Ownership of Lego Block Architecture

Started by rcallicotte, September 03, 2009, 04:21:12 pm

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In UK law, the NWDA would have to register for a design in order for their commercial licenses to have any weight. Without it they have no claim to the particular pattern of nodes and values used. So you could buy the non-commerical license, recreate it and then use that commercially with no legal backlash. Anyone know whether there are any similar laws in the US?
Figured out how to do clicky signatures


I've been absent for a time and have missed a fair bit, it seems! Disorder in the ranks.
I personally wouldn't purchase anyone elses TG work, preffering to learn through trial and error and with help from friends I meet here, the best place to learn and advance your TG skills.

I also say, good luck and good fortune to anyone who finds a gap in the market to sell their TG content. Personally, though, I wouldn't do this, for precisely the reasons I'm reading here.
Who am I to copyright what, essentially, any one of us could produce?
Could I be arsed even persuing any legal matters that arise after I did? Not me.
Up until not long before TG2 was released officially, we had a very close, friendly and not unwilling to share the most complexed of node-works, forum. Something happened around about this time and now there is much more 'holding the cards to the chest' going on.
I don't mind sharing anything I, as someone beautifully put it up there ^^ 'discovered' in the nodes. After all, I wouldn't have learned half as much as I have, if others hadn't shared their own knowledge before, know?

Even when I look at another's files very rarely, that file will stay on my desktop whilst I have a little nosey(;)), never be transferred to the TG folder and, will then end up in the recycle bin. Not because I believe it's bin-worthy material, just because it isn't my own and I couldn't put my name to anything and say 'I made this', if I didn't.

I downloaded Luc Bianco's cumulo-nimbus file again the other day, I say again because it's already gone to the recycle bin once before ;). That these files exist here as 'free resources' is great. I can have a looksee, see where I'm differing in my own works, or problems I'm coming across, and comparing the results with someone who has done something I'm interested in and made a more succesful attempt than I have. I'd never take a .tgd and then stick a model in(or something) and say 'Here's my new render', because it isn't, know?

A tricky situation and one that I won't beat around for too long, just my say.
If you don't want to worry about legalities, don't buy, or distribute, other's copyrighted material. Seems simple enough to me.


September 05, 2009, 04:13:28 pm #17 Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:34:00 am by calico
Since I've heard from one person in my Private Messages who mentioned something about being wary of buying stuff from NWDA, I need to be clear about what I think (my opinion) - NWDA has some cool people selling their wares and I don't mind buying the lesser priced items to learn from them.  They can't hurt us, if we do that, and I know Frank et al do not want to see us hurt by learning from them.

Anyway, I'm thankful for people like DandelO and Mandrake and Cyphyr (and so many others) who have donated their time and resources by giving TGDs and TGCs, as well as clear explanations, to those of us who want to learn.  I recommend everyone paying attention to the wonderful resources in the File Section, where many great and groovy things can be learned and downloaded.  It will change your perspective on learning TG2.  We really have some generous people here.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?


Hope I'm not clipping out too much to make my point - but in this regard, I'd take the side of NWDA. Those clip/node/setup files are useless without Terragen to use them in. So Planetside is losing no sales because of it, and only has sales to gain. Last I checked, Planetside isn't selling setups or scenes. And thus, NWDA is in no direct competition with them - only complimentery.

ONYX's point was quite valid - "built" trees could be sold as models and used anywhere. Thus depriving ONYX of sales.

NWDA is in the same situation as Useful Things was when they sold After Effects animation .ffx files. What use is that without After Effetcts? None!

I hope I'm not missing anything in this discussion. But it seems to me that NWDA is only selling value-added material that would in turn create more demand for the core app that Planetside sells - and thus more sales.

Am I off in this thinking? Or skip over a key part of the controversy? I don't have the time to have kept up with every thread here.

Quote from: neuspadrin on September 05, 2009, 01:22:10 pm
... Sure, all NWDA is selling is nodes....


Okay, I'm getting a clearer picture of the problem here (sorry, I wasn't up to speed on this ongoing issue!).

Personally I can see both sides of the story. It is perfectly reasonable for NWDA to want to protect their hard work, just as ONYX or any other vendor of digital assets.

This seems like a probably a problem that Planetside didn't even anticipate fully - perhaps there would be a way to create a version of a node that's "protected" somehow. Maybe in the form of a plugin (like AfterEffects) that would give you access to all the parameters, but not allow you to save it back out, instead of the current system that behaves more like an AfterEffects .ffx file that's basically wide open for anyone to use/change/resell or give away.

We may be diverging quite a bit from what the architecture currently supports (I assume), but most AE and 3D app plugins allow you to save setup parameters. So this would allow the user to keep re-using an NWDA node - the node would be locked, but allow for loadable settings. That way an unscrupulous user couldn't just save out the node under a new name and give it away. And users could still use that node in new projects, just by loading up their previously saved params.

Just thinking out loud. Again, I haven't followed this from the start - so I may remain ignorant of more details.


Indeed it is an interesting and somewhat awkward situation.  I've bought a few of the NWDA sets and have gotten great learning from them.  I know that there is much available that is free, but to me it is well worth spending a few dollars just to have the good stuff organized and easy to find.  I don't think I'd ever have the talent or the perseverance to bootstrap myself into learning this program, but I very much respect those that can and do.  So anyway, those packs are of great value to me.  And ever so slowly, as I see how others tie these nodes together, it slowly makes more sense to me.  But on the negative side, I also find myself many times wanting to share or to explain, but not doing so simply because the source of the new knowledge was in one of those packs - in those cases I feel that it is not my place to speak to them or to their design concept.  And of course, as the part what I produce is less of me than it might have been otherwise, sometimes I DO feel shame to upload a pic where a good part of it could never have been without the pack to leverage it. 

The copyright issue is pure poison.  Not because of right and wrong or law, but because it turns knowledge and study and play into ownership.  Kind of reminds me of the fencing of America, and the native American getting all confused and ultimately very lost.  When I spent 4 or 5 bucks for a pack, I gave up 4 or 5 bucks, but not my soul.  Besides giving up 4 or 5 bucks I also find myself having to be very careful with what I bought so that I don't bite the hand that feeds me - if that makes sense.  But one thing that I know for certain, is that the TG community walks that razor blade between genius and insane - what a bunch of people!!!  And craziness aside, I have a deep faith that all parties in this are sensitive and caring and honest and will come through with pride and integrity. 

Henry Blewer

Well I was not going to put my opinion in, but I can't help myself.
If you bought a book about node networks in Terragen 2, it is implied that the knowledge gained will be put to use. The NWDA packs are like examples in the book. Guides to learn from, and use by the license agreement. If you have used a node network from NWDA, then give them credit. We all know how much work can be put into a project.
I use Mr.Lamppost's Brush Pack and Walli's plant pack often. I forget to acknowledge this here on the forum, but where I post the images, Flickr; I use tags to give them credit. It is really no problem for me to give credit to someone if I use their work. Even with the packs, there are many ways to use them which makes the output unique; but the pack/s are still part of the whole.
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T

Volker Harun

@PG: Commonly in the EU there is no patent pending for software without an additionly design. Are you sure that it is the same with copyright in the UK.


In UK law they are defined as distinct under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989.
As soon as you create something original it has a copyright. You don't need to apply, nor pay for it, however it helps in proving the validity of the time it was created if there is some dated proof. E.g. posting it to yourself so the envelope has the Post Offices stamp. They also last until 100 years after the death of the creator.
Designs and Patents are similar in format but distinct in application. They both must be registered and payed for, they both last a limited time and they are both handled by the Patent Office.
Where they are distinct is in what they cover. Designs protect the visual style of the item in question, so the design of a company logo, the shape of a car, etc. Patents protect the process of creating the item. Blueprints, design documents, etc.

So basically, copyright protects and idea, design protects the look of an idea, patents protect the technicalities of producing the idea. But you don't need one to have the other.
Figured out how to do clicky signatures


Quote from: cyphyr on September 05, 2009, 12:10:52 pm
No matter how hard you try you can not make... a Julia set fractal in Terragen for example.

I bet someone could! :)

Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


Quote from: Matt on September 07, 2009, 11:00:12 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on September 05, 2009, 12:10:52 pm
No matter how hard you try you can not make... a Julia set fractal in Terragen for example.

I bet someone could! :)


I'll believe it when i see it.   ;D

Volker Harun

September 08, 2009, 03:00:41 am #26 Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 03:09:37 am by Volker Harun
@Matt: using recursive iterations or a linear setup? ,-)


I think it would have to be non-recursive, although I'd love to be proved wrong!

An iterator function might help things a little... :)
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


Ooh how about branching "L-systems"

Ryzen 9 3900X @3.79Ghz, 64Gb (TG4 benchmark 6:20)
i7 5930K @3.5Ghz, 32Gb (TG4 benchmark 13.44)


Please see this as private view on this topic from a person, who also creates content.

To me the case is much simpler compared to what people try to make out of it. Content producers - no matter if it´s a node setup, objects, an entire scene or even realworld products like croissants - spend a lot of time and would like to get a reward. Some of them do this for a living, some of them as side job that enables them to spend a little more for the pc, to spend some money on a nice meal or to get some toys for their children.
And I think it is totally fair and okay to make some money from the hard work that is invested into such content.

I think none of those people try to copyright the idea or this special node setup. Or this special object in my case. I mean, I just do what I see in nature, recreate this as good as possible. Of course i can not claim that I invented the lilac. This doesn´t look as problematic on the first sight, as this is just an object. But i also give away objects where the procedural nature is available (for example if you get my free pines).

The only thing that people like me want is, that no one starts redistributing this work. If a customer learns from a node setup or from my models and then starts to do his own stuff and sell his own stuff - fine!
Even if its a lilac ;-)
Just take a look out of the door. Someone who sells pimped cars. Thats perfectly fine and why? He buys content, improves it and then resells it.
In digital world its usually like this - the "pimper" buys the original once - and then sells dozens or hundreds of pimped copies. Thats not fair, as the original author does not receive what he deserves.
If someone approaches me and says - look, I took your model and changed it to my liking, now I want to sell it. Then I might allow him to do so - if he gives me something for each model he sells - just like in real world.

The point is that you have to write something into an EULA and no matter what you will write into it, there always will be critique. The next step is usually to introduce some sort of DRM and I think some other industries noticed that this probably is not the best approach. So I always try to call on common sense. If people don´t start to steal and redistribute, there is no problem. And if someone by mistake redistributes a bought network or object, well then this was his fault and the consequence is clear - he simply takes the file down and thats it. Not more, not less. I perfectly understand that something like that happens. But as I said, the only thing I ask for is, that such a file is taken down (or cleaned up and then uploaded again)
No one (at least not me) wants to afflict other people or customers. I prefer to spend my time with my family or creating new content.

Thats much more I wanted to write, as i usually stay quiet ;-)