Report poll Mods using others' intellectual property (without permission)

Poll started by feillyne with 2,151 votes and 78 comments. Browse the poll archive.


Are simply illegal (558 votes)


Can popularise franchise (586 votes)


Bring profit loss and are harmful overall (61 votes)


Can benefit fans of franchise if they keep a low profile (255 votes)


Should be legally licensed or officially permitted to continue (592 votes)


Should have somebody else's IP replaced with their own (99 votes)

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 78)
[$#!T-Happens] Sep 5 2011 says:

SHOULD NEVER BE DONE.. i learnt the hard way and almost got torn a new one... as good as it may sound to do... most of the time you will get caught out... like i did

+12 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight Sep 5 2011 replied:

I feel like this is directed towards the mod i'm working on Lol >.<

"This may be the first time I'm interested in anything to do with Starcraft..."
I voted for benefit fans of franchise, for that comment someone left. (Wanted 2# also :\)

It's not stealing if you are acknowledging that it doesn't belong to you, and that you make everything yourself out of that idea, and not claiming it is your concept and or design. But hey we all got different opinions.

+7 votes     reply to comment
*Don* Sep 5 2011 replied:

Poll seems biased.

For mod's its not a big deal as long as it stays in the same 'company' or 'engine'. Its when people start ripping stuff from other games where it becomes sketchy.

All in all, if its a mod, and they arn't asking for donations or making ad money from ANYTHING, then it should be fine as long as credits are given.

Disclamer: IMO

+12 votes     reply to comment
orcus_35 Sep 5 2011 replied:

like that starcraft MMo mod ?

+2 votes     reply to comment
DaveW Sep 6 2011 replied:

So if I shoplift something, but I acknowledge that it's not really mine, that's ok?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tynan0 Sep 6 2011 replied:

That is exactly how I see it. How would you feel if you worked very long on a project that is completely new and someone comes over and copies it, puts it in their project, and takes all the credit for it?

Now, even if they do give credit, it still isn't right. That doesn't change the fact that what they did was wrong and it wasn't theirs in the first place.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Xshorty Sep 8 2011 replied:

not even remotely the same situation as using material for a FREE MOD from a game YOU PURCHASED

+3 votes     reply to comment
Vfef Sep 9 2011 replied:

If you were shoplifting you are stealing something not copying it. Its like walking into the store and cloning the candy bar and walking out with the cloned version. Its copyright infringement, Not the same as stealing. Tho I know people that would debate they are the same thing.

What you could say is you painted a copy of a painting and said you made it all on your own and sold it for money. :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
mod-man-8 Sep 10 2011 replied:

Let's just say that a mod uses a weapon model from, oh say, COD and the mod is for half-life 2. While it's use is illegal it's not like shoplifting as when you steal something from a shop, they could have sold that for profit, but game devs don't sell every component of a game separately. They weren't going to make money from that gun model so comparing it to shoplifting makes no sense.

+3 votes     reply to comment
TheUnabridgedGamer Sep 7 2011 replied:

I voted the same, and also would pick #2.

I'm writing bits of fan-fiction every now and then. How is it different from making a mod or freebie-fan game for a franchise? Behaving like LA did to A Clone Apart doesn't help anyone.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jeffman12 Sep 6 2011 replied:

EA was in full support of RA:A Path Beyond, Renegade X, and C&C Reborn. They commented that they would never want to stop anyone from producing free advertising for their games. Blizzard has been more protective in the past, they restricted creation of a mod for an RTS who's goal was to exactly mimic Starcraft's gameplay and plot on another engine, which is understandable, but I don't think that applies to cross-genre works so much. This isn't exactly a black and white issue, and this poll seems to imply it is.

While I think option 5 is a given, actual market results, not speculative checkboxing by random people on the internet, says that any tidbit of an IP being released for free in some capacity has an overall positive effect on a game's profits, assuming users have the option to pay for it somehow. This is seen in game demos and marketable Free to Play games of all sorts. Even leaked betas have a positive effect if the game's good enough.

+4 votes     reply to comment
lukaluka94 Sep 5 2011 says:

Simply illegal. One should NOT steal, And using other's property without permission is stealing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
$n!p3r Sep 6 2011 buried:


if you post it on internet, than ist free if you ask me...

on internet: everything is free ( you can hack/crack/find everything if you know how ^^)

-14 votes     reply to comment
ThisIsGamer Sep 7 2011 replied:

Just because it's on the Internet... DOESN'T MAKE IT FREE.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Hellsevil22 Sep 8 2011 replied:

@thisisgamer sure it does, doesn't make it legal but the internet got popular because it's unregulated in most countries and despite what you may think, millions of people are DLing illegally copied/obtained materials for u?... guessed it, FREE! so technically if it's on the net it's free, not necessarily legal. But, hey, you seem like the kind of gentleman who'd never take advantage of a situation so distastefully XD.

+2 votes     reply to comment
deadrawkstar Sep 7 2011 replied:

I see where your coming from.
However when it comes to a mod using someones textures/models/etc and NOT giving credit to them. To me that's intolerable.

+6 votes     reply to comment
ModMage Sep 5 2011 says:

Illegal and down right dumb. With all the free tutorials over the internet and thousands of sites and forums filled with people who dedicate their time on the internet to teaching people how to make things like models, textures, sounds, and everything else a mod needs, it's not really all that difficult to make something of your own. Combine that with the fact that the majority of modders will allow you to use their content without charge and ask for nothing more than a single line in your credit role, I think it's safe to say that stealing content isn't only a dumb move, it's utterly unnecessary.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Amez Sep 5 2011 replied:

They should get permission first. The problem with recreating EVERYTHING is that it's extremely time consuming, why not just use something that looks exactly like what you were going to spend a lot of time on? I'm talking about just generic things though, ripping original content isn't very good even with permission.

+7 votes     reply to comment
ChromeAngel Online
ChromeAngel Sep 6 2011 replied:

I think you're mistaking "Intellectual Property" (IP) for "copyright", which are not the same things.

What you are talking about is copyright infringement, for example If I were to copy a chapter for Lord of the Rings and post it on my website, that would be copyright infringement.

If it write my own story set in the LOTR world, using LOTR characters then I am using Tolkien's IP without permission, but NOT infringing on his copyright.

Neither of these are equivalent of theft, since the original author still has his original copies.

+9 votes     reply to comment
TotalSnappy Sep 5 2011 says:

If you see a design you like, you really should remake it yourself from scratch then credit the original source for the inspiration and yourself for actually (re)making the asset.

Lord knows how many times I've recreated and developed assets from mods like Mental Omega.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wonkehcheetah Sep 5 2011 says:

I think it should be fine as long as you credit the person/company/etc. who made it in the first place. Although, I don't know how real that thought is or will be.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Flash112 Sep 5 2011 says:

Should be legally licensed or get a permission to continue, so its fifth one for me :)

+5 votes     reply to comment
aidas2 Sep 5 2011 says:

It's not necessarely a bad thing. I think it's allowed to a certain extent. But not when the whole mod is made up only from ripped content ( Vora bat ) And the whole community are doing this aswell and don't see a bad thing ( most of mow community ).

+2 votes     reply to comment
Xshorty Sep 5 2011 replied:

biased much?

+1 vote     reply to comment
MattyG Sep 5 2011 says:

If it's a mod based upon an IP (like the Metroid mod for Halo CE), then that should be fine provided 100% of the material used in it is custom made and there's credit given. And the mod could have possibly gotten a few people into buying Metroid games (or Halo) themselves.

After all, sometimes it's difficult trying to get into contact with a company representative, especially if it's one of the big names. Take Mario Kart Source for instance, they just went ahead since they didn't get a response from Nintendo after a while.

Although people who just take another's content as their own without warning do deserve some kind of punishment, and that folks should try to reach the original company at least once, if anything.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Herr_Alien Sep 5 2011 says:

I voted (2), can popularize the franchise.

No company will license their precious IP to modders. I get that, I understand why: there's a lot of money involved, and like it or not, they came with the idea behind the IP before you figured out that it needs improvements.

Having said that, it is preferable to have companies realize that mods using their IP are actually a good way to advertise that IP, rather than send cease and desist letters.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Joe_Shmoe Sep 5 2011 says:

The options available for these polls are always somewhat related to eachother, and you cant choose multiples. In this case especially I would agree to all of them, since neither really contradict each other. except option 2 and 3 (which isnt really a contradiction), which is a 50/50 deal, either it popularises the franchise or damages it. but I can agree to all of them, and 6.

Anyhow, the one that stands out most for modding really is popularise the franchise, if its a mod, I would say stick to the IP your provided, If you use HL2, then make a HL2 mod, that would popularise the HL2 game, Dont go making a mod for another game fanchise like Resident evil using HL2... Thats just looking for trouble, either you will make the IP owners look bad if you do too good of a job, or you would make the franchise look bad if you do a crappy job. Either stick with the theme, or if you want to do a total conversion, then comeup with your own IP.

As for Indie games, (abit off topic) ceate your own IP strictly. Unless you get confirmation from original franchise IP owners.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ApornasPlanet Sep 5 2011 says:

Property is theft.

0 votes     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk] Sep 5 2011 says:

I personally think if your using someone elses assets that are included etc such as Source SDK it's fine. If your stealing other peoples content and saying it's yours then you should get seriously wrong.

I think people should stop copying games though and make new interesting games.

+5 votes     reply to comment
LopperUK Sep 5 2011 says:

shhh! dont tell anyone!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jok3r098 Sep 5 2011 says:

i should say it comes under the fair use act

+4 votes     reply to comment
JoshZemlinsky Sep 5 2011 says:

Meh i already used another Mod's content in my own xD
Tho that's what got it down from Planetphillips site. I have no idea what i should vote. Maybe: Should be legally licensed or officially permitted to continue?
I have no idea, i stopped modding ages ago. Now i just change a games file setup here and there if im not happy with the way the game is.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darth.Hunter Sep 5 2011 says:

The most basic version of a mod (which means no total conversion) always uses other people's IP, namely the IP of the game that the mod was made for. They extend the storyline through campaigns or explore the game's world further.
The whole idea behind why developers provide mod support is to popularize the franchise and extend the lifespan of their own IP. Thus, my vote obviously goes to "Can popularise franchise".

The option "illegal" seems pretty pointless to me. That would neglect the very heart of where mods came from. That aside, it's simply not illegal in most states I know.

About the permission - several companies (like LucasArts) for instance take it for granted that people can create derivatives as long as they stay somewhat respectful to the franchise and do not monetize it. On the other hand, they don't respond to anyone proactively asking for permission, since they don't officially provide mod support (for workload reasons).
In most cases, there is no such thing as an explicit permission, so the question becomes kinda redundant in practise.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ytres Sep 5 2011 says:

Re-animating and compiling weapons from games like MW2 doesn't annoy me that much. They're not making any money off of doing that and they paid for the game.

HOWEVER, stealing content from FREE community mods WITHOUT PERMISSION is not OK at all. They did it for no money, and on their spare time. I am a developer for a BF2 mod, and I can tell you, making content is not easy AT ALL.

+6 votes     reply to comment
psy_commando Sep 5 2011 says:

This poll is slightly ambiguous. On one side there is using actual properties(models,sounds,etc), and using intellectual properties(Ideas, concept).
People here seem to argue, because of the 2 meanings...

Using properties from others in your mod is just not professional and is really not cool.

But I think using an IP or concept is different. The concept of intellectual property is very abstract and awkward. Once you share an idea its in our nature to try to improve on it, that's how we all get better at doing something.
Besides if an idea is kept alive by its fans, and entrenched in culture(video,art,fiction,fan games) it just becomes harder to forget, which is good when you try to sell something.
IP should be replaced by a license to sell product based on an idea, not owning an idea.

But yeah, better fix this poll, because the results are probably messed up because of the ambiguity...

+5 votes     reply to comment
PurpleGaga27 Sep 5 2011 says:

This question led me to a 50/50 split. It's half illegal but the other half can be legally licensed or officially permitted to continue.

+4 votes     reply to comment
masternerdguy Sep 5 2011 says:

Mods ripping off other mods is pointless and makes the guys doing the ripping off even less skilled.

Make your own damn content, especially you Men of War guys.

+4 votes     reply to comment
ID0 Sep 6 2011 says:

I think it's stupid poll. Today, all just obsessed with intellectual property. Can't see nothing illegal, it did not selling anyway.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Sep 6 2011 replied:

i agree until people stop putting invisible walls up and say **** like "hey i made that only i can use it edit it or make it better" the better off we will be. that's why open source is king :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
SPTX Sep 6 2011 says:

It depends whose IP it uses. If a modder steals an other modder's work, then it's definitely some bad rape.
But if it's using a very popular franchise such as starwars or warhammer. I say, amen.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ChromeAngel Online
ChromeAngel Sep 6 2011 says:

I don't think this is a as simple as either one poll option or another. I'd like to rate each of the options on a scale of 1 to 10

+3 votes     reply to comment
TheNodCommander Sep 6 2011 says:

I am confused. Whats this poll asking really? Someone please define?

If I get this right though: If you steal a mod idea from someone else who worked hard for it, then NO, that should be stopped.
Someone making a mod of a popular franchise, made by multi-million companies, then that can be considered alright, as long as it isnt there to just make fun of it.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ID0 Sep 6 2011 replied:

Sorry accidentally pressed the minus sign. Actually I wanted to press plus)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Mingming47 Sep 6 2011 says:

It's unethical to use it without permission and sometimes the worst thing happened I remembered that the mod shut down, ended distribution and cleared everything by a large developer group.

+3 votes     reply to comment
SteveZombie Sep 6 2011 says:

Get permission. Simple enough.

+4 votes     reply to comment
WartyX Sep 6 2011 says:

This poll is just a little bit confusing. The Third Age, for example, uses video and imagery from LOTR films, which in my opinion is great and absolutely harmless.

However, if you downright copy models from another game without permission, that is unacceptable.

+6 votes     reply to comment
CanadaMan7 Sep 6 2011 replied:

Yeah, I was about to mention a case like that as well. In the Halo IP modding scene, it's a community that values original material and was especially harsh on model ripping in the old days (especially in the advent of halogen)

Now it seems some of the new Halo rts mods are doing it. Bah.

+3 votes     reply to comment
gregfriis Sep 6 2011 says:

Nobody seems to understand the poll. It's not asking about ripping assets. It's a question of using intellectual property, like making a mod BASED ON an existing universe, such as Star Wars, Warhammer, Lord of the Rings, etc.

It basically is free advertising for an IP, but I think companies are legally obligated to shut them down in order to protect their copyright (I'm pretty sure that's why Games Workshop shuts down so many fan projects, not because they're evil or think they're losing profits).

+5 votes     reply to comment
feillyne Creator Subscriber
feillyne Sep 6 2011 replied:

Yes sir, you are right there.

Games Workshop ideally describes what IP really is and WHY it should be protected:

Quote:The reason we need a policy for IP is actually fairly straightforward. The laws that govern intellectual property are such that we have to make a visible effort to actively police and protect our rights or risk losing them, and if we lose control of our IP rights then we lose the ability to create the cool, high-quality hobby wargames that we are famous for.

The unauthorized use of someone else's intellectual property (whether it be by an individual or a company) is both dishonest and against the law. It is, quite simply, theft.

Is that reason not simple enough? Because they can LOSE their IP. That's why they need to be strict about their intellectual property.

Also you can read further on about counterfeiting. It's also a part of the whole IP issue. And the second article about what actually can be done with Games Workshop IP (and quite much is allowed, total conversion mods including):

The poll is open-minded, the poll options are biased, so voter must choose only his favourite one.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Agent_X Sep 6 2011 says:

I dont see the big deal, if your going to be greedy and deny use of your content dont release it. Otherwise as long as credit is given who cares? Frankly people are just too damn proud and greedy these days, if your gonna make something for the community why limit its use?

When I make, head, or work on a mod I dont care if permission was given or not but I do make sure to give proper credit to the maker(s).

+3 votes     reply to comment
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