Battlestar Galactica Mods Get Frakked By NBCUniversal

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Battlestar Galactica Mods Get Frakked By NBCUniversal

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NBCUniversal has shut down twenty Battlestar Galactica themed mods by sending a cease-and-desist to the popular mod hosting site, ModDB.

Fans of 2004's relentlessly grim Battlestar Galactica remake aren't spoiled for choice when it comes to game tie-ins. Faced with a middling browser-based MMO and a poorly-received retro shooter, fans decided to take things into their own hands, developing a series of BSG themed mods for games like Nexus: The Jupiter Incident and Freespace 2.

Unfortunately, the trailer for the frankly excellent looking Nexus: Battlestar Galactica, helped along by a feature on Kotaku, came to the attention of BSG copyright owner NBCUniversal, who promptly popped off a cease and desist to ModDB, the site hosting the mod. In response, ModDB removed Nexus: Battlestar Galactica from the site, along with nineteen other mods that infringed on NBCU's copyrights.

"I was shocked and saddened when I got the message from ModDB admins that our mod, the Nexus BSG mod is being pulled due to copyright claims of NBC Universal," said a lead dev for the mod. "This we cannot fight, these are the terms of ModDB, and we are making our projects based on NBCU's intellectual property."

He went on to add that the only way the project could continue would be with NBCU's blessing, and suggested that fans of the mod contact the company via their contact us page. He also stressed that mod proponents have to make their points "politely and with logic," presumably disappointing several angry forum members who were busy looking for a shoebox to defecate in.

According to Kotaku, creators of BSG: Diaspora, a BSG themed space-combat sim based on the Freespace 2 engine, were angered by the removal of their work from ModDB and promised that development of the free game would continue elsewhere.

Source: ModDB forums via Kotaku

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Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

fucking corporations. If they are not going to do anything useful with their IPs they should leave people who are doing such for free alone.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

"BEKAUZ ITS MINEZ!! IF I CANT MAKE MONYSS THEN OMGZ MAN! CEASE AND DERSIST!"

That's why.

Let's just hope they don't get rid of the mods for Star Trek: Bridge Commander. They're cool.

Also heaven help me if the major studios really crack down on Second Life. I don't know what I'd do if they took away my TARDIS, Stargates, and X-Wing. Then it'd all just be about Furry Bondage sex :(

Why do these people have to be such dicks all the time? This is a whole new level of being a dick. I hope they go broke and jump off of a 50 story building, the cocksuckers.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

Presumably they believe it's to close to their own BB MMO I disagree being as I've played both nexus (there is a rare thing XD) and their BB-MMO but I can vaguely see where a outsider could make that mistake. Add in the knee jerkiness of corporate trademarking and copy writing legal departments and walla.

thenumberthirteen:
Let's just hope they don't get rid of the mods for Star Trek: Bridge Commander. They're cool.

Also heaven help me if the major studios really crack down on Second Life. I don't know what I'd do if they took away my TARDIS, Stargates, and X-Wing. Then it'd all just be about Furry Bondage sex :(

There's something incredibly depressing about the fact that it's legally possible to do so in the first place.

If you think about what second life is meant to be (in it's ideal form that is, which isn't quite the same as the actual situation), it becomes a little disturbing.

Consider for instance if you had a full-size X-wing mockup sitting in your backyard... Do you think some lawyer could just come along and tell you that because it infringes copyright, they could come onto your property without asking, and destroy it?

Yet because a virtual world such as second life is entirely digital in nature, this can easily be done. And it's further facilitated by the way such worlds basically create a centralised point of control for any copies of an object.

Let's say you made 300 model X-wings and sold them, then got sued for having done so... Whoever bought them off you still has their model unless the lawyers go after all 300 of them individually.

Contrast that to the digital situation, where in suing you they can delete the master, and by association (due primarily to how online worlds work more so than the mere fact that it's digital information), delete every single copy of it at the same time.

The contrast in the degree of centralised control is staggering.

Normandyfoxtrot:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

Presumably they believe it's to close to their own BB MMO I disagree being as I've played both nexus (there is a rare thing XD) and their BB-MMO but I can vaguely see where a outsider could make that mistake. Add in the knee jerkiness of corporate trademarking and copy writing legal departments and walla.

Reminds me of when M$ shut down the HALOgen team because they were planning on releasing a much, much more crappy RTS themselves.

NBC decided to shut down the Nexus BSG game because it would make their own work look like shit, when others were doing better work for free.

This is disappointing, but was probably inevitable. Given how much money video game tie-ins can involve, they're afraid that some people are going to beat them to it and they won't be able to swim in their giant pools of cash. Even beyond confusing the existing game with it, there's a strong possibility that they plan to make future games out of the franchise. And they probably wouldn't want to have to even worry about competing with these mods, which might be considerably closer to what they eventually make than the MMO is.

On the other hand, this does say something pretty remarkable about the modding community: we've reached a point where a handful of people doing something as a hobby can actually produce something that threatens to be on par with or even better than an official production. That's pretty fucking exciting.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

Because corporations hate fans and the free advertisment they provide.

Jaime_Wolf:
This is disappointing, but was probably inevitable. Given how much money video game tie-ins can involve, they're afraid that some people are going to beat them to it and they won't be able to swim in their giant pools of cash. Even beyond confusing the existing game with it, there's a strong possibility that they plan to make future games out of the franchise. And they probably wouldn't want to have to even worry about competing with these mods, which might be considerably closer to what they eventually make than the MMO is.

On the other hand, this does say something pretty remarkable about the modding community: we've reached a point where a handful of people doing something as a hobby can actually produce something that threatens to be on par with or even better than an official production. That's pretty fucking exciting.

Honestly I don't find that terrible surprising that mod makers can beat devs that's been true for a long time, it's mostly a matter of much less or nonexistent time tables, oh, the potentially amazing game ruined by too harsh timetables.

I still really wish I had downloaded the game back when it was still on Live, but I hadn't even known about BSG back then heh

Rename the mod to Battlestar Cosmica, rename Cylons to Colons, presto! They've got nothing on you.

TheDarkEricDraven:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

Because corporations hate fans and the free advertisment they provide.

Or because they want to keep control of a trademark that they are still actively using. I think that answer is a bit closer to home.

Jaime_Wolf:
This is disappointing, but was probably inevitable. Given how much money video game tie-ins can involve, they're afraid that some people are going to beat them to it and they won't be able to swim in their giant pools of cash. Even beyond confusing the existing game with it, there's a strong possibility that they plan to make future games out of the franchise. And they probably wouldn't want to have to even worry about competing with these mods, which might be considerably closer to what they eventually make than the MMO is.

On the other hand, this does say something pretty remarkable about the modding community: we've reached a point where a handful of people doing something as a hobby can actually produce something that threatens to be on par with or even better than an official production. That's pretty fucking exciting.

Eh... there already is a licensed Battlestar game you know. It's a really crappy MMO if I recall correctly (that or a F2P space shooter). Though you are partly right, this is obviously an act of fear, thinking people might catch wind that a similar, but better, game might be a few clicks away.

Don't give mods TOO much credit... they are working off pre-existing unaltered tech (usually) that the developers had to either make from scratch or re-code to suit their goals.

Also most mods take 5+ years to make total conversions of pre-existing games compared to the standard 2 to 3 year development cycle of the standard game. The ones that add new animations, new code, new scripts, voice acting etc. take even longer. How long has Black Mesa been in development for? What about the Dark Forces mod for Jedi Academy? How many dead projects are there because the Modder who started it got fed up?

That said, I love mods and I don't want to disrespect them... just trying to shed a bit of light on the industries behalf.

Copyright: Squashing creativity since the invention of being a dick.

Metalhandkerchief:
Rename the mod to Battlestar Cosmica, rename Cylons to Colons, presto! They've got nothing on you.

Better yet, call it Warsun Nebula, and call the cylons SpaceNet D-model 9001s... it would be funny because they could have 2 trademark or copyright infringements on their hands.

Good thing I downloaded that Battlestar mod for freespace 2 already.

It's pretty fun.

Sucks to hear this happen. Not sure why they pick now, after the mods have been up for years and are all over the internet instead of cracking down years later.

DAMMIT!!!

I guess this means I'm going to have to shut down the work on my "30 Rock vs The Office" Quake 3 MOD...

Still, at least this gives me more time to work on my indie game; I'm thinking of calling it "Scrollz Edge." Can't get sued for that, right?

Of course, because extra exposure and enlarging your fan-base is a TERRIBLE idea.

Coming Soon: The makers of the Babylon 5, Stargate, and Star Trek mods for Nexus get cease and desist orders! Get em while you can....

Oroboros:
Coming Soon: The makers of the Babylon 5, Stargate, and Star Trek mods for Nexus get cease and desist orders! Get em while you can....

stargates another IP where they crack down seriously hard on modders. there were a few excellent mods with full working stargates, dial thew addresses, the works for operation flashpoint and ARMA that the last i heard had got shut down.

while i get legally they have the right to do this, to me it fals into the same category as fanfiction

That's frakking awful, lot of hard work gone to waste. Damn them!

I fucking hate it when this sort of thing happens. Countless hours gone to waste on something people wanted to release, for free no less, to people to enjoy.
It's hilariously stupid really, while I get that they have the legal grounds to do this, it's probably more detrimental to the company in question, as free mods generate advertisement and greater brand awareness for the IP in question.

It's like Games Workshop firing off C&D letters like they're going out of fashion just because

VincentX3:

"ITS MINEZ!! IF I CANT MAKE MONYSS THEN OMGZ MAN! CEASE AND DERSIST!"

It's foolish, truly foolish, they're effectively losing nothing and stand to gain more potential fans/a wider audience/new customers. If anything, modding communities earn these companies money, rather than costing them anything.

THe mods are likely still in development, the teams didnt get orders to stop, just modDB got one for hosting them. Which is odd because it is just a browser for various mods. Damn site needs to move to wherever Piratebay is so they can just flip a finger to those kinds of orders.

I thought mods were protected, like parodies of songs on youtube?

Regardless I hope the team continues to work on it and then release it via some sort of file sharing sites.

This is something I'd be interested in checking out.

Not like there's any official BSG stuff being released, or having been released, at least not worth buying.

HardRockSamurai:
DAMMIT!!!

I guess this means I'm going to have to shut down the work on my "30 Rock vs The Office" Quake 3 MOD...

Still, at least this gives me more time to work on my indie game; I'm thinking of calling it "Scrollz Edge." Can't get sued for that, right?

For the record, I'd play the hell out of that mod.

Also for the record, you'll have better luck with "Edger Scrollz".

Master Kuja:
I fucking hate it when this sort of thing happens. Countless hours gone to waste on something people wanted to release, for free no less, to people to enjoy.
It's hilariously stupid really, while I get that they have the legal grounds to do this, it's probably more detrimental to the company in question, as free mods generate advertisement and greater brand awareness for the IP in question.

It's like Games Workshop firing off C&D letters like they're going out of fashion just because

VincentX3:

"ITS MINEZ!! IF I CANT MAKE MONYSS THEN OMGZ MAN! CEASE AND DERSIST!"

It's foolish, truly foolish, they're effectively losing nothing and stand to gain more potential fans/a wider audience/new customers. If anything, modding communities earn these companies money, rather than costing them anything.

While games workshop is pretty draconian about a whole litany of things I haven't really know them to be any more C&D obsessed than any other company, as surprising as that is.

Master Kuja:
I fucking hate it when this sort of thing happens. Countless hours gone to waste on something people wanted to release, for free no less, to people to enjoy.
It's hilariously stupid really, while I get that they have the legal grounds to do this, it's probably more detrimental to the company in question, as free mods generate advertisement and greater brand awareness for the IP in question.

It's like Games Workshop firing off C&D letters like they're going out of fashion just because

VincentX3:

"ITS MINEZ!! IF I CANT MAKE MONYSS THEN OMGZ MAN! CEASE AND DERSIST!"

It's foolish, truly foolish, they're effectively losing nothing and stand to gain more potential fans/a wider audience/new customers. If anything, modding communities earn these companies money, rather than costing them anything.

Actually they have a lot to lose for not filing this C&D, they have their whole copyright to lose, which could cost them so much more. And I really don't want to see BSG become abandoned for the sake of some mods, but those are for some self-interested reasons.
If you don't want mods to waste their time, how about they work on some non-protected IP? I know it sounds cold, but it is how the copyright system works for now.

Normandyfoxtrot:

While games workshop is pretty draconian about a whole litany of things I haven't really know them to be any more C&D obsessed than any other company, as surprising as that is.

There's been a staggering number of /tg/ based 40k mods that have been hit with C&Ds, as well as a Battlefleet Gothic mod for Sins of a Solar Empire, Myth 2 and UT based 40k mods have also been afflicted with the same cease and desist orders.

Games Workshop are very, VERY defensive with the 40k IP, it seems like the second they catch wind of a 40k mod in the works, the legal letters go flying pretty sharpish.

Too bad for BSG, other IP's have tons of mods and this makes games REPLAYABLE a lot. I mean I know that if I ever get back to dragon age II I can find 10 mods that will make it fun and unique again.

Master Kuja:

Normandyfoxtrot:

While games workshop is pretty draconian about a whole litany of things I haven't really know them to be any more C&D obsessed than any other company, as surprising as that is.

There's been a staggering number of /tg/ based 40k mods that have been hit with C&Ds, as well as a Battlefleet Gothic mod for Sins of a Solar Empire, Myth 2 and UT based 40k mods have also been afflicted with the same cease and desist orders.

Games Workshop are very, VERY defensive with the 40k IP, it seems like the second they catch wind of a 40k mod in the works, the legal letters go flying pretty sharpish.

I said no more, XD.

I like the part where they aren't just crossing their arms and saying No completely, instead giving a chance for the modders to sell their case. Might be good to bring some legal marketing counsel along, as if the case is sold, NBCUni might be interested in doling out a license or two.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why shut it down? They aren't making money off of it.

Might be because none of the game titles being modded are owned by NBCUniversal, and therefore present a profit infraction in that fashion.

Normandyfoxtrot:

I said no more, XD.

I can keep going quite easily. :P

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