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Re: So...what's actually stopping you?
Posted By: ShishkaDate: 9/9/06 1:57 p.m.

In Response To: So...what's actually stopping you? (AfroRyan)

: I mean, sure, Microsoft said stop...but who cares? You weren't going to sell
: it for profit, so what can they actually sue you for? That's the exact
: same thing if Microsoft told HBO they couldn't have fan fiction,
: "because it uses our intellectual property." WHO CARES, IT'S
: FREE. That said, I say screw them, and continue developing it anyways.
: Legally, you're in the clear, and I doubt that Microsoft would actually
: pursue legal action if you continued. And even if they did, you would have
: full support of everyone in the Halo community. It would be horrible PR to
: destroy fans so faithful they wanted to simply make a fan mod.

: Seriously though, am I right? There isn't actually anything illegal about
: making fan stuff if it isn't for profit, right? That's why a lot of
: fansites exist in the first place, you know? I mean, there's the 2D Halo,
: Halo Zero. It uses all of the same kind of "intellectual
: property," and it's still up for download. It's been in high profile
: magazines, essentially free advertising. And Microsoft really thinks that
: they can scare you?

I would recommend, for your sake and the sake of your friends and family, that you do not offer legal advice on a professional level.

There are two common misconceptions about intellectual property rights that you see amongst fans almost any given game:

1. I'm not using the assets directly from the game, so I'm not stealing intellectual property.

2. I'm not trying to make a profit, so I'm not stealing intellectual property.

The first is a misconception, in that it only takes the second half of the term "intellectual property" into consideration. The word "intellectual" implies that the ownership extends beyond merely the literal assets themselves, but to the idea (for lack of a better word) tied to the assets. If I say "The Master Chief is copyright for Microsoft and Bungie," I'm not referring to just the model and textures. I mean the Master Chief, the character written to be the protagonist of the video game series Halo, and everything that makes him who he is."

So, before the usual "omg, so, if I make a guy with green armor Microsoft can sue me" complaints arise, let me point out that "a guy in green armor" is not "Master Chief from Halo." There's a difference.

The second item I mentioned is the issue of profit. Generally, people believe that, so long as they're not trying make money by selling their work, they fall within the bounds of fair use. This is, in fact, not true. Ultimately, regardless of whether you are selling your work or not, you're still distributing someone else's intellectual property. Whether or not it is in their best interests to stop you is entirely up to the owner of said property.

The next remark I'm predicting is "HBO has fanart! Fans do videos with the Halo engines all the time! I have a Master Chief model I downloaded for Unreal Tournament! Are you saying Microsoft is going to come for all of the people that make this stuff?"

As I said, it's the owner of the IP's decision as to whether or not it's in their best interest to pursue such matters. Ultimately, little bits like a character model for a game, or a piece of fanart are a different situation than making a game. Halos one through three are video games, and, in its own way, a fan made Halo game (and please don't try to split hairs about Halogen being a mod) is encroaching extremely deeply into what the Halo intellectual proper actually is. It comes natural that it's in the best interest of the owner of an IP to not allow people to extend that IP without their permission.

There's a lot of drama revolving around this issue right now (notably most of it seems to be coming from people not part of the Halogen team, which is amusing in a caustic sort of way), but ultimately I feel that you cannot fault someone for protecting their rights to their intellectual property, even if it's Microsoft and the work is that of fans. Further, I feel the Halogen team should have been very well aware in the three years they worked on their project that it could have been canned at any time from powers above. It happens pretty often when folks decide to try to mod one game to inject the IP of another into the engine.

Having said all that, I personally feel that it's a shame that things had to turn out this way. The Halogen team is extremely talented, and their hard work and dedication speaks volumes of the talent that can be found within the Halo fan community. Despite the tragic ending to their project, I hope the members of the Halogen team have realized some measure of personal reward in working together to accomplish the monumental task of seeing a large modding project to the end. I hope that the team can focus their energy on a new, more ambitious project. Most of all, I hope none of this drama impacts their love for Halo.


Message Index


Just awful, HalogenDracon1k 9/8/06 10:15 p.m.
     That sucks. Hard,Ename Nep 9/8/06 10:18 p.m.
     After all that work? Dude. That sucks. *NM*CowOnTheNews 9/8/06 10:18 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenDracon1k 9/8/06 10:29 p.m.
           *long inhale*NartFOpc 9/8/06 10:32 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, Halogeneiii 9/8/06 10:55 p.m.
     Wait a second...Saint 9/8/06 10:58 p.m.
           Re: Wait a second...Socrates 9/8/06 11:07 p.m.
                 Re: Wait a second...Usul 9/9/06 10:24 a.m.
                       Something to chew onSilent Hunter 9/9/06 11:45 a.m.
                             Re: Something to chew onBlueTyphoid 9/9/06 9:20 p.m.
     Cherished MartyrsAngelicLionheart 9/8/06 11:31 p.m.
           Re: Cherished MartyrsDispraiser 9/8/06 11:56 p.m.
           Can someone enlighten me?serpx 9/9/06 12:36 a.m.
                 Re: Can someone enlighten me?Dracon1k 9/9/06 2:24 a.m.
                       Re: Can someone enlighten me?HipboyScott 9/9/06 3:12 a.m.
                       Re: Can someone enlighten me?Silent Hunter 9/9/06 7:13 a.m.
                       That's Probably Exactly It...Mintz 9/9/06 1:46 p.m.
           Re: Cherished MartyrsHawaiian Pig 9/9/06 3:08 a.m.
     The irony is...Frost 9/9/06 12:38 a.m.
           Re: The irony is...Cocopjojo 9/9/06 12:49 a.m.
                 Bungie is Microsoft *NM*Pinkuh 9/9/06 2:49 a.m.
                       But are they?HipboyScott 9/9/06 3:32 a.m.
                             Re: But are they?BlueTyphoid 9/9/06 9:30 p.m.
                       Not exactlyJillybean 9/9/06 5:32 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenChryton 9/9/06 3:00 a.m.
           Re: Just awful, HalogenFrost 9/9/06 3:43 a.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenSlimby 9/9/06 4:10 a.m.
           Re: Just awful, HalogenMarcus117 9/9/06 6:43 a.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenSc4Freak (From Halogen) 9/9/06 7:39 a.m.
     Re: Just awful, Halogenswelnet 9/9/06 8:07 a.m.
           Re: Just awful, Halogenvlad3163 9/9/06 2:59 p.m.
     Request for Comment from Bungie...Socrates 9/9/06 9:20 a.m.
           Re: Request for Comment from Bungie...Silent Hunter 9/9/06 9:41 a.m.
           What Bungie would sayAngelicLionheart 9/9/06 9:43 a.m.
           Re: Request for Comment from Bungie...SketchFactor 9/9/06 5:23 p.m.
     Rumour Debunking58 9/9/06 12:26 p.m.
           Re: Rumour DebunkingDocument 10/2/06 10:13 p.m.
     So...what's actually stopping you?AfroRyan 9/9/06 12:38 p.m.
           Re: So...what's actually stopping you?AfroRyan 9/9/06 12:46 p.m.
                 Re: So...what's actually stopping you?Sep7imus [subnova] 9/9/06 1:07 p.m.
           Re: So...what's actually stopping you?Shishka 9/9/06 1:57 p.m.
                 Simple solution!Saint 9/9/06 3:53 p.m.
                 Re: So...what's actually stopping you?AfroRyan 9/9/06 6:45 p.m.
                       WTF is wrong with you? *NM*Usul 9/10/06 6:36 p.m.
                             WTF is wrong with YOU!?AfroRyan 9/10/06 11:08 p.m.
                                   Re: WTF is wrong with YOU!?Louis Wu 9/11/06 4:49 a.m.
                                   Re: WTF is wrong with YOU!?Usul 9/11/06 6:43 p.m.
                 Halo UT mod still active!?Mikemc 9/18/06 7:27 p.m.
           Re: So...what's actually stopping you?Peptuck 9/9/06 3:01 p.m.
     Halogen = ThievesFrost 9/9/06 2:28 p.m.
           Re: Halogen = ThievesShishka 9/9/06 2:31 p.m.
                 Bummer.SketchFactor 9/9/06 4:54 p.m.
                       Re: Bummer.Frost 9/9/06 5:46 p.m.
                       What more could be saidBry 9/9/06 6:36 p.m.
                       After three years.Michael Finn 9/11/06 4:08 p.m.
                             Re: After three years.Sep7imus [subnova] 9/11/06 8:25 p.m.
                                   Re: After three years.Black Guard 9/12/06 6:27 a.m.
                                         Re: After three years.MinorThreat 9/12/06 5:33 p.m.
                             Re: After three years.MinorThreat 9/11/06 10:01 p.m.
                                   Re: After three years.Bry 9/12/06 5:08 a.m.
                 Re: Halogen = ThievesLarrion 9/28/06 2:31 a.m.
                       Re: Halogen = ThievesVlad3163 9/28/06 8:46 a.m.
           Re: Halogen = ThievesRecon#54 9/9/06 2:52 p.m.
                 Re: Halogen = Thievesvlad3163 9/9/06 3:06 p.m.
                       Re: Halogen = ThievesRecon#54 9/9/06 3:14 p.m.
                       Re: Halogen = ThievesSketchFactor 9/9/06 5:15 p.m.
                             Re: Halogen = ThievesWhiteRaBbit 9/9/06 7:24 p.m.
                                   Re: Halogen = ThievesBry 9/9/06 7:47 p.m.
                 Re: Halogen = ThievesFrost 9/9/06 3:33 p.m.
                       Re: Halogen = ThievesRecon#54 9/9/06 3:56 p.m.
                             Leaving the keys inFrost 9/9/06 4:39 p.m.
                                   Re: Leaving the keys inRocketMoose 9/9/06 4:42 p.m.
                                   Re: Leaving the keys inRecon#54 9/9/06 5:20 p.m.
                                   Re: Leaving the keys inSketchFactor 9/9/06 5:22 p.m.
                             Re: Halogen = ThievesLouis Wu 9/9/06 4:51 p.m.
                                   So Bungie isn't behind this?jdogmoney 9/9/06 5:06 p.m.
                                         Re: So Bungie isn't behind this?Jillybean 9/9/06 5:35 p.m.
                                               Re: So Bungie isn't behind this?Stephen L. (SoundEffect) 9/9/06 7:21 p.m.
                                   Re: Halogen = ThievesMajor Silva 9/9/06 8:38 p.m.
                                         Re: Halogen = ThievesLouis Wu 9/10/06 9:17 a.m.
                                               Re: Halogen = ThievesMajor Silva 9/10/06 9:30 a.m.
                                                     Re: Halogen = ThievesSep7imus [subnova] 9/10/06 3:50 p.m.
                                   Re: Halogen = ThievesNarcogen 9/9/06 10:57 p.m.
                                         Re: Halogen = ThievesLouis Wu 9/10/06 9:29 a.m.
                                               Re: Halogen = ThievesJillybean 9/10/06 10:12 a.m.
                                                     Re: Halogen = ThievesUrsusArctos 9/10/06 10:26 a.m.
                                                           Re: Halogen = ThievesStephen L. (SoundEffect) 9/10/06 11:35 a.m.
                                                           Getting a little OTJillybean 9/10/06 12:37 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Getting a little OTUrsusArctos 9/11/06 8:11 a.m.
                                         QuestionEndbringer 9/10/06 12:05 p.m.
                                               Re: QuestionBry 9/10/06 1:27 p.m.
           Re: Halogen = ThievesKP 9/10/06 3:35 a.m.
                 Re: Halogen = ThievesRecon#54 9/10/06 9:32 a.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenBJB 9/9/06 4:13 p.m.
     Bungie must making a Halo RTS next.DarkSim 9/9/06 4:53 p.m.
           Re: Bungie must making a Halo RTS next.Shishka 9/9/06 7:28 p.m.
                 Re: Bungie must making a Halo RTS next.jdogmoney 9/9/06 7:40 p.m.
                 Re: Bungie must making a Halo RTS next.Recon#54 9/9/06 7:58 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenX42-C1 9/9/06 6:53 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, Halogen *NM*DP 9/9/06 9:12 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenBlueTyphoid 9/9/06 9:35 p.m.
     The FutureSomethingClever 9/10/06 12:44 a.m.
           QueryWalshicus 9/10/06 7:09 a.m.
                 Re: QueryLouis Wu 9/10/06 9:57 a.m.
                       Re: QueryWalshicus 9/10/06 10:58 a.m.
                             crapMiguel Chavez 9/10/06 11:17 a.m.
                       Re: QueryMiguel Chavez 9/10/06 11:15 a.m.
                             Re: QueryRecon#54 9/10/06 11:27 a.m.
                                   Re: QueryNarcogen 9/10/06 11:25 p.m.
                             Re: QueryAngelicLionheart 9/10/06 7:21 p.m.
           Re: The FutureLouis Wu 9/10/06 9:50 a.m.
                 Re: The FutureNarcogen 9/10/06 10:11 a.m.
                 Re: The FutureSomethingClever 9/10/06 1:36 p.m.
                       Re: The FutureLouis Wu 9/10/06 2:59 p.m.
                             Re: The FutureBlck 9/10/06 3:04 p.m.
                                   It certainly makes you think twice, doesn't it...BJB 9/10/06 3:18 p.m.
                             Verily.Saint 9/10/06 3:10 p.m.
                                   Re: Verily. One last chance for MS.AngelicLionheart 9/10/06 8:11 p.m.
                                         Re: Verily. One last chance for MS.Recon#54 9/10/06 8:58 p.m.
                                               Re: Verily. One last chance for MS.AngelicLionheart 9/10/06 10:27 p.m.
                                                     Re: Verily. One last chance for MS.Recon#54 9/10/06 11:00 p.m.
                                                           Re: Verily. One last chance for MS.AngelicLionheart 9/10/06 11:54 p.m.
                                         Microsfot E-mailSlith 9/11/06 9:45 a.m.
                             Re: The FutureSomethingClever 9/10/06 4:18 p.m.
                                   Re: The FutureSep7imus [subnova] 9/10/06 4:31 p.m.
                                         Re: The FutureSomethingClever 9/10/06 4:41 p.m.
                                               Re: The FutureSep7imus [subnova] 9/10/06 4:46 p.m.
                                                     Re: The FutureRecon#54 9/10/06 4:54 p.m.
                                                           Re: The FutureSep7imus [subnova] 9/10/06 4:57 p.m.
                                                                 Re: The FutureSaint 9/10/06 6:49 p.m.
     Re: Just awful, HalogenMasta Chef 9/10/06 9:10 p.m.

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