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Arthmoor

Mod Compilations

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I don't know how many other people may have seen it on the BGS site, but there was/is a new mod compilation coming out. Many of us in the community do not like such things for various reasons, and in the thread we expressed those opinions. The discussion became heated, essentially a battleground between those who want compilations to exist, because they feel it makes the lives of mod users easier, and those of us who don't support them because they tend to exacerbate support issues, feedback issues, bug reports, and yes, download counts and endorsements.

The compilation, called Oblivion Evolution, drew in some pretty harsh criticism based on past experience from other compilations that have all come forth with the same good intentions and pure ideas only to turn out to have assimilated a ton of mods and NOT sought the permissions they claim to have. I am not saying that the author of this one has gone ahead without seeking permission. He has indeed begun that process and I have received private messages to that affect.

So why am I bringing this discussion here? The BGS moderators have seen fit to put an artificial clamp on discussing the issues, framed as such:

If the OP is trying to do something within careful guidelines, with getting permissions and so on, you will have to accept that it is a valid option, if done properly.

Simply put: No. We do not have to accept this. We have every right to oppose the idea on principle based on past history of this very issue coming up over and over again. Every single respectable mod hosting site known has taken a hard stance against supporting compilations even when the authors don't raise the complaints themselves. Suppressing the discussion of the issue on the official forum creates a situation where content authors asserting their rights are treated as the bad guy when that is simply not the case.

So what does everyone think? Are the days of having actual say in your creations over? Or are we dinosaurs clinging to our guns and religion for no good reason? Feel free to discuss this as openly as you wish. Around here, we don't follow the same policy of heavy handed enforcement unless it turns into blatant personal attacks. (Also, feel free to tell me if I'm an idiot for not putting this on the blog instead.)

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I actually like the idea of a compilation. I can see having a nice package that includes a variety of things I want to run. I would like to know which version of a mod that the compilation includes so that if a new version of a component mod comes out, I can decide if I want to continue with the version that's in the compilation or remove the compilation and run the new version of the individual mod.While I am active in the community and supporting my mods, then I don't want anybody else touching them. But once I'm gone from the community, they're fair game. Now I have updated my license terms to say that. However most mod authors in the early days didn't even think about it. I think abandoned mods should be fair game. That's the one issue where you, Arthmoor, and I disagree. People put a mod together and then they move on. They don't even think about it anymore. I would say that if they weren't concerned enough about it to put any kind of license terms in, then I take that as not really caring what people do with their mod once they're gone.

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I don't know how many other people may have seen it on the BGS site' date=' but there was/is a new mod compilation coming out. Many of us in the community do not like such things for various reasons, and in the thread we expressed those opinions. The discussion became heated, essentially a battleground between those who want compilations to exist, because they feel it makes the lives of mod users easier, and those of us who don't support them because they tend to exacerbate support issues, feedback issues, bug reports, and yes, download counts and endorsements.

The compilation, called Oblivion Evolution, drew in some pretty harsh criticism based on past experience from other compilations that have all come forth with the same good intentions and pure ideas only to turn out to have assimilated a ton of mods and NOT sought the permissions they claim to have. I am not saying that the author of this one has gone ahead without seeking permission. He has indeed begun that process and I have received private messages to that affect.

So why am I bringing this discussion here? The BGS moderators have seen fit to put an artificial clamp on discussing the issues, framed as such:

If the OP is trying to do something within careful guidelines, with getting permissions and so on, you will have to accept that it is a valid option, if done properly.

Simply put: No. We do not have to accept this. We have every right to oppose the idea on principle based on past history of this very issue coming up over and over again. Every single respectable mod hosting site known has taken a hard stance against supporting compilations even when the authors don't raise the complaints themselves. Suppressing the discussion of the issue on the official forum creates a situation where content authors asserting their rights are treated as the bad guy when that is simply not the case.

So what does everyone think? Are the days of having actual say in your creations over? Or are we dinosaurs clinging to our guns and religion for no good reason? Feel free to discuss this as openly as you wish. Around here, we don't follow the same policy of heavy handed enforcement unless it turns into blatant personal attacks. (Also, feel free to tell me if I'm an idiot for not putting this on the blog instead.)

OOO is part compilation mod, and it's pretty much the standard jump-off for most players today.I think you have misread what the BGS mods said, namely:
If the OP is trying to do something within careful guidelines, with getting permissions and so on, you will have to accept that it is a valid option, if done properly.
Note the bolded part, basically if a mod author gets permission to do so there is no reason for them not to budle mods together, as I said, see OOO.I agree with that, you are free to download, or not to download, and free to express an opinion about the wisdom or otherwise of using a particular mod. Why shouldn't you be?

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I think abandoned mods should be fair game.
The law agrees with you. However' date=' the period of abandonment lasts 75 years beyond the death of the author. :)
I would say that if they weren't concerned enough about it to put any kind of license terms in, then I take that as not really caring what people do with their mod once they're gone.
The problem here is that the user may not have been aware of the implications of not providing a license. The legal aspects of this put sites that do hosting in serious jeopardy if they ignore the default position in copyright. They have to come down on the side of "if it's not specified, you can't" and legalistic or not, I tend to agree. The act of me uploading something to the internet simply grants an implied license to that site to distribute the work. It does not grant anyone the right to assume they can do with it as they please.
OOO is part compilation mod' date=' and it's pretty much the standard jump-off for most players today.[/quote']Yes, it is, but OOO did things the right way, and the vast majority of the compiled content was written by some of the people who are still maintaining the project today. It's not quite the same thing as Joe Blow from Internetville gathering up hundreds of big mods (yes, I think OOO was on this guy's list of BAIN packages) and presenting it as one cohesive work.
I think you have misread what the BGS mods said, namely:
Nope. I wasn't taking exception to that. I was taking exception to the assertion that we must accept it as a valid option. I don't, and that's why I've declined to give permission for him to use the components I control. the moderators playing heavy handed games to try and force the issue isn't going to help. There's actually a fairly good chance it'll backfire and cause more people to retreat away from the community at large.
I agree with that, you are free to download, or not to download, and free to express an opinion about the wisdom or otherwise of using a particular mod. Why shouldn't you be?
Agreed, but the moderators have spoken, and it's now verboten to have an opinion against compilation projects. Or didn't you catch the underlying meaning there?

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The law agrees with you. However' date=' the period of abandonment lasts 75 years beyond the death of the author. :)[/quote']Right, but dissapear for a few months on line and you're ded, and three years online is like 100 offline. There's the rub, in the "real" world someone being uncontactable for even a decade doesn't necessarily mean anything, and it takes years after a dissapearence before you can be declared "legally" dead, but in a weird way the internet isn't the real world.

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Yes, but internet or not, it's still governed by actual laws which don't make exceptions for "internet time". Which means copyright on your work lasts for your liftetime plus 75 years following your death. There is no such thing in copyright as abandonment. You're thinking of trademark, which doesn't apply here.HAH! Imagine finding an article on Ars about this issue (see orphaned works): http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/08/the-british-government-has-endorsed.ars

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Well, ok. Several things:For those of you who are curious, Thread 1 Thread 2 @ BGS

1. I hate these threads. They are always, without fail, cesspools of jackassery and bullshit soapboxing. That's before you even get to the usually bullshit nature of the compilations in question.

1a. I really wish DragoonWraith would calm the hell down. Then again, if I'd been around as long as him maybe I'd be testy too. Still.

1b. Leydenne's post at the end of that first thread? Great Truth. If I was her I would have shut that the hell down too.

2. I'm with everyone else, compilations are pretty generally a dumb idea, and I can't see myself supporting this one if asked. That said, this guy seems to have a better handle on it than most, so as long as he can do it in a way that's kosher, more power to him.

3. All of that said, with respect to that snippet of Leydenne's post up there, she is quite correct, and really what part of the word "getting permissions" did we all miss there. Nobody's saying he gets to just jack people's stuff, and until he does or does not, that's that. Obviously if he does go around jacking stuff, nobody's cool with that, but as long as he's getting permissions that's really between him and the authors in question, now isn't it.

Of course, at the present time this whole thing is vaporware, without a concrete list of mods or anything, so meh. If he actually fucks up, ok, but I'm not interested in thought policing the dude.

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Nobody is trying to thought police Klaus here. Dragoonwraith raised a perfectly legitimate issue and was met with ridiculous levels of hostility over it. He then reacted to that in ways which were less than cool. You have to admit though, some of the people who were stamping their feet loudly demanding that modders go fuck off or something didn't help. *I* take exception to any asshole who thinks they can just hijack my stuff and I shouldn't have any say in that. Far too many people in that thread were trying to justify their positions on piracy by doing just that. It tends to irritate those of us who make the shit they're stealing.

Really, the issue wasn't about Klaus. It drifted, as forum threads often do, into a relevant and related subject. The fact that the mods are threatening to suspend people for daring to voice an opinion on how their stuff gets used is seriously bothering me. If anyone is playing thought police now, it's them, in trying to stamp out any opposition to this sort of thing. That's fine, their site, their rules. They shouldn't expect this to dull the impact it'll have though and it certainly won't stop people from reporting the compilation if things turn south.

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Like I said, there was an awful lot of jackassery to go around in that thread, which to all appearances is what drove the mod response. From what Leydenne said, what _I_ got was "you guys need to shut up about this particular mod compilation unless he starts taking stuff without asking." Because, well, yeah, actually people WERE trying to thought police the guy there pretty much from the get go.

Frankly, if I was a mod and I saw people acting the way everybody in that entire thread with the possibly sole exception of Klaus was acting? I'd shut it down too, regardless of anybody's individual merits on the issues, which in this case were sorely lacking in any event. Nonsense about covered it from my perspective.

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True, nobody denies there was jackassery (new word btw). The problem is, it came out of the entitlement camp first after a couple of us expressed concern over the idea of compilations.

They were probably justified enough from the sniping alone to close the thread, but their followups to that indicate that they also want to silence opposing views on the subject of compilations. That's the main thing I'm taking issue with here. Now the cynic in me says they're doing it based on some sort of agenda. Maybe they WANT to promote this sort of thing. In which case they're free to just say so.

If they aren't careful they could end up validating Giskard's opinion of the way they run things there.

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First of all, this;

Also' date=' feel free to tell me if I'm an idiot for not putting this on the blog instead.[/quote']
there was an awful lot of jackassery to go around in that thread

This too.

I read every bit of that thread' date=' and laughed pretty much all through it. Knew from the start it would turn into the shit fight that it did. Ok, so what exactly do we want to discuss here. A mod compilation idea or legal rights and permissions to mods? Two entirely different things.

A compilation; Yeah, so what? is what I said. That's nice. I have no use for a compilation of outdated mods. His claim of a compilation of the best of Oblivion mods is entirely subjective. I saw OOO in there. Thanks but I don't want OOO. (In case anyone missed it, the list is here and here. Anything appended with (Oblivion Evolution) )

Now, it may be nice and easy for the noobie trying to mod their game. Getting tired of every other thread at BGS asking "What's the best..." so maybe this will help. Nobody but the people who gave permission for Klaus to use their mod is on the hook to support it. So why is everyone crying?

Rights and permissions; Done to death. No one should have a "right" to claim someone elses work. Period.

Are the days of having actual say in your creations over?

Absolutely not. Just say no' date=' you can't use it. End of story. Which I'm sure you've done anyway as I see a few of your things in those lists. That doesn't give you (or anyone else) the right to try to force others to say no because it's a bad concept. Let them decide.

They were probably justified enough from the sniping alone to close the thread' date=' but their followups to that indicate that they also want to silence opposing views on the subject of compilations.[/quote']

I didn't get that at all. They are simply forum mods doing their job to stop the flaming and trolling and keep the thread on topic. Of course, then another guy comes along, opens a new thread about permissions to get everyone all riled up again.

I was very surprised he was allowed to open his thread again after one day.

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I've worked with Klaus on some stuff for Oblivion XP and I can tell you he's a stand-up guy. He's very good technically, especially at UI stuff, which is what the compilation includes so far. He's German, which means he's rather pig-headed :lol: He shared a bunch of his UI work with me, but I don't think I used any of it. He also did the German translation of Oblivion XP.

I would like to see compilations offered as an alternative for those that want to run them. But yes, I can see them becoming obsolete rather quickly if they include currently supported and developed mods.

And yeah, I don't have any more time for the "entitled" bunch than anybody else here does. There was actually a guy on ModCraft who thought that somebody should package the top 100 mods and create an executable to install the package. And if we didn't, we were failures. Guess who that was, Arthmoor?

Unfortunately that thread quickly degraded into name calling which the mods can't tolerate.

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Nobody but the people who gave permission for Klaus to use their mod is on the hook to support it. So why is everyone crying?

Because we don't want to be the ones on the hook to support it. I'm sorry if that comes across as elitist or something' date=' but I refuse to be on the hook to the masses for versions of my stuff that may well be broken and out of date. If a compilation maintainer is not willing to step up and take responsibility for what they're doing, then I think we have every right to object to that. Apparently the moderators feel otherwise.

That doesn't give you (or anyone else) the right to try to force others to say no because it's a bad concept. Let them decide.

Nobody was doing that. The only thing I saw was Dragoonwraith, in his rather aggressive manner, emphatically stating what many of us already know to be fact. EVERY LAST ONE of these things has collapsed as an utter failure after finding out the person doing them hasn't bothered with permissions. Pirate Bay is filled with them because that's the only kind of place left that will take them.

This is what led to the attacks though. A couple of snotty ass demanding little brats showed up and basically said we have no right to withhold our work from anyone. Like hell we don't. Either they were trolling (I doubt it) or the modding community picked up a massive infusion of kids who have zero respect for the work that's been done. I know this became a rampant problem with F:NV because Nexus had a shitstorm on the subject already. The whole thing is what led to the entire permissions thing in mod listings. I sure as hell don't want to see Skyrim modding infected with this kind of bullshit because the natural reaction is to peel back and keep your mods to yourselves or a close circle of friends.

As a parallel, this sort of thing went on for years in the MUD community and all but destroyed it when it became clear nobody gave a rat's ass what the codebase authors thought. The end result? There hasn't been an actual new codebase in 10+ years. Nobody wants to put up with the thieves.

Of course, then another guy comes along, opens a new thread about permissions to get everyone all riled up again.

The second guy had a legitimate question. Abandoned mods are a somewhat grey area morally in this community. Legally, the issue is crystal clear which is why I stuck to that when addressing it. It could have veered off the rails, but didn't.

I was very surprised he was allowed to open his thread again after one day.

I wasn't. Not with the ridiculous number of people who have characterized any legitimate criticism of the idea as an attack on the guy doing the work, and not with moderators who clearly want to see mod compilations done for Oblivion just because one managed to succeed for Morrowind. I'm sorry if that seems paranoid or cynical or something but I'm calling this one as I see it. I just don't want to get banned from the forum over it by ignoring their decree not to raise the issue there.

I've worked with Klaus on some stuff for Oblivion XP and I can tell you he's a stand-up guy. He's very good technically' date=' especially at UI stuff, which is what the compilation includes so far.[/quote']

You need to take a closer look at the two image links Hana posted. There's way more than a few textures and UI tweaks there. I am aware Klaus is a decent guy btw. He's already gone beyond what every other compilation packager has done. He actually did ask for permission. Yes, I've declined, but I didn't make that set in stone either. I'm going to wait and see how this plays out.

I would like to see compilations offered as an alternative for those that want to run them. But yes, I can see them becoming obsolete rather quickly if they include currently supported and developed mods.

The only person in the thread who appears dead set against it and will probably never change his mind is Dragoonwraith. I'm willing to give the idea a chance, but ONLY if it can be clearly demonstrated that the content creators aren't going to get shit on again like we always do.

There was actually a guy on ModCraft who thought that somebody should package the top 100 mods and create an executable to install the package. And if we didn't, we were failures. Guess who that was, Arthmoor?

Oh, I think I already know. And yeah, that person has issues :P

Unfortunately that thread quickly degraded into name calling which the mods can't tolerate.

Yes, but that doesn't mean the position against these things should be suppressed to the point where people have now been threatened with suspensions if they bring up any opposition to the idea.

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Oh, and one other thing. That compilation that KINGPIX refers to, I think that's 99% graphics mods. You might notice I said in the locked thread that such a thing would be far more easily accepted since most of the graphical stuff has ceased being updated. A compilation of all the best graphical mods (yes, subjective, I know) would go a lot further than trying to pile on a bunch of ESM/ESP files that may not play nice together.

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And guess what I just suggested on BGS to Klaus? A compilation of graphics mods :tongue: For me, that would be useful, because, quite frankly, in I don't know how many years of playing, I still haven't figured out what runs with what when it comes to texture replacers! I'm referring to the landscape and building texture replacers. And the mid-range stuff.I don't think the mods would have closed the thread if it was just a debate. But when it devolved into name calling, they decided it had gone too far.

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Klaus came to me asking permission to include Oblivion XP and I have given it. I asked him to wait until I do the final update, which I had planned for the next release. Basically I had planned to do one final release with all the remaining bug fixes and planned improvements in it... That is, until something or another happens and more bugs crop up! Well the best of intentions anyway.

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Like I said, we'll see. I've not ruled out allowing the two things he asked for from me that I can actually speak for.

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