Modders - Ownership and Attribution[Please Read]

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Modders - Ownership and Attribution[Please Read]

Postby tom k. » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:13 pm

NOTE: This topic is only aimed, at the creators of mods and content. It does not apply to those simply using mods. :)

I'd just like to clear things up about ownership of mods and attribution. This thread will talk you through:

  • Making your own mod
  • Copyrights
  • Modifying an existing mod
  • Distributing an existing mod
  • Transferring ownership of mods.
  • A note about Open Source

Making your own mods:
Basically, you are free to modify any towns files for modding purposes, however you may NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES distribute any of the JAR files associated with towns. This specifically applies to "xaos.jar", and any user found doing so will be banned from the forums, and if the file is hosted on an external site, receive a Cease and Desist order.

Copyrights:
Unless otherwise stated by you, the author, all mods will be exclusively copyrighted to you. This is to protect you, the author. If you feel another modder has used parts of your work without permission please report it to a member of staff.

What does the copyright cover?
  • Images
  • Sound files
  • Text descriptions
  • Specific combinations of actions and items, that are blatantly copied

What doesn't it cover?
  • Ideas. Unfortunately, copyright law doesn't cover ideas. If its ONLY in your head, anyone can use it. I would suggest not telling anyone about it until you have it down as a mod. Once you have the mod created, you can claim copyright of that material.

Modifying an existing mod:
Unless stated otherwise by the author, you should assume you have no right to modify any parts of the mod with the intention to redistribute it. You may, of course, modify any work on your personal machine, as long as you don't give out that work. If you do wish to distribute a modified copy of the mod, first you must obtain permission to do so from the original author, then provide attribution - such as writing "Original idea by: XYZ" or "Original Mod by: XYZ".

This still applies even if the mod has been dead for a LONG time. Copyright currently lasts for about the lifetime of the author plus 75 years. If a mod hasn't been updated in a while, you must still contact the user first before assuming control of the mod.

Distributing an existing mod:
You may not, without the permission of the original author, distribute any mod, in full or in part. This includes on personal websites, public file sharing sites or torrent. This will be counted as piracy and will not be tolerated. If you are making a 'mod pack", or a culmination of mods, you must attribute every author and obtain their permission. The original authors have permission, at any point, to remove their mod from distribution.

Transferring ownership
If you no longer have the time to update and maintain a modification, you have two options. You can either change the license to an Open Source license (see below) or you can find somebody else to maintain the modification, and be given full rights to the work. In the case of transferring rights, please have the new author make a new thread, and make a statement in the original thread, explaining the change of ownership. Then have us lock the original thread. Once you have transferred ownership, and we have locked the thread, the transfer is final - the mod is nolonger yours. Unless the new author agree's that you maintain certain rights, you should treat the mod as that of another author.

A note about Open Source:
If you would like to make your mod freely available for distribution and modification, you should consider releasing your mod under an open source license such as the GPL/LGPL/MIT or Apache license. Open Source licenses allow you to protect your original works, without stopping distribution, ensuring you are attributed for your work. For more information, please visit here for a list of options. It should be noted, that once a mod is made Open Source, you are usually unable to transfer the license again (as this would infringe on the rights of those downloading prior to the change). For this reason, read up on any potential licenses before making your decision! If in doubt, please ask on the forums if you are unsure about the terms of any single license, as somebody here can probably explain what the license means for you and your users.


If you have any problems, please contact a member of staff :)
Tom K.
Former Community Moderator


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tom k.
 
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