Modpacks - doing it right

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ssilk
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Modpacks - doing it right

Post by ssilk »

I do not check the modding board regularly and now I found some "modpacks".
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7368
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7216
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=6910
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7206

My opinion to them:
I think they are a good idea, but there are copyright laws. It would be ok, if
- they split between packaging of the original mods and their own patches (if they have any). That are two things! *
- really checked, if the license allows it. I'm not sure, if the authors of all mods allow this kind of redistributing. I didn't say, that the modpack-authors didn't check it, but I would feel much better with it. :roll:

Additionally I would also prefer to have all links to the original post of the mod in the article. This will allow the players to search for important updates! Discussion wanted.

Again: I don't want to forbid this, I just would feel much happier, if I can be more sure, that a modpack doesn't hurt copyrights.

* It is technically also not a big problem to make a mod, that patches another mod, just need to set the right dependencies in info.json file.
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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by AlphaRaptor »

ssilk wrote:
Additionally I would also prefer to have all links to the original post of the mod in the article. This will allow the players to search for important updates! Discussion wanted.
If you check out my Spoiler at my Modpack then you notice that i have a link to all the original post of the moders.
Live your life like you want.
Mods are still Awesome , and i love Mods , for every Game.

Lov'in it.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Freakachu »

having been heavily involved with the minecraft modding community, the last thing we need is what happened/is still happening there to repeat itself with factorio mods.

the moment you start getting armchair internet lawyers involved (read: people who have no idea what laws are or what they mean) you end up with a lot of witch hunting, pointless internet arguments, and a lot less innovation and creativity. it creates a culture of fear, which you can see happening already as evidenced by the first thread linked and even the first reply. it puts people who would otherwise be creating fantastic modded experiences on the defensive as well as placing additional burden on them for no good discernible reason. in a game like factorio, where modding is actively encouraged and directly supported by the devs (unlike minecraft) there should be no problems.

the only things that would be nice to have in mod pack posts are a) a list of the included mods (links are nice but I don't think required. google.com people) and b) not claiming authorship of something you didn't write yourself.
I don't see a problem with modifying mods to work nicely together or tweaking them to create a cohesive package that delivers a pack author's vision. this is how progress is made and new, fresh ideas get brought to the table. this is how you bring new people into the modding scene.

if "mah copywrites" becomes the focus, it will only end in tears. there's a clear and obvious line between making modifications and stealing someone else's work. it's hard to define in words but it's easy to tell it when you see it.

additionally, there's even less of an argument to be made against factorio mods being "derivative works" than there are against minecraft mods being so. all factorio mods interface with the API that exists specifically to enable mods. it's as derivative as it gets. as such, copyright isn't as much of a concern, IMO.

TL;DR: leave copyright out of it, IMO. packs are great ways to get people into making and using mods. they should at least list the mods included and not claim to have written them unless they did.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by drs9999 »

First of I don't like (the not even started) discussion, not because the discussion itself, but because there is a need for it.

I didn't saw a need for modpacks in the past, however the community grows (especially after MP-release) and so does the modding community, so I agree modpacks are basically a good idea, especially if they contain smaller but great mods that otherwise might get buried on the 3rd or 4th page.

However, I highly dislike how the packs are released currently. It's just taking X mods, putting it in an achive, distribute it and see how it goes. Well, I don't know who raised these guys, but I was taught that I ask BEFORE I take something that isn't mine(*).

I didn't said anything related on this topic in the past, because (a) in my opinion it's not worth the effort to argue with them and (b) I know that I was here a long time before they even heard about the game and mostly likely I will be here when they are long gone. But at this point I believe it would send the wrong signal if I didn't say anything.

Imo my opinion can be condensed into a single sentence:
Contact the original authour BEFORE doing anything with the mod!
(And for transparency reasons I would suggest to do it via the mod-thread, so others can see that you at least tried to contact him/her)


(*) In this context that means reading the license and/or contacting the authour. BUT if there is no license that doesn't mean that there are no rules.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by tno1 »

ssilk wrote:I do not check the modding board regularly and now I found some "modpacks".
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7368
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7216
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=6910
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7206

My opinion to them:
I think they are a good idea, but there are copyright laws. It would be ok, if
- they split between packaging of the original mods and their own patches (if they have any). That are two things! *
- really checked, if the license allows it. I'm not sure, if the authors of all mods allow this kind of redistributing. I didn't say, that the modpack-authors didn't check it, but I would feel much better with it. :roll:

Additionally I would also prefer to have all links to the original post of the mod in the article. This will allow the players to search for important updates! Discussion wanted.

Again: I don't want to forbid this, I just would feel much happier, if I can be more sure, that a modpack doesn't hurt copyrights.

* It is technically also not a big problem to make a mod, that patches another mod, just need to set the right dependencies in info.json file.
Well it is technically not copyright as the modding is in itself legal in the game.

Modpack is bringing their modpack to focus in a different way like in the terms of different point of views.
If they got a problem about their mod being in the modpack they can easily comment/pm the one who posted the modpack which in its term is a pack of mods.

As long as proper credits are given then there should not be a single problem.
and I see that you are the one who has complained about it and not a mod author? I don't really get why? seeking attention or what?
I am not looking for a fight, but I need THAT to be clarified as of why you are putting us out there to be deprived from what we think is fun and that we want to share our fun with the mods that we play with?

Is it some kind of problem to you that we delivered a modpack comprised of multiple mods, that work well together?
Do you want attention?
Seek to make things very complicated?
What about all the things that you have posted before? did you seek the author's permission to post it? youtube links has you made sure it was within copyright? this includes if the music in the video's is legal or not.

So clarify your point of creating this thread? I would understand it if you were a mod author and someone added it to a modpack and would not remove it after you told them to.

Regards

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by drs9999 »

I totally agree with Freakachu(*). I don't have any problem whatsoever if my mod(s) is(are) included in any modpack. What's pissing me off is that they just took it without asking.

(And as a sidnote that is also the reason why I want my mod removed from the packs)


(*) as long as we are talking about modpacks. Imo it's something different with outdated mods, but it's not the right place to discuss it here and also a discussion about it isn't needed, because done properly.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by berni1212 »

drs9999 wrote:I totally agree with Freakachu(*). I don't have any problem whatsoever if my mod(s) is(are) included in any modpack. What's pissing me off is that they just took it without asking.

(And as a sidnote that is also the reason why I want my mod removed from the packs)


(*) as long as we are talking about modpacks. Imo it's something different with outdated mods, but it's not the right place to discuss it here and also a discussion about it isn't needed, because done properly.
I am sorry that we Used your Mod without Askin we didn't tought that it would be so a Problem we just wanted to share that Its Okay that u don't want the mod in the Pack
and i Sayed my Friend to Remove it and Delte the Modsordner from the Thread because the mod is in there

and Second its Sad that Someone like the Guy who made this Thread Complains about something he doesn't own if a Mod owner says to me he don't want it its ok But not an Random user who gives by Everything his Shit too .

I Say sorry to Every modder what we used in this Pack !
Sorry for my bad English ! i will not remove it !
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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Rahjital »

I'm glad ssilk created this topic. Modpacks are new and there may be some issues with them, so it's his job as the moderator to at least create a discussion about it, even if the consensus is that everything is fine already. Thank you for this, ssilk, it's much appreciated :)

Modpacks are a very good thing. Not that many people have the time or will to wade through the modding forums to search good mods and unofficial updates to them hidden somewhere on page 7. Even fewer people can spend 20+ hours testing the collection of mods to see if it's MP compatible. Modpacks solve that and give a lot of people an opportunity to enjoy an experience they couldn't otherwise get.

However, wishes of mod authors have to be respected first and foremost. Ideally every mod would have a license packed with it that says whether it's okay to redistribute or modify the mod, but we can't count on that. If a mod doesn't have license, the author should always be asked for permission.

Personally, I'd be fine with my mods being redistributed in modpacks and patched to work with each other and new Factorio updates, but NOT with them being rebalanced without my explicit permission. I spend a lot of time on balancing and I would hate if a modpack author completely changed that to something I wouldn't like. Other modders might feel different, some may be completely supportive of anything a modpack author may want to do and another might not want their mod in any modpack at all. As long as modders include licences and modpack authors respect them, everything is all right.

Both modders and modpack authors are doing important work. The less friction there is between the two groups, the better for all of the community.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by tno1 »

Ohhh ssilk is a moderator, then that changes my entire previous post, forget my post xD I thought it was just a regular person who just posted xD

As a moderator I can then agree that it is good he created it xD

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by JamesOFarrell »

There was once a discussion related to licenses for mods posted on the forum, if either of the suggestions in that thread had been implemented this would be a non-issue. Until there are clear rules about licenses for mods this sort of thing is going to keep happening. Please fix the root cause of this issue before is causes more drama.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by ruyan »

I don't know copyright laws (and I don't care about them either), but I think it's a matter of courtesy to ask someone for permission BEFORE packing their stuff in a pack.
Learning from Minecraft might be a good idea...

It started with a couple of modpacks without permissions
Modders asked the pack authors to remove their mods from the packs
Modpacks became more popular
Modders noticed they could benefit from modpacks
Modders changed their policies and allowed modpacks
Every Bob and his brother started to make a pack
Support issues arose and stuff got messy really fast

I think (pls notice this is my personal opinion and I may be wrong on all accounts here!) it's best to keep the packs to a minimum. While it's more work to actually select certain packs and give them permission (and in a perfect scenario work closely with the pack authors), it's a matter of quality control. It'd be best to establish a satisfying solution before it gets messy!
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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Freakachu »

here's the thing: putting legalities aside, there's a reason mods get compiled into packs. in fact, there are many reasons.

1) necessity. when the game requires all mods to be identical on all clients for multiplayer, you need to get the same mods with the same configurations to every player.
2) convenience. telling your 1-n non techie friends to go download a whole host of mods and configure them just so is an exercise in frustration. we all know "that guy" who can't follow instructions.
3) creating a unique experience. when there are a lot of mods, you can combine them to make almost entirely new game modes or experiences. anyone who's ever played a "tech" pack or "adventure" pack in minecraft has seen this. no one mod does it, it's the whole group together with specific configurations that results in something special and fun.

whenever this subject shows up, I often see people acting like packs are by default a shady thing. like there's something wrong with their existence by default and they must be controlled and limited tightly, lest some unexplained calamity befall the game. why try to limit the number of packs? if someone suggested that only the best mods be allowed in the mods section, don't you think that would get some push back? there's nothing inherently wrong with mod packs. mod packs allow a wider audience to enjoy mods of all kinds, and enable much easier multiplayer in the absence of some system to sync mods being built into the game.

I can't imagine a reason to try and limit the spread or number of packs. in minecraft, the argument is often one of elitism saying that if people can't "drag and drop some files" as one modder put it at minecon they don't deserve the privilege of playing with cool mods. I think that's a terrible and backwards way to look at it.

in the end, we can argue back and forth here forever, but it will solve nothing. there needs to be official policy on mod redistribution, licenses, etc. the fact that this thread even needed to be made in the first place means it's already needed. obviously I am in favor of pushing an open license for factorio mods, but whatever the result there should be official policy from the devs that is clear and absolute.

edit: just wanted to add that ideally, having the host/server send the mods being used to clients when they connect (ala unreal tournament) would be the ideal solution to me. packs become irrelevant for the most part and easy modded multiplayer is still achieved. this whole kerfluffle is completely sidestepped as well.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by ruyan »

Freakachu wrote:in the end, we can argue back and forth here forever, but it will solve nothing. there needs to be official policy on mod redistribution, licenses, etc. the fact that this thread even needed to be made in the first place means it's already needed.
You're spot on with this one! And the earlier the better.

The downside on a totally open license system for mods would be that it may be offputting for some modders. And I can totally understand that you as a modder would want to have some form of control over your work. This would mean a form of restriction and control. A "unless stated otherwise" would do the trick but won't solve the underlying problem.
In it's current state, this isn't a major problem, but thinking in Minecraft dimensions it becomes a different beast.

On the other hand, "let nature run its course and see what comes out" is also a viable option! ;)

I for one am eager to see how this community reacts to the evolution of modding and modpacks!


And while I totally agree on the pro list of yours, here are some things to consider:

1. quality control. You made an awesome mod, someone compiles a modpack, makes some minor changes to your mod to make it suck and now people hate it.
2. support. Modpacks often use outdated versions of mods and have a hard time keeping up with the update schedule of the mods. You as a modder get flooded with outdated bug reports etc
3. fame. While I don't understand this one, it's not uncommon that people like to be known for what they have achieved. "Nope, never heard of [insert mod name here], I play [insert modpack name here]"

The simple "these are the mods I play with" threads used to do the trick with simple mod compilations. What happened to that?

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Tinyboss »

I think the official rule for distributing mod packs (on this forum) should be that explicit permission of mod authors is required--either because they explicitly allowed it in their license, or because they were asked for and gave permission. The onus should be on the person compiling the mod pack to demonstrate that they have all the required permissions.

No need to "keep mod packs to a minimum" or anything like that. Just show that you have permission when you're using someone else's work.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by ruyan »

Tinyboss wrote:I think the official rule for distributing mod packs (on this forum) should be that explicit permission of mod authors is required--either because they explicitly allowed it in their license, or because they were asked for and gave permission. The onus should be on the person compiling the mod pack to demonstrate that they have all the required permissions.

No need to "keep mod packs to a minimum" or anything like that. Just show that you have permission when you're using someone else's work.
That would mean a limitation and control of modpacks and is excactly what I meant. Maybe "minimum" was a poor choice of words by me :P

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Blackence »

Well, we're all bound by local laws. And most of us are probably not lawyers, at least I'm not.

In my case (Germany, which is probably similar to most countries when it comes to copyright laws), I think it is illegal to take a file that someone offers for download, then modify it by adding other downloaded material to it, and then redistribrute that modified file. It's only legal if we have an agreement that I may modify and redistribute the file. Also, as far as I know, the factorio devs can't give permission to do so, only the original mod author(s) can.

That's why I recommend every mod author to clearly state your opinion on this. You don't care? That's cool, just put a license.txt file into your zip file and copy the MIT license text into that file. Now everyone can use and modify and redistribute your mod, even without giving anyone (including you!) permission to change or redistribute the new mod version. You don't want anyone to modify or redistribute the mod? That's fine, just add no license at all, or even add a readme to say "NO REDISTRIBUTION ALLOWED!". You want to give permission to redistribute the mod, BUT ONLY if the person who redistributes your mod allows modification and redistribution as well? Then you want to choose the GPLv3 license.

Please don't try to come up with your own license, because that never works and usually makes redistribution illegal. Unless you're a copyright lawyer.



If you want to make a modpack, use only mods where the license terms are clear and allow redistribution (and possibly modification, if you need to modify them). If the license terms are not clear, ask the mod author to add a license or don't include the mod, because it's illegal.

I understand most mod authors won't sue anybody for redistributing their work. But maybe with some really bad luck… some day… And even the factorio forums could be in trouble for hosting the files.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Anathera »

My few words on this argument if someone cares.

If you post a mod at the games own public website for a game that you do not hold any copyrights, do not start giving crap to people about anything even related to owning some sort of copywrights. Just by publishing a mod in here you are giving it free to the players to use it as they wish. It is only a good policy to give credit for the original mod creator and nothing more. If someone does not do it, it is not against any kind of rules or rights. Just remember that this is how it is and i strongly suggest everyone to give credit for originals and stop stamping stuff for their own.

On a side note the TNO modpack is propably my favourite and he does not need to ask for permission to use mods in a pack. He did mention every original mod and that is enough. The mod makers should atleast try it before giving piss to him of using mods. It is awesome i tell ya.

If someone has a chapter of their local law that they can post here that states the fact that it is against an actual law please correct me.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Tinyboss »

Anathera wrote:Just by publishing a mod in here you are giving it free to the players to use it as they wish.

It is only a good policy to give credit for the original mod creator and nothing more. If someone does not do it, it is not against any kind of rules or rights.

this is how it is

he does not need to ask for permission to use mods in a pack. He did mention every original mod and that is enough.
That's quite a few unusual assertions you are making with no evidence to support them. I suggest you do some research to see if you are really right about these things.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Anathera »

Tinyboss wrote:
Anathera wrote:Just by publishing a mod in here you are giving it free to the players to use it as they wish.

It is only a good policy to give credit for the original mod creator and nothing more. If someone does not do it, it is not against any kind of rules or rights.

this is how it is

he does not need to ask for permission to use mods in a pack. He did mention every original mod and that is enough.
That's quite a few unusual assertions you are making with no evidence to support them. I suggest you do some research to see if you are really right about these things.

Also fully read what i post. If you have facts, please post them and correct me. Before someone actually copypastes written rules of this topic, i say what i think is right. These are just my opinions.

Next time you try to read between the lines of someones post and start quoting something out of context please go and take a look in the mirror and try think again.

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Re: Modpacks - doing it right

Post by Tinyboss »

Anathera wrote:Also fully read what i post. If you have facts, please post them and correct me. Before someone actually copypastes written rules of this topic, i say what i think is right. These are just my opinions.
Next time you try to read between the lines of someones post and start quoting something out of context please go and take a look in the mirror and try think again.
Nothing in your post indicated that your statements were meant to be opinions of yours. They are presented like statements of fact.

Since you asked twice to be corrected, here you go:
Until 1976, creative works were not protected by U.S. copyright law unless their authors took the trouble to publish a copyright notice along with them. Works not affixed with a notice passed into the public domain. Following legislative changes in 1976 and 1988, creative works are now automatically copyrighted.
Source: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/Legal_Concepts

Granted, that's only US law, but you also have this:
While no creative work is automatically protected worldwide, there are international treaties which provide protection automatically for all creative works as soon as they are fixed in a medium. There are two primary international copyright agreements, the Buenos Aires Convention and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internatio ... t_treaties

This took me about 10 seconds with Google. You can easily find more if you are still interested in learning the true facts of copyright.

----

Having said all that, I would like to remind everyone that the more pertinent issue here is what this forum's policy will be regarding modpacks posted on this forum. The administrators are free to have a policy that is more restrictive than the law is, or less restrictive. In the latter case, however, they may share in the liability if something is infringed.

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