Map ownership and copyright

Grauniad · 10501

Grauniad

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on: September 11, 2011, 01:15:58 pm
Recently this map sparked some comments on map ownership, copyright and the probity of copying maps with or without attribution to the original author. The same discussion has cropped up a few times during the CW1 era, but with CW2, it is much easier to save a map and use it as the basis for a new map, or to use the tile- or character-sets from one map for another.


When one uploads a map to the Knuckle Cracker website, one agrees to the Terms and Conditions that state, among other things:
Quote
Contributor hereby grants to Developer full ownership and all intellectual property rights for all uploaded content for a perpetual and indefinite term, including but not limited to a non-exclusive, worldwide license (the "License") to electronically reproduce, electronically distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display and/or digitally perform the Content in connection with the Knuckle Cracker's objectives which are determined at the sole descretion[sic] of Knuckle Cracker LLC. Contributer further agrees to surrender all ownership rights to all uploaded content.

In short, once you upload the map, it's not yours anymore. If you want to retain rights, find another place to host your map. Then figure out how you are planning to enforce said ownership rights. :)

On a more normal basis, I can understand the sense of ownership and pride that goes with making a map, the tiles,  and characters that goes with it. I also sympathize with the concept of one person just appropriating  content for their own use. Asking for and getting permission is nice, but in this day and age one should not expect it. In fact, expect that if you make a good or great map, someone will try and make a version of it that "improves" it somewhat in their perspective.

My advice to map authors is to "just live with it." Derivative works are often the norm in our society. Making a fuss about it is mostly fruitless and frustrating.

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UpperKEES

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Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 03:54:28 pm
Does this mean KnuckleCracker (holder of the copyrights of uploaded maps) hereby implicitly grants anyone the right to copy, alter and distribute uploaded maps without permission of the author?

If so, I'm disappointed by this stand for three reasons:

1. It's very easy to respect the copyrights by rejecting maps that are clear copies. This would encourage people to ask for permission to use a (part of a) map created by somebody else. When the original map and author are mentioned in the description most authors probably won't have any objection.

2. Recently there was quite some discussion about the illegal distribution of the Creeper World game, so I would expect KnuckleCracker to know what it feels like when your work is stolen. Whether this product of creativity costs $10 or $0 does not matter.

3. Copyrights are there for a reason. Think about it.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 04:49:53 pm by UpperKEES »

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Ebon Heart

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Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 04:38:28 pm
It sounds like we don't even have the right to give away copyrights to our own maps... :/ but I've never been very good with all that legal mumbo jumbo. Lol.

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Grauniad

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Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 05:44:54 pm
Does this mean KnuckleCracker (holder of the copyrights of uploaded maps) hereby implicitly grants anyone the right to copy, alter and distribute uploaded maps without permission of the author?

Read what I quoted and highlighted. All I said is that the map author transfers all rights to the map ownership to KC. I did not extrapolate that to "mean" anything else. So once someone uploads a map to KC, it is KC that has the right to decide when and if any rights to the map are violated.

If this is not acceptable to you, you should host the map somewhere else where your intellectual property rights can be controlled by you. And then figure out how you plan to enforce said intellectual property rights.

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


Ebon Heart

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Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 06:26:47 pm
Does this mean KnuckleCracker (holder of the copyrights of uploaded maps) hereby implicitly grants anyone the right to copy, alter and distribute uploaded maps without permission of the author?

Read what I quoted and highlighted. All I said is that the map author transfers all rights to the map ownership to KC. I did not extrapolate that to "mean" anything else. So once someone uploads a map to KC, it is KC that has the right to decide when and if any rights to the map are violated.

If this is not acceptable to you, you should host the map somewhere else where your intellectual property rights can be controlled by you. And then figure out how you plan to enforce said intellectual property rights.
I don't have a problem with it. I make custom maps to entertain the cw community. If posting them here does that, I'm good. And if a little kid can be entertained by makin a copy of it, I'm fine with that. As long as they don't publish it under my name or something crazy like that.

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knucracker

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Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 06:44:07 pm
The goal of the legal mumbo jumbo is to ensure that I can take custom maps and distribute them to the community.  I don't want to end up in a situation where somebody gets mad and decides they want to take their ball and go home, so the speak.  Once a map is uploaded to knucklecracker.com, I can make it available (or not) for as long as I want.

I grant people an implicit right to download custom maps and to use those maps within the CW2 game and editor.  If a user wants to download a map, make a small change to make the map more enjoyable to themselves, then plays that map locally.... that's all fine.  The only issues that pop up are when somebody decides to take that slightly altered map and upload it back to knucklecracker.com.

This doesn't violate any terms I've stated.  The freshly altered map belongs again to KnuckleCracker.com once it it uploaded.  I may or may not make it available. 

That said, I generally frown upon maps that are derivative but don't add substantial value.  If someone changes the author or title string and leaves the rest of the map the same.... that's not gonna get approved.  If someone makes a map that uses the same concept as some other map, but it's clearly a different map... that will get approved.  For everything in between it depends.... there is no way to put a hard rule in place that covers all of the middle cases.  It's a judgement call that will get made by the moderators.  A super mod (like me) will break any tie votes.

Lastly, if a map gets approved that is pretty derivative but just barely made the cut of "different enough"...  I suggest you post on the comments of that map if you don't like it.  This may be particularly appropriate if the map doesn't give any credit to the original author.  Lots of times it may just be a kid who makes a derivative copy... and they just need to be reminded that it is polite to give credit to the original map maker.




UpperKEES

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Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 06:49:18 pm
I generally frown upon maps that are derivative but don't add substantial value.  If someone changes the author or title string and leaves the rest of the map the same.... that's not gonna get approved.

Glad to read this. :)

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TrickyDragon

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Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 02:14:38 pm
elequently put V.   i Beleive that if you make a copy of someones map, then you have to give them credit for THIER work.   on the other hand,  i took a map that i made a while back,  added onto it and changed the look a lil bit, i didnt change much and the map didnt quite take the change in direction i wanted, i was the original author so there for i didnt think i needed to give credit to myself.  (map in question is Greyskull, i have no idea how to use hyperlinks, otherwise i would use one LOL)

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Bongo

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Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 02:03:43 pm
I don't mind anyone copying my maps. I particularly thought that people could use the side swapping fields from 'Mirror Mirror' (1318) as a basis for dozens of maps. I've been trying to find new and unique ideas, but sometimes I think that no one will use those ideas for fear of being yelled at by someone uptight.

For instance, I just finished a map that uses cascading chain reactions of Creeper/Anti-Creeper overflows (flipping) and I would love for other people to make maps that use this new idea (even if they look like mine).

You can even steal the Banana Man (1277) if you want. I don't care. I only ask for at least 50% new content, only because I've already played my maps and I don't want to play them again. :P



SmileyCoder

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Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 02:40:34 pm
I would copy your mirror idea if I was any good at all with artwork :P

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