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Trasher][

"TC's based on copyrighted material" legal-o-meter

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We all know how annoying it is when a promising project is "foxed" because it's based on copyrighted material, so I've decided to look at what source materials are more likely to get you "foxed", looking back at DOOM history. Feel free to add to the list.

Wolfenstein - Very Unlikely. If Las Rojas can convert the whole of full version Wolf and SoD and put it up for free download without id batting a legal eyelid, then I'm sure they wouldn't mind a few more tributes...
Aliens - Very Likely. The term isn't "foxed" for nothing.
Quake - Unlikely. id don't seem to mind if their material is ported to... their other material.
Unreal - Unknown, no-one's tried.
Duke Nukem - Quite Likely. 3D Realms are EXTREMELY vigilant about people remaking their stuff for other games, and have pulled maps and TCs offline before. They won't hesitate to do it again.
James Bond - Unlikely. The folks behind the bond movies really don't seem to care about fan tributes to their stuff.
Super Mario - Unknown. Nintendo "foxed" Mario Quake several years ago, but since then they really haven't given a crap.

Add on, folks. This could become slightly useful.

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Ct_red_pants said:

Hmmm... What about half life?


I don't think the chance is so great.


I think that one of the greatest risk factors in TC's or mods getting foxed is news coverage.

A doom TC that will probably never be covered by sources outside the Doom community is rather safe. That is the reason why we still have Aliens TC.

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I`d love to see the entire doom1 levels in some other engine (halflife engine etc).

Aliens: I`d be careful with those. Fox has cancelled aliens mods before. They brought about the cancellation of a Quake Aliens TC long ago.

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Is this just TC's (based on the games) that are affected, or are normal maps/episodes/megawads (not based on the games, but might contain a few textures/sounds from them) affected as well?

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I have the three Doom episodes as maps for Quake 2. id doesn't mind where you port their stuff, as long as you keep the direct resource rippage to a minimum. (Quake Generations, anyone?) If you reproduce everything by hand, their cool with it. (It's the philosophy behind FreeDoom, IIRC.)

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Trasher][ said:
Quake - Unlikely. id don't seem to mind if their material is ported to... their other material.

GENERATIONS

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I don't think Generations was actually foxed. The creators pulled it voluntarily when they found out they were in the legal danger zone.

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This is less of a legal-o-meter than a get-away-with-it-o-meter. You're always on dodgy ground legally if you use someone else's copyright material in a way for which you don't have specific permission.

UD: I'd imagine that what would bother the companies most (and thus lead to a "Foxing") are projects that might potentially damage the prospects of some new commercial product based around the material in question (even if there is no such product in the offing - the loss of the possibility still devalues their asset). On the other hand, some companies (I'm talking in general terms here, not necessarily about computer games) take the view that any breach of copyright needs to be stamped on, so as not to give the impression that more serious breaches might be tolerated.

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I remember being around when the Aliens TC for Quake was being developed... funny that it was almost finished when FOX finally decided to step in and close them down. Waiting for that moment when losing their work would hurt the most is part of the FOXed experience. :)

I should have held onto the demo... damn.

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Generations was not as much a case of idsoftware, but Activision and GT Int.
it wasn't just id's money. the Generations team had no choice.
never really explored that install yet.... I'll get around to that illegalness later. :D

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damn. thats why you get a community to do it, and when peopple find out, dont make a freakin webpage. put that shit up on edonkey or something so it can survive.

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Ct_red_pants said:

Well, I don’t see why you’d want to do it for doom, but all the matrix mods seem to remain untouched.

That's 'cuz they don't explicitly call 'em "Matrix" mods. Browse any Matrix-mod project site and you will never once find the words "Matrix," "Neo", or "Morpheus" in any "official" text.

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I don't see how TC's can get "Foxed" by companies. With file sharing systems like edonkey and bear share, there is absolutely no way to stop these files from penetrating the internet in one form or another. Look at the whole Napster fiasco with Metallica. They had this huge crusade to shut Napster down and what happens? A bunch of other sharing groups just pop into place. I didn't see Metallica taking such an active role anymore because they must have realized it's a losing (and costly) battle.

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FirebrandX, there's warez and illegal trade for all sorts of software. "Foxing" is declaring a mod illegal (when such a thing is possible) and forcing any sites about it to be taken down. That certainly does happen.

The main way that TCs get known and distributed is through stable game sites, if you take those down (or the pages referring to the TCs) you might find the mods sporadically here or there, on a forum, or kazaa or whatever, but in general you won't find them. Many people won't look into illegal places for a TC (and many won't want to, as well.)

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FirebrandX said:

I didn't see Metallica taking such an active role anymore because they must have realized it's a losing (and costly) battle.

Or maybe they feel they have made their point, viz. (and I am speculating here) that if major financial backing is put into sites that enable users to "share" copyright material, then the backers risk getting their fingers badly burnt by a lawsuit.

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Well I think Metallica stopped cause they realised they`d actually caused the opposite of what they were trying to do. In an attempt to stop file-sharing they actually popularised it far more than it had been before, and so it grew ten-fold, with far far better file-sharing programs coming in napsters place.

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Dragon Ball Z - Bid For Power was originally a DBZ mod, but now they use completely different characters.

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You can add Blizzard and LucasArts to the list of games companies that don't like fan-made projects that use their copyrighted material - a Starcraft MOD for Half-life was shut down by Blizzard, and several dozen unofficial LucasArts spin-offs have been given "cease and desist" orders.

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The truth is companies don't pay attention to DOOM TCs. Recently there's been both Star Wars and Half-life TCs for DOOM and no one said anything.

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