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The_Doom_God
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Everyone working on a mod related to something else should read this. I am serious. This information was taken out of Lee'Mon's Generations Arena project info, and same thing applies for the Doom games. Period. Read this:


First off, a “mod” or any similar project cannot be based on intellectual property belonging to any other person, company, or group without permission. You cannot make a mod based on the “ALIEN” universe, the Simpsons cartoon show, the Terminator Universe, the Mario series of games, and so on. Those characters and universes are the property of their respective companies, and they have the right to decide when and where they are used (barring news coverage and similar “fair use” cases, which do not apply here.)

This restriction has several elements. You cannot utilize characters that belong to someone else. Those characters (and even their very likenesses) are copyrighted. Q2Gen used the characters from Wolfenstein-3D, DOOM, and Quake I in a mod for Quake2. Even though those characters were all owned by one company (and even though that company that owned the game the mod was made under), they were still illegal; intellectual property from one game was brought to another. It doesn’t matter that the mod was released for free, or that the characters were from the shareware release. Bringing them into another game was illegal. This applies to lead characters as well as “monsters” or other characters.

In addition, any content from one game cannot migrate to another without permission. Content from other sources (movies, television shows, or even books) cannot migrate into a mod either. Q2Gen broke this by several bounds, converting levels, textures, models, sounds, graphics, and more from Wolf3D, DOOM, and Quake into the Quake2 engine.

AND BOOM! There you go. Only way we got off cleanly is taht we got permission from Capcom and id to do the project. Reply to this post. I am curious to hear your flames.

Old Post 01-12-02 08:49 #
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Erik
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Well, how many of the TC makers do you think have obtained permission for their TCs? yes, none of course. The companies being "robbed" of their intellectual property have no reason whatsoever to press charges as long as they're not losing any money.

There have been some issues about this on ftp.cdrom.com in the past though. I don't remember the exact details, but material was removed because of copyright issues.

Old Post 01-12-02 09:20 #
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David_Ferstat
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The Doom God wrote:

"... a ?mod? or any similar project cannot be based on intellectual property belonging to any other person, company, or group without permission. You cannot make a mod based on the ?ALIEN? universe, the Simpsons cartoon show, the Terminator Universe, the Mario series of games, and so on. Those characters and universes are the property of their respective companies, and they have the right to decide when and where they are used (barring news coverage and similar ?fair use? cases, which do not apply here."

Let's clarify something here.

"Cannot" is simply not correct. As we have seen, it is, indeed possible. The simple existence of AliensTC, the various "Aliens vs Terminator vs Predator" files, the "Doctor Who", the "Star Trek" and the Simpsons files available in Ty Haldeman's Doom archive should prove that it is, indeed, possible to do this sort of thing.

"May not legally" is the accurate way of phrasing it.

This is NOT just playing with words. Accurate phrasing is crucial to ANY activity relating to legal matters, which is where this discussion has gone.

Companies like id software and 20th Century Fox (for example) have recourse to legal action if they consider that someone hase used their intellectual property in a manner thay don't approve of.

Now, one of the legal requirements for intellectual property rights is that owners of such rights MUST enforce said ownership.

A real life example, now. Anyone here heard of the term "aspirin"? Thought so. What many of you won't know is that aspirin was, originally, the trade name of the first commercial preparation of "acetate of salycylic acid", and the first commercial analgesic preparation. Unfortunately for the owners of the name, everyone, including their competition, started using "aspirin", to the point where, in public awareness, aspirin was now associated with the product in general, rather than with a specific product.

Xerox is another example. The Xerox Corporation failed to rigorously prosecute violations of its trademark name, and so, now (at least in America) "xerox" is the general term used a photocopy. Courts have now ruled that Xerox Corp. can no longer sue other bodies for this particular use of their name, because Xerox had allowed the term to enter into general use.

Erik wrote:

"The companies being "robbed" of their intellectual property have no reason whatsoever to press charges as long as they're not losing any money."

I'm sorry, but this simply is not true. The subject goes far beyond the issue of "losing money".

If copyright holders don't aggressively protect their rights, they run the risk of losing them.


Back to TC and mod-makers.

There is nothing, physically, stopping you from making the TC or mod that you desire. You must, however, make a decision on the legal status of the project.

If you decide that you want permission, then you must face the possibility of refusal. Should you fail to get permission, you must then decide if you're going to abide by that failure, or proceed anyway. The risk of proceeding is, of course, that you cannot plead ignorance should the copyright holder decide to pursue you.

Some years back I ask Ty Haldeman, maintainer of the Doom archive, about the status of a mod I wanted to make, as it would have incorporated graphics from another game. His response then (I regret that I can't find it) was to the effect that anything that I made could be stored in the archive (then cdrom.com) until and unless the copyright holder complained about it.


What does this all boil down to?

Simply this: go ahead and make your TC / mod if you want, but be aware that the owner may come looking for you.

Old Post 01-12-02 17:12 #
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cph
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Now, one of the legal requirements for intellectual property rights is that owners of such rights MUST enforce said ownership.


IANAL, and the laws vary between countries, but this is my general understanding...

That's a requirement for trademarks, not for copyright. Trademarks have value only in publicity, so trademark abuse is public and it's just a matter of whether the holder chooses to enforce, or lets it slip.

Copyright is different, it can be broken in private, so companies must be allowed to enforce retrospectively as and when they come across abuse. On the other hand, if they sue you they only get damages in proportion to any financial loss they incur as a result of the infringement - a Doom mod doesn't actually take any income away from the Star Wars franchise or whatever, so they probably can't get more than nominal damages.

So in practice, the idgames archive policy is the way it works - such TCs are often illegal, but the company in question can't do much more than force you to stop distributing it if they care. Which is pretty bad if it's your life's work, but you're not likely to face the slammer at least, and most don't care enough to even go that far.

Old Post 01-12-02 23:16 #
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The_Doom_God
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Yeah, I know. I just want people to know so id or anyone else decides to shut them down. Hey, even bringing simple games from Quake 1 shareware to Quake 2 or "Alien" property into Doom is just not right. This also applies for Resident Evil. Our project was really on the virge of going KABOOM! So we held respect to the authors by asking them both of what they think. They both said "yes" and we had to agree under certain conditions.
I am just trying to warn other people.

Old Post 01-13-02 07:56 #
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Erik
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The idea of companies owning the copyright of for example Aliens browsing the doom archives to find copyrighted material seems pretty absurd to me. At least now, almost a decade after Doom's release. It won't happen, so go ahead and make your TCs.

Old Post 01-13-02 08:14 #
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The_Doom_God
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HEY MORON!

They just recently re-released DOOM ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO IDIOT! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR BRAIN!

Old Post 01-13-02 11:33 #
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Erik
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HEY MORON!

They just recently re-released DOOM ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO IDIOT! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR BRAIN!

So? I was only saying that noone cares whether there are copyrighted material in mods for a very old game, and if someone would care, they would never find out anyway.

Old Post 01-13-02 14:19 #
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David_Ferstat
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Erik wrote:

"The idea of companies owning the copyright of for example Aliens browsing the doom archives to find copyrighted material seems pretty absurd to me. At least now, almost a decade after Doom's release. It won't happen, so go ahead and make your TCs."

I don't know about that. 20th Century Fox have been quite aggressive about web-sites that they consider to be infringing on their "The Simpsons" property, among others.

I certainly wouldn't say that the idgames archives are necessarily safe.


He also wrote:

" So? I was only saying that noone cares whether there are copyrighted material in mods for a very old game, and if someone would care, they would never find out anyway."

I'm sorry, but that is simply not correct.

Last year saw id software stop a Quake 3 (if I recall correctly) mod dead in the water. The Generations mod wanted to combine characters from Doom, Quake, Quake 2 and Quake 3 into one single mod. However, id refused to permit this, and the mod died.

From this, I think that it's safe to say that id, at least, care very much what happens to their 8-year-old Doom property.

Old Post 01-13-02 14:35 #
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Erik
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said nothing about doom's copyrighted resources. I simply stated that noone will even care to look for copyrighted stuff in mods for an 8 year old game. The generations mod got a lot of publicity and was for the Q2 engine, that's a whole different story.

Old Post 01-13-02 14:52 #
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cph
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...noone will even care to look for copyrighted stuff in mods for an 8 year old game. The generations mod got a lot of publicity and was for the Q2 engine, that's a whole different story.


The idgames archive has had to remove stuff in the past due to legal threats, including from companies I believe (hence the explicit mention of Disney etc in README.uploading). OTOH you may be right, the only recent examples I know of were by private individuals (e.g. Ola got some levels removed that ripped off his textures).

Old Post 01-13-02 15:25 #
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Erik
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...noone will even care to look for copyrighted stuff in mods for an 8 year old game. The generations mod got a lot of publicity and was for the Q2 engine, that's a whole different story.


The idgames archive has had to remove stuff in the past due to legal threats, including from companies I believe (hence the explicit mention of Disney etc in README.uploading). OTOH you may be right, the only recent examples I know of were by private individuals (e.g. Ola got some levels removed that ripped off his textures).


Yeah that disney crap was long time ago. Of course dooming individuals are browsing the archives a lot and thus they find material which contains copyrighted stuff made by them. It's not like some Disney associates are going to browse the archives next week to look for illegal Donald Duck TCs...

Old Post 01-13-02 15:58 #
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Lizardcommando
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Isn't selling a TC/Mod made with someone else's copyrighted stuff illegal? It wouldn't be illegal for someone to distribute a mod with someone else's stuff, as long as they give the original creator credit right? It's not like the guy who made the Aliens TC sold it right?

Old Post 01-15-02 02:37 #
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Lizardcommando
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Isn't selling a TC/Mod made with someone else's copyrighted stuff illegal? It wouldn't be illegal for someone to distribute a mod for free with someone else's stuff, as long as they give the original creator credit, right?

Old Post 01-15-02 02:38 #
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Erik
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It's still illegal (almost as illegal as double posting)

Old Post 01-15-02 08:24 #
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Lizardcommando
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It's still illegal (almost as illegal as double posting)


Sorry about that. That was an ACCIDENT ok! Jeez... Back to the topic, what if it was your own creation and you used a game programmer that let's you make games like Doom, and then sell it. That would be legal right?

Old Post 01-16-02 02:27 #
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Naked Snake
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Isn't selling a TC/Mod made with someone else's copyrighted stuff illegal?


Um...use common sense, selling SOMEONE ELSE'S COPYRIGHTED STUFF would and IS illegal

Old Post 01-16-02 04:51 #
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cph
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what if it was your own creation andy ou used a game programmer that let's you make games like Doom, and then sell it. That would be legal right?


Depends what you mean by "like Doom". If you make your own game, your own graphics etc, and it's original (i.e. you _don't_ simply copy all Doom's ideas and styles, make everything just like Doom) then it's legal.

Old Post 01-16-02 12:27 #
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EllipsusD
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Jeez... Back to the topic, what if it was your own creation and you used a game programmer that let's you make games like Doom, and then sell it. That would be legal right?


If you are talking about making a mod (with legal resources) and selling it, then there is still the problem of licensing the engine. If you don't license the engine and then sell mods using it, you can run into trouble.

Old Post 01-16-02 21:25 #
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Lizardcommando
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Isn't selling a TC/Mod made with someone else's copyrighted stuff illegal?


Um...use common sense, selling SOMEONE ELSE'S COPYRIGHTED STUFF would and IS illegal


I already knew that, I meant to say that if the creator/s of the Generations Mod knew it was illegal, why did they do it? They did have their Q2 version of Generations shutdown, so wouldn't that guy have learned his or her lesson by now?

Old Post 01-18-02 05:44 #
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The_Doom_God
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First off, the generations project is NOT DEAD.
www.planetquake.com/wirehead/generations
Second IT IS ILLEGIAL TO SELL YOUR MOD! READ THE ID EULA!
And, I don't give shit if Doomm is 8 years old. It is still illegial, and id will bust you guys. Said simple, ok? Only reason why got off clean is becuase I HAD PERMISSION! THAT'S SOMETHING YOU DONT SEE EVERYDAY!

Old Post 01-19-02 05:30 #
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deathz0r
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The Doom Gods team is a commited team, known to deliver 110% kickass mods.
false advertising, no?

Old Post 01-19-02 10:15 #
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Lizardcommando
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The quake2 generations project is still alive? I thought it was only the Quake3 one that's still alive.

Old Post 01-19-02 22:27 #
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deathz0r
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*shudder*

Old Post 01-20-02 00:05 #
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deathz0r
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Only reason why got off clean is becuase I HAD PERMISSION! THAT'S SOMETHING YOU DONT SEE EVERYDAY!
you have proof?

Old Post 01-20-02 00:06 #
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The_Doom_God
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No. Leemon has learned his lesson by asking id software earlier in advance. They accepted, and look where they are now?!
Everyone who wants to see their Generations Arena project for Quake III Arena go here:
www.planetquake.com/wirehead/generations
The project is still up and kicking. After 1 year of working on it, they released a beta. and it rocks. And dont make me get Leemon and bring him here because he will tear you up...
:)

Old Post 01-20-02 16:27 #
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The_Doom_God
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Look, the Quake II Generations project has been dead for a LONG time, but one that has sprung up, in contrast to the original Quake II Generations, is SOG. SOG is a modificaion for Quake II that did everything Generations did: except legally. You can find the SOG (Some old games, Son of Generations, etc) at:
www.planetquake.com/sog
Enjoy.

Old Post 01-20-02 16:29 #
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deathz0r
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No.
Then I do not believe you have permission from Capcom and ID.

Old Post 01-21-02 00:56 #
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NiGHTMARE
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Why the heck would ID care if you made, say, a Resident Evil or Aliens mod for Doom? It's not their copyrights being infringed.

Even if they did, bare in mind that they're a small company, so they're rather unlikely to be carefully monitoring the Doom community when they've also got the Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3 and RTCW communities to worry about, not to mention the fact that they're working on a game and acting as advisors for at least two others.

Old Post 01-23-02 20:11 #
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Lizardcommando
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Look, the Quake II Generations project has been dead for a LONG time, but one that has sprung up, in contrast to the original Quake II Generations, is SOG. SOG is a modificaion for Quake II that did everything Generations did: except legally. You can find the SOG (Some old games, Son of Generations, etc) at:
www.planetquake.com/sog
Enjoy.


Oh... Ok, I'll shut up.... for now...

Old Post 01-26-02 01:55 #
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