Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Place to post guides, observations, things related to modding that are not mods themselves.
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bobingabout
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Re: Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Post by bobingabout » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:12 am

Templarfreak wrote:So to break the points down:

1. It hurts people that want to learn
2. It's almost impossible to fully 100% protect your stuff from the people that actually want to steal anyway, and the methods that can majorly negatively impact not only development and performance but the play experience as a whole
3. Most people probably won't actually steal your content anyway or if they do "steal" your content they are using it for personal use and probably don't intend to release it because they have a respect for the community and the people behind the content
4. It's a violation of Fair Use
5. Mods that do get stolen are anecdotal examples at best. Not everyone looking into your code or wanting to ask about your code are trying to steal from you. In fact, most of them probably aren't.
6. People get heavily punished by the community itself for stealing anyway.
1. Agreed.
2. I probably wouldn't want to do that sort of thing anyway. Back in the days of RA2YR, there was this simple tool that changed 1 bit of the binery code which invalidated the header, the result was that the game could still read it, but all the tools for extracting from the archive couldn't (unless of course you knew how this change worked, then you could fix it in a hex editor, the details on this were withheld by the creator of the locking tool)
I chose NOT to use this tool.
3. I agree, it is the minority, and I do actually get requests over notes of people asking if they can use parts of my mod in theirs. Most of the time the answer is Yes. I tried to work my licence in such a way that it tells people they're free to look at my mod for ideas on how to write their own code, as long as they don't copy it directly. See Andrew's mods, he copied large sections of my mods without asking, and released a mod that wasn't compatible with my own.

I also state in my licence that although you are free to edit my mods for private use (How could I even know if people were doing that?) they're not allowed to redistribute modified versions. (Private use includes small groups, such as a multiplayer game with friends. As long as it's not put up for public download on the internet, it's fine)
4. Indeed.
5. agreed.
6. Again, Andrews mod is a good example of this.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

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darkfrei
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Re: Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Post by darkfrei » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:59 am

Another example - my mod Loader-Furnace
Nanabell has it taken and does the own mod Loader-Furnaces. His mod was better: has more tiers and good balanced.
I can understand, that he likes my mod, has rewrite and public it. One negative thing - he is not asking me before public it. If his mod was better, why i can be against it?

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Templarfreak
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Re: Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Post by Templarfreak » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:39 pm

darkfrei wrote:Another example - my mod Loader-Furnace
Nanabell has it taken and does the own mod Loader-Furnaces. His mod was better: has more tiers and good balanced.
I can understand, that he likes my mod, has rewrite and public it. One negative thing - he is not asking me before public it. If his mod was better, why i can be against it?
This is another thing, yeah. It does still suck to have your stuff stolen in general, but I think if somebody can do your idea better I think they should still have the possibility to do so. That's the entire point of modding, no? But collaborating and/or asking for permission should still be done I think, instead of just stealing. It would be nicer if people would approach others with ideas and work together to make the same original mod better instead of trying to compete. There isn't much of a point in rivalry in modding communities, I think.
bobingabout wrote:2. I probably wouldn't want to do that sort of thing anyway. Back in the days of RA2YR, there was this simple tool that changed 1 bit of the binery code which invalidated the header, the result was that the game could still read it, but all the tools for extracting from the archive couldn't (unless of course you knew how this change worked, then you could fix it in a hex editor, the details on this were withheld by the creator of the locking tool)
The Yuri's Revenge Modding community is notorious for this. Many community members there take the Japanese approach to copyright -- that is, "im right youre wrong you can't argue with me". Thankfully, tools like Rampastring's Launcher don't fall into the pit of trying to add DRM to "protect" content.
Mix Corruption Protection unimportant to this conversation but I just wanted to talk about it because you brought it up
I am a fan of protecting other's work, but I think in small communities like this it's not a big deal to have extensive and complicated software protection. I think there is already enough tools at your disposal to protect your content. It would be pretty easy to prove who's mod came first and if stuff is actually stolen, even if you weren't a popular/well-known modder with a popular mod and then people could make claims on mods in the portal and the devs could look at it and remove offending mods. Aside from the ideas themselves being stolen I guess.

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eradicator
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Re: Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Post by eradicator » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:21 am

I completely agree that any attempt to technically protect your mods is a total waste of time for everybody involved. Personally i just rely on licenses. Anybody who cares enough to look at the license will know if they're allowed to use my stuff or not. And anybody who doesn't even bother to look at the license won't care about the content of the license anyway.

But the main reason i post here are the really disturbing comments by @darkfrei and @Templarfreak regarding @Nanabells loader mod. I don't know if darkfreis claims regarding code similarity are actually true, but for the sake of the argument lets assume they are. Now looking at the mod portal i can see that darkfrei released his mod under MIT license, and nanabells also has the MIT license. Yet darkfrei complains about "not being asked" and Templarfreak agrees that nanabell "stole" the code.

So what is wrong with you two?
@darkfrei: You gave explicit permission for anybody to use your code in your license....
@Templarfreak: You call someone a thief without even checking any facts at all (and your idea of "fair use" imho also needs some fact-checking, especially regarding Europe).

If not even the author of a mod understands their own license that is a huge problem for the code sharing practices of a community. Especially regarding the topic of
People get heavily punished by the community itself for stealing anyway.
this kind of ignorant behavior can result in wild witch hunts that result in totally innocent new modders getting seriously hurt even tho they didn't do anything wrong at all.

I sincerely hope that other modders actually understand their own licenses, but i just got really scared of ever using someone elses code.
Author of: Hand Crank Generator, Screenshot Hotkey 2.0
Mod support languages: 日本語, Deutsch, English
My code in the post above is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

thelordodin
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Re: Anti-piracy for mods? No, community is more important

Post by thelordodin » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:17 pm

Fighting piracy by hiding code to some private repository...
I did bought Factorio (Proof:else I wouldn't have a nick on forum).

Well... I live in Russia. Almost all who live here dont buy games at all.
All this actions you discuss will most likely take a lot of your effort, but wouldn't bring any value.

Here is why:
I tried to find Factorio on russian here is the statistics: there are at least 1600 torrents and sites offering to download factorio here for free.
They all come with mods.
They wouldn't even mess with gitlab or any else, they just buy one legal copy of game and grab entire mods folder with all mods downloaded.
All this staff with hiding content won't help at all. All the things are easily cracked and opened.

Not simple users/gamers who you spoke with do this. There are site admins who do this and then just publish unprotected content. And most of them can crack an unprotected game to get any staff from it. Some of them can crack even protected games.

I'm not trying to defend piracy in any way.
I'm just trying to say is that fighting it with means you speak about is almost impossible and useless.

To really fight piracy game should be encrypted internally (and not just plain whole-image encryptionm but polymorphic one), online-only with highly obfuscated code. Also encryption and obfuscation always comes at a cost of CPU (which is critical for factorio for now). And this is really hard work/
Elseway - just don't bother... You'll just waste time...
I'm writing this 'cause I wanted to make a game a while ago and I've been in a project and I did researched this topic to know "How can you SELL games in Russia?"
Well the answer is: thats hard and requires programming team to work really hard on defending the game.

And even then it is possible that it'll be cracked. This depends on how good is it encrypted and how hard do hackers try.
To break it just some of them have to succeed. If even 1 man from 1 million knows how and wishes to crack it - it's enough to totally ruin all the job done, just by posting thre result to any of thouse 1600 torrent-sites. From there it's spread within days to each-other. And there simple gamers who don't want to pay get it and then ones of them come here with stupid questions.

But there always some guys who just don't want to steal it, and they'll buy game (like myself).

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