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Hellbent

Mappers Commons

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Hello,

A better subject could be found I'm sure for this post, but I can't think of one ATM.

After becoming disappointed on map04 of BF_THUD!.wad despite so much mapping talent and promise by the author, I had the idea that it would be really fun and worthwhile to revamp the entire wad for improved gameplay with certain guiding principles. What those guiding principles would be could be up to discussion. Certainly adhering to classic doom 1 things would be a safe bet to make these maps flow much better.

Now, of course the text file says "MAY NOT" mess with the file. In the real world, copyrighted works become common domain after a certain amount of time (I think it's like 75 years). But the thing about Doom (and this was discussed heatedly in another thread so maybe I am a bad person for even making this post) ..the thing about Doom is the authors move on to other things in life and forget all about doom and their mods they made, but of course their email addresses are no longer valid. There is no way to contact them anymore to get permission to modify their maps. I assume this is the case for the author of BF_THUD! and yet I'd be willing to bet at this point in time the author wouldn't mind if by some fluke he should ever know. I'm certainly fine having whatever copyrights I had on Greenwar.wad be expired at this point, even though the wad may not even be 'abandonware' at this point. I think common sense needs to be exercised. Very popular maps that are still widely played like AV, HR, Scythe etc, it makes sense to continue to honor the copyright permissions in the text file (obviously no one would suggest revamping these wads). But wads that are essentially long since forgotten like BF_THUD! it seems like it would be okay to modify them.

Copyrights serve a purpose while a wad is active. When a wad has done its service--has by and large become forgotten, the copyrights no longer seem relevant.

Before asking what your opinion is on how Doom copyrights should be handled when a wad fades from collective consciousness, I would like to first wait for the green light from a moderator for this thread to go ahead.

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I think your best bet is to make a brand new WAD inspired by the short levels and gimmicky concepts of BF_THUD! Rather than modifying it against the authors consent.

There's really not that much source material to work from anyway, especially if you're intending to update the gameplay. Plus infringing the authors explicit wishes is a thorny issue regardless of whatever assumptions you're making due to the age of the release.

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You could always do this as a binary diff, with xdelta or something similar.

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i had thought about a similar idea where people remake their least favorite Doom levels as something they actually like to play. i was thinking IWAD though. but this is a neat idea too.

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Copyrights on Doom projects aren't any different from copyrights on music or books or anything else: your work is copyrighted as soon as it's in a tangible form, and it remains copyrighted until 75 years after you die.

Of course, in a modding community like this where copyright holders don't have companies representing their rights, we rely on the honor system and community enforcement to ensure that if you don't want somebody reappropriating your work into their own project or otherwise messing with it, your work isn't used that way.

'Abandonware' as a concept has no legal grounding, and neither does this. If an author wants to put their work under a creative commons license or set an expiration date after which they're fine with people screwing around with it, that's up to them as the creator of the work, and not up to you or anyone else.

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Actually, Chris Klie is quite contactable. Earlier this year he even commented on kmxexii's review of BF Thud.

Although I do agree with your point though... if you upload it, it should be fair game. We've created maps and resources through the generoisty of id Software, so in return we should not be so pretentious as to put permissions on our work, which would never exist without their technology and blessing.

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glenzinho said:

Actually, Chris Klie is quite contactable. Earlier this year he even commented on kmxexii's review of BF Thud.

Although I do agree with your point though... if you upload it, it should be fair game. We've created maps through the generoisty of id Software, so in return we should not be so pretentious as to put permissions on our work, which never would have existed without their technology.

This doesn't really make sense because you could apply it to very nearly anything that has ever been created. Every work depends on some previous work, whether it be a computer game, a piece of recording software, the personal computer...

It's only "pretentious" to assume anyone ever has an obligation to allow you to take their work and use it for your own purposes.

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esselfortium said:

Every work depends on some previous work, whether it be a computer game, a piece of recording software, the personal computer...


Bingo, you said it. Who has the right to copyright anything then?
Copyright's all about money, isn't it? If you're not copyrighting something for money then what are you copyrighting it for? Ego?

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ella guro said:

i had thought about a similar idea where people remake their least favorite Doom levels as something they actually like to play. i was thinking IWAD though. but this is a neat idea too.

I love this idea. Right up my ally. Why not start a new thread and see if there is any interest? For me I would pick e4m4.

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glenzinho said:

Bingo, you said it. Who has the right to copyright anything then?
Copyright's all about money, isn't it? If you're not copyrighting something for money then what are you copyrighting it for? Ego?

You misunderstand. You don't "copyright" something. As soon as you create it, you already own its copyright.

It doesn't really matter what you think of an author's rationale for disallowing you from modifying and redistributing their work, because that right is inherent to them unless they specifically choose to give it up.

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glenzinho said:

Bingo, you said it. Who has the right to copyright anything then?

Simple: the author of the copyrighted work. For example, if person A creates something, then person B takes that work and extends it, the copyright is shared between the two authors. The parts made by person A are the copyright of person A, the parts made by person B are the copyright of person B.

Copyright's all about money, isn't it?

No, actually. It really isn't. It's about control of the work. The author may choose to use that power to charge a fee, but it isn't necessary.

Although I do agree with your point though... if you upload it, it should be fair game. We've created maps and resources through the generoisty of id Software, so in return we should not be so pretentious as to put permissions on our work, which would never exist without their technology and blessing.

It's a noble idea that in general I agree with (except the idea of it being "pretentious" for an author to put restrictions on their work). But ultimately it's the decision of the author as to whether they want to do that, and I don't think it ought to be any other way.

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glenzinho said:

Although I do agree with your point though... if you upload it, it should be fair game. We've created maps and resources through the generoisty of id Software, so in return we should not be so pretentious as to put permissions on our work, which would never exist without their technology and blessing.

"hey, i kinda liked your map you released last week, but since i'm much better mapper than you IMO i reuploaded it to idgames with changes i made. watch out for the new 250 revenant fight at the end roflol! i think i credited you in the textfile, but sorry if i forgot."

no.

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glenzinho, let me share a story with you.

Once upon a time, Fisk made a bunch of music for free and said "all you have to do is ask. It's 100% okay to use any of it, just let me know you're using it." Fisk was not the first to do this -- there were artists, musicians, and other authors of resources in the Doom community that only wished that someone ask before using their work.

And then you came by and made a fuss about copyright.

You don't think that you should have to ask me if you use my music, for example, in your next wad? Fine. The caveat is that from now on, any music I produce is no longer allowed to be used by you, specifically, or by any other project that contains resources stolen from commercial games.

And I am well within my rights as the copyright owner of the music I produce to do exactly that.

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fraggle said:

It's a noble idea that in general I agree with (except the idea of it being "pretentious" for an author to put restrictions on their work).

Pretentious is a bit strong on my part, sorry. Just to clarify, as someone who has "created" over 30 songs/pieces of music I accept and understand what copyright is, and we are protected by APRA here in this regard, but there's a lot of stuff about copyright that gets my goat. In short my view in regards to Doom levels is the way I see Blues music: there are a lot of standards that are redone by countless artists with their own variations and personal interpretation on the original theme. Personally, I'm not about to go out and recast other peoples levels in my own vision, but if Hellbent wants to go out and revamp some of these wads he should be able to and be praised or jeered based on his efforts.

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Hellbent said:

I love this idea. Right up my ally. Why not start a new thread and see if there is any interest? For me I would pick e4m4.


looks like i will then!

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My take:

It would be nice if we could establish a shorter timeline for copyrights on things like Doom resources that are, hypothetically, 'abandonware.' It would be. But nothing like this has been established by the community that I know of, and the logistics of setting up such a system would be... just... ridiculous.

All we've got is the honour system, really. I don't believe these copyrights have any legal bite, so to speak, so you can do what you want. But as long as the honour system is all we've got, we may as well stick with it. So if someone says they don't want you copying their work, then unless you hear otherwise from them, I'd say that stands. As a point of honour.

They may have changed their mind, or they may not even care anymore, but even if all we've got to go on is their zipped txt documents; we should probably honour them. :/

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Copyright is evil, and there is no "honor" in respecting such a twisted system. Its only legitimate use is to prevent unethical alterations or copies, but being the lesser of two wrongs never made something right. If people spent less time thinking about how to protect "their" ideas and more time about how to improve these ideas, bland copypaste jobs would always end up behind the curve, and hence, wouldn't be a problem. Copyright mostly serves people who have luck over talent and crave recognition over sharing.

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Then we can do away with the term copyright and ask what BF_THUD!'s creator's wishes were, as laid out by himself. Should we respect those wishes?

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Phml said:

Copyright is evil, and there is no "honor" in respecting such a twisted system. Its only legitimate use is to prevent unethical alterations or copies, but being the lesser of two wrongs never made something right. If people spent less time thinking about how to protect "their" ideas and more time about how to improve these ideas, bland copypaste jobs would always end up behind the curve, and hence, wouldn't be a problem. Copyright mostly serves people who have luck over talent and crave recognition over sharing.

As my good friend Michael J. Hardy once wisely put it, "That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."

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esselfortium said:

As my good friend Michael J. Hardy once wisely put it, "That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."

Did he steal from HP Lovecraft as well? Correct quote BTW is “That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with stranger aeons, even Death may die.”
I wonder if he got permission to modify his work.
Then there is the even more awesome James Hetfield version from The Thing That Should Not Be:
Not dead which eternal lie
Stranger aeons, death may die

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glenzinho said:

Did he steal from HP Lovecraft as well? Correct quote BTW is “That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with stranger aeons, even Death may die.”
I wonder if he got permission to modify his work.

If this post wasn't intended to be serious at all, you have my respect, sir. Best laugh I've had all day. :P

Regarding the OP: I'm somewhat surprised that the issue of copyright even came up in the first place, since the solution seems ludicrously simple: Sure, the author doesn't want you to modify the maps, but there's nothing wrong with remaking them from scratch. Totally feasible route too, given the simplicity of the maps in question and the fact that a "total revamp" is the plan.

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With regards to BF_THUD, I'm with Purist. Klie's core values won't translate well to the average player, and once you strip out things like his use of death traps, damage floors and switches, what's left? Never mind that a fair number of levels in the package are Doom II conversions of his Doom episode (and a half), CHRISK.

If I would do anything, I'd start with Doom II's map names and then craft a Doom megaWAD around my interpretation (if you want to map for Doom).

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kmxexii said:

With regards to BF_THUD, I'm with Purist. Klie's core values won't translate well to the average player, and once you strip out things like his use of death traps, damage floors and switches, what's left?

Creative architecture and excellent scale. I'd be happy to build from scratch instead, tho.

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Hellbent said:

I love this idea. Right up my ally. Why not start a new thread and see if there is any interest? For me I would pick e4m4.


just created a thread here, for anyone interested.

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esselfortium said:

'Abandonware' as a concept has no legal grounding, and neither does this.

When will lawmakers of the world amend the issue of works fallen in "limbo" (such as Strife)? It's a real annoying problem.

glenzinho said:

Copyright's all about money, isn't it? If you're not copyrighting something for money then what are you copyrighting it for? Ego?

Copyright is also about honour. Do you really accept and not feel deceived, as a listener, when one of your favourite artists happens to be a thief, a copier? Copyright is there to protect the quality of the works. And if the authors have the ability to give permissive end-user licences if they feel nice, I don't see any problem.

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Hellbent said:

I think common sense needs to be exercised. Very popular maps that are still widely played like AV, HR, Scythe etc, it makes sense to continue to honor the copyright permissions in the text file (obviously no one would suggest revamping these wads). But wads that are essentially long since forgotten like BF_THUD! it seems like it would be okay to modify them.

Common sense dictates that you either honor the authors wishes or disregard them. Using some arbitrary measure (such as the Brandon D. Lade 3.5 star rule) to determine whether a wad's copyright should be acknowledged will only serve to bring the community into disrepute.

BTW - I noticed that a couple of authors have recently pulled a bunch of wads (some probably long forgotten) from the archive, would you like to see that become a regular occurrence?

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Pulling maps? That just sounds wrong... If someone releases a map and writes "It can be freely distributed electronically, blah blah" but years later comes back and effectively says "No you can't distribute it electronically anymore, I changed my mind.", that tells me a) they don't keep their word, and b) they think they can alter a legal contract after the fact to suit their whims. Unless of course there's more to this story and the maps weren't allowed to be distributed in the first place (thus they never belonged on /idgames).

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Isn't it well within the copyright holder's rights to deny distribution at any time?

I'm kinda ashamed of all of you here who are basically rationalising taking/modifying/stealing someone else's work without consent. It's up to the map author what happens to their work, END OF STORY.

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