What's the legality of using iwad music when you don't own the iwad?

It happens all the time obviously and I imagine nobody cares like they would with a commercial mp3 being in the wad.  But technically, is it against the rules?

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Against what rules?

 

Against international copyright law? yes.


Against /idgames policy for uploading? not sure.

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Doubt it's allowed to provide the music from the IWADs in a custom mod instead of relying on the user owning the games files, if that's what you mean.

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33 minutes ago, Agent6 said:

Doubt it's allowed to provide the music from the IWADs in a custom mod instead of relying on the user owning the games files, if that's what you mean.

Yep.  Also what about the legality of zdoom using the quake "found secret" sound?

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3 hours ago, invictius said:

Yep.  Also what about the legality of zdoom using the quake "found secret" sound?

It doesn't.

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MIDI files seem to be distributed pretty freely. I've never heard about any sort of copyrights on a MIDI composition. Doomworld even had the individual midi files available for download here on this site. I can't find it at the moment, but it was definitely there. We also have confirmation that many of idsoftware's employee's have been here on this site before and never mentioned it. 

 

There's a link to a zip file containing all of Doom and Doom 2's midi files on doom2.net. 

 

I think people take MP3's and other formats of music a bit more seriously than midi. 

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49 minutes ago, Shadow Hog said:

It doesn't.

Where's it from?  I recall a certain 90's game using it, but maybe not.

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50 minutes ago, invictius said:

Where's it from?  I recall a certain 90's game using it, but maybe not.

It's from Hexen, or at least very similar to one of the sounds in Hexen.

Edited by Megalyth

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That's an even greyer area than the IWAD sprites or other resources. My guess is that it's sort of OK as long as you don't cross IWAD boundaries (e.g. making Doom II stuff available in Doom, or vice versa) or distribute them in a way that still requires a full IWAD to use. Just like with other resources, really.

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I asked the same question about MIDIs once, and the general consensus is that even though they are technically copyrighted music and should not be distributed freely, in practice they might as well not be.  Just don't try to make money of using any MIDIs you didn't write, and you'll probably be fine.

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10 minutes ago, Bauul said:

Just don't try to make money of using any MIDIs you didn't write, and you'll probably be fine.

Funnily, that's exactly what many "added value multimedia services" did back in the MIDI ringtone era in the 2000s, where you paid good money for them (if you were too lazy to find a free MIDIs page, that is, and were willing to risk subscribing to some SMS scam). I bet most of those companies didn't have any sort of official distribution permission or exclusivity: they were literally selling stuff they downloaded off the Internet for $1 or more a pop.

 

The fact that even during a period where some people had a vested interest in making sure you DIDN'T download them for free from anywhere else, didn't result in any high-profile, Napster-like cases, should tell you how lax enforcement was -if any was applicable, that is.

Edited by Maes
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Amusingly enough I heard most if not all of Doom 1's episode 2 and 3 music tracks in The Twilight Zone (Doom II PWAD) before I even owned Doom 1.

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Though it technically violates copyright, id probably doesn't care too much. There are a myriad of Doom videos that show off the music in full that have yet to have any kind of copyright action taken against them. Probably because most games live or die based on their gameplay so the music is going to be very low priority.

Edited by MetroidJunkie

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14 hours ago, MetroidJunkie said:

Though it probably technically violates copyright, id probably doesn't care too much. There are a myriad of Doom videos that show off the music in full that have yet to have any kind of copyright action taken against them. Probably because most games live or die based on their gameplay so the music is going to be very low priority.

I guess we can thank Castle Smurfenstein (a 1983 mod to the original Castle Wolfenstein) for making DOOM much more open and moddable then their previous games?

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There's a lot of "technically", "theoretically", "probably" going on in this thread.

 

the music is unambiguously under copyright. You have no more right to redistribute it than any other portion of the IWADs.

 

Enforcement is another matter. Evidently a huge amount of redistribution goes on either under ID's radar, or they don't care, or both.

 

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3 hours ago, Jon said:

Enforcement is another matter. Evidently a huge amount of redistribution goes on either under ID's radar, or they don't care, or both.

 

Probably MIDI files were to game soundtracks what cassette was to audio formats: at first the discographic majors tried to stop home duplication/recording off the radio, but lost every court battle in that regard. Then they decided that cassette was of sufficiently low quality compared to their LP and CD releases that home taping wasn't a serious threat, nor did it hurt sales.

 

N.B., the same rationale,but with a different conclusion, was used years later for witch-hunting MP3s. Apparently those were deemed good enough to be a threat (despite what many audiophiles would tell you, heh).

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Well, it's like video footage of their games. You can say it violates copyright and it'd be hard to argue against it but most video game companies don't care enough to enforce it. One of the few I've seen enforce that kind of thing is Nintendo.

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