Map Rights

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by TheONE, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    Hey guys,

    I wonder if there is any official way to reserve my rights for any map that I make, I don't want anyone to decompile my map and edit it (is there any way to prevent that ?!)

    I would be grateful if u can help me.
     
  2. nightwatch

    aa nightwatch

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    You may have heard of piracy. TF2 can and will work on the same principles, but in general there will be a smaller audience trying to steal your work. People on here are generally pretty respectful of your wishes if you make a thread and state your intentions, but I could not say the same for every other person browsing the internet who clicks on your download link. I don't know how much money you have to deal with lawyers and the like, but I hear that law gets even trickier to manage when the internet is involved.
     
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  3. Fish 2.0

    Fish 2.0 L6: Sharp Member

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    No, you can't.

    People don't really do that, anyway. There is a mutual respect between mappers, just like how if you put a plot for a film online, Hollywood wouldn't steal it.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  4. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    There are many ways to prevent someone decompiling your map. Each decompiler has things that it searches for and stops at if it finds it in the BSP. This can be a property you add to any random entity, or a certain arrangement of brushes. There are also programs that will scramble the names and functions of entities so that anyone that decompiles it will have a hard time following the logic.

    Here's the thing, though. I won't link you to any of this because it's totally useless. Anyone can get around decompile protection, no matter what it is or what kind you use. You can find them on Google if you look hard enough. I've gotten around every form of decompile protection without writing a single line of code just by knowing about BSP and VMF structure. Anyone with an above average grasp of Source (or the ability to get me or anyone else knowledgeable to help them) will get around your decompile protection every time.

    In reality, it's very rare for someone to bother stealing a map and rerelease it, even if they want to modify it. This is especially true if when you release it, you say that you prefer people contact you for changes. More often, someone will want to decompile your map to find out how something was done or built. If that's the case, you should be proud that someone uses your map as a learning tool. That means you did well.

    My sincerest advice is to not even bother.
     
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  5. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    Ah yes. As long as you keep it well documented that YOU are the rightful owner of the map, there is no way anybody can steal your map. A person trying to claim ownership of your work when you have something like a tf2maps thread documenting your progress is in deep shit as soon as the community finds out.
     
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  6. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    Thanks for your replay, I liked your replay. can you tell me ways (best practices) of recording my credits
     
  7. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    Can you please explain the best way to "well documenting" my map?!
     
  8. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

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    Look here http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=8227

    The thread says when it was first posted, other users have taken screenshots of the maps early versions for feedback purposes, there are various discussions on the map's layout and so on... All with dates that go far back. If one were to try and claim that map, he would have to explain how there can be 3 year old alpha screenshots that he didn't take. Stuff like that.

    Also, what i tend to do is to keep the vmf's of every single version of my maps. If someone were to try and claim my map, i would be able to show a library containing every single version from a1 and upwards, which the thief could not.
     
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  9. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    Thanks man ! I appreciate it !
     
  10. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Chain of Title - document everything you've done - start to finish - so when you see an "Official" map that just happens to be yours - it makes it easier to make a case that the true ownership belongs with you and not the other person.

    One of the ways you can do this is making multiple versions a,b,c,d,e,f, or 1,2,3,4,5, etc as you go - not only is it good for backup purposes but it also shows map progression as you make it. If the other dude only has one or two but you have a series that a definite progression over months - the judgement starts to lean in your favour.

    If you also start to post here as well showing progression of you map versions - then you would also have some community feedback that the map was yours originally and not someone else's - of course this could be subject to change if you put your map into the orphaned repository and someone else picks it up.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  11. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the advice... can you help me by showing how to add my credits to the map file
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  12. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    Adding a credit to your map file is pretty pointless, since anyone who finds it can remove it. You could add "Made by such-and-such" in the comments of any entity. (Best be one you only have one of, like env_sun or round_win or something.)
     
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  13. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    I'll say the same thing about this that I say about all other forms of media: The best way to keep people from stealing it is to not give them a good reason to.

    In this case, that means don't develop it to the point where it shows promise and people get excited about seeing it continue and then get bored and stop working on it. That's the main reason someone would want to steal someone else's map and work on it, and it's the reason we now have a place where people can post unfinished maps they're sick of working on for other people to legitimately take over.
     
  14. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Doom linked me a map he had been unable to decompile and open successfully. Doom is a pretty smart guy.

    Took me 3 attempts at diagnosing the issue and a grand total of 5 minutes before I got it open. It probably took longer to "protect" the map than it did for me to crack it open.
     
  15. ForbiddenDonut

    aa ForbiddenDonut

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    I've had (and sometimes still do) have issues with my Portal maps being posted on websites I didn't give permission to. It's generally okay if it's some blog that wants to share the maps (I'd still like to be asked though), but I've caught them on a website that made users pay for their downloads.

    At that point, you read up on digital plagiarism and try to issue an official 'take my shit off your website.' Depending on the host, that either works or doesn't.

    This was all done without the map even being decompiled. It even still had my name credits at the beginning. If someone really wants to steal your shit, it's pretty easy.
     
  16. TheONE

    TheONE L1: Registered

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    I have tried to decompile a map using vmex, it said a map cant be decompiled ... can u provide me with a link on how to do that (i mean here how to protect it from vmex) ! .... I know there are expert people in cracking maps ... to be honest I dont mind expert people to crack my map ... since he will be expert and he will only open it for purposes other than stealing a work or modifying it ...

    but those people who are just new to map making (or sometimes lazy people) who just want to do copy paste stuff ... those i want to protect my map against !
     
  17. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    Now, now. Did I not tell you at least three times that I did decompile it?

    I still think it could work if it was done on a random func_detail, though all in all protecting maps is really a waste of time. If the map is crap, noone will care to decompile it; and if the map is good, it'll be known enough for any possible thief to be flamed to death. At the very least you'll have a post here or on Gamebanana or wherever the fuck else where your map went public before a stolen version to prove that the map is yours.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  18. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

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    Perfect example: cp_orange_x3
     
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  19. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    decompile and open successfully

    operative words
     
  20. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    Well before we went into details, I was speaking of decompiling as in take a .bsp and open it in hammer, though I see how that might not seem so after we begun speaking about decompiling and opening separately. Guess I should have been more clear.