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Porting content from other games


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#1
Dark0ne

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This article covers the main principles of ported content mods and our rules on uploading or showcasing ported content on the Nexus sites.

What is porting?
"Porting" is the act of transferring one game's assets in to a different game in the form of a mod or plug-in. An example would be taking a gun from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and "porting" it in to Fallout: New Vegas so you can then use that gun within Fallout: New Vegas. Mods that enable this are called "ports".


What's the big deal about porting?
Porting is a great concept as it means you can take cool assets from one game and place them in another game. Popular examples include the Nanosuit from Crysis, guns from the Call of Duty games and weapons and armour from MMO's such as World of Warcraft and Aion. These assets are obviously professionally made by other game developers and might be of a higher quality than many mod authors could make themselves with much less effort than making the asset from scratch.


What's the problem then?
Porting on a personal level (i.e. doing it yourself) is, in my opinion, not illegal if you own both the games. It may well be against the EULA that game developers provide as the terms for using their software but it's about as illegal as recording a film off the TV to watch at a later date. Neither act is legal by the letter of the law but no one is going to come and knock down your door if you own both the games and port a gun from one to another. The problem arises when you share ported content with other people who may not or don't have both the games. That's copyright infringement and piracy.

Everything in a video game is copyrighted either by the developers of the game or by the license holder of the assets (game makers will often license assets from other developers or producers, for example, sound effects, to save on costs). If you port a gun from Call of Duty in to New Vegas and then share that gun with other people who don't have the game then that's piracy. If you upload that mod to the Nexus then you are making it public and are facilitating piracy as you cannot ensure that everyone who downloads the mod has both games. A disclaimer saying "Don't download if you don't own both games" would never pass in a court of law. It doesn't work on ROM sites and it wouldn't work here.


What are the rules here on uploading ports?
Basically; you cannot upload any ported content to the Nexus as it is illegal to do so. Anyone who tells you differently is lying or doesn't have a clue about copyright laws.

In addition to this modifying and making tweaks to models, textures or animations from other games and uploading it as your own, or as a port or modification to another game's assets is still illegal and not allowed here irrespective of whether you reference credit or not.


What are the rules on utilities that facilitate porting?
I personally have no issue with utilities that require you to have both games and that help you to port content yourself. I think it's a great thing. However, a case came up a few years back with such a utility called "Morroblivion" that helped users port content from Morrowind to Oblivion. You needed to own both games in order for the utility to work but Bethesda personally requested that the utility be taken down. I had no wish to argue with Bethesda on the matter.

Bethesda aren't spiteful and they must have had a good legal/law related reason why they made this request. From my understanding it has to do with them licensing some of the Morrowind assets from other companies. As part of the deal Bethesda agreed that the assets would only be used in Morrowind and were obligated to prevent any of these assets from being used in other games.

As a result such utilities have generally been avoided in this community. I know a few people have sought permission from Bethesda to create similar utilities to facilitate porting between Fallout 3 and New Vegas and have been denied permission, so at the moment it is best to ask before you even start working on them, or upload them here.


Can I link to ported content on other sites?
Please don't. Linking to ported content on other sites is the same as linking to downloads for pirated copies of the games, something that is an instant ban offence here. We want to stay completely above the board here.

There are other sites in the community that do allow ported content and I have no beef with them at all (they are run by very respectable people from what I can tell) but we do not allow links to these sites for obvious legal reasons.


Can I upload pictures of ported content to the Image Share or mod images?
Please do not upload pictures that deliberately show-case ported content to the Image Share or in mod images. In the past we've been quite strict about this rule as uploading pictures of ported content often results in lots of requests from users for links to where you got the ported content but we're trying to tone this down now to warnings and strikes so that you can be made aware of the issue.

We understand that a lot of you may be using a lot of ported content. You may have even forgotten what mods you're using are ported content and what mods aren't. As a result we ask that you avoid showcasing obvious ported content (for example your character doing a pose in the Crysis Nanosuit, which would get you an unofficial warning or a strike, which is an official warning) and try to limit the amount of ported content you showcase in your images in the Image Share. Try to keep it subtle so that we don't have to be hard-line on it. If someone does request a link to where you got the ported content please simply inform them that you can't say here. Don't PM them the link either; the site would still be facilitating piracy in that way too.

#2
RebelOConner

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what's about porting something on a game under creative comons or general public licence?
i don't know games of that kind, but it should exist.

#3
ub3rman123

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what's about porting something on a game under creative comons or general public licence?
i don't know games of that kind, but it should exist.


Games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (What's that acronym for anyways...)? If it says you can port content from it for modding purpose or non-commercial use, I'd assume it's okay.

#4
DrakenGuard

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Im curious about the whole Requiem of the Capital Wasteland Mod. (Fallout 3 and NV played to gether)

is that allowed aswell? Seems to be a repeat of Morroblivion.

I am loving it myself but just curious..

#5
Quetzlsacatanango

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I admit some selfish interest in that question as well.
I made that mod *properly* several weeks ago, ran it up the flagpole, and the powers that be voted against posting instructions on how to accomplish it, which I accepted and moved on.
The only real difference between what I came up with and that mod is that mine works correctly so I'm not sure why one stays and one goes. The only other difference seems to be having the consideration to ask ahead of time.

btw I don't consider this "porting" so maybe this is not the topic for it. Understandable if not.

Edited by Quetzlsacatanango, 09 May 2011 - 12:47 AM.


#6
evilneko

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Im curious about the whole Requiem of the Capital Wasteland Mod. (Fallout 3 and NV played to gether)

is that allowed aswell? Seems to be a repeat of Morroblivion.

I am loving it myself but just curious..


I think Dark0ne will probably treat it the same as Morroblivion: leave it until Bethesda and/or Obsidian requests it be taken down.


Wait, what? :confused:

#7
Millenia

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What about custom models made by non-professional artists that are still being ported widely without permission (from mostly Counter-Strike: Source and other Valve games) ? I'd say 90% of the custom weapons in the Fallout community are just CS: S ports :/

#8
greywaste

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What about custom models made by non-professional artists that are still being ported widely without permission (from mostly Counter-Strike: Source and other Valve games) ? I'd say 90% of the custom weapons in the Fallout community are just CS: S ports :/


QFT. After the initial release, and re-ports, edits and retexes happen the only person who ever seems to get credit for these models and textures is the initial uploader :rolleyes:
Porting can lead to laziness really. Lets not even get into the fact that If I was a game artist, even one who's models weren't technically his/hers anymore I'd still be horrified and irritated to see my work end up as a really sloppily done port .

Edited by greywaste, 09 May 2011 - 07:30 AM.


#9
BlackBaron2

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Well, if you see your work is ported on Nexus or other mod sites without permission, you can simply notify the staff. People usually would prefer their site didn't get a reputation for being a repository of permissionless files and their link/name censored on Nexus.

#10
Dark0ne

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what's about porting something on a game under creative comons or general public licence?


If the licenses are respected and not broken then it's fine here.

Im curious about the whole Requiem of the Capital Wasteland Mod. (Fallout 3 and NV played to gether)

is that allowed aswell? Seems to be a repeat of Morroblivion.

I am loving it myself but just curious..


Bethesda policy on these mods has often been "don't ask and we won't have to make a rule". Often times people will ask because they don't want to waste their time on a project that may or may not be taken down at a moment's notice. If Bethesda send me a take down message about any specific mods that break their terms or EULA then I will do my best to do as they ask.

What about custom models made by non-professional artists that are still being ported widely without permission (from mostly Counter-Strike: Source and other Valve games) ? I'd say 90% of the custom weapons in the Fallout community are just CS: S ports


Any illegal content found on the sites is removed as soon as it's found. We have issues now where mod authors are using content from other mod authors with permission who don't realise (or don't check, or don't care) that the content is actually ripped from other games. We then have to start a bread crumb trail as we trace where the assets were from and decide who, if anyone, needs to be banned and which mods are unwittingly using the illegal content so the mod authors can be notified.




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