Mod discussion

Sven Hielscher

Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
Thread split up from other thread. Originated from a posted mod, and the discussion over it. As its not direct related to the mod itself, I split it up.
End Mod Edit.

I still don't get it :O_o: Are illegal conversions allowed at RD or not!? :cautious:

If they are I will give up to complain about it...maybe I will give up on some other things too :thumbsup:
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Nov 14, 2013
With this one we drive already, only the version 0.99C.

The orginal mod is converted by PetraGTC.
All from rFactor.

My opinion that this is legal.

Just my two cents.

When we gonna look wich mod is legal than we have 4 mods.;)
Jan 7, 2013
41 no one of the staff really cares about the legal status of the mod(s)? :O_o:
Illegal: lot of grey here... if you think about it, every mod is illegal... :O_o:
Unless it's complete fantasy.

But if you look at it the other way: If no one is claiming its rights, is it illegal by law and pronounced by a judge.

I play in a band and we play some covers in our own version. Is this illegal?
Yes! If the owner claims his part. That part would be "nil". :roflmao:

If the owner/copyright holder don't declare the mod illegal, is it still illegal???
Or do you think it's illegal, so it must be...

RD has a report system. The author/copyright holder can report it and the mod will be removed without question and discusion. Some companies have done this (simbin is one i know).

RD's terms and rules, everybody agreed on when signing up, are really clear on what is allowed and not allowed to upload on this site and thats how far RD's responsibility goes.

Rupe Wilson

Mar 1, 2009
The responsibility lies with the up-loader
that does not mean we agree or disagree with the upload.
we will stay neutral.
But if a member or person wants to get in touch with RD to say that his content is in our database for download without his/her permission, they can do and we will act accordingly.

The reason for our stance is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor all uploads for copy right issues or good old fashioned human decency on converted content.
We used to spend many hours a day looking through files.
No matter which way we did it we are and still are dammed if we do dammed if we don't act
RD is always at fault.
im not saying any of you have called us but in the past we have been called for our policy.

i am not judging anybody or pointing fingers
For example we have a wonderful collection of skins on RD.
Has permission be granted for every logo that is on them.
most of the major brands images are copy righted. so permission might be needed for the logo to be used, but we let this ride and then complained about a texture or object in a track..
now we have complete tracks or cars converted.

We can call this a grey area in the modding community
it is not just the members that live in a grey area, how many times have we seen cars or tracks being released by developers under different names.
there seems to be rules for one and rules for another.
once again RD was always in the wrong trying to stop bad content on the site, ending in many heated debates.

So we changed our policy to cover ourselves for all problems that may arise. We now use the cease and desist rule like for example you tube has.

so in short if the owner of the content gets in touch and asks us to take it down we will plain and simple.

Terms and Rules
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Oscar Hardwick

RDTCC S9 Champion
Nov 8, 2010
It's so strange with how mod legality works out. I mean just look at the enduracers flat 6. Was to be released as a Porsche but turns out that wasn't ok. All that was done was a name change and it was considered legal. I guess the same works out for URD at the moment as well. It's shady but it is obviously some loophole. And if that loophole exists then mods are used legal or not until deemed otherwise at which point all a person would need to do is remove logos and change Nissan to Massin or something of a similar nature.

All the talk that is had about legal and non-legal mods for the very reason I just pointed out strikes me as pointless. Yes, some mods may use models from here, cars and brands from there but there are so many easily accessed legal loopholes with it all that even if it is pointed out and taken down one day. 3 quick changes and it's back the next and with very little anyone can do about it.

- Oscar.
Nov 14, 2013
In the first mod the released from BES for rFactor 2 there where also the BMW M3 and the Ford GT1 in it.

Because this models coming from Shift they have removed them.

Daiman Patel

rFactor 2 Technical Assistant
Jun 4, 2011
We don't give you guys what you want and you complain - fair enough. We then give you what you want, and you still complain. We can't win with some of you. I don't get it. Apologies for being so blunt, but this argument is becoming increasingly ridiculous. With the current, "fragile" state of sim-racing, especially in rF2 which is very much struggling for "legal" and original content at the moment, deciding to ignore mods will ultimately be the death of the game and its community. This is not to say that either I or RaceDepartment agree with the source of some mods, but choosing to ignore them completely would in turn affect the community that has been built up. Not to mention that "illegal" mods have been around since modding became possible in games, not least sims like Race07 and rFactor. As Gijs and Rupe have rightly said, the stance that has been taken means that if a mod is reported then it will be removed without hesitation. Nobody is forcing anyone to use "questionable" content; if you don't like it then don't use it, and if you really have a moral objection against it then instead of having a moan and whine, man up and "report" the content. I don't mean to be so harsh, but this age-old discussion is really beginning to bug me now, as all we are trying to do is make you guys happy and strengthen the community. We don't condone these mods, but we have seen a clear increase in the amount of people on the servers and taking part in club events as a result of this change, which just goes to show it works. Without taking this stance there was the risk that the community would slowly disperse, and drivers would move away. By bringing this content to races - and let's note that the content is being used only for club races, and not leagues - partaking in these events has been re-popularised. If anybody wishes to discuss this further then we should do so in a private conversation, or at least another thread as this is not the place in my opinion.
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Marco Bijl

Axe Travels
Jul 25, 2011
Ok, I split this up from the BES mod. It is not directly related to the mod.

It's simple.
Everyone has the option to post at RD.
Everyone has the option to post resourses here
YOU are responsible for what YOU upload, and to make sure this is within the RD rules.
WE, as RD Staff, have the right to remove anything if we deem that neeeded.
If you have a question about a mod, a posted resource, or a post made on the forum, simply use the REPORT option.

We will then evaluate it.

Unless content is reported, we do not check all of it.

Sven Hielscher

Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
First, let me thank you for paying more attention to this topic! Many to read here, to many things I absolutely agree, to other things I simply have to say you maybe are looking at some things way to superficial.

Second, I have to say again I'm absolutely and proverbially tired of discussion this legal topic over and over again. Additionally I don't won't to be the community police and always identify and report any violations of the rules (no matter they are made by the community or governments or society or whatever!). Anyhow for me as a mod maker and long-established member of the simracing community and modding scene the licencing issues and never-ending discussions are a great passion killer for me. To be honest I'm currently really thinking of quitting the Polo mod (and a lot of others) just because of this. But I guess no one really will miss it/them so don't think I want to build up pressure in any direction.

So at this point just some short notes from my point of view:
  • Skins: Using logos and what ever is seen as fan art and therefore widely accepted (or tolerated) by the brand owners. Please remember that those logos are only used to promote brands and their products. If the logos are used for your own products or other commercial purpose the tolerance ends. So finally there is no grey in there. There is only clear white.
  • Models/Meshes: Taken from other games/sources without the permission of the licence owner is a copyright violation, no matter if this happens for a free or payed mod. Absolutely no grey but deep black here.
  • Textures/Images: Taken from other games/sources without permission are a copyright violation too. Definitely a deep black here again.
I just want to close my post with these words:
If you want me to report illegal mods and help you with "your" task (yeah you think it isn't and I have to admit you can't do this job completely on your own), I will do. We will see where this ends...:ninja:

Please not the Flat6 story is a completely different story then most think. Anyhow I don't want and in a way not allowed to explain why. The involved parties do know the backgrounds and this is enough. Why URD/Ales don't use official brand names has a simple cause, just read the bullet point one again closely ;)

Converting existing work without permission is a creativity killer. Just imagine how much great mods and stuff we would have if all those guys start making new content!? At least in my opinion they do not use their skills and creativity in the right much man-(or women-)power is simply wasted.:speechless:

So finally just start hating me for being a inch pincher or whatever you want to call me. :cautious: I'm just trying to improve the sense of duty somehow. If this results in people hating me, I'm absolute fine with it :thumbsup::roflmao:

Cheers and have a great labour day tomorrow!:whistling:

Marco Bijl

Axe Travels
Jul 25, 2011
Well, I am not going to call you anything :) I am to old to call people names I think.

If you find and report anything in the mod section for what you believe is a violation of your copyrights on that, for instance the model of your Polo mod reused without permission, I will promis you we will take it down asap.

About the issue in general, so outside of the Racedepartment stuff, I am not going to have a discussion. I am not the person to judge, so I won't.

What I do want to say, is that our stance on custom video game content has been made very clear in the Terms of Service everybody agreed on when signing up.

These terms are not up for discussion. Copyright holders can email Racedepartment directly Appropriate action can then be taken.

Sven Hielscher

Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
Just to understand things right:
I can report i.e. the BES mod as an illegal mod but you won't remove it as I'm not the owner of the original content/licence?:O_o: Meaning EA or Simbin or whoever has to come here and report this as illegal conversion!?

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Dec 26, 2006
@Sven Hielscher the ToS has now been linked several times, plus its located on the bottom right of the site and forums as well.

It only takes a few minutes to read it entirely and that will answer your remaining questions also.

In short: yes. See highlights below.
  • If you believe your copyright-protected work was posted on RaceDepartment without authorization, you may submit a copyright infringement notification. These requests should only be submitted by the copyright owner or an agent authorized to act on the owner’s behalf. The fastest and easiest way to notify RaceDepartment of alleged copyright infringement is to either use the “report” button, located under each forum post or resource file, or contact us directly via email.
Like your own statement above saying you are tired of the discussion, we are as well (not your fault btw).

We have tried our best to follow up on the wish of the industry to say no to conversions during the last eight years since this site launched and after eight long years we have given up the fight as it hasn't brought us the result we expected.

Instead of getting support for our views we've had only had A LOT OF EXTRA WORK, countless debates over and over again, none to very little support from other website adopting the same rules and a gaming industry that operates sometimes in very grey areas themselves and hiding behind our backs, without having the balls to confront or educate some of their own customers by making a statement (some exceptions to the rule here as well of course).

In the past I have made various offers to site owners and sim racing companies to sit down together and discuss a common modding rule set, but its now 2014 and still nothing has come from it. We've done our best and can't do much more than that.

The changes in the ToS are still representing our views that we do not support illegal content (that will not change) but the follow up is now different. Instead of our unpaid voluntary staff having to police the forums its up to the rightholders to notify us and if their claim is valid we will take it down.

I have been saying for years that the sim racing community is heading the wrong way and only time will tell if my worst fear is actually going to happen: that in a few years time there will be no more sim racing on PC as we know it as developers will be going the console route as that is where the money is. As mouths need to be fed I can't really blame them either.

If it all ends at some point there is nobody other than ourselves (the sim racing community) to blame.

Can't wait for Mario Kart 2018 on the Wii Ueber Unlimited myself.

Jan 7, 2013
Did some research on "copyright digital art".

Yes, It's up to the copyright holders responsibility to catch those who illegally use there content. :O_o:

@Sven Hielscher , and other modders.....

There are a lot of mods that can be found on various sites without any info on the modder or the modder is a nickname or no terms of use are added.

Some hints tips to protect your artwork:

- Your artwork has to be unique. So ask/inform the car manufacture if you could reproduce/recreate there model. Just inform them is enough. If they don't respond, they don't take there responsibility to protect there copyright.
If URD haven't done this, they (not the user) could be in trouble if Porsche claims there rights. And it doesn't matter if they use a different name. Because the model itself is protected. (ask the Chinese :roflmao:)

- Add a "license agreement" file with your your terms of use in the download. Fully describe what's allowed and not allowed.

- Sign it with your real name (not a nickname), address, e-mail, website, phone number. (Maybe there are others with the same name/nickname as you). And people can contact you in case of violation.;)

- Make your download only available on sources you controle. Add it in the license agreement. Your download can not be shared with others without your knowledge. An advantage is that your license agreement file doesn't get lost.
(hopefully RD has your blessing to share your mod with there members :thumbsup:)

US Copyright rules
European copyright rules

Good luck with your mod. :thumbsup:

Stefan Woudenberg

Nov 30, 2010
In the URD case, they ask money for their work, by changing the car brand names, they go around the brand name protection and (try to) avoid claims from the companies in question.

Sven Hielscher

Original poster
Nov 20, 2008
OK, I guess now I understand why the ToS are what they are. Of course I should have read them before but I simply was assuming that the rules were following the standard formula I was thinking of (the "don't fool with the rules and we will remove all unlawful content as soon as we get aware of it"). The "new" and unknown thing for me was the fact that at RD only the licence owner has the right to request a removal or point out something's against law/licences. So the principle is "no plaintiff, no judge" (hopefully this is the right translation of the phrase :D).
At least for me this now explains a lot! This seems to be the root cause for the increasing count of "illegal" mods and links to them here.

Finally I hope that EA, F1, Simbin, SlightlyMad and others don't come here to kill this community ;) VirtualR is a current example for what can happen if one of those is coming and claims his rights...
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David Wright

Sep 27, 2009
Finally I hope that EA, F1, Simbin, SlightlyMad and others don't come here to kill this community ;) .
There would be no community without racing sim developers. I am a modder and mods are great, but you only have to look at iRacing to see that you really don't need mods to have successful simracing community.

Indeed for a primarily online racing community such as RD you only have to look at the complaints concerning how hard it is to join rF2 servers because of mods to see mods can actually be harmful to an on-line racing community.
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