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Blastfrog

Legal status of Strife?

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Something I've been wondering about, what is the legal status of Strife, seeing as both it's producer and publisher have went under? I am asking out of both curiosity, and the fact that I want to use some resources from it in a project that contains free resources.

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Clonehunter said:

You see my post in that Rage thread? :P

Actually, yes. :P I posted it here to avoid derailing the Rage thread.

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Clonehunter said:

You see my post in that Rage thread? :P

No link? We're lazier than you give us credit for. ;)


And no, Strife's resources are technically not legal to use freely. Some company still holds the rights to the game, and it hasn't been released as freeware.

You could always operate under the "they won't care" clause, but that's a tricky slope to navigate and not one I'd recommend if you're doing something that's intended to run stand-alone.

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Xaser said:

Some company still holds the rights to the game


But who? The producer and publisher are both gone.

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iD Software? John Romero?

Xaser said:

No link? We're lazier than you give us credit for. ;)


I'm the lazy one actually :P

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Sodaholic said:

But who? The producer and publisher are both gone.

If a company goes defunct their assets are usually sold to pay the creditors. So most likely someone still holds the rights to it.

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IIRC, a former Rogue developer, when queried on the subject of the rights for the Strife executable, basically responded with "I dunno, I guess it reverted to id software".

I don't think the same could be said of the resources, even though several sprites were blatantly traced from Doom's. On the music side, the composer is dead but you could try contacting his widow.

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There are more tactful ways to ask. :p

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I guess we just have to wait 20 years after the last author has died. The joys of bureaucracy and copyright laws.

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It's 70 years after author death for personal works.

But for corporate authorship, it's the lesser of 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication. Strife having been published in 1996, it'll be public domain in 2091.

But don't worry, before that happen, there will be a new Mickey Mouse Protection Act to add 20 more years to copyright duration. Anything younger than Steamboat Willie will never stop being copyrighted.

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There are ways to get around this: learn and create your own assets :P

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Gez said:

But don't worry, before that happen, there will be a new Mickey Mouse Protection Act to add 20 more years to copyright duration. Anything younger than Steamboat Willie will never stop being copyrighted.

With the way everything has abruptly turned to "give corporations whatever they want no matter the cost" in the last 2 years, I fully expect that the next copyright act in the US will make the term limitation eternal.

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You should have elected McCain, then. I'm sure he would have stood up to those dirty corporations!

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Quasar said:

the next copyright act in the US will make the term limitation eternal.

It must be finite technically AFAIK.

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Gez said:

even though several sprites were blatantly traced from Doom's.


It's interesting that lot's of games that used ID's pre polygon engines used a few graphics from Doom or Wolf3D:

Heretic: Blood splats and smoke puffs from Doom.
HeXen: Ditto
Corridor 7 Alien Invasion: The player death sprites are Wolf3D's brown guard recoloured. One of the Deathmatch maps is also a copy of E1M1 from Doom1.
Operation Body Count: The galil wielding terrorists death sprites are Doom's zombies recoloured. All of Wolf3D's sound effects are also in the game files.
Spear of Destiny The Ultimate Challenge: The final level features several Doom computer textures and crates complete with UAC logo.

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fraggle said:

You should have elected McCain, then. I'm sure he would have stood up to those dirty corporations!

The president has not that much to do with it. The Republican house and the corrupt Supreme Court on the other hand, very much to do with it. Not that I am suggesting EITHER party stands for the people or has any better track record resisting the current copyright regime, though.

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Gez said:

It's 70 years after author death for personal works.

But for corporate authorship, it's the lesser of 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication. Strife having been published in 1996, it'll be public domain in 2091.

But don't worry, before that happen, there will be a new Mickey Mouse Protection Act to add 20 more years to copyright duration. Anything younger than Steamboat Willie will never stop being copyrighted.

Better get cracking on those immortality augmentations, then.

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tempun said:

It must be finite technically AFAIK.

How about "until the Sun become a white dwarf"? That's finite.

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GreyGhost said:

How about "until the Sun become a white dwarf"? That's finite.

That's why I said "technically".

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Delightful quote on Wikipedia:

Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution. ... As you know, there is also [then-MPAA president] Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress.

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GreyGhost said:

How about "until the Sun become a white dwarf"? That's finite.

That would make all copyrights expire even once the Terran Empire has expanded to conquer neighboring solar systems and enslave their populations/drain their natural resources.

Why should we leave such a burden to the future when we can ensure now that the tyranny of copyright can reach to the stars and beyond by defining the term limit as "just before the heat death of the universe"?

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In the future we will be able to live longer so copyrights will have to follow suit. If you think you have any right to decide how long MY stuff can be MY stuff, please go have a miserable death and send me the pictures.

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Porsche Monty said:

If you think you have any right to decide how long MY stuff can be MY stuff, please go have a

Good point. Copyrights are there to help and protect people. Sure, corporations sometimes take the rights from the actual people, but corporations can do lots of things anyway.

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fraggle said:

Er, no. Copyright terms are scheduled so that they end a certain number of years the date of death of the author. Under the Berne convention that's 50 years minimum, some countries extend it (in the US it's 70). So unless you die and are brought back to life 70 years after your death you have nothing to worry about.


That's not quite the whole story. Say we managed to extend our life span by 500 years. The children of the copyright holders would have a lot less time to cash on their parents' work with only 70 years.

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Porsche Monty said:

In the future we will be able to live longer so copyrights will have to follow suit. If you think you have any right to decide how long MY stuff can be MY stuff, please go have a miserable death and send me the pictures.

Er, no. Copyright terms are scheduled so that they end a certain number of years the date of death of the author. Under the Berne convention that's 50 years minimum, some countries extend it (in the US it's 70). So unless you die and are brought back to life 70 years after your death you have nothing to worry about.

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Porsche Monty said:
If you think you have any right to decide how long MY stuff can be MY stuff, please go have a miserable death and send me the pictures.

You can keep YOUR stuff to yourself as long as you want. But the minute you make it public, it becomes OUR stuff, so you play by OUR rules.

(And by "stuff" it's assumed we're all referring to intellectual property and not real stuff.)

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