Attention, popularity and legal trouble

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Golken
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Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by Golken » 01 Jun 2015, 23:16

The potential inherent to a project such as OpenMW that actually succeeds and is completed is enormous.
As a game and a game engine, I don't think it's unrealistic to assume that it could attain extreme mainstream popularity. It would be able to have far better enhancements to its base systems and attributes (such as physics, graphics, gameplay) than Morrowind ever could (and as we know that game is still played and praised), and it could eventually cause the 'issues' (such as outdated engine, graphics, physics) that are lowering Morrowind's popularity to disappear. It would also be far more moddable and extensible than Skyrim, and every Bethedsa game that will ever be made (or so logic dictates with a high probability). It could even support multiplayer. It is now approaching release (by the way, how close would you say it is?).
There seems to be a consensus (and a logical one) here that Bethedsa could take legal action at any time, if it so wished. What trouble could OpenMW attract in the future?

This is meant to be a brainstorming and planning thread. What do you think would happen if in the future, OpenMW becomes popular? What if it becomes more popular than Skyrim - and even the next TES game or games after it (perhaps not far fetched especially if the series continues down a "dumbing down" etc path, and considering possible periodical OpenMW modding booms) ? Would Bethedsa take any action and what would it be? Would it sue to cease OpenMW distribution? And could that even work? Would OpenMW be forced to officially be presented as having nothing to do with TES or Morrowind? What might happen to the project, anyway?
As with the examples of things like Minecraft and uTorrent, Bethedsa might even try to buy the project.

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jirka642
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by jirka642 » 01 Jun 2015, 23:30

Well, it looks to me that aim is for OpenMW to be game engine that "just happens" to be able to read Morrowind datafiles, so Bethesda probably couldn't do much, but they could force OpenMW to not be shown using Morrowind datafiles (like it was with android port).
On GitHub as kunesj, on GitLab as kunesj.
OS: Linux Mint 18, CPU: Intel Core i5-3330, RAM: 16GB, GPU: GeForce GTX 650Ti, OpenMW: from source

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raevol
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by raevol » 01 Jun 2015, 23:30

Hi, welcome to the forums!

DocClox
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by DocClox » 01 Jun 2015, 23:36

Golken wrote: There seems to be a consensus (and a logical one) here that Bethedsa could take legal action at any time, if it so wished. What trouble could OpenMW attract in the future?
There has been some quite extensive correspondence with Beth on the subject and an agreement would seem to have been hammered out. The letters are all on the forum somewhere.
Golken wrote: As with the examples of things like Minecraft and uTorrent, Bethedsa might even try to buy the project.
Well, the code is GPL iirc, so there's no way to remove it from circulation. I suppose if they wanted to give the principle developers full time jobs, it might be possible to persuade everyone to close some subsequent release.

On the whole, from what's on the wiki, I'm not too worried.

Golken
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by Golken » 02 Jun 2015, 00:44

jirka642 wrote:Well, it looks to me that aim is for OpenMW to be game engine that "just happens" to be able to read Morrowind datafiles, so Bethesda probably couldn't do much, but they could force OpenMW to not be shown using Morrowind datafiles (like it was with android port).
Couldn't they also disallow foreign programs to use their datafiles at all, or to disallow using them in any game outside of TES3? It's not a matter of being shown.
It might also be a problem that OMW is an engine that is obviously and specifically designed to emulate TES3 on all levels, and also has expressed official main goals to that effect. That could possibly be sidestepped if the UI and names of everything are changed as well, so there's no more connection.
DocClox wrote:There has been some quite extensive correspondence with Beth on the subject and an agreement would seem to have been hammered out. The letters are all on the forum somewhere.
Yeah, how substantive is all that? And where is whatever you've referred to on the wiki?
DocClox wrote:Well, the code is GPL iirc, so there's no way to remove it from circulation.
Maybe because the project is loading and based off their proprietary files, they could demand sites hosting it from taking it down while it does so? I don't know. Though you're right, only further development might be changed, perhaps a closed fork will be created.

By the way, is there any "known" inaccurate ETA for OMW v1.0, and for whatever version it would be when it's polished and with advanced modding support? I don't know what to make of the "it's close" statements.

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jirka642
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by jirka642 » 02 Jun 2015, 00:58

Golken wrote:
DocClox wrote:There has been some quite extensive correspondence with Beth on the subject and an agreement would seem to have been hammered out. The letters are all on the forum somewhere.
Yeah, how substantive is all that? And where is whatever you've referred to on the wiki?
They are here https://wiki.openmw.org/index.php?title=Bethesda_Emails. It was mostly about possible legal problems with android version, because its different platform.

EDIT:
Golken wrote: Maybe because the project is loading and based off their proprietary files, they could demand sites hosting it from taking it down while it does so? I don't know.
If that was possible, Microsoft would have already shut down LibreOffice. They could maybe take it down if OpenMW was reverse engineering Morrowind executable, but it's not.
On GitHub as kunesj, on GitLab as kunesj.
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Okulo
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by Okulo » 02 Jun 2015, 08:16

Golken wrote:It is now approaching release (by the way, how close would you say it is?).
I always like to check the issues tracker and apply a filter: Tracker is Feature, Subject doesn't contain "editor", Target is not OpenMW-Future. I'm getting 41 results right now. It's not absolutely reliable, but it does make me giddy to see.

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sjek
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by sjek » 02 Jun 2015, 09:43

It is now approaching release
that's relative to timespan of the whole project and 600 000 lines of code ;)

there's ironing out to do and the osg port + scripting system but it's relatively mainly done.
the 1.0 starts kinda after features are complete

and then there's optimisation for partly checking by hand the whole pack + ide automation

i'm hoping in next year and investigating bugs now and then (:
"life is crazy"
"craziness has beauty which only crazies understand" some movie clip in the head.
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psi29a
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by psi29a » 02 Jun 2015, 10:17

I think this thread is a bit silly, but whatever. I'll address a few things below that come from my talk with Matt (Bethesda).

1) Bethesda has blessed OpenMW, but it is a gentleman's agreement. They don't care what we do so long as Morrowind (Bethesda's IP) isn't shown to be runnable on non PC platforms.

2) No one can buy OpenMW. They can only copy it and sell it in accordance to the GPL.

3) Bethesda isn't interested in the OpenMW developers. If they want to work for Bethesda, they need to go to the job section on Bethesda's website. Their work here will count in their favor of course.

What happens if OpenMW becomes popular? Great, more eyes means more bugs hopefully found and on the issue tracker.

Golken
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Re: Attention, popularity and legal trouble

Post by Golken » 02 Jun 2015, 21:50

Sure, just wanted to see what everyone thought and make certain.
In reality, not everything is according to the ideal, money is power and sometimes you just can't know what's gonna happen, but my worries are appeased, right now. :D

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