Posted 20 January 2005 - 02:48 AM
The way I look at it, here are your options to ensure you've got your bases covered:
1) Avoid using specifics associated with the character types. This means not using things like the symbol of the Hammers, or naming the characters anything similar to their Thief counterparts. They're just different styles of guards with red clothing and blue clothing then, totally up to the end user's discretion for use. It would also help to make clear that what weapons they wield is up to the individual modders too. Showing a Builder with a sword, mace, or bow, for instance, takes away the implication that they only wield warhammers... just like the Hammerites.
2) Provide a setting framework from the beginning to gently dissuade modders from using the Thief world. The immediate option of an alternative should ensure that most modders don't use your tools to infringe on copyright, not to mention lessening the workload on their end so they don't have to come up with an entire world history themselves. I understand your core team doesn't have the time to dedicate to this task, but I've noticed several other talented writers have graced this board... who's to say they couldn't be grouped together to brainstorm ideas while the rest of you work? Final decisions, of course, are in your hands, but the actual time-consuming process would be delegated elsewhere.
3) Include a stipulation in the installation process that says something to this effect: "In order to use this toolset (the Dark Mod), you (the modder) must agree to avoid infringing on copyrighted material such as the Thief games with your creation(s). If you still choose to do so, you agree to accept full responsibility for any potential repurcussions and recognize that we (the developers) do not in any way support such an endeavor."
Personally, I'd recommend all three. The last one (#3) is the best bet, though it would help to remove any bad temptation (#1) and provide some of your own (#2).
Posted 20 January 2005 - 03:43 AM
Posted 20 January 2005 - 04:12 AM
Implication: bad. :lol:
Posted 20 January 2005 - 09:30 AM
Besides they aren't doing this for money, so unless Eidos are frickin a-holes who just want to be inflexible & ornery I'm sure they'll be fine.
Posted 20 January 2005 - 12:40 PM
I despise the entire notion that such a thing (especially as loose as it is in this case) could even be conceived to be enforceable. The only legit, somewhat tangible copyright is the naming of a stealth video game "Thief", and we're not doing that. It's not Thief 4. It's not Thief: Revisited. It's The Dark Mod. It is stated clearly to be influenced by Thief, so there is no ignorance plea in that area. And of course, they (meaning the Thief copyright holders) don't own the word thief, and they don't own the word dark.
They didn't invent wacko religious zealots (if only), they didn't invent hammer weilding - especially by religious folk so as not to draw blood with a blade (D&D clerics, anyone?), or city guards, or houses to break into, or stealth. If they DID invent something like mantling (which they didn't, hello to Lara, as just one modern example), something like that is no more theirs than the "forward key" belongs to whoever used it first.
Each time someone makes a new shooter, they don't need to ask for id's blessing. Making this Thief-style conversion (because let's face it, that categorization is the most appropriate) of another game (which is much more loosely binding than a full game-for-production where actual story and profit! are an issue) doesn't require asking EIDOS' permission any more than it requires asking for permission from they who made Metal Gear Solid (...before Thief) or Splinter Cell.
Our City is not Thief's City. Our character is not Garrett. Our order is not the Hammerites. If they wanted to claim ownership to the Pagans, they'd have hundreds of millions of people to argue with for that right, first. Heck - The Dark Mod isn't even focused on a campaign - it's a tool kit first and foremost. As for the fans making missions which call things Hammerites, or Garrett, or Trickster... well, there's not much we can do about that. And I frankly don't care to. In fact, I can't wait to see Garrett and ol' Constantine find their way into TDM fan missions.
Ahem, with that said - I doubt they even care. TDM is not copyright infringement, and it's not a threat to the (now questionable) future of Thief. If a SDK for T3 comes out, the fans will still use it. If a new Thief game comes out, the fans will still buy it.
Posted 20 January 2005 - 01:17 PM
As for concrete legal threats - hard to say. Thievery went near some of the same problems, and we never heard anything from Eidos. We heard privately from certain members of ISA who had played Thievery and thought it good, so an interesting thing is that you can count on worker solidarity.
However in Thievery we didn't go near certain plot type things like hammers and specific world symbols to be on the safe side. But of course - we had slightly different aims. Nightblade has even more different aims and aesthetics, for definite intellectual and practical reasons.
But - think of it - if I was JRR Tolkien's estate and obsessed with "intellectual property", I'd be might pissed at all the fantasy/ad+d stuff that's been floating around for the last few decades.
Posted 20 January 2005 - 01:19 PM
I would like to ask the community to lay this discussion to rest. While copyright is always a major concern there is no use in continuing the discussion further. Debating the issue in public draws negative attention to the project and, if anything, makes us look like we are doing something naughty. As previously stated, we have complete respect for the copyright holders and have taken steps to ensure all material is our own. In the same breath The Dark Mod is inspired by their great work. Had their work not been so great, there would be no Dark Mod.
Posted 20 January 2005 - 02:27 PM
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