Taken from: The Mugen Guild This thread is meant to explain what you can link to, and why. Okay, so just what the heck is going on?! ~ Preamble ~ Since the beginning of MUGEN, starting with the framework consisting of KFM and some TESTP stuff everyone was free to use and modify, the biggest part of the MUGEN community has continuously introduced more and more layers of restrictive rules. As of late, those interesting "community ethics" have caused nothing but grief to current creators, forum moderators, and last but not least, players. There has been lots of drama and fighting about practically meaningless things, scaring away not only those who were sick of such bullshit, but also new members and potential creators. So, this is our proposition. Join us in foregoing these restrictive rules to have a community without the drama and welcoming to players and developers of all skillsets! This new course of events affects different kinds of members of this community in different ways, so I'll break this up into three parts. I'm a "leecher", a player, enjoying MUGEN as a game ...what does this mean to me? ~ Less tripwire "community rules" to watch out for! Yay! ~ For "leechers," this means you get to get more stuff!! Links to so-called "warehouses" are now, at least from our side, fully tolerated, and there might soon even emerge a number of new sites which aim to host as many creations as possible, which you can enjoy to the fullest without anyone judging you--grasp as many characters and stages as you can, if that is your cup of tea. Also, the Request Forum is now open to everyone once again, and this time with no restrictions on what you can request whatsoever. Please do not abuse this section and only request something if you find yourself unable to get it any other way. But, please do us a favor and try to develop a sense of quality on the way. With the new possibilities of releasing and distributing creations, you will also find a great amount of very crappy ones... try to keep quality up by supporting well-made, reasonably competitive characters, and giving constructive feedback to authors on how they can improve. Thank you very much. I'm a "creator", author of screenpacks/stages/chars/whatever ...what does this mean to me? ~ More rights for you, at the cost of rights. ~ Depending on your attitude towards the whole "permission asking" vs. "open source" idea, you might like this very much, or not. In a nutshell, we're going to implement what we think Elecbyte/TESTP originally intended about MUGEN creations. No "written permission" from the author of a creation will be required to use his stuff, a simple mentioning of the origins of material used is entirely sufficient for a creation to be commonly accepted. If you don't agree with this and want permission from people for the use of your stuff, that's great, but it's not our job to make people follow rules for your personal satisfaction--think "common benefit." As DGJ put it: No, this does not mean we explicitly "disrespect" creators who have a line like "DO NOT USE MY STUFF OR ELSE!" in their creations' readme files by saying, "Go on! Don't listen to them, just take whatever you want." People are free to follow their own conscience and respect such, ah, hints. We just decided not to support creator "wishes" to the point where we have to harass users with their sometimes ridiculous demands ("If somebody posts a screenshot of this anywhere, I will quit!!") any longer. If somebody "steals" something, it will become known most of the time, and we will do our best to enable users the ability to make informed decisions. I'm a "warehouser", I'd like to share other authors' MUGEN Creations ...what does this mean to me? ~ You're welcome! ~ Generally speaking, "warehouses" are now totally okay with us. Just like for creations, if its author says "DO NOT HOST MY STUFF!", we are not going to go out of our way to prosecute those who do not respect that instruction. However, we do ask those people to give proper credit to the authors of the things they host! "Proper credit" would ideally include the following: name of creation name(s) of author(s) involved author's original website url version number (if any) time of last update or timestamp of last updated file But that we don't pursue you for this if done correctly does not mean you cannot still be smitten by us or the community for certain related practices that often go hand-in-hand with "warehousing"--for instance, if you strip the creations you host of their readme files and make them look like they were yours, you will very likely make yourself very unwelcome around here. There are special points to consider should you get it into your head to host files that are still currently available from the original author's page--don't forget to link back to the main original page, try to stay up-to-date with the releases and updates . . . and couldn't you just link to the author's main page without also hosting the files yourself?? After all, maybe the author wants visitors to come and visit his own page, you know? With the changes that have been made, especially in regards to the kind of things that are "tolerated" here now, I'm sure some people are concerned about the MUGEN they release or have released. What if someone "steals" my release?! Whenever you make something available on the Internet you run the risk of someone taking it and claiming it as their own. In MUGEN, it can be as minor as someone borrowing a block of code (something you probably wouldn't even notice in most instances unless you download every character and scan it for similiarities) to an entire character being ripped off. This kind of stuff has happened since the beginning of MUGEN, well before zealots for the cause started popping up and screaming in every thread. The fact of the matter is that there is no way you can stop this. You can put stuff forbidding it in your readme and people can still do it. We can ban people and people will still do it. Furthermore, unless your creation is 100% original, the odds are you used sprites/sounds/concepts without permission (which some companies, but not all and it shouldn't be assumed as such, have said is okay) AND on top of that downloaded and used a ROM to do it (which NO company has or will EVER say is okay). I'm not condeming anyone for such behavior, as doing stuff like that is the nature of MUGEN. Instead I'm saying that causing a fuss over someone taking something of yours is more than a little hypocritical, and you should be aware of your own behavior before lashing out at others for doing the same. There is a bright side, though. If someone were to, say, take the Street Fighter Alpha Chun-Li you converted for MUGEN, give it evil colors and label it "Evil Chun-Li", it's highly likely that no one would be fooled and that person would get no love from your peers. In addition, no matter what someone else does with your release, it can't take away from the experience you had making it and the value of the release itself. What if someone "warehouses" my release?! Much like the issue of "stealing", this is another possible consequence of making something available on the Internet. And also like the issue of "stealing", it will happen regardless of how loud you scream about it or how many people we ban. On the bright side, the primary people who warehouses serve are those outside of the "community". The people on the inside regularly check the MUGEN forums and will already be fully aware of the person who is originally responsible for the release, where their actual stuff can be downloaded, and any updates made to the creation. In addition, I personally have yet to see an argument against warehouses that isn't based on protecting the pride of the person involved, and making rules/regulations based on irrational emotions isn't our goal. But if it still really bothers you, just direct link to the warehouses' files on your webpage and save yourself some bandwidth money. This is ridiculous! What about my wishes?! I'm going private! This is the solution for you if you do not agree with how we do things here (though, who wouldn't agree with making the focus of MUGEN having an enjoyable time??). There are some risks you should be well-aware of, though. Not everyone can be trusted. People have posted private releases plenty of times and had them leaked to the public. In fact, I'd be more surprised to hear about private releases successfully remaining private. Make sure you're extra careful about who you share your private releases with. With that said, we will not be enforcing private releases if they are leaked. If it's leaked, it's unfortunate, but it's the result of you giving the release to someone that you shouldn't have. Next time, either be more careful about who you give it to, or don't give it to anyone at all. Well, I guess there's nothing left except for you to summarize! Despite how it might seem (and what some people are likely to say), these new guidelines do not "promote" or "support" things like "stealing" or "warehousing" or any of the other things that a small group of vocal people would have you believe are horrible atrocities. These are just fact of life (or Internet, in this case) things that can't be avoided, and frankly, we don't believe they're worth the time or effort getting worked up about. These things only affect you negatively if you are more concerned with your ego/pride than you are having fun with the MUGEN engine. MUGEN Guild has gotten to the point where people have to walk on eggshells when discussing anything related to MUGEN for fear that they'll get ostracized with claims of "THIEF!!!" or "LEECHER!!!". How is that fun for anyone? Hopefully, with the new guidelines, we can take focus away from screaming and crying about things that don't matter (and the associated politics), and return to development and enjoyment of the MUGEN engine. After all, you release something so people can play and enjoy it, right? If you're down with that, we look forward to your releases. And if you're just here to enjoy people's releases and MUGEN itself, feel free to say "Thanks!" and "Awesome release!" to your heart's content. Should you lift considerable parts from another piece of MUGEN content to use that in your "own" work without mentioning this fact to anyone and this circumstance is later discovered (very often, it is!), it would end up making you look pretty silly in many people's eyes. But we would not ban you for it--if you admit your actions and don't act stupid about it. Needless to say, it would be better if you made it public knowledge just what you have taken from which source from the beginning (in a readme file, for example). Example cases follow: 1) Let's say you "release" Eli's Venom with two different palettes, regardless of whether or not you say it's your own or Eli's, whether you're upfront about it or try to talk yourself out of it: you will at least be laughed at, "Haha this is just Eli's Venom with two new palettes, why didn't you just release the palettes separately? Did you think nobody would notice? :P" And if you'd really try to talk yourself out of something as obvious as this, you might get banned pretty fast. Liars get no love. 2) You work for a pretty long time on a Darkstalkers character, release it and it's quite all right, except it then turns out you worked from the sprite file another person put together-- admit it and maybe even offer an apology for not saying so from the start... you've probably lost honor points, but all right. deny it before somebody posts proof, then flip out and yell at everybody and you run into the chance of getting into trouble . . . had you made this known from the start, no prob, especially since you produced a decent character despite "stealing" 3) Or if you release something like this strangely popular Nightmare Broli (yeah, we also don't disallow links to "stolen" content)--you will be laughed at, not because you took lots of stuff from other chars and put it together as if you made the entire thing, but mainly because you did so very badly: this Broli is a terrible character by most people's standards. You don't miss anything by not downloading it, and I recommend you not waste your time by doing so--but if you want to, that's your choice. We're not your mothers or the Internet police, we believe in information and choice. A choice in this example case? Download and enjoy the original instead, the one and only Broli by The Necromancer. To enable such informed decisions for everybody it is necessary that whenever "stolen" things are on topic, it should be noted what's up. By "noted" I do mean "noted," friendly facts, and not screaming bloody murder, "suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuux this is §%&"§$!"§ stolen crap!!!!!!!" In that way users will be informed of the situation, can make their own choices according to their own conscience, and as for "Give respect to the original authors!! Don't allow links or anything!". . . suppose, to get back to the Broli example, that you're the original MUGEN creator of Broli, see it like this: Those visitors who just read up there that Nightmare Broli is really badly put together from different sources and still insist on downloading and calling it the greatest character of all time... well, who cares about what such people think anyway? They obviously have little idea, and a lot to learn. Is it worth getting worked up over them? We think not.