unfolding it and identifying it.
Greeeed, I feel ya!

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

Post by Feralidragon » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:00 pm

Now that's just a classic text book straw-man.
Honest question: do you actually know what Intellectual Property is?

You may want to look it up and read carefully about it, so you can understand how ridiculous your assertions are, because you're talking about IP as being something it simply isn't.

Scientific ideas and theories are not IPs, never were, and the same goes for the abstract concept of ideas in general.
Only what is engineered by using them might be.

You can only assign IP to something that is actually created or engineered in some way, which can be something tangible like a machine or any other object, but it can also be a digital good (like a game, digital art, application, etc) as well as a specific process (like an algorithm, a way to do a specific thing, generally related with automation, but not necessarily so).

You cannot assign IP to things like game mechanics, dances, concepts, etc, as I explained above.

So what exactly are you guys complaining about then?