A weird loophole?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by ggambett, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. luggage

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    You could write a Snood style game with Bejewelled's jewels. Would that be ok?

    This is where it gets into a grey area. The EULA for Age Of Empires 3 doesn't place any restrictions of a time period or limited use. Does that mean, according to your belief, using their data would be legal? After all you have been granted a license to use that data and it's entirely up to you how you use it. Even Popcap's license isn't clear...
    The question is when does the trial period expire?

    If the game has a 60 minute trial period does that mean 60 minutes on your drive while not being run? Obviously not. So you could argue the trial doesn't count down unless the exe is run. If you're not running the exe then the trial doesn't expire therefore you don't break the terms of the license.
     
    #61 luggage, Sep 8, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2005
  2. James C. Smith

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    I think you make a very good argument. That make the situation much more clear to me.
     
  3. James C. Smith

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    I think a better question is what parts of the game can you “creativelyâ€￾ use in another game during the trial period. You seem to think it may be legal to use some of the art in another game during the trial period. But do you also think it may be legal to use some of the code in another game during the trial period.

    If I made a game of my own that imported art from other demos, could I also make my game import EXE code from other demos? I doubt it. Why is the art protected by a different law than the code? It probably isn't.
     
  4. luggage

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    It would all depend what's in the license surely?

    The point about the exe being bundled with the data would be covered by the license stating you can't reverse engineer said exe. The license is the protection here not copyright law.

    If you're not breaking the license and you're not breaking copyright law then what law are you breaking by doing this?

    Somehow I've found myself arguing the case that it is legal even though I'm not sure whether it is or not. I just don't buy the "it's illegal because it's obvious" argument.
     
  5. ERoberts

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    ScummVM is not legal. It just seems that none of the IP owners seems to mind.

    Remember FreeCraft? Open source, could play WarCraft and StarCraft maps, as long as the user aldready had the art/maps. Was shut down by Blizzard for infringing on IP, as well as for having a too similar name.
     
  6. Ricardo C

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    Hopefully this can lay the issue to rest already.
     
  7. ggambett

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    I think it is, absolutely. That's how the web is supposed to work. Image leeching maybe immoral and wrong and all that but I don't think it's illegal.
     
  8. luggage

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    I'm pretty sure that Lucasarts would get Scumm VM removed if it wasn't legal. It's certainly an easy way to play illegal versions of their games. Is that just an opinion that you think it's not legal or is there some evidence of that?

    Firstly the product voluntarily folded after a cease and desist letter - that doesn't make it law. Not sure that's completely correct - you didn't need Warcraft\Starcraft data to use it - it was just able to make use of them. The primary reason given was for a similar name - it would cause product confusion. It then tacks on "also some of the ideas within the engine were too similar to WarCraft 2" which doesn't neccessarily mean it's anything to do with the usage of data.

    In fact the project is still going under a different name - Stratagus. It also has a game available for it called Wargus. Which is exactly what we're talking about. I guess you could argue that either it's a) legal or b) under Blizzards radar but you'd think Blizzard would keep an eye on the situation seeing as they've shut them down once.
     
    #68 luggage, Sep 8, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2005
  9. Pyabo

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    No! You are still misapplying copyright law. Creative works are inheritly copyrighted by their authors. You don't need to sign a contract when you buy a book at a bookstore... But it's still illegal to reproduce an author's work. You don't need to agree to the EULA in order to be bound by copyright law.

    In your example of just not running the executable, you are still using the software if you're using the image files. In fact, installing the software at all requires agreement to the license. If you don't agree to the license, you have no rights to the software. Your argument is stills seperating the images and the executable as if they are protected in different ways, and this is not the case.
     
  10. luggage

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    And in this case you're not reproducing anything. Copyright law doesn't protect you from this - I just can't see how it does. What part of installing another exe to a legal and licensed version of software is covered by copyright law? You're not copying anything. You have to make copies to break copyright law.

    Copyright doesn't protect you from having modifications made to the exe. You can happily apply cracks to games and not be breaking copyright law. You can reverse engineer to your hearts content and not break copyright law. You can rip every page out of your book and paste them all over your house and not be breaking copyright law. You can read your book from back to front and not be breaking copyright law.

    If you haven't broken copyright law and you haven't broken the license then how is it illegal?
     
  11. princec

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    There is still the issue of whether any such license is legal in the first place. It is fair to say that if the supplier offered you their data with no strings attached from their site (Download Now!) the moment it's on your harddrive it's yours to do as you please with, within the bounds of copyright law.

    Cas :)
     
  12. Ricardo C

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    You're creating a derivative work using the original developer's IP.
     
  13. princec

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    You are free to create any derivative works you like in the privacy of your own home and harddrive. Copyright protects the authors from you distributing the derivatives.

    Cas :)
     
  14. Ricardo C

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    Then the case is moot, and poses no risk to our business ;)
     
  15. Anthony Flack

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    But you are allowed to distribute your original part of the derivative work, allowing people to recreate the derivative work for themselves.

    (I don't think it poses any risk either way)
     
  16. ERoberts

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    No, you're not.
     
  17. luggage

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    What? Of course you are! How can anyone stop you from distributing your own piece of legal original work?
     
  18. ERoberts

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    If it is derived, you can't distribute it. Violation of copyright, see.
     
  19. luggage

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    You're missing the point - the exe isn't derived. It's carefully hand crafted with original code.

    This thread is becoming too much like hard work. Too many misunderstandings. I think it's fair to say nobody is sure why it's illegal or if indeed it is.
     
  20. Pyabo

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    You're right, this thread is becoming too much hard work.

    The bottom line is this: the original idea hinged on a misunderstanding of copyright law, namely the assumption that a demo version of a game is theirs to do with as they please. This is not true, and it's the crux of the matter. That's all there is to it.
     

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