Death knell for modders?

18 years 9 months ago #18546 by SoupDragon
Is the modding of games about to become more than a minor infringement of copyright?,2101,68284,00.html

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18 years 9 months ago #13613 by Shane
Replied by Shane on topic Death knell for modders?
Good grief. Is this the depths the game industry has sunk to? I'd find it laughable except that the ESRB fell right into line with Take Two. Can't help but wonder if money changed hands there.

In the end, Take Two shouldn't have had the content in the program. Their attempts to shift blame are pretty slimy, and not what I would expect from a responsible developer. This reflects poorly upon them.

Thanks for pointing this out. Something I want to keep tabs on... sort of a stupidity-limitus test for the politicians. :D

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18 years 9 months ago #13617 by GrandpaTrout
It could have a chilling effect on mod friendly development. Some companies like Microsoft, discourage modding already.

The legal considerations are pretty interesting. The ESRB stand appears to be that a game must somehow be protected from changing content Rating. Which is pretty odd, when you think about it. That is like saying the movie projector company must guarantee a projector will not show R rated films. Or that QuickTime will not show R rated video clips.

What is really interesting is that it shows games are coming into their own as a medium. Movies cannot change content. And no one has ever suggested that a movie project should be limited to showing one rating of movie.

Games are a whole new animal. They are not fixed content, like a movie. And they are not a media viewing device, like a projector. They are some mix of both.

Games also attach a disclaimer stating that online play may have a different ESRB rating. Which is also interesting because it is like needing to disclaim that you could hear swearing while walking in the public park. Or holding the builder of the park liable for any swearing that you might hear. (Which brings up a good question: Who IS responsible for enforcing decency in the public park?)

So a game is really three categories all rolled into one: It is content. It is a projector of others content. And it is a public forum (such as a public park or building lobby).

What the ESRB is trying to say is that a game should really become a movie. Fixed and static. That argument will only stifle this whole new experience and so needs to be halted.

It would not surprise me if at first the laws became restrictive, and then later are overturned. Especially in the case of game as public forum. At some point, and argument is going to be made that the “space� created inside the game world should be available to free speech just as airports are held as public space. I think those arguments will eventually turn in favor of personal freedom. (well, after all the conservative judges retire, but that is another story).

I expect the same will happen with game as projector. Eventually someone will sue WinMedia for showing a porn clip, and then the courts will have to sort out responsibility. Which has always (to my knowledge) settled on the carrier not being liable for the content delivered.

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18 years 9 months ago #13622 by EricMan64
Replied by EricMan64 on topic Death knell for modders?
If any modding dies because of this, it would be the end of modding only for games that do not support mods. These days, ever since the success of HalfLife, it is pretty common for a developer to support the modding community. I think they'll just have their legal departments write up longer user agreements to make it easier to point the finger at the mod in a political uproar.

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18 years 9 months ago #13634 by Hendar23
Replied by Hendar23 on topic Death knell for modders?
They'll never stop modding completely, like anything else on the Net which 'they' try to control. But if devs are forced not to release SDK's and such it will be disapointing. Peeps will just design their own games from scratch though if they have to. We do it for the passion, not for money...makes us kinda hard to catch!

Reminds of this thing someone from NASA said when they were talking about stopping funding for manned missions to space:
"Don't worry, people will always go into space, because space is cool."


There is no enemy. Anywhere.

** Edit for typos!

There is no enemy. Anywhere.

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