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copyright-related question

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by cool3a2, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. cool3a2

    cool3a2 Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,177
    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.
     
  2. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
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    32,155
    Location:
    DE/NL/FR
    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...
     
  3. cool3a2

    cool3a2 Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,177
    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.
     
  4. Locutus

    Locutus King of the Collective

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Hengelo/Enschede, the Netherlands
    Legally...
    The EULA states the following:

    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.

    Morally...
    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.
     

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