Author Topic: Terrain Pack considerations  (Read 12444 times)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2019, 01:13:51 am »
I ask you: Do you claim authorship of that as well?

This is the same as saying that the authors of OXC are claiming authorship over the original game, because they call themselves authors of OXC.

Who's the author of OXC then? The players? The modders? No one?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 01:34:48 am by Hobbes »

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2019, 02:12:47 am »
This is the same as saying that the authors of OXC are claiming authorship over the original game, because they call themselves authors of OXC.
Nah, OXC is an engine. It does not include anything from the original game by default. Except in some parts it may behave very similar.

But as you mention it, i don't see many people "claim authorship" for stuff here.
Many create things with a lot of effort.
And people know who to thank if they want to, and who to talk to over features and bugs. And being part of a community.
But "claiming", as in "this content is mine and you have to ask if you use it, and even how you use it (how dare you to accept voluntary donations by fans of your mod)", nope, thats kinda rare here.
Usually is, in modding communities...

EDIT: in a creative community, emphasis ideally is "I did that", not "I did that". Subtle difference.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 02:29:04 am by TheCurse »

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2019, 05:18:30 am »
I will defend you in this, Hobbes. But I think the best solution is community and vigilance. I've seen a few examples of blatant theft here on the forums and our community members have rapidly recognized work claimed as original. Most mods use a lot of borrowed content these days. What I'd like to see more of is discussions on where things came from. Like in my mod, I know where I got the resources, but many of them I'm not sure where they originally came from. It would be nice for it to be public knowledge where most of these really popular resources come from and who made them.

Offline SupSuper

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2019, 07:07:55 am »
I've been asked to weigh on this, I was waiting for discussion to die down so I could take in all the facts before making a statement, but it doesn't look like that's happening any time soon.

Serious sounding statement representing OpenXcom follows

Do what you want. We're not taking any sides on this or enforcing any restrictions at this time. OpenXcom waives any responsibility regarding what players do with it. We are fine with you creating OpenXcom-related content (mods, videos, guides, etc) for free, donations or otherwise. We're only required to do anything about content hosted on OpenXcom.org and Mod.io servers if lawyers come knocking. In fact, legally, you could sell OpenXcom for $10 on Steam tomorrow with all your own original content and be in the clear (so long as the code remains open-source).

We only ask that you respect creators' wishes to the best of your abilities when using their content, and we will do the same. Any disputes should preferably be solved privately between the parties and not by us. If you force our hand, you probably won't like it.

Content creators, if you have concerns over how your content is used, attribution, remixing, etc, please be upfront about it. As has been brought up, licenses like Creative Commons may be useful as they've done most of the work. We can provide advice but we'd rather not be judge, jury and executioner. Don't assume saying nothing means free-for-all, this isn't Google Images. These arguments come up all the time in modding communities, so none of this is new ground. Research and cover your ass if you must.

Personal opinions from SupSuper that may not represent the views of any other OpenXcom contributor follow

From my perspective, Hobbes had an issue with how other modders were using his content, brought it up with them, and eventually settled on a resolution. A bit drastic, but a lot was discussed in private so we're not seeing the whole picture. Nonetheless the issue was resolved, each side's wishes were followed. There was no big public outcry, no schism, no end of modding. And yet, everyone else decided to start sniping from the sidelines, worried about imaginary repercussions and coming to defend their side. "Slippery slope", "Think of the children", etc.

This is not a legal matter. Mods are a grey area. OpenXcom is a grey area. Attribution is not absolution, it's admission. Fair use is a defence for the courts, not a "get out of jail free" card. As it stands, we have mods using everything from copyrighted content, IPs, trademarks, etc. Trying to define what is and isn't "original content" will not go well for you. Any army of lawyers could wipe you off the map. The law is not on your side. Don't bother arguing this.

This is a moral matter. Just because the law is not on your side doesn't mean nobody has any say. In the end we're all operating entirely on "good faith", that's basically how modding works. It doesn't mean we all have the same opinions: "money poisons all", "everything should be shared", "my time is valuable", "for the greater good", etc. I get it, they're controversial topics. But I think the involved parties have already made up their minds, so arguing further is just adding fuel to the fire. Respect everyone's opinions, agree to disagree.

Personally, I do not fear the army of lawyers, or the slippery slope of jerks that are just waiting for the chance to tear modding apart with their stashes of exclusive closed content. That's counterproductive. I don't think there's any inherent benefit in enforcing everything to be under one rule. Content creators can create amazing things whether for free or for a price. Different people have different priorities and produce content differently. Let authors have their say. I don't care for getting credit or a cut of everyone's work. I'd rather OpenXcom be a launching point for every kind of crazy cool idea people have, than just another source of the "license boogeyman". But this is all personal, so I may be proven wrong. Hope not.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 08:03:55 am by SupSuper »

Offline Mathel

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2019, 09:15:27 am »
This is the same as saying that the authors of OXC are claiming authorship over the original game, because they call themselves authors of OXC.

Who's the author of OXC then? The players? The modders? No one?
What does it matter? OXC is open-source.
The point I am trying to make is, that you want people not use your stuff, but you have used other people's stuff to create it.
"No. If the modification/improvement outweights original work to the point it is no longer the same thing, I won't remove them. I will honor your request only to the reasonable extent."
This is what you were angry about. But aren't you also guilty of it?
There were tiles old and new, rearranged to make new things. Like a painter takes colors and makes a new painting out of them. I agree that you may be author of the Terrain Pack. And that the Terrain Pack as a whole was original content. But you are not the author of every asset contained within.

Your pack ended up being used as a box of crayons, to create bigger mods. These modders did not create the terrains. But they gave them new use. It is similar to what you did, just on bigger scale. Where you took tiles to create terrains, they took terrains to create missions.

You are the author of the Terrain Pack. You have the right to prevent it's use, though using it retroactively is poor form.
But the result of exercising this right could have been disasterous. Luckily it seems it won't be.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2019, 03:24:14 pm »
You are the author of the Terrain Pack. You have the right to prevent it's use, though using it retroactively is poor form. But the result of exercising this right could have been disasterous. Luckily it seems it won't be.

And why exactly did I had to exercise that right?

Because it was being used for unauthorized proposes, namely for the propose of donations. 

And I asked to the person responsible for it to stop or I'd remove my permission for the assets to be used, the person responsible chose to keep donations.

I wasn't the one who choose to start asking for donations without considering all the authors, and I wasn't the one who chose with donations when I asked to stop.

So if you want to assign bad judgment on the parties, you can start right there.

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2019, 04:10:51 pm »
I think they keypoint here is, that you retroactively decided what unauthorized purpose is.
If that was clear from the start ("By including this in your mod you agree not to take any donations"), that´d have been different.
And not a single soul would argue about any of that.

Retroactively deciding what is allowed and what not, after no clear terms were given (again, excluding giving credits) and usage was tolerated over a long time,
is considered poor form.
Whether it is taking donations, or wearing green socks (how could you?! I never wore green socks or would condone it!), how could anyone have known.
Doing this retroactively, after your content was included in other mods and requires major work to replace, would put you into position to demand anything, just because you feel like it now. Thats why its often considered bad manners.
(As would be including other mods without asking, but if anyone asked "can i use your stuff in my mod" and you agreed without stating any terms, well no terms apply...)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2019, 05:06:03 pm »
I think they keypoint here is, that you retroactively decided what unauthorized purpose is.
If that was clear from the start ("By including this in your mod you agree not to take any donations"), that´d have been different.
And not a single soul would argue about any of that.

Are you saying that I don't have the right to revoke permissions whenever I want, and for whatever reasons I chose to?

Are you saying that anyone has the right to do whatever they want with my work because I haven't specified its uses?

What's your keypoint? That I have no right to change my mind when I find unauthorized uses of my work?

Quote
Retroactively deciding what is allowed and what not, after no clear terms were given (again, excluding giving credits) and usage was tolerated over a long time,
is considered poor form.

Poor form is deciding to add donations on the middle of your project, without fully considering all of its effects and the need to renew authorizations, because of the issues regarding donations.

So, who started it? And for what reason?

Quote
Whether it is taking donations, or wearing green socks (how could you?! I never wore green socks or would condone it!), how could anyone have known.
Doing this retroactively, after your content was included in other mods and requires major work to replace, would put you into position to demand anything, just because you feel like it now. Thats why its often considered bad manners.

If my work is so important:
a) Why didn't the person who adapted it took every precaution to prevent this sort of issue from happening?

b) Why did he chose instead to keep donations ('I receive less than zero from this') instead of keeping my work?

I asked that my wishes to the respected, and it was refused in a very impolite way. That's bad manners toward me.

He chose to keep donations, knowing how it would affect everyone. He could have suspended them, removed my content, and then asked for donations without needing my permission. He chose instead to follow the current route, without considering the effect it would have on his mod's community, because he chose donations.

Because he wants to keeping ask for money, the mod can't function properly anymore. That's bad manners towards everyone involved in his mod.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the whole key point of this.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 05:34:14 pm by Hobbes »

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2019, 05:36:31 pm »
Are you saying that I don't have the right to revoke permissions whenever I want, and for whatever reasons I chose to?
Nope, you can. Doing it for whatever reason you choose... well, green socks.
Are you saying that anyone has the right to do whatever they want with my work because I haven't specified its uses?
If you let them use it without clarifying on what terms, yes.
Poor form is deciding to add donations on the middle of your project
Why? Its quite common...
and the need to renew authorizations, because of the issues regarding donations.
If no restrictions in that direction are known (or stated by you in that case), why would anyone consider it?
Or are you demanding if someone includes your stuff in their mod they need to inform you whenever they put on socks or eat lunch, because it might happen in the future you decide you´re vegegarian and don't approve of green socks. Or marry someone. Turns out you could decide thats outrageous and they would have needed to rearrange their asset usage with you again.
Unless you state that you care about that, why would anyone consider it might piss you off or they need to renew their authorization regarding using your stuff?

Why didn't the person who adapted it took every precaution to prevent this sort of issue from happening?
There seems to be no precedence case here, so probably didn't regard it as needed. Pretty sure that will change.

b) Why did he chose instead to keep donations ('I receive less than zero from this') instead of keeping my work?
I have no information about this. But I´d have decided the same. You retroactively coming up with demands after usage was granted is akin to blackmail.
"You do as I say now, or else", on a matter that is no concern to you, because you suddenly declare it your concern.
Why would anyone give in to that. Matter of principle.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2019, 06:16:59 pm »
If you let them use it without clarifying on what terms, yes.

It's called trust and common sense. I thought 20 years ago that the modders would respect one and use the other when using my work. Since things have changed, I discovered I needed to change as well.

Quote
Why? Its quite common...If no restrictions in that direction are known (or stated by you in that case), why would anyone consider it?

Please read the full sentence I wrote:

"Poor form is deciding to add donations on the middle of your project, without fully considering all of its effects and the need to renew authorizations, because of the issues regarding donations. "

This is a basic principle behind all contracts: if you change the terms of an agreement, the other party has the right not to continue with the agreement.

Quote
Unless you state that you care about that, why would anyone consider it might piss you off or they need to renew their authorization regarding using your stuff?

If you want to keep using my stuff, you do, if you start using it for something else than initially agreed on. If he decided to turn the mod into an 'adult only content' or using it to recruit members for a religious sect, I'd be in every right to demand my work stopped being used on it.

I don't work for you or that mod or anyone involved on it. I was never a part of that team. I didn't made those assets specifically for that mod as well. I don't owe anything to you, them, or anyone else involved with that mod. But they own me, if they wanted to keep using my work.

And I didn't give authorization to last until eternity or do whatever you want with it. And just because I didn't specifically state my rights or preferences, that doesn't mean that they can be ignored by the other party.

Quote
There seems to be no precedence case here, so probably didn't regard it as needed. Pretty sure that will change.

Agreed. That's the one positive outcome of this affair, that this whole issue will make modders more considerate of other modder's rights.

Quote
I have no information about this. But I´d have decided the same.

So you've made your decision about the situation after only asking explanations and clarification to one of the parties involved? That's cool though, we'd probably still disagree regardless of the answer from other side.

Quote
You retroactively coming up with demands after usage was granted is akin to blackmail.

If you consider that 'blackmail' is when modders realize their rights and also start demanding that they are respected, then I can assure you, from the private messages I've been receiving through this whole affair from other modders, that you're going to see a lot more 'Cease and desist' notices happening.

If you want to avoid this completely - go and pay for a game and play. Or create your own content.

Because using 'free stuff' doesn't give you automatically the right to do whatever you want with it, without caring for the possible consequences. And if you believed it otherwise, welcome to the real world.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 07:19:23 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Helmet_Hair

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2019, 06:51:57 pm »
Yikes, what a move! Modding community be damned I guess.

Also taking donations is not selling.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2019, 07:01:28 pm »
Also taking donations is not selling.

Your opinion. My opinion about donations is different. I am the author. When I decide upon usage of my work, my opinion is more important than yours.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 07:03:32 pm by Hobbes »

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2019, 07:23:10 pm »
"Poor form is deciding to add donations on the middle of your project, without fully considering all of its effects and the need to renew authorizations, because of the issues regarding donations. "
Again, why would anyone know that donations are an issue for you, if you never mentioned it before?
This is a basic principle behind all contracts: if you change the terms of an agreement, the other party has the right not to continue with the agreement.
Were were the terms stated? There was no mention of any of those issues in any states terms. (Stated terms were giving credit and possibly submit assets)
I´d say it was a mutual agreement, not a contract. Which you changed one sided. If that was a contract, usually there´d be a temporal component (til next year, til eternity) both sides have to keep to the accepted terms, for exactly the reason of one party not just changing them at will, forcing term change or end of contract.
Your landlord kicks you out because you wear green socks. Turns out it was a huge issue for him and you should have known you need to re-clarify your terms with him before doing it. He forbids you to wear green socks or your contract won't continue.
Luckily you won't have an agreement, but a contract (and pretty sure sock color is not mentioned there), and he can't just change a contract one sided.
Contract says "if its not in here (and not illegal), it does not matter".
If I´d be entering a mutual agreement with you, I´d trust you to not suddenly change your mind on the terms of the agreement. Well, you did.

if you start using it for something else than initially agreed on
What was agreed on initially?
If he decided to turn the mod into an 'adult only content' or using it to recruit members for a religious sect, I'd be in every right to demand my work stopped being used on it.
Where do you make that distinction of what he can do and what not without rearrangement with you? Or do you interpret that agreement as blank cheque for anything that theoretically would come to mind? Wearing green socks? (This time not as abstract example, but literally)
I don't work for you or that mod or anyone involved on it. I was never a part of that team. I didn't made those assets specifically for that mod as well. I don't owe anything to you, them, or anyone else involved with that mod.
Agreed.
But they own me, if they wanted to keep using my work.
Yes, but only to a certain extent. "Wanna keep using my mod? Do not use any green tiles in your mod. And all letters only caps. Or stop using it." (might come the next day again and demand no caps letters at all now)
While you can state that, is it reasonable? No. A basis for bilateral trust? Not the slightest. So regardless the actual demands, accepting them is unreasonable, unless they are trivial.

And just because I didn't specifically state my rights or preferences, that doesn't mean that they can be ignored by the other party.
That is my key point. "I did not state any preferences, but I want you to keep to them". Well most people can't read minds, and thoughts are volatile anyway... But the stance "You ignored things I didn't tell you" is anthing but fair. Or reasonable. Or common sense.

Your opinion. My opinion about donations is different. I am the author. When I decide upon usage of my work, my opinion is more important than yours.
Usually facts beat opinions. Are there some about that...?
(there are)
Unless opinions are rated more important than facts... But well, who´d do such a thing.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 07:27:24 pm by TheCurse »

Offline Juku121

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2019, 07:34:05 pm »
*De-lurks*

I'm not going to try arguing, since everyone's entrenched by now. I will just point out four things:

  • A primary the source of this problem is a combination of poor communication and rudeness, most of which can be safely blamed on one specific user of Hobbes's work. But not all of it, unfortunately. Hobbes's reaction was and continues to be over the top and in poor form. And I don't really see anything changing if, hypothetically, the modder was polite, argued for donations being harmless or perhaps proposing to share them, etc. AFAICT Hobbes would still have gone into 'I'll take my toys and go home' mode. Given that he's a long-standing member of the community, a moderator and someone who occasionally tries to set standards, that's not a good precedent. SupSuper recently threatened to ban some users for relatively minor squabbling (aka the 'don't be a jerk' rule). What's going on here is full-blown drama initiated by a moderator. This is not good for the community as a whole.
  • 'Authorship' has two primary components: money and ego, to put it bluntly. Both of these are completely legitimate concerns of all authors, I'm not trying to downplay either. But Hobbes's whole point here is to avoid money changing hands, so his motivation must be non-economical, i.e. moral. Moral rights serve three primary purposes:
    • to change the behaviour of others (this has, obviously, failed or at least backfired to a significant degree),
    • to influence others' opinion of oneself (that's a net loss, if this thread is any indication),
    • to make yourself feel good about your work and its usage (TP is being stripped down and getting less used in the future, so ...).
    ... the only satisfaction here is denying the use of the Terrain Pack to those who'd build upon it (for good or ill). Well, that and setting some new 'standards' (more on that below). Was it really worth it? When it's the single most important purpose of building and sharing mods? I really hate to agree with the original jerk here, but I can only echo his sentiment that
    "I will also personally no longer consider you a honorable member of the modding scene."
  • What is the problem with donations, exactly? I'm also generally ill-disposed towards modders making money from their work, but for a completely practical reason: it encourages 'copyrighting' mods, hoarding and not sharing your work, cliques, drama and squabbling, all of which significantly damage any modding scene. Witness e.g. Bethesda's 'paid Skyrim mods' debacle. What was Hobbes's solution to donations? Diving head-first into the same kind of behaviour.
  • As Meridian pointed out, for all practical purposes the Terrain Pack is now a standalone mod. It's not going to be included in anything more than a light compilation unless the authors are willing to waste tremendeous amounts of time building some sort of scaffolding around the Terrain Pack. If they're even going to do that, because Hobbes might find a new pet cause two years down the road and forbid using his work to anyone using Wolfenstein sprites, or partial nudity, or wearing green socks.  :P And e.g. FMP would now be either dead or frozen if Solarius didn't have to perform the same kind of updating work for the XCF. This is sabotage, even if it's sabotage with some good intentions attached.

Are you saying that anyone has the right to do whatever they want with my work because I haven't specified its uses?

This is a basic principle behind all contracts:

Yes. We are not mind readers. This is precisely why licencing and revoking licences was invented. There is no contract until you specify one. Going back and saying 'but there was a contract, everyone knows you can't wear green socks' is very poor form at the very least. I just looked, and neither TP's readme nor the first post in its thread says anything about even 'non-commercial use', nevermind donations. There seem to have been no general restrictions at all, unless you negotiated those with every user of TP you became aware of on a case-by-case basis.

...modders realize their rights and also start demanding that they are respected, then I can assure you, from the private messages I've been receiving through this whole affair from other modders, that you're going to see a lot more 'Cease and desist' notices happening.

This is precisely what most of those who've argued against this feared, Yankes being the first to fully articulate it. Modding is inherently an activity that consists of taking someone else's work and building on it. Sharing yours and then going 'no, but you can't use it unless you jump through these hoops' basically amounts to violating what little there is that passes for modder ethos. The only truly positive effect of such 'enforcement' is preventing people from claiming someone else's work as their own. That was never the issue here.

TLDR: This is someone I used to respect going for a 'Paid Creations' environment with none of the upsides of actually getting paid. I'm saddened, puzzled and clinging to a small bit of hope it won't transform a significant chunk of the community into a series of walled-off gardens.

*Re-lurks*

Offline Wasara

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2019, 09:16:30 pm »
Man this is kinda rough to see coming out of here.
I sympathize with you Hobbes and how it feels to have an opinion that conflicts with others and get ganged up on because of it.
When I comes to the modder having all the rights over their content, you're 100% right and everyone agrees with you there.
Keep in mind that there is almost no method of forced compliance here. The modders made the choice to respect your rights despite disagreeing with how you wanted to use them.
I may be wrong, but I think that there's nothing stopping them from ignoring you and resuming their work on their mods other than their respect for your rights.
Id bet no lawyer is going into this mess since there's basically no signifigent money in it.

At this point, I'd urge everyone to step back from the issue and take some time to think about what happened here. What's done is done. There's been a lot of time and energy put into this and I think y'all deserve a break.

I hope people here keep pumping out good times.