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Securing assets

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#26 Judith


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Posted 09 June 2017 - 07:04 AM

Hmm... I'm not sure if I understand it correctly, but it seems you can't use these in mods in any way, encrypted packs or not?



#27 Spooks



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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:08 AM

Hmm... I'm not sure if I understand it correctly, but it seems you can't use these in mods in any way, encrypted packs or not?




A lot of texture (and general resource distribution) sites have this type of disclaimer. It is protecting their own market, not prohibiting transformative work like mods. You're not allowed to do anything they're already doing by offering the textures. Section 2.2.f, which I assume you're worried about, refers to bundling textures as default assets from a seller to a consumer. 2.1.b differentiates bundling from incorporation.


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#28 Judith


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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:25 AM

Kind of suspected some of this was rubbish. I'm worried about section 2.2 a: (not permitted)

sell or distribute any Photos (modified or not) by themselves or in a texture pack, material, shader, scale modelling papers (pre-printed or digital), scrapbooking pack;



And yet I am permitted to:

2.1. b ) incorporate the Photos in computer games and 3D models;


Do they even know how models work? Unless it's an asset pack, model is geometry, shaders and textures are separate things. You can't "incorporate" anything in .ase model.

Edited by Judith, 09 June 2017 - 08:25 AM.

#29 Goldwell


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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:03 PM


I understand the concern of protecting your work but I would say that with the exception of a small minority, most people in the community are able to respect authors and their assets. And most people here understand how the creative commons licensing works with regards to distribution and attribution, so I don't think encryption is entirely necessary. Plus it does go against what the heart and soul of the mod is about, open source.

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#30 NeonsStyle


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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:04 PM

I don't really like the idea of encryption. It goes against the heart of the game. This was made by the community for the community.


We put so much time into our levels and resources we add to the game, and I can understand a desire to protect your work,

but you have to understand this is a free game, and missions etc are intended to be free. Creative Commons when fully understood

is a great way to make use of others work to improve or alter it for a different purpose. The only thing that pisses me off about CC

is when some dill thinks it means he can steal my videos. lol 


As for ZIP, I don't think there is encryption in zip, but there certainly is an ability to password, something I'd be really against for the

above reasons.

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#31 stgatilov


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Posted 10 June 2017 - 10:52 PM

Setting password in ZIP file actually means encryption. No decompression software can unzip your password-protected file without properly entered password.


Any DRM is breakable, unless it turns a single-player game into an always-online game.

So DRM is by definition "security by obscurity", and usually most of this "obscurity" comes from the fact that source code is closed.
If TDM distributes password-protected pk4, then it also has to know the password in order to load it, at which moment it can be easily learned by everyone.
Of course, there are several options here:
  1. Always use fixed password, e.g. "alpine": then everyone would know it after a month or so, and it would have no effect.
  2. Use different password for each mission. Looking at the source code, it is relatively easy to find the place where password is passed. After that, anyone can get the password by setting a breakpoint (if they want to). If it is passed over network, it can be sniffed in the network traffic (setting a breakpoint is much easier).

As coder myself, I would not waste my time on adding passwords, because I think it is useless. Also I fear that it can generate conflicts in future.

If you want to protect pk4 from inspection by ordinary player, the sole fact that it has extension "PK4" instead of "ZIP" should be enough to stop a lot of people from looking inside.



Speaking of licenses.

I think adding a license is the only proper way of protecting your stuff, although I would prefer to have everything freely available.


But there is one important point to keep in mind: you should not forbid others to modify your work! Otherwise you may harm longevity of your FM.

Imagine that TDM team decides to do an important breaking change in the code. Yes, breaking changes are always avoided as much as possible, but it might be a very rare case when fixing all FMs is easier than supporting the old behavior. Suppose that TDM team cannot get in contact with you, and your mission is license/encryption-protected from modification. Then your mission would stay broken forever.

At least, this point applies to materials, definitions, declarations, shaders, and other code-like files.

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