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The Foundry - End User License Agreement

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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,623 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    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?

    Short answer:
    It's possible to make someone called "James T Kirk" who has the same backstory but looks nothing like any actor (or likeness of the actor, there's TAS out.) However it would be tricky, in every respect (storytelling too), to do this right and perhaps best avoided.

    Long answer:
    In most cases characters and actors are indistinguishable. If you make a recognizable Kirk character then you're necessarily making a recognizable Shatner and/or Pine (animated series is simply a Shatner likeness, I don't think it's a separate case). If you don't make a recognizable Kirk/Shatner/Pine, then for a start one has to question just why your mission needs to edge the EULA. Secondly, as stated the EULA prohibits using likenesses. It doesn't say you have to succeed or use that likeness in full. You can't use it at all. A carefully worked "not quite kirk" (but you can still see as a plausible Kirk, for the character) can also be a EULA violation for either using the likeness to a point or being seen as merely an amateurish attempt to copy an actor. It depends on how much credit someone wants to give you :tongue:, and there is no appeals process granted by the EULA (as far as I know.)

    The only established exceptions are those characters who do not look like their host actors at all. Specifically, those in full makeup (ex. from Pax's latest mission) or can plausibly have a full-body change (ex. from Photonomy). In the case of actors-in-makeup, the question is then noticeably avoiding the underlying facial structure of the actor (since no other part of the actor's licensed phenotype shows, though this still is a very necessary step.) If the actor is all there is, then anything approaching (ie. using) their likeness is off limits, by the letter.

    For Captain John Harriman (1701-B) for example, I don't think you can "cast" a random Caucasian male and say "I've gone far enough!" You should (in best practice) change every single component that could be construed as "a use of the likeness of the actor" to avoid either the letter of the EULA or be seen to be breaking it badly. You might end up with an NPC design like this:
    C85rr03XYAAvfhX.jpg
    At which point, why keep up the pretense that this NPC is supposed to represent a canon character? Why not make him someone else with a name, personality and backstory that more strongly compliment your own writing and the particulars of your Foundry mission? At the very least, you avoid problems with your audience accepting or rejecting a likeness-free attempt at a canon character. Saying the above is "Captain Edwin Thomas" is a much more effective story point than "He's John Harriman, no really. There was a transporter accident, I swear!" :tongue:

    Ultimately, we don't want to enter "why we can't have nice things!" territory. Though any one EULA violation isn't going to be a community-level problem, we don't know how far we need to push in order to threaten our ability to work with the Foundry, as we have so far. And remember, that what we intend as authors isn't as important in this case as how that work can be interpreted by the powers higher up. I think we should avoid canon characters in all but the most vital cases, and give the EULA a wide berth when circumstances demand otherwise. (see. Treasure of Pirate Picard)
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
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    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
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    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,655 Arc User
    correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Cryptic itself under the "no using of actors likeness without premission", which is why we only see Kirk lying face down on the ground (so can't see his face) in-game and we never hear him speak to us or see his face clearly since Cryptic couldn't get the rights to Shatner's likeness. That said it's generally better to avoid cases where things would go borderline (I'm surpriced someone had guts to use Odo in a foundry mission) then to include them for the reasons Duncan mentioned.
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,623 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Cryptic itself under the "no using of actors likeness without premission", which is why we only see Kirk lying face down on the ground (so can't see his face) in-game and we never hear him speak to us or see his face clearly since Cryptic couldn't get the rights to Shatner's likeness. That said it's generally better to avoid cases where things would go borderline (I'm surpriced someone had guts to use Odo in a foundry mission) then to include them for the reasons Duncan mentioned.

    You are correct, actors' likenesses are specifically licensed. So, even if Cryptic does have a guest start we aren't automatically given free reign to make any amount of derivative NPC's from that actor. There are apparently exceptions (Worf and Sela in the list of default contacts) but those are very special cases and we have no information as to why.

    Pax's use of Odo was pretty much a type example for how to include a canon character in a Foundry mission (very carefully, very purposefully, very selectly, and with all necessary modifications). He also made sure to reach out to Cryptic to check whether he stayed within the EULA. I'd say it's not generally recommended for authors to try something like that. It takes skill (in making the NPC the right way), a thorough reading+understanding of the EULA, and a little coordination with Cryptic just to be sure.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
    Transcendence, Part 4
    Memorial Tour

    For the latest Tardigrades and other creative output: @Gorgonops_SSF
    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 3,655 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Cryptic itself under the "no using of actors likeness without premission", which is why we only see Kirk lying face down on the ground (so can't see his face) in-game and we never hear him speak to us or see his face clearly since Cryptic couldn't get the rights to Shatner's likeness. That said it's generally better to avoid cases where things would go borderline (I'm surpriced someone had guts to use Odo in a foundry mission) then to include them for the reasons Duncan mentioned.

    You are correct, actors' likenesses are specifically licensed. So, even if Cryptic does have a guest start we aren't automatically given free reign to make any amount of derivative NPC's from that actor. There are apparently exceptions (Worf and Sela in the list of default contacts) but those are very special cases and we have no information as to why.

    Pax's use of Odo was pretty much a type example for how to include a canon character in a Foundry mission (very carefully, very purposefully, very selectly, and with all necessary modifications). He also made sure to reach out to Cryptic to check whether he stayed within the EULA. I'd say it's not generally recommended for authors to try something like that. It takes skill (in making the NPC the right way), a thorough reading+understanding of the EULA, and a little coordination with Cryptic just to be sure.
    Yeah it's rather clear that was an "ok" use of the character, especially since you can easily explain why Odo looks different seeing as he's a shapeshifter whose preffered form looks a lot like the actor Rene Auberjonois however he can choose whatever form he wants essentially and his true form is that of a golden(ish) pool of organic goo.

    However my point is that you would want to avoid situations like that unless you got the experience and knowledge to know how to do it correctly.
  • theyredeadjimtheyredeadjim Member Posts: 243 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    The funny part of this is that I have no desire to put Captain Kirk in my missions...but I stand behaind the concept. And instead of wanting nice things, I'd settle for my missions not being broken.


  • theyredeadjimtheyredeadjim Member Posts: 243 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    [Deleted]
    Post edited by theyredeadjim on
  • theyredeadjimtheyredeadjim Member Posts: 243 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    [Deleted]

    Post edited by theyredeadjim on
  • theyredeadjimtheyredeadjim Member Posts: 243 Arc User
    the thread is not the EULA....obey the EULA :)
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,623 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    The funny part of this is that I have no desire to put Captain Kirk in my missions...but I stand behaind the concept.

    I'm not saying that it can't be done, only that it's a very tricky business to do correctly. Swapping an "actor" NPC requires considerable care to avoid either loosing the audience or running afoul of the EULA. You have to optimize the character visibly fitting their canon role while also making sure the character notably doesn't share their host actor's likeness. The two goals are polar opposites, so finding a solution takes a lot of thought, a lot of effort in the tailor, and purposeful execution.

    Some people can pull it off (ex. Pax), but generally speaking it's not recommended (and here the point should probably be emphasized for whoever passes by in future). :)
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
    Transcendence, Part 4
    Memorial Tour

    For the latest Tardigrades and other creative output: @Gorgonops_SSF
    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
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