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Question about Custom Content, bitmaps and copyrights.....

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by Guest, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I admit I just skimmed the new User Agreement, but I was under the impression that we could only upload images we owned the rights to....and that doing so passed those rights to EA Games.

    That is one of the reasons I have not done cc, is because I have very few images that are mine alone, and I don't want to sign any of them over to EA.

    But everywhere I go in TC3 there are proprietary images ripped off from some of the most copyright fanatic companies in the world...Disney, Loony Tunes, Garfield.....how is this possible....even if I did misunderstand the User Agreement, isn't it playing with fire to use Disney images???? [​IMG]

    .......I heard, they once sued a woman for painting a mural with Mickey in her baby's nursery!

    So what gives with the copyrighted images????
    [​IMG]
     
  2. As far as I can tell from the user agreement. The user takes full responsibility of images they upload and are agreeing that they hold the copyrights to such images. EA does assume rights to use any images uploaded but I suspect they are smart enough not to use Mickey Mouse. As for those that are uploading the copyright material, they will pay the price when Disney comes looking not EA.

    Uploading these images for viewing is probably not breaking any laws. However the moment a player attempts to sell one of those images then it becomes a problem.

    What I would like to know is if someone gives me an image, then I use that image to create an object, I then sell the object.....Is the person that uploaded the original image liable or am I for using it and selling it?
     
  3. donnallg

    donnallg Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    As far as I can tell from the user agreement. The user takes full responsibility of images they upload and are agreeing that they hold the copyrights to such images. EA does assume rights to use any images uploaded but I suspect they are smart enough not to use Mickey Mouse. As for those that are uploading the copyright material, they will pay the price when Disney comes looking not EA.

    Uploading these images for viewing is probably not breaking any laws. However the moment a player attempts to sell one of those images then it becomes a problem.

    What I would like to know is if someone gives me an image, then I use that image to create an object, I then sell the object.....Is the person that uploaded the original image liable or am I for using it and selling it?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    From what I understand both are liable. The person for "theft" (as a polite word) and you for having "stolen property".
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    As far as I can tell from the user agreement. The user takes full responsibility of images they upload and are agreeing that they hold the copyrights to such images. EA does assume rights to use any images uploaded but I suspect they are smart enough not to use Mickey Mouse. As for those that are uploading the copyright material, they will pay the price when Disney comes looking not EA.

    Uploading these images for viewing is probably not breaking any laws. However the moment a player attempts to sell one of those images then it becomes a problem.

    What I would like to know is if someone gives me an image, then I use that image to create an object, I then sell the object.....Is the person that uploaded the original image liable or am I for using it and selling it?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I'm afraid it's not that simple.
    In the first place Disney (or anyone else) is going to go after the 'deep pockets' first.
    Secondly, EA has put it's own [censored] in the wringer by announcing to the world that all uploaded material must be approved by them. This makes them equally liable no matter how much they may squeal to the contrary.
    It may not be a slam-dunk, but any lawyer who couldn't squeeze a substantial settlement out of EA under these circumstances, just ain't tryin'.

    Thirdly, win or lose - having your game company AND your players sued by huge, rich, powerful multi-national corporations probly wouldn't be so good for business.
     
  5. MandiK

    MandiK Guest

    Yikes I never thought about that. What about pictures of actors &amp; stuff. Those obviously arent mine, but I have some on one of my lots. AM I GOING TO JAIL?

    Just kidding. But really, am I breaking a rule? Thats kinda scary.
     
  6. Rachael2001

    Rachael2001 Guest

    Logically, it is the same as sharing music files isn't it? That's why they are going after internet radio stations.

    Despite the comment about any lawyer worth his salt going for mega bucks, I find it hard to believe that a pic of Winnie the Pooh on a lot would get them very far. There are millions of holiday pics the world over of babies with Tigger on their T-shirts!
     
  7. vapd3317

    vapd3317 Guest

    <blockquote><hr>




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As far as I can tell from the user agreement. The user takes full responsibility of images they upload and are agreeing that they hold the copyrights to such images. EA does assume rights to use any images uploaded but I suspect they are smart enough not to use Mickey Mouse. As for those that are uploading the copyright material, they will pay the price when Disney comes looking not EA.

    Uploading these images for viewing is probably not breaking any laws. However the moment a player attempts to sell one of those images then it becomes a problem.

    What I would like to know is if someone gives me an image, then I use that image to create an object, I then sell the object.....Is the person that uploaded the original image liable or am I for using it and selling it?




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I'm afraid it's not that simple.
    In the first place Disney (or anyone else) is going to go after the 'deep pockets' first.
    Secondly, EA has put it's own [censored] in the wringer by announcing to the world that all uploaded material must be approved by them. This makes them equally liable no matter how much they may squeal to the contrary.
    It may not be a slam-dunk, but any lawyer who couldn't squeeze a substantial settlement out of EA under these circumstances, just ain't tryin'.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Donavan, ...I once again applaud you. Your comments and insight into the workings of this game have IMO always been right on track and I HIGHLY SUGGEST that everyone out here give strong merit to your inputs.

    Just a little FYI for everyone,....the FBI, ATF, DEA, and numerous other Federal Law Enforcement agencies monitor all online activity and recently have quite heavily been noted in thier involvements with monitoring MYSPACE and FACEBOOK .

    What does this mean?....it means that "Big Brother" is definitely watching. Alot of you were pretty excited about the linking of facebook with the game, ....where I (and im sure a few others)...kinda went.....hmmmmmmmm.

    So,...to keep this from becoming too long winded......Some of you may want to STRONGLY reconsider some of your custom content ideas. (especially anything with a copyright), and don't assume that if EA accepted the item, that it must be okay.
     
  8. *TTL*

    EA is provided a so-called "safe harbor" by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- a US copyright law. OSP providers, and this definition can be applied to EA in terms of our access to EA Land, are protected if they adhere to a set of guidelines which (among other things) requires them to block access to the content being contested, and to identify the true identities of players who are suspected of copyright infringement. (More complicated than this, but that is the gist of it.)

    This area of law and legislation is evolving every day. Recently, sellers in Second Life and other games have been subject to copyright violations by selling custom content that was not legally theirs to sell.

    Interestingly, entities who discover their intellectual property is being sold on a game like Second Life have not only opted to go after the players who are in violation, but have decided to start selling custom content themselves. Thus, if someone is selling Disney materials as custom content, they may find themselves in court facing Disney, but then see EA Land have a bona fide Disney Store open up that sells custom content. (EA could wish [​IMG] )

    The previous poster is correct in saying Disney, particularly, has low tolerance for seeing their property used by others. However, they are far from being alone. Players would be wise to take care in using material they mine from the Internet or other sources unless they can get permissions for use signed by the owner. BTW -- copyrighted material does not have to be designated "copyright" or have the © to be covered by the law. If someone can prove it is their property, that is all it takes.

    PS: vapd3317 -- yeah, I kinda went "hmmmmm," too. Time will tell.

    PPS: If you want to see what SL uses for reports of DMCA violations, see http://secondlife.com/corporate/dmca.php
     
  9. <blockquote><hr>

    There are millions of holiday pics the world over of babies with Tigger on their T-shirts!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    (1) T-shirts bearing Tigger "should" have permission agreements for Tigger's image to be used.

    (2) I have an artist friend who sells some of her art for use on textiles. On more than one occasion I've been with her as she spots her artwork illegally used on a passersby's T-shirt or shorts. I've watched her chase people down -- like watching COPS! (She's nicer, though.) She copies down the information from the garment tag. Yeah, she's small potatoes, but she takes her rights seriously. So, don't assume that no one goes after "the little guys."

    Selling custom content of your child wearing a Tigger Tshirt is OK. You are selling a picture of the child, wearing a licensed product. Of course, that opens up another kettle of fish. I won't go there.
     
  10. <blockquote><hr>

    Yikes I never thought about that. What about pictures of actors &amp; stuff. Those obviously arent mine, but I have some on one of my lots. AM I GOING TO JAIL?

    Just kidding. But really, am I breaking a rule? Thats kinda scary.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mandi, each of those photos is owned by somebody -- the photographer, or the entity who paid for and owns the rights. Whether or not you get called on it depends on whether the owner finds out, and how much they care. Having the picture on your lot is not a big deal, but if you are selling those pictures then it becomes a bigger deal. How would you feel if you invested your time and energy into taking a photo, only to find someone else profiting from it?
     
  11. <blockquote><hr>



    What I would like to know is if someone gives me an image, then I use that image to create an object, I then sell the object.....Is the person that uploaded the original image liable or am I for using it and selling it?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    IMO, you would be liable. Firstly, because you are the one selling it, which is the offense. (Uploading, per se, is not infringement.) And, secondly, it's always your fault.
     
  12. i ask the same question before CC starts...and i wrote to a Japanese cartoon company to get the rights to upload CC (Piyo Duck).

    According to them, as long as no one profits (cash transactions) from the pics that are uploaded, most of the companies allows the usage the pics. But once anyone tries to sell it, then it will be violation of copyrights.

    I further explain to them about the RL cash with simos, and got a reply saying that if im going to upload the Piyo Duck pic, im not allowed to SELL anything that has the image on it (even for simos) but only for personal use (display / gifts).

    is it the same for all the rest of the companies?
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Matt Groenig (creator of The Simpsons) said in an interview concerning a lawsuit he filed against a leading 'zine that he really really liked their cover, and the 'zine, and couldn't care less if they rip off his images...but...to maintain the legitimacy of his claims against the folks he DID want to go after...like the rip-off shirt-sellers...he's been advised that he has to go after EVERYONE...kind of a "protect your turf or it ain't yours anymore" attitude of the courts...so, yeah, folks, you could wind up with troubles, especially given the real money involved now.

    The thing that got my goat in the new agreement, and which will probably mean that I don't make content for this game (unless it's something generic like a greening machine or whatnot), was the part somewhere along the lines of EA owning the IP rights of the character ideas we come up with in the game. That's fine print I can do without, and might be the one thing that pushes me out of this game entirely. In Second Life, PLAYERS retain the IP rights for their creations. Even Guild Wars lets you make derivative works based on your character, and doesn't act like it belongs to them.

    Looks like EA finally found a way to force us to play generic "me-as-a-sim" characters in this game, and take our creativity elsewhere...

    In addition to the EA.com Terms of Service, http://www.ea.com/global/legal/tos.jsp, terms regarding your rights and responsibilities regarding copyright, trademarks, and other proprietary rights, you acknowledge and agree that all characters created, items acquired and developed, and content uploaded to the Game or its website as a result of, or for, game play are part of the Game and are the sole intellectual property of EA. You agree that you may upload or otherwise transmit on or through the Game only Content (as defined in the EA.com TOS) that is not subject to any intellectual property or other rights of any third party.
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    EA is provided a so-called "safe harbor" by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- a US copyright law. OSP providers, and this definition can be applied to EA in terms of our access to EA Land

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I have to disagree with this, as EA is an 'end user' rather than a 'provider'.
    Even so, the exact determination (assuming a dispute) could only be settled by the court once proceedings have begun. An expensive risk, no matter the result.
    The rest is spot on.
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    BTW - Copyrighted material need not be sold to infringe on the copyright.
    For example - you could copy a best selling novel and give away thousands of copies for free - and still be in violation.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The thing that got my goat in the new agreement, and which will probably mean that I don't make content for this game (unless it's something generic like a greening machine or whatnot), was the part somewhere along the lines of EA owning the IP rights of the character ideas we come up with in the game. That's fine print I can do without, and might be the one thing that pushes me out of this game entirely.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I agree - what creator wants to hand his/her hard work over to EA for no compensation or recognition while at the same time, EA turns that work into profit for it's own pocket? Not too many, I suspect.
    In fact - it was this very sticking point that turned away many a talented content creator 5 years ago, including an extremely talented one that I knew personally.
    Being 'allowed' to sell it IG for simoleons is most definitely NOT the same thing as fair compensation.
     
  17. Gilly, I had the same concerns as you about all the copyright images I have seen in the game. I do know that many images were uploaded for testing before EA changed the TOS. You are violating the TOS if you upload copyright images, yet EA approved obviously copyrighted material. Go figure, sure seems to be sending a mixed message to the players.

    Perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money from using these images but people should think twice before uploading to EA-Land images that are not their own. They could get in serious trouble if the owner of that image decides to go after them for selling their work.

    There seems to be a general acceptance by the Sim community to use copyrighted material in their game. Just look at all the sites offering downloads for the offline sim games. Many of the sim paintings as well as bedspreads and furniture have copyright images on them. I have not heard any stories about Disney or any other big company going after the sites or creators. I have on the other hand seen many local sim artists posting threats that they will go after anyone infringing on their copyrights.
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I recently saw on Good Morning America (I think) a story about a video that a family had posted on Youtube showing their young kids, a toddler in particular that was dancing. Faintly in the backround you can hear a Prince song. Princes' lawyers contacted Youtube to have the video taken off and are sueing the family for that. They showed that Prince (and probably every other company) has a whole team of people that do nothing but sit at the computer and search for copyright infringements and illegal things. They get paid big bucks for this.
    I would think twice before putting any copyrighted pic in game, I really would.
     
  19. mariotso

    mariotso Guest

    i have the same concern gilly, which is why i have only done cc using my own images.

    i was really shocked to see images approved of simpsons, family guy, disney, etc.-- images which people clearly do not own the rights to. i fear ea is opening themselves up to liability issues.

    anyone have a post to what luc has to say about it?
     
  20. vapd3317

    vapd3317 Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money from using these images but people should think twice before uploading to EA-Land images that are not their own. They could get in serious trouble if the owner of that image decides to go after them for selling their work.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Rem,...They would be making real money from selling copyrighted items, as soon as they sell simoleons back to EA. That immediately would cause them to make a profit (if even a very small one) from the selling of the item.

    Also,...copyright assigned or not,...if the person sells an item (or even gives away such item) that was developed by another, and that developer can prove ownership without having profited from an initial sale of the item,...it can still lead to an expensive legal issue.

    *** All it would take, to start an ugly legal process in motion, is for someone to take a screenshot of an item in question and send it to the parent company or developer of that item and question if the item was taken from them without permission. ***
     
  21. <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money from using these images but people should think twice before uploading to EA-Land images that are not their own. They could get in serious trouble if the owner of that image decides to go after them for selling their work.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Rem,...They would be making real money from selling copyrighted items, as soon as they sell simoleons back to EA. That immediately would cause them to make a profit (if even a very small one) from the selling of the item.

    Also,...copyright assigned or not,...if the person sells an item (or even gives away such item) that was developed by another, and that developer can prove ownership without having profited from an initial sale of the item,...it can still lead to an expensive legal issue.

    *** All it would take, to start an ugly legal process in motion, is for someone to take a screenshot of an item in question and send it to the parent company or developer of that item and question if the item was taken from them without permission. ***

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I said perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money in TC3. There will be no real money exchanged for simoleans in TC3. EA will not be buying back simoleans in TC3, only in EA-Land.
     
  22. vapd3317

    vapd3317 Guest

    Yes, I understand that on the sale,...but as I stated, giving the item away as a gift, without ever purchasing the rights to the item can also lead to problems.

    Please understand I SUPPORT your comment and did not mean to come across as saying you were in error.
     
  23. Keep It Real

    Keep It Real Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money from using these images but people should think twice before uploading to EA-Land images that are not their own. They could get in serious trouble if the owner of that image decides to go after them for selling their work.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Rem,...They would be making real money from selling copyrighted items, as soon as they sell simoleons back to EA. That immediately would cause them to make a profit (if even a very small one) from the selling of the item.

    Also,...copyright assigned or not,...if the person sells an item (or even gives away such item) that was developed by another, and that developer can prove ownership without having profited from an initial sale of the item,...it can still lead to an expensive legal issue.

    *** All it would take, to start an ugly legal process in motion, is for someone to take a screenshot of an item in question and send it to the parent company or developer of that item and question if the item was taken from them without permission. ***

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I said perhaps it is not a concern for TC3 since no one is making any real money in TC3. There will be no real money exchanged for simoleans in TC3. EA will not be buying back simoleans in TC3, only in EA-Land.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    But simoleans are in fact being sold in TC3 for RL money, just not by EA.
     
  24. <blockquote><hr>

    Yes, I understand that on the sale,...but as I stated, giving the item away as a gift, without ever purchasing the rights to the item can also lead to problems.

    Please understand I SUPPORT your comment and did not mean to come across as saying you were in error.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I thought you might not have realized that EA was not doing a simolean/dollar exchange in TC3 and yes I agree with you that unless they have permission to use the image they could still be in deep doo-doo.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    We have not yet changed the User Agreement. It is still the same one you agreed to when you first signed up.
     
  26. <blockquote><hr>

    We have not yet changed the User Agreement. It is still the same one you agreed to when you first signed up.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]
     
  27. <blockquote><hr>

    But simoleans are in fact being sold in TC3 for RL money, just not by EA.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Oh wise one I have no knowledge of that. [​IMG]
     
  28. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I am with remflyer, I had to sign an agreement that included information about uploading cc....a couple of times in the last few months....and I don't remember that being in the original agreement.

    Regardless of whether the one I signed was old or new, however, the agreement clearly stated that all uploaded items, had to be our own property....and that we had the right, to give the right, to use those images, to EA Games, as they chose.

    My point, is that there are a lot of Disney, Looney Tunes, Simpson and Garfield images in TC3.....and I seriously doubt anyone, that made those cards, had the legal right to assign copyright privileges for those images, over to EA Games.....and quite possibly, are in violation of copyright laws in uploading it, themselves, even for their own use. [​IMG]

    Further to this issue, is that most people do not read User Agreements closely....and even if they caught the bit about only uploading images we have a legal right to, seeing Disney, et al, in the game on other peoples cc, it is only going to encourage them to dismiss that legal technicallity, and cruise the internet, ripping off any image they like, regardless of whether it is copyright protected or not. [​IMG]

    I am not a lawyer, but this seems like a big potential pothole in the road to a profitable game, as well as being confusing as hell. [​IMG]
     
  29. Keep It Real

    Keep It Real Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    But simoleans are in fact being sold in TC3 for RL money, just not by EA.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Oh wise one I have no knowledge of that. [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Thats ok, not many people do know about it and even more people think it's a TOS violation, (which it is not btw), but it has been a service some players have offered to other players for a long long time.
     
  30. <blockquote><hr>

    I am with remflyer, I had to sign an agreement that included information about uploading cc....a couple of times in the last few months....and I don't remember that being in the original agreement.

    Regardless of whether the one I signed was old or new, however, the agreement clearly stated that all uploaded items, had to be our own property....and that we had the right, to give the right, to use those images, to EA Games, as they chose.

    My point, is that there are a lot of Disney, Looney Tunes, Simpson and Garfield images in TC3.....and I seriously doubt anyone, that made those cards, had the legal right to assign copyright privileges for those images, over to EA Games.....and quite possibly, are in violation of copyright laws in uploading it, themselves, even for their own use. [​IMG]

    Further to this issue, is that most people do not read User Agreements closely....and even if they caught the bit about only uploading images we have a legal right to, seeing Disney, et al, in the game on other peoples cc, it is only going to encourage them to dismiss that legal technicallity, and cruise the internet, ripping off any image they like, regardless of whether it is copyright protected or not. [​IMG]

    I am not a lawyer, but this seems like a big potential pothole in the road to a profitable game, as well as being confusing as hell. [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The laws offer EA a convenient "out" because YOU are the one uploading the material that you are claiming (by uploading) you own the rights to. EA is just the provider of storage space. *Which, by the way, Donavan, is why the law defines EA as an OSP, not an end user* If a copyright holder finds their property in EA Land, they can file a complaint with EA saying there is a violation. EA has a protocol to follow under the DCMA when a complaint is filed, and as long as they do that they are not held liable.

    There is no way EA could vet the custom content for ownership. The more egregious items (Winnie the Pooh, Bart Simpson) are likely not the property of the person uploading them into the game, although rights can be granted by the copyright holder. EA would need a huge staff to do this, and really -- it isn't something the law expects of them so there is no reason for them to do it. You, on the other hand (the general you -- the players) are the one responsible for having the rights to anything you claim is your custom content.

    If you want to put Homer Simpson or Bugs Bunny on your custom content, you can write to the owner of the rights and seek permission to use them. Sometimes rights are granted for a fee, and sometimes free.
     
  31. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The laws offer EA a convenient "out" because YOU are the one uploading the material that you are claiming (by uploading) you own the rights to. EA is just the provider of storage space. *Which, by the way, Donavan, is why the law defines EA as an OSP, not an end user

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Unless you can show me where EA is specifically named an OSP <u>by the law</u>, then it is nothing more than an interpretation by some lawyer.
    No 'approval', no upload - which means EA controls the uploads, not the players. Sooo.... if EA 'approves' your upload of a copyrighted Donald Duck dancing in the shower, it is exactly the same as them giving you their permission. And that............. is actionable.

    The very fact that they claim the authority to "approve" uploaded material means they have the "responsibility" to police their own rules, especially as it pertains to legal issues. But.... even this is arguable in court, and that's my main point - going to court means you may win the case - but the expense, lost time, aggravation, etc turns everyone involved into a loser. Even EA.
    Here's the fact - EA's pockets are deep enuff for nearly any lawyer to challenge them and their 'agreement' in court. Would they win? Who knows... but no 'disclaimer' has ever proven bullet-proof in court.... nor should it.
    EA is attempting to use it's player base for providing added content in the game with which to attract new players (income) - perhaps even to sell some of that content for additional income, while at the same time dodging any legal issues that may arise from that content, and in fact, even re-directing ALL legal responsibility back onto the very players they are accepting content from.
    All without a nickel of compensation.
    Doesn't exactly scream "integrity".
     
  32. narasan

    narasan Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Logically, it is the same as sharing music files isn't it? That's why they are going after internet radio stations.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mmm internet radio stations have to pay a royaltie to RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for each song that they play. This is why many of them out there ask for donations so that they can pay the royalties.
     
  33. Bindy

    Bindy Guest

    *TTL*

    Just my opinion but Id advise everyone to be careful of what they make for CC since it is questionable right now. Better to be safe than in court later. [​IMG]
     
  34. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I don't think its so much the OSP, I believe it's that they said the approval process was for "mature" content. As far as I know(someone correct me if I am wrong) they had said the approval process was so that no NC-17(xxx, w/e, call it what you will) material made it into the game. By stating that, they made no claims as to the intellectual properties of the custom content being used.

    Then again, copyright stuff is easy to get around. You can copy and give something away all you want, you just can't make a profit off of it. So I could make 1500 dumbo's and give them out for free or even sell them for simoleans as long as said simoleans(in tc3 anyway)can't be turned into real money.
     
  35. It is only a copyright issue if you use someone else's material and call it your own, or r.l. $ profit in any way via the use of them. I do alot of roof art, and mostly use portraits of famous people, or cartoon characters, etc. Innocently using Garfield or Disney images in CC or roof art is more of a benefit to those companies than a hindrance, since it gives them a free advert. [​IMG]
     
  36. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Good point.

    I highly doubt most companies would come after you for using a picture of theirs in a manner that everyone can see.
     
  37. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    We have not yet changed the User Agreement. It is still the same one you agreed to when you first signed up.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, and that's what raised my eyebrow. I'm certain that wasn't there before, therefore anything we've created thus far would not be subject to this clause and would remain free from EA's attempts to usurp our IP rights.

    Going forward? Well, I just won't make any more stuff that I would mind having someone take away from me.

    But I still think it stinks. Time and again we've heard folks compare TSO to a box of crayons: You're going to get a lot out of it if you take the time and effort to draw a pretty picture...be creative and such. It ain't gonna do anything for you if you just stare at the box and say "entertain me." I'd like to extend that analogy, and ask if someone draws a picture, does that mean Crayola now owns the IP rights to the picture you drew? What about Mead Paper Company?

    It's just a piece of software...a box of crayons...the true creative power comes from the mind of whoever's using it, and they should retain IP rights.
     
  38. Keep It Real

    Keep It Real Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    We have not yet changed the User Agreement. It is still the same one you agreed to when you first signed up.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, and that's what raised my eyebrow. I'm certain that wasn't there before, therefore anything we've created thus far would not be subject to this clause and would remain free from EA's attempts to usurp our IP rights.

    Going forward? Well, I just won't make any more stuff that I would mind having someone take away from me.

    But I still think it stinks. Time and again we've heard folks compare TSO to a box of crayons: You're going to get a lot out of it if you take the time and effort to draw a pretty picture...be creative and such. It ain't gonna do anything for you if you just stare at the box and say "entertain me." I'd like to extend that analogy, and ask if someone draws a picture, does that mean Crayola now owns the IP rights to the picture you drew? What about Mead Paper Company?

    It's just a piece of software...a box of crayons...the true creative power comes from the mind of whoever's using it, and they should retain IP rights.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    X [​IMG]
    Agreed.
     
  39. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks.

    Plus it also said they own anything you post to the game's website...and that would be here.

    So does that mean anything posted in Auntie's Coffee House (after the new agreement) becomes EA property?
     
  40. Guest

    Guest Guest

    That would not be here. The official game website belongs to the blog and wiki.
     
  41. <blockquote><hr>


    Then again, copyright stuff is easy to get around. You can copy and give something away all you want, you just can't make a profit off of it. So I could make 1500 dumbo's and give them out for free or even sell them for simoleans as long as said simoleans(in tc3 anyway)can't be turned into real money.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Isn't that what MP3 and video file sharing programs did? Last I heard many of them were shut down or made to pay the music industry royalties. When you take someone else's work and give it away you are depriving them of the income they could have made. The same goes for duplicating books or art. The original creator has lost the ability to sell his or her work to the person that you gave their creation to for free.
     
  42. Keep It Real

    Keep It Real Guest

    I'll wait untill their lawyer calls my lawyer.
     
  43. Unless you can show me where EA is specifically named an OSP <u>by the law</u>, then it is nothing more than an interpretation by some lawyer.
    No 'approval', no upload - which means EA controls the uploads, not the players. Sooo.... if EA 'approves' your upload of a copyrighted Donald Duck dancing in the shower, it is exactly the same as them giving you their permission. And that............. is actionable.


    <font color=red>In the EA user agreement there is a clause that states you agree that you own the rights to any material you upload.</font color=red>

    The very fact that they claim the authority to "approve" uploaded material means they have the "responsibility" to police their own rules, especially as it pertains to legal issues. But.... even this is arguable in court, and that's my main point - going to court means you may win the case - but the expense, lost time, aggravation, etc turns everyone involved into a loser. Even EA.
    Here's the fact - EA's pockets are deep enuff for nearly any lawyer to challenge them and their 'agreement' in court. Would they win? Who knows... but no 'disclaimer' has ever proven bullet-proof in court.... nor should it.
    EA is attempting to use it's player base for providing added content in the game with which to attract new players (income) - perhaps even to sell some of that content for additional income, while at the same time dodging any legal issues that may arise from that content, and in fact, even re-directing ALL legal responsibility back onto the very players they are accepting content from.
    All without a nickel of compensation.
    Doesn't exactly scream "integrity".

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Believe me, EA's legal department knows the scope and guidelines for the DCMA.
    The DCMA provides "safe harbor" to EA because you are the one who agreed (in the EA user agreement you have to sign at initial log in) that all material you uploaded to their site was owned by you. If a copyright holder finds their material on EA's site, they file a complaint. EA processes the paperwork (informs you that a complaint has been filed, pulls access to the contested material, provides your real name and contact info to the complaining party) and that is all that is required of them. They don't have any participation in the legal battle at all.


    According to the statutory language, the DCMA encompasses any "provider of online services or network access". The DCMA broadly applies to any "service provider" that is "transmitting, routing, or providing connections for, material through a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider". It is a broad net, intentionally. (No pun intended.)

    Copyright has two main purposes. First, the protection of the author's right to obtain commercial benefit from their intellectual property. Second, the protection of the author's general right to control how a work is used. If you aren't selling the copyrighted material, you can argue that you are not gaining by it. And, that the owner is not losing. However, the owner can claim that your use of their property was not approved, and that your use is harming their work.

    Putting a celebrity's or famous cartoon image on your custom content might seem to be "just good advertising" -- the law sees it differently. It's up to the copyright owner to decide if they want free advertising, or not. If they want them, they will be sure to contact you. Don't rationalize whether it hurts the owner or not; if you want to be within the law, ask them. Usually that's not too hard to do. There are some law suits out there that seem funny to read about(like Disney going after the people who used the Seven Dwarves on an ice cream truck), but I guarantee they were not humorous to the person(s) who had to bear the costs and aggravation of the law suit.

    On the other hand, there are places you can easily obtain rights to copyrighted images. Most of them involve posting a link to the owner of those rights.

    Given the scope of violations on the net, very few copyright infringements are pursued. Personally, I wouldn't risk using material that is not mine to use.
     
  44. <blockquote><hr>



    Then again, copyright stuff is easy to get around. You can copy and give something away all you want, you just can't make a profit off of it. So I could make 1500 dumbo's and give them out for free or even sell them for simoleans as long as said simoleans(in tc3 anyway)can't be turned into real money.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Actually, in the past decade in the USA, commercial copyright violation involving more than 10 copies and value over $2500 was made a felony. The good news is that you would at least have the protection of criminal law, whereas being prosecuted for copyright infringements for less than 10 copies and a value under $2500 would leave you in civil court, where you can, and will be, expected to testify against your own interests.

    And, again, copyright infringement is not just when you make a profit. The owner of the copyright can say your use diminished his/her work, and put a pricetag on that damage when they sue you.
     
  45. <blockquote><hr>

    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, and that's what raised my eyebrow. I'm certain that wasn't there before, therefore anything we've created thus far would not be subject to this clause and would remain free from EA's attempts to usurp our IP rights.

    Going forward? Well, I just won't make any more stuff that I would mind having someone take away from me.

    But I still think it stinks. Time and again we've heard folks compare TSO to a box of crayons: You're going to get a lot out of it if you take the time and effort to draw a pretty picture...be creative and such. It ain't gonna do anything for you if you just stare at the box and say "entertain me." I'd like to extend that analogy, and ask if someone draws a picture, does that mean Crayola now owns the IP rights to the picture you drew? What about Mead Paper Company?

    It's just a piece of software...a box of crayons...the true creative power comes from the mind of whoever's using it, and they should retain IP rights.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EA's language is the standard, not the exception. The language in the recent EA agreement we had to sign mirrors that of most multiplayer games and online sites where users can create content. Second Life is considered unique in that they allow players to retain full IP rights to whatever they create.
     
  46. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>


    <blockquote><hr>

    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, and that's what raised my eyebrow. I'm certain that wasn't there before, therefore anything we've created thus far would not be subject to this clause and would remain free from EA's attempts to usurp our IP rights.

    Going forward? Well, I just won't make any more stuff that I would mind having someone take away from me.

    But I still think it stinks. Time and again we've heard folks compare TSO to a box of crayons: You're going to get a lot out of it if you take the time and effort to draw a pretty picture...be creative and such. It ain't gonna do anything for you if you just stare at the box and say "entertain me." I'd like to extend that analogy, and ask if someone draws a picture, does that mean Crayola now owns the IP rights to the picture you drew? What about Mead Paper Company?

    It's just a piece of software...a box of crayons...the true creative power comes from the mind of whoever's using it, and they should retain IP rights.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EA's language is the standard, not the exception. The language in the recent EA agreement we had to sign mirrors that of most multiplayer games and online sites where users can create content. Second Life is considered unique in that they allow players to retain full IP rights to whatever they create.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    exactly.
    [​IMG]
     
  47. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Unless you can show me where EA is specifically named an OSP <u>by the law</u>, then it is nothing more than an interpretation by some lawyer.
    No 'approval', no upload - which means EA controls the uploads, not the players. Sooo.... if EA 'approves' your upload of a copyrighted Donald Duck dancing in the shower, it is exactly the same as them giving you their permission. And that............. is actionable.


    <font color=red>In the EA user agreement there is a clause that states you agree that you own the rights to any material you upload.</font color=red>

    The very fact that they claim the authority to "approve" uploaded material means they have the "responsibility" to police their own rules, especially as it pertains to legal issues. But.... even this is arguable in court, and that's my main point - going to court means you may win the case - but the expense, lost time, aggravation, etc turns everyone involved into a loser. Even EA.
    Here's the fact - EA's pockets are deep enuff for nearly any lawyer to challenge them and their 'agreement' in court. Would they win? Who knows... but no 'disclaimer' has ever proven bullet-proof in court.... nor should it.
    EA is attempting to use it's player base for providing added content in the game with which to attract new players (income) - perhaps even to sell some of that content for additional income, while at the same time dodging any legal issues that may arise from that content, and in fact, even re-directing ALL legal responsibility back onto the very players they are accepting content from.
    All without a nickel of compensation.
    Doesn't exactly scream "integrity".

    [/ QUOTE ]


    [u\Believe me, EA's legal department knows the scope and guidelines for the DCMA.</u>
    The DCMA provides "safe harbor" to EA because you are the one who agreed (in the EA user agreement you have to sign at initial log in) that all material you uploaded to their site was owned by you. If a copyright holder finds their material on EA's site, they file a complaint. EA processes the paperwork (informs you that a complaint has been filed, pulls access to the contested material, provides your real name and contact info to the complaining party) and that is all that is required of them. They don't have any participation in the legal battle at all.


    According to the statutory language, the DCMA encompasses any "provider of online services or network access". The DCMA broadly applies to any "service provider" that is "transmitting, routing, or providing connections for, material through a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider". It is a broad net, intentionally. (No pun intended.)

    Copyright has two main purposes. First, the protection of the author's right to obtain commercial benefit from their intellectual property. Second, the protection of the author's general right to control how a work is used. If you aren't selling the copyrighted material, you can argue that you are not gaining by it. And, that the owner is not losing. However, the owner can claim that your use of their property was not approved, and that your use is harming their work.

    Putting a celebrity's or famous cartoon image on your custom content might seem to be "just good advertising" -- the law sees it differently. It's up to the copyright owner to decide if they want free advertising, or not. If they want them, they will be sure to contact you. Don't rationalize whether it hurts the owner or not; if you want to be within the law, ask them. Usually that's not too hard to do. There are some law suits out there that seem funny to read about(like Disney going after the people who used the Seven Dwarves on an ice cream truck), but I guarantee they were not humorous to the person(s) who had to bear the costs and aggravation of the law suit.

    On the other hand, there are places you can easily obtain rights to copyrighted images. Most of them involve posting a link to the owner of those rights.

    Given the scope of violations on the net, very few copyright infringements are pursued. Personally, I wouldn't risk using material that is not mine to use.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Surely you don't believe that EA's legal dept is the end all interpretation of DCMA definitions?
    I would guarantee that Disney, Warner Bros, et all have some pretty hi-falutin' lawyers of their own that could argue effectively that EA does NOT qualify as a provider. And "believe me" - they would if it is in their best interest.
    Which brings us back to "approval".
    EA reserves the "right" of approval for ALL uploaded materials - that means <u>nothing</u> you send gets put in game without their permission. <u>All by itself</u> this lends status of "co-conspirator" to EA because they have assisted the player in violating a copyright.
    Now..... this may not have an effect for some unknown like me that EA has no chance of knowing about - But for Disney or Looney Tune characters, which are widely known throughout the world, then you have the precept (if that's the right word) of "Due Dilligence" to contend with. Basically, all it means is using common sense - seeing something that is obviously wrong and taking appropriate action - if the approver sees a Mickey Mouse pic (which he should know is copyrighted), he is bound by 'due dilligence' to reject it.

    But, again - the point is that none of this is carved in stone. Just because EA "says" they aren't liable, that doesn't make them bullet-proof. A "legal defense" is not the same as invulnerability. The can still be challenged.
    The UA is a document created by EA and <u>may or may not</u> satisfy legal requirements in court.
    All I'm saying is that EA could be held responsible for copyright infringement if the "injured" party wants to make a fuss. Whether or not the charges stick would be up to a court to decide.
    That decision could come anywhere from the intial brief up thru the conclusion of a full trial.
    Every step of the way being expensive as hell.
    I guess, maybe, that is my real point - It would probably be better to dis-allow known copyrighted material than to take a chance on an expensive lawsuit.
     
  48. <blockquote><hr>


    Surely you don't believe that EA's legal dept is the end all interpretation of DCMA definitions?
    I would guarantee that Disney, Warner Bros, et all have some pretty hi-falutin' lawyers of their own that could argue effectively that EA does NOT qualify as a provider. And "believe me" - they would if it is in their best interest.
    Which brings us back to "approval".
    EA reserves the "right" of approval for ALL uploaded materials - that means <u>nothing</u> you send gets put in game without their permission. <u>All by itself</u> this lends status of "co-conspirator" to EA because they have assisted the player in violating a copyright.
    Now..... this may not have an effect for some unknown like me that EA has no chance of knowing about - But for Disney or Looney Tune characters, which are widely known throughout the world, then you have the precept (if that's the right word) of "Due Dilligence" to contend with. Basically, all it means is using common sense - seeing something that is obviously wrong and taking appropriate action - if the approver sees a Mickey Mouse pic (which he should know is copyrighted), he is bound by 'due dilligence' to reject it.

    But, again - the point is that none of this is carved in stone. Just because EA "says" they aren't liable, that doesn't make them bullet-proof. A "legal defense" is not the same as invulnerability. The can still be challenged.
    The UA is a document created by EA and <u>may or may not</u> satisfy legal requirements in court.
    All I'm saying is that EA could be held responsible for copyright infringement if the "injured" party wants to make a fuss. Whether or not the charges stick would be up to a court to decide.
    That decision could come anywhere from the intial brief up thru the conclusion of a full trial.
    Every step of the way being expensive as hell.
    I guess, maybe, that is my real point - It would probably be better to dis-allow known copyrighted material than to take a chance on an expensive lawsuit.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It would be impossible for EA to vet and/or approve every piece of custom content that they allow to be uploaded. Even with Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson images -- the person who is uploading them might have obtained rights for use. EA requires players to vouch for the material they upload as belonging to them.

    I can't find the User Agreement that we had to sign in game recently, but EA has one posted that we all had to agree to in order to purchase a subscription to TSO. Here are relevant clauses that cover the wide backside of EA (as a corporate entity; this comment not intended to imply that any singular employee or agent of EA has a wide backside):

    You must have the legal right to upload any Content to EA Online before you do so. You shall not copy, transmit, modify, distribute, show in public or in private, modify or create any derivative works from the Content you find on EA Online, unless EA expressly authorizes you to do so in writing. Making unauthorized copies of any Content found on EA Online can lead to the termination of your EA Online Account(s) (or revocation of Guest status, if you are a guest) and may subject you to further legal action. Similarly, other content owners may take criminal or civil action against you. In that event, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless EA and its subsidiaries, affiliates, related companies, employees, officers, directors and agents.

    EA respects the intellectual property rights of others. You may not upload or post on EA Online any Content protected by copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights (the “Intellectual Property Rights”) unless (i) you are the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights; or (ii) you have the prior written consent of the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights to make such use of the applicable Content. EA may, without prior notice to you, remove from EA Online any Content that EA in its sole business judgment believes may infringe the Intellectual Property Rights of a third party. If you are a repeat infringer of a third party’s Intellectual Property Rights, EA may immediately terminate your EA Account without prior notice to you. If your Account is terminated, no refund will be granted, and you will lose access to everything associated with your Account (such as points, virtual property and tokens).

    If you are a copyright owner and you believe that any Content posted on EA Online infringes your rights, you may submit a written notification to us. Please visit
    http://www.ea.com/global/legal/legalnotice.jsp for more information


    ( sections copied from the document posted at http://legal.ea.com/legal/legal.jsp?language=en )
     
  49. narasan

    narasan Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    We have not yet changed the User Agreement. It is still the same one you agreed to when you first signed up.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ummm ok I'm confused. I don't recall there being a paragraph about cc in the original User Agreement. However one popped up in the latest agreement that I had to accept when the game updated? [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Same here, and that's what raised my eyebrow. I'm certain that wasn't there before, therefore anything we've created thus far would not be subject to this clause and would remain free from EA's attempts to usurp our IP rights.

    Going forward? Well, I just won't make any more stuff that I would mind having someone take away from me.

    But I still think it stinks. Time and again we've heard folks compare TSO to a box of crayons: You're going to get a lot out of it if you take the time and effort to draw a pretty picture...be creative and such. It ain't gonna do anything for you if you just stare at the box and say "entertain me." I'd like to extend that analogy, and ask if someone draws a picture, does that mean Crayola now owns the IP rights to the picture you drew? What about Mead Paper Company?

    It's just a piece of software...a box of crayons...the true creative power comes from the mind of whoever's using it, and they should retain IP rights.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    <font color="purple"> You hit the nail right on the head! I totally agree with what you said.

    Just think about drawing 100's or even 1,000 of pictures on a Etch A Sketch would they belong to them? LMAO just think of the millions of sketch out pics they would own.

    I have uploaded CC but everything I uploaded was of either my family or of a picture that I made myself. Someone did give me a picture of a flag with Mickey Mouse on it that she saw at a store and bought to give it to me as a gift since I have a growning displace for supporting our troops. Looks like to be on the safe side I will have to get rid of that CC.</font>
     
  50. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    It would be impossible for EA to vet and/or approve every piece of custom content that they allow to be uploaded. Even with Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson images -- the person who is uploading them might have obtained rights for use. EA requires players to vouch for the material they upload as belonging to them.

    I can't find the User Agreement that we had to sign in game recently, but EA has one posted that we all had to agree to in order to purchase a subscription to TSO. Here are relevant clauses that cover the wide backside of EA (as a corporate entity; this comment not intended to imply that any singular employee or agent of EA has a wide backside):

    You must have the legal right to upload any Content to EA Online before you do so. You shall not copy, transmit, modify, distribute, show in public or in private, modify or create any derivative works from the Content you find on EA Online, unless EA expressly authorizes you to do so in writing. Making unauthorized copies of any Content found on EA Online can lead to the termination of your EA Online Account(s) (or revocation of Guest status, if you are a guest) and may subject you to further legal action. Similarly, other content owners may take criminal or civil action against you. In that event, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless EA and its subsidiaries, affiliates, related companies, employees, officers, directors and agents.

    EA respects the intellectual property rights of others. You may not upload or post on EA Online any Content protected by copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights (the “Intellectual Property Rights”) unless (i) you are the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights; or (ii) you have the prior written consent of the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights to make such use of the applicable Content. EA may, without prior notice to you, remove from EA Online any Content that EA in its sole business judgment believes may infringe the Intellectual Property Rights of a third party. If you are a repeat infringer of a third party’s Intellectual Property Rights, EA may immediately terminate your EA Account without prior notice to you. If your Account is terminated, no refund will be granted, and you will lose access to everything associated with your Account (such as points, virtual property and tokens).

    If you are a copyright owner and you believe that any Content posted on EA Online infringes your rights, you may submit a written notification to us. Please visit http://www.ea.com/global/legal/legalnotice.jsp for more information


    ( sections copied from the document posted at http://legal.ea.com/legal/legal.jsp?language=en )


    [/ QUOTE ]
    It doesn't make any difference what EA says in it's agreement, EA is not the final arbiter. They are stating their position in the matter and trying to keep themselves as liable-free as possible (understandable). What matters is; would the court agree. This is the point.
    Just having people 'sign' an agreement does not automatically grant immunity from lawsuits. It may constitute a legal defense that would cause the judge to throw out the plaintiff's complaint - or, the judge could rule that the plaintiff's complaint has merit despite the agreement.
    Agreements are 'legal armor' used to protect oneself in case of a lawsuit. But, there is always a chance some legal eagle may find a 'chink' in that armor and exploit it.
    EA can do whatever it wants - if they want to trust the UA to protect them - fine.
    It just seems to me that, considering the potential amount of CC involved, a little more gingerbread would be appropriate.