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Encrypted PK4 and License Discussion


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As suggested, here is a thread for the following status update chain:






Is there a way to encrypt pk4s? Because it would be a really great option if they could be.



Nope, as the engine would then have no way of opening them. That and all resources used by the mode are covered by CC, which is the equivalent to opensource.



Interesting question though. We integrated different zip libraries in the internal builds so there might be some sorta support for reading encrypted files but there's no API interface for passing the credentials. If encrypting will bring in more content creators (etc) I'm not implicitly apposed to it but it's on pretty shaky ground...


Sotha "I am not selling TDM FMs. I am distributing the .pk4s freely, but you gotta pay for the decryption key!"



There is always a way. But why? Everyone should play fms and not selected few.



Well the engine would have the required libraries to run the pk4s without a hitch. The encryption would prevent direct access and tampering of data within the directory itself.



Give us the freedom of modding, patching, improving your and our fms/stuff. an encrypted fm-pk4 crashed my tdm instantly, as predicted



It's not necessarily about selling FMs. If someone's making a lot of custom stuff, and just wants people to play the mission, without tampering with their stuff, there's no such option so far.



Another justification. "I want to sell my new model on an asset market like Unity Store but I also want to show it off in a TDM mission I am building. I don't want people to unpack my mission and grab my model for free." If we allow mappers to encrypt, it may encourage pros to release more high-quality content knowing it can act as a platform to advertise their works.



Encryption is one of, if not the worst things to happen to single player gaming. Games with encrypted assets prevent the player from learning, experimenting, improving, or otherwise getting more use out of the game than the time that it takes to complete said game. Locked down games that can't be modified or extended are why I won't spend more than 10 bucks on mainstream games anymore.


And encrypting game assets is kind of pointless, because at some point they must be decrypted to be displayed. And with determined users, there are programs to "rip" them from the video memory, like 3DRipperDX.



Epifire: What about checking the hash of your own PK4(s)? This could provide some integrity for you data, if I get you right.
Also, you could provide your own PK4(s) with intentially broken headers, and fix them on the run.



Kano, that's the problem: when you're an author, you don't want your stuff to be modified without your knowledge, and IMO Thief community is notorious for grabbing everything that's downloadable and doing whatever can be done with it (see Object repository thread on TTLG), so at least some control over your assets would be appreciated. Fortunately 3d ripper dx worked with DX9 games only.



Well it certainly is a worth notion for content protection. Interesting discussion nonetheless.



Well, the licence TDM is under already states that everyone can do anything with it. I think the assets fall under same licence, not sure. However, if you are releasing something for free anyways, why do you care what others do with it?



I'm not saying what we do is art, but compare it to exhibiting a painting and letting everyone paint over it and display it in other galleries as well. Some authors may not like it.
Other more complicated cases include e.g. using paid textures as base (you can't distribute your work as an image, even if such paid texture is used as a layer in Gimp / just a component of your texture).



I don't hink the comparision with the painting suits here. As said, the whole point of modding is 'modifying' things. In addition, you normally don't destroy the original source, but work with a copy. Regarding your second point, we avoid using assets that are protected. This includeds everything you have to pay for.



Does modding means zero control over the stuff you made? I don't think so. Maybe such disagreements over what modding is why engines like Unreal introduced packages.


AluminumHaste This mod is open source, Creative Commons. Anything created for it is no longer yours, it is then in public domain for ANYONE to use as they see fit.
You have to understand this BEFORE you make and release something for the MOD.

If you cannot live with this then don't create anything.
If you make a clock tower I can then use it to make clock tower chess boards, and you don't like it, then it's too bad.



I don't see how CC is a problem for the author later reusing this in any professional field. It's not like anyone will plow TDM to find material to sue anyone. Take it easy.
Any open source project is non profit and therefore profit is the last thing to think of unless getting experience or something to write in a CV about. That's it.



In Unreal engines you can use all the assets the way you want, but you can't export models or textures outside the editor to modify them. That's the kind of author's control I'm talking about, and I believe that might have been the reason for Epi's question.



Well, Unreal is a specific thing. Most people here have jobs and for them TDM is quite a hobby. So if you want to you can find a way to do something similar if you can argument your position to implement this (for Epifire).



It's not about money, more like sense of authorship. I don't want people to edit my photos or publish them without captions/proper credit) either, this is absolutely normal.


Anderson Well, if they are contributed to a project, it is reasonable enough to expect them to be adjusted/modified/improved? After all it is in common interest, especially if the author no longer shows up and goes AWOL. For example the account is terminated/forgot password/the author dies.

Photos are also a personal thing, while various art assets, sfx, voiceovers are sort of a contribution. If it's made for the project, their existence is tied to the project. It's for the public i..



That's a fair point. Although locking assets this way isn't bad either. You can improve things ad infinitum, and this way you have to take responsibility and submit something finished, not counting on others to do additional work.



True as well. But realistically it's better to have the chance of someone picking up something old and abandoned.



Okay, wasn't trying to hurt anyone's feeling, just pointing out the reality of this project in particular and how it works.

Regardless of how other projects work, whether it's other indie projects or UT/Epic etc, The Dark Mod (which includes everything that comes with the mod, and anything added later) is under CC.

Maintaining control over something you've given to TDM is not how it works.

Not sure what Epifire is needing in particular as he...



okay lol, this needs a thread, can't fit replies in.



Not to re-stir the hornet's nest here, but as far as I know the license from the source code in idTech specifies that only code, not assets, are required to be released. Does the license under The Dark Mod go further?



I've had loads of things nicked and no credit for being the originator, it something you have to live with and lump it.



Most of my stuff is properly unwrapped anyway, so you can't do much with these textures unless you really know what you're doing. That should discourage most people. I'm more afraid about models being used outside the mod.



Our asset license is BY-NC-SA. This is mainly because we use assets that are "free" but are contractually bound for non-commercial distribution.


I don't see a problem with FM authors including their own non-free assets in missions. The questionable area is "selling an FM". It technically doesn't break the rules but it definitely could cause some sorta legal concern because the asset owners could conflate the FM authors with the TDM team.


(Asset owners for 3rd party assets we include in TDM)



Is it possible to add your own clauses to that, like "you may not use these assets outside TDM without author's permission / please contact me"?



Yes, you can add any license stipulations you want to your readme just as with the original Doom 3 SDK.





As I take it, we could possibly make some content protection setup for authors by using the encryption hooks in our zip libraries.

To what degree we would cater to that is hard to say but I am on the side of making it easier for semi-pros or professionals to release

TDM missions without fear of losing their assets to the community. That said, missions can include distribution clauses in the readme

so you can still legally enforce your ownership of custom assets in your pk4 pack. Obviously we would need to carefully review the

license terms if the mission author wanted us to include these non-free assets in the core mod but if their request is that only TDM

can use the assets then that's no different than the many commercial texture assets we include that have non-commercial clauses

that don't allow TDM to simply offer them as a Texture Pack (etc).




Thread closed. See discussion here:



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(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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