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The Good and the Bad of our
Who owns the copyright
over custom content?
Maxis/EA owns the copyright over the game and all
the materials that come with it, OK. But this does not mean, in
my opinion, that every custom creation for the Sims2 falls automatically
and *entirely* into Maxis/EA copyright.
If I clone a Maxis object and then replace the mesh
with one I created in my 3D editor, or replace the texture with
one I created in my paint program, or modify/create the internal
code (BHAVs) adding pieces of code that I have created using my
own grey cells, I definitely DON'T think that Maxis can claim to
have a copyright over MY additions.
Sure enough, Maxis/EA has the legal power to forbid
me to share "my" object with other users, or sell it for money, because
undoubtely "my" object contains some original parts made by Maxis;
I perfectly understand this and actually agree.
But Maxis/EA, as the sole owner of the copyright
over the original material, is the one and only subject that
can forbid us modders to share our works, and to forbid to site
owners to sell Sims2 stuff.
So far, Maxis never expressed its position about this
problem; and the reason is quite understandable: modding the game
and sharing stuff keeps the users' attention focused on the game,
and prevents a loss in interest.
Therefore, until Maxis dosn't complain about this,
I will claim the copyright over all the parts of my stuff that
I've created myself.
This explains why I forbid to clone my creations:
if one is not interested of copying my additions, he can just clone
a Maxis object; if a "creator" clones my stuff, he purposely does
it to steal my personal additions to the Maxis object, so to include
the same features in his "creation".
If Maxis/EA decide not to prosecute who breaches
their copyright, because they have interest in keeping up the game
sales, this doesn't mean that I should do the same: I don't have
such an interest.
And to anyone thinks that “Sims2 creators just steal from Maxis,
so they can't complain if I repost their stuff on my site”, I reply that there are only two alternatives:
a) they are right, so the creators are basically robbing Maxis; but in this case, who reposts custom content made by other modders is breaching TWO copyrights at once; so, who robs the robber is really better than him?
b) they are wrong, creators are not robbing anyone because (despite the EULA's) Maxis wants the modder to create custom content; in this case, of course, breaching the modder's copyright can't be possibly defined a right thing to do.
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