psi29a wrote:Copyright law is very clear here: the rights belong to the author of the work not to the software/tools used to create the content. Bethesda doesn't have a leg to stand on in that regard. They can only enforce their copyrighted IP, that is all.
I would agree that the copyright in the material belongs to the author, not to Bethesda. But I don't think Bethesda are claiming copyright in the material, they appear to be imposing a restriction on use of the Editor, which might be valid.
psi29a wrote:Any other claims are not legally enforceable.
Similar topics were discussed during the Skyrim paid mods uproar. I think the only way to reach a definitive answer is for a court to decide the case (probably multiple courts as laws vary between countries).
psi29a wrote:For AoA I only plan on releasing omwgame and omwaddon, which are openmw-cs files and wouldn't work in Morrowind.
There's two other sentences from the Bethesda Morrowind Licence that are potentially relevant (and demonstrate why using OpenCS is a good idea...)
You are only permitted to distribute the New Materials, without charge (i.e., on a strictly non-commercial basis), to other authorized users who have purchased the Product, solely for use with such users' own authorized copies of such Product and in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement and all applicable laws.
where "Product" is defined thus -
...includes one or more CD-ROM discs containing one or more Bethesda Softworks software products for use with its proprietary RPG game, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind(R) (each, a "Product" and collectively, the "Products") ...
So the Construction Kit licence attempts to prevent distribution of mods to OpenMW users (unless they have a copy of Morrowind)
If You distribute or otherwise make available New Materials, You automatically grant to Bethesda Softworks the irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, sublicensable, right and license under all applicable copyrights and intellectual property rights laws to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, perform, display, distribute and otherwise exploit and/or dispose of the New Materials (or any part of the New Materials) in any way Bethesda Softworks, or its respective designee(s), sees fit.
And for Skyrim the wording of the corresponding section allowed Bethesda/Steam to sell paid mods - until they retreated.
Clearly using OpenCS instead of Bethesda's "Editor" is the solution going forward.
It's possible that those restrictions aren't enforceable, or that an exemption can be negotiated with Bethesda, or that Debian is happy to ignore the problem. But I think the matter deserves some thought and discussion.
PS It has been clear for many years, but emphasised during the paid mods incident, that licensing of Elder Scrolls mods is a mess. Good luck with the attempts to tidy it up.