Author Topic: Creature Ownership discussions - merged topic  (Read 53196 times)

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Offline madpoet

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Creature Ownership discussions - merged topic
« on: March 18, 2005, 01:12:19 pm »
I wonder...  ???  I assume that you surrender any kind of control over your creations as a part of the license agreement - that allows EA to copy and distribute your creatures.  Heck, they would probably throw something in the EULA that assigns the copyright in the creatures to EA or Maxis. 

That being the case, I wonder how easy/difficult it would be for EA to take, say, a couple of their favorite creatures, and make a new game based around them?  We're creating where "games make themselves", so what's to keep them from taking stuff from this game and using it in different ways? And would gamers mind if their Spore creatures turned up in, say, a new RTS or FPS from EA? 

I'm a law student, so I wonder about this kind of thing.


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Offline Mr.Heat

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2005, 01:26:29 pm »
Well, Since I have interset in law (i'm not a student though), i can say one thing about it:


You know that long text, Called "License Agreement"? that long boring text that we never read? it's all written there, When You check that "I agree" box, you actually Give up alot of your Rights...



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Offline happydan20

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 01:34:47 pm »
I'm just praying it doesn't have the half life steam engine or something simular that requires an internet connection and reverifies all the time...  except the server is often to busy for you or has some error even when you clearly own the game... let us hope they don't go down that road.

It is a strange question, but if you look at what most MMORPGS say about selling in game currency on the web...  they say your're selling there intellectual property... anything made in the game is theirs.

On the other hand look at second life, a guy actually sold a game he designed in the game to a real world company for thousands.  Second life is a lot like this game in that youre given tools to build the world..  so looks like there's evidence they can go both ways.

EA is pretty agressive in protecting their IP's traditionally though, so I don't expect a light hand in this matter.

Also about End User Liscence Agrements (elua's the I agree stuff), there is no question that it gives them power over you within the game...  But outside of the game whether or not they have any legal foundation is really in question.  EULA's are usually nothing more then a stored text file... that at anytime you could alter, so in essence you could agree NOT to follow the rules.  So wether or not we lose any right is really up for debate.
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Offline Zefrid

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2005, 02:24:04 pm »
The thing I hope it doesn't have is very long load times. Those are very annoying to me.
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Offline Jayce

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 02:38:30 pm »
In general these days with all games you don't own diddly squat except for the contents and packaging of what you actually bought from the shop.

That is to say their licence allows them to own everything within the game even if it's stuff you have created (because it was made with tools they created).

I guess if you are happy to upload something then you have to accept the fact that it could be used by anyone (including EA) within their games or even (in the case of EA) in other games. From the sounds of it though things created in Spore will only really be any good in Spore but we will have to wait and see.

Offline Scipion

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 07:28:38 pm »
Heh, when I used to work at Hewlett Packard anything and everything we came up with INSIDE their buildings was considered to be their intelectual content, wether or not it even related to stuff they had. EA will likely own the rights to EVERYTHING we create on Spore, but they might be kind enough to ask us before htey do stuff with it. Kinda like City of Heros when they have people guest star in their comic book.
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Offline Agent Zero

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Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2005, 02:32:30 am »
I've made a blog post on this but I'll copy and paste the relevant section here:

"But I wonder, how are EA going to control the content that players are creating and giving to all the other players? People are almost certainly going to create obscene looking creatures and there will definitely be copyrighted charachters being made in it. Will even made a Care Bear in the demonstration.

I think it'll go one of two ways - Either everything will be quickly skimmed over by somebody before being put in the que of things to be downloaded into everyones games OR they wont bother and will give it an ESRB label saying "Content is likely to change... frequently... ranging from E to AO"

There's a third possibility I just thought of after reading a thread about making content copyright EA and Maxis - They could put somthing in the EULA saying that you agree not to make obscene or copyright infringing content and then everybody who does will be somehow banned from the uploading/downloading content system.

Did Will mention anything about controlling content? What do we think is going to happen with this?
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Offline CustodianV131

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 02:46:07 am »
Hardware stores don't get sued for selling murder weapons to their clients

Website construction software developers are not responsible for what their users create with it.

Maybe because this is mostly a tool, they can follow the same policy? Let them code every copy so its trackable who makes what and if you don't follow the rules get banned (for a while), your copy disabled or even sued. Think the user of the software should be the one held responsible for his actions.
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Offline Lord Janos

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 02:48:24 am »
Well seeing as everything is player created, i don't see how it CAN be copyrighted.  The company isn't to blame if someone makes a species of Teletubbies are they?  If a player creates it then that isn't the company's fault - the people who hold the rights to the copyrighted creature can't do anything because the developers will just go, "Well, we didn't create it, so go away."

As for adult content, providing it isn't actually sickening i shouldn't worry - i think it would be pretty funny if i found a race shaped like say, dildos or something whilst exploring a parallel galaxy if i'm honest!  But yes, there does need to be a limit on adult content - either that or they put age restriction on the game, which there may well be because apparently according to Steve the fighting in it seemed quite violent and gory.

Personally, although i don't approve of people just making walking, talking penises and clogging my universe with them (that really doesn't sound right!) i feel that this is not a game for kids.  Sure it has it's cute and cuddly side, but it also has a very explicit side from the sound of things.  If this is made available for everyone then you will doubtless get angry parents saying, "How can you make such a violent game and label it suitable for all ages?"

Sure, war is not the only way to do things in this game, but other races WILL come and attack you, so there is no real escaping it.  I expect there will be a function in-game to complain about a species that is particularly disturbing, and if the developers deem it unsuitable then they will delete it from the database and send the creator an official warning.

But as i said, i feel that this isn't a game for kids, and that for all it's pretty colours and eye-candy and carebears it is aimed at people in their late teens and adults.  GTA was aimed at that audience but that doesn't stop 12 year olds buying it, so there shouldn't be a problem i think.  Just my views on this matter.

Offline CustodianV131

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Re: Ownership
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2005, 02:49:18 am »
Heh, when I used to work at Hewlett Packard anything and everything we came up with INSIDE their buildings was considered to be their intelectual content, wether or not it even related to stuff they had. EA will likely own the rights to EVERYTHING we create on Spore, but they might be kind enough to ask us before htey do stuff with it. Kinda like City of Heros when they have people guest star in their comic book.

Picturing people running out of the building when they've a great idea :D
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Offline Agent Zero

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2005, 02:55:40 am »
I do think that players should be held responsible for what they create as it'll be uploaded and downloaded onto the machines of young childrenw who's parents will no doubt be apalled at the creatures our sick imaginations create :-) . But I want to be able to make, say, a species of giant overweight Pokemon to play with on my PC and not get in trouble for distributing copyright infringing material. I think the game needs a 'Dont Upload This' button in the editor for when your making Care Bears or whatever.
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Offline Huasat

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2005, 03:06:19 am »
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/11/12/1515240&tid=153&tid=209&tid=123 Marvel's lawsuit against the makers of City of Heroes seems to be relevent to this discussion...

Offline Jayce

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2005, 04:45:13 am »
As soon as you give people the ability to create what they want then you lose control over what they will create and I am sure Will and EA are well aware of this.

I expect that any public server that EA run will have controls in place for indecent stuff but what people share privatly and via their own website will be a free for all and in the end it will be down to the parents to make sure their children aren't downloading stuff they shoudln't be, be it pictires of naked ladies or genital shaped creatures for their game.

As for copyright, as with the Marvel case recently and based on many other games I doubt this will be an issue either. If people started selling their stuff as copies and making money then there would be an issue but to be able to attack a race of carebears in a game is the same as running over telletubbies in carmageddon, just a bit of fun that doesn't harm anyone......well except fot the telletubbies of course but boy was it fun  ;D

Offline happydan20

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2005, 05:41:26 am »
It makes an intresting question, we've previously discussed ownership.  Say EA takes the position that it all bleongs to them (that you arent buying the game youre buying the liscence to use the software)... 

Then would they not be responsible for my creating a startrek universe?  Who does it belong to and who is responsible?

Mose online games have a warning in the game rating "game may change during online play."  I know I've heard of the MMORPD second life being pornographic in the skins people put on there character, and I'm pretty sure they are except so I think they are covered as far as adult content and the rating system.

I know its was one of the first things I worried about, say the game is set to auto download random things as neccesary... suddenly my neighbors are giant penis men with breasts for housing...

Copyright infrigement is another thing.  But I'm very certian they will have ways around it, perhaps a parody clause AKA hes not making a starcraft theme booster pack hes making a parody, ehich is perfectly legal as far as I know.
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Offline Scipion

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Re: Adult Content and Copyright Infringement in Spore
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2005, 05:49:30 am »
Any copyright enfringemet will probably be ignore after this whole City of Heros vs. Marvel thing.
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