Protecting Your Work

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by mextli, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. mextli

    mextli L1: Registered

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    Hello.

    I have a few questions regarding map making and how maps are used within the community. A lot of time and dedication goes into making maps, and I was wondering if stealing ever comes up as an issue amongst mapmakers. If someone were to want their map to be exclusive to their server, is there a way to safeguard against people running off with it? One thought that comes to mind is to find a way to watermark or tag the map in some manner so that you at least direct credit back to your server.

    Do any mapmakers have experience with this issue? And if so, what can be done about it?
     
  2. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    If you put the .bsp file of the map up onto the sight, then it becomes free domain, but by putting it up on the site, you kinda have a "I had this map at this time" sort of thing. This happened to me once.

    If your worried about people taking your map, decompiling and making changes, and then calling it there own, Then check this out. it talks about how to protect your maps.


    Really, you just need to watchful of your maps name, check tf2stats.net or google and see if your map is being played elsewhere (though, its best to make sure that it is your map, not a similiarly named on). For making an exclusive server only map is impossible, since by joining the server, people are given the map file.
     
  3. TMP

    aa TMP Abuser of Site Rules

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    There have been issues with people stealing content from maps in the past, but the situation is rather rare; generally, mapmakers tend to create or take inspiration (unless you're valve or your map has gone official, then expect a warm version of it).

    I doubt there's a surefire way of making sure a map retains exclusivity to servers (you could probably have the server write spawn locations instead of the map but that's one of the only ways I can think).

    Watermarks are fairly simple, can be done in many ways, from the welcome text (fairly easy, though the way to edit it escapes me at the moment) to an overlay in the map (the more preferred method of mappers around here, as it also sorts as a sort of an easter egg, like the Knifeback Mountain poster in Steel), to even potentially drawing the server name on the screen at all times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  4. drp

    aa drp

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    the only real way i can think of to keep maps to a certain server, is to like what tmp said, have some kind of plugin create spawn entities on load. anyone trying to add the map to their server wont be able to spawn, etc. this wouldnt stop someone from decompiling and adding spawns.
     
  5. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    I didn't know you could do that...

    But if you want to prevent decompiling, then look at the article I linked.
     
  6. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Those don't actually prevent decompiling. Those are merely things built into VMEX that cause it to stop if it encounters ones. Other decompilers or version of VMEX with it stripped out won't be stopped.
     
  7. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Yea, there's no sure fire way of protecting your map, the only option available to you is to pay attention to the spread of your map; and if you see it being used elsewhere under another's authorship, write a complaint to that community. Usually they will either remove the (your) content or ask you to cater to their needs personally so they can continue to use it in good faith (such as getting you to personally author a version for them (with X sniper tower)).

    You can't stop things like winterbowl and warmfront from occuring in such an open and mod friendly community that is Valve's userbase and its technology, but usually it's not that big of a deal. People tend to discover who the original author is and it's easy to prove when you have the original source files; and respectable communities (non-clan orientated communities) tend to respect the rights of others. But publicly distributed material, particularly online, will always have that aspect of third party low level plaigerism about it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  8. mextli

    mextli L1: Registered

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    Thanks for the quick and thorough responses. It's much appreciated.