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The Foundry - End User License Agreement

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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited August 2013
    wombat140 wrote: »
    Maybe they were actually trying to say, no real-life drugs or medication, rather than made-up ones? Otherwise a lot of missions, including their own, would be in difficulties. Heck, they're the ones who introduced the DOff missions trading in Ferasan funny tobacco.
    That was my take on it. No REAL drugss are allowed to be mentioned. Ketracel White is another good example.

    as for the pro-side.... The people who made Felicium did it for money. The Founders engineered the Ketracel "addiction" to keep the Jem'Hadar from revolting. In both cases you could play it off as them "needing" to make the stuff and give it to others in some way.
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  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    edited September 2013
    @wombat140: Now that I think about, I think the "causes" clause just means, don't use a Foundry mission to tell your readers to vote Republican or whatever. I think veiled commentary on real-life issues is fine.

    EDIT: I mean, hell, I named a starship USS Darfur in the mission I'm working on.
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  • adverberoadverbero Member Posts: 2,045 Arc User
    edited September 2013
    On the topic of things like made up drugs, Ketracel, and the like

    in my experience with video games that include any addactive substances, they tend to come up against opposition from legislation, so the use of made up drugs, even when the drug is still clearly having the same effect

    ( Med-X is basically Morphine for example, i know it, anybody who plays fallout should know it, but they weren't alloud to publish the game in australia without changing the name of it )

    so i would say yeah, they are just covering all the bases when it comes to the subject because some people with lawyers are far too touchy on the topic of What are in actual fact legitimate Medicines, let alone the illicit substances
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  • lincolninspacelincolninspace Member Posts: 1,843 Arc User
    edited November 2013
    Prescription drug abuse is a serious and major problem. It would be a bad idea for an author to include real life drugs or even allude to their effects. I think Cryptic is being responsible by including that clause in their eula.
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  • prierinprierin Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    There was some question about the exact meaning and limits of this portion of the EULA:
    • You may not use the first or last names, likenesses, or other depictions of any actors appearing in, or writers, directors, or producers of the Star Trek Properties.

    StormShade clarified it here:


    I have an issue with this and I think it needs further clarification as I can’t see how using a character from Star Trek in a Star Trek-based game solely for the purpose of creating playable Star Trek content that is owned entirely by Cryptic and Star Trek Online is a violation of any copyright infringement policy.

    The concept that I can’t use Ambassador Worf with his likeness as that character for a STO mission involving Federation/Klingon issues or, for that matter, using Empress Sela in a Tal Shiar/Romulan mission is ridiculous. Am I to assume that any and all player character names with O’Brien, Kirk, Sulu, etc. are to be mandated to change their names as to avoid these ‘copyright issues’? I think not.

    We players can not sell and do not own the foundry missions we create. 100% ownership goes back to Paramount via Cryptic. Therefore there is no possible threat of copyright infringement. Not to mention that the massive grey area in online content vs not-for-profit copyrighted material would blow this out of the water anyway.
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  • zorbanezorbane Member Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    It's only making a character look like someone else.
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  • drogyn1701drogyn1701 Member Posts: 3,606 Media Corps
    edited March 2014
    The issue isn't characters, it is the actors who played them. The actors all retain ownership of their likenesses and it is illegal to use their likeness without their permission. Not even Cryptic can do it. What Cryptic is empowered to do is negotiate with an actor like Denise Crosby or Tim Russ to use their likeness in the game. We are not empowered to do that.
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  • wombat140wombat140 Member Posts: 971 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    You can use the names of characters. That's Paramount or whoever's copyright, and Cryptic have a deal with them. What you can't use is the names of actors, because those are the individual actors' "copyright" and Cryptic have not got a deal with them. So you can name James T. Kirk in a mission, you just can't name William Shatner, and I don't see that that's likely to arise unless large-scale fourth wall silliness is going on.

    The awkward part is the likenesses, because obviously - except for the most heavily made-up aliens - you can't normally use the likeness of a character without using the likeness of the actor. As Drogyn1701 points out, on the few occasions where Cryptic does that, they've had to ask the actor's permission specially beforehand. There are, of course, sometimes possible workarounds... if you could arrange for a character to be in disguise throughout the mission, for instance, then you're away.
  • prierinprierin Member Posts: 7 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    wombat140 wrote: »
    You can use the names of characters. That's Paramount or whoever's copyright, and Cryptic have a deal with them. What you can't use is the names of actors, because those are the individual actors' "copyright" and Cryptic have not got a deal with them. So you can name James T. Kirk in a mission, you just can't name William Shatner, and I don't see that that's likely to arise unless large-scale fourth wall silliness is going on.

    The awkward part is the likenesses, because obviously - except for the most heavily made-up aliens - you can't normally use the likeness of a character without using the likeness of the actor. As Drogyn1701 points out, on the few occasions where Cryptic does that, they've had to ask the actor's permission specially beforehand. There are, of course, sometimes possible workarounds... if you could arrange for a character to be in disguise throughout the mission, for instance, then you're away.


    Hmmm.... that makes sense except.... my understanding is unless it is specifically written in the contract that the actor will retain all rights to the character he/she plays, including name, likeness, etc. that ownership reverts to the parent company under the Intellectual Property Rights – in this case, Paramount. This would mean that such character likenesses would be useable by Paramount and their subsidiaries for use in projects related to that character… i.e. Patrick Stewart’s likeness as Jean-Luc Picard for Star Trek titled games involving that character. Mr Stewart would have to give permission (and be contracted) for use of his voice and acting talents to bring life to that character, but the likeness is owned not by the actor but by the company.

    With that logic in mind there should be no concerns about using said character likenesses in licensed Star Trek content where no contract is required to create content, such as the Foundry. The same applies to fans dressing up as characters from Star Trek, including well-known and named characters (Picard, Data, Worf, etc.) for licensed conventions. If what you suggest in your above statement is accurate, each of these people would be in violation of copyright laws and the practice would be banned.

    I am not attempting to be argumentative about this and, no matter what it comes down to Cryptic’s final say… but it seems silly to me that we are allowed to create game client playable content but not able to use the characters associated with the game or its universe.
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  • drogyn1701drogyn1701 Member Posts: 3,606 Media Corps
    edited March 2014
    Whether or not you find it silly is irrelevant.
    You may not use the first or last names, likenesses, or other depictions of any actors appearing in, or writers, directors, or producers of the Star Trek Properties.

    It is what it is.
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  • wombat140wombat140 Member Posts: 971 Arc User
    edited March 2014
    Oh, I have no clue what the copyright law actually is on this point. I'm just explaining the rules that, if you read the EULA closely, Cryptic seems to be playing by.
  • captaindmutleycaptaindmutley Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    I wish to ask a rather daft question and I am kind of numb looking through this post.

    1. Is it feasable to use accolade images within fleet signatures?
    2. Is it feasable to use other images (roundals and other unit emblems) posted on this site. For example the new ships emblems (vesta is a prime example) and The Starfleet emblem posted within the news regarding the new uniforms for 9.5
  • thegreendragoon1thegreendragoon1 Member Posts: 1,872 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    This thread is specifically about the EULA for the Foundry. You would have to go read the Forum rules for that.
  • magicage13magicage13 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    Would I be able to create someone for my foundry that is part of the Q what-ever-it-is that isn't the already created Q?
  • drogyn1701drogyn1701 Member Posts: 3,606 Media Corps
    edited February 2015
    magicage13 wrote: »
    Would I be able to create someone for my foundry that is part of the Q what-ever-it-is that isn't the already created Q?

    Yes, as long as it doesn't look like any of the real-life actors that have played Qs
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    Well, a lot of people choose who to cosplay as based on their resemblance to the character. One of the better Scotty cosplays was good because the guy doing the cosplay looked so similar to Doohan.

    So it's mostly people dressing as the character, not so much trying to duplicate the likeness.
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  • drogyn1701drogyn1701 Member Posts: 3,606 Media Corps
    edited February 2015
    Just occurred to me that we now have MACO, Omega and other gear with opaque faceplates. That'd be a good way to use a canon character without having to worry about a face.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    It depends on how far you take it.

    "Inspired by" is fine, but direct copying? Not so much.
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  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,889 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    So like, I have a question.

    Does the EULA not let me use, like for example Stargate references?

    I just dropped 10k dill on project slots, I want to make like crossover missions, say Fringe and Star Trek or Stargate and Star Trek, and if I can't get my 10k dill's worth... I'ma be pist lol.

    An actual crossover would never be allowed in any MMO for legal reasons. Just look at the lawsuits started over people creating marvel and DC heroes in CoH and you'll see why. Even though it's you creating it, Cryptic would be heald liable because they made it possible.

    As Markhawkman said though, using them for inspiration is fine, as long as you don't outright steal their ideas.

    I'll sum it up with an example. Recreating Ghostbusters in the foundry would be bad, but making a spoof involving capturing dividians on DS9 would be fine (and is an idea I've kept in the bank of my mind since the dividians episode was first released).
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  • johnnysnowballjohnnysnowball Member Posts: 399 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    You would have to change their names, and any references that are copyrighted by the other IP, such as the word 'Stargate and such, and you wouldn't be able to use the likeness of an actor, heck you can't even use the actor likenesses from Trek in the Foundry.

    Cryptic is a company that produces Star Trek for profit. If they are seen to be making money with content in their game that uses another IP's property - like Fringe/Stargate, the owners of these properties can sue the pants off Cryptic.

    We can't even have the Guardian of Forever in a mission, as Cryptic only have the license to use it in that ONE mission it appears in.

    Basically, the Foundry forces you to create your own unique characters and missions.


    P.S:
    My advice: write it as a fanfiction story if you don't want to change stuff.
  • drogyn1701drogyn1701 Member Posts: 3,606 Media Corps
    edited February 2015
    Let me give you an example of something that is permissible.

    A while back for one of the challenges (i think the topic was time travel), I started writing a KDF mission where the player would be recruited into a new Klingon Empire organization that would be utilizing the empire's first time machine to send people back for forwards in order to benefit the empire. The plot would have the player make the first test of the machine and go back into the past to witness some event in the Enterprise era, but this time travel would draw the enmity of some powerful race of time travelers and you'd have to fight them.

    I realized I was, in a sense, writing something very similar to Stargate, which I'm a big fan of. However, i would be allowed to make this mission because: it's not set in the Stargate universe, doesn't include any characters, settings, races, etc from Stargate and doesn't even include a "stargate" at all. It just happens to have been inspired by the plot of the movie and pilot of Stargate SG-1 (without me even realizing it at first).

    I never finished it, but I could if I wanted to.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    ENh... gateways and spooks don't really constitute inspiration from a different franchise.

    Stargate wasn't the first to tread that path, and probably won't be the last.

    Now the "X-Files" angle... well.... they did that in the TV show. There was an episode of DS9 with people named Dulmer and Lucsly from the department of Temporal investigations. Unless you crib names from it the only way to make it recognizable as being X-Files inspired is to have a heavy emphasis on searching for answers in cases where there seem to be no answers. But even then the only way to keep it distinct from "CSI in space" you'd have to run the covert ops angle really hard.
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  • wombat140wombat140 Member Posts: 971 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    Yes, the difficulty with that idea would be to think of anything strange enough to be more "unexplained" than what regular Starfleet officers are expected to deal with! But it's not a EULA problem, so long as you don't openly bring in bits of the X-Files series itself, e.g. using their characters. The "unexplained phenomena" themselves are mostly fairly public-domain things, so that would be OK, e.g. you could have poltergeists or haunted cameras or whatever, since those aren't unique to the X-Files series. But as I say, Star Trek is kind of inimical to spookiness; either the supernatural thing turns out to have a reasonable explanation, or else they nod and call it a non-corporeal entity, which is a complete non-explanation but somehow makes it look reasonable and scientific.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited February 2015
    Well there are multiple well documented non-corporeal races in star trek. so it's not far fetched to use that as an explanation for ghost-like entities. Some of them even have the ability to possess humanoids, Ux-Mal and Ronin. But their origins are not well explored and are at least quasi-mystical. then you have the being from the Matrix... what was he/it? He/it was never seen outside Janeway's mind... Then we have Alice why did a sentient ship call a particle fountain home?

    It doesn't need to be supernatural to be unexplained, or spooky. It just needs to be mysterious and creepy.
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  • theyredeadjimtheyredeadjim Member Posts: 243 Arc User
    I'm not sure that I necessarily see a problem with using canon characters in Foundry missions. One can create a costume that looks like the character without looking like a particular actor; this is especially true where more than one actor has played the role.

    Case in point: Jim Kirk. We have seen three different visuals for the good Captain: William Shatner, Animation, and Chris Pine. I don't think that anyone could argue effectively that Mr. Shatner and Mr. Pine resemble each other, save in VERY broad strokes. In a similar vein, the TAS animation was voiced by Mr. Shatner, one would be hard-pressed to say that it looked like him, or Mr Pine.

    I would argue that an author is not violating the EULA if the image of the character would not be identifiable outside of the context of the character. Take the Jim Kirk example - if one makes an image that looks like the description of the character, but not the actors, should it still be out of bounds?
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