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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:38 am 
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I Registered Specifically to point out one of the main reasons Quake and Half life were so successful...Because of those user mods.. now i can understand the company wanting to protect its own intellectual property, however say someone wanted to ADD something to the game its self....why would they want to stomp all over innovation? If anything if Cyan ever intends to do something new wouldn't it like to have a LARGE developer base already instituted on the first game to bring more possible users...

Now I know business's rarely think about these sorts of things(insert RIAA/MPAA/MAFIAA joke here), however i could see a possible Tool they could create which would allow modification of the original worlds so to speak, with an import feature...but not an export feature....the only problem with this is of course eventually someone will figure out a way to change everything...but logically this has been proven again and again merely hiding away content does nto work at some point if people want it bad enough they will get into it and change it around, its up to the company to either welcome that change, or condemn it.

Naturally I found my way here from slashdot, and whatever their choice, I do intend to be involved in this game, nice to meet all of you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:12 pm 
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ViciousPaRaDoX wrote:
I Registered Specifically to point out one of the main reasons Quake and Half life were so successful...Because of those user mods.. now i can understand the company wanting to protect its own intellectual property, however say someone wanted to ADD something to the game its self....why would they want to stomp all over innovation? If anything if Cyan ever intends to do something new wouldn't it like to have a LARGE developer base already instituted on the first game to bring more possible users...

Allowing a game to be modded certainly helps it grow due to tapping into a large community. we're not saying Uru shouldn't be modded, rather that copyrights should be respected when doing so. Doom, Quake, Half-life, and all other moddable games have policies that uphold exactly this. The ancient Doom mods that went against this practice were created back when there was no modding community (and digital property was significantly less defined) and by the time the copyright holders realized it was happening, it was long after those mods (and the games they were for) had become outdated and no longer posed a commercial threat. Making such a mod today for an old game (like Doom) likely won't get you in trouble, but the community will likely criticize you for it. Make such a mod today for a new game (like Crysis) will almost certainly get you in trouble.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:01 pm 
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As for remaking of older ages go in the official sense-
Im sure Cyan as well as other folks certainly WOULD like to get other ages into Uru, but don't have the time or manpower to do such a thing at least right now.

Maybe with intense cooperation between folks at the GOW and Cyan, we might see some older places remade "officially."
That seems highly unlikely at this point, however.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Personally, if it ever goes Open Source, the thing I want to start working on is the core Plasma engine... to be honest, I want to start coding changes into the game that will allow us, as the Fans, to control the "story", even if it isn't official Cyan Content. I'm talking about actually making the pellets useful. Having aspects of the game that we as individual characters can affect as a whole.

Of course, I want to see the slow evolutions of the cavern as well, such as the Guild Hall opening. Some of the cracks and pathways actually opening up. That crack in Tokotah alley? I want to see inside the Tokotah building.

Maybe it's that a single team of fan "developers" would control the game, with other fans submitting things user ages, etc.

Of course, that's the dream of a full open-source game. We'll see what really comes.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:45 am 
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Drakmyth wrote:
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 addfress 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.
It's a parody by it's very nature.

Drakmyth wrote:
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.
Screw 'em. They can't enforce it, and the only way I get sued is if I'm one of the the twelve-in-twelve-million who get picked as the annual scapegoats.

I'm all for people getting paid for their work by the free market, but the absurd, self-defeating unlimited scope and duration of present copyright law is simply impossible to obey to the letter on a practical level. I don't believe in carte blanche direct verbatim piracy of stuff from the past 30 or so years that a commercial publisher is still legitimately trying to sell in a reasonably open and accessible format, but as for the laws against non-commercial derivative works and copying out-of-print stuff? Screw 'em, just do it.

Drakmyth wrote:
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.
If their plan is to do it, great, and they shouldn't allow it in Open Uru for now. But if there's no plans and no prospects, there's no point in disallowing it.

Here's something I don't get about this whole deal. I once built a model of part of Stoneship out of Legos as a kid. Was this a copyright infringement? Should I have been sued? What if I'd posted pictures of this on the Internet, or lego CAD files for building a virtual model of it? Should I have been sued in that case?

What if I built and painted a detailed, physical to-scale model of a copyrighted Cyan landscape and posted pictures of that? Or sold it on eBay? Or ran it through some kind of X-Ray to get a digital 3D representation and released the resulting digital model?

At what point does it become copyright infringement? Is it when the thought enters my mind, when I make the doodle on my napkin, the point at which the legos start coming together, when I start assembling my model and get out my paintbrush, when I drop off the negatives to develop the film of what I'm doing, when I transfer the images from my digital camera to my computer, when I hand a physical photo to someone I meet in real life, when I post pictures of what I'm doing to my blog or when exactly?

As the copyright laws have an effectively unlimited scope at present, (since only a judge can decide "fair use" after the fact) the real answer is that the infringement begins when the thought enters my mind, because the molecules and electrical energy in my brain are tangible, and copyright in the U.S. governs all works in a tangible form. The truth is, if you're really going to follow the letter of the law, you aren't allowed to even think copyright infringing thoughts. (And certainly aren't allowed to own an mp3 player, as digital copies are considered copies too)

BTW: Girl Talk FTW.

My point that "there are going to be people who try to post Myst and Riven stuff into Uru anyway" wasn't meant as a motivation for sanctioning these projects. The motivation would be that they would make Uru better.

Drakmyth wrote:
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.
Yes. Note the key word in this statement is "Most." What would be the point of constantly updating and maintaining a version without the ownership checker if you could just get the games and not bother?

Drakmyth wrote:
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.
"It" refers to the idea I have that Cyan and the community could require people to verify that they own Myst, Riven or Exiled before allowing them to enter Ages based on these games by building this into all official versions of the Uru client. The license could perhaps be kept track of server-side but wouldn't necessarily have to be.

Drakmyth wrote:
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.
When I started this thread I was questioning whether that was, and now I'm questioning why that is, when it could be done in a manner that doesn't threaten Cyan's business model.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:44 am 
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Nerd42 wrote:
It's a parody by it's very nature.

Merriam-Webster's definition of parody states:
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary wrote:
Main Entry: 1par·o·dy
Pronunciation: \ˈper-ə-dē, ˈpa-rə-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural par·o·dies
Etymology: Latin parodia, from Greek parōidia, from para- + aidein to sing — more at ode
Date: 1598

1 : a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
2 : a feeble or ridiculous imitation

Including such a character as Bart Simpson in Uru does not fit the second definition, and doesn't fit the first due to the "closely imitated" segment. "Closely imitated" is quite different from "copied exactly".

Nerd42 wrote:
Screw 'em. They can't enforce it, and the only way I get sued is if I'm one of the the twelve-in-twelve-million who get picked as the annual scapegoats.

Actually they can enforce it, simply by whether or not they feel it has become a big enough threat to their business. The only reason so few people actually get sued on copyright infringement is because most companies will send out C&D letters first, which most people comply with. You generally only get sued if you ignore such a letter.

Drakmyth wrote:
If their plan is to do it, great, and they shouldn't allow it in Open Uru for now. But if there's no plans and no prospects, there's no point in disallowing it.

There is a point in disallowing it, and that is because even if they have no plans now, they want to leave the option open in the future. Releasing such content now will prevent them from EVER doing so themselves, regardless of what they want.

Nerd42 wrote:
Yes. Note the key word in this statement is "Most." What would be the point of constantly updating and maintaining a version without the ownership checker if you could just get the games and not bother?

This concept of an "ownership checker", I believe, is coming from the fact that you need to have the registered IWAD files (as opposed to the shareware ones) in order to mod Doom. There are two aspects to this. The first is that there is absolutely nothing preventing editing the shareware wads. The only reason all the currently available tools (which are all open-source) require registered wads is because when id saw the modding community gaining some traction, they asked that the shareware wads be blocked from editing. It is therefore up to the developer of the tool (who is just a community member themselves) to block that out. Second is the idea that this will somehow prevent people from modding unofficial copies of Uru. This too is false as I know many people at my college that have downloaded the fully registered IWAD's. The concept of an "ownership checker" works only as long as the game is not pirated, which you have said "is going to happen anyway".

Nerd42 wrote:
When I started this thread I was questioning whether that was, and now I'm questioning why that is, when it could be done in a manner that doesn't threaten Cyan's business model.

Because it will hurt Cyan's business model, in any way shape or form that it is done in. Let's re-make the Myst ages and put them into Uru, iPhone Myst stops selling as well. Let's re-make Riven and put it into Uru, when Cyan finishes iPhone Riven (which they are currently working on) it won't sell well, because people can get 3D versions of the same content for free.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Drakmyth wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:
It's a parody by it's very nature.

Merriam-Webster's definition of parody states:
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary wrote:
Main Entry: 1par·o·dy
Pronunciation: \ˈper-ə-dē, ˈpa-rə-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural par·o·dies
Etymology: Latin parodia, from Greek parōidia, from para- + aidein to sing — more at ode
Date: 1598

1 : a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
2 : a feeble or ridiculous imitation

Including such a character as Bart Simpson in Uru does not fit the second definition, and doesn't fit the first due to the "closely imitated" segment. "Closely imitated" is quite different from "copied exactly".
I'd say a 3D bart simpson model closely imitates the 2D cartoon.

Drakmyth wrote:
Nerd42 wrote:
Screw 'em. They can't enforce it, and the only way I get sued is if I'm one of the the twelve-in-twelve-million who get picked as the annual scapegoats.

Actually they can enforce it, simply by whether or not they feel it has become a big enough threat to their business. The only reason so few people actually get sued on copyright infringement is because most companies will send out C&D letters first, which most people comply with. You generally only get sued if you ignore such a letter.
No, the only reason so few people actually get sued is because lawyers are so expensive and lawsuits create such bad public relations.

Drakmyth wrote:
This concept of an "ownership checker", I believe, is coming from the fact that you need to have the registered IWAD files (as opposed to the shareware ones) in order to mod Doom. There are two aspects to this. The first is that there is absolutely nothing preventing editing the shareware wads. The only reason all the currently available tools (which are all open-source) require registered wads is because when id saw the modding community gaining some traction, they asked that the shareware wads be blocked from editing. It is therefore up to the developer of the tool (who is just a community member themselves) to block that out.
It's worked pretty well for them. It hasn't prevented all shareware-based mods but it has preserved id software's ability to profit from continuing to sell the commercial DooM wads.

Drakmyth wrote:
Second is the idea that this will somehow prevent people from modding unofficial copies of Uru.
I never said that.

Drakmyth wrote:
Because it will hurt Cyan's business model, in any way shape or form that it is done in. Let's re-make the Myst ages and put them into Uru, iPhone Myst stops selling as well.
This hasn't been the case with Second Life Myst, and since the iPhone isn't able to connect to Uru, an Uru Myst implementation wouldn't be competing with the iPhone version any more than the original PC version competes with the iPhone version.


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