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#1: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:44 pm
Ok Guys & Gals...

Once again, it's time to remind everyone about the Copyright system and how it works.

When someone copyrights something - it means that they own the rights to that something and that they can do anything with it that they please. It is a protection so that something can't be copied... backwards engineered... shared with others... without their expressed permission.

So... How does this relate to Wolfenstein....

It's like this....

You can do anything you want with the shareware version... and redistribute it as you please... as long as:
  1. You aren't making money from it.
  2. You include ALL orginal files that were in the original file as released by the company/person with ALL of the credits and notices included in the original file.
You must remember that ID Software owns the software (code), the NAME, the Graphics, the Sounds, and that Bobby Prince owns the Music with ID Software granted distribution rights to those songs.

Now for the Full Version of the Game...

The Full versions are things that must be paid for you to own. Those include:
  • Wolfenstein 3d by ID - Distributed by Imagineer Software, GT Interactive, Activision, ID Software, or any other distributer to which they have sold the distribution rights.
  • Spear of Destiny by ID - Distributed by Formgen Corp, GT Interactive, Or Id Software.
  • Blake Stone - Planet Strike - Software by Id, Graphics, Sounds, maps, etc, by Apogee. (They lisenced the code to allow them to create their own game) - Aliens of Gold is Shareware... And falls under the same as the Wolfenstein Shareware listed above.
  • Corridor 7 & Operation BodyCount - Software licensed to Pinnacle Software
  • Any other games using the Wolfenstein Soruce - That I haven't listed
Now... When Id Software released the source to the game... It was basically released under the GNU License. What it means is that we can do anything we want to our own personal games, for our own personal use. The software was released more as an educational tool to show us how they did it.

Now... here's the interesting part....

Just because they released the source - Does NOT mean that they have released the rights to use any of the music, any of the graphics, the names, or the songs (aka Bobby Prince's copyrights there)... Technically, you can NOT under any circumstances release any version of the game using the name "Wolfenstein 3d" or "Spear of Destiny", or any of the names that are copyright protected by the owners of the copyrights.

So What Does that Mean to Me

Well, It means that you can play with the source all you want - for your own personal use and do anything you want as long as it's for YOU and no-one else. If you wish to share it with others, you must not include any files that give the unknown people that you are sharing this with - The complete and original files to the game as ID released it.

It means that you can make all the maps in the world that you want and share those maps with everyone - as long as it's just the maps.

It means that you can create your own graphics and distribute them as long as you don't include all the files to make the game.

It means that you can create your own music files (with original music of your own) and share it with everyone as long as you are sharing just the music.

So... For many years, people have been creating what they call MODS. These mods being shared, should techincally only contain the files that you have changed and NOT the complete game. If you are sharing the original files with only minor changes and using most of Id's, Apogee's, Bobby Prince's, or copyrighted material owned by someone else along with some of your own work.... You should not be distributing it as a complete file. By that, you should be doing something like:

Here are all of the graphics and sound changes, and here is the compiled EXE that I made along with all the instructions on how to and where to install all of the things you have provided to make it work, in the game that those downloading legally own.

Do we do this? Mostly no... In most cases, if someone wanted, I could tell them say 2 or 3 MOD files that they could download from the net and have a complete registered version of the original game. Basically... a PIRATED copy of the software. And no, I'm not talking about the other sites out there that are just breaking the rules outright and allowing people to Pirate and thus be in breach of the Copyrights of the original owners software.. I'm talking about 2 or 3 MOD games that are freely available to download from many reputable "Wolfenstein" fan sites. Id Softare really doesn't like this....

What they like even less is this... YOU TAKING CREDIT FOR THEIR WORK and removing all the copyright information from the game that you have created......

Then we have TC's (Total Conversions). These are games that are using modified files, source, graphics, music, sounds, that are all their own work. Someone downloading these files will never have the original games that are copyrighted by the companies and others that I listed above. These games though, can only be given away freely! If you want to sell the game and make any money from it, you must do exactly as say Apogee did, and Pinnacle Software, and others... and buy the rights to use the original source from ID Software (even if it's only modified with some of the tutorials that we have here or that you can find elsewhere) as you would be using their original Intelectual Property as a starting point and they must be Paid to use that Property.

Now... by now you might have figured out why I haven't just been doing like many other sites and allowing use of our Download section of the forums for File distribution. The reason is this: MCS, AreYeP, and myself (BrotherTank) could be held legally responsible for any software that is stored on this site and distributed when it breaks the rules of copyright. We would basically be accomplises to the Pirating of the software and thus be liable. We don't want this. Now, I can upload all and anything that is from the Shareware versions of Wolfenstein and Spear of Destiny DEMO versions. I could also upload anything for the BlakeStone: Aliens of Gold Shareware... AS LONG AS I GIVE CREDIT to the original Owners of the Copyrighted material.. I could also upload any complete TC's (providing they are completely the new authors original work). But all of this creates a ton of work that we would have to do before we could allow such TC software to be downloaded from our site. We would have to check everything... every graphic, every song, every sound... everything... And since we don't have the time to do all of this to protect ourselves, we aren't doing it via this site.

I can't upload MODS that include all the files for the game. I would have to make sure that at least 1 file in these games that hadn't been modified was excluded or removed from the distribution package - Thus the person downloading the Mod would have to have the original game to play it - using the files that they have already paid the money to buy the game. Again, for us to do all of this, requires a ton of work - which again, we just don't have the time to do....

What you do have to Remember is this: Just because you bought the game doesn't mean that you own it. What you have purchased is the rights to play the game that you have purchased on 1 (one) system. By buying 1 game and installing it on many systems that you own is actually a copyright violation.

What you also have to remember is this as well: If you are distributing something like a MOD, that you Give CREDIT to the people who's work you used... This includes any graphics, sounds, artwork, music, TUTORIALS... and Most of All Id Software for their original code on which you based your game.

Anyhow... I think I've said enough... And hopefully what I have said will also help you understand why Id Software went after Nayt and his Wolf3d Mods that he made.

So with this explanation, I hope not to find things like links to Software Pirating Sites, Original Games, Mods where credit has not been given to the people of the things you've used.... We are a Fan site... and we are here to share information with those people who find Wolfenstein and the games based on it's code. We try to make sure that the members are not breaking copyright laws using this system. And we welcome everyone who enjoys the same interests that this community was created for. Everyone can post and chat about all things Wolfenstein.

But help us, and Help Yourselves, and don't break the copyright rules using this forum
We try to make sure that the forums aren't being used for Pirating Software, but we can't monitor everything, all the time. When we do find these things, we remove the links (Moderators and Admin have the right to edit any post that contains Pirating Information). We do this to not only protect ourselves, but you as well... As we want this site to continue and grow and share as much information with those interested in the community that we have all created here.

So help us out... You be the first line of protection... Please don't Pirate software using these forums...


BrotherTank And all the other Admin, Moderators, and members of these forums...

#2: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolf3dbreakerLocation: Philippines PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:59 pm
I know that this is targeted at me...but I had to learn the hard way -_-

#3: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:08 am
No... this is for everyone... Leo's removed a few too many links in the last little while and I found a few others as well...

This is just a reminder to everyone...


#4: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 4:54 pm
I have a question regarding the selling a total conversion. Since the engine code was released under the GPL, shouldn't it be under the clauses of the GPL license? And the license clearly states that you can make money off it, by selling it, as long as you provide the source code and release that source code and any modifications to it under the GPL. Id software has to abide by these clauses too, or else they woulnd't have released the engine under the GPL. I'm talking about full total conversions, with completely new assets, no assets from id or someone else.

#5: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: TheTalentedMrLeoLocation: Sometimes in Canada PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 5:45 pm
From what I recall, you may distribute freely any total conversion using the Wolf3d engine. You may not, however exploit the engine for profiting purposes.

#6: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 6:26 pm
wolfwhips wrote:
I have a question regarding the selling a total conversion. Since the engine code was released under the GPL, shouldn't it be under the clauses of the GPL license? And the license clearly states that you can make money off it, by selling it, as long as you provide the source code and release that source code and any modifications to it under the GPL. Id software has to abide by these clauses too, or else they woulnd't have released the engine under the GPL. I'm talking about full total conversions, with completely new assets, no assets from id or someone else.

It wasn't released under the GPL.... It was released with their own conditions.... as noted below, taken directly from the License.doc file in the distribution file for the source..:

Id Software wrote:

Grant of License. ID grants to you the right to use one (1)
copy of the Software on a single computer. You have no ownership or
proprietary rights in or to the Software, or the Trademark. For purposes
of this section, "use" means loading the Software into RAM, as well as
installation on a hard disk or other storage device. The Software,
together with any archive copy thereof, shall be destroyed when no longer
used in accordance with this Agreement, or when the right to use the
Software is terminated. You agree that the Software will not be shipped,
transferred or exported into any country in violation of the U.S.
Export Administration Act (or any other law governing such matters) and
that you will not utilize, in any other manner, the Software in violation
of any applicable law.

Permitted Uses. For educational purposes only, you, the end-user,
may use portions of the Source Code, such as particular routines, to
develop your own software, but may not duplicate the Source Code, except
as noted in paragraph 4. The limited right referenced in the preceding
sentence is hereinafter referred to as "Educational Use." By so exercising
the Educational Use right you shall not obtain any ownership, copyright,
proprietary or other interest in or to the Source Code, or any portion of
the Source Code. You may dispose of your own software in your sole
discretion. With the exception of the Educational Use right, you may not
otherwise use the Software, or an portion of the Software, which includes
the Source Code, for commercial gain.

Prohibited Uses: Under no circumstances shall you, the end-user,
be permitted, allowed or authorized to commercially exploit the Software.
Neither you nor anyone at your direction shall do any of the following acts
with regard to the Software, or any portion thereof:




Offer on a pay-per-play basis;

Distribute for money or any other consideration; or

In any other manner and through any medium whatsoever commercially
exploit or use for any commercial purpose.

Notwithstanding the foregoing prohibitions, you may commercially exploit the
software you develop by exercising the Educational Use right, referenced in
paragraph 2. hereinabove.

It specifically says that you may NOT - Sell, Rent, Lease, etc... this software - commercially exploit means "you making money from their work". To be able to sell a game that you create that is a true TC, you must contact Id Software and buy from them a license to use the engine. Now it's probably not going to be big bucks like say the quake engine, or whatever their current engine is that they are using, but it will probably still set you back a few thousand dollars (that's a guess on my part)... As you will have to negotiate a price and term that are suitable to both parties...


#7: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 7:31 pm
Ok, I read the license more cerefully, and i can see that it's not the gpl, but a propietary one. That's a pity. Wonder why it isnt released under the gpl, like doom, or quake or the later legacy engines. Hnnm this makes one take so much more into consideration, and opens such an array of possibilities. For example, what's the commercial possibilities of games using the build engine ? Duke3d and Shadow warrior are both GPL, but the build engine itself is not, and Rise of the Triad is GPL too, but its engine, which is based on wolf3d, is not. So, what gives?

#8: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: ZuljinRaynor PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:31 pm
I'd like to also state, that nothing by Apogee or 3D Realms should be used since they are extremely strict about this and can't really enforce it anywhere. I know people have used Duke Nukem stuff but I know that they don't like it one bit. Even crediting them, they don't take it that way.

Also, that means you probably can't use Duke code for money making.

#9: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: TricobLocation: Neo-traditions, Inc. PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:58 pm
Re: Build engine. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK, Ken Silverman still owns the rights to that code, so you'd have to check his page for more information on that. My last check on this was three or more years ago, though.

#10: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:45 pm
But i mean, apogee/3dr stuff games like rott, duke3d and sw's code is gpl, so it can be used in commercial products, provided the source code is made available. Im not tallking about using those games' assets, which are not gpll

#11: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:03 pm

All I'm talking about is Wolfenstein. The other games are the other games and while interesting yes, I'm just concerned about the conditions on which the Wolfenstein Code was released under.

Yes, I agree... The whole idea of their restrictions are somewhat rediculous, seeing as engines have evolved way past a simple raycast engine, but!!! the law and rules are on their side. As such, no matter what I personally think, it is their property and we are granted only a limited use license.

On the other games... You will have to read the licensing information and follow the rules and licensing for those games as those codes were released. I would make sure that you are download the original source from a reputable site though, as you can't use the old "I didn't know" excuse if you break the rules because the site you got the source from, left something out the archive (like the licensing information).


#12: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:04 am
OK, Greg, I understand your concern about and just about wolfenstein3d. And yes, I only download source code from the official game's company, or from well known software downloading sites, with its respective license.

#13: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: Born4battleLocation: Cherry Chocolate Reign!!! PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:11 am
Does the copyright cover the wolf3d and spear pallette?

#14: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: UnderHW PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:32 am
Born4battle wrote:
Does the copyright cover the wolf3d and spear pallette?

Yes, they are covered by copyrights, ask BT about it....

#15: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:43 am
While the distribtution license is pretty straight forward, I wouldn't worry about the palettes as long as you are creating new graphics for your game and not just slightly changing colours of the existing graphics.

In any of the responses where ID has stepped up and asserted their copyright, they were saying things like grapics, sounds, and music. They never really said anything about the actual code (but I wouldn't push things and make sure to credit ID for the original source). And I would consider the palette as part of the code.

The reason that I say this is because of the palette thread that I started in the Artists Archive section of the forums. When the palette is converted to 'C' code, the colours are converted to multiples of 4. To give you an example of this we'll look at say the colour cyan. The value for cyan is truely: 0 255 255 in any graphic drawing package, but when converted to 'C' it becomes: 0 252 252 for use in the code. Thus you could end up with the same values in the 'C' code of your palette matching theirs, even though your palette used a different value....

Lastly, I will say this... You can't copyright colours in use on the computer. Those colours are nothing but numbers or values that your video card converts to a colour value to reproduce on the screen.

So I wouldn't worry about the colours or palettes that you choose to use. Just make sure that you aren't using their graphics, sounds, or music and not giving credit for using those items. When they got mad at Nayt, it was because he was using their graphics, sounds, and music, and not giving them credit (ie: Nayt made it look like he did everything, while what he did was only a small portion of graphics/sound changes).


#16: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: Zombie_PlanLocation: A hole in the wall PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:51 am
I would like to bring up that we can in fact sell a total conversion. I had an email conversation with Hollenshead awhile ago, and he said as long as everything is changed, ie all the music is new, new maps, new everything, and the engine is changed too, and such so its just a new game modelled off the engine like Orb was...then you are able to sell it.

i'll dig up the thread Razz

edit: here we go . It was looked into when Haasboy queried about commercializing a mod.

#17: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: BrotherTankLocation: Ontario PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:33 am
I understand that completely. I think maybe you missed the point of what we have been talking about.

It's nice that Todd Hollenshead has given permission to use the code, but as I have been saying from the start, it must be a complete TC. It must contain NO Graphics, Sounds, Maps, Music, or Anything from the ORIGINAL Game.

You must NOT use the name 'Wolfenstein' or 'Spear of Destiny' in your title as those are copyrighted.

Then, when it is completely 100% your own work, you could try and sell it - BUT beware that even though Todd has said yes, the license does say that you may not profit from the code as it was released. By that, I take that as meaning that you must modify the source as well.


#18: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: Lozer_42Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:15 pm
This may seem a bit strange but it fits the topic slightly.

If I were to use this image in my game who would I credit?

This is just a hypothetical situation. This will not appear in Elsas-Lothringnen.

#19: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:52 pm
Well, then it's 100% OK to sell a wolf3d TC! But in the actual world, who would pay for a wolf3d engine based game?

#20: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: TricobLocation: Neo-traditions, Inc. PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:14 pm
It would depend on how well it works on modern systems. If standard things like sound don't function completely without the use of separate utilities like VDM Sound (or if the game uses only a 320x200 resolution), chances are it won't sell well. A more complete version of WinWolf3D or LoneWolf would do better.

#21: Re: Copyrights & File Distribution Author: wolfwhips PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:39 am
But even then, I would say, that for example, a wolf3d TC that is 100% compatible with windows xp and osx, and even linux, would have problems trying to market itself.

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