Not sure if this is good or bad (Sgt Mark Patreon in question)

Congrats to Mark! Very nice news.

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5 hours ago, Phade102 said:

The difference is Nevander, that Bethesda own the RIGHTS to those games. sgtmark doesnt own the rights to doom.

But he isn't selling Doom. He would be selling a mod FOR Doom. Very different IMO.

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For people to play a mod that uses Doom assets they need to buy Doom from Bethesda in the first place. So they are already getting their fair cut of money. Imho, it's just plain greed when companies pretend to get extra money out of the modders for a game they already got paid for.

 

I'm happy Brutal Doom is still alive, kicking and tearing.

Though I gotta say a "Brutal Freedoom" mod would be cool, the Freedoom project could certainly do with more help and that's a game that would truly belong to the community and not be simply someone's IP.

Edited by Ferk
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Reminds me about last year controversy about the C&D Doom Roguelike received, were everyone was fearing for the worst, and a simple name change to DRL solved things.

 

Guess that even tough the whole thing was something simple, when Bethesda or Zenimax tease legal action, it's enough to gets everyone nervous, glad things didn't escalated more

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A "right" is a nebulous entity. Philosophically speaking, it only has meaning if it is recognized by free people and legal entities. There's also some haziness because most of us mod for Doom as it was published by GT Interactive, not Bethesda.

 

While BD iirc was like 90% copyrighted material and probably has a legal argument against it, I'm weirded out by the action taken by Bethesda here. They don't care if Mark IV makes money off it (out of respect? since they pulled much inspiration out of BD for doom4), but they DO care about the PERCEIVED IMAGE of modders making money off mods, by having him change some language on a donation site. This does worry me, especially because Mark IV apparently agreed to the censorship and therefore awarding them this potential "right".

 

Further, the sentiment on Bethesda's end from this censorship request is "modders making money = bad". A lot of modding in this community is 100% original work, with tools made by other original coders. It's not like we are making knock-off products (the word "mod" unfortunately feeds into this perception)... it's more like, Peter Jackson trying to shut someone down because they made an original fantasy movie but used the cameras from The Lord of the Rings to film it.

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So it's pretty much the same.

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Legally it's an important but small change. glad to see this is going well.

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2 hours ago, Linguica said:

Old: "Sgt_Mark_IV is creating Doom Mods, Youtube Videos."

New: "Sgt_Mark_IV is creating Youtube videos and Doom Stuff"

 

Old: "My goal is making Doom mods my actual job, being able to quit any other job, and working on mods in a professional scale, at least 6 hours a day, Monday to Friday. This would greatly amp up my production rate, and make all ideas I have on paper to become real in a much shorter period of time."

New: "I have created this Patreon to maintain my youtube channel, where I showcase and document the mods I develop."

Will Youtube ever come after Patreoners / Patreon for constantly refering to "Youtube" rather than "making videos."

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1 hour ago, dmg_64 said:

So it's pretty much the same.

not really. the old one explicitly mentions that the reason he made the Patreon is to be able to live off of Doom modding as if it were his job. now, it says the Patreon's goal is to maintain his Youtube channel, where he showcases and documents the mods he makes; there's no mention of what game the mods are for, and it doesn't say that the Patreon is for making Doom mods, even though it still obviously is made for that purpose. it's made purposefully vaguer for reasons only Bethesda could answer.

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2 hours ago, Vorpal said:

censorship

that word doesn't mean what you think it means

 

13 minutes ago, Viscra Maelstrom said:

it's made purposefully vaguer for reasons only Bethesda could answer.

Probably for the same reason as the DoomRL case. Removes the implication SMIV's making money off of creations that make use of Zenimax's property and assets without permission, and shoves it into an area that's far more snug into the area of Fair Use. Likely sealss a potential hole in their copywrite for people to get away with using Zenimax assets in a way that isn't explicitly commercial but they still blatantly make a profit off of it anyway.

Edited by Arctangent
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1 hour ago, Viscra Maelstrom said:

it's made purposefully vaguer for reasons only Bethesda could answer.

This is what I don't understand. What is Bethesda's game here? What is it about that Patreon they found objectionable, that making this tiny semantic change solves? This is the sort of dumb hair-splitting that people usually do to futilely try and avoid having a company come down on them, not something that the company itself suggests / demands.

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They get to dampen the public's awareness that mods can generate revenue, but in a way that does not destroy a popular project that people at id are fond of.

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If Sarge isn't looking to enrich himself from the Doom IP, the Patreon only exists to minimize development time between project releases. If the problem is the money he's getting from Patreon (if not now, then eventually), there's no reason I'm aware of why he couldn't continue his work on a casual basis and keep his day job.

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I would have just sold Brutal Doom to Bethesda. 

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1 hour ago, 40oz said:

I would have just sold Brutal Doom to Bethesda. 

 

As much as I don't like it I still would not do that.

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This Star Fox fan project was originally called "Star Fox: The Animated Series", and the creator had a Patreon that wasn't really hiding the fact that it was for the fan project. Nintendo surprisingly only required that he change the name and give a different stated reason for the Patreon. So similar things have happened in the recent past.

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3 hours ago, Linguica said:

This is what I don't understand. What is Bethesda's game here? What is it about that Patreon they found objectionable, that making this tiny semantic change solves? This is the sort of dumb hair-splitting that people usually do to futilely try and avoid having a company come down on them, not something that the company itself suggests / demands.

My guess is that in general they're not comfortable with people making money off their games. If this becomes a trend (people setting up Patreons, raising money and getting paid for making Doom mods) then maybe they feel like they have to start cracking down on it and defending their IP.

 

On the flip side, Brutal Doom is probably the most popular, well-known Doom mod at this stage. Sending him a C&D would simultaneously be high profile in a way that looks bad for them (big company bullies small developer of popular mod), and deprive them of something that is great source of free advertising for their games. So it's in their interests to seek a mutually amicable solution - ie. "can you reword your Patreon so that other people don't start copying what you're doing"

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3 hours ago, Linguica said:

This is what I don't understand. What is Bethesda's game here? What is it about that Patreon they found objectionable, that making this tiny semantic change solves?

My guess would be legal teams for a huge corporation hearing a tiny comment and making a storm in a cup of water. Then they make Mark do that little change, pat each other on the back, get to show to their bosses that they 1- took down a risk to the profits of the corporation and 2- Made some buzz so people won't try that shit again.

 

Besides, I'm not a lawyer but BD's sprites are so edited, Mark has a good chance at getting a fair use verdict. Yes, they're the same characters and sprites at first, but the transformative nature is all over the project.

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22 minutes ago, Albertoni said:

Besides, I'm not a lawyer but BD's sprites are so edited, Mark has a good chance at getting a fair use verdict. Yes, they're the same characters and sprites at first, but the transformative nature is all over the project.

Indeed you aren't, and you also don't seem to be reading the thread either. It had nothing to do with art assets, but claiming on his Patreon page that he was getting paid to make Doom mods, which isn't allowed.

Edited by Edward850
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INAL, but there's no way in hell Brutal Doom, as a hypothetical stand-alone game, skirts by on fair-use if challenged. Previous cases do not back up it being near transformative enough. To say nothing of the fact that, despite additions, it lifts both visual and gameplay elements wholesale. Mark did not make the Pinky sprite. He did not design or program all the enemy behaviors and mechanics the game retains.

 

People vaaaastly underestimate the reasonable requirements for a piece of "transformative" media, especially one without commentary on the original. It's an important caveat for copyright law to include, but it's not carte blanche to start lifting other people's work and incorporating it into your own commercial or freely distributed product.

 

Of course that wasn't the situation here. Just responding to the comment above. (Edit: Now two above.)

Edited by Cipher
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21 hours ago, fraggle said:

You honestly can't imagine Bethesda deciding that an easy revenue stream is to forcibly monetize and demand a cut of any Youtube videos showing Doom gameplay? I'm almost surprised they haven't done it already.

I can imagine that, definitely.  I don't think their tactics in getting a foothold in the money stream is going to be as blunt as legal whack-a-mole.  The Youtube channels, user commentary, mods and everything else become part of the larger experience. They know user created content drives desirability of the product and sustains popularity. It's not the users that are sitting on a mountain of gold for this,  it's the channels in which the content is hosted.  If they hold everyone, including content creators, to a standard in which their intellectual property can be monetized, it would be in Zenimax's better interests to allow user content to flourish and then press the hosting sites for compensation.

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6 hours ago, Linguica said:

This is what I don't understand. What is Bethesda's game here? What is it about that Patreon they found objectionable, that making this tiny semantic change solves? This is the sort of dumb hair-splitting that people usually do to futilely try and avoid having a company come down on them, not something that the company itself suggests / demands.

Lawyers have to do their job. Letting things slide might not seem like they're doing their job. Maybe their investors care?

 

I think it was you Ling who posted a comment directing to a a website with all the lawsuits against movies that use the word "doom" in mere dialog. iD and or Bethesda went after those movies for saying "stick of doom" or "doom laser" or something like that.

Edited by geo
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2 hours ago, Cipher said:

People vaaaastly underestimate the reasonable requirements for a piece of "transformative" media, especially one without commentary on the original. It's an important caveat for copyright law to include, but it's not carte blanche to start lifting other people's work and incorporating it into your own commercial or freely distributed product.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cariou_v._Prince  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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5 hours ago, Gez said:

Yeah, I know what fair use is. There's plenty of precedent within the world of photographic and musical media. While subjective, the successful arguments are ones that make the case the second piece could not be construed as a substitution of the original. And that's largely what it boils down to: what are they taking, how much are they taking, what are they doing with it, and what's the intent?

 

None of that applies to just taking code and sprite work and keeping it in the game to the extent a non-mod Brutal Doom would. The world of programming is also more notoriously strict on copyright than the art one, which honestly seems reasonable, as it's less subjective.

Edited by Cipher

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Maybe it's only me, but that first message on the screenshot submitted by FantasmeDel'Esprit54...

 

Spoiler

sgtmark2.PNG

 

... feels intriguing and disturbing at the same time. Sure, he claimed long time ago that his money goes to everyday expenses, but I wasn't aware he also restrains himself from looking for a real job because of this.

Also, I thought for the first second it is a fake that Bethesda made him change only the description in Patreon. Is it possible for Sgt. Mark IV to get away with that situation easily? Maybe Bethesda isn't aware of ways how assets are modified in Brutal Doom?

BTW, even if he had got a C&D letter or similar action, I don't think they would have gone to the next level and "attacked" Doomworld. Bethesda is not Nintendo that ruins fan creations because of absurd reasons.

Edited by Michael92

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Honestly, if I was Bethesda, I probably would have asked the same thing of him.

 

Bethesda have always been fine with mods to their games on the condition they remain strictly not-for-profit. If there is profit to be made, they want in.

 

Sgt. Mark's original Patreon description was blatantly "I want to make money from my mod!". If they'd let him get away with that, it sets a precedent that they're happy with it.

 

Now though, they can argue he is no longer making money specifically from his mod, so their stance is retained. It's semantics, but if I was Bethesda, I would have done the same.

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He wants to make money from his doom mod that is called Brutal what? DOOM. When's the last time you saw one of those Brutal McDonald's fast food restaurants? He should consider himself lucky. I think this is actually a positive thing in that all it took was a simple re-wording of his blatant patreon description for the suits to be satisfied.

btw, what's brutal doom?

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On 5-10-2017 at 3:32 AM, fraggle said:

By the way, this is part of why I've put so much effort into Freedoom over the years and tried to organise people to build a foundation for ourselves that we, the Doom community, collectively control, so our artistic endeavours aren't subject to the whims of a corporation that can shut down all the things we love doing.
 

 

I always saw the fact that WADs and source ports required a full doom(2).wad to run as a kind of "shield".  Sure, you just distributed recolored / frankensteined id Software-owned spritework with your level, but since your level would not be playable by anybody who did not have that artwork already you could imagine being somehow exempt from accusations of copyright infringement or from being slapped with a C&D by id Software. You were not distributing modified artwork to peeps who did not already have the originals it was based on.

 

But now, peeps are distributing stand-alone projects that do not require a copy of doom(2).wad to run, but often still contain modified doom(2).wad artwork and/or are running with the name "doom".  And I think that is potentially a dangerous development.

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47 minutes ago, Mordeth said:

But now, peeps are distributing stand-alone projects that do not require a copy of doom(2).wad to run, but often still contain modified doom(2).wad artwork and/or are running with the name "doom".  And I think that is potentially a dangerous development.

I agree. That's might be problematic.

 

IMO it's only a real problem if the complete sprite set for a monster is included. If only some modified frames are provided and at least some of the original sprites are necessary, the wad will look really weird without the original doom2.wad – so I would argue that it still cannot be used with just Freedoom, although it is technically possible.

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