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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Cyan has been saying they're going to "open source" Uru. What does this really mean? (What degree of free au libre is this going to be?) Does this refer to the client or the server or both? Does this include the graphical and audio elements?

Will we be allowed to implement Ages from the other Myst games into Uru if we want, as the community has already done in Second Life? It's not as if we'd be competing with realMyst.

Will Open Uru become sufficiently separated from Cyan Worlds that we'll be able to do fun, "fair use" things with famous characters and images and so forth without getting Cyan in legal trouble? I'm thinking specifically of the experiences of moddable games in other genres like Quake. You might not like the idea of Superman, Yoda and Duke Nukem running around in Uru, but whether you like what people do with the technology isn't the point - the point is that it's better when people get to do what they want.

By "allowed" I do not mean what will be allowed on the official Cyan or community servers. I'm only talking about what people will and will not be allowed to do with the code when it comes out. (on private servers and whatnot)

A serious modification that I would definitely like to see would be a Second Life-like flying mod.


Last edited by Nerd42 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Nerd42 wrote:
Cyan has been saying they're going to "open source" Uru. What does this really mean? (What degree of free au libre is this going to be?) Does this refer to the client or the server or both? Does this include the graphical and audio elements?

Will we be allowed to implement Ages from the other Myst games into Uru if we want, as the community has already done in Second Life? It's not as if we'd be competing with realMyst.

Will Open Uru become sufficiently separated from Cyan Worlds that we'll be able to do fun, "fair use" things with famous characters and images and so forth without getting Cyan in legal trouble? I'm thinking specifically of the experiences of moddable games in other genres like Quake. You might not like the idea of Superman, Yoda and Duke Nukem running around in Uru, but whether you like what people do with the technology isn't the point - the point is that it's better when people get to do what they want.


The client and server will both be released open-source, but the graphical and audio elements likely will not be. However, there have been talks of trying to get some of the art assets (or similar ones) released to improve the quality of our ages.

Chances are that we will not be able to re-create ages from other Myst games, as that would fit into the territory of messing with Cyan's content and story, which is a big no-no. The recreations in Second Life and other virtual world programs are infringing upon Cyan's property, and are highly illegal, though Cyan hasn't had the opportunity to take action against them, if they even desire to do so (which we do not know one way or another).

Many of the mods done by the Doom/Quake community involving other IP's (Mortal Kombat music, Simpsons graphics etc.) are also infringing on copyright as the uses certainly do NOT qualify as fair use, but the holders have not taken action. It should be noted however that those communities have come to have serious criticisms against such mods, and many new mods of the sort have faded into obscurity because of it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Nerd42 wrote:
You might not like the idea of Superman, Yoda and Duke Nukem running around in Uru, but whether you like what people do with the technology isn't the point - the point is that it's better when people get to do what they want.

I strongly disagree, as I believe that what Cyan is handing us is a game that we're supposed to continue and build upon (continuing the experience that they have given us all these years), not tear down and break apart. In my opinion, this is a very different case than all the other game modding examples out there. I'm not trying to take away 'what people want', but Uru provides a certain experience (which, presumably, we all want, since we're here) and the kind of 'anything goes' content that is suggested simply doesn't fit in that experience, at least that's how I feel. There are other places where people who want that experience can go to get it.

For some examples of the kind of modifications and additions that I personally think open source Uru should be about, check here and here.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:41 pm 
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Nerd42 wrote:
Cyan has been saying they're going to "open source" Uru. What does this really mean? (What degree of free au libre is this going to be?) Does this refer to the client or the server or both? Does this include the graphical and audio elements?

General understanding is we'll get source code, presumably server & client, but not the content. Modifying the Cyan-made Ages is not expected to be allowed.

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Will we be allowed to implement Ages from the other Myst games into Uru if we want, as the community has already done in Second Life? It's not as if we'd be competing with realMyst.

Almost certainly not, unless perhaps they offer the job to certain trusted members of the community. Cyan tries to not get too mean about what's been done a la Second Life because they know it's all out of love for the Uru worlds, but legally they still intend to own their own property. Generally the smart thing with that stuff is to not brag about it too much so Cyan can pretend it doesn't exist--if you throw it in their face they have to do something about it and no one wants that.

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Will Open Uru become sufficiently separated from Cyan Worlds that we'll be able to do fun, "fair use" things with famous characters and images and so forth without getting Cyan in legal trouble? I'm thinking specifically of the experiences of moddable games in other genres like Quake. You might not like the idea of Superman, Yoda and Duke Nukem running around in Uru, but whether you like what people do with the technology isn't the point - the point is that it's better when people get to do what they want.

The nature of open source is that people will likely end up making their own shards and probably someone will be weird enough to put Yoda into the cavern. As it appears right now though, the Cyan-run and/or Cyan-approved Shards will almost certainly reject all such things.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Marein wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:
You might not like the idea of Superman, Yoda and Duke Nukem running around in Uru, but whether you like what people do with the technology isn't the point - the point is that it's better when people get to do what they want.

I strongly disagree, as I believe that what Cyan is handing us is a game that we're supposed to continue and build upon (continuing the experience that they have given us all these years), not tear down and break apart. In my opinion, this is a very different case than all the other game modding examples out there. I'm not trying to take away 'what people want', but Uru provides a certain experience (which, presumably, we all want, since we're here) and the kind of 'anything goes' content that is suggested simply doesn't fit in that experience, at least that's how I feel. There are other places where people who want that experience can go to get it.

For some examples of the kind of modifications and additions that I personally think open source Uru should be about, check here and here.
Quote:
The nature of open source is that people will likely end up making their own shards and probably someone will be weird enough to put Yoda into the cavern. As it appears right now though, the Cyan-run and/or Cyan-approved Shards will almost certainly reject all such things.
That list of random characters was not a list of feature requests. I think all three of those that I brought up are really stupid ideas, and it makes perfect sense to have rules against turning the main public areas into a digital comic book convention. But one of the reasons I believe open source is a better way to do things is because it allows people the freedom to be more than just consumers - to express themselves using the images and content around them. The success of gMod and other software like it (and to a lesser extent, Second Life) are a testimony to how awesome this individual empowerment can be, and I think if the license is too restrictive, the potential of Open Uru will be severely handicapped. I think people ought to not hvae any artificial limits imposed on them on their own servers but be allowed to do simply whatever they want as far as Cyan is concerned.

As to Cyan's business model ... let's face it. All their recent pre-rendered Myst ports have been crappy compared to realMyst - even the ones that include pre-rendered stills of Rime. Far as I'm concerned, when realMyst came out, the game went truly 3D and there's no point in ever going back except for historical purposes. The reasons it wasn't commercially successful were probably bugs and inadequate advertising because it was a truly beautiful thing as I'm sure everyone who's played it agrees. The 2D versions of Myst for the DS and the PSP are particularly crappy, when those platforms clearly have the hardware to render 3D objects at the necessary quality. Instead, we're seeing junk that a homebrew coder could do in a couple weekends for these platforms by ripping images from the original games. Heck, they could probably do it with hyperlinks and cookies in the built-in PSP browser. What a waste.

Instead of making more crappy Myst ports, Cyan ought to be doing one or more of the following things:
1. Port an improved more stable realMyst instead
2. Remake Riven in 3D (and possibly Exiled as well)
3. Make a Myst prequel or sequel or whatever. New stories, not rehashing old ones.
4. Think of something completely new, and do it instead (My advice)

Unless they're going to continue to focus on crappy Myst ports or are going to be doing items 1 and 2, I don't see how implementing ages from those games into Uru by fans will hurt their business in any way. Particularly when the puzzles don't work.

FYI: Screwing around with Myst stuff isn't anything new. Remember Pyst and the Myst map for Bungie's Marathon?


Last edited by Nerd42 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:38 pm 
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I believe you can get a good idea of what will or will not be allowed in open-source Uru by taking a look at RAWA's Guidelines for Official Story/Age Creation.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:42 pm 
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Drakmyth wrote:
Many of the mods done by the Doom/Quake community involving other IP's (Mortal Kombat music, Simpsons graphics etc.) are also infringing on copyright as the uses certainly do NOT qualify as fair use, but the holders have not taken action. It should be noted however that those communities have come to have serious criticisms against such mods, and many new mods of the sort have faded into obscurity because of it.
I'm not convinced that these don't quality as fair use.

Jishin wrote:
I believe you can get a good idea of what will or will not be allowed in open-source Uru by taking a look at RAWA's Guidelines for Official Story/Age Creation.
That's for Official Story / Age Creation and my question is about what unofficial, if any, fan activities the release of the source code will allow. Customized private servers need not connect to the official game servers at all. (like OpenSimulator vs Second Life)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:49 pm 
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What will be available unofficially, I have no good answer. However, I expect that Cyan, as a small company with a very small range of signature products, will wish to maintain security of the things that are their trademarks.

I'm sure we'll find out more as things get closer.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Nerd42 wrote:
Unless they're going to continue to focus on crappy Myst ports or are going to be doing items 1 and 2, I don't see how implementing ages from those games into Uru by fans will hurt their business in any way. Particularly when the puzzles don't work.

FYI: Screwing around with Myst stuff isn't anything new. Remember Pyst and the Myst map for Bungie's Marathon?

I'm not talking about what makes business sense for Cyan, so much as copyright law, and a copyright holder's obligation to protect their property. Cyan will not lightly decide that the content of their games is of no value to them, and therefore they have to challenge blatant infringement--it's just how U.S. copyright law works.

Even for all the years that John Carmack has been releasing the source code for the id Software games, that public release has never included the game content. There's lots of precedent for open sourcing a game but keeping your content locked down.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Drakmyth wrote:
Chances are that we will not be able to re-create ages from other Myst games, as that would fit into the territory of messing with Cyan's content and story, which is a big no-no. The recreations in Second Life and other virtual world programs are infringing upon Cyan's property, and are highly illegal, though Cyan hasn't had the opportunity to take action against them, if they even desire to do so (which we do not know one way or another).

Yes and no… some of the things in SL have a FCAL. Others don’t. The removal of Dune and Dune related fan material from SL shows how easy it is to get Linden Lab to remove things from SL. (Three monkeys icon here, see no evil…)

What Cyan will allow with the open source release is unknown. In the past they used Fan Created Art Licenses (FCAL) to allow use of some of their materials in fan created ages intended for use with their Plasma engine. That Crux Isle has a FCAL for that SL build is the first departure from that stance that I know of.

Cyan has stated they are reserving much of the story to their self. Their comments during the time they expected MORE to happen and since they changed to open source thinking and now all seem to be consistent. Marrying Yeesha and starting a family is out. While I have not heard that Superman will be banned… or dragon and vampires… I suspect the fans will boycott such additions.

Using crappy in relation to Myst here is for all practical purposes trolling… whether you intended it that way or not. Lighten up.

The 3D games require some substantial computing power to render. The iPhone doesn’t have it nor the graphics render capability support like DirectX or the physics support (PhysX) to allow an AV to walk around. It isn’t a matter of crappy work; it’s a matter of physical limitations of the hardware.

I suspect much of what you expect Uru fans will like is wrong. The builds in SL and OS grids, where we have complete freedom, show that those builders seldom add play styles beyond the very Myst style play, i.e., no combat, vampire stories, etc. But we often have debates about what new features the game needs to be more successful. Have I ever mentioned better hair?

Much of the freedom you would like to see is being implemented in Myst Style building in SL and OS grids, where we have dragons and vampires. I love the dragons… awesome. If you are interested in that part of the game, visit OpenUru.org.

The difference between SL and OpenSIM is that content in SL is fan content. The content in OpenSIM is also fan content. Those fans are fighting over who has what rights and court cases are in process. Copyright lives in those systems too. In MOULagain and Open Uru (the open source Uru Live) the situation is different. All the MOUL content is privately owned by Cyan and must be licensed for use in any private servers.

We have already had private servers try to use Cyan content. Search on Pelishard (sp?). The unofficial use is frowned on by the majority of the fan base. There is a difference in this fan group and many other game mod communities. Boycotts of those abusing Cyan rights is not uncommon here. So, it is more than just a copyright issue.

Vidroth is right about game makers doing open source and protection their copyrights to story. Cyan has allowed fans lots of leeway in what they do. But they have also been aggressive in keeping copies of the games off pirate servers. There is a duality that confuses many. But things that endanger Cyan’s rights raising above some level only Cyan understands are usually addressed.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:48 pm 
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vidroth wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:
Unless they're going to continue to focus on crappy Myst ports or are going to be doing items 1 and 2, I don't see how implementing ages from those games into Uru by fans will hurt their business in any way. Particularly when the puzzles don't work.

FYI: Screwing around with Myst stuff isn't anything new. Remember Pyst and the Myst map for Bungie's Marathon?

I'm not talking about what makes business sense for Cyan, so much as copyright law, and a copyright holder's obligation to protect their property. Cyan will not lightly decide that the content of their games is of no value to them, and therefore they have to challenge blatant infringement--it's just how U.S. copyright law works.
U.S. copyright law doesn't work, as it's goal (according to the Constitution) has nothing to do with "a copyright holder's obligation to protect their property" (I have no idea where you are getting this philosophy from but I think it's credentials are dubious at best, despite my immense respect for the notion of private property) but is for "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." That is the only valid reason for giving authors and inventors these exclusive rights, and if our courts had an ounce of sanity or respect for the Constitution, they'd require every claim of infringement to be based on an argument that stems from how the infringement hinders this progress.

vidroth wrote:
Even for all the years that John Carmack has been releasing the source code for the id Software games, that public release has never included the game content. There's lots of precedent for open sourcing a game but keeping your content locked down.
Yes, but that's because he's still trying to sell the game content. Cyan isn't trying to sell 3D versions of their older games, only 2D versions.

And speaking of Carmack's business strategy, why not build a little program that checks whether you own the original Myst or Riven before it'll let you onto those areas of Uru? Scan the CD or DVD and it will let you on. That's how modding worked for a while before the open sourcing of the id Software games. You had to have the original commercial DooM wad in order to play any un-specifically-licensed total conversions.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Nerd42 wrote:
U.S. copyright law doesn't work, as it's goal (according to the Constitution) has nothing to do with "a copyright holder's obligation to protect their property" (I have no idea where you are getting this philosophy from but I think it's credentials are dubious at best, despite my immense respect for the notion of private property) but is for "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." That is the only valid reason for giving authors and inventors these exclusive rights, and if our courts had an ounce of sanity or respect for the Constitution, they'd require every claim of infringement to be based on an argument that stems from how the infringement hinders this progress.

As it happens I agree that U.S. Copyright law has become distorted and indeed totally preempted by corporate interests (thanks, Disney). But I doubt we'll make any progress on overhauling U.S. Copyright law during the MOUL open source process, we have to deal with what is.

Quote:
vidroth wrote:
Even for all the years that John Carmack has been releasing the source code for the id Software games, that public release has never included the game content. There's lots of precedent for open sourcing a game but keeping your content locked down.
Yes, but that's because he's still trying to sell the game content. Cyan isn't trying to sell 3D versions of their older games, only 2D versions.

You don't think Cyan would like to do RealMyst on iPhone 12? I think Cyan would like to keep the option of selling their games if the opportunity arises--Myst iPhone was so easily doable (comparatively) because it's already been through ports and rerenders.

Quote:
And speaking of Carmack's business strategy, why not build a little program that checks whether you own the original Myst or Riven before it'll let you onto those areas of Uru? Scan the CD or DVD and it will let you on. That's how modding worked for a while before the open sourcing of the id Software games. You had to have the original commercial DooM wad in order to play any un-specifically-licensed total conversions.

But how does that continue to work once the open source arrives, and anyone who wants can simply comment out that part of the code?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Let’s face it;

Copyright = Can-of-worms = Tightrope-act for IP holder & Fan/Modding groups.

The only people that know what they are prepared to do are the IP holders under advice from legal advisors.
Anything else is basically speculation, abet well informed and an interesting insight in to the paperwork. :?


We will get what we get when we get it - then all we have to do is worry about is creating content.
Of course all those with such strong views on free use are fully welcome to design, develop and distribute their work for free 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:03 am 
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vidroth wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:
U.S. copyright law doesn't work, as it's goal (according to the Constitution) has nothing to do with "a copyright holder's obligation to protect their property" (I have no idea where you are getting this philosophy from but I think it's credentials are dubious at best, despite my immense respect for the notion of private property) but is for "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." That is the only valid reason for giving authors and inventors these exclusive rights, and if our courts had an ounce of sanity or respect for the Constitution, they'd require every claim of infringement to be based on an argument that stems from how the infringement hinders this progress.

As it happens I agree that U.S. Copyright law has become distorted and indeed totally preempted by corporate interests (thanks, Disney). But I doubt we'll make any progress on overhauling U.S. Copyright law during the MOUL open source process, we have to deal with what is.

Quote:
vidroth wrote:
Even for all the years that John Carmack has been releasing the source code for the id Software games, that public release has never included the game content. There's lots of precedent for open sourcing a game but keeping your content locked down.
Yes, but that's because he's still trying to sell the game content. Cyan isn't trying to sell 3D versions of their older games, only 2D versions.

You don't think Cyan would like to do RealMyst on iPhone 12? I think Cyan would like to keep the option of selling their games if the opportunity arises--Myst iPhone was so easily doable (comparatively) because it's already been through ports and rerenders.

Quote:
And speaking of Carmack's business strategy, why not build a little program that checks whether you own the original Myst or Riven before it'll let you onto those areas of Uru? Scan the CD or DVD and it will let you on. That's how modding worked for a while before the open sourcing of the id Software games. You had to have the original commercial DooM wad in order to play any un-specifically-licensed total conversions.

But how does that continue to work once the open source arrives, and anyone who wants can simply comment out that part of the code?
Several ways:

1. By going open source, they are enabling "anything goes" from a technical perspective. People are going to do stuff like this anyway, the only question is whether Cyan wants to make them criminals or not.
2. Most players who don't own the games won't know how to build the Uru client from source. It would be much easier to pirate the original games (Which happens anyway, this wouldn't change that) and run the official client than to take it out of the official client.
3. If the main branches of the Uru viewer have it and Cyan works together with the community to boycott viewers that don't, (if the license says so, they'd be illegal anyway) it would effectively make those versions that don't have it invisible to most people.
4. By putting this into the main branch of the Uru viewer (and possibly specifying the requirement of each player owning Myst or Riven or Exiled to access fan created Ages based on those games in the license) it would provide a way to legitimately do this, rather than making all ways of doing it illegitimate.

I don't know about the iPhone specs. My comment was mostly about the PSP and DS ports which are on platforms that definitely have 3D rendering capabilities. I find it hard to believe they couldn't have at least delivered a pre-rendered Myst 3 Exiled-like experience with 2DOF 360degree bubble view panning on the iPhone though.

(later edit) Please realize: By "allowed" I do not mean what will be allowed on the official Cyan or community servers. I'm only talking about what people will and will not be allowed to do with the code when it comes out. (on private servers and whatnot)

A serious modification that I would definitely like to see would be a Second Life-like flying mod.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:17 am 
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Fair use, as defined by the U.S. Copyright Office includes:
U.S. Copyright Office wrote:
quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.


Let us take the example of allowing you to play the character of Bart Simpson in Uru.

A Quotation of Excepts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment? No.
A quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations? No.
use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied? No.
summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report? No.
reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy? No.
reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson? No.
reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports? No.
incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, or a work located in the scene of an event being reported?No.

Including the character of Bart Simpson in Uru fills none of the possibilities for qualifying as "fair use". If you would like to investigate this concept further, I recommend starting at the U.S. Copyright Office's Fair Use website.

Nerd42 wrote:
As to Cyan's business model ... let's face it. All their recent pre-rendered Myst ports have been crappy compared to realMyst - even the ones that include pre-rendered stills of Rime.

This is pure opinion. While realMyst was certainly a new technical milestone in Cyan's development history, you will find that many people prefer the pre-rendered games due to their higher graphical quality and general atmosphere. 3D is not necessarily better than 2D, that is left to the opinion of the user.

Nerd42 wrote:
Screwing around with Myst stuff isn't anything new. Remember Pyst and the Myst map for Bungie's Marathon?

True, but as you will see in the fair use examples above, Pyst fits the "use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied" entry.

Nalates wrote:
Yes and no… some of the things in SL have a FCAL.
I was not aware of this. This certainly means that some of the Myst-related content in SL is okay. I do know that some of those worlds have used textures ripped straight from the game, and I somehow doubt those are included in the FCAL, but if they are then consider my previous statement null and void.

Nerd42 wrote:
U.S. copyright law doesn't work
It really doesn't matter whether it works or not, it is the law that we must abide by. It's really as simple as that. Infringing on copyrights, whether or not you believe them to serve the purpose they were supposed to serve, could get you into serious trouble if the holder presses charges. What your views on copyrights are is irrelevant.

Nerd42 wrote:
Yes, but that's because he's still trying to sell the game content. Cyan isn't trying to sell 3D versions of their older games, only 2D versions.
And what if Cyan decides to create a "realRiven"? Their business will then be negatively affected because any random person could also release their own realRiven. Therefore, it is in Cyan's interest to keep that content so that they may return to it at a future time.

Nerd42 wrote:
1. By going open source, they are enabling "anything goes" from a technical perspective. People are going to do stuff like this anyway, the only question is whether Cyan wants to make them criminals or not.
On the contrary, open-source code can still be restricted thanks to the licensing. Additionally, they do not have to open-source all of the code. As can be seen with id Software's previous releases, since Quake 3 they have been releasing an SDK for their games containing small portions of the code. This too limits what can and can't be done.

Also, using the argument that "people are going to do stuff like this anyway" is very poor. That's like saying "People are going to steal from stores anyway, so why not make everything free. That way the store won't be making people criminals." Whether or not a person does something illegal is the choice of that individual, no one else.

Nerd42 wrote:
2. Most players who don't own the games won't know how to build the Uru client from source. It would be much easier to pirate the original games (Which happens anyway, this wouldn't change that) and run the official client than to take it out of the official client.
There is no correlation between owning a game and being able to compile code. I know programmers who don't play anything more complex than Solitaire, but they can download, compile, and execute any open-source program or game out there.

Nerd42 wrote:
3. If the main branches of the Uru viewer have it and Cyan works together with the community to boycott viewers that don't, (if the license says so, they'd be illegal anyway) it would effectively make those versions that don't have it invisible to most people.
I assume "it" is referring to a certain feature or piece of content. Put simply, client branches must be matched to server branches. Using a feature that is not available in a certain client won't necessarily just be invisible, but may corrupt data or crash the client. All clients that can interact with a server branch are going to have to support all the features of that server, and it will not be possible for a client to use a feature not available on that server (even if it supports it for a different server).

Nerd42 wrote:
4. By putting this into the main branch of the Uru viewer (and possibly specifying the requirement of each player owning Myst or Riven or Exiled to access fan created Ages based on those games in the license) it would provide a way to legitimately do this, rather than making all ways of doing it illegitimate.
There is a way to do it legitimately... buy the original game. There has been a horrible spread of the idea that all Cyan content should be playable in the Uru client. This is neither true, viable, nor logical. Fan-created ages, unless given permission by Cyan, will not be allowed to re-create or modify Cyan content or story.

You mentioned that you were mainly talking about private servers. It is true that you can put whatever you want on a private server. If you want to re-create Riven and put it on there, you can do so. That doesn't make it legal, but as long as that server is not publicly available, it is highly unlikely you will get into trouble for it too.

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