So, let’s say that in a wild parallel universe where crazy things happen, hypothetically, Dimension Films wanted to make a proper feature length film based on Cataclysm for theatrical release, or that Image comics wanted to make a series of graphic novels based on Cataclysm for general release?
My (super vague) understanding is that Cataclysm was started by someone or something called Whale and has hence mutated into Cataclysm: DDA and been developed primarily by HPIC Kevin Granade since then has gradually shaped it into the magnificient mutant beast it is, with crowdsourced help from a massive community of coders and writers and tileset artisans. Who (if anyone) does this hypothetical company pay for the rights to use the license? Freeware game does not necessarily equal freeware license for commercial adaptation.*
Ignore for the purpose of this question all of the content in Cataclysm that is arguably thinly veiled expies of stuff from IPs owned by others for the moment. Nobody has a trademark on zombies, and besides that it’s mainly Lovecraft anyway, which is public domain.
Actually I’m not sure that license does prohibit commercial works derived from C:DDA, they would just need to give credit and also be released under creative commons (which admittedly movies really can’t be, but other media can).
Actually, if I quote directly from what you just linked:
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, [b]even commercially.[/b]
This is another conversation, but just because a company could legally take C:DDA, release it as a commercial product (with attribution and under the creative commons license) without giving Kevin Granade or anyone else a cent doesn’t mean they would necessarily do that. I mean, like a giant evil Disney subsidiary probably would, but not like a small company owned by real people with hearts and souls and stuff.
From practical standpoint, what exactly would be the IP they are “appropriating” here?
Non of the actual game code or assets would be used (unless they HEAVILY rely on a particular tile-set for image design or something), and the “setting” is made up of mostly generic ideas that are not subject to IP laws per se.
And there is no “plot” unless you start counting every individual game as a separate plot.
P.S. Also, from a practical standpoint again, if those people wanted to make a commercial product, they would what to create a new(-ish) IP just to have control over it. I mean, it would be less about not having to deal with C:DDA community trying to sue THEM (C:DDA it not a commercial product, so it would just be free advertisement, if anything) and more to do with not having IP rights over their own movie/comic book/etc.
Well yeah, if you look at it from the perspective I phrased it as, “big evil corporation”, sure.
But what if you’re looking at a scrappy little corporation that wants to reward Cataclysm’s community spirit and freeware DIY ethos with money dollars, while also not concerned with the Cataclysm community not suing them so much as whether the Cataclysm community is a built-in market for the adaptation. : )
[quote=“End Transmission, post:5, topic:13946”]Well yeah, if you look at it from the perspective I phrased it as, “big evil corporation”, sure.
But what if you’re looking at a scrappy little corporation that wants to reward Cataclysm’s community spirit and freeware DIY ethos with money dollars, while also not concerned with the Cataclysm community not suing them so much as whether the Cataclysm community is a built-in market for the adaptation. : )[/quote]
It has nothing to do with “big evil corporation”, it’s just that you have to maintain control over your IP to prevent third-parties from interfering as soon as you start doing anything commercial.
If you just what to do something non-commercial, I’m pretty sure the license would already allow for that.
Well, I’ll leave off with this for now because I think a private discussion with Kevin later down the line is best. But I will admit–not expecting anyone to be shocked here–that this question wasn’t actually all that hypothetical, and that there are industries besides the movie biz that are a lot less cut-throat where releasing a commercial product under CC-BY-SA is not like, asking to get highway robbed by everyone and their mother. Like let’s say that my company BLANK were to make Cataclysm into a BLANK, for me to even have to worry about other companies (third-parties) then “stealing” from me is a kind of win condition in and of itself, because it means that Cataclysm: The BLANK is popular enough and selling enough that they’d even be motivated to do that. (Also, and I’m less sure on this one, I think that CC-BY-SA implies that the licensed property needs to be remixed in some way before it can be (re-)sold commercially. So idk, some asshole video game company couldn’t just port Cataclysm as-is and start selling it commercially. I think.)
As to a previous question about what Cataclysm has that IS Intellectual Property except the mechanics, well, I’m an odd duck, but in explaining why Cataclysm is different from/better than Fallout 4 to a friend, it’s not the mechanics or graphics (or lack thereof) I’d mention first but the “brain-feel” of the game. Fallout 4 feels like following a bread-crumb trail to powered armor and interacting with various well-developed characters and factions. Cataclysm actually feels like desperately trying to survive the apocalypse with absolutely no guidance from the game itself. It just plunks you down wherever and tells you where to deal. By default, in a shelter with a computer that tells you to use the provided gas masks that USUALLY AREN’T THERE.
Came here expecting a train wreck, but was pleasantly surprised
Tl;Dr I don’t there is going to be an issue with appropriating from DDA.
Brief history lesson. Project was started by whales (this is the one sticky point since whales is an alias, you might want to contact him directly if you are concerned about clearing rights to the game, but see below for my thoughts on why you don’t need to). Whales ceased active development, I started writing patches, whalescwas convinced by a third party (GlypgGryph) to release his code under an open license, i backported my changes onto his code as of when it incorporated the license agreement, implicitly accepting the license. Then I ran a campaign of a few months to track down previous contributors and convince them to explicitly accept the license (a moderately successful due diligence excersise, good enough for me at least). At the end of this process, I’m confident that we’re properly licensed under CC-BY-SA.
Now for why none if that matters.
What is covered by copyright, and therefore the license? Code and assets, that’s it. There’s no such thing as rights over “brain feel”. If you want to make a post-apocalyptic THING using the sensibilities of cataclysm (everything wants you dead, its complicated out here, little shit wants to kill you too, none of it makes sense anyway, pragmatism over style, relentless realism), great, but you don’t have to ask us about it, we don’t own our style, it’s too intangible.
If you want to use the name.
Don’t, blizzard will eat your lunch.
We haven’t registered the trademark anyway, see #1.
You are super wrong. A game company could do exactly this, and not even need to port it. The only constraint is that If they do make extensions, they’re still licensed under CC-BY-SA, so anyone they distribute it to can pass it on for free.
In fact the iPhone port does charge for it, but that’s fine, they put a lot of extra work into it.
I didn’t want to use the name, Kevin (the working title of my “THING” is Dark Days Ahead). I think that your definition of what Intellectual Property is and can be are a little limited based on what little I know about how IP law works in practice, but I’m not an IP lawyer so I’ll let it drop there. I’ll also mention that my thing is tonally somewhere between Cataclysm:DDA and The Last of Us. I don’t want my “THING” to have any of C:DDA’s all-inclusive, gonzo zaniness (you’re robocop fighting a Mi-Go and you spot actual cannibal Shia LeBouf in the woods!) but Cataclysm’s EXTREME attention to all the little details of actually surviving the apocalypse is something I have never seen executed as well anywhere.
But it’s really quite premature to talk about my Cataclysm “thing” on here except to say that when it is a “thing” I hope this board will really enjoy it, and I’d rather give you (or Whale if you prefer) a fistful of dollars for it than not because it seems right., whether you pocket it or put it back into the game. I have also released things under CC so I also understand if you feel you have to refuse that money.
But anyway, it’s more properly a conversation for about a year from now. I just got curious before it would be appropriate.
Also, I wish my iphone wasn’t fucking cursed by the devil. Being able to play Cataclysm on it would be boss. No idea it had been ported over.
Thanks everyone for satisfying my curiosity and thank you in particular for your perspective, Kevin.
Cataclysm’s EXTREME attention to all the little details of actually surviving the apocalypse is something I have never seen executed as well anywhere.
Definitely hit me up about this some time, my views on this run directly contrary to how mainstream game development (AAA, indie, and solo dev included) works, and I’d be happy to discuss it and it’s implications.
fistfull of dollars
whales can speak for himself, I’d prefer you to post bounties than give me money.