Bethesda does it again - Steal other peoples work

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by The_Proletarian, May 9, 2019.

  1. The_Proletarian

    The_Proletarian Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    We have previously reported on the crooked behaviour of Bethesda. Last time we reported on one of these incidents Bethesda had been "heavily inspired" by questmod Autumn Leaves for New Vegas. As far as I know they did never apologise for the theft or remove any of the stolen content.

    Now they are at it again! Ars Technica reports that Bethesda has copied an entire D&D adventure. I quote:

    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. The_Proletarian

    The_Proletarian Vault Fossil
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    This doesn't surprise me at all. We all know that Bethesda are completely bankrupt on ideas. They couldn't even create their own post-apocalyptic setting, so they had to buy Fallout (and ruin it).
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5
  3. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    Someone really goofed. I don't know why as a writer in the modern era, you'd think you could get away with this. There's sites that apparently even check for plagiarism. Working for a multi-million dollar company isn't going to help you hide your plagiarism.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 8
  4. ironmask

    ironmask A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 10, 2018
    Bethesda becomes worse every day. How do people still defend them or have any trust in them at all?
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  5. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    Normally, I'd be all for just blaming the writer who plagiarized but when a company like Bethesda who can hunt down people infringing on anything The Elder Scrolls but they can't be bothered to copy and paste some text from an adventure and find that it was stolen from Wizards of the Coast?

    Seriously, it makes sense when reviewers steal other people's reviews off the Steam store page or Youtube videos that struggle to break a thousand views that people can hide it for some time and we blame them not the company they work for. When you have two written pieces that you can just copy and paste the content into a search engine to see it ripped off the legal owners of D&D's work yet fail to catch this, you have more than a plagiarizer to worry about. Was no one checking this?
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  6. darkyy

    darkyy First time out of the vault

    Dec 24, 2005
    Elsweyr sounds amazingly similar to Elsewhere, which is where they got their story from. ;)
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 8
  7. Octavian

    Octavian It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 16, 2018
    -addressing the mod
    I'm pretty sure its fair game legally to use fanmade content, so long as it was made using your tools and engine, in your official game. Isn't that usually part of the T.O.S. on these games?
    Far Harbor was the best piece of gameplay fallout 4 had to offer, so the game was definitely better off for it. This debacle only proves bethesda are hacks incapable of writing their own stuff, which we know already, and doesn't really point towards real plagarism or malicious intent. In fact, if they were more willing to copy the old games the series would be less shit.

    -addressing the DnD game
    This is worse because theyre ripping off another copyrighted product by another actual company. I hope they get fucked up the ass.
  8. The GoBernment

    The GoBernment First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2017

  9. mannawyadden

    mannawyadden It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 3, 2016
    Does Bethesda own the rights to all the mods produced for their games? Like how Blizzard owns all the rights to every Starcraft 2 player-made custom game (they added that to their Terms of Service as a reaction to DotA becoming so popular in Warcraft 3 and spawning League of Legends).

    Speaking of which, Blizzard took several ideas for World of Warcraft from fan-made Warcraft 3 stuff that they didn't own the rights to. Guess this is a common practice
  10. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Did they ever designed something on their own ?
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  11. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Antediluvian as Feck

    Sep 14, 2009
    I don't think they own the rights to any mod, but they own the right to prevent people selling the mod or using the mod publicly. Tricky question, any lawyers around here to answer.

    If any mod uses Bethesda's property, well they own the rights to that, but if you build your own separate work and injected it into the game, I can't see them legally stopping that. Think of car manufactures and car parts built by 3rd parties. A 3rd party car part might spoil a cars warranty, but the manufacturer doesn't have the power to prevent its owner using the part. I would be surprised if the courts leaned on Bethesda's side.

    Terms of Service are just thrown down to confuse and intimidate people, what are the actual legal rights of these companies are in regards their customers, well some of that hasn't been defined in the courts. Having lawyers write out a Terms of Service doesn't mean shit if the courts decide it has no merit. Didn't these same companies fight and lose their case against selling 2nd hand games to game stores.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  12. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    Yeah, if you use their assets you definitely cannot sell or distribute it without their legal permission, I think. So I'd imagine if they really want to waste time doing so they could cease and desist a lot of mods and just make a statement saying that they won't allow it anymore. Would be a dick move but they can do that. Of course mods could still be made and shared but giving easy access to thousands would be hard if they did something like that.

    ToS can be pointless depending on legality but seeing as most people don't give a shit about ToS as it never affects them unless it's a fairly rare case, courts aren't going to be really examining them. I'm not a lawyer but those things can be tricky with what can and can't become legal. Some things you agree to can circumvent what the law says and some of things you agree to cannot circumvent what the law says AFAIK.
  13. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Considering the US president's brother is part of the admin board, they might have greater ability to change the law to their own benefit than the average Joe. (or the above average Joe)
  14. Risewild

    Risewild Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Let's not forget that the ToS for FNV GECK are non existing. You can download the GECK and there are no ToS in the download page or the archive containing the GECK. There are no ToS when you install or run it either.
    I think even if you get the GECK from Steam, it still also doesn't come with any ToS. :lmao:
  15. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    AFAIK, it's a condition of using their toolset; and fairly boiler plate too.

    One of the reasons for this (in the industry) is simply to protect a studio's ability to create content for their games... otherwise anyone could accuse them of copying something found in a mod... any mod; even mods they have never seen. A studio needs to be unhindered in this. Some mods might even copy/implement their own (as yet) unpublished ideas; or ideas that turned out to be infeasible at the time.


    I have often wondered whether releasing a mod as separate from its required resource files (for games that allow loose files), would work as a means of marking a clear division of what they have ownership rights to; that being only their editor's generated files, and not the media assets, (3D models, textures, and audio files; and possibly text dialog files).

    That shouldn't be... and it's a shame (that some are incapable of feeling); but it goes both ways in that event. Legally they are allowed by the conditions agreed upon in order to access their tools, but when people renege upon their agreement they cannot then cry foul when the other party simply exercises their rights. One submits to co-ownership by accepting their deal; and in return they allow public tinkering with their product, using (their) specialized tools.

    *Which if we [NMA] wanted to, we could best them with their own toolset, making a FO3 mod. They would own it too, but it's useless to them, because of their audience's gaming preference.

    ** And if they did copy it... that would be a good thing IMO.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  16. ReedTFM

    ReedTFM First time out of the vault

    Dec 21, 2010
    You don't own the game, you own a license to use it. But all mods for games that encourage it (or not) as long as you're not breaking encryption, generally fall under fair use doctrines so long as you are not profiting from other's works.

    But Bethesda loves modding. It gives them ideas, it keeps a user base interested for over a decade and people are still dropping $40 on GOG to play quality installs of TTW.
  17. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    This entirely would depend on national laws, what the license agreement says, and more.

    You don't just buy a license to use a game. Sometimes a license agreement can circumvent normal behaviors past the law, other times it can't. Like in the USA, if I signed a EULA that would cause me to become a slave in a worldwide slave trade, that's not legal because I clicked "I agree."

    I'm fairly certain in the EU there is data privacy laws that could work similarly.
  18. ReedTFM

    ReedTFM First time out of the vault

    Dec 21, 2010
    I mearely meant fair use doctrines have you covered anyway.