I think that this discussion is going a bit into the wrong direction. As Springheel already mentioned above we only have one mapper that was actually violating the rules discussed in this thread in the past. The discussion could easely lead to the assumption that such misbehaviour is common sense in the community and everyone keeps raging about someone else stealing their stuff or changing things in an unwanted way. This is simple not the case.
Of course it could be worthwhile to point new mappers to some basic rules common among the community, but all this licence and encryption discussions makes me sad. Do we really need all of that to avoid that one person might cause us some headaches in the future? Not to mention that we are doing this discussion in the public, so on of the first things someone new to TDM who takes a look at the forum might see is us talking about the violation of mental property.
I think the rules can be kept pretty simple:
- Don't copy stuff from others without asking for permission. If you violate this rule, fix the problem or your mission won't end up in the ingame downloader and any link to that mission in the forum will get removed (except maybe in the respective betatesting thread, as it isn't public iirc).
- Missions will get updated if a TDM update breaks them. This includes technical issues. No artistical changes will be done. (Obviously a TDM update won't break level geometry,so there is no need to alter it). Obviously mission authors will be contacted if possible.
- If you reuse stuff from others, assuming it was ok, and the original author tells you it isn't, don't argue about your "good intentions". Just get the problem out of the world.
If someone creates a mission with obvious references to the Thief franchise that might get us into licence issues, we simple don't support the mission. This has worked in the past. So why not just expand this approach that to missions misusing the mental property of others?! If it works for the first case it should do so for the latter.
So in summary what we need to do imho is to keep things as they are, as this has worked out over all those years.