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myk

Old Commercial PWADs

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The following quote is from:

http://www.doomworld.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9802

(a thread unfortunately closed by a mod for some legal reason not related with the interesting discussion taking place, which makes communication harder than it already is)

NiGHTMARE said:

Both these two wads were being sold YEARS before the Collector's Edition came into existence, so quite obviously they used a different version of the Doom license.


That fact hardly changes things, and only means addons themselves were in a grey area bordering on the illegal, if not illegal outright according to the license as held by id/GT Interactive back then. My point was asking (and wondering) if this "company" (more like a bunch of kids that decided to sell a couple of megawads) had any right to sell these and if they ever contacted id.

The WADs are by Wraith Corporation, not Wizard Works, BTW.

The WADs aren't bad, they have some nifty ideas although they are a bit "amateurish" in look. It's a pity their "commercial" status should make the higher levels unavailale to almost everyone (but Fredrik), since Wraith Corporation (the name is funny, "corporation" makes it sound grand, but "wraith" means ghost, which isn't very substantial) is no more.

It would be cool if someone could contact one of the authors, they would possibly do like Banjo did with Hacx*. They can't have completely forgotten the time they spent making them (for whom?). I would also think about contacting id about the validity and status of past "commercial" PWADs in general but I believe they wouldn't answer (I've sent for info about such legal stuff in the past, to receive no answer... I recall asking why the source at idstuff is not open source.)

* Not that we will die if they didn't, but it wouldn't hurt.

*Warning* DO NOT POST any WAREZ or ABANDONWARE requests in this thread, it will only force a diligent mod to close it and cause us further annoyance, so please do not do it, thanks! *Warning*

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the Mustaines helped make the Master levels.
idsoftware has always let people buy licensing rights for their name or their game engines.
I doubt Wraith (or whoever) made any money off their Doom releases. :(
I cannot speak for H2P, but PGate is fantastic. The full game is much better than the demo.
HACX always bewildered me.

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myk: not much response to your post. I imagine this is because what you're saying is not too controversial. It would indeed be great if these old pwads were made freely available by their creators, with the agreement and blessing of all and any interested parties.

Possibly all that is needed is someone to contact the creators of these pwads (if they can be tracked down) and ask them. They might just have assumed that no one in interested in their wads any more. Is anyone willing to do the fair bit of tedious e-mailing and web searching that is needed? myk??

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Grazza, yeah, I would do something... most likely when I get to play through the shareware WADs; I'll feel more inclined to find them then. I can't but think that they would make the WADs available were they contacted. Did you check them out? I peeked at Hell2pay and it seemed interesting... I'll repost here if I do anything about them any time soon, else I'll let you know.

My post meant that add-ons had been in a kind of legal void; indeed id was never harsh to mod-makers, on the contrary. But if you think about it it wasn't clear what the status of these projects was. But I'm not one to disrespect the "Wraith Corporation" team any more than any other WAD-making team, it's just that I don't really think "legal" (or monetary) matters come into play here much. It more to do with mutual respect between people that modify (and play) games for fun.

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myk said:

The WADs are by Wraith Corporation, not Wizard Works, BTW.

I never said they were by Wizard Works. Wizard Works published them.

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myk said:

Did you check them out? I peeked at Hell2pay and it seemed interesting... I'll repost here if I do anything about them any time soon, else I'll let you know.

I played the 11-level "Limited Edition" of Perdition's Gate a year or two ago. I thought it was OK but nothing too special (I found the other Perdition's Gate much more memorable). I haven't tried Hell2Pay yet.

myk said:

My post meant that add-ons had been in a kind of legal void; indeed id was never harsh to mod-makers, on the contrary. But if you think about it it wasn't clear what the status of these projects was.

Without knowing the details, one can't say for sure. The fact that the Wraith Corporation pwads were published by a different company from the one that created them might introduce a further complication. [In traditional publishing, an author might be perfectly happy for an out-of-print book to become freely available (e.g. online), but if the publisher doesn't agree, and rights haven't formally reverted to the author, then this can't be done.]

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NiGHTMARE said:

BTW, aren't we assuming that Wraith and/or Wizard Works didn't get ID's permission to commercially sell their wads?

Well I'm not assuming that, but I don't know for certain either way. That's the reason for my hedging waffle like "all and any interested parties". The Hell2Pay text file makes no specific mention of this, but does include the words "All trademarks, registered trademarks, and copyrights are the property of their respective owners and are implicitly acknowledged.", which is hardly the sort of thing they'd say if they had a cavalier attitude to copyrights and permissions. Anyway, I think third parties (i.e. us!) ought to give them the benefit of any doubt there might be.

Hell2Pay looks interesting and a bit weird - it reminds me of HacX to some extent.

The Doom 1.666 License Agreement and Data Utility License (as linked to by NiGHTMARE) seem a bit unclear on whether they cater for commercial megawads (as opposed to just editing utilities), but the gist of it seems to be that they were intended to be included. "[Making] your own maps" comes under "Permitted Derivative Works", which is claimed to be what is covered by the Data Utility License. However, the Data Utility License itself only refers explicitly to "a software utility ... that manipulates data from the registered version [of Doom]". The omission might have been accidental or it might have been deliberate.

NB: please don't take this as a "legal opinion" - I'm a publisher, not a lawyer, and I haven't studied every word of these documents.

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kristus said:

FYI, Banjo payed ID 5000$ for the license to sell Hacx as a addon to Doom2. IIRC anyway.

Thanks - that seems to clear up one issue.

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