It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

If it's not ZDoom, it goes here.

It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Rayman The Hedgehog » Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:27 pm

I know this is a dumb question but, ripping resources from games can be bad thing? :| (obviously depending for the game of course)

I know when Ion Maiden was released, people in this forum was forbidden to use those resources in DOOM-related projects (take it as an example, since this one give me curiosity)
User avatar
Rayman The Hedgehog
Nothing to see here, KEEP SCROLLING!!
 
Joined: 25 Jul 2018
Location: Venezuela
Discord: Raypuia#6578

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Rachael » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:07 pm

Technically - from a legal standpoint - yes, it is bad.

It's more accepted in the Doom community because it's something that's widely accepted as something that's already been done to death, especially with other games from the 90's and some even later - it makes no sense to stop something that's already happened.

As for Ion Fury, the development team just so happens to be members of the community, and they explicitly asked us to not allow resources to be used. We follow that request more out of honor and respect, and because they are one of us, even if they are not here every single day.
User avatar
Rachael
Webmaster
 
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Discord: Rachael#3767
Twitch ID: madamerachelle
Github ID: madame-rachelle
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: No (Using Stable Public Version)
Graphics Processor: nVidia with Vulkan support

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Rayman The Hedgehog » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:43 pm

Rachael wrote:Technically - from a legal standpoint - yes, it is bad.

It's more accepted in the Doom community because it's something that's widely accepted as something that's already been done to death, especially with other games from the 90's and some even later - it makes no sense to stop something that's already happened.

Welp, that explains all.
User avatar
Rayman The Hedgehog
Nothing to see here, KEEP SCROLLING!!
 
Joined: 25 Jul 2018
Location: Venezuela
Discord: Raypuia#6578

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby revo794 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:00 pm

Can't speak for graphics or code, but stealing sounds can absolutely bite you in the arse if the sound that you're using just happens to belong to a proprietary library, or even just have a proprietary sound as a layer, but as long as you're not outright appropriating or selling them or distributing them free of charge (e.g. torrents), you should be fine. Reusing OSTs, however, could get you in trouble really quick, especially if it's released separately under a prominent label.
User avatar
revo794
Local disaster caster
 
Joined: 30 Dec 2012
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Discord: revo794#3295

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby NiGHTMARE » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:27 am

All creative work is automatically copyrighted. Unless it's released under a license that specifically allows its re-use (e.g. a variant of Creative Commons, BSD, or GPL) then legally you cannot do so, and even then there may be restrictions imposed by the license, such as not being able to use it in a commercial project.

There are such things as "fair use" and "educational purposes" that could allow using a portion of the work in a mod, but I don't think this has been tested in court - upon receiving a Cease & Desist letter, most modders tend to do so :)

When it comes to video games in particular, there's also the question of what constitutes the creative work. Is the entire game just one creative work, or is each texture, monster, musical track, etc an individual creative work?

If there's something you really want to use and it doesn't have a permissive license, it's much better to find or create something similar (but not *too* similar).
Last edited by NiGHTMARE on Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
NiGHTMARE
.now.
 
Joined: 19 Jul 2003

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Rachael » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:46 am

Copyright also has a weird duality when it comes to legal standards. In that there's a major difference between what's "legal" and what many consider to be "right".

Strictly from a legal sense - yes - nothing is reusable without a license. Period, end of sentence, full stop.

But let's take that a step further then. Most game developers (the sane ones, anyway) love it when you stream your gameplay of their work on major popular platforms like Twitch and Youtube. Some even go as far as crowning and prominently featuring the most popular streamers, even going as far as including in-game easter eggs of said streamers in later patches. This is one end of the issue.

The other end is the strict legal standpoint - streaming gameplay without a license to do so, whether you're getting money from it or not, is a strict violation of copyright. Though - I wouldn't be surprised if modern EULAs have a streaming clause, but I can assure you that happened long after gameplay streaming started.

Who's in the right here? The law, or the streamer? In most cases even the publishers and developers side with the streamer since it helps with marketing. And that throws the law into question almost immediately.

Bringing it back to modding - this has been a murky gray area for decades now. It's illegal. There's no question about it - and you could be held liable for it. But it's up to the publisher (or current rights-holder) to decide if your's is a case worth persueing - at a grave risk to the copyright holder's own reputation (which, although this pertains to trademark which has nothing to do with copyright law, it has already happened a few times with trademark defense).

You're taking a risk, and if the rights-holder goes after you so are they. In the end, what you are doing could be free marketing for their game, after all. (In Spooktober, a lot of resources were ripped from Thief - guess what, little do the publishers of Thief know they made a sale off of me because of that)

In my view, I think if your work is highly transformative, there should be nothing wrong with reusing resources from another game, as long as it is done sparingly and to further along a creative work. But I don't speak for anyone else in expressing that.

Some things to think about/debate/whatever.
User avatar
Rachael
Webmaster
 
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Discord: Rachael#3767
Twitch ID: madamerachelle
Github ID: madame-rachelle
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: No (Using Stable Public Version)
Graphics Processor: nVidia with Vulkan support

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:58 am

Rachael wrote:Bringing it back to modding - this has been a murky gray area for decades now. It's illegal. There's no question about it - and you could be held liable for it. But it's up to the publisher (or current rights-holder) to decide if your's is a case worth persueing - at a grave risk to the copyright holder's own reputation (which, although this pertains to trademark which has nothing to do with copyright law, it has already happened a few times with trademark defense).


Since you bring up trademarks, that's an entirely different area. A trademark is often its owner's signature to an article, if that gets weakened it can have devastating consequences.
Let's not forget how many words that once were product brands have entered the common vocabulary, down to the point where nobody identifies the word with its original brand anymore.

With copyright it is often an assessment between the inflicted damage by the violation and the effect on one's own reputation when litigating. And here it is often the case that those cases are not worth pursuing, there's either nothing to be gained, or the violation may serve as free advertisement. Of course, once money gets involved, the fun will be over.
User avatar
Graf Zahl
Lead GZDoom+Raze Developer
Lead GZDoom+Raze Developer
 
Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Location: Germany

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby drfrag » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:50 am

For copyright there's the fair use clause, not sure if it applies here.
User avatar
drfrag
Os voy a romper a pedazos!
Vintage GZDoom Developer
 
Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Location: Spain
Discord: drfrag#3555
Github ID: drfrag666

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Rachael » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:05 am

Definitely not.

Fair use only protects you when you use minimal enough of the work to make a point about it, i.e. critique or satire. This is so outside the realm of fair use and it is quite misleading, sometimes with disastrous consequences, when people use that defense. It also protects you when using the work educationally, but that's a hard argument to make - though in the case of modding it could be made - it's yet to be tested in court though as far as I know.
User avatar
Rachael
Webmaster
 
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Discord: Rachael#3767
Twitch ID: madamerachelle
Github ID: madame-rachelle
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: No (Using Stable Public Version)
Graphics Processor: nVidia with Vulkan support

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Redneckerz » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:33 pm

When in doubt, try to replicate it yourself. But only if the deviated work differs significantly from the original. This also goes for code, but there you can have the situation where a certain function requires a certain way of writing the code in order for it to function - If Person A wrote it in 1998, but you wrote the exact same thing in 2001, without having seen Person A's implementation - Who has the copyright here?

In my personal application, which is taking screencaps of source ports, i prefer to do them myself, not only because Wiki's (Especially the DoomWiki) like it when you create your own content, but it also saves you any legal hassle down the road, if someone was going to raise a question.

In a few extreme cases (See, unreproduceable screens) i do use the originals under a fair use clause, usually with an explanation as to why i used this specific picture + additional copyright reference to the original. It really is not that much effort to do these kinds of things, but it saves you a lot of trouble down the drain and it generates goodwill.

After all, because you do all these steps, you show yourself that you take copyright/legal matters more than seriously. And that's worth something. But honestly, it shouldn't be. In an ideal world you get credited accordingly. Sadly, we don't live in an ideal world.
User avatar
Redneckerz
To it's ports i may have seen
Spotlight Team
 
Joined: 25 Nov 2019
Discord: Redneckerz#8399
Operating System: Windows Vista/7/2008 64-bit
Graphics Processor: nVidia (Legacy GZDoom)

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Caligari87 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:33 pm

Just want to piggyback on the "Fair Use" for a moment

This is (partially due to the name) one of the most misunderstood things in all of the modern internet. Many people think "fair use" means "I can use whatever I want so long as I'm not making money off it!" After all, that's "fair", right? Wrong.

Fair Use means (like Rachael said) that in some cases you might have the ability to use limited portions of a copyright work for educational, critique, or satire purposes, with various possible aspects of your work taken into account (such as transformative nature, or amount of material used). For example, film reviewers that use short clips from the films they're reviewing are typically considered to be "fair use" since they often cannot make their point without referencing the copyrighted material.

However, Fair Use is not a "license" of any kind. It doesn't grant you rights of any kind either. You can't just say "fair use!" in your video description or credits list, and expect it to magically protect you like a talisman just because you're totally sure your use of the copyrighted work "counts".

What Fair Use is, is a legal defense. If the company issues a Cease and Desist, and if you have the time / money to dispute that C&D: You go before a judge, in a courtroom, and argue "I believe my use of this copyrighted material is allowed under Fair Use, and here's all the reasons why" (preferably prepared by your copyright lawyer. You do have one of those, right?). If the judge decides favorably, then congratulations on winning a milestone legal case. But until that point, typically don't even try invoking Fair Use, because a paralegal at Ubisoft is just gonna chuckle and say "sure, prove it in court, otherwise shut down or else."

Also, never say something like "such-and-such copyrighted material belongs to company/artist so-and-so, please don't sue me!" That indicates to a lawyer that you knew you were infringing copyright and you did it anyway. That's going to hurt your case more than anything if they decide you're worth suing.

8-)
User avatar
Caligari87
I'm just here for the community
User Accounts Assistant
 
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Discord: Caligari87#3089

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby Chris » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:48 pm

Caligari87 wrote:What Fair Use is, is a legal defense.

More technically, it's a limitation on the exclusive rights granted by copyright. It's not just an affirmative defense (which would be, "yeah, I infringed their copyright, but for allowable reasons"), it's an inherent part of what is covered by copyright; a fair use of a copyrighted work isn't an infringement of copyright. It can obviously be used as a defense if it goes to court, but copyright owners have to first make a fair use analysis "in good faith" before filing an infringement claim or they can get in trouble for copyright abuse (in practice, they just have to say they believe it's not fair use, and regardless of them being right or wrong, you'd have to prove they knew it wasn't or never attempted to find out, which is nearly impossible).
User avatar
Chris
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2003

Re: It's fine to rip game resources or it's somehow illegal?

Postby leileilol » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:14 pm

Certain "resource" sites certainly have normalized ripping and the fair use/"we're not making money its ok" defense but are really more as an unwilling proxy for asset flippers that feel like to flip and rip in the shady bootleg knockoff scene (mobile app stores). Such is the collateral damage of ripping to expect some cute easy clout funny meme animations to come out of running files through unmentioned conversion tools (some that explicitly forbade this very use case). This place is no exception, years ago we've already seen one steam game that flipped a lot of the sprites from here, somehow evading takedowns after being exposed (not only that but for another game too). Considering how many start off their weapon sprites off of sketchfab model shots (assuming without permission and just a bare credit), this can have some nasty infraction potential.

Spoiler: Likely irrelevant GPL-related tangent
User avatar
leileilol
ダークエルフ!!!!!!!!!!
 
Joined: 30 May 2004
Location: GNU/Hell


Return to Off-Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests