Doom Wiki talk:Copyrights


I think I've read through most of these Wikicities pages twice now, but everything they say about uploading pertains only to images (and occasionally sound clips), not anything like WADs or LMPs. What exactly is our policy going to be? Ryan W 06:01, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

From Doom Wiki:Central Processing: "[WAD uploading] should be useful for editing tutorials. Just remember that all WADs must be put under the GFDL, so original creations only and no id content included." Essentially this means that the person uploading the WAD should have either a) created it, or b) gotten permission from the author to upload it here (and thus place it under the GFDL). I think the primary intent for WAD uploading would be for editing tutorials, as I don't see many other places they would be useful. LMPs, I think, will primarily be used for walkthroughs, and like WADs, either the creator uploads it, or the person uploading it gets permission from the creator. Bloodshedder 14:01, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
So what you're saying is:
[a] If I wanted to upload a WAD I made myself (ha!), I wouldn't have to attach a copy of the GFDL and all those other documents you get whenever you download something from It would be licensed that way by default.
[b] If I upload an LMP my friend recorded, and he knows that the GFDL is our license and tells me that I can do it, then we're covered.
[c] Since the COMPET-N web page has no posted copyright/licensing policies at all, we should assume that we're not allowed to use large chunks of its text nearly verbatim (not that there's any risk of that), or mirror any demos (ha again, although there are a few misc. ones which I think shouldn't be allowed to just disappear with the next update), without permission.
Is that right? Ryan W 23:12, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
[a] I assume so. The only way to get your WAD would be through its page ([[Image:Whatever.wad]]), and all Wikicities must be GFDL (at least), so the fact that it's GFDL should be pretty obvious to anyone downloading it.
[b] Yes.
[c] Yes, I think it goes without saying we can't/shouldn't take anything from other websites unless a) we own or wrote the content, b) use only a small portion of text under fair use, or c) get permission to take it (or permission to mirror files). Bloodshedder 00:18, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
(exhale) okay. Thank you very much. Ryan W 01:36, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Addendum: it is not really true that "the fact that it's GFDL should be pretty obvious to anyone downloading it"; I find that I can download a WAD or LMP by right-clicking, e.g. this one, without ever seeing any of the information on the image page. (Of course, if somebody reissued the work under conditions incompatible with the GFDL, it would be their fault for not looking around and finding our copyright info, would it not?) Ryan W 23:22, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think it would be best if demos were linked like this: Demonstration of monsters fleeing (file info) - Fredrik 10:24, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Aha, there's an idea. Ryan W 02:48, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Addendum:  Of course, it only addresses the problem for LMPs and WADs; you can still download pictures directly by right-clicking (though you only get the thumbnail if that's what the article contains).  Oh well.    Ryan W 20:10, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Public domain for Doom-engine images and LMPs?[edit]

#include <disclaimer.h>

Although this makes it sound as though add-ons and demos can be licensed by their authors independently of the original game's copyrights, the fact is that Doom's licensing provisions are more restrictive.  If a PWAD can't have a free license, then neither can a map view.  Also, IANAL, but I seem to remember reading that a derivative work can be placed in the public domain only when the original document is so (as with that Kirk Douglas movie about Odysseus), which would exclude demos as well.    Ryan W 19:08, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

This page is irrelevant[edit]

Licensing is an important issue, but for this project, it's out of our control.

In 2009, the independent Transformers Wiki switched from GFDL to CC-BY-SA. [1] [2] [3]   (Don't read those; they're mostly boilerplate.)  What follows is my uneducated, non-authoritative reaction.

Among other things the blog author, Deriksmith, refers to the legal concept of Threshold of originality.  Basically, if you strip out all reference to the commercial media, do you have enough left over for a complete and coherent work?  If not, then it retains the upstream copyright.

Examples familiar to Doomers include:

  • PWADs:  yes, architecture and "dungeon mastering" elements require creativity
  • Speedruns:  yes, the performance itself is due only to the author(s)
  • Editors and pre-GNU ports:  yes, the new code is a substantial engineering contribution
  • Fanfics:  yes, you *could* invent a setting and stock characters and publish anyway
  • Forum posts:  yes, your writing is always your own work unless you sign it away
  • Wiki articles:  NO.  By design, our content is virtually meaningless without the in-game material.

So Bethesda/Zenimax already own us, and the Wikia site as well.  (Not that anyone in the community is willing and able to fund a court case, which basically means they owned everything on this list as soon as it existed.)  I have a certain number of "fair use" items on my to-do list, but I'm wondering whether it's worth my time or anyone else's to debate them.  While we bring in money for the brand, we will stay in operation.  When that stops, we will not. [4] [5]

Ryan W 15:46, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

We are legally required to have this page here as part of the wiki interface (we also need to add a Terms of Service at some point). I disagree strongly with some of the above as well, as commentary, explanation and exposition, criticism, historical facts, and other such editorial content make fair use of small copyrighted portions of a work to produce an original, which can be licensed as the author(s) see fit. Many of the articles we have here go far beyond a copypaste of info from the id-owned instruction manual. id/Bethesda/Zenimax have no right of ownership over that original content just because they own the topic it addresses. It's a very good thing that this POV is not how the law works; I'm sure some corporations would love for it to work that way.
In our case, the way we see fit to license the portion of the content we own is through CC-BY-SA. That must be explained somewhere, both legally and because the MediaWiki software needs us to have a page for it point at for our licensing information. It also goes further in explaining elements of legality when it comes to how we can use resources like images, which is equally important. I realize this is a two-year-old comment I'm replying to but, I never saw it before. --Quasar (talk) 07:24, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I forgot about this too.  You'll have to excuse my increasingly argumentative tone in licensing threads — nothing else seems to shake loose people's opinions, let alone suggestions for the future.  (You are the exception, as your views are on the record in many places.)
I think it makes sense that we would have this page, and a Terms of Use, and (as briefly discussed on IRC) some method for receiving DMCA notices.  No fun, but probably prudent.
The situation in your second sentence, with layers of editorial content surrounding the primary material, is the ideal.  Some of our articles do that.  Some OTOH are just a map and a screen shot gallery, perhaps bracketing a list of secrets not marked on the map.  Other pages are little more than a quote or two and an ambiguously sourced image.  We may or may not have wholesale copypasting from other sites or walkthroughs (seriously, does anyone check?  I don't).
By its perpetual silence on these issues, the community encourages good faith users to post the copyrighted material first, leave it up for 20 years, and assume someone will come along later and do the hard part.  That mentality needs to change if we're going to claim to adhere to the standards you describe.    Ryan W (talk) 01:06, 29 April 2014 (UTC)