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 Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?

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ObeyTheFist

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Game username : ObeyTheFist
Server : Dragon's Den
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Join date : 2012-09-07
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:59 am

Hi there!

Now, there are many people here on KITO who have their own server or are staff for a server.

IF you are a SERVER OWNER or member of a server's DESIGN TEAM then you NEED to read this!!!

There is NO 'tl;dr' version of this because yes, it's that damn important that you read ALL the details. You skim and get caught later and you'll only have yourself to blame.

Let me tell you about copyright and how it affects IT servers and the teams that work on them.

Now I see a lot of fights going on with servers. A lot of these fights involve content. The usual situation is this: server owner/admin has fight with design/dev team member - design/dev team member leaves server but demands all work they did back/removed from server - admin/owner refuses and stuff goes down.

Copyright doesn't work that way!

All content created by someone is automatically copyrighted to that person as soon as it is no longer an idea but a tangible thing. (No, you don't have to get it registered via a copyright thing!)

If the person made it for someone else then that comes under a contract - the server owner(s) need to speak with the creator to work things out.

This contract could mean that:

a) The creator keeps all copyright and has agreed to license out their content to the server owners for use. This license can be revoked if any terms agreed upon are broken.

b) The creator agrees to share copyright with the server owners. This makes all parties responsible for the use, or misuse, of that content.

c) The creator and server owners work out a contract that means all content created by the creator for the sole use of the server owners' server is labelled as belonging solely to the server owners and all the copyright that goes with it.

Almost all work done by an employee for an employer (design team member for server owner/admin) automatically belongs to the employer - all the rights are taken from the employee, even if they are the creator.

Monetising has nothing to do with copyright. All works done for no one in particular belong to the creator. All works done by the creator for someone else belong to that someone else unless stated by the terms of a contractual agreement.

***If you're looking to do work for a server but don't want to lose the copyright to whatever you create then you NEED to make an agreement with the server owners!!!***

Also, when you sell your content, you can create terms that you are actually only selling a license to that person giving that person permission to use that content they purchased the license for. Most 3D models etc. you can buy on the internet are like this - you don't own the model itself when you buy it, you bought and own a license to use that model.

A lot of people on IT servers only have vague ideas about copyright and how it works, so I hope this helps and please spread the word.

I see a lot of 'dev staff' on servers get upset when a server owner refuses to remove content that dev staff made. Truth is, unless there's a written contract agreed upon by both parties stating that the creator still holds copyright, the server has full rights to keep that content and the creator actually has no right to ask for it back/to be removed.

Scary, huh? People should be aware of this. Tired of seeing fights and drama over improper copyrights.

Now feel educated. -casually strolls away-
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GlaciaTheWolf
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Game username : Glacia, GlaciaIceWolf, GlaciaTheWolf
Server : DD (member) Wolf soul (member)
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Join date : 2013-12-09
Age : 21
Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:46 pm

It's actually...sad that this post has to even be up here....
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ObeyTheFist

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:52 pm

I'm not happy that I made such a post either. If you're going to do something as big as own a game server, or work for one, then you should be fully aware of the rights and responsibilities you'll be held to before you start.

Sadly though, most people just...don't. Don't get me wrong - a lot of the older/more mature people have a better idea, but many of the new servers trying to start are owned/run/staffed by children. I don't care if you're 14, you're still a child. Many of them just see the fun side of things and don't think of stuff like copyright and all it entails. For those that do or are open to learning then serious props to them.

Yes, it's boring and there's lots of big, annoying words to read to try and understand it...but it's necessary. You have responsibilities - step up or get out.

When I was having trouble with a Hungarian server I researched all I could about copyright. I waded through so much legalese I'm practically fluent just from absorbing words.

I actually didn't know about the fact that anything made by an employee for the employer belongs to the employer and the employee has no rights over it. I thought that was a huge thing that very few people probably knew about - especially here on KITO - so I figured I'd use my newfound, and expansive, knowledge of copyright to try and help out.

Seriously, if anyone here has a question that's copyright related just ask me. I am more than happy to answer. Will back up my answers with any and all proof necessary.

Just beyond tired of the thefts and fights that seem to be endless here. If I can do something to try and stop it then I will, even if it's just pointing out something like who really owns what.
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GlaciaTheWolf
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Game username : Glacia, GlaciaIceWolf, GlaciaTheWolf
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Age : 21
Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:07 pm

I mean i myself don't know everything but if i hire someone and they quite/get fired they have every right to have their content taken down, even though it may have beenade for us, they still are the creators, they still own it.
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ObeyTheFist

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PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:03 am

GlaciaTheWolf wrote:
I mean i myself don't know everything but if i hire someone and they quite/get fired they have every right to have their content taken down, even though it may have beenade for us, they still are the creators, they still own it.

Ah, but they don't. It's up to the server owner if they want to give the content back or not, they don't actually have to. The server owner has the rights to it so they can do what they want with it. That's what's scary and the main reason I made the thread.
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chevy_cheetah

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Server : |~|N/A |~| Skills: Hosting, Modeling, Rigging. Age:19
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Join date : 2015-02-15
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:21 pm

If people are going to work for servers online how would someone go about making or obtaining a written contract? Can the contract be typed by a person, printed, and then signed? Or does the contract need to be paid for?
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ObeyTheFist

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Join date : 2012-09-07
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:34 pm

chevy_cheetah wrote:
If people are going to work for servers online how would someone go about making or obtaining a written contract? Can the contract be typed by a person, printed, and then signed? Or does the contract need to be paid for?

Glad you asked!

A contract can be as simple as a typed up agreement with a digital signature. For example, the server owner/admin can simply type up something along the lines of: "I propose that 'name here' shall keep the copyrights of any content they create for my server 'name here' and that my server 'name here' has been granted a license to use this content.

This license may be revoked if the content is misused, sold, or given to others for use without a license.

I, server owner/admin 'name here' agree to these terms."

And the content creator (ie the dev/design team member) can type a reply such as "I, 'name here', creator of the content licensed to 'server name here', agree to these terms."

Bang, easy as that. Very Happy

Be sure to state any terms you have clearly - ALL of them.

Just make sure to SAVE A COPY of ANY contract you have!!! Screenshots are great for this, especially if they show the date. If this contract is done via PM on a forum, then make sure all involved parties are forwarded a copy of it.

To put it bluntly, you can type up a contract over a chat program such as Discord or an email. As long as all involved parties agree to the terms and a copy of the contract (along with a screenshot for extra security) are saved then it counts as legitimate.

You CAN sign things with your username if you're not comfortable using your real name - but only in a setting such as among IT servers where such things are less formal on the legal side. BUT!!! If one of you ever changes your username and the contract is not updated accordingly, the contract becomes VOID. To avoid this, either be sure to keep all contracts up-to-date OR sign with your real name. IF, for any reason, the contract comes into play in court then having it signed with usernames will NOT suffice. Not that anything has ever gone that far, but just letting you know.

I hope that answers your question. Very Happy


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GlaciaTheWolf
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Game username : Glacia, GlaciaIceWolf, GlaciaTheWolf
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:48 pm

So a question from me would be if someone makes something for me and i feel that even though they made it it still technically belongs to them so i would write an agreement on this, but then others may have their agreement as the server owner owns all made content even after fired? I guess what im asking is both of those scenerios are ok with a written agreement?
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chevy_cheetah

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Game username : chevy_cheetah(chevrolet)
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Female Posts : 289
Join date : 2015-02-15
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PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:50 pm

Thank you for clarifying this I appreciate it.
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ObeyTheFist

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Game username : ObeyTheFist
Server : Dragon's Den
Female Posts : 514
Join date : 2012-09-07
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: Copyright - What is it and how does it affect my server?   Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:52 am

GlaciaTheWolf wrote:
So a question from me would be if someone makes something for me and i feel that even though they made it it still technically belongs to them so i would write an agreement on this, but then others may have their agreement as the server owner owns all made content even after fired? I guess what im asking is both of those scenerios are ok with a written agreement?
You can have a contract with each member of your staff team if you like - you don't have to have just the one contract to cover everyone. But yes, you can have whatever terms you like in a contract as long as both parties agree to all terms. :3


chevy_cheetah wrote:
Thank you for clarifying this I appreciate it.
You are very welcome.
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