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Friday, November 17, 2000
Bungie OK's Use of Copyrighted Works
8:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source site has a very interesting update with word from Bungie on using older material in new mods and scenarios. Previously, mod makers who used any of the Bungie artwork weren't sure if their download was actually legal. Now it looks like the Bungie (and Microsoft) legal team has given the green light for Marathon scenario makers. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

We're not worried (and neither is MS Legal; I checked) about copyright violation with this stuff since it's squarely targeted at people who are already fans of the game and probably bought their copies long ago.


As long as the two golden rules you mentioned (no money changes hands and all copyrighted Bungie content is explicitly denoted as such) are adhered to religiously, people who develop these types of projects (old Bungie game in a new Bungie skin) may distribute them with our approval. If they choose to distribute their revamped Bungie stuff with an Aleph One app, they must make clear that the GPL that covers the Aleph One app does NOT apply to the copyrighted Bungie content in the art/sound/map/etc. files. We're allowing people to use those copyrighted works because we're nice guys and so are they. The only way we'll get pissed and reverse ourselves on this would be if someone started selling something deriving from our copyrighted work, or claiming it as their own.

This is very, very cool news. Again, for those who missed Matt's references, there are two requirements for using Bungie artwork in Marathon scenarios:

- no money changes hands (this means no CD compilations, either)
- Bungie is explicitly credited with copyrights in all documentation

And don't forget that Aleph One warning, either. Documentation of copyright might seem trivial... but it's not. It only takes a sec to paste in the needed line in your readme (or to include the needed line all by itself if you're too lazy to write a readme)... do it. :)

This should make life easier for anyone involved in making a Marathon scenario, as long as the above (very reasonable) rules are followed. Don't forget... Bungie now has the Microsoft legal team behemoth behind them... play nasty, and I bet they'll play nastier.

This is very nice of Bungie, as it's definitely nothing they're required to do. So please don't abuse the priviledge. We're sure no one wants Microsoft Legal calling them up... ;)

Marathon Open Source Web Site

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• Bungie OK's Use of Copyrighted Works8:29 AM
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