2021-03-30 21:12:25

policy

The following protocol outlines how we will be dealing with projects that lift copyrighted assets. For a more plain-text explanation of this protocol, please see post 2.
We condemn any and all asset theft, without exception. In general, if you do not have a legal right to use an asset, don't use it.
Actions to be taken against offending parties will be outlined in the "For Developers" section of this policy.
These guidelines will outline what you need to know as a developer, what users need to know should they submit claims through the respective channels, and the protocol that moderators and admins will follow for the associated investigations.

general notes
  • Liftable assets include, but are not limited to: sound effects, music, and sourcecode

  • With regard to media assets, asset lifting is more immediately detectable when a developer has taken assets directly from another specific project, not necessarily a library on its own.

  • The audiogames.net staff team has the right to pursue claimant action against any developer without other direct community involvement, provided all other qualifications of said claim are valid.

  • We will not be retroactively targeting every game under the sun containing copyrighted assets. Instead, we will react primarily based on verified claims or cases which have already been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. This policy is corrective, not retributive.

for claimants

We appreciate any help from the community in insuring that all projects remain free of stolen assets. However, we do ask that you take the following points into account before you attempt to register a claim against a developer or project.

  • Be thorough, accurate and unbiased
    We appreciate any help you may be willing to render in our efforts to end the misuse of copyrighted assets in our community. Please attempt to be as thorough and detailed as possible, with the understanding that an unsubstantiated claim will result in no action taken against the target of that claim. It is in everyone's best interest to represent their case openly, clearly and honestly.

  • Sound library asset use, on its own, does not constitute substantive proof of wrongdoing
    For obvious reasons, we do not condone the use of stolen sound libraries. However, a successful claim should consist of more than just an accusation that a developer is using a specific library in their project. There is no way for us to prove whether or not the developer in question has bought the sound library, short of asking them outright, and we will not engage in the practice of demanding receipts or anything else that we have no right to seek.

  • your word is not the primary deciding factor in the validity of a claim
    This guideline applies to users and developers alike. A project is never going to be adjudicated based on an individual account alone. The administration, when presented with a claim, will perform thorough research in order to obtain sufficient evidence before proceeding with any action. The most definitive evidence is likely to come from the owner of the copyrighted assets, or from someone otherwise close to the source, but this need not always be the case.

  • Please do not submit intentionally false Claims!
    If a user's claim has been substantially invalidated, and if it is deemed beyond a reasonable doubt to have been initiated for personal reasons, or as a means of unjustly targeting a project, developer or community member, the claimant will be issued an immediate double warning, citing character assassination and the community failure clause. Our aim is to reverse the prevalence of copyrighted assets, not to start a flurry of unfounded accusations. Claimants who seek to use this system in bad faith will be punished for attempting to weaponize this mechanism of safeguarding our community against potential legal trouble.

For Developers

Any claimant, regardless of their association with a given developer, has the right to inform us that a project contains copyrighted assets. If it has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that your project is thus affected, you will be notified immediately, and given a chance to respond in your own defense. Please be advised that failure to address a substantiated claim in an appropriate manner will result in links to the affected game or project being removed and disallowed from the community, both within the database and on the forum. We will not forbid discussion of your project, but will simply ask that it not be supported publicly due to its status. This no-support policy will remain in effect until such time that you have eliminated all problematic elements outlined in the claim leveraged against you. Since our stated aim is to limit or eliminate the unauthorized use of copyrighted assets within our community, and not to punish developers needlessly, we will readily resume active support of your project once the terms of the claim against you have been fulfilled. However, please note that we reserve the right to blacklist any developer and their projects from the forum in the event that said developer has demonstrated either a willingness to continue stealing copyrighted assets or a tendency toward supporting unauthorized forks.

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2021-03-30 22:13:02

Copyrighted Assets: Plain Language Version

Introduction

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.

General Notes
  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

For developers

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.

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