decompiling and creative license

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Pink_Panther, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    Sorry for the angryish post, but I thought this would be a good topic for those newer to mapping. I bring this up because today I found out that an individual from FPSBanana decided to take one of my maps and change the lighting and re-release it on his server. The only reason I found out is because he mentioned he was going to put the original map on his server which I made some adjustments to and wanted him to know.

    Anyways, back on topic. Decompiling a map is a powerful tool for learning how to use new techniques or those pesky entities that are poorly documented. These are perfect uses for such a tool. But remember when you take pieces out of a map that your taking a person's creativity and time. We all spend many hours activity mapping these works of art and even more thinking about them. I like to think that there is a piece of myself in every map I create, and I'm sure many others feel the same way.

    While the maps are not copyrighted or protected an any way, we have the responsibility to treat them as if they were. If you use a map as reference, a good general rules of thumb is putting comments of thanks towards the individual(s) who helped you. If you use a portion of map (aka, copy/paste anything) ask that person for permission before even pressing ctrl-c. If you cant contact that individual, dont touch it.

    This does sound a little anti-decompiling and it should to a point. Most of us probably want to know if people are prodding around in our bsp's. But, at the same time I like the idea that something I created inspired someone enough to take the time to look at it more closely. I have used decompilers in the past, I may again in the future. But, it should always been done with respect to the hours and creativity of the person who made the map.

    Hopefully I'm not alone in this, and I hope some others will add their thoughts as well.

    (as a general note, if anyone wants to take a look at my vmx/rmf's just shoot me an email)

    Phil
     
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  2. Hawk

    Hawk L7: Fancy Member

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    Very well-put, I think.
     
  3. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I pretty much fully agree. While we don't have any actual rights to the stuff, since it's all made with valve's content. I like to think we have the IP rights to the shape of the map, which has nothing to do with valve, and that's the core issue here... people copying the shape you made.

    I'm ok with decompiling valve maps, because they don't really provide us with very good documentation, or examples of how to do things. If they provided a gametype entity VMF on the VDC when they released a new game, along with example maps of how to do stuff, I might see differently. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they now expect people to decompile to find out how to set things up. :/

    Personally, I don't much care for decompiling to find out how a custom author did something with entities. Just contact the person first and they'll probably tell you if they aren't an asshat. However I'm probably a little biased on this, because I am very entity-minded and don't really need to look or ask, and may very well end up doing it more efficiently than the original.

    Lastly... who is the asshat in question? So we can defame and burn him at the stake. :D
     
  4. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Technically you're wrong here; you do have copyright for your creation. The only problem is because no profit is made directly or indirectly from the abuse of your work it's hard to actually get anything done about it. Also, the development community is so open it's hard to even try and go about protecting your work.

    This is a subject that has come up on numerous occasions and the general idea is pretty much what you have stated. I made a pretty lengthy rant about this ages ago but i can't seem to drag it out of the seach feature. Either the dramatic (de-railed) thread was removed or the archives don't get scanned by the search feature.

    Decompiling a map and rereleasing it is a no no, regardless of what you did to it. The trouble is lecturing about it here is a bit of a no brainer because the majority of the people here that will read it have the sense and enough pride in their work to not touch that sort of thought with a barge pole. The worst you'll get is someone copy and pasting a set of entities from one map to another for the simple fact of saving time, the same bunch of entities someone probably pasted from a valve map in the first place!

    The sad fact is there will always be some sad git who tries to make an easy rise to fame through what can only be defined as plagerism. They have no respect for art.

    The best you can do is contact admins to keep it off sites/servers that are well moderated to restrict it's spread but ultimately i doubt you would be able to halt its use out right. An unfortunate fact of reality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  5. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    I posted here because there are some new mappers comming here for information and help. There was no intent on reaching the masses, just the few that may have not considered what the process is really doing.
     
  6. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    i wasnt going to release that information, but 'the asshat' ignored my private messages and released 'his version' on a forum. He then went back to FPSBanana and 'disapproved' my map.

    culprit: Froggie
    FPSBanana ID: http://www.fpsbanana.com/members/279390

    his version post followed in a thread after posting my map...
    http://rzweb.free.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3828#32067

    and my post on their forum...
    http://rzweb.free.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3835#32068

    I half expect my posts to be removed as he is a forum moderator too.

    Hopefully, he wont be stealing yalls work too.
     
  7. Spike

    Spike L10: Glamorous Member

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    What an asshole.
     
  8. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    Yeah, that sucks.

    I once had my maps from another game included in a game CD pack that an individual had put up for sale online. Basically he took a bunch of community maps, burned them onto a CD and was trying to seel them for $20 each.

    Everyone of these missions had a copywrite liscence text along with the standard 'game content belongs to eidos/looking glass can't be resold, etc...

    Not to mention each text had at least one address where it could be dl'ed for free.

    On top of that a community member already offered a service where he'd burn every mission onto a pack of CD's and send them to you for postage.

    I stern notice shut the guy down but I was pissed.
    --------------
    I was also playing my sniper map on a server one day and one guy said 'I can make a CP map out of this easily.

    It was alltalk so I said ' If you want to I'll send you the vmf file so you don't have to decompile'.

    He stopped talking about it :p