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  1. #1

    Question Re: Copyright for Birthright Art (non-commercial purposes)

    Hi guys,

    As a previous thread shows, I'm making a user-modification for Crusader Kings 2. Obviously, I would love to use the art from Birthright (I own almost all the products in hard copy from back in the day) but would there be copyright issues involved with this from Wizards of the Coast, or the principal Birthright artist, Tony Szczudlo?

    I've googled it, and it seems that WotC sometimes gives permissions if you follow certain guidelines (such as for non-profit purposes only, writing the copyright on the picture itself, linking to where you can buy the setting, etc). Does anyone know how to get this permission though, or if it is needed for a non-commercial mod for a game?

    I mean, did Birthright.net need to get permission to repost all the artwork on a non-profit website? And if so, how did you/they make this happen?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Wizards of the Coast maintains all of the copyrights for art and copy in the original TSR materials. Any derivative works that were to be officially published for sale, would require the art to be licensed from WotC.

    BR.net was, and are (?) an officially recognized fan site and were originally licensed to use the material. I don't know if this still holds true or not.

    The agreement notice: http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...ense_agreement

    May give hints for what you need to do. I don't know if they WotC is still doing the OGL with fan sites or not.
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

  3. #3
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaleela View Post
    BR.net was, and are (?) an officially recognized fan site and were originally licensed to use the material. I don't know if this still holds true or not.
    The site isn't official any more, but I think we we keep the rights that we had under the old agreement as it just faded at WOTC's end rather than any formal notice of revocation being given by them.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I agree. My understanding is that there isn't likely to be any complaints if we stick with doing things the way we do them on the site. Any major change might cause problems. So using the BR copyrighted artwork is fine within the site (including for downloads that adapt the original usage), but outside the site, you will need to get separate permissions if you wish to make your work publicly available.

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  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies

    I think I may just chance it - I'll give full credit to the artist (Tony unpronouncable-last-name) and links to DNDClassics where you can buy the setting. But the Birthright setting is over 20 years old, and I think the chance of them making another Birthright PC game or setting is close to nil at this point.

    I respect Copyright and will of course instantly remove any pictures if asked, but in this case I don't see the harm in using a couple of them. In fact, it can only help them, as if people like the mod, they will buy the setting in .pdf form and/or Tony's art.

    I just want the incredible main box set pictures (battle of sorrows field) for the loading screen, and then I'd like to use the official Awnsheighleen portraits for consistency across the mod. And as noted, I won't be making a cent off this, and will actively encourage traffic towards the franchise and official art.

    Non-profit mod's are an iffy thing when it comes to copyright... for example we made a CK II Lord of the Rings mod with no issues, and there is even a Medieval Total War: II mod which is huuugely popular (millions of downloads) which took pictures directly from the LOTR movies. Dozens of other mods have also been made of other franchises for CK II, such as the Elder Scrolls, Game of Thrones, The Witcher, etc without any issue. It'd be a real shame for a Birthright mod to not at least give a "nod" towards the official setting and to bring the incredible work of Tony to light as the main loading screen picture for this project.

    I tried looking for his email to get some input... if anyone has it, could they PM it to me? I was unable to find contact information (and I don't use Facebook anymore, even though I read that he was on there now).

  6. #6
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamar Kinslayer View Post
    Thanks for the replies
    I tried looking for his email to get some input... if anyone has it, could they PM it to me? I was unable to find contact information (and I don't use Facebook anymore, even though I read that he was on there now).
    Have a look at http://www.birthright.net/forums/sho...=Tony_Szczudlo . I have editted the footnotes into the page. They might help you find him.

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  7. #7
    Moo! Are you happy now? Arjan's Avatar
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    Question Copyright for Birthright Art (non-commercial purposes) [9#28451]

    Another Birthright PC game and other products will never happen.. wotc let
    the Birthright Trademark expire some 7 years ago.

    So if you decide to create a PC game hence even a Roleplaying world called
    Birthright you are allowed to do so.

    however, wotc will always hold the copyright to art and texts. And
    copyright to texts is a tricky one. simply changing names is not enough.
    even writing things in your own words isnt.
    Even if 1% of your newly world is recognized as taken (in)directly from the
    TSR setting, then you are in violation.


    2014-02-26 11:22 GMT+01:00 Alamar Kinslayer <brnetboard@gmail.com>:

    > This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at:
    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=28451
    >
    > Alamar Kinslayer wrote:
    > Thanks for the replies
    >
    > I think I may just chance it - I`ll give full credit to the artist (Tony
    > unpronouncable-last-name) and links to DNDClassics where you can buy the
    > setting. But the Birthright setting is over 20 years old, and I think the
    > chance of them making another Birthright PC game or setting is close to nil
    > at this point.
    >
    > I respect Copyright and will of course instantly remove any pictures if
    > asked, but in this case I don`t see the harm in using a couple of them. In
    > fact, it can only help them, as if people like the mod, they will buy the
    > setting in .pdf form and/or Tony`s art.
    >
    > I just want the incredible main box set pictures (battle of sorrows field)
    > for the loading screen, and then I`d like to use the official Awnsheighleen
    > portraits for consistency across the mod. And as noted, I won`t be making a
    > cent off this, and will actively encourage traffic towards the franchise
    > and official art.
    >
    > Non-profit mod`s are an iffy thing when it comes to copyright... for
    > example we made a CK II Lord of the Rings mod with no issues, and there is
    > even a Medieval Total War: II mod which is huuugely popular (millions of
    > downloads) which took pictures directly from the LOTR movies. Dozens of
    > other mods have also been made of other franchises for CK II, such as the
    > Elder Scrolls, Game of Thrones, The Witcher, etc without any issue. It`d be
    > a real shame for a Birthright mod to not at least give a "nod" towards the
    > official setting and to bring the incredible work of Tony to light as the
    > main loading screen picture for this project.
    >
    > I tried looking for his email to get some input... if anyone has it, could
    > they PM it to me? I was unable to find contact information (and I don`t use
    > Facebook anymore, even though I read that he was on there now).
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Birthright-l Archives:
    > http://oracle.wizards.com/archives/birthright-l.html
    >
    >
    >

  8. #8
    I agree with Arjan, there is a bit of freedom with independently created mods. As long as you do not directly receive any profit off of a product owned by a company, you can have it online (you need to even be careful of advert income also). I am personally modding Rome:TW to be a birthright campaign and have found that game to be easier to mod than the actual BGA game. To the M2TW extent, it is a bit harder due to:

    1. the battle_models file
    2. Modeling is a freaking pain (2-x different skins per unit)
    3. formation and the retardation of units in this game (march right, "we march left and run around like ninnies")
    4. No Testudo
    5. There are more stable fantasy mods for RTW, which owners are more willing to help

    I will release my WC3 mod Giantdowns, because it is way easier to make, within the next month. BR WC3.jpg
    Last edited by Morgul; 03-01-2014 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Easier to explain

  9. #9
    Yeah, I'll chance it since so many other mods have been allowed to flourish across all sorts of other copyrighted fantasy settings. And I'll give full credit and links, as stated, to where people can buy the campaign setting in pdf form and to Tony's works.

    At the first hint of displeasure from WotC, I'll just take it down from public view - modding for personal use is surely allowed, no matter what the copyright says, and then we'll just keep it available only to friends and family of the team

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