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GoodRobotUs's picture
Joined: 2006-10-04

I've encountered an interesting situation lately, and since we have some pretty legally clued people here, I'll ask about a rather messy situation.

Basically there is a Mod for a game where the entire team, bar one member split up several years ago after declaring the Mod final, I won't mention the Mod or the Game since it's unimportant.

Now, the fact is that, whilst the game is still improving, the Mod is looking a bit old nowadays, and some of the models are causing problems/unpredictability etc as they were made on older converters that didn't always do the job properly.

A suggestion was made to the one remaining Mod member that the Mod, which had been open for fan-made campaigns etc for years be thrown entirely open to allow the fan-base to update the models, and bring up to spec to the latest engine. This is where things all went pear-shaped.

I won't go into details, but the end situation was the single remaining team member claiming that absolutely no-one was allowed to use his content in any further expansions of the Mod, and that anyone who did was a thief. Oddly enough, completely reversing what he'd said the previous year in the Mods internal forum, and that someone posted.

Now, apart from the irony that this Mod is based on someone elses' IP in the first place, I'm wondering whether it's even possible to withdraw something once you have made it public domain? Isn't that kind of like handing out free dollars and then going round later accusing everyone who accepted them of being a thief?

Of course, this being the Internet, this has most likely increased the fans urge to start screwing around with his models, but that aside, what [i]is[/i] the legal position on Mods that are based on other people's work and permission to use assets from the person who built the model (but doesn't own the IP), since, under strict letter of law, the person who built the model has already stolen it, but the polygons and work involved are the property of the modder regardless as I understand it?

Sorry, that got pretty convoluted, hope it makes sense.


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