Author Topic: A question on the legality of modding  (Read 289 times)

Protomug

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A question on the legality of modding
« on: 2017-01-18 03:55:23 »
Sup, guys! Due to past experiences, I'm kind of a stickler when it comes to legality and gaming. So I was wondering if it would conflict with the EULA to mod FFVII? Thanks, sorry to be a bother.

DLPB

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Re: A question on the legality of modding
« Reply #1 on: 2017-01-18 04:58:30 »
As long as your mod does not stop the user from having to pay for the game - and you are not charging people for your mod - most gaming companies will turn a blind eye to modding. Square-Enix is one of the most demented and stupid organizations on the planet when it comes to the policy of modders - but even it will turn a blind eye to it under these circumstances. Or has so far.

Kaldarasha

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Re: A question on the legality of modding
« Reply #2 on: 2017-01-18 05:15:29 »
Yep, SE say that their games are a final piece of art, and modifying them will violate the work of the artists. I guess they are all in a SM-club since FF7R IS a violation of the original art. In other words do with your copy what you want to do. The only no go is to share ripped models and/or files from your game (as long it isn't placed in a patch or installer). However on steam they ignore even this rule. :-\

BTW. Dan you hit the 8k milestone with the next two posts. :o

DLPB

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Re: A question on the legality of modding
« Reply #3 on: 2017-01-18 06:13:47 »
8k is nowt.  7777 is the prize.

Miacis

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Re: A question on the legality of modding
« Reply #4 on: 2017-01-20 15:12:41 »
To answer the original question:
Sup, guys! Due to past experiences, I'm kind of a stickler when it comes to legality and gaming. So I was wondering if it would conflict with the EULA to mod FFVII? Thanks, sorry to be a bother.
Let's look at the EULA:
Spoiler: show
3. Restrictions
You are not permitted:[...]

(d) except as expressly permitted by this EULA and save and to the extent in the circumstances expressly permitted by applicable law, to rent, lease, sub-license, loan, exploit for profit or gain, copy, modify, adapt, merge, translate, use, reproduce, distribute, broadcast, publicly perform, store in a retrieval system or otherwise deal in the Software Product or any part thereof in any way;

(e) except as the applicable law expressly permits, to reverse engineer, derive source code, modify, decompile, disassemble, or create derivative works based on the whole or any part of the Software Product, in whole or in part, Where applicable law expressly permits any such acts, and any lawful modifications, adaptations and improvements and all copyrights therein shall be deemed assigned to and shall belong to, vest in and be the exclusive property of SEL and/or its licensors on creation to the maximum extent permitted by law and you hereby waive all or any moral rights in such creations;

In short: no modding allowed, except for applicable laws, which would most of the time be Fair Use in the US. Does FF7 modding comply to Fair Use? Well, that's something that'd need to be argued in front of court of law to really know the answer! All those factors mentioned before (profits made, size and nature of the mods, impact on sales) are good arguments in favor of your mods being fair use, despite infringing on copyrights. That's all they are, though, arguments to demonstrate your work in an exception. This is important, because while it means you can make an argument for your mods being legal and within the EULA, you're still pretty much infringing unless proven otherwise.

In short, is FF7 modding illegal or conflicting with the EULA? Maybe. The more you do to comply to fair use, the more chances it has of being legal in the... abstract meaning of the word.
Does that stop companies from indiscriminantly banning all mod-users from their games or launching DMCA takedowns on modding websites, knowing full well ordinary citizens would never bring that to court? hahahaha no. Hell no.

For a regular law-abiding user, a good way to go about things is to simply abide to the local modding community's conduct rules. If their mods aren't getting them banned from the uh... invaluable Squix online service, it means their way of doing things hasn't made them a target for the company. If said company ever changes their minds, they'll either find ways to stop the modding tools from working or, at worst, shut down the modding scene. Anything more than that is really rare, so the risk of getting in actual legal trouble for modding is next to none.
Really, from what I've seen of the Qhimm forums, they're about as close as you're gonna get to "Fair Use modding" for a modding community.  ;)

Yep, SE say that their games are a final piece of art, and modifying them will violate the work of the artists. I guess they are all in a SM-club since FF7R IS a violation of the original art.
I might be missing a joke here, but all it is is they hold a copyright over the digital and intellectual assets. And copyright being what it is, that means that by default, it's only them and people they authorize that may edit, copy, or redistribute those assets.
If anything, them making a remake is even more reason to be suspicious of people modifying their works in a way that might compete against their new product.