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Abandoned Mods


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I did a comprehensive search and I couldn't come up with anything relative to what I'm looking for in the forums.  I'm sure there is a topic regarding this, but I'm not finding it (it may just be me overlooking it).

Within the Steam Workshop there are literally hundreds (probably more) of abandoned mods from "days of yore" so to speak.  I'm seeing a *lot* of modders "taking over/adopting/stealing-whatever term is correct" these abandoned mods and making them compatible with DST's Beta implementation.

Am I to assume by observation that this is allowed?  I'm not a modder (I have enough trouble keeping my computer on, let alone fiddling with it).

I see a lot of "I'll take this down if the original author doesn't want it here"...or something similar, which tells me they have no permissions on that mod.

Is there an expiration date on the ability of authors to keep copyright of their mod-contributions?  Meaning...anyone can grab these mods, do whatever with them, and claim them as their own, simply because the original author stopped playing the game and/or stopped updating their mod(s)?

It totally sucks to see tons of mods that are completely out of date...why not just take the mods down if you're not going to keep them updated?  Methinks I'm confused. :)

Edited by Quench
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This is my personal opinion.

 

For me, this is not allowed.

 

There is a grey zone, when people are telling "i'm fixing this mod and if the user want, i'll remove it". I don't like it but i understand why it's useful. Still, i prefer if it's not done.

If the author expressed in any way that he doesn't want his mod to be updated/reuploaded, it's totally forbidden to do that.

 

Anyway, no, for me you can't claim other people work just because he stop playing/modding.

 

21 minutes ago, Quench said:

 

It totally sucks to see tons of mods that are completely out of date...why not just take the mods down if you're not going to keep them updated?  Methinks I'm confused. :)

Sometimes i don't play DST (and don't mod either) for a long time. Why not just take my mods down ? Because they are working fine at the moment i'm stopping playing/modding, so i have no reason to take them down. And if they need an update and if i'm not here at the moment, you could message me about my mod needing an update, but you can't update them for me even with a "i'll remove it if the author want to" because i could never see your mod, lost in the thousand mods of the workshop.

So for me the correct behaviour is to contact the mod author, with a fix if you want, and if the author doesn't answer, then nothing will be done. But the work of the modder is still the work of the modder.

 

For me, i don't mind if someone download my mod and take my code as an example (mainly because i got a lot of help to do my mod), because it's how you can learn to code. But fixing my mod, no. I put work in my mod. If i want people to fix my mods if i'm away, i could put a "if i'm away, you have the right to upload a version of your fixed mod". If i don't do this, then i don't agree. Even if i stop playing/modding.

I saw once someone telling me "could i make my own mod based on your, with this and this to improve it". I said yes, because he asked. Maybe this version is ever better than mine.

I could agree sometime, disagree another time. It's a choice i want to keep.

 

Of course, others modders could have a different opinion. I know some share the point of view "if the modder is away, i could fix his mod". This is just a personal taste.

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I agree with what you're saying, Lumina..it's just that it's so *rampant* in the workshop...folks are overtaking the place with mods they didn't even create, and calling them theirs, simply because they know the original author has "vanished" for whatever reason.  Shouldn't there be something in the workshop to automatically disallow this or keep this from happening?  I know nothing about coding or modding, but if a mod has the same configs and coding as another mod, with all the same exact prefabs, same icon, same picture....I would think the workshop would recognize that and say, "Nope, I dun think so!" and block it?  

 

In any case..ty for your reply, Lumina! :)

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If a mod isn't working or out of date I see absolutely nothing wrong with someone else updating someone else's mod, especially if the owner hasn't logged in for a while.

Like if the owner really doesn't want that they can tell the person to take it down when they comeback, but if they don't fix their mod after telling the person that fixed it to take it down then why did they even upload it in the first place... There's quite a few broken mods on the workshop because of this.

Personally, if my mod would get out of date & I was away for more than a month, dead or quit modding...I would highly appreciate someone fixing my mod in my stead, not get angry about it :)! Though, I would always keep my mods up to date no matter what (unless I'm dead), so I would never really encounter this problem, hahaha :D!

Edited by SuperDavid
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http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

Check the " 6. USER GENERATED CONTENT" section A. Valve reserves the right to make changes; however it does not grant anyone else the right to copy, modify or redistribute your work. In effect, your work is under copyright, with exceptions made for "Valve and its affiliates".

Copyright for code is unclear but basically code is a literary document. If you take Shakespeare and replace the "Thous" with "Yous," Shakespeare could claim you infringe on their copyright. If you wrote "Grease" you probably would not. So by that standard, most of these "fixes" are in violation of the author's copyrights.

To get into code copyright, Wikipedia has an article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_copyright

Klei has been abundantly clear that we are not to use their artwork, sounds, etc, but I am not sure how Klei applies their rights to the entire data/scripts folder. Many mods are using using big copy & paste of those, so I'm guessing Klei is just gracious about that so far but that is really up to them.

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9 hours ago, realitymeltdown said:

 

Klei has been abundantly clear that we are not to use their artwork, sounds, etc, but I am not sure how Klei applies their rights to the entire data/scripts folder. Many mods are using using big copy & paste of those, so I'm guessing Klei is just gracious about that so far but that is really up to them.

I guess Klei is agains't the use of their work outside of their games. I'm not sure, but i think that using a work when it's for the game they worked for is tolerated by courtesy. I mean :

 

- If i make a bird for DST using DST base files, i will use artwork, sound, as a base for my work. But my work is used for DST so it's great for their work too, since mods are great for a game, so it's probably tolerated by courtesy.

- If i make a bird for DST using SW base file (especially without modification), i'm in a grey zone, i'm using their work for a related game, but maybe they plan to use this work themselves later. Better to ask. (So, there is no SW plan as far as i know, it's probably ok seeing the multiples mods using some SW content in the workshop, but i still feel that an extensive use require to ask)

- If i make a plant for DST using OnI base file, i'm using their work for an unrelated game. Maybe it could be bad for OnI in a way i don't see, maybe the artist in OnI will feel deprived of their work. Better not do.

- If i make a plant for my custom game using DST new cactus as a base, i'm out of the grey zone, i'm stealing their work, no question here.

 

This is just examples and, of course, my point of view about this. I think that since the work we made is for the game we are using as a base, it's "ok" because this stay in the original game and because we don't make money with their work. And this allows more mod to be created.

 

22 hours ago, Quench said:

 Shouldn't there be something in the workshop to automatically disallow this or keep this from happening?  I know nothing about coding or modding, but if a mod has the same configs and coding as another mod, with all the same exact prefabs, same icon, same picture....I would think the workshop would recognize that and say, "Nope, I dun think so!" and block it?  

I'm not sure. As you see, some people are ok with a re upload of their mod and this sould not be impossible or too hard. Also, if people are against it, Also, as long as you have a way to report a problem, i'm not sure blocking something this way is needed.

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Personally I would follow these:

1) Allow the mod to have >30 days of inactivity from the author.

2) Ask the author if possible for permission to (edit and reupload) the mod.

3) If (it's not possible to contact the author) or (you got permission), then proceed; otherwise don't do anything.

4) Provide a link to the author's contact (Steam/website/etc) in the description box if applicable, and if on Steam's workshop then add the original author(s) to the contributor's list.

5) If using a Steam link to the profile, then use the steam64 address and not a vanity URL so it won't break in the future should the profile's vanity change.  (Ex: https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198006838480 and not http://steamcommunity.com/id/CarlZalph - https://steamid.io/ can help with conversions if you're not familiar with Steam's WebAPI)

 

If followed, then it establishes that you've made a good faith effort before proceeding to use others' works.

Ensure to document anything you've done, with timestamps and logs, and put it in the description as well.

I would put these sorts of things at the top of the description to help denote that what you have uploaded isn't 100% your work.

 

 

As for those who put a "I'll take it down if the mod author contacts me" disclaimer, I would say this isn't proper form at all.

There would be no good faith attempt and doesn't even notify the original author of the actions done.

If I saw one of my things edited and uploaded in such a fashion, then I would be fairly upset over the matter should I happen to see it; it's practically insulting the original author.

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