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Op Ed

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Why Games Should Enter The Public Domain.
The idea that creativity is only feasible if thereís a financial reward is abundantly demonstrably false. For someone to make their living from creative pursuits relies on some sort of financial return, yes. Creativity is not dependent on its being oneís living. Thatís enormously crucial to remember. But even when talking about those seeking to make their living, the notion that a finite stretch of time in which exclusive profits can be made doesnít prevent anyone from becoming a multi-millionaire from their work. An eventual transition to the public domain would in no sense take away the financial incentive to create.

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15. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 22:23 Scud
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 17:39:
1. But nothing should be done. Come up with your own damn world! It isn't hard, it's more rewarding, and it encourages more creativity. We don't need more Jar Jar Binks games, we need new scifi worlds to explore

2. I agree in part. In part. Concepts shouldn't be easily dependable but should be easily extended. At the same time, it's harder than you think. There was a laser sword in Halo and no one sued. And while "mechs" may be copyrighted, "long range missiles" is not, nor would a court ever hold it, unless Microsoft is suing North Korea for making them right now. Yeah, the issue is that it may get to court, but its unlikely to

I would disagree with the assertion that coming up with your own IP is easy. Or maybe what I should say is, an IP you or I create is highly unlikely to reach the same cultural critical mass as something like Star Wars. Does this mean Star Citizen should be made into a Star Wars game if it could be? No, Star Citizen is cool the way it is, but that won't stop me from wanting an updated Xwing or Tie Fighter game.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 17:39 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 17:28:
@ Beam,

What you mention is a risk of shorter copyrights, but the downsides of long copyrights far outweigh any risks.

1. NOTHING can be done with IP under copyright if the holder doesn't have means/desire to do it.

2. I can't make a world with laser swords because George Lucas will sue the shit out of me. Ditto for a game with "mechs" and "long range missiles."

Making weaker copyright laws doesn't preclude making new IP. It opens up MORE options not less.

1. But nothing should be done. Come up with your own damn world! It isn't hard, it's more rewarding, and it encourages more creativity. We don't need more Jar Jar Binks games, we need new scifi worlds to explore

2. I agree in part. In part. Concepts shouldn't be easily dependable but should be easily extended. At the same time, it's harder than you think. There was a laser sword in Halo and no one sued. And while "mechs" may be copyrighted, "long range missiles" is not, nor would a court ever hold it, unless Microsoft is suing North Korea for making them right now. Yeah, the issue is that it may get to court, but its unlikely to
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 17:28 jdreyer
 
@ Beam,

What you mention is a risk of shorter copyrights, but the downsides of long copyrights far outweigh any risks.

1. NOTHING can be done with IP under copyright if the holder doesn't have means/desire to do it.

2. I can't make a world with laser swords because George Lucas will sue the shit out of me. Ditto for a game with "mechs" and "long range missiles."

Making weaker copyright laws doesn't preclude making new IP. It opens up MORE options not less.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 17:21 Julio
 
Disney is going to make sure that copyright continues to be extended forever. They have to protect Mickey Mouse after all. And all politicians are bought and paid for.  
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11. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 17:18 Beamer
 
Task wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 17:08:
I wish games would enter the public domain. Then Microsoft wouldn't be allowed to sit on the MechWarrior franchise. Disney/LucasArts wouldn't be able to sit on classic games they refuse to make sequels for anymore (Jedi Knight, Shadows of The Empire, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, etc.).

But why does a space shooter need to be Star Wars? Chris Roberts seems to be doing fine without it.
Do you really think it's the lack of a Tie Fighter that's kept the genre back?

And there are plenty of ways to do giant robots without the MechWarrior name. No indies have jumped up and made any of late. Is it just because they can't use the name? Would that suddenly make the difference?
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 17:08 Task
 
I wish games would enter the public domain. Then Microsoft wouldn't be allowed to sit on the MechWarrior franchise. Disney/LucasArts wouldn't be able to sit on classic games they refuse to make sequels for anymore (Jedi Knight, Shadows of The Empire, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, etc.).  
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9. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 15:38 gsilver
 
One of the important things here is preservation of works where the author is unclear.

Things like No One Lives Forever will be *ahem* Forever off the market, because the rights issues are so convoluted that no one can publish it.

And that's just in gaming. With music, and collaborative recordings, things get far murkier.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 15:03 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 14:55:
Innovation isn't creation, and we only go from where we have been before. Honestly, I'd see that time slashed to 5 years, 10 max.

Agreed, it isn't.
A company can be entirely innovative without needing the Star Wars universe. I actually can't think of a good reason why anyone should have the right to put Luke and Han Solo in something.

What's the benefit?

Take FTL. Would FTL be better if it were Star Wars themed?
How about Orcs Must Die? Would making the main character Legolas have resulted in a better, more enjoyable game?

Because it would have been stupid for the designers not to have done that, as it would have increased sales. But it would also make those games less special, because they'd be just another fucking Star Wars game.

I prefer people make their own worlds than cluster around someone else's often shitty yet somehow popular vision.
 
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http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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7. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 14:55 Cutter
 
Innovation isn't creation, and we only go from where we have been before. Honestly, I'd see that time slashed to 5 years, 10 max.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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6. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 14:53 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 14:17:
Beamer wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 14:02:
HL is 16 years old. Why isn't Gearbox allowed to make their own HL game yet?! That would make the industry better!

It could star Mario and Sonic, too!

You joke, but if HL had entered the public domain, someone else may have picked up the mantle and provided us with another HL game. No one would make a HL game with Mario and Sonic b/c no one would buy it. Straw man argument.

It's the worst case scenario, but I don't see any good case scenarios. Do we really want Gearbox making a HL game?

Even if it was a good company making a HL game, wouldn't we rather they just make their own world and their own characters? Would HL have been as good if Valve just used Doom Guy?

China briefly had a creepy knock-off DisneyWorld. Is the world better if every supermarket has half-assed Mickeys walking around?
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 14:17 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 4, 2014, 14:02:
HL is 16 years old. Why isn't Gearbox allowed to make their own HL game yet?! That would make the industry better!

It could star Mario and Sonic, too!

You joke, but if HL had entered the public domain, someone else may have picked up the mantle and provided us with another HL game. No one would make a HL game with Mario and Sonic b/c no one would buy it. Straw man argument.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 14:15 jdreyer
 
Okay, so I went and looked up Eldred vs. Ashcroft case which challenged the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which set the copyright extension to death of author + 70 years (a ridiculous amount of time). Basically, the SCOTUS decided that "limited Times" means "not infinite" thus any number less than infinity will do. 200 years? 1000 years? No problem!

The founding fathers were suspicious of monopoly. They by "limited Times" I feel pretty certain they didn't mean "not infinite" but rather, "a short period of time." The first part of the copyright clause is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." Yes, part of this is to allow exclusivity to financially motivate people. But the other part of that is to allow arts and inventions into the public domain so they can be used freely for improvement and creation. In no way is life + 70 years in support of promoting progress.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 14:02 Beamer
 
HL is 16 years old. Why isn't Gearbox allowed to make their own HL game yet?! That would make the industry better!

It could star Mario and Sonic, too!
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 13:45 jdreyer
 
Yeah, I pretty much hate our current copyright laws. What is it, 70 years? 90? And Disney etc. keep pushing them longer. Here's what's written in the US constitution:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

In what frickin universe is 70 years "limited Times???" Hell most inventors and authors are dead 70 years after their work/invention was created. Make it 15. 20 at MOST.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Feb 4, 2014, 12:55 chickenboo
 
Completely agree. What the author failed to mention explicitly is that when copyright expires, the original owners still have the right to sell their work - but now everyone else does, too. Copyright expiry simply removes the right to monopoly of the work. Now the original owner sells his item at competitive prices with the rest of the people selling it. 20, 30 years of monopoly rights is plenty of time. Heck, I would even argue it should be shorter, but I don't create anything for sale, so...  
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