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Caldtem

Creating Art Within an MMO

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In my latest posting I gave myself another quandary. I could be totally behind the ball as I am by no means an artist, but it isn't anything I have really heard of to date.

What if an MMO game allowed players to create their own art? Hell, the art community could have their own game, non artists could play too!

You could have painters, caricature artists, sculptures, etc.

Would this serve as any form of enjoyment for people or is it something best left to non-game art programs?

I personally think that, if it is technically feasible, it could provide hours of enjoyment for people that wouldn't even consider themselves artists. I remember playing Mario Paint when I was younger and I had quite a lot of fun. Would something like this fit in an MMORPG world? Waste of time?

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I'm sure people would enjoy it and would sell their in-game art to other players. The problem is the censorship angle. People will create obscene art and copyright violating art, and you open your game up to legal problems.

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I'm sure people would enjoy it and would sell their in-game art to other players. The problem is the censorship angle. People will create obscene art and copyright violating art, and you open your game up to legal problems.


I wonder if it would be realistically possible to have some moderation on the art, basically having GMs looking over it quickly and clicking "accept/deny" before it goes further to the gallery for all users. Given, you gotta have GMs then who are quite familiar with pop culture, memes and the rest that people can cause trouble with..

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Yes and no. APB comes to mind though you don't allow them to upload their art for the avatar, you can tend to give them a editor with advanced options.

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I'm sure people would enjoy it and would sell their in-game art to other players. The problem is the censorship angle. People will create obscene art and copyright violating art, and you open your game up to legal problems.


Couldn't it be determined by signing the EULA that art created within the game belongs to the owners of the game, not the individual that created it? On recreating art...I am not sure how that would be handled as I am not an attorney. Get the legal team right on that :). If any artwork is created that violates copyright, outright deleting it wouldn't be able to remedy the situation?

A system of review would certainly be necessary. Perhaps artwork could be reported by players and reviewed just as other reported issues would be reviewed?

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Couldn't it be determined by signing the EULA that art created within the game belongs to the owners of the game, not the individual that created it? On recreating art...I am not sure how that would be handled as I am not an attorney. Get the legal team right on that :). If any artwork is created that violates copyright, outright deleting it wouldn't be able to remedy the situation?

It might actually be worse that way, since if something belongs to you (i.e. you are the owner) then you are also responsible and liable. Though you would certainly need a clause in your EULA that grants you unrevocable publishing rights. Plus, you would certainly need a clause that says that the player is not allowed to post illegitimate/copyrighted work (for what it's worth).

Now the problem that I see with copyrighted work is that deleting offending content as soon as you detect it or as soon as someone complains may just not be enough. Technically, the moment you have a copy on your server, you have violated the copyright holder's rights (you have made a copy). And, technically, you've done it again after sending a copy to your moderators, and again for every user who saw it. And, sadly, there is no limit to how absurd lawsuits can get.

Add to that the fact that roughly 90% of the internet is about porn, and not few people on the internet (including people on games) just love to upset others purposely, and the threshold above which people consider content offensive is very much individual. Unless your game is strictly 18+, this just smells of trouble.
Mike the Moderator might think that this butt-like sculpture might not be too bad, but Sally Soccermom will sue you for 20 million for the permanent emotional damage that her 15 year old got from looking at it.

You just never know, only when it has happened ... :(

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[quote name='Caldenfor' timestamp='1312755041' post='4845931']
Couldn't it be determined by signing the EULA that art created within the game belongs to the owners of the game, not the individual that created it? On recreating art...I am not sure how that would be handled as I am not an attorney. Get the legal team right on that :). If any artwork is created that violates copyright, outright deleting it wouldn't be able to remedy the situation?

It might actually be worse that way, since if something belongs to you (i.e. you are the owner) then you are also responsible and liable. Though you would certainly need a clause in your EULA that grants you unrevocable publishing rights. Plus, you would certainly need a clause that says that the player is not allowed to post illegitimate/copyrighted work (for what it's worth).

Now the problem that I see with copyrighted work is that deleting offending content as soon as you detect it or as soon as someone complains may just not be enough. Technically, the moment you have a copy on your server, you have violated the copyright holder's rights (you have made a copy). And, technically, you've done it again after sending a copy to your moderators, and again for every user who saw it. And, sadly, there is no limit to how absurd lawsuits can get.

Add to that the fact that roughly 90% of the internet is about porn, and not few people on the internet (including people on games) just love to upset others purposely, and the threshold above which people consider content offensive is very much individual. Unless your game is strictly 18+, this just smells of trouble.
Mike the Moderator might think that this butt-like sculpture might not be too bad, but Sally Soccermom will sue you for 20 million for the permanent emotional damage that her 15 year old got from looking at it.

You just never know, only when it has happened ... :(
[/quote]

So something cool can't be done because people suck. Nothing new there. People that suck, you suck.

Hmmm... related, yet unrelated.

What if you could become a photographer of sorts instead of being able to freehand paint? Found a cool part of the world that you want to display in your home? Snap a picture and transfer it to a canvas, then toss it on the wall. It would be even crazier if you found a way to make it look as if it was being painted right in front of your eyes, but that is something far more complex than needed. You could sell the finished artwork to other players if you desired.

This would pretty much just be a way to screenshot in-game, remove the UI completely along with any other text(player names/labels/etc), just to let the physical part of the world be imaged.

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So something cool can't be done because people suck. Nothing new there. People that suck, you suck.[/quote]
Well just look how many hits you get when you enter "spore penis" in Google. That'll give you a general idea.

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So something cool can't be done because people suck. Nothing new there. People that suck, you suck.

Well just look how many hits you get when you enter "spore penis" in Google. That'll give you a general idea.
[/quote]

Generally not something I would Google for, especially not at work lol.

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"Couldn't it be determined by signing the EULA that art created within the game belongs to the owners of the game, not the individual that created it?"

You will need to consult a lawyer about this. Copyright is astoundingly complicated, particularly transnationally.

As an example; IIRC, the situation is something like that in a country within the Berne convention, the rights awarded to an individual must be no worse than the rights they would have from IP generated in their own nation. And since in the EU it is not permitted to have a blanket exclusive IP assignment agreement, that would imply that your EULA is instantly non-enforceable on any EU citizens, and hence you have NO rights to use their IP at all...

I have, in the past, had cause to ask lawyers about subjects involving international copyright limitations in a commercial context and the answers were SO COMPLICATED that we gave up on that way of doing things.

It's clearly not insoluble, because Wikipedia manages, and there all sorts of commons licences. But this is very definitely a long conversation to have with one of the bewigged.

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