Important Resurrecting Abandoned Mods

Discussion in 'Starbound Modding' started by mollygos, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Hey everyone!

    I know it's not ideal for everyone, but we aren't able to support people resurrecting abandoned mods without the original mod author's permission.

    Feel free to make a mod that does something similar in your own way, but don't take assets from another mod unless the original creator supports that.

    This includes modpaks-- it's your responsibility to ensure that the original mod authors support the redistribution of their mods in modpaks.

    Thanks for understanding!
    Pixelguru26, NerArth, Dunto and 3 others like this.

    GROVER CURES HOUSES Void-Bound Voyager

    But what happens when a package of assets, all lovingly crafted by my own hand, is carelessly spilled unto a derelict mod by a hapless newbie and the mod, by pure chance, wises fwom its gwave? What then?
  3. Everyone dies.
  4. Peelz

    Peelz Giant Laser Beams

    So now we just need to turn our unholy attentions upon raising authors from the dead rather than their mods...
    Eternalmyst, mollygos and The | Suit like this.
  5. Naddox

    Naddox Cosmic Narwhal

    Okay so what if the original mod author has not been logged onto the website for a year?
  6. Oddbrother

    Oddbrother Cosmic Narwhal

    That's not fair! We should have the right to bring back the mods when the author of them is unavailable for contact and further support.
    CrimsonGiraffe, Markelius and Naddox like this.
  7. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    You should contact your local politicians for those rights.

    GROVER CURES HOUSES Void-Bound Voyager

    B-but that's you...
  9. AstralGhost

    AstralGhost Pangalactic Porcupine

    No, he means real-world politicians.
    Because mods are protected under real-life copyrights. There is nothing the Devs can do about this kind of thing. It is illegal for them to support others taking what isn't rightfully their own.

    Is it stupid? Yes, absolutely.
    And when you realize this it is when you should become a Communist. :p
  10. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    :) o_O D:


    All joking aside Astral is right on the money. A lot of copyright laws are a bit archaic for the modern world.
    But that is a different story for a different time.
  11. AstralGhost

    AstralGhost Pangalactic Porcupine

    Hey, if you think about it earnestly, what do people always tell us when we are kids? "Share."

    It is stupid when people don't share. :p I want to be a kid again.
    I don't know why adults are always telling this to kids. It seems like adults are the ones with the real problem!
  12. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    Well you also have to keep in mind the Mod Authors are partially responsible too.
    They should have opened the resources up before leaving. If they did a lot of these abandoned mods would not have any issue with updating.

    All CF is doing is just upholding international legalities of both parties.
  13. Markelius

    Markelius Space Kumquat

    Changed your minds? I remember this:
    mod permissions starbound early2015.PNG

    Regardless, I get there's not much that can be done on this regard (disappeared modders who put a 'no use' policy on their mods before leaving), but can't you at least give us a better contact method?

    A user on the forums can turn off all email alerts if they wish, email alerts for PMs, thread replys, quotes, whatever you can think of. Heck, I did this because I check the forums enough that I can manage to see it all without it clogging up my email.

    However, in the case of modders that dissapear, there's no way to contact them if they've done this. Provided they haven't put any contact details on their mod or their account, and someone was unable to find anything by googling their username, it'd be downright impossible to get permission.

    In this case, I suggest adding an "email user" button on their profile. This would of course only be usable for users of the forums, but would open up a message field where they could send the user an email at their account address. The email field would not let the user know what their email is directly, it'd be up to the receiver of the email to respond.

    This would be a good way to open up permission talks without breaking permissions on the mod site. If updating mods without permission is a banned policy, there needs to be a way around it.
    Oddbrother and CrimsonGiraffe like this.
  14. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    Doesn't Chucklefisb hold the ultimate rights to any modded content available on, considering it is their game files being changed and their website hosting the changed files? And how does this work for mods in which the user has shown zero activity in, say, eight months? Shouldn't there be some form of rule on the matter beyond "nope, you are not allowed to update the mod without the users permission"?
    Eternalmyst likes this.
  15. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    I am not sure of t he full legal aspects, but as far as I am aware mods are most likely considered derivative works.

    Its nothing about changing minds - the issue was simply clarified today.
    CF doesn't hold the power to reassign the rights of one persons project to another person.

    Modders are generally the first people to blame - if you have a mod you should make sure the licenses are changed before you go.
    If you make the license open for everyone - there would never be an issue.
    Remember these rules are here only to empower the modders. You cannot blame the people enforcing other peoples wishes.

    So if you want to prevent this cycle from happening. Encourage other modders to write specifically anyone can take over their mod before they leave.
    Then there won't be any issue to face.
  16. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    Couldn't they skirt the legality issues there by allowing derivatives of derivative works?

    For example, what if someone took the moustached Mona Lisa and added a pair of googly eyes? Wouldn't that be protected by the same laws?
  17. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    No idea - you probably have to contact a legal expert on that.
    But that isn't something I heard of. except in GPL \ and certain CC circles.
  18. AstralGhost

    AstralGhost Pangalactic Porcupine

    Read the first post in this topic. You can certainly copy the original work and add your own spin to it. As molly put it: Make a mod that does 'something similar in your own way'.

    Taking someone else's code and altering it a bit to do the same thing (or taking only very simple common-sense pieces of code) is very easy. No one is really going to discredit you for that as long as you make it your own and don't just blatantly copy large chunks of code and don't make any modifications to it (aka: take an entire script file as-is).
    Because there is so little code in terms of mods (compared to most genuinely unique software), I can't see code-copying being an issue here (again, unless you just copy entire scripts without any changes). Especially since most of these scripts themselves need to be updated. These updates would necessitate a derivative work, I think.

    The real problem comes from art, because this requires differentiating your own derivative work from the original. It is a subjective thing dealing with aesthetics.
    The intent must be to alter the original work and recreate it in a new form. It can 'resemble' the old work, but it must look visually different. It can't just be a copy with minor-changes (though "minor" is somewhat arguable). It must have a different aesthetic appeal than the original work. However, this is really hard to do, especially with pixel-art. Pixel-art is so limited already that making changes to it either destroys the entire work or inevitably seems minor. To actually make the pixel-art appear to be different basically requires creating a new piece of pixel-art altogether. You could certainly use the old one as a basis for creating a new one, modifying large parts of the old one in a new way, but because of pixel-arts simplicity you need to have a good understanding of how to change it before you do, otherwise you might run back into the fault of simply not changing enough. Something with only minor changes would only be a forgery - still not legal.

    A 'derivative work', at least according to US copyright law, must be uniquely different than the original. What qualifies as 'unique' seems very subjective and there is no 'correct' definition, so this is up to the modder. Inevitably, though, what you'd want is a work that most people who saw it could agree that it was an 'original' and not just a copy. That is, essentially, what would be deemed as a derivative work.

    P.S. I'm not a lawyer. I've only looked into copyright law for personal reasons. Do not consider this "legal advice". :p
    Mackinz and The | Suit like this.
  19. lordfirefox

    lordfirefox Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I'm not dead. Not yet. Just trying to figure out the new way of modding Starbound.
  20. Peelz

    Peelz Giant Laser Beams

    Haha, yeah, I totally understand. I only recently updated my mod to the new system!

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