What are your considerations when reading/writing terms of use for resources?

DoubleX

Just a nameless weakling
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
912
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
N/A
We all know that different resource makers have different terms of uses for their resources.


Some are so generous to the point that they only ask of you not to plagiarize their works then saying they're plagiarizing your works.


Some are so strict to the point that there are tons of restrictions, and you must give relatively expensive initial payments for each project and also relatively high royalty fee for commercial uses.


Besides, we all know resource types have their role to play here too.


From my observations, terms of uses for plugins/scripts are generally more generous, while those for graphics/musics are generally more strict.
 


Given such diversity in terms of uses coming from resource makers and resource types, I'm interested in your considerations when writing terms of uses for your resources, and your considerations when reading terms of uses for the others' ones. Of course, we all have our own goals and we all have to face our own situations, so our considerations can change as they change :)


I hope that by sharing all these, we can better understand our own considerations as well as the others' ones by trying to put into their shoes. We might even change our minds afterwards :D


P.S.: From the resource users' perspective, we might find a long demanded resource and there's no available alternatives. We all know the feeling when its terms of use doesn't let us use it lol
 

Sharm

Pixel Tile Artist
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
12,760
Reaction score
10,880
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
  • How much time and effort did I spend on it?
  • How much need is there for what I made?
  • How do I want this to be used?
  • Is it fan art?



Most of my considerations are give away VS selling.  If I spent a lot of time and effort on it, I can't really afford to give it away.  If I made it just goofing off in my free time, then I can.  If it's something that there's a lot of demand for, why wouldn't I sell it?  More customers is good business.  But if it's not going to sell, then there's not really a good reason to sell it.  I might as well give it away, bulk up my free thread, show off my skills and maybe bring in a few customers for my other things as a result.  How do I want it to be used is a little more difficult to explain.  I spent a lot of time and effort on a bases that there was demand for, but I gave them away for free because I wanted people to use it more than I wanted the customers.  If I didn't give it away then I would have to make a lot of clothing, hair, and so on before the bases became usable, and that was something I wasn't going to enjoy.  By giving it away it's more likely to be used, to be expanded on, and then if I make some hair and clothes I can sell those instead.  If it's fan art I will not sell it and I won't allow commercial use.  Just personal morality here, I don't feel it's right to make money off of someone else's reputation and hard work unless they've given me explicit permission and possibly are getting a cut of the profits.


Usually if I give things away it's a credit required (I could use the advertising), no repost (reposting leads to things like being included in bundles for sale and losing credits and all sorts of shady things), edit's allowed (if you're giving it away, why do you care if it gets edited?), commercial use allowed.  I don't like my work being used in work that supports things that I'm morally opposed to, but I don't feel that I have the right to put that sort of restriction on my stuff.  If I want to put that sort of restriction on I'd have to be more involved, like as a member of a team.  Putting restrictions like that on it is like saying "I won't let you use my work if your mapping is bad" or other such things.  Yeah, I don't want my name associated with it, but that's not really something I get to decide when I sell or give things away.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mlogan

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
15,221
Reaction score
8,468
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
My considerations are simply that they are clear either way. If I'm writing them, I hope that there is not question about what it allowed or not. Same if I'm reading them from a creator.


As far as what the creator allows, sure sometimes I might be disappointed with more strict terms, however, I also respect that that is the creator's right. Just as there are so many different types of game developers here, so there are resource creators - from those hobbiests just doing it for fun to those making a career out of it. And because of that, I have to respect that there are going to be a wide variety of terms.
 

Lunarea

Artist
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
8,836
Reaction score
7,788
In a perfect world, there would be no need for terms of use because people would understand and respect the artist behind the resources and accept that the resources don't just become the user's property. Alas, we don't live in a perfect world, and the TOS are there to make the interaction between the user and the artist easier. They're there to protect the artist and protect the person using the resources.


In my experience, the biggest reason for TOS is to educate the user and prevent both sides from assuming things. It stops the user from assuming that permission to use something in their commercial project also means they have permission to sell that resource. Likewise, it also stops the artist from assuming the developer of that commercial game owes them a ton of income if their game hits it big. TOS narrow down what both parties agree to, so they have an easier time if there's a problem or issue down the line.


Some artists charge for their material, and this is not "greedy" or "unreasonable". After putting hundreds of hours (literally, in some cases) into resources, a person is entitled to ask for compensation -- especially when the user is going to be selling their game and making a profit. Asking people to just do it for free because you're trying to save a few dollars while making your game is disrespectful and failing to acknowledge the importance of the work that went into creating those resources.


Other artists don't charge for their material. Sometimes this is done as a way of advertising/promoting themselves. Other times, it's done because the artist isn't confident enough in their work or doesn't see their work as valuable enough to be sold. This doesn't inherently make the artist "better" or more generous. It just illustrates that the value we place on ourselves and our work can differ from person to person. And that ties back to the concept of understanding and respecting the artist and their work.


Good TOS are clear and concise. They cover the basics and outline how the material should (and shouldn't) be used. It won't cover every situation - no license does. So, it will be up to the individual artist and user to establish a working relationship. But TOS will be enough to give both parties a solid base to build off of.
 

Iavra

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
1,797
Reaction score
862
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
From my observations, terms of uses for plugins/scripts are generally more generous, while those for graphics/musics are generally more strict.


Which is actually kind of strange, if you think about it. Plugins/scripts can be used in any number of projects and most players won't know about this, yet graphics/music are part of what makes a game unique, so you can't just use them over and over without some players mocking you for it.


From that perspective, we should probably price our scripts or lot higher, than we currently do ^^


Though, personally i do everything for free, since writing plugins isn't work for me. It's fun and a hobby, making it accessible for other people is just a bonus.
 

Sharm

Pixel Tile Artist
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
12,760
Reaction score
10,880
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
My post is glitched out and I can't fix it for some reason, hopefully that can be resolved soon, but in it I just talked about my considerations with my TOS.  I forgot to talk about what I think about others TOS.


When I see a lot of high quality work with a highly permissive license, my thought is "why are you giving this away?  You're doing yourself a disservice."  When I see something of super low quality or one small piece that matches almost nothing and it has some sort of "contact me about commercial for payment" I always just shake my head at their overblown sense of worth and move on.  Other than that, it's just information to me, it is their work, they can do whatever they want with it.  The most expensive "for commercial use" I've seen is Celianna's.  Is it how I'd price it?  No.  Is she worth it?  Absolutely.  Should my opinion about her price matter?  Not in the slightest!


EDIT:  My first post is fixed!  Please take the time to go back and read it. :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DoubleX

Just a nameless weakling
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
912
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
N/A
Now let's share mine:


When writing terms of use


I'll talk about those for scripts/plugins only, as I haven't made any other resource yet



As my goal of writing scripts/plugins are the following:


1. Practice programming


2. Gain user support experience


3. Meet as many users' demands as I can


I'll want to make my scripts/plugins as accessible as I can.


Nevertheless, I still want to protect myself from malicious actions, like someone plagiarizing my scripts/plugins while saying I'm plagiarizing theirs.


Combining all these, I'm thinking of slightly changing the terms of use of my upcoming scripts/plugins into something like this:

* 1. Commercial use's always allowed and crediting me's always optional.
* 2. You shall keep this plugin's Plugin Info part's contents intact.
* 3. You shalln't claim that this plugin's written by anyone other than
* DoubleX or my aliases. I always reserve the right to deny you from
* using any of my plugins anymore if you've violated this.
* 4. CC BY 4.0, except those conflicting with any of the above, applies
* to this plugin, unless you've my permissions to not to follow so.
* 5. I always reserve the right to deny you from using this plugin
* anymore if you've violated any of the above.




When reading terms of use


I always respect the terms of use no matter what their contents are, since their makers have absolutely no obligations to meet my demands as long as there are no such contracts/commissions/etc(in this case the terms of use should be agreed by both sides before making the deal and such agreement shouldn't be broken easily). If I can't accept the terms of use of some resources, I'll simply not use them and move on, as I've no right at all to breach any of them.
 

AwesomeCool

Bratty and spoiled little sister
Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
2,862
Reaction score
1,947
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
@lavra - I don't know why, but programmers seem a lot more willing to give things away for free then other group.


We even have big groups of programmers advocating open source ideals.


A single Plug-ins/script can be used for many more games then a art asset (you have to match art with the rest of the games art for consistency while the same cannot be said for scripts).  So if anything, scripters would benefit more from charging for commercial use (more potential customers) then art and would have more people interest in the script to begin with (thus less need to try and attract people).


Or perhaps scripters are just better people in general.  


Godlike programmers > whiny artists and stuck-up musicians confirmed


(totally unbiased, intellectual, enlightening, factual and serious statement)  :p  


@Sharm - to answer why lots of skilled people give stuff for free and lots of inexperienced charge a lot of money, look up the Dunning Kruger Effect.


Pic of a Dunning Kruger Effect graph if anybody is interested, but not enough to google for info about it:

 

Sharm

Pixel Tile Artist
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
12,760
Reaction score
10,880
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Actually, I bet the difference is because getting a non-freelance, 9 to 5 job as a programmer isn't that hard but getting one as an artist is crazy hard.  So for an artist the only way to make a living doing art is by doing commissions or selling art packs, where for a programmer this stuff is play they do after their work is done.  That doesn't make programmers better people, just in a better situation that makes it easier to be charitable with their free time.
 

byronclaude

Master of all things... (except the things I am no
Veteran
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
392
Reaction score
180
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
There are artists who would simply choose to give their work away for free simply for the sake of enhancing the creative community... or out of respect moreso for the art itself and it's power, rather than the money that can be made from it.


@Sharm - To assume an artist is doing a disservice to themself by offering great art free suggests that monetary value must always be the most important aspect of consideration.  For the commissioned artist... it may be a disservice..   but for all others, the reasoning for offering such beautiful art for free should be weighed in before automatically calling it a disservice.  For example, if ones legacy is simply to offer free beautiful art simply to strengthen the creative community as a whole, and to give the desperately poor an opportunity to have access to decent art for commercial use...   would not be doing themselves a disservice, but rather would be fulfilling a goal.


As for my own library (pertaining to me...  I don't expect others to necessarily agree with this):


1) It must be available for commercial use.  I actually have no current plans for a commercial release...  but I require the freedom to opt in selling a project commercially at any time.  So "non-commercial use only" is not an option for anything in my library ever.


2) The terms of use must be concise.  In otherwords "contact me about commercial use" is not an acceptable option for materials in my library.  I don't have time in my world for waiting for responses.  Concise would be: "commercial use after payment of X dollars" (I love the victorscripts approach:  Wanna use victorscripts put X dollars into X paypal account).  Other examples of concise:  "Free copy of game required."  "Notification of use required."  "Offering up your first born child is required."  (j/k about that last one due to legal reasons).


3) Materials must be allowed to be edited for use by myself.  If I cannot edit something, that something interferes with my method of operation, and has no place in my library.


Beyond that - all terms are acceptable.  All artists are always credited... and for any items that are cataloged in my library - all legal terms and conditions are strictly obeyed.
 

Sharm

Pixel Tile Artist
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
12,760
Reaction score
10,880
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
@byronclaude The reason why I think it's a disservice isn't because I dislike good free artwork or because I think money should be the end goal for everyone, it's because I want to have artists spending as much time as possible doing what they love.  This is all based on the assumption that the artists who are giving big things away do not have a job doing artwork.  I admit that may not be true, but it has been in my experience.  I see someone giving away a lot of professional quality stuff and I think "Why aren't you a professional?"  It's not like the goals are mutually exclusive either, you'd be surprised how many commissioners let you give away the results for free if they get a discounted rate.  Back when I was doing commissions I offered that as an option expecting most of the people who hired me would want exclusive, or be upset with the idea that they paid money for it and no one else would have to, but it turned out that most of my commissioners loved it.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

Officially not a mod anymore. Thanks for the many years!
Thinking if i should post on the classifieds section...
Made another plugin showcase video! :kaojoy:
(Plugins and details inside the description of the YouTube video.) :LZScheeze:
Ami
Castle is my Biggest Fear :kaodes:. I just Managed make Part by Part (like the Entrance only),not the Entire Castle like in the RM Sample...

Forum statistics

Threads
104,376
Messages
1,005,924
Members
135,901
Latest member
Sanzational
Top