Leaving your data out in the open

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by radishan, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. rodent

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    I think this fellow told a number of times that he makes games for his ~15 friends.


    Obviously he is not stealing money.
     
  2. EpicBoy

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    Ideally, yes. Realistically, no.
     
  3. EpicBoy

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    So now we're jealous of a 14 year old? WTF? I'm not going back to high school, sorry.

    Doesn't matter what age you are - act like an idiot and you're going to get smacked down.
     
  4. Ricardo C

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    "Copyright 2003 Squashy Software. All rights reserved"

    That notice is on Anthony's website. I consider that making use of copyright law to notify would-be thieves that his works are legally protected. If he were to rip work from another game without permission and then retain the copyright notices for his own work, I would call him a hypocrite.
     
  5. Ricardo C

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    Can you explain the logic behind this assesment?

    I gave him constructive feedback when he first asked about the quality of his game graphics. Then warned him it might not be in his best interest to blab about ripping sound fx from other games to put into his own. Then he admitted to using pirated software and cracking games. Sorry, I thought this was a developers' community, and as such, someone proudly proclaiming their disregard for such things as actually paying for your games would be frowned upon.

    Which were? "If I break the law and don't get caught, does it still matter?" Whoa, heavy.

    He refused constructive debate by quoting trite lyrics from a trio of millionaires who still try to sell themselves as a sign of rebellion. Bold! And even if he had quoted the most relevant, important, deepest philosopher on the planet, answering an argument with a quote means he either lacks the desire to have a serious discussion, or lacks the arguments to do so.

    Elevate the level of discussion, then, instead of trying to play dad and telling us what bad bad bullies we're being.

    I wasn't beeing sneering or condescending.
     
  6. halodrake

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    1. These are shareware forums. The authors who post here are generally shareware authors, and as such, expect to make money by selling there games in a shareware format.

    2. He has said, repeatedly, that he pirates software and uses it to make games (this is different from the arguement before, when we were talking about somebodies right to modify content in order to make new content. He is using a tool designed by someone else to make his content. And not paying for the tool. These two concepts are different)

    3. Since he is not paying for the tools, the authors (most likely also shareware authors) are not getting money from him.

    4. Since he is posting on this forum, then by (1) we can assume he is planning to sell these games.

    5. By selling these games people will be giving him money. He is making money from using tools he did not pay for. Therefore, instead of the money being distubuted equally and to the right authors, he is keeping all of it. He is stealing the money from them, by keeping it for himself.
     
  7. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Guess we differ then, I don't consider that 'making use of a law'. A law means nothing unless it's enforced. When you enforce a law then you're making use of it.

    Works are legally protected by default so writing "Copyright" on something isn't exactly making use of a law even in your argument.
     
  8. luggage

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    halodrake: that argument wouldn't stand up in a court of law if you took him to court for "stealing".

    Breaking copyright law and theft are two different things. You break Copyright law by making unlawful copies, duplicates if you like. Theft is removal of someone's property.

    ie. making a copy of a game is breaking copyright law.
    going into someone's house and stealing their version of the game is theft.

    If you can't see the difference between the two then I worry.
     
  9. Ricardo C

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    So none of us is using free speech until someone tries to restrict us and the law has to be enforced?

    They're protected by... What? The law, right? Copyright isn't a "natural" right, and so only exists so long as it is protected by law. Making use of it, even by merely slapping a © on your website, you're acknowledging and yes, using copyright law to your benefit.
     
  10. luggage

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    Exactly! Until then you're just talking :) It doesn't become an issue of free speech until someone tries to restrict you.
     
  11. GBGames

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    And once again the argument that "well everyone else is doing it" fails to be valid. B-)
     
  12. Anthony Flack

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    Are we still talking about modifying a sound effect, or about pirating apps? Because I was hopefully pretty clear that I was endorsing only the former. And that this is not hypocritical because they are quite different things (and it's a shame that this aspect of the argument doesn't seem to be much of a focus any more).

    We're back to the law again. And the argument about how you have to respect the law in its totality if you wish to benefit from a law-abiding society - come on. I bet there's not a single person here who hasn't broken the law and gotten away with it on numerous occasions. And we should all be glad for that. You wouldn't want to live in a world where you got caught and fined every time you jaywalked on anything that was technically a road, for example. The law isn't intended to be pursued to absurd extremes. It's there to be applied only when things get out of hand.

    I'm not promoting lawlessness. But I am saying deference to law shouldn't override common sense.

    And, well, maybe it was stretching it a bit to say that Bedroomcoder made some good points. What he did was just inject some reality into a debate that appeared starved of it. Such as:

    And he said some dumb stuff too. The Green Day quote was probably just a misjudged attempt to lighten the mood, but when the scorn started piling on and nobody did anything to mitigate it, it felt like some kind of community consensus. I felt embarassed by association, so I had to say something. I'm not trying to be the Internet Dad.

    Epicboy - jealous? No, what made you think I meant jealous?
     
  13. Ricardo C

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    I agree on this. But how do you determine when "common sense" becomes "absurd overzealousness"? My fianceé's father was stopped for speeding as he rushed to the hospital when she was hospitalized as a toddler. The police officer listened to his explanation and decided to escort him to the hospital. The person designated to enforce the law made a judgement call and decided this man didn't deserve a fine.

    Now, who makes such judgement calls when the potential conflict is between two private entities? Oh hey, here's an idea: "Dear developer, I'm a no-budget aspiring dev, and am in desperate need of a suitable shotgun sound effect. Is there any chance you could allow me to borrow the effect used in your game?" As I said earlier, I've done this before, and the artist was kind enough to grant me access to five outstanding game-ready models which I was then able to customize to my needs.

    If the whole point of common sense is to avoid needless litigation, then why not show a modicum of respect for the copyright holder (whether you agree with current copyright law or not)? If nicking a shotgun effect is as small as BC and you make it out to be, then surely asking for permission is not a big deal.

    I'm not sure about you, but to me that reads "I don't think I'm gonna get caught for this, but if I were, I still wouldn't contact the owner of the effect in question, I'd just modify it some more." What's so insightful about this?

    "My would-be customers don't give a toss about the legality of my game data, so that makes it ok for me to nick them from other games."

    I'm really not seeing the wisdom in his self-serving excuses.
     
  14. EpicBoy

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    If you didn't mean jealousy, I fail to see how his being 14 would cause me to "hate that".
     
  15. halodrake

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    Where did I mention a court of law? I'm not talking about going to trial, but instead the social aspects of what he is doing.

    Right, but if you looked at the train of logic, him stealing an App, then using said App to make a project that makes money is stealing money from the hands of those that made the App. The *someone else's property* in this aspect would be the money that is rightfully theres. By paying the author for using an application (esp when you are using that proffesionally to make money) you are continuing a distrubution of wealth. A portion of your money went to pay for the App, which helped you make money in the first place. By not giving them the portion they deserve, you are stealing from them.

    But, let's say I'm a manager of a large software corperation and I hire out these 20 people to make this program for me. I demand payment only upon delivery, and then when delivery comes I take the software and then sell it without paying them. Is this right? Wouldn't I be stealing from these developers?

    Pirating software to make games is the same thing.

    And I worry about those selfish enough to not realize what they are putting other people through.
     
  16. GBGames

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    That's not a train of logic, unless you mean a derailed one. If I pirate Photoshop and then make something with it, how does Adobe's money enter into my hands?
     
  17. halodrake

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    It's not a train wreck. It's not all that complicated, it's basic micro economics and the concept of resources.

    See the example above about the manager hiring a team of programmers and not paying them. By using Adobe's software, you've hired them to program something for you (in a relative sense) and are using the end result without paying them. The main difference being that Adobe is selling the software en-masse and expecting each user to contribute to their software dept sales. By not contributing, you are stealing from them. You are stealing the time that went into the project, your peice of the pie, so to speak.
     
  18. EpicBoy

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    Adobe's money never left your hands. That's the point and the problem.
     
  19. Anthony Flack

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    I mean in an "annoying kids" kind of way. Before you know it, our nice, serious adult forum is being overrun by teenage wannabes with their hip-hop music and baggy trousers, and people are starting to write stuff like "kewl" and "d00dz" - that kind of "hate that". It was an undercurrent of this kind of hostility that I was referring to. But that's alll done and said now, so I don't want to go on about it.

    As far as contacting copyright holders, that's fine if it's practical to do so, but it often isn't. For example, in my game I use heavily modified bitmap versions of two fonts I got off the internet.

    The first one was listed as free for non-commercial use. Since I was intending it for commercial use, I contacted the author and made an arrangement with him (hope he's not expecting the free copy of the finished game any time soon...)

    The second was simply listed as "freeware" and had no contact information. It was just what I was looking for, so I decided to believe the claim of "freeware" and used it. But who made it? Where did it come from? What is its true legal status? I will probably never know. But anyway, it's been heavily modified and bitmapped. I'm not worried about it.

    And then there was my "coffee cup" example. I don't have time to track down and get permission from the author of every little snippet like this, even if I could. In the book I posted a link to, there is a part that talks about a documentary filmmaker who made a retrospective of a certain actor. And this documentary ended up being delayed for a year, incurring huge expense, and was almost shelved - because the law required the filmmaker to get permission from every single actor and extra that appeared in every film clip used in the retrospective.

    So asking permission is fine when it's practical - but sometimes it's just not possible, and other times it's prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.

    Now, to add further fuel to the fire, what do you people think about this?

    It's quite clearly infringing. Asking permission (from notorious IP zealots Nintendo and Rare) would have certainly resulted in a "hell no" if you were lucky, and a "see you in court" if not. So, is this harmless fan art, or is it evil copyright infringement, corrupter of youth and destroyer of civilisation?

    And why is it, that on these forums people will emphatically defend the right to take someone else's game design from top to bottom and use it for themselves, and yet the idea of sampling so much as a teensy smidgeon of digital data is regarded as wholly unacceptable?

    I hope it isn't all simply down to that technical point of law. (nb: I don't want to see game designs patented in order to protect them, as this would lead to the same kind of abuse as we see with copyright, and of course all those notorious examples of ludicrous software patents. So in this case, I'm saying it's best not to get the law involved; all I expected was for developers to collectively say, "hey, shame on you" instead of "hey, good for you")
     
  20. Ricardo C

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    You say it like it's a bad thing ;) Come on, Anthony, join us old foggies in asking those damn kids to get off our lawn!

    So essentially, it comes down to "can I be bothered to ask for permission?" If it's not practical for you to make the effort to ask for permission to use an asset with a known copyrigh holder, then you're in the wrong, legally, and ethically. To use your coffee cup example, are you telling me it would take you more than five minutes to find a public domain photograph from which you could extract a coffee cup? How long would it take ou to grab your digital camera and snap a shot of your own cup?

    The game is in violation of Nintendo's copyright, and although many copyright holders are tolerant of non-commercial derivative works, the authors of the game should be aware that they are at Nintendo's mercy on this one. Look at what happened to the guys that were making an unofficial sequel to Square's Chrono Trigger franchise. I regret that Square-Enix wasn't more tolerant, especially considering they have let the franchise fall into limbo, at least in the Western market, but that doesn't mean they were not within their rights to protect their property, even if the unofficial game wasn't going to "corrupt youth and destroy civilization."

    Ideas are by no means exclusive to any one individual. Game content, or the implementation of a given idea, is unique. No one can stop me from making a claymation-based game, but I'm not allowed to make use of your implementation of the same. I can't take your graphics or sound or code without permission. I would like to think this is common sense talking, rather than just the law.

    Isn't that what happened here? Am I misreading you here?
     
    #120 Ricardo C, Dec 31, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004

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