@Jayde And nor should it be. The point is to keep creators from locking up progress of science and the arts. The point of copyright in general, for that matter despite the numerous bugs/oversights/bad features. That being said, I don't expect the mods to be able to have a complete reference on how each factor is weighed and what not. I have a feeling for expedience sake, some of that burden falls on defendants to fully make their case. That being said, defendants/anyone really should study those factors and case law just in case someone decides to call them to task in a formal legal setting. While it hasn't happened before, that doesn't mean it can't happen, and getting caught flat footed is never fun. Lawyers are a valuable necessity, but being aware can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Yeah. I think, for instance, that there is a difference in fair use claims between something like Shades of Doom - which does use a few borrowed sound assets, but which could very easily survive and thrive without them - and Crazy Party, which by the dev's own admission directly benefits from the aesthetic provided by all its copyrighted assets.
It's a complicated process, and at the end of the day there has to be a little trust here. If nothing else, I hope you folks can see that no, we aren't planning to come out with guns blazing here. This isn't an "OMG Jayde and other leftists want to shut everyone up" or anything stupid like that. It's not an extreme or draconian measure. It's a safeguard.
I just want to squash the if it doesn't make money it's nt as bad argument. That is a complete and utter falsehood. It doesn't matter if you use sounds but your project is free. It doesn't matter if you don't see a cent of return. You're still using stolen sounds.
However....I want to ask something that's been bothering me about this. Could somebody in theory get a monopoly on commonly used sounds?
Let's say I'm a vindictive bastard and new to the community, I buy a commonly used library and have my proof of purchase.
Alice comes along, releases a game with the same sound library and I instantly, under this proposal, jump on it being all she stole /my/ sounds, and here's what I used, here's what she used, here's where I bought the library, here's proof of purchase, here's the sound file info from both games, etc
THat to me would absolutely be enough to squash a smaller project, the way I understand this proposal. Now let's say I've gone to devs using those sounds in PMs/emails and been al hey, change th sounds orf I'll get your project shut down, but I've done most of it off forum, and due to that word spreads don't use <insert commonly used library> or you'll get reported.
Is such a thing possible, and if so, how would you guard against it?
So in that case, what I suspect would happen is that eventually you, as the person zealously reporting, would get a reputation both with us and with the rest of the community. That sort of thing doesn't survive in the dark for long, even if you're trying to do it off forum.
Remember, sound library use on its own usually isn't damning. It can be, of course, but doesn't have to be. If you came to us trying to get a dev's project shut down, you wouldn't necessarily have to prove that she used the same assets as you. You'd have to prove that she couldn't legitimately have gotten those assets, so the proof would be on you to demonstrate that. Sure, we'd probably follow up with that dev and then cross-reference the data, but this is why it's a multi-person process, and also why we won't just take one person's word for it.
Does that answer your question?
Yes, yes it does
The statement in the first part of your post is not a fact, but an opinion, based on your own moral compass. It's worth only as much as anyone else's. You haven't convinced me... But I certainly don't invalidate your way of thinking either, and in so much as steeling is steeling, you are definitely right, it's the part where you say using stolen sounds in a free project is just as wrong that I disagree with.
It does depend on circumstances though...
I thought that Jack had said verifying receipts/licenses was beyond what you guys were willing to do, but how else would you confirm library ownership?
We are not going to demand proof of purchase, because that starts getting into overreaching territory.
But that won't stop us from asking a dev if they obtained a sound library legally. Of course they can lie about it, but at the end of the day, here's the thing. If your asset use is small enough, and you're clever enough, you can almost certainly get away with it no matter how careful we are. This protocol is meant to kill the obvious cases and cut down on the likelihood of repeats in future.
Considering how many people just get a bunch of sounds from their friend and have no idea, or grab them from a server, that may work a fair amount of the time I guess.
I am reasonably confident that this protocol will never result in someone being unfairly blacklisted, and that it won't be easy to bypass. It won't be impossible, but that's not the point. Laws aren't impossible to break, either, but they still exist and are constantly being updated.
One of many reasons why sound library ownership on its own will more than likely fail to hold the case up. A seasoned sound designer usually modifies their sounds in such a way, either by lacing them with effects, or not using the whole unmodified sound. That still doesn't mean it's not possible to use an unmodified sound if your sounds are encrypted, i.e. if there is no way a reasonable person should be able to obtain them. Needless to say as far as stealing sound libraries goes, we'll have to go off of the word of both parties here and nothing more. The ony exception to this would be if it's one of our own sound designers and they come up here and specifically state that no, this users has not in fact purchased their assets or usage rights for them.
"This protocol is meant to kill the obvious cases and cut down on the likelihood of repeats in future."
That statement did help clear up what you guys are trying to do with this for me.
Yes and to be fair, as a site mod it isn't your job to be proactive about seeking out copyright violations on someone else's products, only to react to claims sent your way.
@Defender: Exactly. This policy is purely reactionary on our parts.
Here, folks, is the plain-language version of these guidelines.
Copyrighted Assets: Plain Language Version
When a game or a project is using sounds or other elements it's not supposed to use, this means that it contains copyrighted assets. Since we want to support one another, and since we want to stop people from using assets which don't belong to them, we are asking for your help.
Anyone has the right to make a claim against you, whether they know you or not. This includes staff members.
If we look into the matter, and find out that your work contains copyrighted assets, we will give you a chance to reply in your own defense. If you don't remove the assets, or don't respond to our efforts to get in touch with you, we will do our best to remove links to your project and we won't officially support it anymore. People can still talk about the project, but they won't be allowed to link it publicly unless the illegal assets are fixed. We're happy to start supporting your project again if you fix your copyright issues.
The staff team can look into games on its own without the community's help, as long as the problems are clearly shown when making the claim. We hold ourselves to the same standards as everyone else.
For people making claims
If you're going to make a claim against a developer or one of their projects, please bear the following in mind:
The clearer and more detailed your claim is, the easier it is for us to follow up on it. If your claim isn't clear enough, it will be impossible to prove, and we won't be able to act. Please be open, honest and thorough.
Using a sound library doesn't mean a developer is wrong all by itself. We don't want people to use libraries illegally, but we aren't going to demand receipts or proof of purchase for every asset a developer owns. If you want to make a claim against someone, we need more proof than the fact that they are using a specific sound library.
Just because you say something is true doesn't make it so. Whether you're a developer or someone making a claim, we need more than just your word when you're trying to prove something. You won't ever have your case decided purely by opinions. We will always look for hard facts for or against you before going ahead with any decision.
The best evidence usually comes from whoever owns the assets or from someone else close to the source, but this isn't always possible or true.
Don't submit a claim for personal reasons, especially if you can't prove it. If we find out that you made a claim against someone to settle a grudge or to make them look bad, and there's no actual evidence that any other wrong was done, you will get a double warning for character assassination and for breaking our community failure clause. Don't waste everybody's time by submitting claims you know are false, or which you have no way of proving, especially if there's bad blood between you and your target. We're trying to crack down on a problem, not fuel your drama.
It's easier to prove that someone used copyrighted assets when they took them straight from someone else instead of just using a library or individual off-the-shelf assets.
When we put this policy in place, we aren't going to start hunting down every game with even one lifted asset. Instead, we'll rely mostly on the community, except in cases where the use of copyrighted assets is simply too big to ignore and already well-known.
This policy is meant to fix, not punish. We don't want to hurt or target anyone, but the bigger we get as a community, the less we can afford to ignore a problem that has existed here for years. Please try to understand, and do your best to help us.
@38, That's a fine policy right there.
Not bad! People don't realize how hard it can be to do that.
@Defender: Ironically this was pretty close to the first tentative draft before we made the more official document you see now. but yes. Making this kind of document in plain English yet still official enough is no small feat.
Nice Policy. Think it's pretty good and I don't have any issues with it at all.
Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496
WE just posted the guidelines.
Being that we just posted them a while ago, we can gladly take some last minute feedback or suggestions, but if there isn't anything else we can close it in a few days or so if there's nothing left to discuss.
#44 (edited by defender 2021-03-31 03:40:58)
Will confirmed asset stealers get a warning and be subject to community failure?
Also, are indirect links to sites which host banned projects okay?
I.E http://RipoffGameStudios.tk/HostingByUnskilledChildren/plans/50%uptimePlatinum VS "http://RipoffGameStudios.tk/ourHalfassedProjects/UnoriginalFPSRepository/RedBulletToTheAssUltra3"
We had originally thought that simply removing support from the project would act as a great enough deterrant, but if you think we should warn anyone against whom a successful action has taken place (one warning per project), that's something we can consider.
As far as indirect links go? That's an intent thing, but I think generally we're asking folks to try hard to not do it. For instance, if 90% of the site you link to is fine, but the other 10% is objectionable, a link to the site itself might be okay. But there are some sites whose primary objective is to host a banned project or to steal copyrighted assets, and that wouldn't be okay (per rule 3).
I'd like it to depend on intent, but in most cases I think it should be worth a warning yes unless it's very obvious that they had no idea what so ever.
I personally feel like having someone’s project removed from the site is punishment enough and isn’t really warning worthy, though I do agree with Defender in that linking to websites that contain copyrighted assets should be based off of intent.
Given the fact that the defendant would have an opportunity to react first, I would say it would depend on how they cooperate. Example: If they genuinely made an honest mistake and give us a correction timeline and are clearly intent on following through, then why add a warning when putting the game on ice for a while in more than enough given the fact they clearly understand the ramifications. Where a warning is necessary is when the defendant just flat out doesn't respond, or is clearly unwilling to cooperate, or flakes last minute.
I'm with Jack on this one. If they made an honest mistake, removal is enough to sastify copyright holders most of the time, anyways. So long as they take steps to correct the issue, no need to make things more severe than they need to be. That being said, if the defendant basically proves themselves malicious, well, warn away.
Yeah. If it's an accident that's one thing. But if it's something that was done on purpose, that's another thing. And it also depends on how willing the creator of the game or whoever's managing sounds is to fix it.
Discord: MatthewSmithYT #4496