Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

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Madkine
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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#261 Post by Madkine » 09 Jan 2020 11:39

cip wrote:
08 Jan 2020 23:05
However SCS gave to us the ok to edit SCS content and release as a mod and respect basic rules, that if that content comes from a DLC not to jeopardize that DLC, that's it. oh, and one more rule, the distribution must be free for all players, if a mod is paid and include SCC edited content, that's where problems start.
This simply isn't true. Look at the first post again. No where does it say what you say it does. The quote below is very specific, if it's from a DLC don't include it in your mod.
Carthoo wrote:
05 Apr 2019 14:42
If you want to/ need to use something from our DLC content for your mod, don't put that part of DLC directly into your mod, instead make a „link“ to it by specifying the path to the given DLC data.
.sii files aren't content, they are definitions that the game won't work without, so you need to include these in your mod.

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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#262 Post by cip » 09 Jan 2020 13:13

@Madkine you are a respected member of this community and known as one how defend SCS, same as the moderators of this form. I am rather neutral, I fully respect SCS and what they do, I love the games, but I appreciate also the work of the modders who produce nice content for the game, even when this is coming from edited content.
Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 11:39
Carthoo wrote:
05 Apr 2019 14:42
If you want to/ need to use something from our DLC content for your mod, don't put that part of DLC directly into your mod, instead make a „link“ to it by specifying the path to the given DLC data.
the confusion of most of you here is that Carthoo said not to add original content (non edited) in a mod and launch it as a mod and bypass the need of that DLC. therefore:
what we cannot do: take one trailer from DLC heavy pack and all depending files (mat, pmg, dds, sii), add a few personal textures and pack it as a mod then upload it on Steam (SCS shall remove it immediately)
what we can do: take one trailer from DLC heavy pack, edit it in blender to make it longer/larger, but keep the original mat files, sii files, textures, outside the mod and thus create a dependency of the DLC. if everything needs to be edited, in the worst case, you create a dependency in the manifest so people without the DLC won't be able to subscribe for the mod

my example on "what we can do" may be not the best, please take it as purely theoretical. in reality we debate the edit of a content which is not the main content of a map DLC, only 1-2 trains and nothing more.

so in principle we can edit DLC content but keep in the DLC what don't need to be edited in relation to that mod (I said in principle because it matter also what is edited from the DLC. if a mod intends to increase the length of ALL trailers of the DLC heavy pack with 1 cm and release it even with DLC dependency, SCS may not agree and it's very understandable)
there may be another issue, I believe but I am not sure that, SCS workshop tool don't allow the upload of an "incomplete" mod. if the mod includes links to original content it may not work and need to add in the mod that original content... so there may be some mods with original content included, but this is the fault of the workshop tool. I may be wrong here so apologize if this is not true... and cannot say if these mods are ok, even if manifest is correctly including the DLC dependency (this is my only doubt about DLC content)
Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 11:39
.sii files aren't content, they are definitions that the game won't work without, so you need to include these in your mod.
no, you don't! I will give you an example of my Real emergency pack, please install it in a clean profile and check the emergency vehicles with beacon and sounds. then close the game and remove all storage files from def/vehicle folder of my mod. play again and you will see the same vehicles with beacon and sounds still spawning in the game (because there is already a storage file in the original def of the game. I added the storage files just to make sure that another mod won't modify the original storage files and affect the functionality of my mod. if the edited content was part of a DLC I would have not include storage files ;)

as said earlier, instead or continue this debate, let's rather wait the oficial reply from SCS, becasue my feeling is that people overreact, it's a trend that some people here post against me, no mater if I am right or not (there is a reason I am in strike you know) so this time I put all my mods as a guarantee that I am right in my last statements in this topic. I am not here to learn law and rules about copyright content and I don't plan to become a lawyer neither :lol: I just follow SCS's position regarding mods and respect it. if some statements aren't clear enough let's ask officially SCS for clarifications to close the subject.

regards,
cip
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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#263 Post by Some newbie driver » 09 Jan 2020 13:53

cip wrote:
08 Jan 2020 23:05
However SCS gave to us the ok to edit SCS content and release as a mod and respect basic rules, that if that content comes from a DLC not to jeopardize that DLC, that's it. oh, and one more rule, the distribution must be free for all players, if a mod is paid and include SCC edited content, that's where problems start.
Hi again @cip

I've no idea about what exactly does SCS Edit tool. Looking at @Madkine answer, I could suppose it's a tool to generate text files with "code" values ans descriptions needed to make the mod works. Let's suppose its that case (correct me if I'm wrong); the the question is a bit (not too much) more complicated.

First things first, Madkine is wrong in one detail: EVERYTHING that is part of the game installation is copyrighted CONTENT (either of SCS of or other companies if SCS requires also the installation of third party libraries). Not only textures, sounds, 3D models... copyright covers EVERYTHYNG, because the copyright is protecting the game as a whole complete creation. So, you could assume that any file on the installation directory of the game (or in the installation media) is copyrighted unless expressly stated the contrary, .sii files included.

With that base in mind, SCS provide us a tool to help modify content of .sii files in order to make mods. They also provide us some general directives about what we can do with those mods. So, regarding copyright laws, that's an specific and explicit authorization for other people to manipulate part of their copyrighted work. In that case, the permission implies they allow us to copy the content of those configuration files and add it to new mods, also edit those files to adapt to the function we want to change on those mods. All of this while we also follow the rule that any mod resulting on this work can't be marketed. Last but not least, that those .sii should declare LINKS to original files when they are part of DLC, fo force the need of those DLC in order to access that content (thus, it's not allowed to use a mod to circumvent the necessity to purchase a DLC in order to get any kind of SCS original content)

Resuming, while you keep your mods following those rules, you will not be breaking copyright laws because we have an express consent to do some very specific things that basic copyright law wouldn't allow. What we can't still do is the example I told you about to take textures of theirs and modify them. SCS has provided no tools neither instructions with explicit permissions for us to modify their textures. So, modders that include textures in their mods have to create by themselves from scratch (or to acquire them from copyleft sources). That, or to make sure the mod uses SCS textures by the LINK procedure to original already present files; never copying them to the mod content.

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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#264 Post by Some newbie driver » 09 Jan 2020 14:36

Well, @cip has answered while I was writing the previous part of the message and I wanted to answer also some of the things he says. Sorry if that causes a double post.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:13
the confusion of most of you here is that Carthoo said...
Bear in mind that SCS doesn't need to make an infinite list of all the possible scenarios that they don't allow. For that, the base copyright law already exists. SCS will talk only about what they permit beyond the base copyright law. With that I mean that, even Carthoo expressly remembered us that SCS doesn't allow some specific behavior, it doesn't imply that SCS yes allows any other behavior not covered on Carthoo list. Carthoo is only warning us about an specific subject SCS detected regarding mod creators. Nothing more can be supposed about his words. Copyright doesn't work with suppositions or with meanings that somebody could consider implicit in other statements. Copyright works in base a general terms stated in the law and in the specific statements the authors could say later.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:13
what we can do: take one trailer from DLC heavy pack, edit it in blender to make it longer/larger, but keep the original mat files, sii files, textures, outside the mod and thus create a dependency of the DLC. if everything needs to be edited, in the worst case, you create a dependency in the manifest so people without the DLC won't be able to subscribe for the mod
So, you are (legally) wrong with that statement. Because you are creating a derivative work based in SCS one. If you want to model a trailer 100% legal, you have to do it from scratch. It doesn't matter that all the materials, textures or other files are linked from the SCS ones, you are taking one original work (the 3D model) and modifying it.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:13
In reality we debate the edit of a content which is not the main content of a map DLC, only 1-2 trains and nothing more.
But again, remember, you asked (or I understood so) for answers based in legal questions. And as I said you, is completely IRRELEVANT the % or the importance of the part the modder copies or modifies from the original work. Not a single bit is (legally) allowed.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:13
there may be another issue, I believe but I am not sure that, SCS workshop tool don't allow the upload of an "incomplete" mod. if the mod includes links to original content it may not work and need to add in the mod that original content...
I'm absolutely sure than you understood wrong how Workshop works because:
A) - Workshop can't know if a mod is "incomplete"; Steam can't know how every single game works internally to decide if a mod is completed or incomplete before publishing it. A whole different history is that, in order to work when loaded in the game, a Workshop mod would require a complete structure of files that isn't mandatory on regular mods. But that's an SCS limitation for how they integrated into Workshop, not and Steam general one.
B) If you were right, it's like to say that Steam is encouraging people to break copyright laws forcing them to copy and redistribute copyrighted game files in order for the Workshop mods to work. Workshop would had never existed under those terms. Steam doesn't have any urge to enter in such legal minefield.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:13
I added the storage files just to make sure that another mod won't modify the original storage files and affect the functionality of my mod.
And doing so you are acting (legally) wrong. That other people doesn't create correctly their mods doesn't allow you to circumvent copyright files in order to be sure that your mod works fine. Your mod should contain YOUR work. Any already existent SCS work should stay on their original locations and (if necessary) linked to your mod using the appropriate tools SCS provide to do so. And people should start to give value to those that do things right and dump mods made in a too lazy way that don't respect neither SCS work or other modders one. But that Could happen only on a Disney imaginary world I fear. :roll:

Last but not least, I expect that you don't think I'm answering you due an overreaction of any kind because I personally could be against your statements (or train's ones, or any other). I just saw your debate about those copyright issues and I wanted to participate. Because due several reasons I know more than I would wanted to about copyright and what I use to see on that kind of discussions on Internet are very wrong statements by people that clearly are talking about their wishes, more than about what the law says. Another Internet discussions problem is that people don't want to read or write wall of texts like mines; they use to pretend to deal with those very complicate subjects with two funny sentences they could fit on a tweet. That leads to the fact that 99% of conversations about copyright on Internet are pure useless garbage.

I would like the copyright to work in different forms it works, they are laws based on how the world worked more than a century ago, they are outdated for the reality of the actual times. It's like if the truck drivers should follow laws made to control transport with horse carriages. But they are how they are and that's we have to deal. Even if I'm not a lawyer, after so many years dealing with those subjects; I'm pretty sure I've been precise and correct enough (otherwise, I will humble accept any correction).

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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#265 Post by train » 09 Jan 2020 15:22

you are talking about copyright here, but mods for SCS games are the intellectual copyright of SCS and not those who write mods. in fact, having written a mod, the modder does not receive rights to its code from SCS, this becomes the intellectual property of SCS as if the content was written by its employees (the exception is materials ported from other games of third-party developers since they are the intellectual property of their original creators). we, modders, are only obligated to comply with the rules for the distribution of content protected by intellectual property rights SCS. So all questions regarding copyright affect in this case only the of distribution of the content, and not the rights to write it. in fact, you have gone very far from the topic under discussion.
as a matter of fact, I have every right to take and modify any SCS content as I want, and this content I have changed remains the intellectual property of SCS, and I must comply with the rules established by SCS for its distribution
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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#266 Post by Some newbie driver » 09 Jan 2020 16:23

Hi @train

If you create a work from scratch for a mod, let's say textures, a 3D model, recordings of sounds, some programmed code that will automatize something inside the game... any of this is automatically under the protection of copyright laws and its YOURS by law. YOURS, not SCS, never. Any creative work (an that includes programing code in Europe, but not in USA) any citizen does, is automatically protected by copyright. You don't even have to state it with any text or the copyright logo or anything. Copyright laws cover all of us automatically. The only exception is when an author specifically states that he doesn't want to apply copyright for his creations and instead he applies other terms (for example, one of the Creative Commons options). Also if an author does that creation in behalf of another due a contractual agreement (then the author could (or nor) be credited, but use to have no rights over the work result).

BUT, as a mod (as far as I know) could not work without some config files that you must derivative from already created SCS ones; then any mod contains a part of SCS copyright. We can do so because SCS stated they allow us to create mods using those configuration files as a base from where evolve our mods min order for the game to recognize them and made them work inside the game). So, with that SCS permission it comes includes also some obligations that affect the mod as a whole (not individual parts): free distribution of the mod, no charges or marketing or profit from it and never include DLC content (only link it) to avoid circumvent the necessity to legally purchase a DLC in order to have access to DLC content. Those are the conditions SCS decided to include. Authors could include whatever condition they want when give limited permission to third parties over their work; always that those conditions doesn't broke any other laws of course. Again as example the Creative Commons, they allow the reuse of the work of an author, but also oblige the new author to keep using the same CC level of protection for the derivative work.

But if we consider every individual piece of your mod, those created from scratch by you, SCS would never been legally able to claim them for itself. If what you say would be true, all this time SCS would had been legally allowed to integrate any mod content into their games without any consent of their authors. For example, they could have took all Promods maps, bundle them into a DLC and sell them through Steam. That's not going to happen, not only because SCS doesn't want to deal this nasty way with their users. It's that even they want to, law doesn't allow it.

That's also why SCS usually has to ignore request to incorporate to the base game some very popular mods (just this week I saw one about project Balkans). To do so, SCS must have an agreement with all the authors of the original content of those mods. In lots of cases, that's not possible to achieve; and not just by economic costs. It's just that, in lots of cases, the authorship of a mod's content couldn't be verified. So, if SCS took it, they would be on a legally gray zone that could bite their back in the future. They are not going to take that risk.

Regards

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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#267 Post by cip » 09 Jan 2020 16:45

dear @some newbie driver, @train has replied to you already and in big lines this I would have replied as well. I am afraid you do not understand the idea that, we the modders do not care about the real copyright laws here, SCS is the only God we respect, if SCS says we cannot do this, we don't and they says yes, then well, we do :lol:
from your messages, a modder can immediately notice that you don't know how mods works and how mods are built. the term of "mod" do not necessarily mean to be 100% personal content built in 3D tools and so on, a mod can be a slight modification of SCS content, sometimes even at definition level as for traffic density as my best example. such mod will be impossible to make without modifying SCS content.
SCS gave to as a tool to extract the base the definition and all DLC, which will allow us to edit it to our liking. share is possible if we respect the rules in big lines if the modified content includes DLC content, a link to the DLC must be present in the mod, also the modders cannot ask money for the mods, and yet there are many paid mods which includes SCS content like map mods. there is nowhere written that DLC content cannot be edited, Madkine and Mohegan if they found somewhere more than I know, please step forward and enlighten us ;) or Carthoo if he has time enough to read our comments here...

addition to your last post: yes, your statement may be 100% legally correct, and SCS acts under the same rules I am sure, but when we make mods from edited content, we do not claim any ownership for the mods, we don't apply copyright rules, we basically share the mods so other could benefit of a realistic traffic, train sounds or Ai engine sound, or doubles in traffic, etc. for this, SCS will never harm any modder as far as the basic rules are respected, not transferring content from ATS to ETS2 (forgot this one), don't make mods with DLC content which will bypass the need of DLC and don't make profit from mods that includes SCS content. that's it and nothing more at least for a normal modder who acts in the benefit of the community which is obvious rather that in personal interest (money, youtube subscribers, etc)

edit2: SCS never take anything from modders, they may take ideas but they never take content to add in the maps. for maps it's clear that every new DLC includes specific material from those places, would be silly to sell a DLC with old content and especially from mod, they keep to their reputation ;)
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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#268 Post by cip » 09 Jan 2020 18:59

Sorry also for the double post, this is to reply in more detail to @some newbie driver, and help him understand how mods are working.
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
SCS provide us a tool to help modify content of .sii files in order to make mods
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 14:36
Bear in mind that SCS doesn't need to make an infinite list of all the possible scenarios that they don't allow.
not only sii files, we can edit any file if we are skilled enough :lol: basically we should be free to edit everything that can be extracted with the extractor tool, from base, def and DLCs (respecting the above mentioned rules). the hidden content is simply that content which SCS don't want to be edited (game's engine).
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
SCS has provided no tools neither instructions with explicit permissions for us to modify their textures. So, modders that include textures in their mods have to create by themselves from scratch (or to acquire them from copyleft sources). That, or to make sure the mod uses SCS textures by the LINK procedure to original already present files; never copying them to the mod content.
I am not skilled in textures, but these DDS files can be extracted and thus can be edited with any tool like Paint.net, Gimp, Photoshop, etc there is no specific tool that SCS must provide to edit these, if exists what would be the point to waste time to make another? So edit of textures is allowed under the same rules, even if there are part of a DLC, with the links to the original DLC
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
you are (legally) wrong with that statement. Because you are creating a derivative work based in SCS one.
true, but since SCS allows this, it's no more illegal ;)
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
I'm absolutely sure than you understood wrong how Workshop works because: A) - Workshop can't know if a mod is "incomplete"; Steam can't know how every single game works internally to decide if a mod is completed or incomplete before publishing it.
Here it’s obvious that you don’t make mods. Steam is the platform where the SCS workshop make the transition between people’s PCs and Steam. SCS workshop actually performs a validation of your mod and if some content is missing, you get errors to fix and mod is not submitted. without this validation Steam will be full of useless incorrectly made mods.I am not an expert here and I don’t know I which circumstances the errors for missing content appears, but it happened to me that I could not make a Steam mod because of this. This is the reason also for which SCS workshop tool need to be updated at the same game version otherwise you can’t upload mods.
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
That other people doesn't create correctly their mods doesn't allow you to circumvent copyright files in order to be sure that your mod works fine. Your mod should contain YOUR work
There is place for interpretation here, but again if you do not make mods you cannot fully understand how mods work. I check every single mod I use, and especially trucks, and compare with the base and def to be sure it does not overwrite anything from the base trucks. I never saw a truck with zero SCS content in it. There are always some mat files at least, of small original textures like shadows, and their tobj files, which goal is to ensure the good functionality of the mod, knowing that these common linking files are frequently used in other mods. Indeed, this is not 100% professional but is not incorrect neither. If you want to check you can for example start with Ford F-Max, a Steam truck that is officially supported also by SiSL (SCS staff)
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
I expect that you don't think I'm answering you due an overreaction of any kind because I personally could be against your statements
No I don’t, I appreciate your help in any subject, especially in IT matters, so it’s time for me to help you also understand how mods works in SCS games ;)
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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#269 Post by Madkine » 09 Jan 2020 20:03

cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 16:45
SCS gave to as a tool to extract the base the definition and all DLC, which will allow us to edit it to our liking.
While they gave us a tool, that doesn't give us the right to edit and share anything we want.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 16:45
there is nowhere written that DLC content cannot be edited, Madkine and Mohegan if they found somewhere more than I know, please step forward and enlighten us ;) or Carthoo if he has time enough to read our comments here...
The Law works the other way, if you can't prove you have the right to edit DLC content then you don't have the right. And you have Carthoo's statement as I've quoted before that says you can't include DLC content. (Slightly edited is still DLC content.) While you talk about mod dependency links, this is only used to let someone know there is a dependency. If you include the DLC content (even edited), someone can download your mod and remove the dependency link. In that case you've now given some one access to DLC content that they don't own.

cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 18:59
not only sii files, we can edit any file if we are skilled enough :lol: basically we should be free to edit everything that can be extracted with the extractor tool, from base, def and DLCs (respecting the above mentioned rules). the hidden content is simply that content which SCS don't want to be edited (game's engine).
There is no hidden content. The TruckersMP folk have edited that engine for their mod.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 18:59
I am not skilled in textures, but these DDS files can be extracted and thus can be edited with any tool like Paint.net, Gimp, Photoshop, etc there is no specific tool that SCS must provide to edit these, if exists what would be the point to waste time to make another? So edit of textures is allowed under the same rules, even if there are part of a DLC, with the links to the original DLC
Tools are irrelevant, including textures (even modified) from a DLC is including DLC content which Carthoo has specifically said is not allowed.

cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 18:59
Some newbie driver wrote:
09 Jan 2020 13:53
you are (legally) wrong with that statement. Because you are creating a derivative work based in SCS one.
true, but since SCS allows this, it's no more illegal ;)
Actually no it's still illegal, SCS are just declining to prosecute.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 18:59
Here it’s obvious that you don’t make mods. Steam is the platform where the SCS workshop make the transition between people’s PCs and Steam. SCS workshop actually performs a validation of your mod and if some content is missing, you get errors to fix and mod is not submitted. without this validation Steam will be full of useless incorrectly made mods.I am not an expert here and I don’t know I which circumstances the errors for missing content appears, but it happened to me that I could not make a Steam mod because of this. This is the reason also for which SCS workshop tool need to be updated at the same game version otherwise you can’t upload mods.
Your understanding on this is slightly incorrect. The SCS tool has a set of rules it checks, but it still doesn't prevent incomplete or broken mods from being uploaded. At least twice I've managed to upload one of my mods with critical errors in it that either meant it didn't work or it caused game crashes. The tool makes it harder to upload bad mods, not impossible.
cip wrote:
09 Jan 2020 18:59
There is place for interpretation here, but again if you do not make mods you cannot fully understand how mods work. I check every single mod I use, and especially trucks, and compare with the base and def to be sure it does not overwrite anything from the base trucks. I never saw a truck with zero SCS content in it. There are always some mat files at least, of small original textures like shadows, and their tobj files, which goal is to ensure the good functionality of the mod, knowing that these common linking files are frequently used in other mods. Indeed, this is not 100% professional but is not incorrect neither. If you want to check you can for example start with Ford F-Max, a Steam truck that is officially supported also by SiSL (SCS staff)
Here you are mixing up two things, base content (which we were not discussing) and DLC content.
Again while still technically illegal, SCS have given much greater permission to edit and include base content in mods (as you can't use the mod without the base game).
Max has several times explicitly allowed the creation of mods based on event content.
This does not translate in any way to DLC content.

Like newbie driver, my interest in this is in the theory and understanding of the law. And a desire to not have modding capability removed from us by people abusing the ability.

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Re: Steam inventory mods restiction discussion [Questions Answered]

#270 Post by cip » 09 Jan 2020 20:32

Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 20:03
While they gave us a tool, that doesn't give us the right to edit and share anything we want.
correct, I mentioned this above too
Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 20:03
you have Carthoo's statement as I've quoted before that says you can't include DLC content. (Slightly edited is still DLC content.) While you talk about mod dependency links, this is only used to let someone know there is a dependency. If you include the DLC content (even edited), someone can download your mod and remove the dependency link. In that case you've now given some one access to DLC content that they don't own.
Have you read Cathoo's first statement: Don't make mods that bypass the need to buy content or earn it as a reward the indirect message here is that we can edit DLC content if we respect the need of the users to own the DLC. Train for example will edit trains with textures belonging to the DLC and sii files also.
if SCS do not allow at all DLC content edited, Carthoo's message should have been simple: "only base is allowed to mod, never the DLC content"
Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 20:03
The SCS tool has a set of rules it checks, but it still doesn't prevent incomplete or broken mods from being uploaded.
as said I, I may be wrong here as I don't have much experience with the SCS workshop tool

Madkine wrote:
09 Jan 2020 20:03
a desire to not have modding capability removed from us by people abusing the ability.
we have then something on commun :lol: still I believe we need some clarifications from Carthoo about this ;)
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