Modding Discussion [Ethics] Updating an outdated mod when the creator cannot be contacted any longer

Discussion in 'Starbound Modding' started by MozaikuStar, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. MozaikuStar

    MozaikuStar Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Most of this applies to redistributing others' works (modifying them and using them for yourself need not apply to this discussion).

    Perhaps you found yourself an old mod that you liked, probably during Enraged Koala or whatever older version.
    And of course, it doesn't work, so you modify it so that it works on Glad Giraffe.
    And this hypothetical mod of course was beloved by most everyone but was left alone because it doesn't work.

    Would you agree that it's ethical to re-release the mod, given...
    1. The original creator is in the credits, and should probably fill your entire credit page
    2. The original creator cannot be contacted (probably doesn't log on the forums and never left an email or website or anything else).
    3. The mod was not modified in any way extraneous from the edits required to make it compatible.
    rhomboid likes this.
  2. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    What mod are you thinking of updating?
  3. Dunto

    Dunto Guest

    There's actually rules for this:

    Basically, if the settings on the old mod allow anyone to redistribute the assets without permission, you're good to go. If it's marked as requiring permission (and you can't get ahold of the mod author) or marked do not redistribute at all, then you can't use anything from it. Sorry. You can always make your own assets from scratch.
    The | Suit and rhomboid like this.
  4. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    No amount of ethics will justify releasing a mod without proper permissions. Legal issues are at play here. Now the chance of someone coming back, seeing their mod rereleased, and seeking legal action is probably never going to happen, it would still be a dick move to do so.

    The only real way to go about it is making a mod that has the outdated mod as a requirement and patch it up externally, which does have its limitations.
  5. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    For clarification, what if the mod was released before Permissions settings were a thing?
  6. Dunto

    Dunto Guest

    You'd have to ask @mollygos about that. (I seem to recall some law/provision somewhere that says that if nothing is specified then the creator/publisher of content retains the copyright/ownership, but I'm not a lawyer. You'd have to get an official word from Chucklefish for questions about stuff published on this site, what I mentioned above is what I understand the current stance to be regarding abandoned mods.)
    The | Suit likes this.
  7. MozaikuStar

    MozaikuStar Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    A few race mods mostly.
    One of which is the Ningen Race.

    Perhaps remove/change a few items if deemed necessary to update.
    That was actually a really useful read.
    Snooping further I found his personal website, so I guess getting in contact with this author isn't an issue anymore LOL.
  8. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    If it's a few race mods, look at what Race Fixed for Pleased Giraffe did. Require users to download the original mod, and follow your instructions on how to fix it. Ningen, specifically, has a slightly outdated fix posted by said author.
  9. Mr. Nutt

    Mr. Nutt Void-Bound Voyager

    Personally, I don't see the issue with picking up where they left off if they're never coming back. Though it probably might put people more at ease if you asked the original author for permission first. Mind you, if they've left completely that may make things difficult.
  10. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    Well, what you believe is kinda irrelevant here. Even if we all agreed that it was acceptable to pick up a dead mod and continue it, that doesn't absolve the legal issues.
    kyleetehkitty likes this.
  11. L3W

    L3W Ketchup Robot

    I used to think the same, but trust me it's better to make your own mod because you might end up making something better than the original.
    Amethystumn and lazarus78 like this.

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