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Artist's Rights Matter

Recently, many of you became aware that Bethesda began to allow mod developers to sell mods. They then took that right away. Mod developing is a form of art. They essentially took away our right as artists to sell our work. Please help fight this decision on their official forums by following this link and commenting:

http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1517098-artists-rights-matter-bring-back-paid-modding/

This matter, at it's very core is a matter of artists having the right to sell their work. Bethesda and Valve support this position but they backed off of it due to the "users" and non-mod authors throwing a big fit. Artists Rights Matter. Please read the linked thread for a full breakdown. We have to stand up as artists and say with one voice that our work is work and we should have the right to charge for it if we so choose.

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  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 15
    Yes, we do, and so do programmers. But we have a thread on this already your spam would be better served in for discussion versus a blanket statement that ignores the specifics of the situation and why it wasn't good for anyone as it stood.

    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=151944&page=10
  • Swizzle
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    Swizzle polycounter lvl 13
    While I absolutely support Valve and Bethesda trying to come up with a way for people to effectively monetize their work as a part of the Steam ecosystem, I think it's a bit silly to treat this like some sort of huge ideological crusade when it was literally not a thing that existed less than two weeks ago.

    Yes, it would be fantastic if they brought it back in a slightly more consumer-friendly form. Yes, I would absolutely love for mod creators to be rewarded for their hard work. Yes, I think the crazy internet hate machine consists of basically the lowest form of humanity and things would be better without all the hate and hyperbole.

    However, I don't think this is an issue of artists' rights being infringed upon. When Valve and Bethesda opened the door for paid mods, what they were essentially doing was granting a legal license for modders to use their services and intellectual properties to make money. That's cool, but it's absolutely within their rights as legal entities (as I think it should be) to grant or revoke that privilege for basically any reason.

    As far as having the right to sell work is concerned, you can do that anyway whether or not Valve and Bethesda are involved. You just can't use any of their stuff to make that money, including existing art assets, code, tools, and anything else they made that would fall under their licensing terms.

    If you're interested in being paid for doing work on mod-type projects, it would probably make more sense to start creating content for curated stores such as the Unreal Marketplace or Unity Asset Store.

    Also, finally, follow oXYnary's link.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    Artists do have every right to sell charge for their work. Valve and Bethesda back tracking on a badly executed idea (even if it was a good idea) doesn't mean that they're saying you can't sell your artwork. They're saying that the platform wasn't good enough or that they aren't comfortable with the way it panned out.

    If you insist on charging for your work, do the following:
    1. don't host it on a site (like Nexus) where it will be downloaded for free.
    2. do host it on a site where you can charge for it.
    3. do try to set up your own distribution model (portfolio etc.) for your artwork.
    4. maybe try setting up a Patreon account for yourself so that you can set the terms for your artworks release.

    There are many avenues for you to continue charging for your work. If it's really what you want to do.
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    Now the content creators are mad, bethesda just can't catch a break
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 8
    They banked too much on people not being assholes and that consumers would help police the copy cats and people stealing work, but it definitely got way too out of hand way too quickly. I understand their back tracking, but they are not entirely to blame, was a lot to do with how shitty people can be.

    That being said, I hope they can come up with some sort of clever way to help deter assholes bloating the market with stolen work. A tough business to sort out, this definitely got way worse media than it deserved IMO.
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    Add3r wrote: »
    They banked too much on people not being assholes and that consumers would help police the copy cats and people stealing work, but it definitely got way too out of hand way too quickly. I understand their back tracking, but they are not entirely to blame, was a lot to do with how shitty people can be.

    That being said, I hope they can come up with some sort of clever way to help deter assholes bloating the market with stolen work. A tough business to sort out, this definitely got way worse media than it deserved IMO.
    I'm willing to bet most of those were submitted by people willfully trying to sabotage the experiment so that Bethesda would have no choice but to back down.

    If they had put some initial effort into policing content then I think within a month or two the amount of bullshit would fall off sharply.

    Shrug.
  • Shrike
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    Shrike interpolator
    Add3r wrote: »
    They banked too much on people not being assholes and that consumers would help police the copy cats and people stealing work, but it definitely got way too out of hand way too quickly. I understand their back tracking, but they are not entirely to blame, was a lot to do with how shitty people can be.

    That being said, I hope they can come up with some sort of clever way to help deter assholes bloating the market with stolen work. A tough business to sort out, this definitely got way worse media than it deserved IMO.

    It really was almost exclusively their fault. People wouldnt steal as much if there were any real terms of usage / potential consequences. "We dont' care, your problem" was not the correct attitude. Also how can you bank on people not being assholes if they were exactly that towards them. Sadly did their "apology" letter not show any indication of them learning, blaming the other party for convincing them and blatantly lying while using really cheap data tricks to talk the matter down, very sad.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 9
    Shrike wrote: »
    It really was almost exclusively their fault. People wouldnt steal as much if there were any real terms of usage / potential consequences. "We dont' care, your problem" was not the correct attitude. Also how can you bank on people not being assholes if they were exactly that towards them. Sadly did their "apology" letter not show any indication of them learning, blaming the other party for convincing them and blatantly lying while using really cheap data tricks to talk the matter down, very sad.

    Since when do people actually get deterred because there is terms of usage / potential consequences? People steal and pirate stuff all the time even with real potential consequences.

    Even if they allowed people to charge for their mods there would be some people giving it out for free.

    I like the idea of a donation system.
  • Clos3d
    Matchews wrote: »
    Recently, many of you became aware that Bethesda began to allow mod developers to sell mods. They then took that right away. Mod developing is a form of art. They essentially took away our right as artists to sell our work. Please help fight this decision on their official forums by following this link and commenting:

    http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1517098-artists-rights-matter-bring-back-paid-modding/

    This matter, at it's very core is a matter of artists having the right to sell their work. Bethesda and Valve support this position but they backed off of it due to the "users" and non-mod authors throwing a big fit. Artists Rights Matter. Please read the linked thread for a full breakdown. We have to stand up as artists and say with one voice that our work is work and we should have the right to charge for it if we so choose.

    With an attitude like that, I can't help to say that bethesda and valve also have every right to do as they please with their games.

    It is exactly the same thing as an artist and a gallery.
  • pangaea
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    pangaea polycounter lvl 5
    The thing I don't understand is why modders bended over backwards for 25%.

    Bethesda or Steam have done no zero work, but they take 75% of it, seems really insulting.
  • sziada
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    sziada polycounter lvl 8
    there were just too many problems with due to people stealing work from other artists and selling it for themselve which kinda shocked me, I thought they would review the mods that came through, but maybe not.

    I also think you are going over top with this artist rights thing.
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 8
    Selling mods wasnt really the issue in my opinion, sure there was push back by those expecting everything to be free. You could even see this when Blender had a plugin store for paid plugins and content... there is certainly a sense of entitlement. Reminds me of those who defend the used game market even though its clearly costing developers and publishers in sales.

    The biggest issue I have with the paid mod approach is that they dont appear to have a way to regulate it and protect work from getting stolen or copied. It would be a mess to manage and deal with. If a game wants to sell mods on steam, a system should be build with that in mind from the very beginning alongside the game. In other words its a bit late to turn Skyrim mods into a marketplace. The next elderscrolls game? Sure, but build with the expectation that content will be made, sold and also be able to be protected so the artist doesnt get screwed over.
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