Legality of using content from games

Discussion in 'Track Modding' started by Skynet, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Skynet

    Skynet Registered

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    hi all,

    I am currently experimenting with different ideas for making an open world map/track. As well as making my own content i have toyed with the idea of converting Liberty City from GTA4 to make an open world map for RF2. In the past i had tried and was unssuccesful in exporting the models and textures in to a 3d editing program, but with some recent developments in gta4 modding tools, i thought i would give it another go... and to my surprise i now have a large chunk of Libery City models +textures in 3d studio max. After talking to a few people about the technical challenges of converting the map i am sure it is possible..... only a few question remains and holds me back from doing the conversion.... should i?, is it legal?, will i get in to trouble if i do?

    Usually i would just walk away from something like this, but the prospect of being able to drive sim cars in Liberty City is well...=)))))))
    so let me know what you guys think, yey or ney?

    Edit; On a side note, somebody in the past has made tracks using parts of Vice city and officially released them on Rfactor central.

    kind regards

    Skynet
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2012
  2. blakboks

    blakboks Registered

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    I don't think you're going to find any lawyers on this forum :) Just a bunch of people with opinions. So, if you want a legal opinion, ask a lawyer (unless you can already guess what he/she will say :) ).
     
  3. GTFREAK

    GTFREAK Registered

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    I'll add myself to the list of people with opinions. If the tracks came directly from GTA4 or Vice City, then I'd say no. If you used them as references and scratch built your own versions, I'd say yes.

    You're going to get people on both sides of the fence here. Personally I prefer scratch built tracks and not someones attempt at a conversion from another game.

    But hey, that's just me.
     
  4. Skynet

    Skynet Registered

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    yes i also have mixed feelings about it. however on my own with a reasonable time limit, i can never get close to the quality,vastness and complexity of the gta4 map. I just see a lot of reasons to use the GTA4 map directly. One small example is after looking at the mesh on the road surface closely, i can see Rockstar really have done an amazing job of modeling the bumps, dips,drains and man hole covers. I can only imagine how amazing it would feel driving on those road surfaces with Rfactor 2 physics and FFB. Their are many more things that draw me to this map.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2012
  5. Tobi Coats

    Tobi Coats Registered

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    Rockstar would view it as copyright infringement. Although if u make it for private use and it happened to leak out then I couldn't imagine there being a issue
     
  6. Vince Klortho

    Vince Klortho Registered

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    I agree with GTFREAK but since the game was released in 2008 I doubt that Rockstar will get very upset about it if at all.

    FWIW, they have GTA5 in development.
     
  7. mianiak

    mianiak Registered

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    It's illegal full stop, there is no debate about it.

    When you say 'you can never get close to the quality' that's quite normal, you have a whole team working on those games, not just 1 or 3 guys. And it's not just 3dmodellers that make it happen, its texture artists and researchers.

    Check this, http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=49834&tab=credits
    That will give you an idea of the level you need to be at to produce something like that.

    That said,,, if you have any interest in achieving that sort of quality, you will burn you bridge if you take it from someone else. But if you do it yourself from scratch, you will benefit in more way's that one.

    A, you will get constructive criticism, from that you will learn what works and what doesn't.
    B, you will get modelling experience, practice makes perfect, there is no practice in using someone else's work and no skill involved in doing something anyone with the ability to read can do.
    C, the better you get, the more chance of attracting attention you have. Look at this community and see the success stories of some of the community artists.
    Plus there are many many more reasons why scratch building is better, too many to list.

    If you go down the scratch built path...
    Your first project will turn out really bad as you will be very raw in knowledge, but you will release it and people will judge it, give feedback where needed, especially if you request feedback in specific areas. Ignore the comments that say it's awesome, cause you know it isn't awesome, but at the same time bathe in their compliments because that's fuel that will keep driving you to be better.
    Then your second project will be a lot better and will include many new techniques you learned from releasing your first project, you release it and again receive feedback.
    By now you have a pretty good idea on how it all goes together, you have gained experience in 3dmax, you have gained experience in what the end user wants, from here on its all uphill for you and you will do well.

    On top of all that, you will attract attention of others who see your potential, who will offer you help and teach you the tricks of the trade.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Johannes Rojola

    Johannes Rojola Registered

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    I agree with mianiak that it is completely illegal.

    But then, it has happened in all games in all times. Stuff has been converted when ever it has been technically possible. It is just pure bad luck to get caught from it, but if you do you have to take the responsibility. Such conversion is not going to get very positive attention, but then there are also lots of players who would like to experience this sort of a track. Myself included.

    The better option is to make something of our own, but I happen to know it is pretty much a super impossible for one guy in reasonable time to build such large and detailed map as Vice City. I know, I once tried to make very vast map for rF1 and it was only desert. Massive work and looks crap.

    I think that there is one major thing here. You want to have the Vice City streets or something similar in rFactor. And I understand that very well, it also means that there is no fun for you to make scratch build kart-track because that probably is not what you want. If you want large city map, you can make it and use few years on it. Or then just convert it.

    What if you convert it for your own personal usage only?
     
  9. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    Isn't something illegal only when and if a judge says it is, and even then you can take it up to the next highest level?
    (Il-) Legality is a not very clearly defined concept so you're probably asking the wrong questions.

    Are you asking if it's risky to do what you plan?
    Are you asking whether other people frown upon it?
     
  10. MaXyM

    MaXyM Registered

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    I really don't understand the point of question. Just read eula of the title - no need to asking for more information. Probably just after GTA4 run you will see something like "reverse engineering bla bla bla is prohibited". And you are done.

    It's quite clear to me that answer for the question is: illegal.
    However no one may stop you to do what you want. And probably you will never be taken to court for this. But this is another case.
     
  11. DurgeDriven

    DurgeDriven Banned

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    People do not like when parts of some mates mod or conversion end up in another add-on.
    Spare a thought for the individual guys in the sims that made the work from scratch.

    Having said that point in case the Ol' Rouen :p apart from pCARS every other version
    in every sim from SCGT to rF map/terrain bears a uncanny resemblance to GPL, every camber and corner. p

    I do not think developers mind too much everything from Codemasters was borrowed in some form or another for Aussie V8.

    lol ;)
     
  12. Skynet

    Skynet Registered

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    To Maniak, yes you are right, i do want to learn and imporve, and to express my ideas in my own content. Your advice is appreciated and noted.

    To Johannes Rojola, "The better option is to make something of our own" sounds like an idea, if i can make an impression with my own content, maybe i can rally together some modders and we can really combine our efforts to make something awesome in future.
    I probably will convert Liberty City for myself, but it will be sad to drive it solo, it would have been fun online with 30+ people =(.
    You got me all wrong dude, i am crazy about Karting, and i have actually considerd "Daytona Milton Keynes " Kart track as my first track project beause i drive there and have access to it for photos/measurements and it is small and straight forward enough for me to make. Dont let all this talk of "open worlds" fool ya, I race hard too, after a race i like to unwind and cruise a bit, thats all. =)

    To Ethone, Hmmm i think the the question i am really asking without asking is, is it ethical? As much as i want the map in RF i am uneasy about it. Also i dont want to get in trouble.

    To Maxym, i am not that clued up about the do's and dont's of modding. You guys been around longer and know better than me so i asked. I hoped their would be some kind of fair use clause or something. I guess not.

    Well i'm feeling that i am close to a conclusion to this dillema. If i do ever complete it and release it, it will be because i have done one of two things. A] contacted Rockstar about it and recieved a positive reply. or B] released it with a GTA4 Disk check like Historx mod team have done with the GT legends Models. But reading Maniaks post got me feeling like focusing on my own stuff is the right thing to do. besides i got some ideas of my own for an open world City map.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2012
  13. ethone

    ethone Registered

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    Whether it's ethical depends on your personal ethics, and what you intend to use it for. For personal use I don't see any ethical issues at all.
    As for getting into trouble, keeping it for personal use is the safest option as well. Next to not doing it at all. ;)
     
  14. Skynet

    Skynet Registered

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    Well i do see it as a kind of theft and am reluctant to do it, which is why im here talking about it instead of just releasing it. On the other hand, I feel my desire to utilise this map for RF2 is a celebration of the original work, and i would credit the creators if i did convert it. I see it as a shame that Rockstar isnt Licensing it out for it to be utilised in other projects. Their are so many great applications for that map other than Sim Driving/racing. mabye you are aware of Dayz, can you imagine how awesome Dayz could be on a map like L.C?.
     
  15. jtbo

    jtbo Registered

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    Have you considered asking permission from Rockstar and what kind of funds they would require it to happen?
     
  16. Skynet

    Skynet Registered

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    If i get the track working in RF2 someday then i will think about the next step. Their is a lot of work to do yet. Right now i feel like just making my first mod for rf2 and get the ball rolling in terms of learning.
     
  17. Mario Morais

    Mario Morais Member

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    the contents from ISI tracks is free to use?
     
  18. Johannes Rojola

    Johannes Rojola Registered

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    I've been in assumption that yes when you use the contents with rFactor.
     
  19. Jka

    Jka Member Staff Member

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    That is correct. Tim has offically stated, that ISI's rF2 content can be used as "base library" for freeware modding.

    If you are planned to sell your product, then you have to make all your content from scratch or get license from ISI.

    Cheers!
     
  20. mianiak

    mianiak Registered

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    1 person likes this.

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