Copyright Rules (UPDATED: Feb 16, 2016)

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Copyright Rules (UPDATED: Feb 16, 2016)

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:40 pm

Below you will find Gametoast's copyright policy. All members MUST adhere to these rules, and the staff's interpretation of them. In other words, if you think you followed the rules and the staff disagrees you will be asked to remove some of your borrowed content.

This topic will remain open always so that you can ask questions of staff.

Copyright Rules wrote:
COPYRIGHT RULES


Premise

The idea behind Gametoast's copyright ruleset is this: Respect the original authors, whether they be professionals or a community member. That being said, the rules below try to give members flexibility, but are to ensure everyone gets the proper credit, and in the case of commercial games, that we don't hinder the ability for a company to sell their game. Punishments for disobeying these rules will vary based on staff consensus.

ALL MEMBERS MUST AGREE TO ABIDE BY THESE RULES. THEY ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE.

General Rules
  • ALWAYS credit original authors - And do so in a thankful way. For instance: "Thanks to Lucasarts for the Concussion Rifle sounds. I couldn't make it without their hard work." You'll find kindness will grease a lot more wheels.
  • Seek permission for non-professional assets - If you can get permission to use something made by another community, do so. If you don't hear back in two weeks, simply credit the author(s). We would tell you to try and get permission for commercial stuff too, but you're unlikely to get a response.
  • Respect the author(s) wishes - Gametoast will always follow the original author(s) wishes. If we are asked to remove a file we will do so immediately, and all members must also follow suit.
  • Contact information must be included - We don't care if it's your junk email address that you only check twice a month, if you're borrowing something it's only fair to leave that person(s) a way to contact you, and it has to be a valid email you actually check.
  • Assets shouldn't hinder a company's ability to make money - If you can't find a particular sound clip anywhere else, borrowing it for your mod is one thing. But say you want to rip out all of Telos from KotOR II and put it in Battlefront -- that's really overdoing it. The spirit of this rule is that you take as little as possible. For Example: If you need Starkiller's voice there's really only one place to get it. However for this case you only need three clips - one for when he spawns, one for a killing streak, one for when he dies. Ripping more than that is unnecessary, disrespectful, and could possibly make someone say "Well, now I'll just use this mod - I don't need the game".
  • Don't lie to us - The staff know all the tricks about stealing assets. We've seen it enough times. If you're borrowing an asset, don't say you made it, say you're using it and all credit goes to the original author. The staff has very little tolerance for this.
  • Old mods - We assume good faith regarding older mods. If older mods have copyrighted material, we as staff assume that the author did so with the best of intentions, and used as little as possible. That being said they are "grandfathered in" to this policy, meaning that aside from any updates made to those mods, they're basically exempt to these rules.

Commercial Games (Star Wars)
  • Keep it small - Use as little as possible. For Example: If you don't need a whole texture, but rather the detail of Rahm Kota's headband, don't take the whole texture, take the part of the headband and put it on your model's texture.
  • No recent games - If it's newer than Star Wars Battlefront II, don't even ask. These are games the publisher is largely still making money on.
  • Look for alternatives - Older games, such as Jedi Knight or X-Wing Alliance, have community remodel projects where they've built higher-resolution models to replace the old originals. Use stuff like this when you can. Community stuff is always preferred over commercial stuff.
  • Jedi Outcast/Academy assets - Player models were released to the community at large as teaching tools for proper modeling and UV techniques. That being said you may use them, however all other rules listed here still apply.
  • Copyright MUST be listed in the readme - If you use all or part of an asset from a Star Wars game, you MUST credit Lucasarts and the game's developer (if not Lucasarts). See the second post for a readme template.

Commercial Games (non-Star Wars)
  • Microsoft Game Studios - According to Microsoft's Game Content Usage Rules (see here and here) usage of likenesses and assets of characters/weapons/etc from certain Microsoft Game Studios games (including Halo, see second link) are free for use in non-commercial, non-profit settings
  • OTHERS: Leave it be - There are too many "What If" questions when we talk about other intellectual properties (such as Halo or Half-Life). If you want to make the model/map/texture/sound yourself and put it Battlefront that's fine. Don't take commercial assets from non Star Wars games. Let's just leave that hornet's nest alone. Little bitty stuff here and there (a few sounds, part of a few textures) we will overlook. More than that might raise a red flag.


We have been asked to make a specific list of what Star Wars games are fair game to convert from, so here goes:

OKAY TO CONVERT (provided you credit the creators)

  • Anything released in 2006 and older - these games make very little money for Disney/Lucasfilm. Some are sold digitally via Steam, but these are largely off the radar for their publisher/IP holder.
  • Community created models from other games - please try to get permission
  • The Star Wars Battlefront III Alpha - abandoned game that Disney/Lucasfilm has no interest in
  • Star Wars: Galaxies and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures - both MMOs are no longer active
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series (PS2/Wii) - The PS2/Wii versions were only offered on a disc and are no longer sold new, but the other version (PS3/360/PC) is still being actively sold digitally.
  • PSP-exclusive Star Wars games - Lethal Alliance, Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, and Battlefront: Elite Squadron. These are no longer available for purchase (at least brand new), and the PSP is no longer supported by Sony (in other words, it's a "dead" system)



DO NOT CONVERT

  • Star Wars Battlefront 2015/EA - It's too new. Companies are actively trying to make money from this game
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series (360/PS3/PC) - EXCEPT where that model was in the SWBF3 Alpha leak. Again, these are still being sold digitally
  • Kinect Star Wars - too new, still being sold digitally
  • LEGO games - Due to the LEGO group probably holding some portion of that copyright, all games are still being sold digitally
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC MMORPG) - too new, servers still online



EDGE CASES

  • Assets from current games in sufficiently small quantities - Are you using something that doesn't seem to easily fit on the list? Message one of the staff, and he or she can give you the green or red light.



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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:41 pm

Below is an example readme. In this example I made a new Plo Koon model using the existing jedi model, Jedi Academy Kel-Dor head and hands, and three sound clips from the Republic Heroes game.

TITLE: Plo Koon v1.0
AUTHOR: Teancum
CONTACT: teancum@myfakeemail.com
RELEASED: March 19, 2010 (it's a good idea to spell out the month)
RELEASE TYPE: Modding Asset (other types could be map/mod/etc)



NOTES:
-Plo comes in two "flavors", yellow-orange lightsaber and blue lightsaber
-His combo/animations are based from several shipped characters, plus a hex edit of Kit Fisto's animations
-His secondary powers are Electric Judgement and Saber Throw


CREDITS:
-Raven Software for the head and hands
-Krome Studios for Plo's voice, who is voiced by James Arnold Taylor
-Pandemic Studios for the base jedi model


COPYRIGHT NOTICE:
All assets have the minimum possible amount taken from licensed material, and do not impair sales of their respective games, nor do they misrepresent their respective copyright holders.

-Kel-Dor head and hands are copyright Raven Software and Lucasarts
-Plo Koon sounds are copyright Lucas Animation, Krome Studios and Lucasarts
-All other licensed assets are copyright Pandemic Studios and Lucasarts

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:41 pm

*RESERVED*

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:41 pm

*RESERVED*

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:09 pm

**Moved so folks can post in this topic**

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby RED51 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:35 pm

I'm not complaining, but is there a reason why these guidelines and rules needs to be reinforced like this? Or did something happen that I missed?

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Valthero » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:48 pm

RED51 wrote:I'm not complaining, but is there a reason why these guidelines and rules needs to be reinforced like this? Or did something happen that I missed?

^ This, just out of curiosity. It may just be that these rules are being posted as forewarning, such as to "Quell the disease before it spreads" and so on.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby RED51 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 pm

Ah, that makes sense.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Eggman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:30 pm

I think a lot of it is to clear up any confusion and make sure that there are enforceable guidelines in place. I've seen a few questions pop up around the site lately about copyright policies, so I'm glad to see this topic for clarification.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Fierfek » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:46 pm

Yes - it's usually good to catch something before it starts.

Hidden/Spoiler:
Quintuple post from an admin! :P

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby 501st_commander » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:53 pm

This is a good idea, very good. Let people know they cant take things on the site thats not theirs, like the site rules for example..

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:14 pm

Yep, you guys got it. Basically this answers questions that people have before they need to ask them? Need one sound from another Star Wars game? Well, now you know *if* and *how* you can use it. It's a set of guidelines that covers Gametoast's backside and also lets users know what is safe and what isn't.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby lucasfart » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:49 am

Thanks for posting this Tean! i was in a bit of doubt myself as to whether or not i could convert models/textures from other games. thanks for clearing all that up!

This topic was made for people like me :D

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby CodaRez » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:11 am

So i am guessing converting all the JKA weapons into BFII and giving creds to RavenSoft is a greenlight?

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Fingerfood » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:19 am

Hah. It's funny how you mention Half-Life, as a long time ago I tried converting some models from there into BFII, just for the heck of it.

Thank goodness I never finished. ;)

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:15 am

CodaRez wrote:So i am guessing converting all the JKA weapons into BFII and giving creds to RavenSoft is a greenlight?


First post wrote:Jedi Outcast/Academy assets - Player models were released to the community at large as teaching tools for proper modeling and UV techniques. That being said you may use them, however all other rules listed here still apply.


Weapon models aren't 100% fair game, so you need to follow the other rules. If you need one weapon, you can use it, but don't just take all of them for the sake of being able to.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby skelltor » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:38 am

i have a ? i am using the bfx assests for a mod i am making i tried contacting arc commander here and on file front i sent him a message in jan but i have had no replie from him either place he says in the read me
2. If you are planning to make a mod that uses assets from BFX, please contact me on GameToast via PM and ASK MY PERMISSION.
which i did i asume i cant release my mod until i get his permission is that correct?

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby Teancum » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:01 am

Well, let's follow the two week rule. Keep trying to contact him in the meantime. It's all outlined in the first post.

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby CodaRez » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:06 am

Teancum wrote:
Weapon models aren't 100% fair game, so you need to follow the other rules. If you need one weapon, you can use it, but don't just take all of them for the sake of being able to.


*i actually convert for public releases, hardly for personal use in maps, but anyway....*

So ravensoft playermodels can be converted and re-released, maybe with some tweaks?

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Re: NEW POLICY: Copyright Rules

Postby skelltor » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:06 am

this rule??

Seek permission for non-professional assets - If you can get permission to use something made by another community, do so. If you don't hear back in two weeks, simply credit the author(s). We would tell you to try and get permission for commercial stuff too, but you're unlikely to get a response.

i thought it was only for other communitys. I will send another pm and if he dosent responed in two weeks i just credit him in the read me ??

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