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Nobody steals my content... and lives!
February 25th 2001, 16:02 CET by Brandon Reinhart

After the recent controversy caused by 3D Realms' "foxing" of "<a href="http://www.planetquake.com/dioq3/">Duke it out in Quake</a>", a community project offering Duke Nukem 3D maps converted to Quake III Arena, Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart offers this rebuttal to "<a href="http://www.3dactionplanet.com/features/editorials/dukenuked/">Duke Nuked Forever</a>", an editorial on 3D Action Planet calling 3D Realms' actions hypocritical.

<hr noshade size="1" width="200">

The editorial titled "<a href="http://www.3dactionplanet.com/features/editorials/dukenuked/">Duke Nuked Forever</a>" by Grey Loki is quite off the mark.  I find it interesting that 3D Action Planet and GSI would post an article like this without any fact verification.

The article says "[it] seems a bit harsh to defend legal action against a non-profit mod team," yet Grey Loki never looks at why 3D Realms might do this.  The fact of the matter is that judicial common law effectively requires a company to actively fight infringement of copyrighted material.  If 3D Realms ignored the mod and did not recognize the infringement, a commercial product that infringed on the same content in the future could challenge 3D Realms in a court of law on the basis that the content was not protected in the past.  If it is clear that the copyright owning company was aware of the infringement, the likelyhood of that company being able to protect their material comes into question.

The issue of whether or not the infringing team was going to make a profit is irrelevant.  The ONLY issue of relevance is how the material is being used by the infringing group.  Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 says, "Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."  Since the purpose of the team was to create an entertainment product, they are clearly infringing on the work.

Having established that, I might also point out that the editorial never argues the fact that the "Duke It Out In Quake!" team was infringing on copyright.  If Grey Loki accepts that as fact, why doesn't he mention the very complex legal issues involved?  It seems extremely unfair to 3D Realms (and extremely negligent on the part of GameSpy) to ignore the legal reality of the situation.

I would also point out the fact that Grey Loki never mentions other cases where game developers have protected their material.  Has everyone forgotten the "Generations" mod for Quake3 that was stopped by id Software for using material from previous id Software products?  id recognized that their previous products still had value and still needed to be protected from misuse.  This kind of copyrighted material protection is nothing new.  The "Duke It Out In Quake!" team had the responsibility to be familiar with copyright law before they began their work.  If they lost time on the project, it was their own fault.  There are more than enough highly publicized and well known cases where developers have stopped projects of this nature.  I can, therefore, only assume that this particular team was either aware of their infringement and decided to continue anyway or grossly misinformed as to the nature of copyright law.

Finally, Grey Loki attempts to make a counterpoint by mentioning lines that were used in Army of Darkness.  Again, he fails to realize any of the legal issues involved and he most likely isn't even aware of them.  3D Realms proved prior use of the phrases in question in the realm of video games and won trademarks on those lines.  Grey Loki says "few have raised the issue of whether or not this was itself a violation of intellectual property rights."  Of course few people have raised the issue!  3D Realms owns the trademarks in question.  They can't infringe on their own material.

GameSpy and 3D Action Planet should be embarrassed with the content of this editorial.  The definition of "editorial" is "an article in a publication expressing the opinion of its editors or publishers."  If this is truly the opinion of GameSpy and 3D Action Planet I am very disappointed with their irresponsibility and lack of self-education.  There is nothing fair or accurate about the blatant omission of information and facts completely relevant to this issue.

I am not a copyright lawyer, so I'll make no claims as to the completeness of my argument, but I think I've given the siutation a significantly more accurate treatment than the editorial even begins to approach.

Let me also make it very clear that I am not speaking for my company or making any kind of official statement on the matter.  This is my opinion, although I believe my opinion is backed by facts unlike the editorial in question.

Brandon Reinhart
3D Realms Entertainment
C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 16:04:32
brandonr@3drealms.com
Hopefully George won't kick my ass too hard.
#2 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 16:08:40
brandonr@3drealms.com
Another point of relevance is the "significance" of the copyrighted work involved.  Since we are talking about levels and texture work, both very significant to the uniqueness of a game, I'd say that isn't really too much of a debate.
#3 by "Desiato"
2001-02-25 16:23:56
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
I would like to offer some advice to MOD teams :

Just because you *can* doesn't mean you *should*.

I'm sure they were enamored of the idea, but honestly - what about "I'm gonna take stuff from this game to make it work in this other one" did they not understand? Its just blatant copying of existing work.

I remember "Generations" too.....I think that GSI should hold some responsibility for these people as well -- they're the ones hosting them, they should know that they are trying to do this sort of stuff.....you'd hold "Time" or "People" responsible if they promoted an effort to ripoff material, why not websites?

To clarify the above statement, I realize that GSI hosts sites and doesn't necessarily have a complete reckoning of what is offered on those sites from a day-to-day basis, but if your MOD makes the frontpage of PLANETQUAKE, I think the editors/webmasters have a responsibility to step back and say "Hmm...is this MOD original and not RIPPING PEOPLE OFF?"

To ignore the fact that they were, and then shamelessly promote it, just smacks of what I think GSI stands for -- web hits and serving banner ads.

IANL (I am not a lawyer) but if you don't defend your material you may actually give up the right to do so in the future....I believe the term is "abandonment"...

Comments?


Desiato
#4 by "Calis"
2001-02-25 16:29:51
r.arts@student.utwente.nl http://www.terra-arcanum.com
I agree. If you want to do a conversion-type thing, ASK THE DEVELOPERS WHAT THEY THINK beforehand. Not doing so counts as shooting yourself in the foot, in my book. I can't honestly blame 3DRealms for this.
As for Gamespy's responsibility... well, I don't think they should go around policing their hosted mods, but it might be wise to at least make them aware of the legalities and risks involved with this.

And the mention of the Army of Darkness thing in the 3DAP editorial was a cheap shot, and an unrelated one at that.
#5 by "Ares"
2001-02-25 16:36:18
Brandon:
If it is clear that the copyright owning company was aware of the infringement, the likelyhood of that company being able to protect their material comes into question.



I thought it was trade marks you had to actively defend?
#6 by "Whisp"
2001-02-25 16:43:52
From the topic:
Finally, Grey Loki attempts to make a counterpoint by mentioning lines that were used in Army of Darkness. Again, he fails to realize any of the legal issues involved and he most likely isn't even aware of them. 3D Realms proved prior use of the phrases in question in the realm of video games and won trademarks on those lines. Grey Loki says "few have raised the issue of whether or not this was itself a violation of intellectual property rights." Of course few people have raised the issue! 3D Realms owns the trademarks in question. They can't infringe on their own material.

I'd like to point out that the article never brings up the merits of 3d Realms trademarks, it is talking solely about copyright.  As I'm sure you know, there is a difference.  

See: (from Grey Loki's article)
This means that this script and every character, dialogue, and catch phrase inside it belongs to the Raimi brothers legally. When Duke Nukem said, "Come get some," "Hail to the king, baby!" or "Groovy," 3D Realms was infringing on the copyrights of Sam and Ivan Raimi, and in the same sense that the mod makers are infringing on 3D Realms' copyrights.

Now, I think I have a decent grasp of copyrights and trademarks in the general sense, if not the specifics - I'm not a lawyer, but I've seen enough lawyers toss their 2 cents about these issues to feel fairly grounded.  The way I see it, copyrights are a sort of a legal sign that says "Hey! I came up with this, it was my idea and you better not take credit for my creativity."  Trademarks are much more limited in what they say (though maybe not legally) - their meaning seems to be more like "I use this for creating a brand, and I have an interest in making sure no one else uses it, so consumers don't get confused when they see it."  No assertation of creation or creativity here, you can trademark a circle in the right conditions.  A bit of a simplification here, but I think generally correct - the important thing is they are different.

I do think that 3D Realms does have the right to trademark those lines they used for advertising, it's been pretty clearly demonstrated around here that legally their claims of first use in a new market are valid.  The issue's pretty dead anyway, they've held up in court so far, haven't they.  What I don't think has been legally tested was whether or not 3d realms had the right to use those lines in any function in the first place.  In essence, did their use of them violate the Raimi's copyrights?  I'm not sure I think 3D Realms was right - and they were on pretty shaky ground regardless.  It's awfully close to copyright infringement, whether or not it actually was, and ultimately that's what makes this situation bad.  3D Realms appears to have done the very thing that they are coming down on others for.  To those that don't understand the difference between copyright and trademark, it's even worse - they went to court in order to claim they were the ones that created those lines.  Not what actually happened, but....  

If you approach George with the lines taken from Army of Darkness, which Bruce Campbell, the movie's star, doesn't approve of, he will tell you that those lines, just like many other Duke quotes, are pop culture and that makes it acceptable. And this is the point that crumbles George's argument in Foxing this mod.


It sure looks the same to us uneducated proles.

-Whisp
#7 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 17:03:39
brandonr@3drealms.com
Abandonment does not directly apply to copyright cases.  However, my argument was looking at it from a point of view of legal contradiction and common law.  If you do not defend your rights in one case, it seems to me you weaken your ability to challenge future cases.  This may not be correct, however.

That issue is only a minor one...an attempt to establish some sense of motive other than "3D Realms just like being asses."  Certainly there is value in the copyrights that 3D Realms holds and it is in their interest to defend them as a result.
#8 by "None-1a"
2001-02-25 17:08:13
none1a@home.com
I remember "Generations" too.....I think that GSI should hold some responsibility for these people as well -- they're the ones hosting them, they should know that they are trying to do this sort of stuff.....you'd hold "Time" or "People" responsible if they promoted an effort to ripoff material, why not websites?


Generations is a bad point for how GSI should hold responsibility for the mods. Remember the Gen team did belive they had id's ok when the project started.

Now on to the topic. People genrealy do not care about copywrite or trademarks. All they see is that you've prevented them from getting and playing something they wanted. We've dealt with it in the MM community a few times latly, both with cars created by game developers (notably Terminal Reality's 4x4Evo trucks), and quite a few fan created cars. The fans just don't give a crap aobut what's going on all they want it a new car, level, or whatever. Heck we've even got one fan site that refuses to remove stuff when requested to do so (going as far as removeing staff members that are activly removeing the stuff and publicly anouncing it), all because the fans demand this crap.
#9 by "deadlock"
2001-02-25 17:08:15
deadlock@eircom.net
Desiato: I agree, and I think it gets worse. You can't just get a site hosted on Planetquake et al, you have to apply and I presume you have to give a summary of what your site offers, with regard to mods, downloads etc. So it's probably pretty indefensible from GSI's point of view.

deadlock
#10 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 17:10:14
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
Desiato:
Just because you *can* doesn't mean you *should*.

The same applies to the developers, of course. This affair seems outrageously petty to me; as far as the information available seems to tell, 3dr have drop the proverbial ton of bricks on the mod team, with little or no prior warning. If it's the textures that are causing a problem, why should 3dr not suggest reworking the textures? If it's the level layouts that are an obstacle - why, I do seem to recall a hidden area in DN3d showing the bridge of the Enterprise, and something else to do with Indiana Jones - not to mention a marine character lifted straight from Doom.
Just because it lies in 3dr's power to shut down the mod, there is no reason for them to actually do so. So much more could be done - as some have suggested, they could offer official sanction to the team (if that wouldn't be a case of actively protecting their IP, I'd be astounded), give them some guidance to avoid infringements - all manner of things. I'd say the best solution for them, however, would be to sit back and not worry about it. After all, the game in question is five years old now, and without seeing 3dr's financial records, I refuse to believe for a second that it's still remotely profitable.
#11 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 17:12:38
brandonr@3drealms.com
Here is an interesting summary from "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained"  Most of it supports me, but I am wrong on the abandonment issue as a method to establish motive.  I'll excise that element of my argument.  I don't think it is necessary to prove my point.

- These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, and no copyright notice is required.
- Copyright is still violated whether you charged money or not, only damages are affected by that.
- Copyright is not lost because you don't defend it; that's a concept from trademark law. The ownership of names is also from trademark law, so don't say somebody has a name copyrighted.
- Fan fiction and other work derived from copyrighted works is a copyright violation.
Copyright law is mostly civil law where the special rights of criminal defendants you hear so much about don't apply. Watch out, however, as new laws are moving copyright violation into the criminal realm.
- Don't rationalize that you are helping the copyright holder; often it's not that hard to ask permission.
#12 by "The Joker"
2001-02-25 17:16:21
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
3DRealms should just shut the fuck up and take the large wang out of their behinds. Treating your fans in this way is absurd. All they did was have some fun. I don't care about any of the legal shit. It's not like they were using 3DR's IP to make money for themselves or were making it look bad.

So why don't you guys simply shut the fuck up and stop being such assholes. Things like this make me wish Bruce Campbell sued the living fuck out of you.


Joker.
#13 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 17:16:42
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
GreenMarine:
...often it's not that hard to ask permission.

One other thing that I meant to mention - I make no bones about the fact that this mod team dropped the ball somewhat by not seeking permission first - but frankly, 3dr is a big player, and the mod team are two private citizens who happen to be fans of Duke. A little magnanimity on 3dr's part would not have gone amiss.
#14 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 17:20:34
brandonr@3drealms.com
Tom I don't understand your "ton of bricks" analogy.  My understanding is that the mod team was notified that their project was an infringement as soon as 3DR found out about it.  I don't think you can act any faster than that.

I have a real hard time sympathizing with the mod team.  They should have been more than aware of the implications of their actions.

Could 3D Realms have worked with the mod team?  Probably, but remember that game development is a business.  3D Realms has to manage its resources and it probably wouldn't have been a worthwhile use of those resources to work with the team.  The Duke license is valuable, so I don't see any reason why it should be freely handed to any mod team.  3D Realms certainly has an interest in the quality of presentation of their material and in a situation where helping the mod team isn't viable it is in their best interest to end the project.


Just because it lies in 3dr's power to shut down the mod, there is no reason for them to actually do so.


As I said here, I think there is a lot of reason for them to do so.  It takes time and effort to properly produce a quality product or even overlook a team on a smaller level.  I don't see the overwhelming advantage to working with the team, when compared to the advantages to stopping the project (such as maintaining the value of the Duke license).


Give them some guidance to avoid infringements ...


That's silly.  The way to avoid infringement is not to use the copyrighted material in the first place.  I don't think it can be any simpler than that.  There a lot of mod teams working on original projects that have their own value.  Why couldn't this team do the same?
#15 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 17:25:58
brandonr@3drealms.com
Magnanimity might be ideal, but in reality it isn't necessarily in 3DR's favor.  After all, they were using the content in another company's product.  DNF will be released at some point and there will be more than enough room for Duke mods and Duke creations.

I can see 3DR doing a lot to help mod authors work with their own games, but I can't see any company in a strong position giving the blessing for a project using their material in another company's game.  Doesn't that fact have any value at all?
#16 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 17:33:40
brandonr@3drealms.com
Why should 3D Realms be seen as the bad guys when it is the mod team that forced the situation?  If 3D Realms was going to say "no" all along, then wouldn't it have been in everybody's best interest for the mod team to ask permission first hand?

I think the issue of kindness went out the window the moment the other team made a release without ever approaching 3D Realms.  The mod team had more than enough chance to resolve the issue, they chose not to.

3D Realms is mean because these poor programmers and level designers wasted their time, when those same programmers and level designers could have just asked permission before they put any time into it?  I don't see the logic in it.
#17 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 17:34:49
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
GM:
3D Realms has to manage its resources and it probably wouldn't have been a worthwhile use of those resources to work with the team.

I'm not suggesting working with them, per se - what would have been wrong with spending a few dollars on a lawyer to draw up some documents giving the team official sanction to continue the mod, on the proviso that someone from 3dr's business end keeps a weather eye on their progress now and again, and a couple of postage stamps to send them out to the team?
That's silly. The way to avoid infringement is not to use the copyrighted material in the first place.

I think you're deliberately misunderstanding me. All I'm suggesting there is a little nudge in the right direction - "You're using our textures; you ought to make your own, you know, or we might have to shut you down" would have sufficed, I'm sure. Anyone who worked on Team Evolve's Zaero pack for Q2 can back me up on that - it's a hassle when you already have a complete texture set, but it's not a dead end.
#18 by "Whisp"
2001-02-25 17:36:05
Bradon:
Here is an interesting summary from "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained" Most of it supports me, but I am wrong on the abandonment issue as a method to establish motive. I'll excise that element of my argument. I don't think it is necessary to prove my point.

Seems to me these apply equally as well to 3D Realms.  Let's see, shall we?

- These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, and no copyright notice is required.

Like movie scripts?

- Copyright is still violated whether you charged money or not, only damages are affected by that.

I guess you'd be set up for big damages then...

- Copyright is not lost because you don't defend it; that's a concept from trademark law. The ownership of names is also from trademark law, so don't say somebody has a name copyrighted.

Nice to finally hear a definitive answer to that question.  Never really clear about that distinction either.

- Fan fiction and other work derived from copyrighted works is a copyright violation.

Good thing you guys weren't fans of Raimi's movies, and that Duke's line are completely nonderivative of any material contained in them.

Copyright law is mostly civil law where the special rights of criminal defendants you hear so much about don't apply. Watch out, however, as new laws are moving copyright violation into the criminal realm.

This has nothing to do with you, but this sort of thing makes me sick.  Businesses have entirely too much influence in the lawmaking process.  This in my opinion is nowhere close to criminal behavior.

- Don't rationalize that you are helping the copyright holder; often it's not that hard to ask permission.

So 3D Realms asked permission to use those lines?  Well, then I guess the whole issue is water under the bridge.  Nothing to see here any longer....

Brandon again:
Tom I don't understand your "ton of bricks" analogy. My understanding is that the mod team was notified that their project was an infringement as soon as 3DR found out about it. I don't think you can act any faster than that.
  
That was his point. They moved extremely fast and came down really hard.  And yes, the mod team was probably in the wrong as well.  But like Tom said, would it really have hurt 3D realms so much to let it go on?

-Whisp
#19 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 17:37:57
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
Also:-
They should have been more than aware of the implications of their actions.

Why? They're two gaming fans, who probably work mundane jobs in mundane places, and couldn't tell you more about IP laws than "the 'c' in a circle stands for 'copyright'". So why on earth should they be aware of the intricacies of copyright law (which, let's face it, is not exactly one of the simpler areas of legislation).
#20 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 17:40:39
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
They moved extremely fast and came down really hard.

Just like a ton of bricks, really :)
#21 by "Calis"
2001-02-25 17:46:51
r.arts@student.utwente.nl http://www.terra-arcanum.com
Do we really need to drag up the Army of Darkness thing over and over again?
Yes, they took lines from the movie. Yes, they got away with it and yes, most gamers agree that they've been assholes about it. However, taking a couple of well-known lines from a movie and putting them in a computer game does not compare to taking an entire computer game, with levels, textures and whatnot, and remaking it using a competitor's computer game, not quantitatively and, in my opinion, not qualitatively either (although one could argue on that).

#19:
You don't need to be an expert on copyright law to know that it's probably a good idea to ask the original creators before putting the contents of a complete game in your mod.
#22 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-02-25 18:06:44
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
Calis:
...taking an entire computer game, with levels, textures and whatnot...

Have you actually looked at the mod's site? That's not what they were doing - merely building Q3A remakes of the Duke levels. Think about it - how could they port a single-player game to Q3A without a damn sight more work than two could do?
#23 by "Calis"
2001-02-25 18:09:15
r.arts@student.utwente.nl http://www.terra-arcanum.com
Tom Cleghorn:
Yes, I just saw that. It doesn't invalidate my point though: remaking levels with all the textures (albeit only in multiplayer) is still something that should at least make you consider asking for permission, even if you're not a copyright expert.
#24 by "Desiato"
2001-02-25 18:09:38
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
LOL

Yeah - We *really* need to rehash that who-gives-two-shits-about-Army-Of-Darkness thing again? Good lord, it isn't even related.

/flamethrower off

I admit my previous post using "Generations" as an example is flawed, and I retract that point in my argument.

One thing that people might want to consider is that 3DRealms knew they had to plug the hole in the dam, as it were -- we are all too familiar how the 'cat can be out of the bag' and all over the net in a matter of minutes. 3DRealms shutting down the MOD distribution was just damage control at that point -- which is precisely why they're pissed off -- they know it is out there being mirrored somewhere on a student or private FTP account.

Should they have worked with the MOD authors?

Well - that is like saying you should work with the burglars after they've carted off your possessions, you know -- so they only take what you approve of.....

Aww *COMON* you've got to be f**kin kidding me..

I hate to group a bunch of overzealous MOD makers in with that analogy, but hopefully you'll know what I'm trying to say here...

They transgressed first -- yes, you may say this whole thing is petty - but the maps are all over the place by now which unfortunately puts the onus on 3DRealms to set the example for others in the MOD community to take note.

"Oh -- they don't like their stuff ripped off...I'd better scrap that DukeNukem Racing game I was working on for Q3A..."

I can only hope.


Desiato
#25 by "Calis"
2001-02-25 18:17:28
r.arts@student.utwente.nl http://www.terra-arcanum.com
#22:
oh, and I think my argument about the two not comparing, quantitatively or qualitatively still holds, too.
#26 by "XCrodo"
2001-02-25 18:28:27
What the fuck is 3DR doing with their so-called "intellectual properties" ? Letting them sit in the bargain bin? Unless they are including their old maps in the new game or planning to do a remake, I can't see what harm it could do besides promotting their own products. Still, I think the guys should have asked 3DR before starting their project and 3DR should have agreed.
#27 by "Calis"
2001-02-25 18:32:57
http://www.terra-arcanum.com
What the fuck is 3DR doing with their so-called "intellectual properties" ? Letting them sit in the bargain bin?

From the 3DAP article:
Duke 3D still sells and makes money. Enough to cover a good portion of people's salaries.

Yes, letting them sit in the bargain bin, and apparently, still making money with them. I don't have any figures to back this up. George stated they still make money with Duke3D, and that means you'll have to put up figures saying otherwise if you want to call him a liar.
#28 by "The Joker"
2001-02-25 18:38:20
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
I would just really like to invite 3DRealms to fly over to my house and suck my schlong.

Thanks,

Joker.
#29 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 18:46:01
brandonr@3drealms.com
I'm pretty sure 3D Realms wants to promote mod authors.  I'm also pretty sure that 3D Realms does not want to promote this kind of mod author behavior.  Letting it pass or even working with the mod team would be telling other teams it's okay and that they have a good chance of getting the same kind of treatment.

As it stands, 3D Realms policy seems consistant: they don't appreciate this kind of behavior.  If another team infringes and 3D Realms finds out and says "you can't do this" will you guys be just as outraged?  I don't think you would be.

If you wouldn't, then why are you now?  Remember any copyrighted content might not be in action right now, no company knows what it will do in the future.  id Software ended up licensing out Wolf 3D to make a sequel.  Seems their shutting down the Generations mod was ultimately justified.  There was value in the content and now they are making use of it.

It is just an example of how the company that created the material is well within their operating rights to protect it.

Tom, you have to at least assume that if these guys are smart enough to produce game content and put it on the web they have some level of awareness of the issues surrounding ownership of content.  It's common sense, right?  Reinforced by what we experience and see in society every day.

I am not trying to construct an air tight defense of 3D Realms behavior.  I'm not even trying to vindicate them (although I've allowed myself to get dragged in that direction).  My original point was merely to say "look at this editorial and what it is saying...is it really a fair treatment of the situation?"
#30 by "XCrodo"
2001-02-25 18:46:18
Fact is that whoever is still buying Duke 3D would probably still do it even if there was a mod with a bunch of maps from the game. Here are the reasons why would someone buy a 5-year old game:

1) Got a shitty pc, no 3d acceleration whatsoever, can't even run Q3
2) Know nothing about games, attracted by flashy colors on box
3) Nostalgy, Duke 3D r0x y0 a55!!! ;p

If you can think of other reasons, feel free to express them. If they still get money from this game, well good for them. What kind of profit do you make from a game that sells less 10$ anyway? I'd like to know how much money they would have lost if they allowed the mod to live. If it got past two digit I'd be surprised.
#31 by "None-1a"
2001-02-25 19:02:55
none1a@home.com
What kind of profit do you make from a game that sells less 10$ anyway? I'd like to know how much money they would have lost if they allowed the mod to live. If it got past two digit I'd be surprised.


That's not the point. Lets say they let the mod continue, and it was done poorly. That would reflect on the Duke name and 3DR even though they had nothing to do with it's creation. Also what happens 6 months from now if some one runs into their office and has the idea to recreate duek3d in full using a new engine? Why on earth would any one buy a QuakeIII or UT based recreation if it has been done by a Mod team for free already?

Not that I assume or think that they will wish to recreate Duke3d but as was already said it could always happen.
#32 by "Theseus"
2001-02-25 19:12:32
theseus@cpgaming.com http://www.cpgaming.com
Fact is that whoever is still buying Duke 3D would probably still do it even if there was a mod with a bunch of maps from the game. Here are the reasons why would someone buy a 5-year old game:

1) Got a shitty pc, no 3d acceleration whatsoever, can't even run Q3
2) Know nothing about games, attracted by flashy colors on box
3) Nostalgy, Duke 3D r0x y0 a55!!! ;p

If you can think of other reasons, feel free to express them. If they still get money from this game, well good for them. What kind of profit do you make from a game that sells less 10$ anyway? I'd like to know how much money they would have lost if they allowed the mod to live. If it got past two digit I'd be surprised.


But what if 3DR decided to, after DNF, work inhouse on a buget remake of Duke3d with say, the Quake Engine, whilst research is being done on their next gen tech.  This would keep the team busy with something light before another three year dev cycle, and make a quick buck.

If their property is seen as public domain it makes further use of it difficult.


BTW, I'm glad that we have a classic "crappy" subject.  Even without the labotomised Andy ;p
#33 by "Theseus"
2001-02-25 19:13:59
theseus@cpgaming.com http://www.cpgaming.com
Gah, trust someone to echo parts of my thinkings whilst I was posting. :)
#34 by "Steve Bauman"
2001-02-25 19:18:12
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
I'm curious how people would react if I started a Mod project that took textures and models and maps from Counter-strike. Maybe do it for Unreal Tournament and call it "Strike Force" or something. Would that be acceptible, or are Mod makers only allowed to steal from commercial projects?
#35 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 19:28:13
brandonr@3drealms.com
Steve, I'm pretty sure that the CounterStrike mod authors would have protection.  It probably depends on the wording of the Half-Life EULA.
#36 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 19:30:58
brandonr@3drealms.com
I will be quite impressed if Charlie is able to stay out of this discussion.
#37 by "Theseus"
2001-02-25 19:32:54
theseus@cpgaming.com http://www.cpgaming.com
You sick of paying for your own Taco Bell then? :P
#38 by "Creole Ned"
2001-02-25 19:42:09
cned@telus.net
I'm fairly certain I saw an interview with the mod authors in question prior to 3D Realms asking them to stop work on the mod and they were directly asked about the possibility of being shut down and admitted that it was a possibility. The fact that they persisted in making the mod while aware that it might (indeed, probably would) get shut down makes them foolish, at the very least. I find it impossible to sympathize with their plight. They *should* have known what would happen and it looks like they did, but they persisted, anyway. That is simple idiocy.

GreenMarine raises valid points on why 3D Realms would fox the project rather than help it out, so I won't repeat them all here, but honestly, if they did, it means they have to divert resources to helping a team reproduce some of their work in a competitor's game and it opens the floodgates to other mod teams that do this sort of thing and then ask for permission after the fact. At what point does 3D Realms stop these people? At the start, unless they want a never-ending stream of mod authors coming up to them and saying, "But you helped those other guys and let them do it!"
#39 by "XCrodo"
2001-02-25 19:43:37
I fail to see why this deathmatch map pack would be a threat to a full remake of Duke 3D by a team of professionnals. 3D Realms looks like a bunch of insecure cunts if ask me. *Oh what if we lose some money? What if it makes Duke look bad?* Stop crying already.
#40 by "Creole Ned"
2001-02-25 19:45:49
cned@telus.net
Steve, just to clarify, are you saying the authors of the UT Strike Force mod did this? As far as I'm aware, while the SF idea is obviously similar to that of Counter-Strike (or Team Fortress or any of the other billion or so class-based mods floating around these days), I don't think the SF team directly lifted any textures or models from CS. Are you saying they did so or merely floating the possibility as part of your comparison?
#41 by "Calavera"
2001-02-25 19:59:43
space@iglou.com
You know, they HAD to know this was a bad thing. They were basically giving Duke3D away. With what they were doing, they might as well have put up a link to Duke3D and said Download this m4d w4r3z. It would be one thing if they were writing a program to convert Duke3D maps to Q3A maps, but what they were doing is clearly wrong. I would be with you guys in saying 3DR was in the wrong if they were writing a program to convert, but I gotta side with 3DR, they were just wareznig the game away.

Calavera
#42 by "VeeSPIKE"
2001-02-25 20:01:25
appliedavoidance-NS@mindspring.com
Yes, they took lines from the movie. Yes, they got away with it and yes, most gamers agree that they've been assholes about it. However, taking a couple of well-known lines from a movie and putting them in a computer game does not compare to taking an entire computer game, with levels, textures and whatnot, and remaking it using a competitor's computer game, not quantitatively and, in my opinion, not qualitatively either (although one could argue on that).


That's like saying "I only stole a little money, at least I did not rob a bank." It does not make i tany more illegal to steal $5,000,000 rather than $5.00.

The question is whether or not 3DR violated Raimi's copyrights/trademarks in using the lines from the movie, and from what I remember of Charlie's comments (circa PC3) no they didn't.
#43 by "Theseus"
2001-02-25 20:35:44
theseus@cpgaming.com http://www.cpgaming.com
Talking of the lines thing.  The only example I can think of off hand is "Hail to the King baby", and I beleive it is said in a rather different context to the films, of which I havn't seen.
#44 by "Evi|ivE"
2001-02-25 20:35:58
I agree with the sentiment that 'Just because you 'can', doesn't mean you 'should'.  
Just because 3d Realms can sue, doesn't mean they should.  I don't think anyone is going to try to sell a Duke Nukem game based on this level pack.

Look at Ritual and SiN.  There has been a Sin2UT mod out for quite some time.  It has guns, levels, and models from the SiN game but they are all in UT.  Ritual has not once tried to shut these guys down...  And SiN is a much newer game than Duke Nukem.  

I understand that Duke is a copyrighted work.  I'm no copyright lawyer.  I just know that a few fans got together and decided to take something they thought was cool (Duke) and move him into Quake 3.  They didn't hurt 3D Realms with this.  They didn't cause less copies of Duke Nukem to be sold.  They were just fans trying to have a little fun...  I don't see what the big deal is.

So how about it Brandon?  Why can't 3DR take a better stance with it's fans like Ritual has with the SiN2UT mod?  Hell the Sin2UT mod has more than just levels copied.  It has the guns, power ups, and player models of SiN.  And I have never heard the Ritual guys complain about it once.  These types of mods don't hurt sales, and they don't hurt the devs.  The only people that would download and play a mod like this is probably a big fan of the original game to begin with.  

So while it may be 3dR's right to shut down the mod and threaten legal action, is that really what should be done?  Is this level pack really going to hurt Duke Nukem sales that much?  I know you guys can't be selling too many copies of a 5 year old game anyway.  Duke Nukem is so old that i wouldn't even consider Quake 3 its competitor.  Maybe Doom 2, but not Quake 3...

I think 3DR needs a good strong toke of what Levelord is smoking.  Maybe it would help lighten you guys up.
#45 by "GreenMarine"
2001-02-25 20:44:47
brandonr@3drealms.com
Evi|ivE, I think there are plenty of reasons that have been presented from me and others as to why 3D Realms should not condone this mod team's actions.  Even if you put aside any question of the value of the Duke license, there is still the fact that to support them would legitimize their behavior.

Just because you can try to get away with copyright infringement, doesn't mean you should.  The mod team started the problem by acting with full awareness that what they were doing was wrong.
#46 by "Creole Ned"
2001-02-25 20:57:01
cned@telus.net
#44 by Evi|ivE

Hell the Sin2UT mod has more than just levels copied. It has the guns, power ups, and player models of SiN. And I have never heard the Ritual guys complain about it once.


I'm honestly curious if the Ritual guys even know about it.
#47 by "Evi|ivE"
2001-02-25 21:03:55
Thats fine.  What about Sin2UT?  Sin is much newer than Duke Nukem.  Ritual hasn't ever said a word about it either.  They have even pimped it on www.ritualistic.com.   Hows that for not having a stick up your ass?

I know you guys have every right to take action.  I just question if you 'should'.

The Misfits could sue Metallica for covering a lot of their songs over the years.  Should they?

Sam Raimi could throw a fit over a certain character of his being 'used' for a certain game.  Should he?

Where does it end?

And remember, I am looking at this with the view of a fan.  I'm no lawyer, and actually I could care less about the legalities of it.  What I see is two unpaid guys that made some maps that resemble Duke Nukem maps in Quake 3.  Big f'n deal.  The maps weren't even that great.  And in fact, a lot less people would have heard about them if 3DR hadn't made such a big deal about them.  I know I had never even heard of them until 3DR took action and shut the site down.
#48 by "Theseus"
2001-02-25 21:08:30
theseus@cpgaming.com http://www.cpgaming.com
Sam Raimi could throw a fit over a certain character of his being 'used' for a certain game. Should he?


I don't think this is fair.  Sam Raimi's character is, from what I gather, a fucking stupid one.  Duke is a super hero, who in the Duke universe "owns the world" and is it's total pop culture.
#49 by "Steve Bauman"
2001-02-25 21:14:21
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
My point wasn't so much about the legalities of a Mod ripping off another Mod but whether people would jump all over a Mod team ripping off another Mod team. I've seen that happen, and I wonder if those people also find perfectly acceptible to rip off commercial projects... is there a double standard?
#50 by "Jafd"
2001-02-25 21:24:23
JnoAspamFpleaseD@whatthefuck.com http://jafd.isfuckingbrilliant.com/
No one is more concerned about being stolen from than a thief.
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