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Found 8 results

  1. I'm really confused about this, now say I used a non-commercial recourse in a game, and I put it up completely free; can I ask for donations? And no the donations wouldn't really affect anything they're just.. donations.
  2. Ello, everyone. As I'm edging towards publishing screenshots, demos, and concept art of my game, I got to thinking about officially copyrighting the current version of my game (which is still in progress.) I realize that anything you publish and can prove is yours is copyrighted anyways, but there are some benefits to getting it "official." While I have provided most of my resources so far (all the art, all the SEs/music, concept and production), I'm left wondering what I do about appropriately crediting the users of the free-to-use scripts that I have in my game. So many RPGM games have been published and have sold dozens of copies (on Steam, on their website, ect;). Someone on here must have experience in this. Most of us use free-to-use scripts provided for the community. What did you do to copyright your game while not infringing on the rights of the users who provided your scripts? I've been swimming in web pages with legal jargon, and prepping everything I could possibly need for publishing (trademark registration, business license, copyright registration, ect; .) I'm starting to feel a little lost and in need some solid, easy to comprehend direction so I know what's vital and what I need to cut out. Thank you for reading!
  3. This video of Game Theory was just recently released and this sheds a lot of light on what many people on this forum are doing, which is making fan games. Everyone here needs to watch this because things may end up taking a turn for the worse when it comes to the subject.
  4. So apparently a big fan project that has been in development for years was released... rrriiight in time for it to be slapped with A DMCA claim and shut down. This is nothing new. Fanworks are often hit by this stuff. There are too many examples to really even list, nor am I really going to. Heck there are a few examples of fanworks by members of this very forum that I fear may spark this type of reaction in the future. To be honest, discussing the problem is kinda making me nervous so soon after I was banned for comments that could be seen to encourage piracy and/or plagiarism even though that wasn't the point I was trying to make. I think I will avoid talking or mentioning any particular project names for now, and try hard to avoid doing anything that would be seen to encourage breaking any laws. But I feel this is a problem that I think does need to be talked about. Fans work hard on fanworks because of a passion they have for the material. They do their best to make sure to share that passion. They most often do their best to make sure to recognize and support the original creators. They often act as free advertising for the original creator's project. Most of them are fairly humble and see themselves as nothing more then fans engaging in a hobby. And yet none of that matters in the eyes of the law. Thing is, fanworks, especially ones that use actual copyrighted materials, are always in a legal gray area at best and downright infringing at worst. They are always going to be stomped down when they get big enough. And really for a lot of fans, they grin and bare it, because they love the work. Because they "understand". But the really screwed up part? The companies that stomp them down in the mud still benefits from them having made the work. They still get their name in the lights. They still get to show how much their fans love them. They still get the publicity. Everyone will grumble and still "circulate the tapes". Heck, sometimes they don't even want to shut them down, but due to how copyright law works they basically have to. And that's why I think, unless copyright is abolished or majorly reformed, most fanworks are a bad idea. And I feel bad saying that, I really do. Because I do like a lot of them and there are many franchises I think the fans can do a good job expanding on and making better, even if it's not "canon". Because quite frankly, if someone tells you that you aren't allowed to take something and remix it into something you like better, they don't deserve for you to make it better. If someone tells you something old and forgotten isn't allowed to be polished up and remade for a new generation then maybe it should just be left to be forgotten. You might as well just take inspiration from it and make something new. And the fact is, as long as people cling on to franchises and the past for their imagination, the more they will be seen as more valuable then quality and the more corporations will seek to tighten their hold on names rather then the spirit they represent. If we are to break the hold of these corporations on things we love, maybe we will have to learn to let many of them go, and make new more open things that everyone can feel happy to be a fan of.
  5. People might have noticed that I was suspended not to long ago, mostly because I was running of my mouth and said something that I don't really mean that basically was encouraging people to ignore terms of service on scripts. I have already started this in a status message but let me be clear: I do NOT think that simply because you might not agree with a law/rule/common practice that you should simply be a rebel and ignore it. There is a time and place for that certainly, humanity would not have gotten this far without a bit of rebellion, and I do count myself as an anarchist. But actions have consequences, and you better be damn sure it's worth it before you start breaking rules willy nilly. This was a case of me not thinking about what I was actually saying. The point I was trying to make was more about how arbitrary peoples idea of what counts as "fair use" and what doesn't can be, not a call for people to actually break or even test the rules. It was a stupid point anyway, because it basically assumed the hypocrisy of a straw-man and took two examples in different context and tried to compare them. And it was a pretty trolly thing to say anyway. Not my smartest idea of a thing to say all around. I think I was in a particularly bad mood that day, as my mood really has kinda been going down hill lately, not that that is an excuse. My suspension is not really what I wanted to talk about though. As far as I am concerned it's over and done with. I served my time, and I hopefully won't be repeating the same mistake twice. It did make me want to examine my position on copyright though, and talk a little about some of the doubts and concerns I have with my way of thinking. Because I realize it's often quite radical, even for most people who are for serious copyright reform, and I always find myself going back and forth on some issues: I often want to push for getting rid of copyright altogether, but I sometimes want to hold back from insisting people go that far, mostly because I can see the argument that it isn't always practical for most people to make a living that way, at least not yet. I have often insisted that donation and croudfunding are both still a viable way of making money in a post-copyright world, and I still think that's true. It's a big economic shift though, and one that is likely to take a long long time. Honestly even a basic reform that gets rid of most or all of the huge unnecessary extensions that lobbyists like Disney put in place so they could continue making money off their old stuff and a crackdown on copyright trolls would probably be enough for me to be more or less happy, if not completely satisfied. There are lots of ways to reform copyright that will make it better for everyone without completely abandoning the concept. But I continue to wonder if it would be better to do so or if it would be better to do the hard thing and abandon the concept while rebuilding a whole new economic model. In the extreme long term I tend to think that any system that relies on people simply following the rules is going to fail. This may be too far away to worry about, but what happens when people start going into space and just vanishing and doing their own thing? How will you enforce the rules then? Even now in today's world there is trouble enough and more and more game companies are turning to micro-transactions and the free to play model out of fears of piracy. For each government crackdown, more and more pirates seem to slip through the cracks. Perhaps that is a sign that the rules of the game needs to be changed? Also, the idea of "copyleft" poses something of a dilemma for me. On the one hand, I do like the idea of things like the GPL and Creative Commons encouraging cooperation and guaranteeing that everyone is free to use and distribute anything that uses them but on the other hand. since copyleft is still based on the use of copyright to restrict the freedom of how things can be used, That is why I have always pretty much refused to list any terms of use at all in any of my scripts and conciser them public domain. On the other hand, I don't look at my scripts as that important, and mostly think of them as small hobby projects. If I ever did a large/serious project, I definitely think I would have to think more carefully about if I would want it to really be in the public domain or not, especially if anyone else wanted to contribute. It's just more practical and lets me not worry about things as much. But wouldn't it be hypocritical for me to do so? I am not really sure if my weird brand of ethics is really comparable with copyleft, but practical concerts may end up winning out in this case. I will cross that bridge when I come to it anyway. Heck if it's public domain and someone wants to contribute, they could GPL it without my permission anyway so it might not matter. Also also, in the end maybe I shouldn't worry quite as much about it more then I have to anyway. I don't produce much, and the rest of world is the way the rest of the world is. Truth is, I am very rarely personally effected by copyright. I really don't pirate things at all, even though I used to when is was much younger I guess. Nowadays it's just easier to buy games on steam then to get them any other way, and I think it's a pretty good way to fund developers actually. Donation is a hassle because I really don't use credit cards at all. Buying a steam gift card though is pretty easy. Heck I almost wish steam had a donation system built in so I could use my steam wallet to fund games I like. I don't even buy or play games all that often, and most of my time is spent reading free fanfiction or free youtube videos. Copyright annoys me, but is it really THAT big of a deal? Probably not. Still think it should be reformed or be abolished though, and I still have very strong feelings about it. Probably more then most other political issues, even some of the real important ones. At least it's one of the few issues I feel strongly about that I think most humans are likely to understand my position on.
  6. I have talked before about how I hate current copyright laws and how I think they will one day change, maybe even to the extreme of abolishing copyright all together. I did not however speculate that much on what kind of legal systems will be put in place in the future, with the exception of my belief in the eventual domination in the economic systems of crowd funding, open source, free software, and creative commons. But not to long ago I got to watching , which is mostly about 3D printing and the vaguer legal situations behind some of the practices. In it a lawyer for a 3D printing company has some very interesting things to say about copyright, even if he uses my oh so despised buzzword of "intellectual property". The points he makes, in brief, are that any attempt to come up with either a hardline legal system to sue everyone who redistributes things without permission or come with a complicated DRM scheme that locks people out of doing what they want are both going to do nothing but drive away customers. However, he goes on to insist that basic verification of where something comes from and how it was made is of paramount importance. It's important, as per the example he used, to verify exactly who designed a replacement part for a plane and who manufactured it. This got me thinking. It was similar to something I always insisted was true when it came to "intellectual property". Copyright and patents can go screw themselves as far as I am concerned, but trademarks are important. No not just important, important. It's vital that when you buy a product or service you know exactly what you are dealing with and that who you buy it from can be trusted. Without this, all commerce completely falls apart. And it also made me wonder if the attempt at combining copyright, patents, and trademarks into one thing like my oh so hated propaganda term "intellectual property" implies might not be so far from the mark. Of course it still needs to be approached form a completely different angle, and "intellectual property" is still a dumb, backwards, and rather scary concept, but still, credit where credit is due. So, here is my not so modest proposal about some principles that a new system of laws should hold to: Information isn't property. First of all this ridiculous fiction of "intellectual property" needs to stop now. If businesses and livelihoods dedicated to creating art or technologies need to be protected, and I agree they do, this isn't the way to do it. It simply isn't. No more talk about "stealing" information. No more propaganda about "ownership" of abstract things. No. This is another issue altogether. This has no more to do with ownership then free speech or privacy does (except to the degree that you own yourself), and in fact has a lot more to do with those two things. Information is something entirely different. Brand and reputation are important, not content. Let's face it... if, for example, Disney did lose Mickey Mouse's copyright to the public domain (like they should have decades ago)? They would still have trademarks to fall back on. You might be tempted to say that kind of thing is an abuse of trademark law, and maybe it kind of is... but at the same time it kind of is not. A trademark is supposed to protect buyers from making fraudulent purchases. If you buy a movie that has Mickey Mouse splashed on the cover and featured in a staring role, you expect it to come form Disney, and you expect that to mean a particular type of content or level of quality or authenticity. The content hardly matters, you are being sold the brand. That's how basic trademark law works, and it can support a lot of businesses just on it's own. Remixing content is not the same thing as ripping people off. Lets look at something that sorta exists on the edge of copyright. The good old . We could talk about a lot of stuff here, like fanfiction, fanart, and good old Rule 34, but I am choosing abridged series because it is closely derived from the original material. Is it legal that you can cut up a bunch of footage form a show and make your own thing from it? Apparently yes because it's a "parody". But, a reasonable objection might be that label of "parody" is rather subjective. Heck, if I had a dime for every video on youtube that was called a "parody" without really being a parody at all... So why not allow all sorts of uses? Telling new stories, creating new fan episodes... and the answer is mostly context. Fair use exists to allow content to be shown in different contexts. You will also notice many later abridged series works, and a hell of a lot of fan fiction, show a little disclaimer at the start like the one at the start of . Thing is? This type of "I don't own this" disclaimer I am pretty sure is completely without legal function. But if it does have one it is to insure that the watcher/reader understands that the work is made in a different context, and that this work should not reflect on the original brand. As far as fair use is concerned, in many situations this shift in context is implied with particular works, but not all, and anything outside of these particular works there is no shift in context and therefor they are unprotected. I say all works that are made in a different context and which do not try to deceive and cannot be taken to be an official product should be. Creators should be compensated for their labor, but that's it. The original intent of the copyright law was to encourage creators to create, not for them to sit back and reap the rewards for past works, and certainly not to have the rights to all their old works hoarded by huge corporations for decades and decades past their death. The fact is that copyright law has had almost the exact opposite effect: It's stifled innovation and just created a culture filled with parasitic middle men and money grubbing suits. Okay you think a creator should make a living off creating? Fine. You think they should maybe have some exclusive time to distribute works? Okay maybe. If it's no more then ten years. Tops. Maybe it made more sense to have longer terms before but in today's rapidly evolving world there is no point in it. You want more money after that? Be someone worth paying money to! Redistribution is a matter of trust, respect, and good service, not entitlement. Let's face it, piracy is not going away. Yet it hardly matters as much as it once did. Digital download services are booming, largely because the companies involved learned the most important lesson: Offer a trusted way with good service that lets they pay creators they respect, and most people will do it. Try to enforce your self-entitled belief that you deserve to make money on x thing because you happened to make it and people will ignore you or actively push back. To have trust, the users must be sure they are getting what they think they are getting and paying the people they think they are paying. To have respect, the users must know and understand the reputation of the people they are paying. To have good service the people that they are paying must work for the uses, not opposed to them. It's really that simple. Without trust, the users will find someone they do trust more. Without respect, the users have no reason not to try and get everything they can for free and wouldn't likely by it anyway, and without good service the users will be frustrated trying to buy form you at all. Now does that mean the legal pressure on pirates should just vanish? Eh... maybe not. But on the other hand, I see no reason why people should be protected from them for not having enough of any of those three things. That's all for now. Maybe some of these don't match up together perfectly... But I think it's a good start to think about at least.
  7. So I recently heard that last month yet ANOTHER royal YouTube screw up has made tons of people really mad. Yet another example of the automated system screwing up and screwing a lot of people over. Some big name people even. And people complained again loudly with seemingly little effect, until some of it was cleared up without even a peep of an apology or even any explanation for what happened. Same old story. This wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. This isn't going to change. YouTube will continue to screw with people and people will complain but they won't really do anything to change it. They certainly won't leave YouTube or anything. They aren't going to risk their livelihood or audience and will continue to implicitly support the broken system even knowing that it is broken and knowing they are doing nobody any good supporting it. Because when it comes down to it, YouTube is a monopoly that can get away with anything. Except it doesn't have to be. See, this is the Internet. This is a system where anyone can, if they wish to, install Apache on a old computer and get their own web site online from their own homes. Not the best way to do it of course, for that you need either money enough to rent a server or to find some free web hosting site, not to mention DNS registration fees. But you CAN do it. Thanks to WebM and HTML5's video tag you can even host videos there, though again it would be slow and a hassle and no one is likely to find it. Of course, since it is slow and a hassle and no one will be able to find it, no one does that stuff anymore (except for "dark web" stuff I guess"). The thing is though, even big things like Channel Awesome which DO have their own site have always relied on external video sites for hosting videos. And I mean, fine, I understand why. WebM is a relatively new technology for one thing, and most sites just can't handle the type of load videos get. But the weakness of not hosting their own videos and ads and stuff is they rely on external sites for their content, and any problem or change will effect them and tfhey can't do much about it. They were counted with the ones who were having problems with YouTube's latest round of bullcrap after all. Ideally, what would be best is to have a YouTube-like site API that can work both as a host for people who can't do it themselves, and as a search engine/cache system for videos on external sites. A decentralized cache would speed up most videos while allowing everyone to host them where ever they want wouldn't it? There would be no need for any one corporation to control the whole system. Heck, it's likely this will happen to YouTube if an antitrust case is ever successfully built to challenge it, since this is kinda what happened to the bell system. The thing that sort of annoys me though, is that it's not just video that this trend has effected. All of a sudden, most people seem to have flocked to a handful of sites for everything. Facebook, DeviantArt, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. These few sites seemed to have gobbled up most of the content on the web, and all are controlled by centralized corporations with their own rules and very little competition allowing them to do what they want how they want. Am I the only one who thinks that the "good old days" where everyone had their own little server somewhere where they could host whatever they wanted was a better system? Maybe, but we can't go back can we? I would like to see more general APIs and decentralized systems and less monolithic corporations. I do kinda think the time where corporations can thrive and do whatever they want is slowly slowly coming to an end, but they are not gonna go down quietly, and not without people who are willing to trade a bit of convince for freedom, at least in the short term.
  8. One thing I am almost entirely sure of, is that "copyright", as we know it anyway, is going to mostly or totally go away... eventually. Don't get me wrong, it's not going to go away anytime soon or without a hard fight, but after a while it's just going to be impractical. It may take a while but the signs are already here, happening now as we speak. What signs am I talking about? Well here are a few: Linux won. Oh yeah yeah, I know the majority of desktop users probably still use windows. Doesn't matter. Linux is used for practically everything else. Servers? Mostly Linux. Smart Phones? A good number of them are Android which is a version of Linux. Most embedded devices? You guessed it, Linux. And let's face it, desktops are mostly dieing anyway, even businesses are starting to do "Bring Your Own Device" more and more. Even Steam is embracing Linux, so windows gaming may end up being a thing of the past soon too. And of course because of this, The idea of "Free Software" is winning too. Big business is becoming a look more open to practical collaborative methods of programing. Google for example, are a big big pusher of open source. It's just an easier and simpler way of doing things. This has spilled into games too, but not as much as other areas. Most every application you can think of though has a free version, and most of them are just as good. Do you really want to pay $600+ for photoshop when gimp is offered for free with just about as many features? But this doesn't only apply to software because, Creative Commons licenses allow the same type of freedom outside software. Wikipedia already uses it for most of it's content, and there are lots of places that use it to make free art, sounds, and music. Nowadays it's actually not that hard to look online and find sites dedicated to royalty free artwork, sound, or music. Some of it is made just for games even. But even without this type of thing, People ignore copyright anyway. For most people I would guess, copyright is an afterthought, if they think about it at all. There is the matter of out and out piracy of course where people just copy things anyway, copyright laws or no. Not all of them even think about it, just copying a song or two out of habit. But that's not all there is to it. There are also remixes and fanfiction, works of art made from or based on other works of art. But how would people make money off of this all you ask if they don't have control over copying? Well, People don't have to make money just of selling copies of something. Let's face it, half the Internet runs on ads anyway, and even if I don't particularly like that fact and block them on every opportunity, they still make money. People now can raise money for projects by themselves, and donate to a person they think is worth it. These aren't all viable all the time I know, but the point is alternative ways of making money exists. Even if it didn't there is still the fact that, People hate Copyright more and more each day. Let's face it. Every time you hear about Youtube pulling some Content ID crap, every time you hear about one more unreleased game from Japan or old game that has been abandoned by publishers who hoard the rights but never do anything with them, every time some asshole makes a DMCA strike on something you like, every time the government caves in to lobbyists and makes a bill like SOPA and PIPA, someone gets even more fed up with all this bullshit. It's only a matter of time before the dam breaks. I am not saying everything is going to change right away, I am just saying I wouldn't be surprised if within at longest the next hundred years the idea of copyright as we knowing slowly gets widdled down to nothing. And good riddance. But I kinda think it's worth thinking about at least. That's not all, The Singularity (the point where technology can recursively improve it's self on it's own and we all likely either die off or become cybergods) I heard may happen as soon as 2045. Will we even need copyright if, say, we are all connected as a super AI network?
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