Splash screens

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claudekennilol
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Re: Splash screens

Post by claudekennilol » 27 Jan 2014, 15:38

Okulo wrote:
Zini wrote:Also, that would be content. We don't do content. Of course any modder is free to create and provide this kind of mod outside of the project and if it is something cool (and legally unproblematic) we may link to it.
Y'know, people have been talking about making content for OpenMW more and more and that is great, but I still wonder how that would be delivered. Are you going to have your own repository or are you going to wait for fansites to offer downloads?

Suppose I want to create a texture pack specifically for OpenMW? And what of mods that change the source code? Like a mod that changes the leveling system? Or a mod that allows for a quick casting button a la the MCP? Or even a full-blown combat overhaul? Of course I could branch off from main, but I'd want my mod to be distributed independently from OpenMW so that it's fully optional and compatible with other mods. I had a very quick chat with a team member already who said that there's probably going to be some kind of API but I have no idea how to picture that.
Nexus now allows mods for *any* game so that first bit won't even be a problem. That, and nexus was started for morrowind modding, I doubt APY would have any problems with Openmw mods being hosted there even if they didn't allow mods for any game.

Mods that change leveling should in no way require a source code change. Combat overhauls, at least those that have already been done, just need the extended scripts from MWSE and/or MWE (which MWSE (at one point, at least) was planned to be implemented post 1.0). In my opinion, these should be implemented before 1.0, but my opinion isn't the one that's important around here. I've said this at least once before, but without MWSE mod support, I'll never get to enjoy Openmw for more than just "oh that's neat". (Though if it can get me through Qarl's The Underground 2 without introducing a game-crashing bug to my save then it'll be more than worth it. I've started that thing at least a dozen times and have never been able to finish it T_T)

So mod hosting somewhere on the internet shouldn't be a problem. Like mentioned above, the only problem is the legality of the mods being hosted (and whether or not the hoster cares). For instance, when texturing a new weapon based off of a vanilla weapon, you have to make a copy of the mesh, make a new texture (or recolor the one already there) and then upload both the mesh (which isn't actually yours) and the texture (additionally the .esp, but that's besides the point). Bethesda hasn't had a problem with this before since it's for use in the same game, even though technically we've been redistributing their assets. As soon as we do that, though, specifically for a different engine (a la Openmw) that's when it becomes a problem. That's why it's probably not a good idea to do something like, oh, take all of the default land textures, add bump mapping, and then reupload that as a mod specifically for Openmw. One could argue that it is for the same game (and in my opinion I'd agree <see above where my opinion isn't the one that matters>), Bethesda's lawyers could argue the opposite, and they'd win 'cause they're more in the right than my opinion is.

SquireNed
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Re: Splash screens

Post by SquireNed » 29 Jan 2014, 04:33

Any large-scale mods that are undertaken as part of OpenMW should be built around the concept of non-distribution of vanilla Morrowind content. Truth be told, we're not likely to see Bethesda sue OpenMW over that so long as the game continues to need the original .esm. If original content is not redistributed at all, it's essentially lawsuit proof (unless someone can prove shady reverse engineering practices, which OpenMW does not use) That said, we've seen stupid self-mutilating copyright lawsuits before.

Now, that said, it's entirely possible for people to make Morrowind-esque assets that come very close to Morrowind's original assets, as we saw with Doom, and retain both compatibility with mod content and legal good standing. However, one could still come under fire for taking creative input from Morrowind, as these would have to copy physical dimensions pretty closely. It would be an interesting case, but I'm not sure it's one we should get into just so that I can satisfy my morbid fascination with copyright litigation.

EDIT: I also suggest that any and all "OpenMW" mods remain the work of individuals and not the team as a whole, especially if they require the redistribution of Morrowind content. The risk to the project is much less that way.

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Sslaxx
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Re: Splash screens

Post by Sslaxx » 29 Jan 2014, 14:42

Might be a good idea to talk to GStaff or another Beth employee about this issue?
Stuart "Sslaxx" Moore.

claudekennilol
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Re: Splash screens

Post by claudekennilol » 29 Jan 2014, 15:15

Sslaxx wrote:Might be a good idea to talk to GStaff or another Beth employee about this issue?
But this is a non-issue. SquireNed summed it up pretty adequately. We can't make mods that regular ol' Morrowind can't use (a la mods that are specific to openmw and can't be loaded by the original game) where the assets are being pulled from what was distributed with Morrowind. No reason to go over to the official forums and ask because they have to say no, whether or not they actually have a problem with it.

Whether or not Bethesda would actually have a problem is a separate question entirely, but one that's best avoided by just simply not doing it.

SquireNed
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Re: Splash screens

Post by SquireNed » 29 Jan 2014, 15:55

We could actually make mods that aren't compatible with Morrowind's game that use the content, but we just shouldn't do so under the OpenMW banner and we should take care to ensure that they remain inoperable without a legal copy of Morrowind (to such a degree as the burden is on Bethesda to prevent piracy of their software).

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PeterBitt
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Re: Splash screens

Post by PeterBitt » 30 Jan 2014, 10:26

claudekennilol wrote:
Sslaxx wrote:Might be a good idea to talk to GStaff or another Beth employee about this issue?
But this is a non-issue. SquireNed summed it up pretty adequately. We can't make mods that regular ol' Morrowind can't use (a la mods that are specific to openmw and can't be loaded by the original game) where the assets are being pulled from what was distributed with Morrowind. No reason to go over to the official forums and ask because they have to say no, whether or not they actually have a problem with it.

Whether or not Bethesda would actually have a problem is a separate question entirely, but one that's best avoided by just simply not doing it.
Well I have made a mod in wich I distribute ALL vanilla textures. Talked to a moderator (who actually got in touch with me because he was curious why I have taken down the mod) and he couldnt see the problem. There is not problem at all with distributing Morrowind assets in a Morrowind mod, its being practiced like that for more than ten years with Bethesdas blessing.
Its understandable that OpenMW people want to avoid any problems, even if its only those hobby lawyers on Youtube and Beth forums that ever complained about such mods.

maqifrnswa
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Joined: 14 Jan 2013, 03:57

Re: Splash screens

Post by maqifrnswa » 30 Jan 2014, 14:22

PeterBitt wrote: Well I have made a mod in wich I distribute ALL vanilla textures. Talked to a moderator (who actually got in touch with me because he was curious why I have taken down the mod) and he couldnt see the problem. There is not problem at all with distributing Morrowind assets in a Morrowind mod, its being practiced like that for more than ten years with Bethesdas blessing.
Its understandable that OpenMW people want to avoid any problems, even if its only those hobby lawyers on Youtube and Beth forums that ever complained about such mods.
I'm not a lawyer, but i play one on the internet: You just described an obvious copyright violation. Either the moderator doesn't understand licensing and copyright, or beth waived their copyright (or gave you an implicit license to distribute).

While I'm not a lawyer, I'm heavily involved in OSS licensing and distribution, and can tell you no major Linux distro would go near files taken without a license from a commercial game because it is an obvious copyright violation.

SquireNed
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Re: Splash screens

Post by SquireNed » 30 Jan 2014, 15:49

Understand that there is a difference between having a right to something and enforcing it. There is no penalty for not enforcing your copyright (other than it looking bad if you know about infringement, wait a while, don't send a C&D, and then file a lawsuit, as it's usually deemed as being an attempt to get more money by waiting until the infringement is greater; note that this is on a per case basis, rather than a general basis). Because one person gets away with it doesn't necessarily mean you will. That said, there is a sort of implicit license granted in the creation and distribution of modification tools, though Bethesda's lawyers probably made sure to include the same sort of clauses that Bohemia's did in their release of the Arma assets for cross-game porting.

That said, I think people are putting the cart before the horse here. It should be entirely possible to redefine just the changed parts of the work, distributing a texture and new UV map information to an old mesh. Neither of the former infringe, as they are original (in theory), and the latter remains unchanged but is also not distributed.

Off-hand, I'd say don't worry about it, since Bethesda probably would send a C&D to modders before suing them if it didn't like what they were doing. We could ask them beforehand; asking for a license isn't held against you in US copyright law litigation, and likely in other situations as well. I'm not sure the OpenMW modders would win the suit that could result if Bethesda said no, but likely they don't care too much. If not, then it may be necessary to use predominantly mods for original Morrowind (they can't sue you for using something they permit to be distributed in a purpose other than they hoped for, unless you fall into one of a few distinct copyright infringement categories [sale, public display, ...] that we probably don't have to worry about), and keep OpenMW branded mods to original content only.

Chris
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Re: Splash screens

Post by Chris » 30 Jan 2014, 18:06

maqifrnswa wrote:I'm not a lawyer, but i play one on the internet: You just described an obvious copyright violation. Either the moderator doesn't understand licensing and copyright, or beth waived their copyright (or gave you an implicit license to distribute).
That statement has been reiterated multiple times both by moderators, and Bethesda's community managers (who officially work for the company). It's an implicit license. The terms are right there: "... in a Morrowind mod". Would a mod that can only work in OpenMW be considered a "Morrowind mod"? That's where the real lawyers would like to weigh in.

claudekennilol
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Re: Splash screens

Post by claudekennilol » 30 Jan 2014, 20:28

SquireNed wrote:We could actually make mods that aren't compatible with Morrowind's game that use the content, but we just shouldn't do so under the OpenMW banner and we should take care to ensure that they remain inoperable without a legal copy of Morrowind (to such a degree as the burden is on Bethesda to prevent piracy of their software).
No. We can't. Disregarding openmw and going off of Bethesda's precedents. This is exactly what morroblivion does and why it can't be discussed on the official forums. It does not distribute the assets. It takes the assets directly from your copy of morrowind and up-ports them to oblivion. Using assets designed for morrowind in another game (in this case oblivion) is not allowed by bethesda. This is exactly the same scenario for openmw which is why either A: mods made for openmw that use vanillamw meshes/textures/music need to be compatible with vanillamw or B: meshes/textures/music/etc need to be made completely from scratch (or found online with the proper rights).
PeterBitt wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
Sslaxx wrote:Might be a good idea to talk to GStaff or another Beth employee about this issue?
But this is a non-issue. SquireNed summed it up pretty adequately. We can't make mods that regular ol' Morrowind can't use (a la mods that are specific to openmw and can't be loaded by the original game) where the assets are being pulled from what was distributed with Morrowind. No reason to go over to the official forums and ask because they have to say no, whether or not they actually have a problem with it.

Whether or not Bethesda would actually have a problem is a separate question entirely, but one that's best avoided by just simply not doing it.
Well I have made a mod in wich I distribute ALL vanilla textures. Talked to a moderator (who actually got in touch with me because he was curious why I have taken down the mod) and he couldnt see the problem. There is not problem at all with distributing Morrowind assets in a Morrowind mod, its being practiced like that for more than ten years with Bethesdas blessing.
Its understandable that OpenMW people want to avoid any problems, even if its only those hobby lawyers on Youtube and Beth forums that ever complained about such mods.
I hope you're agreeing with me 'cause that's exactly what I said... "We can't make mods that regular ol' Morrowind can't use where the assets are being pulled from what was distributed with Morrowind."

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