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Microsoft Game Studios says: Our Game Assets are Free to Use.

SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint.Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Games and Technology
I got this from the Platformers. It is originally from Developmag
Microsoft opens game IP for non-commercial projects

GAMEFEST: Landmark legal move allows consumers free use of Halo, Forza and Viva Piñata assets in homebrew works

After announcing the 2.0 version of XNA Game Studio during Gamefest's keynote, XNA general manager Chris Satchell also revealed that the company had made an "unprecedented" move to allow consumers direct, legal access to game content from a number of Microsoft-owned IPs.

Effectively immediately, Microsoft has granted consumers "a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use".

The licence, similar to the Creative Commons agreement that some writers and artists use to give their works free and open copyright to the public, gives users access to any game published by Microsoft Game Studios (but not any third-party brands). Users don't get rights to share the games themselves, but can share creations that use game content.

That means materials from Age of Empires, Forza Motorsport, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, Viva Piñata and any other MGS game can be freely and legally 'remixed' by players.

Holy shit. This is amazing, quite simply. It's an awesome move by Microsoft and I give them kudos. I also give kudos to BlazeHedgehog who originally found this.

SirUltimos on
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Posts

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    SirUltimos wrote: »
    I got this from the Platformers. It is originally from Developmag
    Microsoft opens game IP for non-commercial projects

    GAMEFEST: Landmark legal move allows consumers free use of Halo, Forza and Viva Piñata assets in homebrew works

    After announcing the 2.0 version of XNA Game Studio during Gamefest's keynote, XNA general manager Chris Satchell also revealed that the company had made an "unprecedented" move to allow consumers direct, legal access to game content from a number of Microsoft-owned IPs.

    Effectively immediately, Microsoft has granted consumers "a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable licence to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use".

    The licence, similar to the Creative Commons agreement that some writers and artists use to give their works free and open copyright to the public, gives users access to any game published by Microsoft Game Studios (but not any third-party brands). Users don't get rights to share the games themselves, but can share creations that use game content.

    That means materials from Age of Empires, Forza Motorsport, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, Viva Piñata and any other MGS game can be freely and legally 'remixed' by players.

    Holy shit. This is amazing, quite simply. It's an awesome move by Microsoft and I give them kudos. I also give kudos to BlazeHedgehog who originally found this.

    I bet those guys who were making the Halo RTS mod that got foxed are pretty pissed right about now... :D

    steam_sig.png
  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I bet those guys who were making the Halo RTS mod that got foxed are pretty pissed right about now... :D

    just gotta be careful to click 'Restore' instead of 'Empty Recycle Bin'

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Now we just have to talk them into making their code open source. :P

  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    so what happens when they use a third-party texture pack? how do you tell what's first-party Microsoft-made and isn't?

  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    Now we just have to talk them into making their code open source. :P

    It's happened before ...

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    What exactly does 'personal use' mean, anyway? Does that mean that you can't publicly distribute anything involving that content, which would still kill off any mods?

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    I bet those guys who were making the Halo RTS mod that got foxed are pretty pissed right about now... :D

    just gotta be careful to click 'Restore' instead of 'Empty Recycle Bin'

    But they've just spent the past year or more unable to work on the project (in which time they could have finished it). Like I said, I bet they're pissed.

    steam_sig.png
  • AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So I can make a Hentai Halo game now without getting into legal trouble as long as I don't sell it?

  • scootchscootch Registered User
    edited August 2007
    this doesn't sound like something MS would do. how cool of them to do this.

    TF2 stats
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    Xbox360 Gamertag: Emuchop
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    What exactly does 'personal use' mean, anyway? Does that mean that you can't publicly distribute anything involving that content, which would still kill off any mods?

    From OP:
    Users don't get rights to share the games themselves, but can share creations that use game content.

    Basically, you can distribute as long as you aren't distributing one of their games or making any money.

    I think this is a classy move by MS. Too bad they're about 10 years behind Valve, but it's a start at least.

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Accualt wrote: »
    So I can make a Hentai Halo game now without getting into legal trouble as long as I don't sell it?

    There are some clauses: the rights don't extend to music or sound effects, assets can't be used for racist, obscene or pornographic ends, and players can't claim to be adding 'lost chapters' to Microsoft IP, plus they have to add clear '©' and related disclaimers to their resultant creations. They also can't reverse-engineer the games, either


    Alas, no.



    But this is very very strange. Gotta be a catch somewhere.

    UA1OmVB.png
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

  • edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    What exactly does 'personal use' mean, anyway? Does that mean that you can't publicly distribute anything involving that content, which would still kill off any mods?

    I believe it means you can't try and make money off of whatever you "create".

    I'm not smart, but thanks to the internet I can pretend.
    wii Number 0648 2052 0203 3154
  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Good move.

    I can see XNA and the whole homebrew thing being fucking huge. They need to start getting people making games and putting em on XBLA for free. That shit could be mega popular.

    Years off though, but its a great start.

    scarab you have mental problems
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

    Ya, this pretty much just allows a programmer to use stock models and textures for something unrelated until they can get a artist on board.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Good move.

    I can see XNA and the whole homebrew thing being fucking huge. They need to start getting people making games and putting em on XBLA for free. That shit could be mega popular.

    Years off though, but its a great start.

    i could see them having a separate pool to the XBLA titles we know already. If they start flooding that side of things with home-made games, it could get really messy, and any new titles would have the same spotlight that current releases are getting (once a week guaranteed, when all eyes are watching). They should keep up with the XBLA weekly releases, give each full release its own time to make money, to keep all the developers happy with it. A separate section for throwing up homebrew games that they can't really charge money for (maybe pick the good ones for paid releases, the less good for free or super-cheap) would work well to flood content onto the system.

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    anable wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

    Ya, this pretty much just allows a programmer to use stock models and textures for something unrelated until they can get a artist on board.

    You could do Super Smash Brothers: Microsoft, I suppose.

  • fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wow, I wonder what this could actually lead to for us end users, because I can't work out who would own what and how it could be distributed.

    But yeah - kudos to Microsoft.

    fragglefart.jpg
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

    Ya, this pretty much just allows a programmer to use stock models and textures for something unrelated until they can get a artist on board.

    You could do Super Smash Brothers: Microsoft, I suppose.

    Everyone would just play as Master Chief in a flat level from Forza.

    steam_sig.png
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Veevee wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

    Ya, this pretty much just allows a programmer to use stock models and textures for something unrelated until they can get a artist on board.

    You could do Super Smash Brothers: Microsoft, I suppose.

    Everyone would just play as Master Chief in a flat level from Forza.

    I would play as a car from Forza on a Master Chief level.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So what this means is that I can find the old playbook for the Crimson Skies PnP game, make a computer version, and then have it released on Live? Yay for boardgames!

    steam_sig.png
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    anable wrote: »
    Wow, I just realize this includes any MSGS game, not just those listed in the OP. That is a lot of content.

    Here's the official MS page.

    Here's a list of MSGS games.

    Can anyone point me towards where I'm supposed to actually be able to download this media from?

    Heh, Too Human is on there. Anyone feel like racing the official version?

    Edit: Actually, how does that work for games published but not developed by MSGS? Does Microsoft still own the copyright on those?

    Second edit: Urgh, they don't allow you to "add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game", which would disqualify that as well. Actually, it disqualifies quite a hell of a lot, as all use of the characters would have to be completely out of context.

    Ya, this pretty much just allows a programmer to use stock models and textures for something unrelated until they can get a artist on board.

    You could do Super Smash Brothers: Microsoft, I suppose.

    Pretty much what I was thinking as well.

    steam_sig.png
  • No Great NameNo Great Name FRAUD DETECTED Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There will be Race Car, and Football guy, and...

    Xbox Live: OGSirToons PSN: NoGreatName Bnet Tag: SirToons#1214 NNID: SirToons
    Steam ID: SirToons 3DS: 3024-5277-3254 Twitch: SirToons check.php?c=sirtoons
  • BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User
    edited August 2007
    use the gears engine to make a 360 warhammer 40k game that follows the tabletop version.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    360 Gamertag: Baronskatenbass Steam: BaronVonSnakPak HgL: AnsonLuap
  • His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User
    edited August 2007
    use the gears engine to make a 360 warhammer 40k game that follows the tabletop version.

    I don't think that would absolve you of the Warhammer licensing issues.

    Edit: And I believe this agreement only applies to art, not code.

  • BaronVonSnakPakBaronVonSnakPak Registered User
    edited August 2007
    use the gears engine to make a 360 warhammer 40k game that follows the tabletop version.

    I don't think that would absolve you of the Warhammer licensing issues.

    battlesledge 4t-thowsend

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    360 Gamertag: Baronskatenbass Steam: BaronVonSnakPak HgL: AnsonLuap
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Could you release a commercial game with all original property, and then create a free mod for that game that replaces all of the original content with Microsoft content?

  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    GoW guys all racing pinatas!

  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Jaw, meet floor.

    Time to get working on a Shadowrun RPG.

    PSN: Dr_Keenbean LIVE: Dr Keenbean
    Dr_Keenbean42.png
  • RaslinRaslin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Accualt wrote: »
    So I can make a Hentai Halo game now without getting into legal trouble as long as I don't sell it?

    Nope.

    There are some clauses: the rights don't extend to music or sound effects, assets can't be used for racist, obscene or pornographic ends, and players can't claim to be adding 'lost chapters' to Microsoft IP, plus they have to add clear '©' and related disclaimers to their resultant creations. They also can't reverse-engineer the games, either.

    However consumers may now use gameplay footage, screen shots and other gameplay elements to, says Microsoft "express their own imagination and creativity".

    While the only specific kind of work Microsoft made direct reference to was machinima, as the news was delivered as part of a development conference keynote, it doesn't seem too much of a leap to presume that Microsoft intends for the licence to mean use of the content in free, non-profit games made using the XNA framework is allowed.

    More details can be found at Microsoft's official 'rule' list for the agreement.

    I cant url good so add me on steam anyways steamcommunity.com/id/Raslin

    3ds friend code: 2981-6032-4118
  • agoajagoaj Hey You Pichu I don't like your girlfriendRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sign of the apocalypse, only explanation for something this awesome.

    aqOYSK0.gif
  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Raslin wrote: »
    Accualt wrote: »
    So I can make a Hentai Halo game now without getting into legal trouble as long as I don't sell it?

    Nope.

    There are some clauses: the rights don't extend to music or sound effects, assets can't be used for racist, obscene or pornographic ends, and players can't claim to be adding 'lost chapters' to Microsoft IP, plus they have to add clear '©' and related disclaimers to their resultant creations. They also can't reverse-engineer the games, either.

    However consumers may now use gameplay footage, screen shots and other gameplay elements to, says Microsoft "express their own imagination and creativity".

    While the only specific kind of work Microsoft made direct reference to was machinima, as the news was delivered as part of a development conference keynote, it doesn't seem too much of a leap to presume that Microsoft intends for the licence to mean use of the content in free, non-profit games made using the XNA framework is allowed.

    More details can be found at Microsoft's official 'rule' list for the agreement.


    Way to be twenty posts late.





    About not adding anything or expanding the game universe: I knew there was a catch.

    UA1OmVB.png
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Huh. Official license here:
    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/developer/rules.htm

    Game Content Usage Rules

    We know that people like you love our games and sometimes want to use things like gameplay footage, screenshots, music, and other elements of our games (“Game Content”) to make things like machinima, videos, and and other cool things (your “Item” or “Items”). We’d like to make that easier for you. So long as you can respect these rules, you can use our Game Content to make your Items.

    EMH: So this is focused more towards RvB than games? (Not that this part has any legal weight)

    What can I do?
    Here’s the magic words from our lawyers: so long as you respect these rules, Microsoft grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use. We can revoke this limited use license at any time and for any reason.

    EMH: Note the revocation clause.

    If you share your Items with your friends or post them on your web site, then you also must include the following notice about the Game Content. You can put it in a README file, or on the web page from where it’s downloaded, or anywhere else that makes sense so long as anyone who sees your Item will also find this notice.

    [The title of your Item] was created under Microsoft’s “Game Content Usage Rules” using assets from GAMENAME, © Microsoft Corporation.

    You can also put a link to this page so people know what the Game Content Creation Rules are.

    EMH: Standard enough.

    So what does that mean?
    What we’re giving you here is similar to the Creative Commons “Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike” license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/), except that we don’t grant the rights described there as “share” meaning you don’t get to copy, distribute, or transmit our game (obviously!). You don’t have to post the content on your own site – you can link to a third-party site containing your Items if you’d prefer to store them there.

    And by the way, these Rules only cover games published by Microsoft Game Studios and where Microsoft owns the copyright. We can’t give you permission to use games from other publishers or games where Microsoft doesn’t own the IP. Sorry, but you’ll have to contact them for that. Where you see a link to this text on a game’s community website, then you’re good to go. As you can see, this will give you access to some of the most popular titles on the PC and Xbox 360, including:

    * Age of Empires (all versions)
    * Flight Simulator (all versions)*
    * Forza Motorsport (all versions)*
    * Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 (when released)
    * Kameo
    * Perfect Dark Zero
    * Project Gotham Racing (all versions)*
    * Rise of Nations (all versions)
    * Shadowrun
    * Viva Piñata

    * Use of individual vehicles may require permission from their manufacturer.

    EMH: Also standard

    What can't I do?
    It’s tough to predict everything people will do, but there are some things that you can be sure will get our attention.

    EMH: Now hold on here. Are you saying there are other items that are disallowed, but are unlisted?

    * You can’t reverse engineer our games to access the assets or otherwise do things that the games don’t normally permit in order to create your Items.

    EMH: OUCH!

    * You can’t use Game Content to create pornographic or obscene Items, or anything that contains vulgar, racist, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content.

    EMH: So no swearing, violence, or corpse-humping. Got it.

    * You can’t sell or otherwise earn anything from your Items. We will let you have advertising on the page with the Item on it, but that’s it. That means you can’t sell it, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees, solicit donations of any kind (even by PayPal), use it to enter a contest or sweepstakes, or post it on a page you use to sell other items (even if those other items have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft).

    EMH: Non-commercial, in other words...

    * You can’t use the soundtracks or audio effects from the original game. We often license those from third parties and don’t have the rights to pass them on to you.

    EMH: Nothing really they can do about this

    * You can’t infringe anyone’s IP rights in your Item, even if the IP rights being infringed don’t belong to Microsoft. Among other things that means you can’t use any of Microsoft’s trademarked logos or names except in the ways described in the pages linked from www.microsoft.com/trademarks.
    * You can’t add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that.

    EMH: Almost everything you want to do with the models is likely to infringe this clause. They're trying to prevent an unofficial Halo 4 from appearing, but the wording is very broad.

    * You can’t grant anyone the right to build on your creations. We don’t mind if other people help you out, but you have to be clear with them that it’s not you giving permission, it’s us. (That’s how we make sure everyone plays by the same rules.)

    If you do any of these things, you can expect to hear from Microsoft’s lawyers who will tell you that you have to stop distributing your Items right away.

    There’s still a way to do some of these things we’ve excluded, but you have to contact us for a commercial license. Thanks, and have fun!

    EMH: Don't expect to get a commercial license, for much less than a million.



    tldr: They say it's based on the CC "Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike", but it isn't. In particular, there is no good way to be certain you are non-infringing, and MS can revoke your license at any time for any reason. This license is almost completely useless for games, and of only slight use for movies. In particular:

    The Halo RTS would infringe under the "no unofficial sequels" clause, and maybe the "no reverse-engineering" clause.

    Most other games would infringe under the "no reverse-engineering" clause, as there's usually no way to extract the data without that.

    Many movies would infringe under the "no unofficial sequels" clause.

    Quite frankly, I'm slightly insulted (not a lot, but it's there) that they said it was based on a CC license, while sticking a revocation clause in there. The entire point of a CC license is that you don't *need* to check with a central authority before sticking the CCed content in. Bit of a philosophical issue, but I think this stuff's important.

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ok, so we have a lot of sweet placeholder art.

    My question: Remakes. Halo for Linux. It looks like it would be allowed. Would people be able to do something like Wargus/Stargus with Halo and the like using this license?

  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Frem wrote: »
    Ok, so we have a lot of sweet placeholder art.

    My question: Remakes. Halo for Linux. It looks like it would be allowed. Would people be able to do something like Wargus/Stargus with Halo and the like using this license?

    Yes, *IF* you can avoid reverse-engineering anything to get the data....

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I really wish they had a more detailed definition of "reverse engeneering". Do we know how to read the data formats they use?

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Frem wrote: »
    I really wish they had a more detailed definition of "reverse engeneering". Do we know how to read the data formats they use?
    You need to ask Ben Afleck that question

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Frem wrote: »
    I really wish they had a more detailed definition of "reverse engeneering". Do we know how to read the data formats they use?

    There's a legal definition, that should be good enough.

    Really, programmers run into art issues where they have to wait for artists or make crappy placeholder art/levels/etc or just sneak this kind of stuff in there. The way XNA works makes me think they would have eventually released placeholder models for developers to use regardless, and I guess this is the easy way to do it.

  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So wait...I can't make a Shadowrun RPG because it would be an unofficial sequel?

    Oh well, back to making Less-Than-AdequateLightingSprint.

    PSN: Dr_Keenbean LIVE: Dr Keenbean
    Dr_Keenbean42.png
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