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    Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM
    Eluros Eluros is offline
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    Join Date: Jun 2010
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    Thumbs down Developers Plagiarizing Customers; Thoughts?


    So, I'll keep things ambiguous to respect everyone's privacy.

    I'm an active member of a triple-A MMO community, and back in June of 2010 I wrote an in-depth FAQ about the MMO. Even now, I continue to update the FAQ at least weekly (often 3-5 times a week) with common questions found on the forum. It's a great resource, and I've really poured a lot into it.

    I was searching on this game's official support pages for some random info, and found parts of my FAQ directly copied/pasted into it. We're talking word-for-word, both the questions and the answers, with grammar and spelling oddities preserved. I was never referenced or quoted. This information is directly accessible in-game.

    Naturally, I was a bit confused about what to do. Is it legal for them to do this? Is it ethical? Should I take action? I decided to send a PM to a moderator and ask. It was immediately escalated to a higher level. I received a response from someone higher-up telling they would remove a single clause from one of the answers, but the information is overall accurate and that it wouldn't be changed, for now.

    What do you think about this? Is it ethical for them to do this? Should I shrug it off and continue to work on the topic (even though I am apparently doing the developers' work for them, without any compensation or even acknowledgement)? I'm a bit torn. I've always done it because I love the game and the community, but learning that they're using what I create and not giving me credit is a bit disheartening .

    Thanks for your responses.
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    Old 01-13-2011, 05:56 PM
    iamacyborg iamacyborg is offline
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    Location: London
    Posts: 641

    Read the forums ToS, it's probably in there that they can use whatever you write for their own purpose.

    Is it ethical, yes, should they cite you as a reference, yes.

    Here's something possibly interesting. I'm toying with the idea of creating a total mod to a game based around Games Workshop's Mordheim franchise. I was reading the legal section of their site earlier, and stumbled across something interesting.
    When you submit an idea to GW's licensing people, you have to agree to their Terms of Use, which states the following:
    Any notes, e-mails, online messages or bulletin board postings, ideas, suggestions, concepts, designs, or other material submitted to any physical GW company address or to any web site owned or controlled by GW and/or to any e-mail addresses contained in or on those web sites ("GW Web Sites") will become the property of GW throughout the world and GW shall be entitled to use the material for any type of use forever, including in any media whether now known or hereafter devised. When you submit any material to any physical GW company address or any GW Web Sites, you agree, offer, warrant, and represent, both explicitly and tacitly (and GW accepts) that you are assigning all intellectual property rights in that material to GW and that GW has the right to use that material at any time entirely in its own discretion for whatsoever purpose including for commercial, promotional, and advertising purposes without any obligation (including any financial obligation) to you now or at any time in the future. You waive and relinquish any rights, including "moral rights," that may exist in any content to the furthest extent permissible by law and agree not to assert any rights over that content. We are afraid that in order to protect ourselves legally, this is the only way we can operate. If you are unhappy with this policy, then please do not post or send any material to GW.
    Scary huh.
    do you work for that devil EA? I bet you do dont ya. I hope im not being to uncivil here but sometimes people dont always see eye to eye cyborg.
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    develop, ethics, mmo, mmorpg, plagiarism

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