Updated Modding Guidelines - Beware: NO Monetization Update

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
The following is up for discussion and may be amended depending on the feedback we receive. It is not yet implemented and especially the matter of monetization is not addressed. We do touch upon what you allow others to do with your creations - but even if you give them full permissions, this may not mean that they can use them commercially on this forum. Taleworlds will clarify that matter at another point.

But let's have a look at what we have:



Modding

If you are considering to join our modding community or are already a part of it, you should take note of the following: This community strives to be a good environment for both open and closed source projects. For this reason, we generally encourage the sharing of assets but also protect the rights of creators that seek to build a unique product by making their content exclusive. We believe that this approach is the most conducive to modding and feel validated by the great open and closed source mod projects on the forum as well as the library of open source assets in the Forge.

Consequently, you may only use assets (f.e. in a server) or offer a download for them (as a full mod or asset pack) if you have the creator's permission to do so. You may gain this permission directly from him/her or by fulfilling the conditions laid out in the original post of an [OSP] or [LSP] topic. It is also necessary to credit the creator(s) in question - either in the original post of your topic or in a dedicated sticky on your childboard (unless they specifically request anonymity). If an asset was crafted by several creators and they share the rights, you need their collective permission. If you seek to use a derivative work, you may need to gain permission from both the creator of the original content as well as the creator of the derivative - depending on their agreement.

Should you fail to adhere to these rules (on this forum or other platforms), your use of such assets will be considered theft and, ultimately, result in your permanent ban on the forum. Server owners and hosts may also be subject to further action such as a master server blacklist - after they have been contacted and failed to resolve the situation. We consider it your responsibility to ensure that you have permissions and provide proper credits for the resources that you use. Once you have permission, it cannot be redacted on a whim unless otherwise specified in the terms of use. However, even if a creator has not included a "right to revoke" in the agreement with you, he may request the removal of his content from your work if you exhibit behavior that could significantly damage his reputation by affiliation. Only the moderation can grant such a request and it should not be made trivially.

In case of a conflict we expect you to follow the procedure below:

1. Attempt to resolve the situation with the offending party.
2. If that proves impossible, you may contact the moderation and should provide us with all the necessary information. (Description of the Problem, Description of the Attempt to Resolve, Proof of Offense, Proof of Rights to Assets, Proof of Agreements/Permissions, Other Information you deem necessary/helpful)
3. If we consider an action in conflict with our rules, we will ask the offender (modder, server owner and/or host) to rectify the situation. You should avoid unnecessarily escalating the conflict at this point.
4. If she/he fails to do so and we deem the offense significant enough, we will remove the offending content and potentially him/her from the forum. We may also request further action from TaleWorlds.

To facilitate the above process, we ask all service/product providers that use this forum to provide a direct line of communication (either allowing users to contact them on the forum, via a form on an external website or via a dedicated email). No requirements should be put in place that may hinder this process - such as forms that ask for personal details of users.

As a means to streamline cooperation we will also provide some guidelines for permissions. For instance, the following is true for future [OSP] resources:

- You may use these assets for non-commercial and commercial ventures (Careful - See Monetization details below).
- You may use these assets in open and closed source projects.
- You have the rights to create, use and share or restrict the use of derivative works but need to provide credit to the original creator.
- Permission may not be redacted.

(While the above may be akin to creative commons licenses such as this, we do not make any claims on the legal applicability of our guidelines.)

This is in line with the original conception of the open source project
Llew said:
The Open Source Project is a collaboration of models for Mount&Blade mod makers, free for all to use, and is contributed to by anyone who wishes. Succinctly put, it is a pot. The idea was come up with by Maw. Kudos to the man.
Nonetheless, not all topics marked [OSP] are necessarily labelled correctly. You should therefore always check the original post of such a topic for any additional requirements that the author may have laid out. Going forward, the tags of "OSPs" will be changed to [LSP], which stands for Limited Source Project, if they do not fully embrace the above permissions. Their creators may loosen the permissions to regain the [OSP] tag.

If you wish to share resources with the community, you may thus simply put an [OSP] tag on them and reference the above guidelines. Alternatively, you can add a [LSP] tag and specify your own conditions. These should define whether others can use, adapt and/or share your work as part of a mod or resource package and whether or not they may restrict the use of their derivatives. You should also define whether they may use it in a closed source project and whether or not commercial purposes are permitted. (This includes the collection of donations for a project using the [LSP] in question.) Lastly, you should define your "right to revoke". Should you fail to define any one of these points, we wil assume that the [OSP] guidelines apply for that particular aspect.

If you directly make an arrangement with another user, you should also define the above points as we will consider permissions tolerantly:
Code:
User: Hey, can I use your script in my mod?
Creator: Yes. Just give me credit.
The above would be interpreted as having the same conditions as an [OSP] - just limited to whoever was granted the permission.

It is, in turn, imperative to properly document your agreements. Should you be unable to provide a proof of permission, we will either assume that there was no such agreement or give the creator the benefit of doubt if he has described permissions that differ from your claims. For this reason, we recommend that you do not use steam or other chat programs to enter into an arrangement. You should finalize your deals in an environment that automatically archives them - like posts or private messages on the forum, external emails, etc. We may also look into ways of archiving this in a dedicated fashion on the forum.

Code:
Date of Agreement:
Name/Pseudonym of Creator(s):
Forum Profile(s):
Name/Pseudonym of Asset User:
Forum Profile:
List of Assets in Question: (If too long - Summarize f.e. with "All assets contributed to/part of Project/Package X")

For the above Assets the following is true:
They may be used non-commercially/commercially. (Specify if necessary - Only Donations, f.e.)
They may be used in an open/closed source project.
They may only be used in Project X/they may be used in all projects that meet other requirements.
They may be used/used and adapted/used, adapted and redistributed (as a derivative OSP, redistribution as part of a mod download is implied in use).
The User may/may not restrict the use of derivatives.
The creator may always revoke these rights/may revoke the rights under X conditions.

If the User fails to adhere to any one of the above conditions, the entire agreement becomes null and void.

We also recommend that creators archive a proof of creation for their works. The easiest way to establish this is a download with a time stamp or, alternatively, screenshots and discussions of an asset on the forum. If you do not have any proof of ownership, we may not be able to protect your assets from abuse.

Monetization

[TO BE DETERMINED]


Conduct

We also expect all service and product providers (whether they are commercial or not) to behave with decency. The harassment/spamming of a competitor's topics, any PR "campaigns" aimed at hurting another's product or service as well as threats or extortion are not permitted. You may provide constructive criticism, if that includes a complete solution to the problem you are highlighting (full instructions/fixed code/fixed asset). People with financial interests will naturally be under more scrutiny than those without them.

Do note that - as with all other rules - the behavior of another does not excuse your own. If someone is trolling/flaming or otherwise harassing you, do not escalate the conflict by engaging in the same conduct. Report the offender.

Featured Mod

The featured mod is determined by the following topic - https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,346796.0.html
We usually try to give any mod that updates here at least 1 week in the spotlight. Should the volume of updates make that impossible, we will pick and choose. Do not spam small updates or hot fixes. This is meant to draw attention to significant changes in content.

Offering Downloads

We ask that all future downloads (Mods, OSPs, LSPs) offered on the forum use reliable hosts to avoid abuse and issues with dead links. You may use Nexus, Moddb, mbrepository, GoogleDrive and Dropbox. SteamWorkshop may also be used for full Mods. This list may be expended based on community feedback.

Discord

We are setting up a modding discord that will likely replace the external IRC link in the Forge. You can find it here
While we are happy to discuss matters of policy with you directly on the discord, you will have to make a proper post here if it is meant to be considered by all relevant parties.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
If an asset was crafted by several creators and they share the rights, you need their collective permission...

Should you be unable to provide a proof of permission, we will either assume that there was no such agreement...


How will this be applied in respect of whole mods, which went OSP in the past? This normally happens late in a mod’s life where one representative of a team posts a statement that the mod is now OSP. Nothing proves this is a collective agreement - in a number of cases that representative even asks for feedback from dissenting rights owners, indicating they cannot speak for all rights owners.

Are you now shifting the onus of proof such that we need to track down all the rights owners, of dead OSP mods, to obtain proof of permission from rights owners who either delegated another team member to speak for them or neglected to dissent when that team member took their mod OSP?

If so, I consider that unreasonable as most of those individual rights owners are no longer active or contactable.

Equally, this has problems going forward. Mods can be posted as OSP in the future by one team member or a sub-set of contributors. How does that OSP tag have many meaning/value/certification when it is open to challenge by silent or mis-represented rights owners at any time in the future? It undermines the faith any modder can have in the authenticity of anything classified as OSP on this forum.

X posts his mod as OSP in the new era. However, it includes assets from dead mods, which went OSP in the past and are posted as OSP on these forums, but for which, no one historically documented permissions from every individual contributor. Y uses assets from this new era OSP in good faith, which originated from old era OSPs with undocumented individual rights owner permissions. How can X take his mod OSP on this basis without some form of worded disclaimer about the past and how can Y incorporate these assets in his mod without getting permissions from inactive, uncontactable and in some cases unknown creators?

Even for historical whole mod OSPs with extensive credits, the original creators of individual assets are not always clear or credited (in some cases anonimity may have been requested or the assets may have been gifted on a no credits required basis) and these assets may also have undocumented derivative contributions where that asset has been tweaked by another contributor.

Making future modders responsible for untangling this historical gordian knot is unlikely to encourage new recruits to use the wealth of OSP assets this community has built (and is rightly proud of) over the term of M&B/Warband’s existence. 
 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
The burden of proof would be with whoever publishes the resources in a particular fashion (much like with a regular mod release).

However - We react to reports. Which means that the issue you describe only arises if a rights owner is active AND disagrees with the publishing of his assets in a particular manner. This has always been the case - the most recent example was a dispute in the PW community where the creators of a derivative work could not produce the permission of the original creator. There is really no different way of going about this IF we want to credibly protect the rights of creators. Nonetheless, these cases are RARE and typically suffer from a lack of awareness that it is important to properly archive and/or publicize agreements. Changing that is a primary goal of these guidelines. Oh and no major OSP (there may have been some retexturing packs that had to be put down) was ever called into question by anyone. (Which doesn't mean that it will never happen. just that it is a very fringe problem.)

Equally, this has problems going forward. Mods can be posted as OSP in the future by one team member or a sub-set of contributors. How does that OSP tag have many meaning/value/certification when it is open to challenge by silent or mis-represented rights owners at any time in the future? It undermines the faith any modder can have in the authenticity of anything classified as OSP on this forum.
The whole point is that - going forward - people will get their permissions in order from the get go. And possibly even publicize them if we come up with a reasonable system for that. We have always and will always take down assets that lack permissions.

It may be reasonable to amend the guidelines with a recommendation to include PM Quotes of permissions in the OP.

X posts his mod as OSP in the new era. However, it includes assets from dead mods, which went OSP in the past and are posted as OSP on these forums, but for which, no one historically documented permissions from every individual contributor. Y uses assets from this new era OSP in good faith, which originated from old era OSPs with undocumented individual rights owner permissions. How can X take his mod OSP on this basis without some form of worded disclaimer about the past and how can Y incorporate these assets in his mod without getting permissions from inactive, uncontactable and in some cases unknown creators?
That is a risk that they are taking already. And a problem, which will persist if we do not address it by raising awareness and getting folks to properly document their agreements going forward.
But do note - again - that there never was a dispute in the way you describe. So far it has been a manageable risk - but a slowly growing one (more resources published over time).

The biggest issue I see here is a dispute between an inactive publisher and a returning contributor. This would have to be weighed on a case by case basis by the moderation.

Edith: It may also be worth noting that the "and they share the rights" means that creators can give up rights to the main developer of a mod (who can then transfer the rights to whoever he deems right - including OSP). This just needs to be documented in a reliable manner.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
I understand and support the objective going forward, but would appreciate some recognition that documentation cannot be created retrospectively. I believe there should be an explicit presumption, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that team members did share rights historically and mods which are already OSP (prior to the new rules/clarification) only require modders to meet the conditions for use specified by the team member who posted that mod as OSP.
 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
The opinions I have heard so far were typically in favor of creator rights rather than user rights. I.e. if there is an uncertainty we should interpret matters in favor of the creator. (We made an exception for generalized permissions, though.) I will say that we will likely not take down big OSPs/LSPs that have been around for years. Similarly, mods who do not have active developers may also receive a pass in case of a conflict. However, we will ask active mods to remove content if they have failed to properly document their permissions.

I would like to hear some more opinions on this aspect. So let me know what you think folks.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
Duh said:
The opinions I have heard so far were typically in favor of creator rights rather than user rights. I.e. if there is an uncertainty we should interpret matters in favor of the creator. (We made an exception for generalized permissions, though)
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Please can you clarify this exception for generalised permissions.

I will say that we will likely not take down big OSPs/LSPs that have been around for years.
That's far from reassuring. If you do take down a big OSP/LSP, what are the implications for other mods, which have used assets from them? Will those also be taken down in a domino effect?

Similarly, mods who do not have active developers may also receive a pass in case of a conflict.
May is very indefinite. Please can you give some examples for clarification?

However, we will ask active mods to remove content if they have failed to properly document their permissions.
So, for an active mod which has relied on historical OSPs for certain assets - if the modder relied on a posted permission on these forums, presuming it was a collective permission, he/she will have automatically failed to properly document his/her permissions from individual rights owners under these new guidelines. That would suggest you might be taking down a lot of mods.
 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
The generalized permissions are mentioned in the OP:
Code:
User: Hey, can I use your script in my mod?
Creator: Yes. Just give me credit.
This would entail a full OSP license to the person making the request.


The phrasing for the other aspects is intentionally vague, because you are asking about fringe cases that may require in-depth investigation and evaluation by the moderation (of the time). I do not intend to jeopardize their ability to make case by case judgement calls. Nonetheless I can describe what I view as likely. If somebody reported a large item OSP for a single offending item, I would judge that we or the publisher could a) add a notification that folks cannot use said item any longer or b) reupload the OSP without it. Mods that use it would have to remove it - after the creator has contacted them. (We work on a report basis. We do not pro-actively and continously check all mods and files.)

May is very indefinite. Please can you give some examples for clarification?
No as this too would be a judgement call. If half of the mod lacks permission and dozens of creators complain we would very likely take it down. If it is just one item... we would probably pass on that (unless the mod is just a retexture of said item.)

I don't really understand your last point. Let me just say that this is not a new policy or enforcement (see the current rules on modding). It is just explained to a greater degree. Historical OSPs have never caused problems and we do not expect to take down any of them. Do note - again - that we work on a report-basis. Only the original creators can make these reports.
 

Cozur

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Best answers
0
Is there any plans to change/review the decision to not allow mods based on licensed universes to have their own sub-board?
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
The last point reworded -

Big historical mods were generally made OSP by a representative/lead team member.
An OSP's credits list is not documentation of permissions from individual rights owners/contributors that their assets could be used by other mods.
The posting team member's permission to use an OSP's assets is probably the only documentation subsequent users will have relied upon. So these subsequent users will have failed to document permissions from the individual rights owners for the specific assets used where they were created by someone other than the OSP's representative/lead team member.
I suspect that will put a number of active mods in conflict with your requirement for them to properly document their permissions.


Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I understand that TW need to do the right thing legally. Hopefully, the technicalities will remain untested for long-standing OSPs, which form the foundation of many of this community's mods.


 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
Cozur said:
Is there any plans to change/review the decision to not allow mods based on licensed universes to have their own sub-board?
Marko actually nudged me to ask TW again a few days ago and we will (ask).

@NPC99 - Thanks for the clarification. I get it now :smile: In the case you describe a custom solution under the guidance of moderation may be best (depending on who is in/active from the OSP team). If permissions cannot be figured out and the contended assets are non-essential, we would probably ask folks to remove them. If they are essential parts (this is our judgement) and the OSP has been around for years without any complaints, we would probably give existing projects the benefit of doubt. I cannot give any guarantees here, though.

And to be clear - these guidelines are largely created by the community. TW may have had a look but they are giving us a lot of leeway and it is not primarily guided by legal concerns. The goal is to create an environment that is good for modding. I understand your concerns, but I believe the current approach is the best possible solution... for one crucial reason. If we start to remove rights retrospectively that puts a huge uncertainty on every modder that shares assets... or even mods. No option is perfect, but I believe that giving the benefit of doubt to creators in cases of uncertainty is the lesser evil. We just need to clearly communicate it to folks and make them aware of the risks they are taking - while also not creating any dooms day scenarios.
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
I’d like the download sites extended to include:

yadi.sk - a number of OSPs with missing links remain available thanks to our Russian colleagues.

mediafire.com - I have aways found this fast & reliable.
 

Duh

Duke
M&BWB
Best answers
0
Can links expire on either of those platforms? (On a sidenote - we won't remove old OSP if their downloads don't match and we may even create references to russian/chinese/otherwise OSP that do not use the recommended hosts.)
 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
8
I don’t know about yadi.sk - I’ve only used it for downloading old stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Mediafire links can be deleted if the account is inactive for a number of months. I still feel there is a need for quick solutions even if such links are subsequently replaced/supplemented by more permanent ones.
 

Marko͘

Section Moderator
WBNWM&BWF&SVC
Best answers
1
While Mediafire is a reliable hoster in the short term, you said it yourself - links can and do get deleted.

What we're trying to encourage is a more permanent hosting solution for community content. As Duh said, content with expired links won't be removed, but it'd certainly be more convenient for everyone to avoid those situations in the future.

A quick search on Nexus gave me some results like:

https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6134
https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6131
https://www.nexusmods.com/mbwarband/mods/6129

Which is one of the examples how OSP/LSP content can be put out in a permanent form.
 

Khamukkamu

Master Knight
M&BWBWF&SVC
Best answers
0
Would uploading things to GitHub be fine? I like using GitHub release binaries like here: GitHub Release.

If anything, I'll still probably use the recommended sites, but would like to have this one as a backup link.
 

JabdiMelborn

Section Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Best answers
0
Duh said:
Offering Downloads

We ask that all future downloads (Mods, OSPs, LSPs) offered on the forum use reliable hosts to avoid abuse and issues with dead links. You may use Nexus, Moddb, mbrepository, GoogleDrive and Dropbox. SteamWorkshop may also be used for full Mods. This list may be expended based on community feedback.
...Mbrepository is still active for uploading new mods version...?

N.B.:...some other sites where to upload your mods:...
Kırmızı Perfect  https://www.kirmiziperfect.com/
GameFront  http://www.gamefront.com/

ciauz^^,
Jab
 

Temuzu

Marquis
WBM&BNWWF&SVC
Best answers
0
ModDB and Mega should be more than sufficient, in fact I would even recommend Mega.
 

Zebaad

Regular
Best answers
0
JabdiMelborn said:
Duh said:
Offering Downloads

We ask that all future downloads (Mods, OSPs, LSPs) offered on the forum use reliable hosts to avoid abuse and issues with dead links. You may use Nexus, Moddb, mbrepository, GoogleDrive and Dropbox. SteamWorkshop may also be used for full Mods. This list may be expended based on community feedback.
...Mbrepository is still active for uploading new mods version...?

N.B.:...some other sites where to upload your mods:...
Kırmızı Perfect  https://www.kirmiziperfect.com/
GameFront  http://www.gamefront.com/

ciauz^^,
Jab
So to clarify, the issue here is dead links correct? I haven't published any full modifications, but I have and will be publishing scenes to my website complete with DL links linking to the files on the file storage- am I permitted to continue like this or did I misunderstand?
 

Lag'ier Barlida

Master Knight
M&BVCWB
Best answers
0
May I ask if the translation to the mod needs permission?

M&B is a worldwide game so do its mods, and players from several languages are playing them but not all modders/players know English well, so translation permission should be a part on the guildline imo.

I know most of modders love fans to translate their mods, but there is always exceptations, so I think it is good to clear this.