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Portraits for mods


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#1 minotaur_in_maze

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 02:14 AM

Just wondering something. I read somewhere, maybe on this board, that using (a certain person's?) portraits in mods is violation of copyright.

By that figuring, - well there are a lot of portrait packs out there with pics scanned from book covers as well as lots of portraits that are on the net in general. I download a bunch for future reference but I don't keep urls of everyplace I go....and anyway a pic might be posted a million different places on the net.

Was this guy serious about copyright violation, and if so how does one mod without the worry that at some point now or in any possible future someone might sue him for use of a pic he found someplace.

I write, semi-professionally - internet stories and recently had to change the name of a minor character in a story I wrote five years ago due to some twit having the same name and not likeing his involvement in my work at all. (Dragonfan fan stories by the way)

See where I am going with this? Unless a person does his own art, start to finish they Could Be at risk. What's up with that.

Just wondering.

Minotaur In Maze
* * * * * *
They say the world is going to Hell.

They are wrong.

The world IS Hell! Always has been, always will be; except perhaps for the five percent or so of the population who can afford differently.

And, if one must reside in Hell, it is far better to do it as a minion of the Devil than as a member of the damned.
* * * * * *
LOVE SUCKS: It makes fools and slaves of us all.
But being alone and unloved is worse.
- Nancy A. Collins "Thin Walls"
* * * * * *

#2 Zandilar

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 04:10 AM

Just wondering something. I read somewhere, maybe on this board, that using (a certain person's?) portraits in mods is violation of copyright.

By that figuring, - well there are a lot of portrait packs out there with pics scanned from book covers as well as lots of portraits that are on the net in general. I download a bunch for future reference but I don't keep urls of everyplace I go....and anyway a pic might be posted a million different places on the net.

Was this guy serious about copyright violation, and if so how does one mod without the worry that at some point now or in any possible future someone might sue him for use of a pic he found someplace.

I write, semi-professionally - internet stories and recently had to change the name of a minor character in a story I wrote five years ago due to some twit having the same name and not likeing his involvement in my work at all. (Dragonfan fan stories by the way)

See where I am going with this? Unless a person does his own art, start to finish they Could Be at risk. What's up with that.

Just wondering.

Minotaur In Maze

Heya,

If you're worried about copyright issues, my advice to you is simple: Look on NWN Vault (or other portrait site)... Look for original art posted by the original artist. When you find one you like, e-mail the artist and politely ask for permission to use the portrait in your mod. Chances are, the portrait artist will say yes, unless the work was comissioned specifically for another mod. Also, if you don't see something that would work, but you do see an artist whose original work catches your eye, you could e-mail them and politely inquire if they're willing to do a comission.

(I see you already found Sol Ek Sa, so I won't tell you to look there. :P)

#3 Yovaneth

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 03:13 PM

well there are a lot of portrait packs out there with pics scanned from book covers as well as lots of portraits that are on the net in general


Put baldly, yes, every scanned book cover is a violation of copyright; usually of the original artist but maybe the book publisher if the artist signed his rights away. Generally though, most publishers and artists are not going to come down on you like the current stupidity that is the RIAA, because they see it as free publicity and the usage is not creating a profit off someone else's efforts. That - free profit - is usually the crux of the matter.

recently had to change the name of a minor character in a story I wrote five years ago due to some twit having the same name and not likeing his involvement in my work at all


Uh!! Was the guy serious!!!!! More to the point, did you not prefix your work with the usual "Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental"? If you don't, you leave yourself open to all sorts of weirdos and stupid legal precedents.

I wrote for a living for many years and although I quite often saw my stuff quoted
and acknowledged, only twice was I comprehensively ripped off for profit to the point where I wanted to take legal action. One was a large UK magazine whose attitude was "come on then, we've got the money and the lawyers" and the other was dear old Microsoft. Funnily enough, their attitude was the same.....

-Y-

Edited by Yovaneth, 27 August 2004 - 03:15 PM.


#4 Chevar

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 08:20 PM

It was here, in the SOL-EK-SA forum.

Al art, writing, etc are considered copywriten the moment it is created. It's the way the law works. There is alot of freeware on the web, and alot of author unknown. Most artists ask that if you use their work in a noncomercial venture to just give them credit. Some don't care about credit, and others don't care what you do with it..

HOWEVER there are some artists, (like Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell and April Lee) who have notices posted that it is forbidden to copy, modify, or distribute their work at all without written authorization to do so.

The artist being discussed was April Lee, who has also done the artwork for a number of big name video games. It says plainly on her site that she doesn't want ANYONE copying, manipulating, or distributing her work. In those cases you legally HAVE to ask the artist's permission!

I hope that clears it up.
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#5 Chevar

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 08:36 PM

I write, semi-professionally - internet stories and recently had to change the name of a minor character in a story I wrote five years ago due to some twit having the same name and not likeing his involvement in my work at all. (Dragonfan fan stories by the way)

See where I am going with this? Unless a person does his own art, start to finish they Could Be at risk. What's up with that.

HU?! You had to change a name because the character happened to have the same name as a real person? You've GOT to be kidding! I would have left it as it was. I also would have point out a few things to said indivigual;

There are thousands of people in this world with any given name.

Assuming that you're referencing him, even though you've never met him, shows a great deal of vanity.

In any fictional work the characters are, by definition of the genre fictional.

In theory nomatter what name is used in a story there will be SOMEONE out there with the same, or simular name. If each of these people were to react as they have nothing could ever be written without using alphanumeric strings generated and cataloged by a publishing house.

Furthermore using the same thought process, it would be possible to sue an actual person with the same name for doing things 'with their name' that they don't approve of.

--------------------


I write too, so the rant was required.. not professionally yet.. on the third rewrite of what will be by first novel.. which reminds me I have more copy to give my editor.. take care.
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#6 Yovaneth

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 12:33 AM

I hope that clears it up.

Oh, I'd think so. :D :D

It also reinforces what I've said - it's nice to know I'm not talking out of my ar$e. :D

In AnotherLifeTM I've released a shedload of freeware addons for Microsoft's Flight Simulator and generally I don't care where they end up or who uses them as long as they're not used for profit without paying me a licence fee. The commercial stuff is an entirely different matter and I spent quite a while figuring out a software key that would make it awkward (not impossible!) for pirates to copy my work. If anyone really wants to break the key, they can - but hopefully it would take so long as to make the exercise pointless.

The only 100% proof against piracy is not to create.

-Y-

#7 Plasmocat

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 07:51 AM

Any time someone takes a pic & photoshops it, even one of the BG pics, it's a violation of copyright. The copyright for that edit does NOT go to the artist doing the photoshopping no matter how good his/her work is, nor even how drastic the changes are. The copyright for edited works still belong to the original artist, and publishing them (like we do here) is violation of copyright.

Artists like Linda Bergkvist & some of the others who publish their art at Epilogue are very hostile about having her art edited in any way or published without her permission. If she finds out, she won't ask it to be removed in a nice, reasonable way (I've seen it happen). I noticed that there are some of her works floating around her (eg. KiwiRose has several versions of at least one of hers posted in the portraits gallery), but I never pointed it out because I figure ppl know what they are doing when they publish this stuff, and I'm not about to go ratting out anyone for persuing the same hobby I enjoy myself.

In my opinion, as long as ppl are just having fun & not making a profit, I don't see why these copyright issues should be so intrusive; and that goes in terms of using them for a free mod as well. For personal use, I don't see why there should be a problem (although, technically speaking there is). Bear in mind, most artists will disagree with me & would want to see me hand as an infidel for such beliefs.

However, with some mods, we have to understand that the more widely they are distributed, the more likely it will be that someone will recognize an artist's work. And the artists of the original work have the right to that recognition that a photoshopper does not unless persmission to change the pic was given by the original artist. In which case both the original artist & the photoshopper should be cited.

So, yes ... it's very important, both to comply with copyright & to respect the wishes of artist. That's not only good taste and good manners, it's good business. And if you expect to distribute your mod beyond yourself & a few friends, you'll probably just be doing yourself a favor to cover your bases in advance.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus

#8 psiclops

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:37 PM

Plasmocat has pretty much covered it all.

Bear in mind, most artists will disagree with me & would want to see me hand as an infidel for such beliefs.

I can't comment as much on fine arts, but this attitude is certainly changing among artists generally. The progress is unavoidable, as the market always decrees what is and isn't valuable these days. At the moment, record-executives are realising:

Recorded music = low to zero saleable value.

The RIAA will go psycho and ruin a few people needlessly, but eventually the industries will realise that you can't charge much for a cheap copy. One that's the same as everyone elses.

Replication isn't theft, it's expansive. Tools that cost next to nothing to replicate should be available to all. The only media you should have to pay for in the two artistic fields mentioned are orginal artworks, and live concerts.

They are the only experiences individual to you and the people you experienced them with. And the only experience worth paying for. Replicated free data will just be used as advertising for live production, the value of which is increasing. (Mark my words).

Many people are too smart to pay for any kind of replicable data. As someone potentially violating copyright, just keep an eye on who you use, like the previous posts have said. Ideally just get permission, pick an unknown, or a public domain image.

The Law should contain your default boundaries only - vary in reality.
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Western - LEO (Leo Aspect (Cnjt)). Eastern - Dragon (Element - Fire). Acronymizing UPD8!!!!!!.

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#9 psiclops

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:46 PM

Why I believe replication isn't theft? (Not the view of this board).

1. It doesn't deprive anyone else of the the tool/data.

2. If you were not able to afford the tool/data (eg Photoshop), the company loses no money when you pirate it - they would never have got your money in the first place.
You can't afford their product.

EOS

Edited by psiclops, 31 August 2004 - 10:50 PM.

Too interesting to be described in three words - Watch me 1-up Einstein.

The Darkish Day - Tome of Wisdom (+3). Armageddon XIII. ©Alltime - GOD.

Western - LEO (Leo Aspect (Cnjt)). Eastern - Dragon (Element - Fire). Acronymizing UPD8!!!!!!.

Fravia ... || || || ... "Some sections of this lore will remain closed to you until you develop your egoistical searcher's Heijoshin into a more capable ethical seekers' Fudoshin" - © 3rd Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved. (APC - 3 Libras). Go6gle.

#10 Chevar

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:52 PM

In my opinion, as long as ppl are just having fun & not making a profit, I don't see why these copyright issues should be so intrusive; and that goes in terms of using them for a free mod as well. For personal use, I don't see why there should be a problem (although, technically speaking there is). Bear in mind, most artists will disagree with me & would want to see me hand as an infidel for such beliefs.

Blasphemer! Infidel! Heritic!

Okay, so I'm not really an artist. I write. If someone saw one of my old online drafts, took it screwed with it and tried to publish it I'd get really pissed off, and sue.

Granted the two versions online are old, and far from the current version, but some of it still exists in a modified form in the current edition.. but it'd still tick me off.

If they asked permission I'd say no. If they wanted to use it for some freeware project and were going to give credit I'd want to evaluate them as an indivigual prior to giving concent.. If they didn't ask and I found out, I'd be pretty ticked off.

Everyone's different. Better safe that sorry, err on the side of caution, etc.
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#11 psiclops

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:02 PM

Chevar... this changing world applies to writers too! Have you heard of Bruce Eckel?

For those that haven't, he writes what are considered the best introductions to Java programming. (A language you can download for free also).

Well out of all his books, the ones he gave away for free made the most money!


Why do you put your books on the Web? How can you make any money that way?


Apologies if you are aware of this method of publishing already, or his books.
Note - Grateful Dead quote.

Edited by psiclops, 31 August 2004 - 11:05 PM.

Too interesting to be described in three words - Watch me 1-up Einstein.

The Darkish Day - Tome of Wisdom (+3). Armageddon XIII. ©Alltime - GOD.

Western - LEO (Leo Aspect (Cnjt)). Eastern - Dragon (Element - Fire). Acronymizing UPD8!!!!!!.

Fravia ... || || || ... "Some sections of this lore will remain closed to you until you develop your egoistical searcher's Heijoshin into a more capable ethical seekers' Fudoshin" - © 3rd Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved. (APC - 3 Libras). Go6gle.

#12 minotaur_in_maze

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 02:13 AM

Thank you for the fedback. I will be going with my pic for "October" when I get her done.

(Though I might screw with a way to make her hair longer.)

Minotaur - "October NPC in the works (Special thanks to Shed for pointers thus far!!!)

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  • October.JPG

* * * * * *
They say the world is going to Hell.

They are wrong.

The world IS Hell! Always has been, always will be; except perhaps for the five percent or so of the population who can afford differently.

And, if one must reside in Hell, it is far better to do it as a minion of the Devil than as a member of the damned.
* * * * * *
LOVE SUCKS: It makes fools and slaves of us all.
But being alone and unloved is worse.
- Nancy A. Collins "Thin Walls"
* * * * * *

#13 minotaur_in_maze

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 02:15 AM

And for future reference, which undead dwarf do You like best?

Left or right?

Pictures modified from game and stuff found on the net...

Minotaur - MODDER IDEA MAN

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* * * * * *
They say the world is going to Hell.

They are wrong.

The world IS Hell! Always has been, always will be; except perhaps for the five percent or so of the population who can afford differently.

And, if one must reside in Hell, it is far better to do it as a minion of the Devil than as a member of the damned.
* * * * * *
LOVE SUCKS: It makes fools and slaves of us all.
But being alone and unloved is worse.
- Nancy A. Collins "Thin Walls"
* * * * * *

#14 MantraSong

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 08:43 AM

Definately the left :)
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#15 Shed

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 09:14 AM

BTW since it was me who wanted April Lee's picture in question which caused Chevar's original comment, I think I should just mention that he sold the copyright of the particular picture to someone else, who have yet to reply to my request. :unsure:

#16 Briannandoah

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 10:11 AM

You should also take into consideration, that there are different copyright laws in different countries, but you can be held responsible even if your country has different/less strickt laws than some other country.

There are also exceptions, if you do a collage, f.ex. cut some photos from a magazine (that are copyrighted), stuck them together with some paper tissues and some other material, maybe paint over it, then it is completely new art work, and the copyright is yours. This is done widely around the world by (also known) artists. I have often poundered if this also goes with Photoshopped pictures, if they are changed drastically and combined with other images. Because to me the technique is different, but the idea is the same.

But in all cases it is best to ask from the original artist the permission to use his/her artwork. Then you can be sure there wont be a bunch of lawyers after your trail *lol*
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#17 Plasmocat

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 01:30 PM


In my opinion, as long as ppl are just having fun & not making a profit, I don't see why these copyright issues should be so intrusive; and that goes  in terms of using them for a free mod as well.  For personal use, I don't see why there should be a problem (although, technically speaking there is).  Bear in mind, most artists will disagree with me & would want to see me hand as an infidel for such beliefs.

Blasphemer! Infidel! Heritic!

Okay, so I'm not really an artist. I write. If someone saw one of my old online drafts, took it screwed with it and tried to publish it I'd get really pissed off, and sue.

Granted the two versions online are old, and far from the current version, but some of it still exists in a modified form in the current edition.. but it'd still tick me off.

If they asked permission I'd say no. If they wanted to use it for some freeware project and were going to give credit I'd want to evaluate them as an indivigual prior to giving concent.. If they didn't ask and I found out, I'd be pretty ticked off.

Everyone's different. Better safe that sorry, err on the side of caution, etc.


*Note to self: No fan fiction using Chevar's works ...* :D :thumb: :turnip2:

That's how Anne Rice feels about her vampire books, and she's also very aggressive in having ppl take down stories written around her work. I believe I've heard that J.K. Rowling feels the same way about the HP series.

For my part, if I know for a *fact* that an artist would object, I tend to steer clear of those artists when posting something for the web whether that's photoshopping or writing.

Can't argue about the fact that the rights belong to the artists. I wouldn't want to argue it, because I agree that when you bring commercial exchanges into the equation it's really only fair & right to give the artists their due. Eg, if someone went writing fan fiction with J.K. Rowling's characters & tried to publish them for any kind of profit, that would be the kind of copyright infringement I can see being prosecuted. When it's a few friends on a board (and you know, most sites & boards don't get *that* much traffic individually), sharing stuff (like pics & mods) between themselves with no profit involved ... then my opinion gets a bit more relaxed.

I've heard some ppl claim that if you don't make a profit on the work you change or manipulate that it's covered under the Fair Use provisions. But that's not the case. Fair Use only applies under certain circumstances. I believe that it's for educational purposes (like schools & libraries), or for the purpose of satire. But yes, as the ppl who downloaded those MP3s found, you can be held liable for publishing stuff without permission ... or even manipulating stuff without permission & publishing it.

Briannandoah, in the US it doesnt matter if you change the material according to current copyright restrictions. You'd still be held liable for using the originals if you tried to pass off a work that you'd changed as your own, whether that change was slight or drastic. As long as the original is recognizable, it's protected under copyright.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. -- Albert Camus