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Copyright and the Games Industry 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-super-mario-toilet-paper-is-probably-illegal dept.
A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."
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Copyright and the Games Industry

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  • No such thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by deprecated (86120)

    Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion. Scratch a weasel word, find a thief.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      IP /exists/ by virtue of artificial scarcity. Supply and demand. When supply is infinite...

      • Supply of what is actually licensed - the /original/ idea/creativity/etc - is not infinite though.
      • by westlake (615356)

        IP /exists/ by virtue of artificial scarcity. Supply and demand. When supply is infinite...

        Original production consumes time and money and talent in prodigious amounts. Original production is rare.

        The production cost of a Pixar feature is about $200 million.

        It can take ten years for story and tech to evolve to a point where commitment to production is feasible. Four years more to theatrical release.

        Four hundred people will earn production credits. In the top tier there will be perhaps forty whose entire pr

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion.

      In the US, it's unconstitutional. IP is property, all right, but constitutionally this "property" belongs to the people. The copyright holder merely has a "limited" time monopoly on its publication and distribution. Unfortunately, Professor Lessig lost his Eldred [wikipedia.org] case [harvard.edu], and the SCOTUS ruled that "limited" means whatever Congress says it means.

      But Steamboat Willie, Star Trek, and all the other intellectual properties, all belong to us. It says so rig

    • by Ash Vince (602485)

      Intellectual property is a bankrupt and indefensible notion.

      I am not so sure about this. If I spend many hours thinking of very novel and original way of doing something useful, should I not be able to live off the resulting earnings for a while before the person who did not invest any time in the idea can just copy it and undercut me? Since they did not have to invest the time in its invention, their costs will be lower so I cannot compete on that basis.

      In my ideal world I would freely share all my ideas for the good of mankind, but unfortunately the good of mankin

      • If I spend many hours thinking of very novel and original way of doing something useful, should I not be able to live off the resulting earnings for a while before the person who did not invest any time in the idea can just copy it and undercut me?

        Your use of "novel" and "live off the earnings for a while" makes it sound like you're talking about patents, but the article is about copyrights. Copyrights and patents differ in their scope and their rationale, and the casual use of the term "IP" to refer to both confuses the issue by ignoring these differences [fsf.org]. For one thing, patents are more defensible in this respect than copyrights because they last 20 years, not life plus 70. If you mean patent, say "patent"; if you mean copyright, say "copyright".

        the whole GPL and open source concept relies on copyright law. Without the law of copyright and IP then some private company could just take any open source product they liked and then sell it or a derivative product for a profit.

        Wi

  • Someone post the torrent already, preferably with both projects in the same .torrent
     
    For, uh, my student paper on IP laws. I need this as a first hand source. Thanks!

  • I'm getting fed up with these two concepts. There is only one kind of Plagarism... cheating. If you didn't do the work on your paper, then you're cheating. If you didn't provide sources, you better have research. If you don't have research, your paper is baseless and should be given a failing grade.

    Copyright is the idea that you control the copies of your creation. Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. O

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      IP is only 3 centuries old in the anglosaxon world, 2 for the rest of Europe and 1 for the rest of the world, and in that time it has become a cesspit of creation murdering nonsense that has been slowly making sure creativity in this world is killed because your ideas might make vague use of common tropes someone else with the money wants to sue you about, making sure most of the artistic creation of the last 10 millenia could get sued the fuck off if it was made today. The ideals of feeding the public doma

    • by selven (1556643) on Friday December 04, 2009 @06:16AM (#30322384)

      Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. Or letting people download it for free off the internet.

      Linux.
      Firefox.
      MySQL.
      Apache.
      Gnome.
      KDE.

      And if you're going to redefine your original statement so that GPL counts as payment, I give you:

      Chromium (browser and OS) [google.com]
      Open BSD [openbsd.org]
      Free BSD [freebsd.org]

      Hey Pirates, you think you aren't stealing?

      Do we HAVE to go over this again?

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Those software have other sources of funding, and they also restrict usage with licenses. GPL isn't the most free license there is, it implies restrictions for reusing the code the same way that other software have restrictions in copying them. If you wanted something to be truly free, your license.txt should contain "Do whatever you want with this".

        • by selven (1556643)

          Have you looked at the licenses on the last three?

          • Yes, to restricting!!!
            I can not hold the developers responsible for the explosion that occurred of the capacitors on my motherboard while running their software...
      • by kalirion (728907)

        Hey, you know those money booths where you can get real cash for free? I'm going to use those as an excuse to rob a bank now.

        • by pwfffff (1517213)

          Yeah, I'd like to go ahead and apologize to everyone. I downloaded a song off the internet last night, permanently removing it from everyone else's iPod, CD collection, hard drive, tape, record, and long term memory. Hopefully Kanye West is hard at work making a replacement so that we won't have to go without for long.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by selven (1556643)

          First of all, no I don't know those money booths where you can get cash for free.

          Second, that's a completely flawed analogy. The purpose of copyright is to encourage people to create music/video/software. If people are doing those things without the copyright incentive, that means that we don't need copyright after all.

      • Microsoft gave away IE for free in order to disuade netscape navigator from charging for its browser and taking control of the market I believe. They also offered perks to people for promoting it.
      • by kz45 (175825)

        "Do we HAVE to go over this again?"

        Yes. Just because you don't agree with the notion that piracy is a form of theft, doesn't mean that we won't go over it again.

        "Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties. Or letting people download it for free off the internet."

        You listed applications that were given out for free willingly. It's a different story when a company does not want you to give out their apps for free

        • by selven (1556643)

          Ok, fine, I'll explain it.

          Piracy:

          [X] -> [] X

          Piracy removes the original.

          Copyright infringement:

          [X] -> [X] X

          Copyright infringement does not reduce anyone else's ability to use the original.

          This is why I, and many others, believe that we do have a right to download whatever we want - it doesn't hurt anyone. And please don't lump use and distribution into one. Use doesn't harm anyone unless you're using the software to launch nuclear weapons or something. The argument that distribution is harmful is a mu

          • by Dutch Gun (899105)

            According to Wikipedia, an early references to copyright infringement as "piracy" was Daniel Defoe in 1703, refering to unauthorized copies of his book "True-born Englishman"[1].

            Tell me, does making copies of dollar bills "not hurt anyone" either? It's not a perfect analogy, but it has the same basic effect of devaluing the original product.

            You maintain that making a copy of goods "doesn't hurt anyone". You're correct that copyright infringement doesn't prevent anyone from using the original. After all,

            • by selven (1556643)

              Sorry, that was my mistake. I meant theft when I said piracy in my diagram.

            • by selven (1556643)

              I'll rebutt the dollar bill analogy as well. When someone downloads a movie, they can watch it privately without telling anyone, so there is no consequence to the outside world from the act of privately watching a pirated movie. Copying a dollar bill, however, is useless until you use it, at which point the counterfeit money enters circulation and you harmed everyone else who owns money through devaluation.

              You maintain that making a copy of goods "doesn't hurt anyone". But you're missing the point of copyright altogether, I think. The point is to product the value of the product for the creator in order to provide future incentive for the creation of original property.

              You just repeated my argument against distribution, not downloading. Two different things, two differe

              • by Ash Vince (602485)

                I'll rebutt the dollar bill analogy as well. When someone downloads a movie, they can watch it privately without telling anyone, so there is no consequence to the outside world from the act of privately watching a pirated movie.

                Actually, you have still cost the company who made the movie the value of one rental. You might say that this does not apply since you would never have paid, but if that is really the case then why did you spend the time watching it? You obviously had a certain level of interest in the product in order to invest the 2 hours of you time, so why not pay a small amount to cover that enjoyment you received.

                Remember, if nobody ever paid to watch any movies or play any games then people would stop producing them

            • by Demonix (140379)

              Well that depends. Is this game going to have a demo? If I'm interested in the game and it does, the demo will give me a good idea whether or not I would enjoy more of the game. If not and I'm interested, I just might look for a pirate version to evaluate your game, then buy it if I find the game worth it.

              I mean, its not like I can buy a game, find I dont like it, then return it for a refund, can I? Oh no! That would promote piracy!

              I have many games that sit collecting dust because they weren't worth t

            • If you think that copying a song is stealing then consider this:
              1. I sneak in to a studio, go where they keep the master tapes, find a tape with the song(s) I want, take it, leave a reel of brand new blank tape in its place, leave.
              2. I download the song from the internet (or borrow and copy it).

              Is the "loss" the same in both scenarios? In the first, you won't be able to say that I stole the tape - I left a new one, so I just stole the contents. But I stole them - you don't have them anymore. In the second s

              • by Dutch Gun (899105)

                If you think that copying a song is stealing

                I never claimed that copyright infringement is "stealing" (so far as I can remember), nor do I believe that. Others have made that argument, but I agree with you on that particular point.

                Still, there are lots of things that are either morally wrong and/or against the law that aren't "theft", and that don't involve direct actions against another person. How about counterfeiting? Insider trading? Slander or libel? Those sorts of things all have the same sort of indirect consequences to others, and so law

      • Does that invalidate his points? I don't think so - replace "nobody" with " not everybody". Not to mention that this software is not produced for free, and is often supported by the deep pockets of corporations or friendly donors.
      • by tepples (727027)
        All of the works you mentioned are primarily computer programs. Most video games, on the other hand, are primarily works-other-than-computer-programs: meshes, textures, music, sound effects, scripts, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm getting fed up with these two concepts. There is only one kind of Plagarism...

      ...misspelled.

      cheating. If you didn't do the work on your paper, then you're cheating.

      plagiarism [reference.com] /pledrzm, -dirz-/
      -noun
      1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.

      English? YOU FAIL IT!

      Copyright is the idea that you control the copies of your creation. Obviously, nobody wants to spend thousands of hours creating something then letting someone else (a corporation) sell it without royalties.

      I've spent hundreds of hours developing articles for Everything2. I shudder to think at the hours which have gone into Wikipedia. Human Emotion? YOU FAIL IT!

      However, Copyright has turned into this idea where as soon as you make a "Dark cloaked figure who kills people for a living" you can go bully anyone else for doing something like it.

      The courts let you do that. They also provide a mechanism for recovering the costs of frivolous lawsuits. Understanding Jurisprudence?

    • IP is not a failed idea. Our system is what's broken (or more likely, those who are in charge of the system).

      If the system can be broken by having the wrong people in charge of it, then it is a broken system. A proper system has checks and balances for that.

  • by zalas (682627) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:43AM (#30321886) Homepage
    In Japan, you have a ton of people making derivative works (doujin) and selling them at low volume at various events, the biggest of which being Comiket [wikipedia.org], which half a million people attend. A lot of times, these derivative works are with the approval of the original creators, who set out guidelines as to what they consider proper and improper derivative works. The biggest content creator I can think of is Nihon Falcom (Japanese video game maker), who recently offered fairly liberal access to their entire library of music.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would Valve be any more approving of, say, people selling Half-Life comic books as SE is of their properties? Especially with more risque contents?
    While Valve in particular may be relatively forgiving, it seems less of a single sliding scale between PC/free and console/not free and more of a dichotomy of PC devs smiling upon derivatives as long as they're games that reuse assets, and console devs smiling upon derivatives as long as they're not games and don't reuse assets.

    • Valve has, in the past, been less OK with selling items (except craftsworks - there's a reason they started offering the Headcrab plushies!), but they have been OK with unsold goods like comics.

      Console devs are often OK with smiling at derivatives that are games... As long as they don't reuse assets (See fanmade Touhou games for a fair example of this, because I can't think of anything better atm)... Or they're not games that do (see: 8-bit Theater).

      Weird, overall, regardless.
  • Epic is not evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by MachDelta (704883) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:50AM (#30321920)

    The author really should have done more research for this article. Epic games is, typically, not one of the overly protective companies desperately trying to nail down every fan with an idea in the name of Intellectual Property enforcement. The event cited (C&D over a gift doll) was actually done in error and was not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team. Mark Rein (PR dude) later explained the incident [epicgames.com] as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

    Typically, Epic has been more in stride with Valve in that they actively encourage people to mess with their games in not-for profit ways. They have also released free SDK's and source code for their engines. They've held contests [makesomethingunreal.com] (with cash prizes, noless) in order to cultivate talent and often recruit employees from the community. They've even taken a mod to retail status (Tactical Ops) just like Valve did with Counter Strike. They've also helped to pioneer the feature of community made mods and maps being offered on consoles.

    On the whole, Epic is one of the least "evil" gaming companies on the planet right now. And while they're not immune to making mistakes, I personally don't believe they deserve to be unfairly placed on the wrong side of this particular fence.

    • Re:Epic is not evil (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Friday December 04, 2009 @04:01AM (#30321960)

      One word (well, acronym): UDK [nvidia.com]

      It's essentially Epic releasing all their hard work for FREE for non-commercial use. That at least puts them on par with Valve and their free "Source SDK".

      • It's essentially Epic releasing all their hard work for FREE for non-commercial use. That at least puts them on par with Valve and their free "Source SDK".

        If I understand the terms of the recent UDK release correctly, it's actually much more that what Valve offers, since UDK includes a free (for non-commercial use) Unreal Engine. So with Source SDK you can make a mod for any Source game, but it will need that game to run. With UDK, you can create your own game, and distribute it yourself with engine included, so it's fully self-contained.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Electronic Arts is not all that evil either in that they have allowed all kinds of liberal use of the IP for the Command & Conquer series including its use for the Red Alert: A Path Beyond mod and (more notably) the RenegadeX mod for UT3.

      Microsoft (as owner of the Halo franchise) will go hard on anyone making any kind of game that uses anything from the Halo IP.

      Nintendo are one of the worst in the industry and will shut down anything that even smells like an IP violation.

      Vivendi Universal Games (owners

      • I expect the Doom III engine will follow suit once its no longer in use and assuming any legal issues can be resolved

        Id Software is a U.S.-based company. It can't release Doom 3 under any GPL-compatible license until October 2019, when U.S. Patent 6384822 on depth-fail shadowing [google.com] expires.

        • by jonwil (467024)

          According to a statement from ID software, there is a non-infringing workaround for that patent that comes at a performance cost. So ID would be able to release the code with the non-infringing workaround in place.

        • Id Software is a U.S.-based company. It can't release Doom 3 under any GPL-compatible license until October 2019, when U.S. Patent 6384822 on depth-fail shadowing expires.

          Why does it have to be GPL? Why can't they release it under BSD or just make it public domain? What you really mean is that you can't use the code until October 2019 because you won't consider anything but the GPL. I'm assuming you're not bound by U.S. patent law, or the license wouldn't be an issue -- Americans can't use a patent until it expires under any software license.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Why does it have to be GPL? Why can't they release it under BSD or just make it public domain?

            I didn't say "GPL"; I said "GPL-compatible". You go on to answer your own question:

            Americans can't use a patent until it expires under any software license.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      The event cited (C&D over a gift doll) was actually done in error and was not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team. Mark Rein (PR dude) later explained the incident [epicgames.com] as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

      Yup. I didn't rape her, your Honour, but rather my trigger-happy penis. I later explained the incident as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team

      With all due respect, that's complete and utter apologist bullshit. Anyone on Epic's payroll is Epic. Nobody forced Epic to pay legal attack dogs, and nobody else was responsible for them doing what they were paid to do. Epic are not the victims here.

      • So when one of your employees (if you have any, you may be one yourself) heads out and gives your IP (or products) away in a busy city centre, that's your new plan is it? That's your business model? Because that guy is your company. He makes all of the decisions, and he obviously consulted you first, or doesn't need to.

        When your legal team is in Vancouver and your office is in Redmond (just picking random places) it might be difficult for everyone to chat about every single thing. Accept that this decision
        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          So, let's see. I buy a rabid attack dog and put it on my front lawn. Someone climbs over the fence, and it bites their face off.

          You, sir, would argue that I could have only meant my rabid attack dog to bite the faces off of people that I explicitly command it to. Apparently, according to your argument, I may have let it roam outside the house simply because I was an incompetent retard too stupid to understand what a rabid attack dog will always do unless I prevent it from doing so. And that's not, acc

      • by mcvos (645701)

        not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team

        With all due respect, that's complete and utter apologist bullshit. Anyone on Epic's payroll is Epic. Nobody forced Epic to pay legal attack dogs, and nobody else was responsible for them doing what they were paid to do.

        Epic's apology could mean something if they fired and sued that crack legal team for hurting their name.

    • by neai (1693202)
      Epic gave their players right to use and redistribute their content, straight in the EULA. (c) We just LOVE the idea of you using and distributing content or script from any prior Epic Games, Unreal franchise game in Unreal Tournament 2004 Mod. Therefore we grant you a license to use content from any prior Epic Games Unreal franchise game in your Unreal Tournament 2004 Mods. For the sake of clarity you will not gain any ownership whatsoever in any Epic content or script nor can you use any Epi
  • Touhou (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:52AM (#30321928)

    I was reading about a series of Japanese games called the Touhou project a few weeks back. What was interesting is that while the single author of the franchise enforces his copyright to the games themselves, he doesn't on the characters and settings that games revolves around.

    This has allowed many groups to create works (primary comics, but also remixed music and other things) based off his work. He doesn't mind people even selling these things. All they're required to do, is to make sure that they state they're not an original work.

    This has made him and his franchise surprising successful, but it seems he is now worried that it'll grow beyond his control. After a project announced that they would produce an short animated film with some well known voice actors, he ranted in his blog that about it. Some people would argue that Touhou is currently better known for the community's work rather then the creator's original work, and unless he starts really enforcing his copyright, this may not change. On the other hand, if he did that, it would also kill off most his community.

    Stuck behind a rock and a hard place.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To give perspective on the scale of popularity, there's a yearly event devoted solely to his games and it quite handily sold out the 35,000 capacity of its venue tin 2009.

      The issue with Maikaze's project didn't appear, also, to be so much control as worries that it would actively "fork the project" so to speak. ZUN has been glad to fold fanworks back in in the past, but animation as a completely new medium and a semicommercial project (backed by a partially foreign team and intended for overseas sales, too

  • Some companies support "modders" making derivative works, some block or threaten legal action, but some start one way and switch. I don't suppose the Devs want to do it, but Legal probably get twitchy these days.

    The main one that irks me is Relic. Dawn of War was a great game with a good modding community. Dawn of War 2 came along and (in part because of the GfWL networking) really locked down on modding such that most of the community gave up. There were some incredible mods and textures for DoW1, and any

    • by minasoko (710100)
      I think most people reading this would sympathize with that DoW situation, but remember that Relic are a business, with commercial interests behind them.

      It's a fine line to tread for developers; making a title accessible enough to the enthusiasts to create, erm, enthusiasm for the game via a community (which in turn creates sales and good-will), but at the same time they want you to buy DoW II, III, IV and all the expansion packs.

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        Some of the mods have kept interest in DoW1, which isn't good from a business point of view, but then making a sequel that your devoted modding community can't mod doesn't seem like a good move either! From what I'd read the lack of minor customisation like badges is part of the terms of GfWL, but the change in the rest of the system is a design thing. It probably is more complex and harder to work as it is a newer and more complex game built on a new engine, but it is still a shame.

  • title goes here. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tei (520358) on Friday December 04, 2009 @04:25AM (#30322064) Journal

    A mod, modificacion of a game, often have to distribute files of the original game modified. On some games this is allowed, so is not gray area, is white area, but on others theres not text that allow you to do that.

    Is sad, but mods that use a popular IP are... popular. Not all mods are based on movies, books, etc.. but there are big group of then. These mods are almost all gray area, very few have the authorization of the owner of the ip.

    Modding use to be something that add value to a game and the studio that created that game. People are more inclined to buy a game where there are a strong mod community and cool mods.

    But Microsoft changed this with the concept of DLC's. Now companies salivate with the idea to create these mods thenselves,... small amateurist modificatios that can be created in a hour of work, and sell for $10 or $4. As a result, modding is something that remove value from a game. DLC's is modding done by the original authors. It was created on the consoles, because consoles can't have modding, but now is leaking and poisoning the PC world. Games like Total War have started to encript the datafiles, to stop modding from flourish.

    Modders thenselves have changed. The original profile for a modder where Hackers, in the old sense of creative people that like to hack fun stuff. Thats what created these hacked wolfesten.exe's. Nowdays the modder scene is a hybrid of indie and amateur developpers. Amateur people that have a voice, and claim for quality in the SDK. Mods tend to be total conversions (everywhere but a few games, like the TES serie), made by people that invest time and maybe money, and some expect that to help then take a position in the game industry and get experience in game developping.

    So modding is more or less dyiing. And the companys will change his opinion and modders, and there will be some badwill.. and probably we will return again to the hackers, times, where to change the weapon speed on a MW2 server, you first need to hack the exe. So we hare returning to these wolfestein.exe times.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PriyanPhoenix (900509)
      I think two things affected the modding community: one is, as you said, definitely the tightening reins in an attempt to monetise additional content post-release. The other, which I think had begun to take effect well before the propagation of paid-for DLC, is simply the spirally complexity and cost of game development. The chief time expenditure for any major mod has always been asset creation (while I fully admit what separates good mods from bad is still overall game design). In the past, a couple of ta
    • Re:title goes here. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday December 04, 2009 @12:22PM (#30325676) Journal

      I agree on some points but not all. Modding is still very prevalent in PC games but has taken a different path then it used to. It is true, that every mod to be released now-a-days is a Total Conversion, I haven't seen a simple "Mod" in a long time. But I think its mostly in part to more and more source code being available to change. The times when you would simply Modify weapon damage and speed and jumping have changed because NOW you have access to put in your own models and textures and even tweak some aspects of the engine itself. Those people who would spend a Month pumping out a mod will now spend 5 months pumping out a TC.

      But in recent developments, it has actually turned into a profitable hobby. Alot of these people would -LOVE- to get into serious game development, but simply don't have the time to start up a game themselves, they need to be hired by one of these large companies. Valve is an -EXCELLENT- example of a company who hires hobbyists. Counter-strike was developed by 1 man in his basement. The guy who made the Minerva Mod was hired on to make maps in upcoming HL2 games. The team who made Portal had a demo of Portal (Narbacular Drop I think it was called?) in an old quake/doom engine, and Valve hired them after it being demo'd at a fair. The lead developer behind the flash version of Portal created his own additional storyline content - and Valve purchased it and they worked with Microsoft to release it for profit on the Xbox Live Arcade version of Portal.

      Modding is no longer about modding the original game - but rather creating something of your own. It is NOT dying, the only sense of it dying is that the PC market is dying. But Companies that develop for the PC mainly (Like Valve, and Epic, and even Blizzard) tend to be a little more lenient with their IP because they know that when the community creates something amazing, they have an opportunity to add it to their assets.

      As long as there are PC developers, there will be a modding community, their motives just might change.

  • I can understand square/enix, the developers of this "fan-sequel" tried to get fame for doing another chrono trigger. Chrono Trigger is a brand, it was probably the most famous rpg on the snes. Square build up this brand, why should they let somebody else make use of it? The creators of the chrono sequel could have also made their own rpg, but probably noone would care, so they make a rpg in the chrono trigger scenario, so they get world famous for doing the chronotrigger sequel. You know if you want to mak
    • Bad example (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nah, the whole C&D thing was pretty much a fabrication on the part of the creators who had either lost interest in the project or were unable to finish it, because they wanted to be remembered in a positive way.

      Think about it, if they actually cared they could have easily continued working on it - there's hardly a lack of strong anonymizing systems available online today, Tor and Freenet being the best known examples. They could also have simple hosted the ROM on a server in Russia or China where issuin

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Nah, the whole C&D thing was pretty much a fabrication on the part of the creators who had either lost interest in the project or were unable to finish it, because they wanted to be remembered in a positive way.

        Not true. They finished the beta, and were at the 99% mark... completely playable, and were at the point of just final proofing and stripping out debugging code. If not for the C&D from S-E, it would have been out within the month. I suspect that it was the fault of S-E America; S-E Ja
    • I can understand square/enix, the developers of this "fan-sequel" tried to get fame for doing another chrono trigger. Chrono Trigger is a brand, it was probably the most famous rpg on the snes. Square build up this brand, why should they let somebody else make use of it?

      Why not? Fame isn't a limited resource, some fans making a mod don't "steal" it from Square Enix. So long as it's non-profit, and clearly identifies all original property rights (not plagiarism)...

  • Kind of odd that this comes up a day after Ninendo lost the preliminary hearing in a rather important case against Divineo in France.

    To summarize Nintendo sued Divineo over the production of flash cards for the Nintendo DS. The judge ruled that consoles should operate more like "windows" and that anyone should be able to develop for them without the companies approval.

    http://www.assentek.com/communique-presse-nintendo-vs-assentek-linker [assentek.com]

    In the first round I guess the "homebrew" community will get what it wa

    • by arose (644256)
      Making money on the actual sale of your product? That would never work, what a stupid idea!
    • by hldn (1085833)

      In the first round I guess the "homebrew" community will get what it wants...of course if it hold up after appeal it will have the side effect of destroying the console industry (with no need for licensing or control over their platforms there is no revenue stream) but hey at least they would be open right?

      i fail to see a problem. if someone wants to sell a piece of hardware, they shouldn't have control over how the consumer uses it.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      with no need for licensing or control over their platforms there is no revenue stream

      Well, other than, you know... selling consoles and in-house developed games and thus actually making money on their product like any normal business.

      I know, *crazy*.

  • One thing I never got: Why hasn't Brian Clevinger [nuklearpower.com] been sued off of his ass yet?

    Rob

  • The war between open and closed source has coalesced in the gaming community. Take Infinity Ward vs Steam for example. Both have great games; however one allows for open source utilization and private dedicated hosting, while the other has recently chosen to horde their source code and even the rights to multiplayer dedicated hosting. You would not think that these two giants would be conspiring, especially with both of their track records in the gaming community, but I have drawn some dangerous conclusions
  • At least they bother to embrace their fanbase. Do companies think before they go shooting their own fans?

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