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    ZDaemon Contest


    Bloodshedder

    Following up on the semi-recent release of ZDaemon 1.04, the folks at zdaemon.org have announced a map building contest: The aim is to create a shareware-compatible deathmatch map by April 28th. The winner will get their wad bundled in the ZDaemon starter kit and have their level played on TV on the Screensaver's LAN party. More contest details are available here, and thanks to [999cop] for alerting me to this over IRC.

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    Eh? Shareware-compatible PWAD? Now you can see how ignorant people start abusing a game as it gets old...

    Actually, it's also a stupid idea, since zdaemon will not allow the -file parameter along with the shareware IWAD, and with good reason. The only possible and reasonable alternative the zdaemon team has to this unacceptable contest is to contribute to the freedoom project to complete the shareware IWAD that goes with it. Thus there would be a legal way to play DM for free.

    In short, using a PWAD with the shareware IWAD is explicitly disallowed by id Software.

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    That's what I thought. And if you'll read more carefully:

    ZDaemon 1.04 has the "no -file with shareware" error message taken out.

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    If you do not want to participate in the contest, then you do not have too. No one is forcing you too.

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    Please, someone explain to my why this isn't legal. If memory serves, this is the whole reason why the source code was released. If something like removing yet amother limitation is illegal then I doubt that Carmack would have even released the source code.

    Please, if you can find something in the GPL or in Carmacks notes that state that something in this nature is illegal, I'm sure willing to read it.

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    Night-Fang said:

    Please, someone explain to my why this isn't legal. If memory serves, this is the whole reason why the source code was released. If something like removing yet amother limitation is illegal then I doubt that Carmack would have even released the source code.

    Please, if you can find something in the GPL or in Carmacks notes that state that something in this nature is illegal, I'm sure willing to read it.

    personally i think it would be legal, i kind of assumed with the source released GPL, people could do anything with their source ports aside from selling them. i see no problem in having addons for shareware, because the port is GPL and the graphics are freely distributable as well.. i don't see how this is different than freedoom's intention. it's not really different from freedoom's intention, outside of the minor differentce that freedoom uses freely distributable user-made graphics and shareware doom uses freely distributable professionally made graphics...

    Arioch said:

    Participation is neither legal nor desired. The error message was there for a reason.

    well if that error message is illegal to remove why didn't you say so when freedoom was proposed! it not only replaces ep1, but e2-4 and doom2 as well. true, it doesn't use the actual doom1 iwad, it uses it's only original iwad, but that's no more acceptable afaik.

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    It's nothing to do with GPL, and Freedoom is a different matter.

    From the README.TXT that accompanied Ultimate Doom:
    id Software respectfully requests that you do not modify the
    levels for the shareware version of DOOM. We feel that the
    distribution of new levels that work with the shareware version
    of DOOM will lessen a potential user's incentive to purchase the
    registered version.

    I'm pretty certain a similar request was made with the initial shareware release, but I don't have that to hand. This was the basis upon which id were happy to make their games so readily modifiable, and for nearly 9½ years it has been respected pretty well by the Doom community.

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    http://www.doom2.net/~mykdoom/command/README.TXT

    Read the very first paragraph. You can't make PWADs for the shareware version of DOOM. This is totally unrelated to the release of the source code, that allows engine modifications (nothing to do with what can or can't be done in respect to WAD add-ons.) You will note that all proper source code mods disallow the -file parameter with the shareware, just like zdaemon has done till v1.03.

    Freedoom's IWAD uses new materials not copyrighted by id Software, unlike the DOOM1.WAD from the shareware, so it falls outside of these copyrights. A new IWAD using these new resources can effectively be released under a copyright that allows free distribution plus lump modifications through add-ons.

    And if you ask why id requests this, it's so that if you want to use DOOM add-ons you must have a commercial version of the game (or, sooner or later, Freedoom, but then you won't be using the original id-made resources at all.)

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    myk said:

    stuff

    i dunno, that just seems stupid to me. reading that notice makes it sound like id doesn't want people to play ANY MODIFIED levels with a version of doom that isn't purchased, i don't think they care what textures you use to do it.

    i can't see how freedoom is in any less violation of that notice than this contest is, especially considering freedoom even allows players to play against monsters that act like the registered monsters. there isn't any mention of copyrighted textures being the seperating mark.

    after all, freedoom's MAIN PURPOSE is to give people an alternative to purchasing the regular game, which is exactly the reason id gives why it DOESN'T want people modifying for the shareware version in the first place.

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    OK, so the question is: why does one thing that allows people to play pwads without having bought a commercial copy of the game OK, while another is not?

    The notice makes a very specific request, and this competition invites wads that directly violate it.

    I think you're contending that Freedoom may be contrary to the spirit of id's request, even though it clearly does not violate the letter of it. Maybe; why not ask in the Freedoom forum? I'm sure this question must have cropped up before.

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    The id IWAD resources are copyright id Software and they decide what you can do with them. The source code, including the monster behavior that sargebaldy mentions, may be used and modified under the GPL (or the DOOM License.) When Carmack released it he allowed this, but in no way is the status of the copyrights over the WAD resources affected.

    Is sargebaldy stating it's up to the users to decide the "spirit" of id's copyrights according to what we think id wants, or are we going to respect those rights as they are written?

    I'm aware that the Freedoom team contacted Carmack before starting the project, and he replied to them on details of what they could do or they could not. If he would have prohibited it (with backing legal reasons) there would be no Freedoom project.

    As for the graphics, sounds, music and stuff in the id IWADs, of course they care. They are their property... a file in the IWAD format using custom resources under a GPL-like licence, on the other hand, is not their property and they do not decide what can be done with it (unless it infringes their copyrights somehow.) id makes money from its releases according to the copyrights they have over them, respecting other people's rights (such as other games, add-on maker's PWADs, source mods, and Freedoom.) On the same grounds, we respect theirs, using their products as is acceptalbe (not warezing DOOM, not making PWADs for the shareware, etc.)

    In the present case, the zdaemon team could also contact the Tech TV staff, requesting that they furnish the required DOOM or DOOM II IWADs for the tournament or whatever the event is. Otherwise, they should inform them that what is going to be aired on TV is illegal.

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    myk said:

    stuff

    i'm not trying to imply that freedoom is illegal in any way, i'm just using it as a basis for comparison. seems to me that the contest organizer should contact id as well to ask about the situation. i hardly think they would refuse if they offered acceptance to freedoom, as freedoom would certainly be more prone to damage any current sales of doom than a simple little wad using shareware doom resources. also i don't know that releasing a fully doom shareware compatible wad with the intention of running it in shareware would be illegal, as that text file says it is a request. i generally don't consider a request to mean a legal requirement.

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    I normally welcome new mapping competitions, but the decision to make levels for the shareware version is just odd. Why not use the Doom2 IWAD as a base?

    Making levels for the shareware version and the FreeDoom project cannot be compared. Id Software clearly stated that they don't want people to make levels that run on the shareware version. The -file protection is there for a reason. It's probably mentioned in the EULA as well, although I don't wanna be bothered with installing the shareware again.

    As for FreeDoom, Id Software mentioned in the readme of the Quake source code that it's possible to create a full blown new game if all the assets (textures, sounds, art) are replaced. This is exactly what FreeDoom does. Id Software knows that it's possible and approves it.

    The fact that FreeDoom duplicates the exact behaviour of the original Doom monsters is perfectly legal, because the source code that describes these behaviours is licensed under GPL.


    If the organisers of this mapping competition base their competition on the Ultimate Doom or Doom II (instead of shareware Doom), and give more time then just two weeks, then I would definitly participate.

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    Arno said:

    I normally welcome new mapping competitions, but the decision to make levels for the shareware version is just odd. Why not use the Doom2 IWAD as a base?

    Doom 2 isn't freely available on the net, but shareware Doom is.

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    Arno said:

    stuff

    the point of the project is to develop dm maps for people who only have the shareware. due to a clip on tech tv about how easy it is to download shareware doom and deathmatch with it using zdaemon, about half the people playing it now play on the shareware maps only. the purpose of the contest is to give this large amount of shareware players something new to play.

    Arno said:

    The fact that FreeDoom duplicates the exact behaviour of the original Doom monsters is perfectly legal, because the source code that describes these behaviours is licensed under GPL.

    but that argument also applies as a reason for allowing addon maps for shareware. authors have been given the right to modify anything within the code, including restrictions on what can be done with the shareware version of the software. this isn't a matter of the capabilities of the iwad, so much as the capabilities of the port.

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    All of this is over my head. Why don't we just contact ID on this and tell them what they have to say? But.THIS WILL ROCK! YOU GUYS GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!

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    So would a shareware compatible wad which only used brand new textures, sprites, sounds, etc be legal?

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    Tai said:

    All of this is over my head. Why don't we just contact ID on this and tell them what they have to say? But.THIS WILL ROCK! YOU GUYS GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!

    Because they've already made their wishes clear in the source code release readme file. Clear as glass.

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    BTW, are all these people who only play the shareware version so cheap that they won't buy a game which only costs something like $5?

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    id own the copyright on all the doom wads, that includes the shareware wad. What they do is license you the right to use the wad under certain conditions. One of those (I believe) is that you dont use the shareware wad to play addon levels/pwads.

    Freedoom is not subject to these restrictions. At the start of the freedoom project, I emailed John Carmack and asked him about the legalities of the (at the time hypothetical) freedoom project. He replied:

    You can make a completely different game using the code with our blessing,
    but if it has imps, cyber demons, BFGs, etc, then you are treading on thin ice.

    This refers to trademarks. Arguably Cyber Demons, BFGs etc are trademarks, just like Mickey Mouse is a Disney trademark. This is why the freedoom monsters are different.

    I hate to be the one to tell people this, but the reality of the business
    is that we are obligated to defend our trademarks and copyrights, so we
    can't just let things like that happen, even if they aren't perceived as a
    "threat".

    You could make and release a new DOOM wad that replaced everything with
    similary looking original art, but it would still be bound by the
    restrictions we place on community derivative work, so it wouldn't be
    "free" in the sense that the GPL'd codebase is.

    This last paragraph is incredibly doubtful. Carmack essentially claims that freedoom would not be free because of restrictions id imposes on wads. But I and almost everyone I have talked to about this agrees that in the case of freedoom they would have no legal basis to impose any such restrictions. All the freedoom work is original and not based on id material (so its free from copyright restrictions). It does not use the doom monsters (so its free from trademark problems). And there are practically no possibilities for patents.

    The only possible restriction might be if you were using freedoom in conjunction with the original doom iwads. In general, the claim that they can impose any restrictions on WADs and editors seems legally rather doubtful anyway.

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    NiGHTMARE said:

    So would a shareware compatible wad which only used brand new textures, sprites, sounds, etc be legal?


    Why would it? The resource restrictions apply to how you can use id stuff from the IWADs in add-ons, which is another matter. Take into account that the request is against distributing any add-ons that run with the shareware IWAD. It has to do with what is being offered as shareware (a limited, free bundle that excludes the possibility of expanding it with add-ons), not with any add-ons per se. The restriction is best kept up if and when source port projects are in decent hands (that don't do things like removing the -file block for when the shareware is run) and if and when designers make sure to include non-shareware things and graphics in their WADs. This has pretty much always been the case.

    When you distribute an add-on for the shareware you're messing with how the shareware works (whereas Freedoom gives an independent alternative to the whole game instead... an accepted competing product), and the add-on restriction is not just an idle request by id. They carefully disallowed shareware add-on posibilities and deliberately prepared the game distributions to work like this.

    fraggle said:

    The only possible restriction might be if you were using freedoom in conjunction with the original doom iwads. In general, the claim that they can impose any restrictions on WADs and editors seems legally rather doubtful anyway.


    The biggest restriction would be on PWADs that use id-based resources, those would be entirely illegal unless used along with the original IWADs ... but most of those would look shitty on Freedoom anyway, I believe, because the textures and things are somewhat different. Though I do think that a bit too much effort was done on some of the Freedoom resources to make them look like the DOOM ones. Even if they look similar, if they don't tile correctly with the originals, that helps. I don't mean tile as textures... supposedly they should, I mean in the graphics details.

    If from the start you would have made sure Freedoom was to be incompatible with existing PWADs by using new TEXTURE and PNAMES lumps for it, for instance, you would be totally free of any possible questioning from Carmack and id Software. It would have been better, from my point of view, considering that even if many PWADs don't use IWAD-based resources, many of the classic PWADs do, and they won't look too good when used with Freedoom... and even some other PWADs using custom (but not id-based) resources might turn out crappy with Freedoom, as they were designed with the original stuff in mind, and some bits and ends would not probably combine properly with the new resources.

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    There is no reason for you to ask this if you know what you are talking about. What does that have to do with the GPL? I already mentioned this above and fraggle also said it: the GPL and the DOOM IWADs copyrights are quite different.

    It's saying that you can't make PWADs for the shareware IWAD... thus, as a safeguard, the -file parameter should be disabled unless a commercial IWAD is used.

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    The restriction that disallows the “-file” option is located in the “doom.exe” source code. Quoting a statement from documentation released from ID prior to the release of the doom source code is pointless. The licensing agreement has obviously changed since then. If you go by that documentation, it would also be illegal to modify the game engine itself, which is clearly no longer the case. Unless someone can produce a document that is dated AFTER the release of the doom source code that indicates it’s illegal to use an external pwad with the shareware doom iwad, we will continue with our contest regardless of who thinks it’s a stupid idea. If we get a complaint from ID, then we will rethink our contest. Anyone who doesn’t like the idea of this contest is welcome to not participate.

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    Raider said:

    Quoting a statement from documentation released from ID prior to the release of the doom source code is pointless.

    No it isn't. The shareware documentation covers doom1.wad as well as doom.exe. While the restrictions on the .exe may have been made pointless by the release of the source code, the source code and its license does NOT include doom1.wad - this is still covered by the license for the shareware version.

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    NiGHTMARE said:

    No it isn't. The shareware documentation covers doom1.wad as well as doom.exe. While the restrictions on the .exe may have been made pointless by the release of the source code, the source code and its license does NOT include doom1.wad - this is still covered by the license for the shareware version.

    Exactly. Those are the conditions under which id Software has chosen to distribute Doom.

    The source port source and executable may be released under the GPL, but that does not excuse the port author or the port users to use the source port to go against the stated wishes of id Software in a matter related to the game as a whole--which is not under the GPL.

    The GPL is not your carte blanche to do as you see fit.

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