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Is it Illegal to Use Assets from Another Game for Research Purposes?

The model you linked to on TF3DM was created by EA/DICE and was illegally exported out of one of their commercial games to be uploaded to that website. If you are planning to sell your game you will not be able to use that model, if you do you might get sued by Electronic Arts. Just want to make sure you are aware.

Is it Illegal to Use Assets from Another Game for Research Purposes?

**NOTE - This is a discussion that was being held in a recruitment thread, to keep that thread on track I have moved all of the relevant posts here. **

Feel free to discuss this issue further in this thread. Thank you.

Is it Illegal to Use Assets from Another Game

Even if you’re just planning on using it for personal use, it’d be illegal to pay someone to do that work.

Call me naive, but I seriously doubt this is true. I mean what would they sue you for exactly, if you modified a model of theirs, for what basically is a private commision?

What’s surprising about it being illegal to be paid for doing something illegal? That would be copyright infringement and reverse engineering.
Even if it’s done on your own without anyone else knowing about it it’s still illegal.

Fyi… reverse engineering is not illegal… at all. Why in the world would you think it is?

And… What’s surprising about it being illegal to be paid for doing something illegal? … seriously? I pulled out the best part of your response to highlight how silly this belief is. It’s an utterly circular argument that avoids the need for logic or even a reason… nice… basically you just said ‘you can’t do it cuz… just cuz.’

My point, that you unfortunately missed, is that I believe it ISN’T illegal for them to do this kind of work. So instead of just spitting back that it is illegal, share why you think it is. I bet you can’t though… because it’s not really illegal. And please don’t just yell back ‘copyright infringement’… unless you tell me in what way. Because a Judge would want a more comprehensive answer than the simple category your claim falls under, they’d want the reason why! And as soon as I say to the Judge that I’m doing reverse-engineering for research and that I’m NOT making money from it… NOT releasing it to anyone… NOT damaging its market value… I’d say I’m pretty much in the clear.

Reverse engineering is not illegal, but reverse engineering copyright protected data is. It is also illegal to rip content from a game. If you were paid to do this, both you and your employer would be held responsible if the copyright holder decided to sue. Check the licencing agreements/eula’s of any game, it is explicitly stated doing so is illegal.

It would be best if this could be discussed further in a separate thread however, since this has been acknowledged by the OP and Epic staff. Feel free to open a new thread in the General Discussion forum if you need more info. Thanks :slight_smile:

/new_thread - for anyone reading, sorry, a new thread was kindly started by the admins but with a misleading title and now the proper context has been lost. Get out of it what you can.

A licensing agreement or Eula is not law… only Governments can make those. They are not law in the same way that even though a private bungee jumping company can get me to sign a waiver before I jump, that waiver is in no way legally enforceable, due to it’s violating other basic citizen’s rights. This points out how a company will try to protect itself beyond what is necessarily legal by creating what it calls it’s own ‘laws’ (like ripping content). Whether a court will side, is another matter and should not be presumed barring precedent.

I think our debate here falls under what rights-holders don’t ‘want’ you to do… as opposed to what you are explicitly forbidden to do by your government. Again… a licensing agreement or Eula is a legal document but not itself a law… it references other laws and so companies will always try to control (justifiably I would add) their intellectual properties by adding their own conditions. These ‘laws’ do not (I believe) protect against reverse-engineering of any kind.

From my understanding, it’s completely legal to modify and reverse engineer anything you buy, from a lawn mower, to a game. Selling or redistributing that content is very illegal (unless explicitly stated otherwise), but I’m not sure if it’s legal to pay someone to modify or reverse engineer a game for you.

Sorry I didn’t mean to give it a misleading title… I can rename it you can give me an example :slight_smile:

EDIT: Changed it for you Godling, hope that is more descriptive. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the thread Dot but now you’re makin’ me think damnit. :slight_smile: The title as it is has an answer that seems obviously to be ‘no’…lol, so I guess if we stick with what you have, then I would add ‘…for research?’ or ‘…in any way?’ at the end maybe? I was certainly not defending anyone’s right to put these assets in an actual game… just don’t want folks strolling in thinking that.

at least in my country so.

the next thing its your last phrase, in my country i am pretty sure there is not any explicit law about that, and in my country everything which it not explicit illegal its legal.

the only thing its explicit illegal its redistributing third party content without permiss.

EULA stuff isn’t necessarily legally binding, like how they’ve added stuff about how you can’t sue if stuff doesn’t work properly (that’s not going to hold up in court) but for reverse engineering stuff it would be up to the judge to decide, and they’d probably go with the software developer.

Copyright on the other hand, is pretty clear, they made the content and didn’t give the rights for people to use it outside of the game.

It is illegall. When signing to an EULA it is explicitly written that you are making a legal agreement. It’s the same as signing a document by hand.

And now let’s think about it, you make a legal agreemet with somone, that you pay him 10.000$ after he does something. He does it. And you do not pay, saying, hecan’t frce you to pay, you have your own choice , he can’t force you, and this agreemnt doesn’t mean anything and doesn’t matter.
It does. And it’s absolutely the same.

Same for ue4, you sign to the eula in which it is written that you have to pay 5% revenue, same, if you wouldn’t pay it it would be illegal, and it is jsut a EULA.

You may not, if it is stated in the EULA you accepted (same as signed), and it usually is, reverse engineer content from the game. They actually can sue you, and will win for 100%. The thing in question is how much they will want to bring you down. They may just request deleting the reverse engineered content, but they may also request payig a 100.000$ fine. Of course, the judge wouldn’t propably agree with that, but he would propably request you to pay something around 5000-10000 $.

You may discuss with us about this, and you propably won’t get caught if you do it, even if you would, they wouldn’t propably care. But it **is **illegal, and if they wanted they could force legal consequences.

I still disagree with this and believe it’s based on purpose. Speaking for myself, I, as a human being, as a sentient life-form (to highlight where I believe these rights are rooted), will not be denied what I perceive is my right to deconstruct and understand the universe before me. Nothing in all of creation is sacrosanct. If I’m not using your product for monetary gain, and nobody buys it, and it has no impact on the value of your property, well then… you have no business telling me what I can or can’t do with it… ‘you’ being the companies that is. :slight_smile:

My example of the bungee jumping company shows this is an erroneous belief. You can not (in my country at least), in ignorance, sign away rights guaranteed you by your country. To be more clear, company agreements of any kind do not supplant established laws.

Call me crazy, but I always thought you can use those models for:

A) Personal Use

Or

B) Non-commercial Use (many indie-games I’ve seen use ripped-models)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you (or anyone for that matter) are using the models for commercial purposes (you are gaining revenue from the product) you are in fact committing an illegal act. If NO revenue is gained (or the money you get is by donation only) you can use the models to their full extent so long as you give the proper credit.

~ Jason

In civil law there really is no such thing as legal or illegal but who has the best story in a court of law as to ownership and fair rights.

How you use content that as a download for personal or non-commercial use is of little relevance, equal to receiving stolen property perhaps, as compared to the violation of making such assets available through an unauthorized point of distribution. What you do with the asset in hand I doubt anyone would really care unless you redistribute the works for profit or not which is a direct violation and mandate of the Copyright.

If it matters though best talk to a lawyer.

This is taken from the from AC Unity EULA, thought I would post these here to show what you are and aren’t allowed to do. Since you don’t actually own the game (only a licence to use it), the lawn mower analogy doesn’t really apply. :slight_smile:

Good information.

So long story short:

Non-commercial = Ok (because no one will care too much)

Commercial = Bad (making money off something that is not yours…stealing).

Am I correct in my assessment?
~ Jason

You can do it for your personal use, but not for marketing purpose(it’s illegal)…