Licensing and mod portal

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by quyxkh » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:07 pm

Novgorod wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:29 pm
What I'm more interested in is the actual law. It depends on the country, of course, but most countries have their version of "fair use" laws for copyrighted content
Whether streaming or let's-playing a game is transformative enough to qualify as fair use is not specified by the statute in the U.S. anyway, is it laid out clearly anywhere? That means it's up to the courts, who decide particular cases, to render justice within the bounds of the law. So far as I know (that's not far at all), no court has decided this. I think it'd be premature anyway.

Nintendo are very strongly in the "videos of our gameplay fall within our copyright" i.e. are-not-fair-use camp (while they've been loosening their terms, it's only the not-fair-use view that gives them the right to dictate terms at all). Many others really don't care whether it falls under fair use because they'd give permission for streaming and lets-plays anyway.

Speaking purely for myself, it does not seem right or just to use a mod you were offered for free and asked not to make money on, to go ahead and make money on it anyway. "Inconsiderate" is too weak a word.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Optera » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:27 pm

quyxkh wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:07 pm
Novgorod wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:29 pm
What I'm more interested in is the actual law. It depends on the country, of course, but most countries have their version of "fair use" laws for copyrighted content
Whether streaming or let's-playing a game is transformative enough to qualify as fair use is not specified by the statute in the U.S. anyway, is it laid out clearly anywhere? That means it's up to the courts, who decide particular cases, to render justice within the bounds of the law. So far as I know (that's not far at all), no court has decided this. I think it'd be premature anyway.

Nintendo are very strongly in the "videos of our gameplay fall within our copyright" i.e. are-not-fair-use camp (while they've been loosening their terms, it's only the not-fair-use view that gives them the right to dictate terms at all). Many others really don't care whether it falls under fair use because they'd give permission for streaming and lets-plays anyway.

Speaking purely for myself, it does not seem right or just to use a mod you were offered for free and asked not to make money on, to go ahead and make money on it anyway. "Inconsiderate" is too weak a word.
Search for "Borderlands 3 SupMatto". To see how far you can take copyright claims under US law.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Light » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:45 pm

eradicator wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:16 pm
Bethesda supposedly once tried to offer mod authors the ability to monetize their Skyrim mods, but the outcry from the "we want it for free!" people was so huge that they took the system down again. I'm sure the news coverage was incomplete and there were likely other problems with the system. But to me it was a shock to see active lobbying against paying mod authors on this scale.
I'll chip in here since I've had friends who did mods for Skyrim and voiced their dislike for the system at that time. The outcry wasn't just from the community as mod authors themselves were upset they'd only receive 25% of the listed price (Valve got 30%, Bethesda got 45%), which seemed pointless given how they'd make so little from their work that it may as well be free for more exposure.

Many members of the community didn't want to give Bethesda more money for work they didn't do and would have rather donated directly to the authors since it was their work. Although, there were cases where some authors had their work sold by someone else and they weren't aware of it too. Bethesda wasn't going to moderate regularly to prevent misuse of the system which shattered even more trust in the system.

So the crux of the issue was the system itself managed by a greedy untrustworthy company and not the lack of desire to pay mod authors for their work. If the authors received a major cut from sales then there wouldn't have been so much resistance from both sides of the coin, but Bethesda decided to just drop it once they realized they couldn't exploit the work of others for a nice profit boost as they were hoping for.

I'm sure some other company has since done it properly by being more fair to the authors and not being so greedy. Though I've heard of some authors providing mods only to their Patreon subscribers which seems to work well for some.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Klonan » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:49 pm

I have been doing some further thinking,
I think it is not right for the mods to state these terms in their license.

This is just a natural following of my earlier belief, that content creators have the right to produce videos, reviews, critique, streams, etc. with or without a monitization schema.

Deeper to the core of that, it comes down to gatekeeping and censorship.
If someone makes a review of your mod and you don't like it, it is not fair to turn around and claim they are violating your copyright,
We all know the case of Jim sterling and TotalBiscuit, where video game developers used copyright claims to try to silence critisism:
https://youtu.be/QfgoDDh4kE0

And only giving certain Youtubers permission to make a video is also unfair in my opinion



On another angle, mod developers are welcome to implement several of the same monitization as Youtubers and Streamers do,
Patreon and donations are absolutely fine for mod developers, putting a support link on mod pages is not a problem.

Other monitization for mods is more difficult, we wouldn't want ads on every mod portal page, or click through spam, etc.
If there are other ideas to help mod creators monitize their mods, we could be open to that.

I will be speaking with others in the team this week, please continue to let me know your thoughts,
we won't be rushing into any decision

In the end, we want modding to be a free and open community,
Factorio provides the hosting and mod API freely,
Modders provide their content and work freely,
And I believe players should be able to enjoy that work freely

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Bilka » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:56 pm

Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:49 pm
In the end, we want modding to be a free and open community,
Factorio provides the hosting and mod API freely,
Modders provide their content and work freely,
And I believe players should be able to enjoy that work freely
That is what we have now. If you force mods to allow commercial use, you also get: And youtubers/streamers cannot be prevented from exploiting that free content and work to make money.

You open the gate to streamers putting mods streams behind paywalls. You open the gate to server hosters charging extra for modded servers. All while mod authors are forced to watch as their work is exploited.

In my opinion, modders own the content they make. They are allowed to license it as they want, because it is their intellectual property. This means being allowed to prevent others from exploiting their work for personal monetary gain.

To say it in your words: This is just a natural following of my earlier belief, that content creators have the right to produce mods, maps, scenarios, etc. with or without a non-commercial license.
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Klonan » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:29 pm

Bilka wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:56 pm
That is what we have now. If you force mods to allow commercial use, you also get: And youtubers/streamers cannot be prevented from exploiting that free content and work to make money.

You open the gate to streamers putting mods streams behind paywalls. You open the gate to server hosters charging extra for modded servers. All while mod authors are forced to watch as their work is exploited.
I am not suggesting to allow all commercial use,
I am suggesting that modders should follow the video policy of the main game.
If the streams, reviews, showcases, tutorials, etc. are free to watch and enjoy,
I believe it is completely fine, and should be permitted by all mods and scenarios.

If a streamer is putting Factorio content and streams behind a paywall, I will stand with the mod creator and say that is not okay,
It would not be okay even with just the base game (in the whole history of Factorio is has never happened).

Same if a server host was charging extra for a modded server, we would definitely not be okay with it,
regardless of the licenses of the specific mods.

I don't want a rift to start in these moments of 'Modders vs Streamers',
I want to protect the rights and freedoms of all the Factorio community members

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Bilka » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:32 pm

Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:29 pm
I want to protect the rights and freedoms of all the Factorio community members
By taking away the right of mod creators to license their content as they prefer. In the end it's a weigh-up between what you consider "more important": Mod creators rights to protect their IP or streamers rights to monetize any content they want.

I believe that the right of protection of IP is more important than the right of monetary exploitation of it.
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Nova » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:58 pm

Well, streamers also create content - their streams. Restricting how they are allowed to monetize it feels some kind of bad. Also modders use the software of Factorio and the modding API to create the content. It is all a big symbiosis to get more fun out into the world.

("exploitation" is a pretty negative way to formulate it. For me it doesn't feel like streamers exploit the mod authors. Something like a hard paywall would maybe be exploitation, but gladly that didn't happen as far as Klonan and I know.)
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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Deadlock989 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:05 pm

My work is available for free, to anyone, for non-commercial use. If that creates "grey areas", then those grey areas are in other people's heads. It is literally someone else's problem. I mean, crack open a dictionary or something.

The license terms are exactly the same as Angel's mods and Pyanodon's mods. Bob's mods are broadly the same in intent, by my reading. This shitstorm appears to have started because I was stupid and inexperienced enough to try and write a plain English short license which explicitly described streaming game content in return for an income as a commercial activity, which is as bleedin' obvious as the day is long. Now it's 10,000 word legal document instead, and people are complaining about that.

I mod the game for fun. It is my playtime. I don't want to fuck about with Patreon or whatever. I have a job. This isn't it. You don't get to earn money out of my playtime. That's my choice to make. You can respect that, or not.

I don't have the slightest intention of ever taking legal action against anyone. If people want to break the terms of the license, that's their conscience.

If we moved into some spooky parallel universe where Wube suddenly tried to force me to make it available for commercial use, then I would ask for the mod in question to be deleted and I would stop modding Factorio.

Now if people could dial down the drama by about 90%, it'd be appreciated. I've already had to delete one e-mail account.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Nova » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:35 pm

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:05 pm
[...] described streaming game content in return for an income as a commercial activity, which is as bleedin' obvious as the day is long. [...]
Na, it's not bleedin' obvious for everyone. That's the whole point of this thread. ^^

I mean, you do realize that you basically disallowed any content of your mod to be presented / shown on any website that uses advertisement? Youtube, Twitch, Reddit, ... (at least as far as I understand everything written in this thread. I did not read the whole license of your mod.)
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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by quyxkh » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:12 pm

I'm wondering, when was the notion of asking nicely enough to get permission considered? Also: why was it not worth even mentioning, let alone addressing?

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Oktokolo » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:40 am

Nova wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:35 pm
I mean, you do realize that you basically disallowed any content of your mod to be presented / shown on any website that uses advertisement? Youtube, Twitch, Reddit, ... (at least as far as I understand everything written in this thread. I did not read the whole license of your mod.)
The CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license does indeed exclude all commercial use - wich includes streaming for money (be that from "donations", showing ads, or selling merchandise).

But in most jurisdictions there are exeptions that still allow some use of other peoples' works even against their stated will. Common exceptions include news coverage, critizism and some amount of "citation".
So for the hypothetical streamer wich accepts donations or has ads, a mod spotlight or review would most likely still be legal in the USA and Europe while a playthrough would most likely be illegal.

But (yep, another plot twist) most games do not come with licenses allowing commercial use. And everyone is monetizing the hell out of let's plays made using them. Even the biggest companies just let it happen. In the rare case they don't, that in itself is a news story because of its rarity.

Some random let's play of a Nintento game - look at the top of the chat replay for the incomming donations.
Yep, you can commercially stream Nintendo games without having to fear their lawyers.

And you can commercially stream Deadlock's mods without having to fear his lawyers too.
He even explicitly stated that he is not intending to sue anyone for license violations - wich means, that he could as well switch to the CC0 (basically "do what you want i will not sue you" translated to legalese valid in most jurisdictions of the world).


But the most important thing is:
Does Deadlock really not want KatherineOfSky to do a let's play using the mod?
The license says no, but i think that hard to believe.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by eradicator » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:51 am

Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:49 pm
I have been doing some further thinking,
I think it is not right for the mods to state these terms in their license.

This is just a natural following of my earlier belief, that content creators have the right to produce videos, reviews, critique, streams, etc. with or without a monitization schema.
Again you're using the phrase "content creators" in a way that explicitly excludes modders. This seeming disrispect for the *creative* work of mod authors makes me feel really sad as a modder myself. There is no "right to stream everything you want" in any jurisdiction, especially not in places without "fair use", like e.g. Europe. And the only way to force modders to use a wube-chosen license would be to refuse hosting non-compliant mods on the official portal. Because obviously it's legally impossible to force modders to release their code under your license. You'd be splitting the community and force the creation of shady third-party sites to host the "exiled" mods.
Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:49 pm
Deeper to the core of that, it comes down to gatekeeping and censorship.
If someone makes a review of your mod and you don't like it, it is not fair to turn around and claim they are violating your copyright,
We all know the case of Jim sterling and TotalBiscuit, where video game developers used copyright claims to try to silence critisism:
That is a strange argument.
First: The brokenness of Youtubes "copyright claim" system is widely known and happens outside the law. At least i do not remember anyone ever trying to sue YT directly for unrightfully blocking their video. And how could they? YT would just terminate their whole account because there's no "right to use YT".
Second: It almost sounds like you're trying to say that all modders are inheritly evil and the streamers need to be protected from them at all costs. But what if next time a streamer makes an obviously untruthful and ill-intentioned "review" of a mod? What if a streamer outright lies because they have a personal financial interest in it (fake game reviews, discrediting competitors)?
Nova wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:58 pm
Well, streamers also create content - their streams. Restricting how they are allowed to monetize it feels some kind of bad. Also modders use the software of Factorio and the modding API to create the content. It is all a big symbiosis to get more fun out into the world.
A symbiosis is a relationship where all parties benefit the same. What benefit do you suppose a modder has from having their content monetized by someone else? I and someone else already stated that "download count" as such is meaningless. And in factorio the download count is especially meaningless because it includes every re-download and every time someone clicks "update" on the in-game mod portal. So (hypothetically) pushing minor updates twice a day would be a far more effective way to push the count if someone actually wanted to do that. And besides you're not restricted in any way, you can just remove any mods with licenses that are incompatible with your monetization and play something else.
When you're not allowed to make photos/videos in an art gallery, do you seriously consider that an unfair restriction by the artist? Do you consider it a "restriction" that you're not allowed to use copyrighted music in your videos for free? Why do you think this is any different?
Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:49 pm
In the end, we want modding to be a free and open community,
Factorio provides the hosting and mod API freely,
Modders provide their content and work freely,
And I believe players should be able to enjoy that work freely
No. Factorio provides the API as a paid service as part of buying the game. There's nothing "free" about it. You advertise the game as having great mod support. It is part of the "expected product" that people pay you money for. If you stop supporting mods then you're leaving yourself open for claims of false advertisement. Modders however - the people who *make* that part of the content you're using for advertisements - get no part of the cake.
Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:29 pm
I am not suggesting to allow all commercial use,
I am suggesting that modders should follow the video policy of the main game.
If the streams, reviews, showcases, tutorials, etc. are free to watch and enjoy,
I believe it is completely fine, and should be permitted by all mods and scenarios.
Again, the video policy of the base game is being carried by the revenue from selling the game. You at wube have a strong monetary and publicity incentive to allow streaming of the game. Modders have no revenue and therefore no incentive to give away the right to monetize parts of their work. And you know - maybe - someday there could even be mods that can only meaningfully experienced by playing them, and watching them as a video would completely ruin the experience. In such a case a limited license could even be essential to the playability of the mod.
Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:29 pm
I don't want a rift to start in these moments of 'Modders vs Streamers',
I want to protect the rights and freedoms of all the Factorio community members
Then why are you permanently arguing pro-streamer and anti-modder. Why are you arguing that streamers should have the right to monetize mods *against the modders consent*? Why are you arguing against the lawful right of modders to chose their own lisense? Are modders not protection-worthy members of the community? I read your words, but i can't help to feel that you mean something completely different.

Btw, all my mods explicitly allow commercial use because i had faith in streamers. Faith in that if anyone made money using my mods they surely would consider giving some of it back. But the entitled attitudes i've read in this thread about a "right to monetize" have shattered that faith.
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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Seyeght » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:05 am

I really feel like this conversation has gotten into the weeds and a lot of people are getting upset over the confusing nature of the debate itself. To my knowledge no Streamer has demanded or felt entitled to access to stream a Mod Developer's content. This issue is being brought forth by Streamers that care about Mod Developers rights and want to make sure those wishes are clearly and easily communicated to all users, so that they can be respected and followed more than they have been in the past.

CC NC 4.0 isn't clear on the limitations and restrictions, regardless of how either side might feel it allows their rights as a 'content creator' (term that represents both sides here)

Fair Use also isn't explicit in allowing or preventing this level of content.

Even within Wube itself we have representation from both sides of the debate on how this situation should be approached.

There is no easy answer here, but please remember that this issue is being brought up from a place of respect not exploitation.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Caledorn » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:45 am

The hostility and negativity in this thread baffles me slightly - but then again, I am not surprised judging by the fact that we're talking about money here.

I am a small-time YouTuber myself, and I have occasionally dabbled in modding in some games in the past - and thus I can see this debate from both the aspect as a content-creator and a mod-creator. However, I am a bit curious about certain aspects of the debate here.

From a YouTuber's point of view: Factorio isn't a major game on YouTube or Twitch - it's not a massive cash-cow for a streamer or YT-video creator to make content from, like say the way Minecraft is. The audience that views videos and streams of Factorio on YT/Twitch is a very dedicated audience. If one takes a look at the channels that regularly feature Factorio on YouTube, and then have a look at the view counts for their series (not counting tutorials, which is another story altogether), you'll find that the numbers are fairly consistent - even when going back several years. Thus the actual ad/YouTube Premium revenue we're talking about for the people who use YouTube as their primary platform for producing Factorio videos is not really that high.

Then there's the aspect of Patrons - that is people who support a content creator as a whole, whether that is a YouTuber/streamer/mod-creator. I am grateful for the Patrons I have that support my own YouTube-channel, but the money I gain from my Patrons are a support to me personally and factors in all series and videos I make on my channel. So if a mod-creator wants a cut of the money I gain from making a series, I would argue that just as I have no right to intervene in said mod-creators Patron income, neither does the mod-creator have a right to intervene in any content-creators Patron income. Note that this is an argument I am making - and I am making it to see reactions from mod-creators here (please, please, please keep it civil - I am not in any way feeling entitled, I am forwarding a question - I already am highly wary of posting in this thread in the first place based on how negative I perceive some of the posts in this thread, and hostile answers will just make me back out of the thread and go back into lurking mode).

To explain why I am making the argument about Patrons: If a mod-creator has a Patreon-account, earning money from Patrons for their mod, I could make the opposite argument as the mod-creator is making (I wouldn't - this is for the sake of argument!). I.e. a content-creator could say "Hey. I am showcasing your mod on my YouTube/Twitch-channel, and thus I am going to spend a fair amount of hours into letting my audience know about your mod, which will attract attention to your mod. I would like a cut of the Patron-money you gain from the mod for spending my time and effort on showcasing your mod please."

In that argument also lies something crucial to this whole argument. Unless we're talking about some major channel - let's for the sake of argument say a YouTube channel that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, where we assume the videos on said channel have average views of between 20 and 30 thousand per video, not counting episode 1 (to my knowledge no channel like this exists that has Factorio as one of their main featured games - but again, just for the sake of argument here) - a YouTube content-creator doesn't really make all that much money from making a series on Factorio (with or without mods).

To give people who don't do YouTube a very rough estimate: 1000 views equals about $1 of income for the YouTube channel, combined from Ad views and YouTube Premium views. Remember that any view from a non YouTube-Premium user using an AdBlocker means no income at all. Also, Google only gives estimates of how much revenue each episode have given in the analytics that a YouTube creator can see, not hard numbers, making it even harder to figure out the real numbers. And on top of that there's the persistence thing going on - the content will continue to be watched for as long as it's on YouTube, so where does an agreement of having a cut end? After 1 month, 6 months, 1 year? What about income the YouTube channel earns from the series 2 years after it was published? I have content published more than a year ago that is still watched on my channel. I hope I'm managing to convey just how complicated this is going to be for someone who does YouTube, and how it can actually drive someone who does YouTube either as a hobby or for a living away from wanting to feature a mod at all - thus I am arguing that if a mod-creator wants a cut of income, flat rates (like Patronage or similar methods) would definitely, for me, be far more relevant.

There also seems to be some misconception here about the work involved for a content-creator vs the work involved for a mod-creator. Also it is important to consider the fact that most YouTube Let's Play series have a fairly high number for episode 1, maybe episode 2-3, but the view numbers quickly starts falling by the thousands, even on the larger channels. Many people take a look at episode 1, just to hear the description of what the featured content is about, but then ignore the following episodes. A Factorio series can easily be at least 50 episodes, and I don't think I've ever seen a series have as many views on any subsequent episodes as the view count for episode 1. This phenomenon is not unique to Factorio, but applies to most game series a YouTuber who focuses on Let's Play series publish. If you research this yourself you'll find that on most channels that focuses on Let's Play series, you'll see that episode 1 in general has the highest view count, then already on episode 2 the number drops. Usually around episode 4 or 5 the number stabilises and stays fairly consistent until the last episode (the number you see there is the people who have decided to follow the series). The last episode might get a higher view count again though because some people want to see what the state of the game is at the end of the series.

To explain a little bit about the work involved in making a YouTube-series, from my own personal experience. I spend time recording the episodes, I cannot record them if I am in any negative state of mind - I must be focused, attentive, and I must also convey a sense of happiness and excitement to the viewers. Otherwise I will push any potential viewers away - people rarely want to watch content where they can sense that the presenter is miserable. So I can only record when I have energy to be a good presenter, which life doesn't always allow for. Then you have the actual time involved - which is of course the time spent per episode, usually around 30 minutes. After that there's after-processing/rendering involved. Some people, like me, have tools to automate this process - but others use tools like HitFilm Express to manually render their videos, thus increasing the time spent per episode. However, if I do a mistake, or I have to edit the video footage manually, then I have to spend time doing that as well.

But, even with automated tools involved, the computer that I do the rendering on is physically unusable while rendering, as rendering is a highly CPU/GPU consuming process. And it takes at least as long as the actual episode length (since I do not have access to insanely priced computer equipment for this) to render an episode - usually a bit longer. On top of that I also have to create a thumbnail which shows the actual episode (This is a one-time time expenditure of time per series, as per episode it only involves increasing the episode number by one and saving as a JPG), and also a description for the series and find appropriate tags for the "hidden search features" of YouTube (Also a one-time expenditure of time, but I have to pay annually for TubeBuddy to have access to automation processes here, or I would have to copy/paste for every single episode I upload).

So let's say I want to create a 50-episodes Let's Play series of Factorio - and for the sake of argument, let's say each episode is exactly 30 minutes. That's 25 hours of actual recording. Then add 2 hours to making thumbnails, writing a description and finding the correct tags. Most YouTubers who have small-to-medium channels do their own video editing, and do not use automated scripts using FFMPEG like I do, so add about 10 hours of editing to that number. And then add about 35 hours of rendering, where the computer rendering is not usable. That is a total of 72 hours - 62 hours for me with the script. So then look at my channel numbers, and I can estimate about 300 views (not counting episode 1) per episode. That is 18 600 views, and a roughly estimated total income of $18.60. I'm not going to bother doing the hourly wage calculation here.

Now, usually my impression is that mod-creators are very happy to see their mods featured on YouTube - particularly on larger channels, as it draws attention to their creations. Just as my primary goal for making videos on YouTube is to entertain people, I would also believe that a mod-creator's primary purpose is for people to play and enjoy their mods - aka entertain people. Yes, I make a small amount of money from making series. Not so much from YouTube, but that is because my channel is so small that I can barely considered dabbling in content-creation as of now - but I hope to grow my channel and in the future become larger - however, Factorio is by no means the primary game I feature on my channel personally, even though it is part of my "portfolio of games that I return to." But it's not very likely, considering the time involved and the low hourly pay, that a YouTuber would decide to showcase a mod if a mod-creator decides that they do not want to allow any monetization. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong in taking that stance as a mod-creator - but having your mod featured on a YouTube channel will substantially increase the traffic to your mod, just as having your mod featured in the FFF will.

Also, just for the sake of argument here: If Wube decides to feature a mod published under the CC-NC license in their FFF, and someone who hasn't bought Factorio decides to buy the game from them because they think that mod looks awesome, what would stop them from asking Wube for a cut from any sales made thanks to the FFF feature, since that could potentially be considered a breach of the NC part of the CC license? Note that I am not actually arguing this would be a fair thing, but it's definitely something that I'm curious about (and I am almost certain that Wube would say "No" to any such request) as it might also mean that a CC-NC licensed mod cannot be featured in the FFFs anymore without explicit written consent from the creator.

What I'm trying to say is something about the fact that there seems to be a misconception about how much money there is in making series on YouTube, or streams on Twitch, vs the hours put into the work in doing so. Mod-creators may, imho, absolutely ask for a cut if they're interested, but they should be aware that this is not a gold mine of cash. The hourly pay for doing YouTube or Twitch, unless you've got a lot of followers, is actually very low - and the smaller the channel, the less the hourly rate is. I.e. my own channel is purely for the sake of it being a hobby and something I enjoy doing. The money I gain from the people who are kind enough to support me doing YouTube stuff is about enough to allow me to buy 1 AAA title or a few indie game titles per month (Which I then usually make content on my channel with). Thus I would currently much rather just showcase another mod that doesn't require additional payment for me. Which is fine by me - but should my channel grow to a point where I actually make a decent income, I would happily support a mod-creator by becoming a Patron for a few months, or pay a one time flat fee via PayPal. I would on the other hand be completely uninterested in making a series where a mod-creator wanted a percentage of the income I made, as I already have to spend enough time as it is to produce the actual content for my channel, and I have explained above just how difficult it is to get the accurate numbers, and also the challenge of "How long should such a deal extend?" applies.

As for content on YouTube, Twitch, etc - please also remember that the content there is offered freely. There is no paywall, and most game publishers obviously prohibit this kind of footage of their games from being behind any kind of paywall in their license agreement for their game - which makes perfect sense. Thus many people who watch YouTube content provide exactly $0.00 to the YouTube channel's income, because no ads shown = no income made. Also, I cannot and will not impose bad conscience in any of my channel viewers for using an AdBlocker. I am just happy that I get views on the content I make, and that people enjoy it, as that is a the very reason I chose to start publishing content on YouTube. Some YouTubers might attempt to impose a bad conscience on their viewers for using AdBlockers, but I am fairly certain that if someone did that, they would quickly lose a substantial amount of their viewer base, as if there's one thing I've observed in the YouTube community, it's that many people react very negatively to a content creator pushing the agenda of "I'm doing this for the money" vs "I'm doing this because I love doing it" (exceptions being someone who is upfront honest that they are both loving it and that it is their main source of income - most people usually reward honesty).

Finally - and probably most importantly.

The Factorio community have for as long as I have been a part of it always been one of the friendlier communities I've been a part of. I urge all parts in this debate, whether you are a mod-creator, a content-creator, a Wube employee or just someone who follows the debate, to please remember that we have one major thing in common: We love Factorio. This community usually works together to do amazing stuff, whether it's the game itself (Wube), the amazing mods (mod-creators), the series on YouTube (content-creators), the actual gameplay (the very dedicated and loyal players of the game). Please try to remember that in this debate, as I would hate to see schisms occuring between the various sub-cultures of this wonderful community!

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Bilka » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 am

as it might also mean that a CC-NC licensed mod cannot be featured in the FFFs anymore without explicit written consent from the creator.
Just for context: I wasn't sure if the FFF is considered commercial, expressed that to deadlock and he gave me written permission. Not any problem whatsoever.

All I'm reading from your post, Caledorn, is the argument that you do not make much money anyway, and that you invest a lot of time. Which makes me wonder what the problem is then: Turning off the ads on youtube for a mod series of a non-commercially licensed mod should barely make a difference. Maybe you should also remove the patreon link in your description for that series (if you have one), but that's up to personal interpretation. But then the mod is completely fine to make videos on for you, if you insist on it. If you say that it is not worth it then, that's also not a problem for anyone.

I'm confused about your argument against pay cuts. Nobody is asking for them or even suggesting them, arguing against them seems kind of strange. For me it reinforces the image of streamers/youtubers (even the "good" ones) thinking that mod creators want to take something away from them. That is really not the case. I as a content creator (on the wiki) simply do not want streamers/youtubers to make money from my free content. I have zero desire to take money away from you, or anyone else.

Nova wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:58 pm
Well, streamers also create content - their streams. Restricting how they are allowed to monetize it feels some kind of bad.
Restricting modders rights to license their intellectual property as they desire feels worse. That was the whole point of my previous post.
Nova wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:35 pm
I mean, you do realize that you basically disallowed any content of your mod to be presented / shown on any website that uses advertisement? Youtube, Twitch, Reddit, ... (at least as far as I understand everything written in this thread. I did not read the whole license of your mod.)
That's not how that works. Random person X has no commercial gain from posting a screenshot on reddit. So it's okay per the license. I've been streaming the mod on twitch - I don't get any money from them, so the primary interest is not monetary advantage. I could post the mod on youtube, and again, not get any money from it. So the primary interest is not monetary gain. So it's all okay within the license.
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Caledorn » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:23 am

Bilka wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 am
Just for context: I wasn't sure if the FFF is considered commercial, expressed that to deadlock and he gave me written permission. Not any problem whatsoever.
I would argue that the FFF could be considered commercial in the sense that it is a way of both connecting with existing customers and reaching out to new ones. But IANAL, so it was just something I raised as a concern for how widely this should be interpreted.
Bilka wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 am
All I'm reading from your post, Caledorn, is the argument that you do not make much money anyway, and that you invest a lot of time. Which makes me wonder what the problem is then: Turning off the ads on youtube for a mod series of a non-commercially licensed mod should barely make a difference. Maybe you should also remove the patreon link in your description for that series (if you have one), but that's up to personal interpretation. But then the mod is completely fine to make videos on for you, if you insist on it. If you say that it is not worth it then, that's also not a problem for anyone.

I'm confused about your argument against pay cuts. Nobody is asking for them or even suggesting them, arguing against them seems kind of strange. For me it reinforces the image of streamers/youtubers (even the "good" ones) thinking that mod creators want to take something away from them. That is really not the case. I as a content creator (on the wiki) simply do not want streamers/youtubers to make money from my free content. I have zero desire to take money away from you, or anyone else.
I'm sorry that I wasn't clearer in my, literal, wall of text above. The issue is that any YouTube-channel that has a connection to Patreon can be interpreted as commercial. Of course one can remove the Patreon-link in the description for said videos, but the Patreon link in the channel banner of most YT-channels that are using Patreon cannot be removed. The banner is channel-wide, and thus it can be argued that any channel that has patrons via Patreon is using the mod commercially since they are making money off any content on their channel, regardless of whether the video(s) in question are monetised or not. And therein lies the major conundrum here. Not for me personally, as I have no personal interest in playing this specific mod even though I must say that it is quite an amazing piece of work, but for many other stream/YT-content-creators.

The pay cuts thing was brought up/hinted at by Eradicator, which is why I brought it into the debate. It was also raised outside of these forums (Discord), so it seemed relevant to bring into the debate. And please also know that I tend to agree with much of what you have written in this debate - aka. protecting the IP of any content creator, whether that is a mod-creator, a streamer, a YouTuber, or any form of content creator.

I am worried, though, from a YouTuber's POV that this licensing stuff might become a real issue now that awareness has been raised about it. Imagine if, say, Pyanodon suddenly were to enforce copyright claims on all streams and recorded content on all platforms, which he would be free to do should he desire to do so. Yes, one can argue "You should have read the license then" - but we all know that most people handily skip through EULA's and license agreements because they just want to play. And I also feel that it is wrong to assume that all stream/YT-content-creators who monetise their content to do so profit - I know that I am not at all that interested in profits when I showcase something, whether it is through Let's Play videos or anything else that pops up on my channel. It is because I want to share something fun, cool, awesome, whatever - you won't find me playing a game or a mod that I dislike playing on my channel.

Bottomline is that I feel there is a certain aspect of suspicion, possibly even attempts at discrediting, people's good intentions in this thread. I'm probably going to get a lot of anger for even making that point though, but the point of raising it is to vocalise how I feel from my chair - not to cast out any blame or shame towards anyone. I'd much rather, as I wrote in my post above, try to get things calmed down so that we can have a reasonable and open-minded debate about it, like e.g. your response to my post, and this response to yours in turn.
Bilka wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:50 am
That's not how that works. Random person X has no commercial gain from posting a screenshot on reddit. So it's okay per the license. I've been streaming the mod on twitch - I don't get any money from them, so the primary interest is not monetary advantage. I could post the mod on youtube, and again, not get any money from it. So the primary interest is not monetary gain. So it's all okay within the license.
There is this aspect of suspicion I mentioned above. "The primary interest is not monetary advantage." My primary interest in making YouTube content is not monetary advantage, as I have written - just as I assume that the primary interest of 99%+ of the mod community is also not monetary advantage. The monetary advantage is a very minor part of it, and very far away from being the primary interest for me. If money was an issue, I would find something completely different to do than YouTube, as the work involved and the chances at actually succeeding in making YouTube a primary income source is abysmally low.

If you stream on Twitch or YouTube and you get a tip from a viewer, what then?
If you have Patrons on your YouTube channel, can you record videos (non-monetised) of a CC-NC-licensed mod on your channel?
Since you mentioned the Wiki above, am I not allowed to show anything from the Wiki in a monetised video - e.g. a Factorio tutorial video on my channel?

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Optera » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:40 am

I don't get why anyone is surprised this thread got so heated. Debates about legal issues always become heated since legalese and common sense are mutually exclusive.
quyxkh wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:12 pm
I'm wondering, when was the notion of asking nicely enough to get permission considered? Also: why was it not worth even mentioning, let alone addressing?
I can't highlight this post enough.
quyxkh, the voice of reason in all this. No matter what a license says, authors can always give exceptions. If asked nicely I do allow others to use parts of my code. Ofc if you are a dick and tell me that I have to allow you to use it because freedom of the internet or some bs I certainly won't.
Bilka wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:32 pm
Klonan wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:29 pm
I want to protect the rights and freedoms of all the Factorio community members
By taking away the right of mod creators to license their content as they prefer. In the end it's a weigh-up between what you consider "more important": Mod creators rights to protect their IP or streamers rights to monetize any content they want.

I believe that the right of protection of IP is more important than the right of monetary exploitation of it.
Any artist or creator should have full control over their work.
Whether they want to share it with the public allow commercializing or explicitly state it's only for a select group, that's all up to the license holder.

While Wube could legally restrict what licenses are allowed on their mod portal to appease to streamers. The result would be content creators, I'd be among the first to protest in this way, to withdraw all mods from the portal and only publish though 3rd party sites. The fallout (shot against Bethesda intended) would be a huge rift in the community, potentially a legal arms race and some shitstorms.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Deadlock989 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:59 am

Oktokolo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:40 am
But the most important thing is:
Does Deadlock really not want KatherineOfSky to do a let's play using the mod?
The license says no, but i think that hard to believe.
KatherineOfSky, or anyone else, can stream the mod on a 24/7 marathon for all I care.

They just have to do it non-commercially. Just like the streamers who have been streaming IR all weekend without taking any donations or advertising revenue.

I'm astonished that by now, this hasn't been made crystal clear. I'm not sure what else it is I'm supposed to do to get the message across. Shall I say it again more slowly?

N-o-n, c-o-m-m-e-r-c-i-a-l.

If they don't want to stream it non-commerically at all, because, oddly, it's not purely about spreading the love of the game, but is in reality just a teeny bit about monetising someone else's work, no problem. Don't do it. Stream some other mod. Stream some other game. There's only like a billion of them to choose from.

I mean, they keep telling me they're doing me a favour. It's hilarious. In my mind, it's a lot like the kind of shit actors or illustrators or musicians sometimes go through, where they're persuaded to make films and adverts for free, for the "exposure", while the agent or the production company still makes an income off it. That toast was already stale last decade. Actors wised up.

I even had someone educate me on the utterly bonkers terms that Twitch partners sign themselves up for. Total madness. It'd be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. "It's not fair that you won't let me make a few cents out of the work you did for free, because I signed up for ludicrously exclusive conditions and have no other way of streaming it". World's. Smallest. Violin.

If you really want to know what I think, it's this: Twitch, and Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Google, and all of this attention-seeking garbage run by the corporate parasites that infest 21st century Earth, could all vanish into the pits of hell tomorrow in a mighty rush of flame and chaos, and I'd crack open a beer and get the deckchair out to watch.

Is that clear enough? Can I go and play my game now?
Last edited by Deadlock989 on Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Licensing and mod portal

Post by Optera » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:06 am

Deadlock989 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:59 am
If you really want to know what I think, it's this: Twitch, and Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Google, and all of this attention-seeking garbage run by the corporate parasites that infest 21st century Earth, could all vanish into the pits of hell tomorrow in a mighty rush of flame and chaos, and I'd crack open a beer and get the deckchair out to watch.
Reserve me a seat I'll bring champagne.

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