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PC Illegal Mods - How would I know?

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Kevin Jay, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. This question was asked in the Porsche Payware thread but never answered.
    How would the average simmer without any inside info know what is "legal' or 'illegal'?
    When I download a mod, I have know idea where the objects came from or if permission was given by the original producer of the objects, or even who the original person is.
  2. Learn a little about the sites you visit. Sites such as RD make every effort to only allow legal mods.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Yes, websites like RD and AC forum modding section have moderation about what is considered legal and illegal mods. Illegal mods go by using content that wasn't created by the said mod author, or unauthorized usage of content, for example using a car 3d model without permission or wasn't manually made by you, or a track mod from another game, which doesn't have permission to be used in other games.

    We aren't discussing whether mods are legal or not by using the real car and logo name, but the main concern is using content not made by yourself or without permission.

    Be aware of mods that try to be sold for money. Especially if they have the real name and logo model on the car, and if they aren't in RD downloads or AC forum, then is an illegal mod. There can be modding teams selling their content, but usually they'll use another car name and maybe car logo (emblem on the hood). And there can also be legal mods where the author wanted his own website to share his work. But just search or ask in the forum, and of course you are free to use them, but illegal mods in general go against the ethics of modding in racing games, so are to be avoided.
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  4. If the only place you find them is through mediafire links from Facebook groups, assume the worst.

    AC official forums and RD are usually your best bets, with a few exceptions. URD (egt/t5) packs are the only major payware car mods that are legit as far as I know.
  5. Pretty sure anyone selling mods that are of real world cars for cash is sort of "illegal" as they are making money off someone else's IP
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. illegal mods have shifty eyes
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  7. xnorb

    Premium Member

    Simple answer: You can't.

    But if it's a real world car or track then you can be 99.9% sure that the modder does not hold the license for it and therefore the mod is basically illegal.

    Here we are in an ethic conflict.
    Should i now remove all the mod tracks in GSCE/AC?
    As long as you don't sell it or you as user somehow make profit because of it i think it's not that big of an issue.

    If you of course sell something you don't have the license for ... that's against the law.
    And as a consumer you better not buy from not trustworthy sources.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. Whilst I agree with your opinion, the last part is a bit incorrect. There was a big stink a while back with one of the Assetto Corsa F1 mods, which was forced to change names of teams and drivers - apparently the FIA doesn't approve of freeware having official names - I guess Codemasters asked their help to intervene, because in theory some people could decide to buy Assetto Corsa and download these mods, instead of buying official products like F1 2014, as it was at the time.

    The same will go for any other game.
  9. Stereo

    Premium Member

    I thought it was FIA protecting their trademarks, since the mod was described as "Formula 1" which they have registered. The trademarks are where they really get protective since they don't want people thinking it's an 'official' product.

    Generally the way to 'know' that a mod is ripped is to have access to the same source and recognize the model - people who id Forza rips often have the models ripped them selves (for personal use of course, lol)
    Each game usually has some little quirks in style that make it pretty easy to confirm that it's the same model once you look at them, too. So from that it's easy to guess the source and then go to it and verify.
  10. xnorb

    Premium Member

    Well, not that easy.
    Especially when it comes to Forza or Gran Turismo models, a pure PC player has basically no chance of knowing their models except when doing heavy research on the net.
  11. Which is what I basically said in the rest of my post. ;)
  12. Graham Laing

    Graham Laing
    ...... mostly harmless Staff

    This is part of our TOS

    We can't indemnify our members against action taken by any copyright holder, thus making you responsible for the content that you upload. We are not the internet police, and couldn't even hope to identify everything that passes through our download section. We try to be reasonable and will remove anything we know is illegal for sure. e.g ripping content from one game into another.

    Most copyright holders seem to allow 'reasonable use', without complaining much about it. They are aware what's going on and show a little flexibility. However if they make a complaint then we are obliged to take action and remove the offending material. We may persuade them that it's 'fair use', or we may not, but we certainly try.

    Lawyers representing copyrights holder regularly visit sites like this, looking for something to bump up their billable hours. Sometimes they are happy with our explanations and representations, and sometimes they're not. Words are important to lawyers, so modder's should choose their mod title with discretion, think of Project Cars Formula A, B, and C for example, or a Fantasy Formula mod. Picking something that is current and is hot property for one rights holder in one game, maybe a bad choice to use as a name in another game. So protect yourself, as you are the one who is ultimately responsible for your actions :)
    • Beer Beer x 1
  13. I tend to agree with this statement. It seems as if there is a tolerance for certain types of copyright infringement and and overlooking of others. Different sites and different groups of people have differing ideas as to what is ok.
    I wonder how many 100% scratch made mods with 0% copyright infringement exist today.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Well stated! As long as the mod does not set off enough red flags then no one seems to care.

    You made me realize that I the urd mod I bought for rF2 this week is probably not legal? The cars are real-world but given fake names in the mod (iirc, darche = porsche, ferruccio = ferrari). in fact, i think the "darche" car says "Porsche RSR" when in-game? I need to check that when I get home!
  15. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    Who said anything about acd files :D?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  16. Gergo Panker

    Gergo Panker

    It is illegal to open acd files in the first place as they can contain sensitive manufacturer data. If you want to use them for personal educational use (which technically you can't), make sure you don't share them (or mention it on the official forums....or anywhere else), unless you have a written agreement with the developer. There is no line, sites like RD should also make sure that none of these can be distributed.
    • Beer Beer x 1
  17. Andrew

    Global Moderator Staff Premium Member

    And THAT is what we as Staff do every single day here at RD. But: We can sometimes only react, when we get a REPORT about a file. So, if you are in doubt that a file is okay, please click on the REPORT-Button.
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  18. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    Ok so if it's illegal to open ACD files and even more to distribute them when modded how would modders even get started? And then why is this 458 Black edition of McQueen is still available and downloaded over 8,000 times without any problems? Must be then that nobody including Kunos really don't care about that "illegal" aspect of their content?
  19. Gergo Panker

    Gergo Panker

    There are more than a handful helpful modders out there who are willing to help newcomers as well as documentation and sdk. It is not complete but enough to do a decent job without having to rip apart official cars. And the hard bit is not how you implement data anyway but whether you do your homework in terms of research for the car and vehicle dynamics.

    As for the 458 Black Edition, it is indeed illegal and should have been reported ages ago.
    • Beer Beer x 1
  20. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    Ok that makes it more clear now. But still how can one tell if data for a mod is obtained using sdk or the ACD decoder program available on the world wide web? In other words if a mod is illegal?