Some thoughts on copywrite...

Some thoughts on copywrite...

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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Doomweaver
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Joined: 30 Oct 2004, 14:14

Some thoughts on copywrite...

Post by Doomweaver »

I know, we are all sick of hearing copyerite this and Atari that, but I just have to contribute my two cents.

What if there were two kinds of mods? One kind is completely open to anyone who wants to download it. That would include mods like Starwars, a 3 race Rumad, Ryoss, TTL mod, etc.

Then we have TA mods, which use content from the original game, or even just a lot of ideas from the original game. To play these, you have to have TA installed in a subfolder of Spring.

We need criteria for grouping. So for example nanolathe, metal and energy, reclaiming, starting with a commander, the way bombers behave, all of that can go between mods. But not a single name from OTA, a single weapon, a single model, a single texture or a single sound can be used, otherwise it becomes a TA mod.

Then Atari won't hate us, because we are going to have this awsome, super-popular, free game, which is so much better than just a demo for TA. I mean, we are advertising for them, and we can set up a system whereby you can buy TA online for about $5.

So for Spring, this means it won't be shut down, and it's still oopened to any new mods, many of which I'm sure will be far better than TA. If we can convert some TA:K mods, too, that would be awsome, but the possibilities are endless.

Of course, the question is, why would anyone buy TA if there are all these other free mods around? Atari could claim we are preventing them from selling there game (even though its not going to be selling anyway, I'm sure they still have a case. Remember this is an organisation worth hundreds of millions (or maybe billions, i'm not sure))

Well, with models like those awsomely awsome high-poly ones, we can make it so that the TA mods are the graphical superiors of other mods. Oops, did I say mods? I meant games.

Make the TA: Spring the best damned looking game of all time.

The nice thing about this is, people can still get illegal versions of TA if they want to (i've heard you can download it online somewhere, someone confirm this for me). But we are not legally responsible for this. If they get an illegal copy of the game, they are braking the law, not us, and huge companies can only target other orginsations, they cannot target individuals.

Everyone here i'm sure actually owns TA. But as Spring expands, those who don't are going to get us shut down.

So we are also doing something that needs to be done anyway - upgrading the models of OTA, and we suddenly get the perfect setup - you download Spring a wealth of mods for free, but whenever you go to play a TA mod, which are the ones that only the best of computers can handle, it comes up with a message saying you need to own TA to play these, and has a link for more info.

I think we need to get something like this underway very soon. (I'm sure we have all heard of freecraft). Remember, Atari are worth hundreds of millions, maybe billions. We can't use the argument 'we are not hurting you because TA doesn't sell anymore' because this is not a logic arguement, it's a legal one, where money rules.

They WILL find a way to shutdown Spring if it's in their interests. Just think of that - we don't just lose TA, we lose the whole project. On the other hand, if we are aiding Atari, they will not WANT to shut us down.
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

the only way WE are going against atari is when WE give out the OTA content.

If SY stops distributing the OTA content with spring it will be legally sound. After all SY cannot stop us from using OTA stuff with spring. However since the release includes textures AND models from OTA. The SY group is clearly in the lines of copyright enfringement(SP?) and THAT my friend is where Atari can nail them.

In fact.. it may be prudent for the SY to remove the release with said content in it before a C&D order is sent. Food for thought.

However, if the SY release spring with the BARE MINIMAL and no TA content that would be ok with me. All we need is to know what files need to go where. Also this would give the SYs a chance to show thier spring specific format with a default unit set. Or have spring come with some units remarkably similar to OTA but no actually OTA units. I am certain that there are enough units out there to make an OTA like mod with all custom units. However the OTA textures would need to be distributed SEPERATE from spring as to not cause any copyright issues.

I hope this is helpfull and does not offend.
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mongus
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Post by mongus »

I think bare minimal Spring is the way to go.

then, the units (ota,xta, +cc), could be a mod of the original units to fit in this new game. Being thus, only a mod, as there are tons out there. All units and mods, plugin like. throw and play.

A new, custom fit unit set for Spring would be really cool.
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Ace07
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Post by Ace07 »

We walk a thin legal line right now, but we don't really have enough people for it to matter. If we attract more attention in the future (there is no doubt that we will), it could get ugly.

I think most of the current focus should be on removing pieces of the commercial game that we are currently using. We must also remember that copyright also encompasses ideas and names. We should change the name to not include "TA" in it at some point.

Once we get new models and textures, we still won't be done. We also would need to change the names of most of the units that have connotative value. That is actually the real shame. To be perfectly out of legal trouble, we will have to completely change the game as it is now.

Either way, I think the default mod that comes with the game should be free. You shouldn't need to own TA to play it at some point. The game won't attract a following if it isn't free.

(Also, I highly doubt the project will get shut down. If it does get shut down, the engine will still remain and someone else can start it up again. Open source is amazing like that.)
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[K.B.] Napalm Cobra
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Post by [K.B.] Napalm Cobra »

Then Atari won't hate us
Read that and couldn't stop laughing, atari will hate us because the SY's are doing for free what Atari get payed for.
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Doomweaver
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Post by Doomweaver »

So where are people going to download the TA content from? If it's available online because of Spring, even if it doesn't come with the Engine, then that points to SY.
They already have all the evidence they need that this project is closely related to TA, that TA is not 'just another mod'

Hpi format, 3do, and even the fact that at the moment the folder is called TASpring, all points to copywrite infringement. So if they get a copy of the current installer, then they have the evidence that this is a ripoff of TA, even if it isn't really. And this will not be hard, considering they are such a big corporation, with thousands of employees.

So my point is basically this - we all know this project, for now at least, is centered around TA. It's not just TA content, but the fact that it reads TA files and the like. You can be sly and say 'well, HPI is our format, by chance it's also the TA format, making a port very easy' but if they want to shut us down they can. It's as simple as that. Money can buy a lot. We need an alliance of soughts; we cannot just rely on them having no case against us.

Maybe there is another, better way not to come into conflict with Atari's interests. But the bottom line is, we need to b on their side.
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Ace07
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Post by Ace07 »

The entire game would technically need to be redone (the names of everything and whatnot). However, if we try to continually work away from using TA content, we would be much better off. They can always sue us...just like I could sue you for stealing my bubble gum the other day on the street (remember???haha it didn't happen, I would lose).

Although, we are going to be dealing with cease and decist letters mostly. The point remains that there is no reason we shouldn't try to become legal at some point.

We also can't really warm up to Atari. Our only choice is to move away from TA...which is probably what the SY's want to do anyways. (Who wants to help distribute illegal files anyways?)
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Min3mat
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Post by Min3mat »

i'm sure we can find someone :lol: hell i'd do it if i had a website! :x stupid Atari. Not that THEY'VE DONE ANYTHING OR ARE GOING TO DO ANYTHING
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Gurkha
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Post by Gurkha »

just point out:
Rather than telling us what files we need, there's nothing to stop the SY's from releasing a small executable file to whip the files that we need from our own HDs and put them in the spring directory (we we get all the right files from the right places to the right places). Once the data is on your HD you can do whatever you want with it except redistribution, so you can run a programme to chop and chnage it and move it about on your HD.
Just a thought.

-Gurkha
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genblood
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Post by genblood »

.
.
.. I figure I through my 2 cents in on subject. Total Annihilation and
TA Spring project are like apples and oranges. They are totally
different, but if you are using some of the art, graphics and
sound. You need to replace that stuff first. There should be alot
of 3rd party units out in the wild that can replace the ones
that came from the orginal game. If not, then someone should redo the units.


Right now, TA Spring Project has a small group playing it. As soon
as it gets over a certain size and more pc gaming sites start talking
about it. Thats when Atari will step in and look it over.

So, in my opinion right now they need to remove units, art and
sound that came from the orginal game and replace it ASAP ...
with 3 party units and make sure you have there "OK" to add
them too. You don't want anyone saying they stole my stuff.
That would cause more trouble in the long run. Bad news and
scandel get around the net faster then good news.

Its up the the SY team to remove the orginal TA stuff and
replace it with new content IMHO ...

Thats my 2 cents on the subject ......
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

looks at genblood and points at own post above...

I concur.


As far as the other posts don't think the file format is a big issue. I sincerely doubt that *supporting* UFO, HPI, CCX and GP3 is a big deal.. it is just file format support. if it is then a *modified* format could be whipped up and we would just need a conversion tool.... not a big deal.
even if it doesn't come with the Engine, then that points to SY.
no it doesn't. it points to whoever host the data.

So if they get a copy of the current installer, then they have the evidence that this is a ripoff of TA
No, but they can say it has copyrighted content. I have already seen this whole situation with a mod called generations. If you had been there you would know that it is the actual files. Also spring is so different from OTA that this is really a mute point. AGAIN it is the OTA files included in the release that is an issue.
You can be sly and say 'well, HPI is our format, by chance it's also the TA format, making a port very easy' but if they want to shut us down they can. ................. we cannot just rely on them having no case against us.
I am going to clarify once MORE it is the actual content that is an issue. I have not seen atari stop one SINGLE pacman freewaregame that has existed. Or what of all the clones of atari's billions(exageration I know) of games..... It it only when you have the CONTENT take DIRECTLY from the GAME that you are breaking the rules... So what if Spring supports OTA formats.. that is just another format the SY are supporting. However, they are not claiming HPI etc as their own.
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mongus
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Post by mongus »

mongus wrote:then, the units (ota,xta, +cc), could be a mod of the original units to fit in this new game. Being thus, only a mod, as there are tons out there.
er.. i think the files the SY's are ditributing, are no more than a Mod's Mod.

I mean, they REALLY are a "remake" of a mod, to fit SPRING.

i repeat...
They just modified an existing mod (xta) and made it work in Spring.
(maybe some rebalance and a bit more).

Just as the AA mod creator did. (48 hours later).

period, i think thats it.

So Spring is a game engine (with all its format caracteristics), alone, and that xta mod is just a port.
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

this it is taking too much effort back to my mod.
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el_muchacho
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Post by el_muchacho »

If SY have to remove the old OTA content, there is still Evolva and other mods to replace it. It would be more annoying for the icons and especially the sounds, though, as there is no other alternative.

But to be pragmatic, I'm pretty sure Atari knows about the project and I don't think they will do anything before long, for a simple reason : publicity.
As long as Spring remains fairly confidential, i.e known only to TA hardcore fans, they don't give a sh*t, "underground" gamers are not their commercial target. TA is known to a small population in the gaming community. Most guys who are below 20 or 25 today have never heard of it. If however they did try to engage legal action, they know it would be immediately publicized (on slashdot and games forums for instance), adding to degrade their image. They really don't need that for a game that is 8 years old and accounts for a small fraction of their revenue. On the other hand, it would make a good publicity for Spring. :wink:


edit: BTW, on writes copyright, not copywrite
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Ace07
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Post by Ace07 »

I agree with smoth. The file formats shouldn't be the problem. It's only a problem if the files contain actual copyrighted content.

As long as we don't include their content in the release, it should be fine for now. Can anyone confirm that using the unit names and the name "TA" is infringing on copyrights?

I doubt they will come after us until we start to publicize it anyways.
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Doomweaver
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Post by Doomweaver »

Lol, we need legal advice on this. Anyone willing to spare a few thousand bucks? :wink:
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Tim Blokdijk
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Post by Tim Blokdijk »

As long as we don't have the cash for legal advice my personal advice would be to move away from total annihilation.
(Yes, I do love the game but the risk is (to) high...)
Or make sure the Spring Project is seperated from mod's that violate copyrights.

(My first post on the forum - hello to all)
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Cheery
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Post by Cheery »

You are worrying too early this thing I believe.

I think it would be best to make your own mod and forget TA. Create something completely new. :-)

There are about 30 people on this forum active. I think you could do least something with them.
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Tim Blokdijk
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Post by Tim Blokdijk »

You are worrying too early this thing I believe.
I'm sorry, I'm indeed worrying to much.
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Redfish
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Post by Redfish »

I have a feeling Atari won't bother with Spring until it starts to get popular and money gets involved.
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