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Author Topic: Terrain Pack and Area 51 Announcement  (Read 346516 times)

Offline Hobbes

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Terrain Pack and Area 51 Announcement
« on: June 21, 2014, 05:41:50 pm »
Announcement (November 14th, 2020)

I've been modding for more than 20 years and I've been involved in other XCom projects like UFO2000 or UFOPaedia.org, and I still want to continue working in the future in one of my favorite games when my personal life and other modding projects settle down a bit. I never did it for money or fame, and when I started in UFO2000, all the developers/modders knew the risk of the IP holder of the XCom series putting a stop on the entire project and preventing us from publicly continuing our work.

That's a risk all modders always need to keep present when they decide to use copyrighted material from other authors - unless it's specifically released by the author as copyleft/free use, you do not have a right to use and distribute it as you want. You can mod as much as you want privately if you keep it to your computer, but the moment you start releasing and using somebody else's material without specific permission from them for what you're doing, then don't be surprised if all of that work goes to waste when they tell you to remove it. It was your responsibility that this happened, not the author's.

In the past there was a situation where a couple of mods started using material from the Terrain Pack and Area 51 in mods that asked for donations, plus adapting and changing my work to present it as if it was theirs. When I became aware of this situation I made it stop, and I took steps such as removing all the content in my mods that I didn't have specific permission to use, as well as very specific guidelines to how those mods could be used. Unfortunately, this has proven to be not enough, with some people completely disregarding the need for required permissions, and even publishing my original materials as open source in sites like Github, as if they have a right to do whatever they want just because they're modders.

I consider this to be a toxic attitude and unmotivating to us who create original content, and since recent events showed me that I'm rowing against the current, I've decided to stop public distribution of all my OpenXCom mods on the mod portal in order to prevent future abuse from taking place. I don't take pleasure in having to check other mods and having to enforce take-downs of abuses, but I will never accept this kind of disrespect and abuse towards the tens of thousands of hours of work that I've given over the years to these mods. But if that's what it takes, then I'll have to spend my energy to stop any further unauthorized use of everything that I've made so far. Why should I create and publish original content that will simply be abused over and over?

Finally, I consider the players to be the ultimate losers from this issue. To you I'll say: if you already have my mods installed, you can keep playing them. If you don't have the mods and want to play them, send me a private msg and I'll provide you with a download link (except for Area 51 - current version contains material I'm not allowed to distribute anymore).

And to the modders who share my feelings that I exposed about this issue - I'm more than happy to share my knowledge and experience to help you create your own original content and I promise that's way more fulfilling than simply ripping material from every mod and pretending it's your own.

And to the others who don't share my feelings on this - it's your risk and if you're not responsible, then you're heading for a bad surprise in the future.

Over and out for now.

Hobbes
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:50:55 pm by Hobbes »