Earlier this year, a modder asked me not to livestream his release on the weekend of release. I wasn’t happy about it because once I had released it anybody could stream it and RTSL would have lost a small opportunity to gain some coverage. However, I agreed and that was that.
I did get me thinking about whether a modder has the right, either legally or morally to block people from posting videos and screenshots.
I know that Twitch carefully monitors the game people stream because some games prohibit broadcast of their games. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it seems only fair. Just like I can’t read a book aloud in a public place or show movies to the public.
But modding is more of a grey area.
Those longer term readers may remember I briefly closed the site in a fit of rage after somebody on ModDB was using my files, description and screenshots to add those mods and maps to the site. Once I officially protested, ModDB immediately responded by having those things removed. I felt at the time that those images were mine as I had taken them, the same as the descriptions, which I had written. However, it’s not that simple. You can hold copyright on photographs, but what about screenshots? Probably another grey area.
So, if I can take screenshots and hold copyright (big if!) then surely the author of the mod holds some copyright too. Then we take a step deeper and the creator of the assets must have some rights too and what about the engine maker?
Clearly, it’s a can of worms.
So back to the real poll question: Does a modder have the moral right to block videos and screenshots of their work? Putting aside the legal aspects, when are left with the moral. Should users (players) of their work have to respect the modder’s wishes?
What do you think?
Just a final note: The image used in the featured image is from The Southernmost Combine, a very promising, but don’t hold your breath for it, mod.