Jul 24, 2011, 07:46 AM
I have a simple question related to copyright of mods. The situation is as follows: there's a guy who made a partial, but already pretty good translation of civ5. There is a second guy who is not satisfied with some decisions guy no. 1 did and he also thinks he could translate faster as guy no. 1 might also work on other translation projects as well as he has private life. Now guy no. 1 claimed copyrights for his translation and the two guys do not have good relations to each other, so I'd say that no. 1 won't be happy if no. 2 starts an own translation based on no. 1s work (a translation is a huge work!). Now, I think I read that the creator of a mod (and a translation can be considered a mod) hands his copyright over to the games creator automatically, so no. 1 would not be allowed to claim copyrights anymore and no. 2 is fine from the legal status. Note that the creator of the original translation would still be no. 1, that status can't be handed over, yet this about the right of altering no. 1s work and re-release it giving credits also to no. 1. So what's the case here, is no. 2 allowed to make a fork of no. 1s work?
I wasn't involved in this, I just have been told about it and I think I read that the copyright of a mod is handed over to firaxis automatically. If you can, please provide me documents that I can provide to the guys to clear the issue.
Jul 24, 2011, 08:19 AM
In Civ4, that notice that everything belongs to 2K is in the readme, under "user created content" (or similar, in german "durch den Nutzer geschaffene Inhalte").
But the case should be clear, there are only 2 options:
- The translation is copyrightable. That means every user made translation is a copryright infringement, and i want to see how anyone claims copyright on a copyright infringement.
- The translation is not copyrightable....er....well...
Jul 24, 2011, 08:37 AM
In this case, I think he can claim he is the creator, but do not have any rights. Besides of insisting on crediting him maybe. Thank you for your hint, The_J.
Jul 26, 2011, 07:43 AM
The EULA (http://www.take2games.com/eula/) states the following:
USER CREATED CONTENT: The Software may allow you to create content, including but not limited to a gameplay map, a scenario, screenshot of a car design or a video of your game play. In exchange for use of the Software, and to the extent that your contributions through use of the Software give rise to any copyright interest, you hereby grant Licensor an exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully transferable and sub-licensable worldwide right and license to use your contributions in any way and for any purpose in connection with the Software and related goods and services, including the rights to reproduce, copy, adapt, modify, perform, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, or otherwise communicate to the public by any means whether now known or unknown and distribute your contributions without any further notice or compensation to you of any kind for the whole duration of protection granted to intellectual property rights by applicable laws and international conventions. You hereby waive any moral rights of paternity, publication, reputation, or attribution with respect to Licensor’s and other players’ use and enjoyment of such assets in connection with the Software and related goods and services under applicable law. This license grant to Licensor, and the above waiver of any applicable moral rights, survives any termination of this License.
I'm not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt, but my understanding is that the English translation of this is pretty much that if you create any kind of mod, 2K owns all the rights to it. To obtain the license to mod the game in the first place, you waive any rights to your work. So yes, strictly speaking you can mod someone else's work against their will as long as 2K doesn't ask you to stop.
Don't be an arse. Respect other modders' wishes. If they don't want you to mess with their creation that they invested a lot of effort into, don't. How would you feel if someone did that to you? 99% of modders are delighted when someone else wants to reuse their work and improve upon it; if you happen to find one that doesn't, be the grown-up in the situation and move on to something else. Or do your own work rather than exploiting someone else's against their will. In the long run, that's gonna come back and bite you.