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Author Topic: Money (122 messages, Page 1 of 4)
Moderators: Dennis

sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 10:30 AM    Msg. 1 of 122       
I would like to discuss potential for legally earning money for work in this game. I will be discussing this over a period of time with different communities.

I categorize work in this game as:

- modding (modders designing mods)
- programming (programmers designing programs)
- asset development (artists designing assets)

By "this game", I mean Halo with the stock Blam! Scripting Engine.

Microsoft wants to retain property of all the commercially-available and default game content. Microsoft has in practice and written terms neglected responsibility for maintenance of the property, which by all reasonable standards constitutes effective disownership of their desired property. Yet out of respect for their wishes, or at least to not offend them, this discussion should presume to respect that Microsoft maintains and owns Halo with the Blam! Scripting Engine which is inclusive of all the commercially-available and default game content, hereafter referred to as the "stock assets".

The stock assets include everything that comes on the Halo PC CD purchased from Microsoft, and everything else that is purchased from that company specifically that was reworked by Gearbox Software: all the map files dated from 2003, the halo.exe game, and similarly everything belonging to Gearbox Software specifically designed by Gearbox Software -- each company owning the direct results of its own labor.

For the sake of argument, the Halo Editing Kit, including Guerilla, Sapien, and tool.exe, will be considered property of Bungie Software and therefore also property of Gearbox Software and/or Microsoft -- in other words, it is considered part of the Halo Custom Edition bundle of ownership.

Artists design their own content or modify existing content to make it available for use with the game. The owner of the game only owns the stock assets, not the third-party work designed by artists. Even the Halo game uses work copyrighted by others not affiliated with Bungie or Microsoft. Therefore, additional work provided to the game by unaffiliated artists should also have their own copyright notices, just as Halo includes copyright notices for the work of others that it includes. Here are some examples from guerilla.exe:

Quote: deflate 1.1.3 Copyright 1995-1998 Jean-loup Gailly

Quote: inflate 1.1.3 Copyright 1995-1998 Mark Adler

Quote: [JPEG] Copyright (C) 1998, Thomas G. Lane

Quote: libpng version 1.0.5 - October 15, 1999
Copyright (c) 1995, 1996 Guy Eric Schalnat, Group 42, Inc.
Copyright (c) 1996, 1997 Andreas Dilger
Copyright (c) 1998, 1999 Glenn Randers-Pehrson

Quote: Guerilla Version 1.0
By Chucky
Copyright (C) 1998
Bungie Software Products, Inc.
Jason Jones
Matt Segur


The Halo Editing Kit and Halo Custom Edition were provided for free with the expectation that they would be available exclusively to those who have purchased Halo PC and could supply the included CD Key during installation of Halo Custom Edition. The Halo Editing Kit specifically does not require a CD Key, so for practical and reasonable purposes is provided entirely for free by Gearbox Software through Bungie Software who developed it. Property of the Halo Editing Kit remains with Bungie Software and Gearbox Software. There is no implicit or explicit association of monetary gain from using or having access to the Halo Editing Kit, so for purposes of argument, it will be agreed "freely you have received, so freely give" so that all results of the Halo Editing Kit should be freely given without sale.

This means that artists designing their own work maintain ownership of their work when it is converted to be used in the game using the Halo Editing Kit. If you use the Halo Editing Kit to convert assets into tags or maps, you should include copyright information of those assets.

Now let us discuss what should be done if the artist, modder, or programmer uses a program that was not included with the Halo Editing Kit. The copyright of each work belongs to its owner and maintainer: Halo with Microsoft, HEK with Bungie and Gearbox, and so on.

For the sake of argument, reverse engineering is legal and normal use for everyone; for the sake of argument, it is acceptable to study programs in the various computer science fields just as it is acceptable to study the human body in the various medical fields. And for the sake of argument, all such information will be presumed freely accessible as a result of the work of individuals willing and able to studying that for the benefit of public knowledge, hereafter referred to as "public knowledge".

For the sake of argument, all available computer materials, whether made available for free or for sale, and whether given in conjunction with a legal agreement or without a specified legal agreement (such as commonly with open source software), is considered "public knowledge" because of the reasonable legality of reverse engineering.

For the sake of argument, the legality of reverse engineering is based upon intent to study and improve, not based upon an intent to duplicate in whole. Rebranding is irrelevant to this argument, because substantial changes means lack of duplication in whole.

If I design my own application program that is based upon my research and/or contributions to this public knowledge, I am validly designing a different application program that is my own property. As a sculptor studies a structure and carves their own art from their perception of it, to their own ability, so a computer programmer takes what information they can research and applies it to their own application programs. Just as a sculptor has the right to sell his sculpture, so does a computer programmer have the right to sell his application program.

Therefore, I can reverse engineer the Halo Editing Kit on account of reverse engineering as public knowledge, I can make a computer application program to replace it, and I can offer that computer application program for sale. I can alternatively make a computer program that can be used to design assets to be used with the Halo Editing Kit, and I can sell that program -- making it a more suitable alternative to any other program that lacks integration with the Blam! Scripting Engine, such as 3DS Max, Blender, Photoshop, GIMP, or Audacity.

Modders who would otherwise be making .map files through the Halo Editing Kit only for free could use my commercially-available or freely-available computer application program to make and sell .map files because they would not be bound by the Halo Editing Kit license. Just as if Autodesk required all developed content to be free and Blender did not have that requirement, and therefore anyone using 3DS Max had to give away their .obj work whereas Blender users could sell their .obj work, so anyone using a program is bound by the terms of its use.

The argument could be made that the .map file specification is included in the copyrighted work belonging to Microsoft. However, I will note that the Halo Editing Kit generates those .map files and the knowledge of generating a file format is included in computer science and is public knowledge. Price is irrelevant -- the HEK is free and Halo PC is commercial and yet both use the .map file format -- and intellectual property is irrelevant -- the HEK is provided for free by Bungie and Gearbox Software and Halo PC is provided for sale by Microsoft -- and actual obtaining of the information is irrelevant on account of reverse engineering being a fundamental computer science activity, as fundamental as anatomical studies are to biology. As I said already, the only stipulation to reverse engineering for the purpose of study and improvement is that the availability of the information from those studies becomes public knowledge for the advancement of the field of computer programming and computer science; and that is effectively superior to the availability of private instruction among graduate studies. That does not mean that all computer application programs are free, or that demand to provide studies is valid. It is the responsibility of the student to determine whether they should publish their research.

But the argument stands that if you do the work, you deserve credit for your work, and that includes artwork, modding work, programming work, reverse engineering work, publication work, and any other contributions to the computer-related field of study. It is hypocritical to assert Microsoft is the only contributor among the various Halo communities of unemployed contributors.

I think that by replacing the HEK, we can sell our own applications and the results of our own applications. The fact that they are compatible with Halo just makes them superior to any other program that is incompatible with Halo. Without using the IP of the HEK or of Halo in art or through using the HEK or Halo to generate works compatible with them, there is no legal limitation hindering use of our own work.


Caesar
Joined: Jul 1, 2013


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 11:38 AM    Msg. 2 of 122       
I didnt read beside just another bull crap post.

Bro u havent done anythin for halo ce. U made that promies ragdoll and 32 players is possible. Wtf srsly?


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:19 PM    Msg. 3 of 122       
If you didn't read what I said, how can you presume to tell me what I said?

Are you illiterate or simply ignorant? You are not even trying to spell complete English words.

If you want to be understood in a language, use the language properly.

Now if you do not want to say anything worthwhile, then for the sake of this forum being worth people's time, go find a link to the Halo EULA and the Halo Editing Kit EULA and edit your post with it. Otherwise, come up with your own ideas in finding something useful to contribute to this discussion, because you literally wasted your time with a pointless insult that was just thrown back in your face. What do you honestly think you are accomplishing by this? If you are illiterate or otherwise do not want to write in a public forum of words, go away.
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:30 PM


DeadHamster
Joined: Jun 8, 2014


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:31 PM    Msg. 4 of 122       
Quote: This means that artists designing their own work maintain ownership of their work when it is converted to be used in the game using the Halo Editing Kit. If you use the Halo Editing Kit to convert assets into tags or maps, you should include copyright information of those assets.



Wrong.


and that's where it all falls apart.


As soon as you compile the raw assets into their copyrighted content (.gbxmodel, etc), it becomes their copyrighted content. It is within copyright law that if you willingly assign a copyrighted material to a collective work (such as compiling into the Halo Editin Kit's format), you also assign the copyright for that collected work.



Two Quotes from Dennis:



Quote: You missed the concept completely. You can't protect content you make for Halo because the intellectual Property is not yours to begin with. There is nothing to stop people from "ripping" the content you make for Halo because there is no copyright protection for the user made content and without a copyright you have no legal or practical means to enforce your wishes for that content. That is as simple as I can explain in practical terms. To use an analogy closer to your current experience: These (Halo video game) are not your toys they belong to Microsoft and they just let you play with them.


Quote: No I was very specific in that anything you make for or from the Halo game can not be copyrighted because the intellectual property is already copyrighted and the license for the game does not relinquish that copyright but specifically enforces it.


Quote: The assumption here is that it is clearly an original design and not a re-make of a previously copyrighted design like a new battle rifle or a Spartan model and that you can obtain a copyright to that material in the first place nor was it made specifically for use in the game.

If so then no you don't lose the original copyright, I never said you do, to that original design but as I have said before; by putting it into the game without obtaining a distribution license with Microsoft, you assign use of that copyright over to the Halo game and Microsoft and are therefore subject to the terms and conditions set by Microsoft for that game and thereby lose any control over its use within the Halo game; Including other people using that copyrighted material within the game. You as the copyright holder cannot sue Joe game user for copyright infringement within the scope of the Halo game when you willingly assigned your copyright over to use within the game.







Basically as soon as you compile it for Halo, you lose the rights to it within Halo.





Edit: and LOL @ this

Quote: For the sake of argument, reverse engineering is legal and normal use for everyone; for the sake of argument, it is acceptable to study programs in the various computer science fields just as it is acceptable to study the human body in the various medical fields. And for the sake of argument, all such information will be presumed freely accessible as a result of the work of individuals willing and able to studying that for the benefit of public knowledge, hereafter referred to as "public knowledge".

For the sake of argument, all available computer materials, whether made available for free or for sale, and whether given in conjunction with a legal agreement or without a specified legal agreement (such as commonly with open source software), is considered "public knowledge" because of the reasonable legality of reverse engineering.

For the sake of argument, the legality of reverse engineering is based upon intent to study and improve, not based upon an intent to duplicate in whole. Rebranding is irrelevant to this argument, because substantial changes means lack of duplication in whole.




LOLOLOL. Comparing reverse engineering to studying the human body for medicine. I can't, Stop. Here's the EULA, the legally binding document you agreed to in order to install and utilize the software;



Quote: 2. DESCRIPTION OF OTHER RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS.
Limitations on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, and Disassembly. You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.





Stick to programming, you're not cut out for law.
Edited by DeadHamster on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:33 PM


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:44 PM    Msg. 5 of 122       
You did not disprove my argument.

Regarding what profession I will study, that's my business and not yours, and because you do not know me personally, I merely take your recommendation as sarcasm rather than a professional recommendation.

Regarding legal profession, you cite Dennis and that is fine for this forum because Dennis owns this forum. But Dennis is not a lawyer either. If you want to defer to a lawyer, hire a lawyer and present their professional analysis for public review. But I will tell you that lawyers only say what others have done, which is backwards and akin to the assertion that all advancement is history, a blatantly untrue implied assertion. If you want to improve, you will not do so by repeating history. So even a lawyer's professional analysis I would seek to criticize with logic and reason.

I think in general you are not understanding my rationales, so perhaps there are some ways I can clarify. Let me know if you have any questions about what I said. But I'd like to not argue logic with someone who does not understand what I am saying in the first place. Does this make reasonable sense to you?

--

Part of my argument is that it is illegal to demand unenforceable rules and also illegal to demand rules inappropriate for normal use of something. I will also say that to lack willingness to discuss reason and logic of a rule is to acquiesce to dictatorship and its full, mindless force.
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:49 PM

EDIT: It applies to religion also. It is written that God said, "I do nothing without reason."
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 01:37 PM


MosesofEgypt
Joined: Apr 3, 2013


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:46 PM    Msg. 6 of 122       
I'll be honest and admit that i read about a two thirds, then skimmmed, but i don't believe you are correct about the reverse engineering aspect(re). Re is forbidden by the EULA, so any knowledge gained from it is considered by microsoft to be illegally obtained, as you broke your EULA that expressly forbids it. I'm not going to claim to be a lawyer, but neither should you by claiming that users WILL be able to make and sell HCE resources using your scratch built programs. It is still up to the court to decide, which can go either way from what i've read. It would be dangerous for users to start selling their halo assets without talking to a lawyer first, and even then microsoft may decide to enforce their eula anyway.

I've thought about this same thing with my programs, but i'm not brazen enough to make a post claiming that you can do it. RE is still highly debatable in court, especially when you did your own RE and thus did not employ clean room design. Again, i'm not going to claim that i am definitely correct, but you shouldnt lead users to believe that you are either.


https://www.eff.org/wp/dangerous-terms-users-guide-eulas


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:53 PM    Msg. 7 of 122       
My premise for reverse engineering being valid I think you can understand as being for the purpose of study and improvement, which for our purposes means making a program that is compatible with other people's work.

No one needs permission to make their own program compatible with another program that someone else copyrighted.

.map file format is not licensed. HEK tag formats are not licensed. The actual data structures of the copyrighted software are not patented. I'm guessing about the lack of patent. But even if they were patented, that should not matter if I am involved in reverse engineering -- either using my own reverse engineering work or someone else's. Patents themselves are provided in order to publish specifications. In other words, the entire patent and trademark system is to make something public knowledge with attribution.

And I already explained regarding why copyright notice should be given -- just like guerilla.exe contains copyright notices for the libpng, JPEG and other third-party software it uses (licensed or not), so attribution credit should be maintained along the chain of use in whatever is designed as a normal standard practice -- when feasible.
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:55 PM
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 01:00 PM


DeadHamster
Joined: Jun 8, 2014


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 12:54 PM    Msg. 8 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky
But I will tell you that lawyers only say what others have done, which is backwards and akin to the assertion that all advancement is history, a blatantly untrue implied assertion. If you want to improve, you will not do so by repeating history. So even a lawyer's professional analysis I would seek to criticize with logic and reason.


You're either in 11th grade of High School, or Freshman in College.


You can critcize the lawyer, prosecutor, judge jury and bailiff, you're still going to be found guilty. Copyright and Ownership are two different concepts. I can design and own a model of the Master Chief, but Microsoft retains the copyright to it because it's their intellectual property. You would have no copyrights to a program if it's only use is modding another's game, especially if you violated a legally binding agreement in order to design it.



Let's throw all the legal crap aside though, and focus on the future like you said;


How are you planning on convincing me to spend my actual money on a program you wrote to mod a 14 year old game?

I didn't want to download Mozzarilla because I had to install Python. That's two free programs. You think you're going to convince me to spend money, that I have to work for, to get access to a tool you wrote to mod a game that, again, is 14 years old?



I'm not going to bother finding actual legal documents to prove you wrong, because logic proves you wrong right there. Nobody will ever spend actual money on anything you make for this engine. The majority of users didn't even spend money on the engine itself, why are they going to spend any on your app?
Edited by DeadHamster on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:56 PM


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 01:08 PM    Msg. 9 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: DeadHamster
You would have no copyrights to a program if it's only use is modding another's game [...]


So what is the purpose of win32.dll? Also, as an example, I think Steam is copyrighted by Valve. Steam's only use is in modifying the presentation and organization of other games. It's not a game by itself, it's a separately copyrighted program. So there is some precedent already that you can have as examples indicating that your own individual work is your own copyright. Feel free to argue a more specific definition and purpose for Steam.

The entire premise of the Internet and computer science and history and art has shown that improvements are made first by analyzing what has already been done and working to do something better. Mozart, Beethoven, Scarlatti, Bach and every composer who has studied music has first rewritten scores that other composers wrote in their studies of how to compose music.

Do not presume that new laws can or should disband common practices that have founded civilization that they are designed to support.

Thanks for pointing out the improbability of sales for work in this community; that needed to be said. I don't think it's worth debating though because it is at heart speculation about what might happen with sales. If I were to sell something, it would be for cheaper than the game costs. I have in the past planned to support donations, and I just want to form a premise that if donations occur for user work using a non-Microsoft/Bungie/Gearbox program to design that work, then Microsoft, Bungie, or Gearbox have no grounds to claiming any of that money for themselves. I think that's where this discussion is headed as far as what I am planning.
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 01:17 PM


DeadHamster
Joined: Jun 8, 2014


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 02:05 PM    Msg. 10 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky

Quote: --- Original message by: DeadHamster
You would have no copyrights to a program if it's only use is modding another's game [...]


So what is the purpose of win32.dll? Also, as an example, I think Steam is copyrighted by Valve. Steam's only use is in modifying the presentation and organization of other games. It's not a game by itself, it's a separately copyrighted program. So there is some precedent already that you can have as examples indicating that your own individual work is your own copyright. Feel free to argue a more specific definition and purpose for Steam.




Developers agree to put their games for purchase through steam, or you can run the executable itself through steam if it's not supported. It doesn't modify any program in any way at all whatsoever. Steam is also a free download. Please explain how it relates to your concepts, which use code derived from reverse engineering to modify game assets for profit.


Quote:
The entire premise of the Internet and computer science and history and art has shown that improvements are made first by analyzing what has already been done and working to do something better. Mozart, Beethoven, Scarlatti, Bach and every composer who has studied music has first rewritten scores that other composers wrote in their studies of how to compose music.


And did they offer those rewrites for money? Your analogy isn't analogous; they most likely purchased the sheet music from which they learned the orginal music. What would be more comparative would be buying a Led Zeppelin vinyl record, and then by listening to the songs learning how to play their music.

If you then turned around and sold a song that sounded exactly like theirs, you'd be sued. But furthermore, the vinyl record didn't come with a legally binding document that you had to agree to in order to listen to it. Software does.

Quote:
Do not presume that new laws can or should disband common practices that have founded civilization that they are designed to support.


If you disband copyright law, you are not supporting society. Without copyright laws nothing of value will ever be made, because in the modern world duplication methods have become so far reaching and accessible that copyright laws are necessary to promote development of technology and commerce.

If I design a new gizmo tomorrow, without copyright laws somebody will have a clone on the market by the end of the month. They 3D Scan the components, make renders in AutoCAD, send the file to a company that uses CnC machines (There's one in the next town over, it's absolute hicksville and they operate out of an old barn. Legitimate state-of-the-art CnC machines, these are not rare machines or companies), and they have the parts by next week.

Why would I invest time, money and labor into an idea if I can't profit from it?


Quote:
Thanks for pointing out the improbability of sales for work in this community; that needed to be said. I don't think it's worth debating though because it is at heart speculation about what might happen with sales. If I were to sell something, it would be for cheaper than the game costs. I have in the past planned to support donations, and I just want to form a premise that if donations occur for user work using a non-Microsoft/Bungie/Gearbox program to design that work, then Microsoft, Bungie, or Gearbox have no grounds to claiming any of that money for themselves. I think that's where this discussion is headed as far as what I am planning.
Edited by sparky on Apr 22, 2017 at 01:17 PM




Donations are an entirely different animal. I think you can get away with a free program that asks for donations, that shouldn't be an issue at all, and I have no qualms or issues with that. I actually like seeing those things, as people should be compensated for the work they do. But charging for a modding tool, or game assets, are totally different when they are specifically compiled for a game that has supported a free community for a decade and a half.


MEGA_VKNG
Joined: Dec 23, 2013

Now retired from CE, enjoy DW! https://goo.gl/1Bup


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 02:27 PM    Msg. 11 of 122       
Big Bang.


SBB_Michelle
Joined: Nov 4, 2015

Dumb, sometimes..


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 02:36 PM    Msg. 12 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: MEGA_VKNG
Big Bang.


MosesofEgypt
Joined: Apr 3, 2013


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 02:56 PM    Msg. 13 of 122       
If you actually try to charge for modding utilities you make, you will lose my respect as a modder, programmer, and researcher. That's the last I have to say about the subject.
Edited by MosesofEgypt on Apr 22, 2017 at 02:57 PM


OrangeJuice
Joined: Jan 29, 2009

I laugh at people who put STUDIOS in their name.


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 03:09 PM    Msg. 14 of 122       
Raw uncompiled data art commissions can be a thing
Edited by OrangeJuice on Apr 22, 2017 at 03:11 PM


Super Flanker
Joined: Oct 5, 2012

The length of your life depends on my aim.


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 05:06 PM    Msg. 15 of 122       
So I'm not reading OP's op. Someone want to explain what sparky is scheming for now?


il Duce Primo
Joined: Apr 22, 2007

CMT Team Leader


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 05:11 PM    Msg. 16 of 122       
I would love to see you sell anything first because I doubt you would. Even if you did sell anything it would probably be immaterial for Microsoft to care. Just sell your stuff if you think you can.


Spartan314
Joined: Aug 21, 2010

Former biped rigger & FP animator


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 05:23 PM    Msg. 17 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: Super Flanker
So I'm not reading OP's op. Someone want to explain what sparky is scheming for now?

I don't care to read much of it, I have better things to do than to waste more time on here than I already do.
I'm going to assume he believes that his new and improved HEK is separate from whatever Microsoft has made therefore he would want/be able to sell it to us (or whoever) in order to captialize.
I'm going to reserve my opinion on the matter. (Mostly because I hope I'm wrong)
Edited by Spartan314 on Apr 22, 2017 at 05:23 PM


Super Flanker
Joined: Oct 5, 2012

The length of your life depends on my aim.


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 06:48 PM    Msg. 18 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: Spartan314

Quote: --- Original message by: Super Flanker
So I'm not reading OP's op. Someone want to explain what sparky is scheming for now?

I don't care to read much of it, I have better things to do than to waste more time on here than I already do.
I'm going to assume he believes that his new and improved HEK is separate from whatever Microsoft has made therefore he would want/be able to sell it to us (or whoever) in order to captialize.
I'm going to reserve my opinion on the matter. (Mostly because I hope I'm wrong)
Edited by Spartan314 on Apr 22, 2017 at 05:23 PM


I think this is all an elaborate scam so sparky can buy Oliver a tuxedo again......


Dennis

Joined: Jan 27, 2005

"We are made of starstuff. ― Carl Sagan


Posted: Apr 22, 2017 08:05 PM    Msg. 19 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky
I would like to discuss potential for legally earning money for work in this game.
You can't. You do not own the intellectual property rights to the game or anything in it. You would have to license the rights to the game from Microsoft to "legally" make any money from it.


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 04:12 AM    Msg. 20 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: MosesofEgypt
If you actually try to charge for modding utilities you make, you will lose my respect as a modder, programmer, and researcher. That's the last I have to say about the subject.

My argument is that people have the right to earn money for their work. If you see this as disrespectable, then how do you earn a living besides mooching off of others and acting as a leech in a socialist government where you are living as a dependent without any work initiative for your entire lifetime? Is not that instead the disrespectable manner? But if you want to do everything pro bono without any income for your own work, then try to do so, but that will not keep you fed, so do not slight my assertion that others have the right to be paid for their work.

Quote: --- Original message by: OrangeJuice
Raw uncompiled data art commissions can be a thing

Yes, those are artists providing artwork. Artists being paid for their work happens all the time.

Quote: --- Original message by: Super Flanker
So I'm not reading OP's op. Someone want to explain what sparky is scheming for now?

I am scheming for you to be able to earn money from your work. Whether that is via donations or via sales is the initiation of this discussion.

Quote: --- Original message by: il Duce Primo
I would love to see you sell anything first because I doubt you would. Even if you did sell anything it would probably be immaterial for Microsoft to care. Just sell your stuff if you think you can.

I do not plan illegitimate activities without first rationalizing that they are legitimate. I'm not doing something that I know is illegal without a good reason. As far as I am concerned, calling income donations or calling it sales is a mere label, but I am more interested in the premise specifically that the programmers and artists in this community are doing everything pro bono because they think they cannot earn money from their work, which I think is a false slight against professional standards and is disrespectful to major contributions of art.

From the consumer standpoint, if you are enjoying someone else's work so much, shouldn't you feel obligated to compensate them for that experience? Whether that is in the form of donations or sales, that is "six in one hand or half a dozen in the other hand".

If a map author uses the Halo Editing Kit to make tags or maps, they should not be selling their work, but donations are irrelevant to the discussion on the basis that they are entirely unconstrained as far as legal permission -- donations are like gifts/presents in that they are freely permissible in a limited quantity. But if you want to make a living off of your work, I am arguing that by using a non-Microsoft, non-Bungie, non-Gearbox program to do it, you are not actually doing anything wrong because you are not making money off of another person's intellectual property. I am saying that a separate program that supports HEK tag formats and .map file formats making it compatible with the HEK and Halo is the same as an independently-developed conversion utility, and that selling such a utility is permissible because it is completely different software from any other software. Reverse engineering is only relevant to studying file formats in my argument. Are the file format specifications patented? You cannot copyright sections of code, and patents are only for source code -- the means to arriving at the copyrighted finished result. In this situation, if there were any limitations to the study of software, it would need to specifically be as a patent naming specific behaviors of the software as patented and as undisclosed trade secrets, not simply copyrighting the resulting finished product which only stipulates an agreement for expected use of that finished product.

Most people only say that warranties for repair are voided by intentionally "breaking" something (opening it to see its parts). All that means is that the company is unwilling to repair something that you intentionally disassembled. I think arguments that say that you may not study something are founded upon deceit and are irrational, because any student of computer science can disprove that assertion with their comprehension of how computers work.

Anti-virus software modifies how other software works. Firewall software and hardware modify how other software works. Simply having a user permission system in any modern operating system modifies how other software works. When a program like Steam or other "launcher" spawns a program, it modifies how that program works, even though it does it in ways that they presume are acceptable to the users. Are you breaking the EULA of Halo by playing Halo in a virtual machine, or by typing into cmd.exe "start halo.exe", or by otherwise spawning the halo process through another program? These all change the behavior of the game, yet reverse engineering does not even change the behavior of the game but is intended to study how the game works in a more understandable way than your anti-virus software studies how it works.

So in sum, I think that:

  • Reverse engineering is normal use of a program, and is for people who do not trust blind execution of software. It is the same as knowing how the Windows operating system works. Either you are told by someone else, or you learn how it works for yourself, or both.
  • Legal documents denying that you have the right to understand how software works is dangerous, insecure, deceitful, pointless, unenforceable, and irrational to the end user who is simply trying to understand and use the software they purchased.
  • Reverse engineering for study, education, and documentation is permissible and is common practice in every civilized field of study including engineering, music, and the various sciences. Reverse engineering by this definition of purpose is akin to thinking, and that natural right cannot be rationally legislated away. Using the knowledge of how a program works in order to make another program is the matter of concern: if another work is substantially equivalent (in programming, this means the source code because as a very simple example anyone can make a text editor and sell it as different software even though it might have substantially similar executable code but different source code), then it is considered a substantial part of the copyrighted or patented work.
  • Halo and the provided programs are copyrighted and the results of their program execution are copyrighted. This means that if you make a tag with the HEK, you cannot sell that tag. If you make a map with the HEK, you cannot sell that map. The end user license agreement for these programs specify that the owner of the data resulting from executing the program is the owner of the program. Reasonable or not, that's the terms of use.
  • In the same way, making a different program and having its resulting files be compatible with Halo, whether by "chance" or by intent or by hard work and study of analyzing how these and other computer software programs work or by existing knowledge of how this and other software works simply through knowledge of computer programming and computer science, is legal and permissible in the same way that any other computer programmer makes a computer program with their own source code.


Doesn't this all make sense? Am I missing something, like the specific pattern of 64 bytes of header data being patented? Who in their right mind has the authority to tell you that you cannot study something and then implement your understanding in such a way that you design a new and different product? And if you design a different product, who in their right mind has the authority to tell you that you cannot profit from your work? I call all such things hypocrisy because this is how people do everything that they do.

Quote: --- Original message by: Dennis
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky
I would like to discuss potential for legally earning money for work in this game.
You can't. You do not own the intellectual property rights to the game or anything in it. You would have to license the rights to the game from Microsoft to "legally" make any money from it.


Yes, I am agreeing with this point: we cannot legally sell the results of our use of existing tools provided to us for the purpose of generating those results. Information can be sold; this is how schools work. Information can also be freely given; this is how life works. Microsoft has unfortunately indicated that it does not want to allow other companies to do anything with Halo. Gearbox and Bungie have apparently discontinued their interest in Halo Custom Edition and the Halo Editing Kit. Roger Wolfson appears to be the only person helping the community with his exclusive access to anything related to the game engine. Most or all of the research that enthusiasts like myself have done have been provided to others for free. But this work takes a lot of time and work (decades of it) and is all pro bono. It cannot be logistically maintained, as you know, without some kind of income to support it. That is the premise of my discussion: people should be allowed to sell their own work, regardless of their approach to education that resulted in their knowledge of how to do that work. If they educated themselves more, they will probably know better how to do the work they set out to do. But the work that they do -- as being a unique and deliberate "creation", whether it is artwork or software, even if it shares some similarities with other people's works -- should be recognized as a separate work, and they should therefore have all the rights to it because it is their own work. Remember my argument about text editors all basically doing the same thing and yet being individually coded and so therefore independently sold as different software products each with their own intellectual property rights? Isn't that the same thing as me making my own program that can read and write from and to file formats that Halo uses?

Edited by sparky on Apr 23, 2017 at 04:37 AM

It occurred to me from the start, as I was considering whether to discuss this matter publicly, that I could attempt to contact Microsoft in order to determine what they felt I could do. However, it is frankly no business or right of theirs to determine what I can or cannot do with my own work. Why should one business presume to assert that another business cannot do something with their own work (presuming the work is safe)? That is a lack of double standard and is completely inappropriate for most professional situations; or what should a user of software do if they do not like what the software is doing on their own computer? At most, in both scenarios, they should discuss a matter reasonably and if it is not resolved properly, discontinue association with that company. And by consumer protection standards, share the information publicly so that others can benefit from their knowledge.

In the same way, it is commonly understood that the HEK is not doing things properly, so others here and I have taken it upon ourselves to painstakingly study what the HEK does and to painstakingly publish that information for free (all of this is reverse engineering) and to painstakingly provide alternatives that do similar things but better through free modifications of existing software (like Kornman did with Guerilla) and through additions to existing software (like Ghost did with Bluestreak for 3DS Max) and through completely independent programs (lots of examples are available in that regard).

So if we are doing all this independent work pro bono, why can't we do it for some financial compensation? Aren't there plenty of examples where software developers do not own the file specs that they develop their software to support? Or is it expected of every software company that they give away all rights to their software to every other copyright holder whose file specification they support? Does it even matter if file specs are substantial or necessary aspects of a program? All of this is merely the interpretation of existing data on a user's hard drive. The same program that can rename a file of a certain data structure could also modify it like antivirus software; and all of that is interpreting the copyrighted or patented data on the hard drive, by this standard illegally! Or do operating system developers like Apple and Microsoft legally own every bit of data on a user's hard drive that they and others are altering by means of the operating system software and other software? Ownership does not coincide with compatibility.

But now as a matter of credibility, would you trust software with a license agreement that says that you have no right to run anti-virus and anti-malware and firewall software simultaneously as that software? Of course not! And yet these are effectively jailing and limiting and altering the behavior of that software -- literally breaking the end user license agreement which says you cannot modify the software or alter its behavior -- and yet no one is suing the user for using a firewall or anti-virus or anti-malware software! Why the lack of double standard for someone who is trying to understand how a program works and make other programs that are compatible with it? If I am doing something as routine as piping a connection over SSH, I am altering the behavior of a program and breaking its EULA. And should I be thrown into prison or sued by Apple or Microsoft for inadvertently looking at a tag file in one of the many free and commercially available hex editors for purchase online through Apple's and Microsoft's online app stores? Or maybe I should counter sue because they sold me illegal software! So if looking at the data on my hard drive is not illegal, then neither is reverse engineering illegal, because that is all reverse engineering is: looking at what data is. Or do car manufacturers suddenly not allow you to open the hood of the car to check on how the engine is working and to make sure everything is in place, especially when you first buy the car so you can see it is not a lemon? That is reverse engineering: looking at what data is. The entire argument against reverse engineering is moot; rather, the argument which is valid is against breaking copyright through creating a work that is substantially duplicate without also being purposefully substantially different. So I claim that it only makes sense to let people improve things that have already been done, which is the entire basis of the US patent system: to promote innovation and creativity by looking at what has already been done and doing something continuously better -- and this is the nature of competition that these EULAs are written to avoid! And yet the software of these EULAs use shared libraries and work that others have provided for sale or for free! How can they claim to deny others what they themselves have done: understood and used and improved upon existing copyrighted work?

Professors state what has been done. Lawyers themselves state what has been done. People speak of their own experiences and of the experiences of others who shared with them descriptions of their experiences. All of this is effectively collaboration and a publication of information -- and that can only happen if the person is a liar or if they have instead studied the subject matter themselves through analysis and reverse engineering (that is, looking at and thinking about) whatever the subject matter may be.

Finally, there is an exception in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which allows for reverse engineering to achieve interoperability with an independently created computer program. Our reverse engineering work in this game is merely for interoperability and to improve upon the software which, like its titles Guerilla, Sapien and Tool imply, are too primitive or unrefined for public use. If it entered into a court proceeding, I think that programs that are independently designed to work with the HEK and Halo, or replace the HEK, would be fine, as long as the work is not hijacking any existing commercial services like Blizzard had with exclusively hosting its networked games. When the Gamespy service was discontinued, I do not think anyone sued the community or Roger Wolfson for updating the game and dedicated server so that it could still run without Gamespy. In the same way, if the software provided is broken and discontinued (and I think it really is, as is obvious by this Halo Maps Forum), then it is appropriate to fix it ourselves or make a replacement program to use and maintain instead.
Edited by sparky on Apr 23, 2017 at 06:58 AM


DeadHamster
Joined: Jun 8, 2014


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 06:49 AM    Msg. 21 of 122       
Yeah that's not how it works. Good luck fighting Microsoft though.


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 06:59 AM    Msg. 22 of 122       
The exception in the DMCA applies.

Relevant: https://www.eff.org/issues/coders/reverse-engineering-faq

Also, I think that reverse engineering is actually a requirement for normal use of the HEK. For example, there are a lot of threads on this forum that ask what a certain error means, and the information they gain from this forum to help them avoid that error is gained through some minor or major form of analytical reverse engineering. Even experimentation with different parameters and files is a form of reverse engineering, to see what the program works with and what it does not work with.

DeadHamster, I do not think Microsoft, Bungie, or Gearbox Software would sue someone over a 20-year-old antiquated game and its game engine that they no longer support or have any genuine interest in dealing with, especially when it falls under fair use through the DMCA's interoperability exception -- which is squarely what is happening here by making a new program that is interoperable with the HEK and/or Halo. Especially since the HEK is free and they wouldn't be losing any money anyway. To spend money on litigation when you are not even losing any money but rather having your product continue in lifespan while the defendant's actions are valid under fair use is simply asking for a losing battle and a public relations nightmare on a silver platter.

It would be as absurd as Microsoft Visual Studio's terms of use stipulating that you cannot view the source code or the executable code to any programs that you compile which are generated with Microsoft Visual Studio -- because that is "reverse engineering". It's like a text editor license saying that you cannot view the text files you saved to disk using it. It's that laughable. Whether it is a private file specification or a published specification is irrelevant because the purpose of the program is to generate said files that can be used with other programs, so it is obvious and implied and necessary to have those files be interoperable with other programs. And besides, the HEK is basically an IDE for Halo, which means making our own IDEs for Halo meets the interoperability clause for operating with the existing software without necessarily modifying it...
Edited by sparky on Apr 23, 2017 at 07:41 AM
Edited by sparky on Apr 23, 2017 at 07:46 AM


Spartan314
Joined: Aug 21, 2010

Former biped rigger & FP animator


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 08:25 AM    Msg. 23 of 122       
Sparky would probably make fine builder for Trump's Mexican border because he's evidently already adept in building walls of text.


sparky
Joined: Jun 27, 2009


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 08:52 AM    Msg. 24 of 122       
Much more has been written. Do you read books? If so, how long is the average book you read?


DOOM899
Joined: Jul 23, 2013

{DM} [gamesmaster] if i can ill help maybe


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 10:01 AM    Msg. 25 of 122       
why are you asking for Money hmm?

and the same could be said a about OS team, but you can't be paid for, whatever you do for halo ce


Super Flanker
Joined: Oct 5, 2012

The length of your life depends on my aim.


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 11:18 AM    Msg. 26 of 122       
Money is the corrupter of all things, even if I could sell my garbage I wouldn't because it just isn't worth my time to invest the effort to put a model together in three weeks only to make 80 - 90 USD. (Top end)

If you still believe that money can be made from modding this game then perhaps exploring possibly monitising the creation of "external raw assets" such as the creation of models, textures and scripts would be of use.

Aside from that I could forsee a little informal backhand exchange for simply "time and effort" spent on a project.

But going fully commercial which is the impression you are giving just isn't viable finacially or lawfully.
Edited by Super Flanker on Apr 23, 2017 at 11:21 AM


MosesofEgypt
Joined: Apr 3, 2013


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 12:26 PM    Msg. 27 of 122       
If you don't understand why I will lose respect for you then you aren't thinking about it hard enough. I have my reasons, but nothing I say is going to change the mind of someone ready to spew an essay to try and prove their point. I'm not going to waste my breath on that.


DeadHamster
Joined: Jun 8, 2014


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 12:49 PM    Msg. 28 of 122       
Its so funny to me how out of touch you are with how the world actually works. Are you still in High School spark? I dont mean that offensively, it just would explain your belief you can actually change the world, and also explain the crazy long posts and overuse of long, unecessary words.


OrangeJuice
Joined: Jan 29, 2009

I laugh at people who put STUDIOS in their name.


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 12:50 PM    Msg. 29 of 122       
I've no moral regrets with earning money off of content as long as they're not derivative works of 'halo stuff' basically ; Ergo... the entirety of the WIPs topic

I am quite sure the whole 'wifely' You-know-what-you-did defense doesn't really work on strangers.

elaborate a little
Edited by OrangeJuice on Apr 23, 2017 at 01:27 PM


Dennis

Joined: Jan 27, 2005

"We are made of starstuff. ― Carl Sagan


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 01:10 PM    Msg. 30 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky
My argument is that people have the right to earn money for their work.
You are starting from a false premise and spiraling down a self delusional rabbit hole. Halo and the intellectual property associated with it is NOT your work. Therefore you have no inherent rights to the game, the assets, the image or concepts without specifically licensing them from Microsoft no matter how much "work" you put into them.

The 2,500 other words you upchucked on the the page does not change that basic fact and will not be negated by your verbal vomit. This has been litigated and upheld in the courts and is a well known fact except apparently by you.


Super Flanker
Joined: Oct 5, 2012

The length of your life depends on my aim.


Posted: Apr 23, 2017 06:48 PM    Msg. 31 of 122       
Omg takes like an hour to get to the bottom of this thread.


Twinreaper
Joined: Jun 5, 2010


Posted: Apr 24, 2017 02:59 PM    Msg. 32 of 122       
The only thing I see that could compensate you for your work, is selling standalone assets and marketing them use in various media catagories. Like, selling a rigged biped model created by hand using the same naming conventions for bones and markers. This would allow you to make money for custom hand created items without Halo likeness, and allow the purchaser to use it in various games.

Also keep in mind that despite a EULS, Microsoft has no rights, usage or otherwise legal route when it comes to already copyrighted material being put into Halo. Microsoft does not assume ownership and copyright of Bugs Bunny, just because someone put him into Halo.

The same goes for work you produce that is original. If you file a copyright or trademark, it is yours no matter where it used. Also, anything not protected falls under public domain. Material cannot be owned or rights assumed without specifically being applied for.

Such is the case with H2A. Blow me away is copyright owned by Breaking Benjamin Music and WB. Microsoft had to redo the music originally supplied from them because they could not obtain a usage for it. They didn't have or gain ownership simply because they had it in a game already.

The same is true for "tags". Tags as defined by the Bungie owned copyright, describes tags as being a fundamental catagories in which to simplify contents and resource access. Microsoft does not own a copyright for "tags", only the stock visual and audible material contained within the tag.


Higuy
Joined: Mar 6, 2007

@lucasgovatos


Posted: Apr 24, 2017 06:33 PM    Msg. 33 of 122       
Everyone in this community has always released everything for free, even if they may have worked extremely hard, for years, on projects.

What makes you think you should suddenly be able to when everyone else has willingly created content, applications, and improvements for free, simply because they wanted to? What makes you so special?

You should be more concerned about maybe releasing something for once that's worthwhile and you enjoyed making, rather then how much your going to get paid for doing so. Good chances are that even if you could, no one would buy it.

e: Let it also be clear that I am big for compensating's people's work, even if its a demo for example that they made for me on a project. I believe people should be paid for work they have done. But those projects are also commercial, and I am aiming to make money from them, even if it is something I enjoy creating and doing. However, I personally see modding as something of a pleasure, you do it because YOU want to, and not for other people, fame, or monetary value, especially Halo where its someone else's IP, with laid out rules. Even if its a huge company like Microsoft, its their product, and you must respect that.

Also, for arguments sake against your 'findings', Halo: CE falls under Microsofts Game Content Usage Rules, which is available here: http://www.xbox.com/en-us/developers/rules

If you bother to actually read it and decipher it, you'll learn that, no, you cannot make money off of it. You can ask for donations and it is perfectly legal, but again, why would you anyway in a modding community like Halo's, where everyone has done things for free and without asking for money.

If you really want to see how much of a disaster paid mod's have been in the past, just go check how Valve and Bethesda did the Skyrim paid mod disaster.
Edited by Higuy on Apr 24, 2017 at 06:42 PM


Spartan314
Joined: Aug 21, 2010

Former biped rigger & FP animator


Posted: Apr 24, 2017 08:58 PM    Msg. 34 of 122       
Quote: --- Original message by: sparky
Much more has been written. Do you read books? If so, how long is the average book you read?

Lol don't act like I'm illiterate because you fail be succinct. God forbid you write articles for science journals.
When I want to read books I read them by actual authors, not some random on a niched game forum ~10 years old.


Masters1337
Joined: Mar 5, 2006

halonaminator's unfortunate idol


Posted: Apr 24, 2017 09:10 PM    Msg. 35 of 122       
Go ahead and do it if you have nothing to lose and don't care about the consequences. Then people can stop wasting time in this thread.

 
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