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Old 07-06-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
The Source
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Could this be why KotOR 3 is on a hiatus?

Could this be why KotOR 3 is on a hiatus?
I was going through BioWare's forums, and I found this interesting conversation:
http://jade.bioware.com/forums/viewt...forum=108&sp=0

Quote:
Most KotOR modding was actively hunted down by Lucasarts. They maintain a very strict control of their IP. Derek French - BioWare's Technical Producer
I put a hault on all of my KotOR modding. I am now wondering if modding is causing Lucas Arts to put KotOR 3 on hiatus. Until I get a clear answer, I am out of KotOR modding. I can't take that risk.

What do you think?
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:12 PM   #2
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I think you are causing unneccisary drama for yourself again Mac... seriously.

That post has nothing to do with us, it was likely directed at some of the mod projects that 'ported' themes or materials, nothing more.

LA is well aware of our existance.


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Old 07-06-2006, 11:18 PM   #3
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I think you didn't finish reading the thread. You will note that our very own Darth333 voiced her concern with Mr. French's post.
Quote:
Quote: Posted 05/19/06 03:28:55 (GMT) by Darth333
This answer somewhat surprises me. LucasFiles which is a 3rd party site but officially LA endorsed has a Kotor modding section. LucasArts has also posted a screenshot of the starwarsknights.com website announcing some kotor mods on their official Kotor 2 website (it's small but it's still there)... Obsidian entertainment also doesn't seem to have any problems with KotOR mods...
Quote:
Posted: Friday, 19 May 2006 04:28AM by Derek French
Quote:
Quote: Posted 05/18/06 20:08:08 (GMT) by Derek French
Most KotOR modding was actively hunted down by Lucasarts. They maintain a very strict control of their IP.
I bolded the party that was responsible for the hunting again, as you seemed to have missed it. I made no statement whatsoever about what BioWare felt in the situation, nor will I speak on behalf of other companies.

Nor did I say which mods were on the receiving end. I was specifically referring to mods that brought in other IPs into the game.

I don't think anyone really cares if of add or edit a cloth texture color into a game or something equally benign.
The key point being LucasArts went after mods that introduced other IP's into KotOR. You know that LucasFiles won't allow mods that use files from non-KotOR games in KotOR mods, right?


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Old 07-06-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
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You guys have a point, but I think there is something to this. We shall see.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawke
I think you are causing unnecessary drama for yourself again Mac... seriously.

That post has nothing to do with us, it was likely directed at some of the mod projects that 'ported' themes or materials, nothing more.

LA is well aware of our existence.
Agreed LA would have shut down places like LF, TSLRP, M4-78 RP, and PCGameMods in a heart beat. If LA was actually as heavy handed as the post makes them out to be.


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Old 07-07-2006, 12:05 AM   #6
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To be on the safe side, I am going to do some extensive research. I want to know exactly where Lucas Arts stands on modding. Even though it looks like they cracked down on illeagal stuff, I want to be on the safe side. I will share what I find with this forums. Maybe, there is a Lucas Arts representitive visiting this site who can shead some light on the subject.

I will start by looking at the games leagal agreement, and then search Lucas Arts.com for it. I will comb the beaches, the trenches, and the rivers. I will find the answer, and allow people to draw their own conclusions.

I swear, we shall never go mod hungery again...
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:22 AM   #7
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Please forgive me if I can't help but

3+ years of KotOR modding going on in these forums, none of our community's modders have reported being contacted with "cease and desist" orders from LEC during that time period, and you think there is something to this?

You are so far out there sometimes, MacLeodCorp...


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Old 07-07-2006, 01:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
You are so far out there sometimes, MacLeodCorp...
Q.F.E.

Mac, this is really 'Much Ado About Nothing'... seriously. Still funny though!


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Old 07-07-2006, 01:26 AM   #9
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Mac, you have a lot of mods out there. If they haven't bugged you about it already, they're not going to, unless you put something out there really and I don't see you being unwise enough to do something dumb like that. The guys (and gals) who work at LA are probably geekier than us, so there's no way they could miss all the modding. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them have made their own mods, too.

I think we would have heard a lot sooner if people were being told to shut down their modding. I think there'd be an uproar on the forums if that happened, and it's just not.

If I were LA, I'd crack down on any mods that involved sex/nudity/porn/other illegal activities, because that does damage LA's image, but leave the people just having good clean fun alone. As long as we're not doing anything that violates the EULA, then we're fine. There are no laws that I know of that say mods are illegal (something like child porn excepted, of course). If LA tried to sue you, they'd have to prove that you did something wrong and that you caused them harm in some way. Otherwise, the case gets thrown out and you could countersue for a frivolous suit. Since your and other modders' mods encourage people to actually go out and buy the game so they can play with some cool mods, LA would be hard pressed to prove you did any kind of damage. And quite frankly, most of us don't make enough money or have enough assets where it would be worth it for LA to sue us in the first place. They'd end up losing more in lawyers' fees.

This is not something I'd lose sleep over. If I'd thought you were doing something illegal or that LA would slap your wrists for, I wouldn't have contributed to your latest mod, after all.


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Old 07-07-2006, 01:57 AM   #10
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Also for note from the get go Bioware has taken a "No Modding discussions" stance for Kotor since it's early days. Beacause modding was not officially supported for the game. The above statements by Derek French which I've read that thread myself infact I've been keeping tabs on that forum. but thats besides the point. Anyways his statements are directly reflective of the stance that Bioware has had to take since Kotor 1's release. Had modding truly been an issue you wouldn't be able to find a representative from Obsidian trying to recruit modders to work on TSL back when they first got the project. I had come across the thread sometime back. It's funny at that time Our moderators had locked the thread and scolded the Obsidian Rep for trying to direct people away from the forums or some such thing. If modding had truly been an issue with LA I'm certain Obsidian would not have tried to recruit modders.


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Old 07-07-2006, 02:06 AM   #11
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honestly i thought modding is illegal mostly that why i never used them


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Old 07-07-2006, 02:13 AM   #12
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If it was illegal we wouldn't be making them.


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Old 07-07-2006, 02:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkkender
If it was illegal we wouldn't be making them.
true........i don't why i thought that.


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Old 07-07-2006, 06:03 AM   #14
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Hmm...i didn't know they were actually monitoring the mods....

Like the guy said, it doesn't matter to him if you make new reskins, colors etc.
Imo, that means he isn't hunting the Lucasforums at all. Half of the mods here mod robes, lightsabers, and use the original Kotor2 files.

I think they are just hunting down the people who are importing/exporting files from kotor 1 (possibly even Jade Empire) into Kotor 2 and vice versa. I can imagine that would create...legal matters, since they are created by different dev's.

As long as the modders don't replace Bao-Dur with Mission or Jolee, everything will be cool, imo.

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Old 07-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #15
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As far as I know, Lucasarts' stance on modding is ambivalence when it comes to changing things within their games.

However, if you port foreign material from another game into a LA game through a mod, that is effectively piracy and will be shut down by LA.


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Old 07-07-2006, 09:51 AM   #16
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Lucasarts just worries about IP issues and the like.

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Old 07-07-2006, 03:00 PM   #17
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I forgot about this::
http://www.lucasarts.com/press/releases/61.html

What drove my drama, as it is now called, was that I have seen this on a few websites.
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Old 07-07-2006, 03:52 PM   #18
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See even LA says they support us. Man such a drama king you are mac.


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Old 07-07-2006, 05:30 PM   #19
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Well, LA is smart supporting modding. Its a win-win situation, both entending the lifespan of the games(look at JK series) and as an indicator of what people generally likes.
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:42 PM   #20
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Too me, there are a few possible reasons why K3 hasn't been made yet:
1) LA is busy with other projects. At the moment K3 is simply not a priority.
2) For whatever reason, they don't think K3 will make alot of money. I.E. they have no plans to make it.
3) They feel the "Action RPG" that is in the works would compete with K3 and don't want them both out at the same time. Simular to why they won't make another MMO until Galaxies is dead. (Despite what most people think of the game, its making quite a bit of money still.)

Possibly other good reasons, but thats how I see it...


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Old 07-08-2006, 01:03 AM   #21
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^^^ Or:

4. They are keeping their traps shut so that whatever company makes (is making) K3 can do so without the fanfare that K2 received and can actually make a decent game this time

(pleaseohpleaseohplease let this be the reason!)



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Old 07-08-2006, 03:43 AM   #22
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:38 AM   #23
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I don't know...

What about LA releasing the High-end resolution patch for Kotor 1?
And of course the (late) release of the 'better movies' stuff for kotor 2?

It isn't a huge improvement, but they do finish their job properly. They have never purposely left some bugs in, but fixed them.
And George didn't attack this site with his lightsaber....i think he actually likes the way the EU is 'written' by modders.

In short terms:
Although it isn't that obvious, LA does like us

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Old 07-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Bah! Laughable!
I think it's also interesting to note that the LEC press release MacLeodCorp linked to is dated 2002 December 11. Simon Jeffery was sacked as president of LucasArts and replaced by Jim Ward in May 2004. Not that I think LEC has changed its policy on the modding of its games since Jim Ward took over.


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Old 07-08-2006, 12:41 PM   #25
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I thought they changed policy.

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I changed my tag line.
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Old 07-08-2006, 01:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeodCorp
I thought they changed policy.

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I changed my tag line.
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Old 07-08-2006, 02:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeodCorp
I thought they changed policy.

***Bow Head In Shame***
I changed my tag line.
Quote:
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:40 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Not that I think LEC has changed its policy on the modding of its games since Jim Ward took over.
Note that their policy varies by game. The JK series, Battlefront, Republic Commando, etc. all have official mod support.

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Old 07-09-2006, 07:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime
Note that their policy varies by game. The JK series, Battlefront, Republic Commando, etc. all have official mod support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EULA Agreement
The computer software, artwork, music, and other components included in this product, as such may be updated (collectively referred to as the "Software"), are the copyrighted property of LucasArts, a division of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., and/or its affiliated entities or divisions, and its licensors (collectively referred to as "LucasArts"). The Software is licensed (not sold) to you, and LucasArts owns and/or controls all copyright, trade secret, patent and other proprietary rights in the Software. You may use the Software on a single computer. You may not: (1) copy (other than once for back-up purposes), distribute, rent, lease or sublicense all or any portion of the Software; (2) modify or prepare derivative works of the Software; (3) transmit the Software over a network, by telephone, or electronically using any means, except in the course of your network multi-player play of the Software over authorized networks; (4) engage in matchmaking for multi-player play over unauthorized networks; (5) design or distribute unauthorized levels; or (6) reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software. You may transfer the Software, but only if the recipient agrees to accept and be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you transfer the Software, you must transfer all components and documentation and erase any copies residing on the game console and/or computer equipment. Your rights in and to this license are automatically terminated if and when you transfer the Software.
What about the legal agreements. kotOR II's readme says that it is illeagal to modify the game. Do they ignore the supplied EULA readme?

Edit:: Added::
If anyone is interested, LucasArts has been know for shutting down mods. I have to read to the reasons why, but I thought I would add the links here to show you:

http://www.avault.com/articles/getar...ame=mod&page=2
http://www.runegame.com/vbf/showthread.php?t=11840

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Old 07-10-2006, 01:58 AM   #30
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It sounds like that first link you added was a group trying to make their own game based on copyrighted material. The second sounds like people making a Star Wars mod for a non-Star Wars game. I understand both of those cease-and-desist orders, if I'm understanding those two links correctly.

However they're not going to jump on a Star Wars mod in a Star Wars game. That's silly. They jump on Star Wars mods in non-Star Wars games because it's someone else making money off of their product, whether it be the modders themselves or the other game companies as a result of the modders. Either way it's something they see as a threat, and they want to shut it down at the source. While it may be kind of ill-spirited, it's totally understandable. Not to say I agree... just that I understand.

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Old 07-10-2006, 02:33 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpb3
^^^ Or:

4. They are keeping their traps shut so that whatever company makes (is making) K3 can do so without the fanfare that K2 received and can actually make a decent game this time

(pleaseohpleaseohplease let this be the reason!)
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:18 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeodCorp
What about the legal agreements. kotOR II's readme says that it is illeagal to modify the game. Do they ignore the supplied EULA readme?
Mac, I suggest you read the EULA more closely, as the game content itself is not actually addressed...

Note the use of the word "software" in the EULA.

Quote:
You may not: (1) copy (other than once for back-up purposes), distribute, rent, lease or sublicense all or any portion of the Software; (2) modify or prepare derivative works of the Software; (3) transmit the Software over a network, by telephone, or electronically using any means, except in the course of your network multi-player play of the Software over authorized networks; (4) engage in matchmaking for multi-player play over unauthorized networks; (5) design or distribute unauthorized levels; or (6) reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software.
'Software' refers to the altering of the hard-coded engine files like the games executable, the EULA has no actual refrences to the types of mods we make.

But release something that touches the games EXE and you would be nailed by LEC faster than you can say... "Oh Crap!"


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Old 07-10-2006, 10:26 AM   #33
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So, anything that is not essential to the 'core' functionality of the game is free and clear. Textures, .uti, .utc, etc... If we were to mess with the game engine or executables, Lucas Arts would have the right to come in and shut people down. Since we are not doing that there, we should be free and clear.

What about scripts? Would scripts be considered a core element to a game's functionality? Animation scripts, dialouge scripts, etc...

Sorry for all of these question, but I think clearing this stuff up will keep everyone informed. It may shead some light on questions, which other visitors, and myself, may have wanted to ask.



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Old 07-10-2006, 10:59 AM   #34
Arátoeldar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeodCorp
So, anything that is not essential to the 'core' functionality of the game is free and clear. Textures, .uti, .utc, etc... If we were to mess with the game engine or executables, Lucas Arts would have the right to come in and shut people down. Since we are not doing that there, we should be free and clear.

What about scripts? Would scripts be considered a core element to a game's functionality? Animation scripts, dialouge scripts, etc...

Sorry for all of these question, but I think clearing this stuff up will keep everyone informed. It may shead some light on questions, which other visitors, and myself, may have wanted to ask.
So far as I understand the EULA. You cannot modify the exe, the game engine, or profit from your mod(s).


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Old 07-10-2006, 11:01 AM   #35
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Scripts are softcode elements. While you must compile them they are dynamic and can change from area to area. These elements also come with there source files so that another person can write and compile scripts based off of the source samples. Script systems for games were developed so that you can keep the core executable of a game compact. They were also developed to allow for more dynamic game creation and so as to be able to build multiple games off of the same engine.

An executable file encompasses the following "*.exe", "*.dll", & "*.ocx". While some games will allow you to mod certain executables such as "*.dll" files these are considered core engine & game file by most companies and would fall within the Software category.


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Old 07-10-2006, 12:30 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InyriForge
It sounds like that first link you added was a group trying to make their own game based on copyrighted material. The second sounds like people making a Star Wars mod for a non-Star Wars game.
The way I interpreted what was written would be that it was intended along those lines.

If, for example, someone made a mod that introduced concepts from Star Trek into a Star Wars game, LucasArts might potentially get sued by the IP holders of Star Trek (Paramount/Viacom?), so they'd preemptively act to prevent that from happening and terminate those Mods.

Since they wouldn't want their own Star Wars IP used in unlicensed products from other companies either it would be a bit hypocritical to leave IP-infringing materials from other companies alone for their own products.

I.e. as long as the mods you make don't involve materials from other games, franchises or copyrighted sources it shouldn't be of any concern for LucasArts.

As for the game engine, licensing game engines is big business nowadays and reverse engineering their trade secrets for hacking the EXE could potentially threaten this source of revenue. Thus companies tend to be protective of those assets. External data formats used by the engine (which is usually what modders tamper with) usually aren't that critical though. Evident in Bioware's case since the technical documentation is made available freely for many of those formats.

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Old 07-10-2006, 02:49 PM   #37
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Thank you all for your feedback on the matter. Your answers helped with my questions, and maybe others can get some insight.

When it comes to liscencing agreements, I am so left field about it. When it comes to computer technology and software, I am savvy as the wrest.

Thank you,
MacLeodCorp



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