*A games, spring, legal status

*A games, spring, legal status

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raaar
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*A games, spring, legal status

Post by raaar » 01 Oct 2012, 22:41

Hi

i've seen some threads where people debated the risk of lawsuit from TA copyright owners, etc. And some feared heavy handed justice hurting the whole Spring engine and all games made for it and not just *A mods.

for example:
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.ph ... bandonware

my initial reaction to this was : "community overreacting...they wouldn't bother". Cavedog and Gas Powered Games seem mod-friendly so they should tolerate this nicely...But they don't own TA, seems Atari does, and the game is still available for sale:
http://www.impulsedriven.com/totalannihilation

After all these years, has anyone got any official feedback about this?

A suggestion:
maybe we could make a TA memorial site, praising the original TA and its devs/artistic team for what it was at the time, and listing sites where it can still be legally bought. Something standard that all *A mods could stamp on their websites and link to. This as an attempt to make it explicit that we are using part of their material(not claiming it as our own) and in a way also reward them with a bit more publicity. In return, they'd leave us alone.
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Funkencool
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Funkencool » 01 Oct 2012, 23:33

raaar wrote:Hi

i've seen some threads where people debated the risk of lawsuit from TA copyright owners, etc. And some feared heavy handed justice hurting the whole Spring engine and all games made for it and not just *A mods.

for example:
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.ph ... bandonware

my initial reaction to this was : "community overreacting...they wouldn't bother". Cavedog and Gas Powered Games seem mod-friendly so they should tolerate this nicely...But they don't own TA, seems Atari does, and the game is still available for sale:
http://www.impulsedriven.com/totalannihilation

After all these years, has anyone got any official feedback about this?

A suggestion:
maybe we could make a TA memorial site, praising the original TA and its devs/artistic team for what it was at the time, and listing sites where it can still be legally bought. Something standard that all *A mods could stamp on their websites and link to. This as an attempt to make it explicit that we are using part of their material(not claiming it as our own) and in a way also reward them with a bit more publicity. In return, they'd leave us alone.
I think people are well aware of all this, and it's been discussed before. The technical work around is that to play *a games, you must legitimately own TA and its content. I believe that's why they're still called mods.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Forboding Angel » 02 Oct 2012, 00:50

That is not a workaround, fuckencool, because that content was directly ripped out of TA and put into an entirely different engine that has nothing to do with TA at all. As a result, it constitutes actual theft.

It's the equivalent of you making a mapmod for starcraft2 and ripping all the assets from supreme commander to do it. GPG would nail your ass to the wall.

Whether atari would ever bother doing anything about it is another story. If all of a sudden spring got super popular and started attracting the masses, I imagine the lawsuits would roll on in. However, mass popularity isn't likely, and neither is a lawsuit.

The as an open source community, the blatant theft is a large disgusting mark on the community as a whole. As I remember, large swaths of the linux community would have nothing to do with spring because of it (though since the purging of all things *A from the engine, that has since changed).
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Funkencool
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Funkencool » 02 Oct 2012, 01:14

Forboding Angel wrote:That is not a workaround, fuckencool, because that content was directly ripped out of TA and put into an entirely different engine that has nothing to do with TA at all. As a result, it constitutes actual theft.

It's the equivalent of you making a mapmod for starcraft2 and ripping all the assets from supreme commander to do it. GPG would nail your ass to the wall.

Whether atari would ever bother doing anything about it is another story. If all of a sudden spring got super popular and started attracting the masses, I imagine the lawsuits would roll on in. However, mass popularity isn't likely, and neither is a lawsuit.

The as an open source community, the blatant theft is a large disgusting mark on the community as a whole. As I remember, large swaths of the linux community would have nothing to do with spring because of it (though since the purging of all things *A from the engine, that has since changed).
I didn't necessarily say it was a good one, and I do agree it shouldn't be something even needing thought(shouldn't exist). I'm just going along the lines of; If own ta, you could grab the files out of it and put them into your *a folder, legally, because you own those files along with the game (for personal use). So in a sense you could still legally play ba if you made it yourself on your computer.

In other words, GPG would only nail you to the wall if you released that map to the public (which is what the *a games of spring are doing). I believe its all legal on a personal use level though.

In the end - in reply to the OP - there is no way to make any of it any less illegal, as the content is being openly distributed. It doesn't make any sense to do any of what you said to avoid a law suit, as that's all we're already doing.

edit: I retract my personal use statement and that varies with the EULA, which I don't know. I also don't if breaking a EULA is the equivalent copyright infringement. But it is all still illegal and should be replaced
Last edited by Funkencool on 02 Oct 2012, 01:24, edited 1 time in total.
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BaNa
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by BaNa » 02 Oct 2012, 01:22

eh, this topic is so 2010


ZK is out of the TAIP mire and BA is on the fast track out of it. The only thing left will be "inspirational" things like unit roles and names, which are easy to change if needed but IMO not really needed as we see the coming of Planetary Annihilation that also takes free "inspiration" from the TA IP in form of unit roles and name of the game.

So, all in all, this is a non-issue, look at BAR thread for new BA models.
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Funkencool
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Funkencool » 02 Oct 2012, 01:27

BaNa wrote:eh, this topic is so 2010


ZK is out of the TAIP mire and BA is on the fast track out of it. The only thing left will be "inspirational" things like unit roles and names, which are easy to change if needed but IMO not really needed as we see the coming of Planetary Annihilation that also takes free "inspiration" from the TA IP in form of unit roles and name of the game.

So, all in all, this is a non-issue, look at BAR thread for new BA models.
There's still all the other *a games on the different servers, but with time I'm sure they will fade away.
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BaNa
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by BaNa » 02 Oct 2012, 01:42

Funkencool wrote:
BaNa wrote:eh, this topic is so 2010


ZK is out of the TAIP mire and BA is on the fast track out of it. The only thing left will be "inspirational" things like unit roles and names, which are easy to change if needed but IMO not really needed as we see the coming of Planetary Annihilation that also takes free "inspiration" from the TA IP in form of unit roles and name of the game.

So, all in all, this is a non-issue, look at BAR thread for new BA models.
There's still all the other *a games on the different servers, but with time I'm sure they will fade away.
Im sure that if this ever became an issue any mod wishing to use the BAR models would be able to.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Forboding Angel » 02 Oct 2012, 05:32

Funkencool wrote: In other words, GPG would only nail you to the wall if you released that map to the public (which is what the *a games of spring are doing). I believe its all legal on a personal use level though.
This is inaccurate, as it is completely against the EULA (ya know, that wall of text on the installer that no one reads :-)).
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Rumpelstiltskin
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Rumpelstiltskin » 02 Oct 2012, 05:42

This topic again? Really?
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smoth
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by smoth » 02 Oct 2012, 05:56

MTR
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Funkencool
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Funkencool » 02 Oct 2012, 08:25

Forboding Angel wrote: This is inaccurate, as it is completely against the EULA (ya know, that wall of text on the installer that no one reads :-)).
Yea I can hardly believe I forgot about those after reading so many 8) but yea I did realize everything I said could be complete BS since I in fact never read the EULA and have no idea what I agreed to. Hence the edit
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yanom
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by yanom » 02 Oct 2012, 16:55

BaNa wrote:eh, this topic is so 2010


ZK is out of the TAIP
There are about 5 TA models left in the game, though. Almost there...
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smoth
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by smoth » 02 Oct 2012, 16:57

Names please?
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maackey
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by maackey » 02 Oct 2012, 21:39

There are a few old .3ds models that came from TA mods, but none that are copyrighted forbidding use.

The crabe, licho, and maybe a couple others (I haven't played in a while, storms fried my game pc) may have been used in TA, but are perfectly legal because they were not made by cavedog et al.
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smoth
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by smoth » 03 Oct 2012, 00:19

still..

yanom made a claim, I want the names.
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raaar
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by raaar » 03 Oct 2012, 03:49

Forboding Angel wrote:That is not a workaround, fuckencool, because that content was directly ripped out of TA and put into an entirely different engine that has nothing to do with TA at all. As a result, it constitutes actual theft.

It's the equivalent of you making a mapmod for starcraft2 and ripping all the assets from supreme commander to do it. GPG would nail your ass to the wall.

Whether atari would ever bother doing anything about it is another story. If all of a sudden spring got super popular and started attracting the masses, I imagine the lawsuits would roll on in. However, mass popularity isn't likely, and neither is a lawsuit.

The as an open source community, the blatant theft is a large disgusting mark on the community as a whole. As I remember, large swaths of the linux community would have nothing to do with spring because of it (though since the purging of all things *A from the engine, that has since changed).
blatant theft?

even if we praise the original creators explicitly and link to where the original game can be legally acquired?

hmm...aren't you overreacting?

you make it sound as if it is worse to use another engine to remake an old game, importing some of it's original content, than to mod it in the original engine. What about the people who come here saying "hi i'd like to remake old game x in spring, is it doable?". Are they blatant thieves?

OTA is 15 years old. *A mods are free, not sold. And the separation between TA content and the engine should be clear by now.

Does the TA copyright extend to the scripting format, .cob, 3do? Must the Spring engine stop supporting them to be legal?

Must the official servers disallow any mod that violates it? (shouldn't it for or any mod that violates any copyright?)

After all these years, did anyone ask the actual holders for feedback? Or are we just afraid of the FSM?
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luckywaldo7
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by luckywaldo7 » 03 Oct 2012, 04:17

Spring isn't going to get sued because it wouldn't be profitable for Atari. The problem is just that it closes a lot of doors. If you have trouble understanding, check BA's page on steam greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... nihilation
raaar wrote:OTA is 15 years old.
Perspective:
http://inventors.about.com/od/copyright ... ration.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ght_length
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Forboding Angel
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Forboding Angel » 03 Oct 2012, 10:38

raaar wrote:
blatant theft?

even if we praise the original creators explicitly and link to where the original game can be legally acquired?
So I come over to your house, steal the stereo system out of your car and put it in mine. Then I tell all my friends where I got it and how awesome you are, and where to get stereo systems exactly like it, but then you show up on my doorstep, mad as hell.

hmm...aren't you overreacting?
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Rumpelstiltskin
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by Rumpelstiltskin » 03 Oct 2012, 11:24

Copying software is not theft, even in the eyes of the law these are two different things, yet you mash them up together Forboding Angel?
Last edited by Rumpelstiltskin on 03 Oct 2012, 11:56, edited 1 time in total.
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raaar
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Re: *A games, spring, legal status

Post by raaar » 03 Oct 2012, 11:47

Forboding Angel wrote:
raaar wrote:
blatant theft?

even if we praise the original creators explicitly and link to where the original game can be legally acquired?
So I come over to your house, steal the stereo system out of your car and put it in mine. Then I tell all my friends where I got it and how awesome you are, and where to get stereo systems exactly like it, but then you show up on my doorstep, mad as hell.

hmm...aren't you overreacting?
poor example:

- you stealing my car stereo (or any material possession) prevents me from using it, we making unofficial *A mods doesn't prevent the copyright owner from doing their remake

- unlike TA's copyright owner, i wouldn't benefit from people buying the stereo somewhere else

what *A mods do is in a grayer area

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement
...It often refers to copying "intellectual property" without written permission from the copyright holder...
the key here is "permission"....by using a clearly visible, explicit, and standard "TA content" warning, we'd be giving the owners something....would they grant us permission in return?
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