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Abandoned marketplace assets

Just a thought, but would it make sense to make abandoned marketplace assets free to the community after X amount of months of abandonment? At least this way the community can update and provide working versions of those projects should they break during engine updates.

Thoughts on that?

That wouldn’t be possible. The creator of the content owns the rights, so only they would be able to make a product free. Abandoned assets are designated for removal at Epic’s discretion according to the marketplace policy. If you come across an asset you feel has been abandoned, it’s best to notify marketplace staff so they can investigate whether it warrants removal.

Well, without the marketplace creators agreeing to that, not really. I’m sure that content creators would much rather have their content taken down than given away for free.

hmm well i guess it depends. I’ve never looked at any of the fine print. Is there a “support” cut off date? Like support is no longer required after a year of release or something?
Seems unfair to the purchasers if they buy something and theres no support for it shortly after. If you drop support you should forfeit the rights to the content, otherwise maybe it should warrant a refund.

Its more of a discussion topic. I dont have any particular asset in mind here. :slight_smile:

An alternative approach, if you find something that is abandoned, is to ask if someone else will develop a similar thing that addresses your needs. If it is popular and there is demand for it, someone else will likely create a replacement.

To me, you actually run into a number of legal issues here.

No one has the right, to take away someone else’s rights, EVEN IF the terms of the marketplace agreement stated there was a forfieture, how does that play out at the copyright office? Those are actual legal rights, that go above and beyond agreements, it would have to be settled in court. Especially the owner of the content had filed for an actual copyright, which gives greater protection, than just the merely “publish” and it’s copyrighted instantly by convention. What happens ( to take a point to an extreme), the owner of the copyright had been unable say due to coma for 6 months, to do anything, and Epic has no way to know what is going on. Has in effect stripped the owner of copyright, taken Intellectual property that it does not own itself, based merely on a contract? Remember in contract law, you cannot give away more rights, than what is legal to, secondly Epic will have given no specific compensation to the copyright holder, for their loss, and the person comes out of the coma? What then? The damage has been done, one cannot unring a bell… Is Epic now responsible to pay the true owner of the product, the marketplace price, for all the “free” copies, that Epic gave away?

Ok, so the coma is an extreme, I grant that, yet, life is a funny thing, the extremes happen, just not all that often. If not a coma, something else. How long does Epic wait? caveat venditor…

I know if I was Epic Games, I would not wish to be involved in litigation, where by I had to defend the concept of taking someone else’s intellectual property, and giving it away, saying in effect. “Come one, Come all, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBIES, download, get it while it’s hot!!!”

While at the same time, looking to be renumerated 5% of gross sales from any product derived from the UE4 Engine (and no I’m not complaining about the 5% at all, double it, and it’s still a steal).

If it’s a refund, where does the money come from? Epic? they have already paid the owner of the content, that money is gone… good luck trying to get it back, especially if the person has went incommunicado. So does Epic now reach into it’s own pockets, and dig up the other 70% that they paid the seller? If this is the case, i’m sure a bean counter somewhere in Epic, will have one response… Close the marketplace, this is just not worth it.

At some point in time, it becomes, as it is in all walks of life, in all industries, caveat emptor…

As this won’t be a popular post I’m sure… let the firestorm begin… lmao

Jay (playing devil’s advocate here, and chasing down a infinite loop of memory allocation in the UE4 engine, and not a happy camper about it.)

IceWare Inc.

IwSpline

There isn’t any cut off date as far as I’m aware, but it’s unreasonable to expect a product to receive lifetime support. Eventually a creator may feel it isn’t generating enough sales to warrant further compatibility, or there may be other factors that make them unable to continue. This happens even with games themselves, nothing is supported forever. That being said, I can’t say I’ve seen a product that released and then cut off support months later.

As for forfeiting rights, that isn’t how it works. The author of the content holds ownership regardless of whether they choose to support it or not. Refunds are given within 10 calendar days of purchasing a product. Anything beyond that wouldn’t be entitled to a refund because someone eventually stopped supporting a product. i.e. Bob makes a product in December of 2014, and discontinues that product in May 2016. The people who may have purchased the product in May could be entitled to a refund, but that depends. The policy states incompatibility with a future engine version as a circumstance, but also states you have 10 days from when you purchased. Otherwise everyone who ever bought a product (marketplace asset, or game) would be entitled to a full refund on the day the author/game developer ceased support. (Which, again, is inevitable).

It’s also worth noting that only certain products tend to be incompatible with latter versions. Personally of my 4 packs (2 environment, 1 props, 1 materials) I haven’t encountered anything that needed fixing when upgrading to a new version. Code/blueprint based projects are the most likely, whereas asset packs can really be updated manually by simply opening it in the latter version. =)

Edit: And Jay makes a good point on the source of the refunds.

all good points.

personally I wouldn’t ever get into trouble with any assets that are code or bp related in terms of upgrades. I can see me being upset if a model pack or something wasn’t supported in a new version maybe and I didn’t know how to fix in maya or something.
Obviously it makes no sense to require support is “forever”. I guess most purchases in real life come with a year warranty by default.

I guess the buyer also needs to take responsibility for the purchase. Don’t buy things you can’t “upkeep” yourself in the future if its a concern. Seems like a fair statement.

In terms of the support being worth it, I hear that for sure. I have a couple of tools I’ve built I considered releasing but ultimately decided not to because of the support/time commitment.

Your point about a “year warrenty” to me is totally reasonable. Which for my product is why I stated. “All upgrades, and fixes are included in the purchase price for 1 year, after the one year, to continue all upgrades, and fixes, will be a maintenence contract, which is 25% (essentially 12 bucks), for another year”.

am I going to be a stickler, about fixes? Probably not, I never have been with other products that I sell, will I be a stickler about new features, that are introduced after the initial year? yes I will be, very much so. As I don’t see 12 dollars, being all that big a deal to get new features, etc. Especially when we compare 12 bucks, to the cost of 1 hour of a competent programmers time, i.e. essentially 50 dollars an hour. But then i’m taking a long term view of the UE4 Market (i.e. I don’t mean marketplace, because they still don’t allow C++ plugins), and one has to have a business model, that works, for both the customer and the business. If this is not done, then it’s just a hobby, and that’s fine as well, I just wish to be around for the long run.

Jay