View Full Version : LucasArts authorized fangames

09-04-2003, 03:46 AM
I know there was talk of this before involving LucasFiles, but (thanks to Marek for pointing this out) it looks like LucasArts is permitting some modmakers (and by extension, one could assume fan-game makers?) to use Lucas licenses without being sued? See this story (http://games.slashdot.org/games/03/09/02/0658247.shtml?tid=101&tid=127&tid=186&tid=188&tid=204&tid=206&tid=97) from Slashdot the other day. Here:Star Wars FPS Mod Gets LucasArts Permission

Posted by simoniker on Tuesday September 02, @07:42AM

Thanks to UT2003Troopers.com for the news that their Unreal Tournament 2003 'Troopers' Star Wars-themed mod has been officially approved by LucasArts. This extremely rare step means the previously unlicensed mod is free to enter the Make Something Unreal competition without restriction, and the announcement continues: "The agreement made with LucasArts (after a long period of VERY friendly negotiations) also allows the Troopers Development Team to implement Star Wars assets and content directly from the movies and games. This means that, with the exception of the Star Wars music (which LucasArts doesn't own the rights to, and so therefore could not give us the rights to use), we can use anything we want."

09-04-2003, 07:28 AM
What exactly is the word on fangames, is it illegal but most companies don't care,or are just some aspects annoying for LA because we maybe use their resources (i.e. stuff ripped from original games) to make them, or use the names (e.g. Monkey Island)? I'm not quite sure.

Also, Lucasfiles, is that an official LA website, or unnoficial run by fans?

09-04-2003, 01:16 PM
Interesting - see also the page linked in the comments (http://www.planetunreal.com/utbuilder/troop1.htm). C&D's all hot air? Who'd have thunk it?

09-04-2003, 01:58 PM
LucasFiles have had a fan game section (http://lucasfiles.com/?s=&action=category&id=47) for ages, but there's only one weird Star Wars game in it. I always thought the new policy was "You can mess about with Lucas Arts games as long as you stick the end result on LucasFiles"

09-04-2003, 03:05 PM
Hm. Patrick Fitzsimons? Is that the guy who was making a giant stink a year or two ago about LucasArts not letting him make Star Wars mods? The one who was ranting and raving in the public channels during the Simon Jeffery chat?

09-04-2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Huz
Interesting - see also the page linked in the comments (http://www.planetunreal.com/utbuilder/troop1.htm). C&D's all hot air? Who'd have thunk it?

That guy is a tool.

09-05-2003, 04:49 PM
Lucas Legal department usually makes me irritated for spoiling peoples creativity, fun, and good spirit (if that applies). I'm not sure if anyone would want to do "bad" stuff against Lucasfilm, or LucasArts, intentionally. Like the SCUMMVM project that was hunted from Lucas Legal. - What collage did the Lucas Legal guys go to? - an illiterate one? Or was it the LucasArts' management perhaps who couldn't understand what SCUMMVM is. Whatever. But, I see LucasArts' points in "blocking" a Monkey Island fan game in 2000 when their Monkey Island 4 is coming out. The fangame in that particular timespan could confuse, disturb, or in possible mess things upp for the game's sale-success. So I see, and agree with the management at LucasArts, and the LucasArts Legal department, at that.
Though, sending Legal letter to a fan, for making a Star Wars mod is a bit 10.000 meters over the top. I'm sure, the mod could be disturbing their sales on their upcomming game "Storm Troopers" game in 2004, cause there would a no-cost mod for Half-Life featuring a near like concept on the surface to their game.
I think its bloody rude, and insulting to send Legal letters to a person who wants no harm. It's even worse when the person is their own fan and does what a gamecompany would hope for. To enjoy their game at full. Or atleast that is the idea I've shaped about gamecompanies, that most are actually proud and honoured to have a fanbase. It's just not common sense to make your best friend unhappy. Like, there are other ways to tell a person his fanwork could hurt/disturb the companys plans or mission. A normal person would respect the company's wish, if it's a reasonable one. All in one sentence: I'm glad to see LucasArts making progress.

It's another topic about the situation where the creative department at LucasArts should have come up with the idea of a "Storm Troopers game" earlier. If a fan comes up with a great idea before LucasArts does, it gives them surely no right to run for the Legal guns and point them at him. We're all buddies. Don't think they know or remember that. Anywho, would be neat to know point or points, I have missed. Let me know. No flames thanks.

09-05-2003, 09:00 PM
I think LucasArts was internally divided over these issues for a while. Lucas Legal was working with a sort of "pre-Internet mindset". Hopefully LucasArts has seen the success of the mod community and will take further steps to support it. This is probably a positive sign.

It's better to get actively involved as a company with the community than to send out cease-and-desist letters. The former gives the company much more control, without the negative backlash.

09-05-2003, 09:37 PM
ScummVM has been left alone by lec legal for now. Lec have to protect their property and trademarks, I dont think them sending C+D's was rude or insulting but I agree that their heavy-handed approach in the past was counter-productive.

Like Marek says, engaging with the community in this way is vastly preferable - for both sides. Thats not to say that C+D's will dissapear entirely, but at least now theres another option besides hoping that lec wont notice.

09-06-2003, 03:44 AM
Where's Captain Mystery, anyway? One would have thought that he would have been here by now, bashing at the industrious within fan communities for being human. What is Fan Art (Art, in the widest possible sense) but an extension of folk-lore (hyphenated for stress) in today's Global Village? Someboy invents a nifty story and everyone picks it up, adds a little here and there and passes it on, to be enjoyed by as many as get to hear it. Homer invented a bunch of gods and a few centuries later the whole Hellenistic world truly believed in that scheisse.

Marek is right in saying that LEC legal would have had more control had they only tried to get involved with the community, instead of ****ing it up the ass with a big legal dick. HOWEVER, half of mankind is more prone to enforcing existing rules, than thinking whether the existing laws could backfire or if there could be an alternate, more widely profitable solution to a given problem.

There is no other explanation for the wealth of downright bad decisions made on this here our planet. Nobody here, of course, will pick up on the general terms of my discourse, but I am long past expecting anyone to.

09-07-2003, 12:10 AM
You have to remember that LucasArts are taking the stand (that many publishers do) that if they're not seen as trying to protect their copyrights then they're putting themselves in jeopardy. The issue isn't -- should we stop this or that -- but rather -- stop everything so it can't be used against us in court that we have shown a relaxed attitude to our copyrights.

Of course this is a paranoid attitude, but sadly it's very common (look at Core, Ultima or Fox). Some peeps need to just chill out and take a leaf out of Revolution's book!

I don't think LucasArts *really* care but their legal department has to shown that they've at least *attempted* to stop the spread of unauthorised use of their trademarks. That way if it ever went to court the writers of "Unauthorized Fangame X" couldn't say "LucasArts have known about this for years and never said anything! Clearly they weren't THAT bothered about it before!!".

Now it seems they're officially allowing fan-games (which is really great!) but at the same time THEY have control!

Which is good, isn't it? Hmmm? Well, we'll see how stringent they are! :)

~ John