Vault content appearing on Steam

I have to differ with the suggestion that requests for “polite attribution” are especially relevant here. I didn’t check every last one of them, but from what I saw Rawkinrex’s posts were attributed. The attributions weren’t especially prominent, but they were there.

The incident yesterday was precipitated by something different. That was my noticing that Alazander’s Blades of Netheril series was among the works he had posted, when I knew that Alazander had already announced plans to update and re-release these mods himself. That is why I posted to Alazander’s Beamdog thread to alert him to it, and on the three modules’ Steam pages asking if Rawkinrex had the author’s permission to distribute his work.

It’s one thing to post abandoned classic mods to Steam. It’s quite another to do this with the work of an active author who has announced his own plans to update and continue his work for EE. Since I am in pretty much the same situation as Alazander (a NWN modder turned novelist who has announced plans to do the same thing), I was extremely concerned about this. Nothing that I saw on these Steam entries stated that they were posted with permission, which should have been the case had it been sought and obtained.

I think it would be dangerous to allow the precedent to be set that the work of active authors, who can be reached with permission requests, can be distributed by individuals who do not even bother to ask for it, much less to bother to discover that the author had his own plans for his work. I would feel personally threatened by a game community culture that sanctions such behavior, which is why I was extremely disappointed in the reactions I saw on that thread.


I believe we players have a responsibility to report such abuses. after all, If not prominently attributed or credited, posting a mod by either an active or inactive author is PLAGIARISM .

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Regrettably, legally, none of us are authorized to speak on behalf of another person’s work. We simply do not have the mandate for this. Complaints to the effect serve to please the author whose rights have been infringed on, showing support for their rights to their intellectual property and reassuring one another that we would speak out if we see someone being wronged - and to piss off the pure playerbase, equally.

I’m, personally, a case of a content creator who doesn’t give much of a damn about stuff of mine being reuploaded elsewhere, including without attribution. I would be highly displeased to see people acting independently to shame others who’ve done this, though. Like back with the case - I take this kind of thing as a compliment. It means I’ve managed to create something that’s good enough that other people would want to preserve and/or steal it. This kind of mentality exists, too, and hangs around and works here.

Far as it’s been settled in the world at large to date, this stuff comes down to that takedown requests need to come from the copyright holder or a party authorized to act on their behalf. If hosting platforms react to copyright violation complaints by third parties, they piss off the users, lose content, and get "Hey! Quit that! These people don’t speak for me!"s from authors who don’t want this kind of thing to be persecuted by third parties.

Depressingly, this is how the world works. :-/ See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is a huge part of the default mode of operations in a lot of things. Tax loopholes are a fun topic for this, too. It’s difficult to picture when you’re Lawful-leaning and actually respect and appreciate rules - but for a lot of people, in practice, rules may as well not exist at all unless somebody complains - hence “Shut it, you dirty filthy snitch!”.

On the Vault, there’s an unusually high appreciation for order (this is a library) and considerateness (this is a collaborative environment), logic (we’re programmers) and the freedom of and respect for the will of the individual (we’re artists). But that’s very much not the norm world-wide. The things we’d see cause to rebuke over here make us anal-retentive bossy troublemakers who need to be taken down a peg elsewhere.

Remember what happened when Beyoncé wanted that picture taken off the internet. X_x The Chaotic Neutrals and Chaotic Evils of the world are legion, Andarian. Struggling is pointless. Complaining makes things worse. The way to fight them is to smile and laugh and not give a shit - and, occasionally, if money’s involved, to alert the lawyers… and then go right back to not giving a shit and enjoying life. Use environments like Steam for what they are; ways to gain publicity for your books. They’re not a community, not a place to be a person and learn and grow and interact with other minds, they’re a buffet table.

As whomever sent Tarot that PM mentioned earlier wisely noted - sending complaints to the developer (BD) privately is an option, as they can moderate the Workshop too. But it’d be quite mean of us to push taking down unauthorized migrations onto BD - if we make them speak a word of power on the matter, they’re the ones who’ll be getting the backlash resentment from the Steam users, who are paying customers of theirs. They don’t need that kind of trouble. If we can come up with a way to handle this stuff that suspends the moral outrage on our part far enough to make tolerating some degree of misdemeanour by the Steam users possible, it’d be a very good thing for all involved parties.

Reacting by alerting authors, if active, is a very good thing to do, too. If we, when we see this kind of thing happen, let the author know, the person authorized to object can decide whether or not they want to do something about it; and, if the copyright holder complains, the migration will be taken down without fuss as by Steam rules, nothing the migrator can do about that. Knowing the lot of you, I expect Alazander’s been notified already.

I’d suggest keeping expressions of outrage over it constrained to the Vault, and to stress personal sympathy for the author more than disdain for the offenders. Stoking up enmity-by-proxy with potential customers harms the commercial authors among us as much as or more than it helps them.

::sigh:: … although I suppose conflict does generate interest, so, heck, who knows. Fuck, the world is depressing.

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“Fine Questions, but no Answers” - “Daily, Nightly” by Michael Nesmith 1967

That just about sums up this post. I have a number of questions that have occurred to me which, for various reasons, I do not have answers for.

Do we actually have a set of Terms and conditions for people using this site? Things that people agree to in order to use this site? Hey, it’s been years since I opened my account. I can’t remember. A list of things that would be legally enforcible? If not it is probably too late to create them now isn’t it?

When the content was migrated from IGN did we inherit their Ts & Cs? Even if we did does anyone have a copy of them now? This could actually be important in the context of this thread. Why? Well a person who uploaded to IGN could have had a reasonable expectation that whatever protections (if any) IGN afforded their work, would continue in perpetuity. FWIW UK courts place a large emphasis on reasonableness.

A lot of stuff on this site comes from elsewhere. From sites that state that usage of their stuff is only free where this stuff is used for non-commercial usage. This is fine for this site. But does it lose its status as being non-commercial when hosted on a commercial site such as steam?

As I said, questions without answers.


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If you go to the main site, the About tab on the left has sub-topics on Conduct & Guidelines (almost impossible to select on Android but works in Windows).

For practical purposes, it’s probably more important to discuss what people are comfortable with than legal niceties.

After all, few of us can afford lawyers, and in any case no one really knows how courts in multiple juristictions might interpret terms which are notoriously fuzzy.

Have you seen the guidelines Julius posted in the Steam Workshop sub-forum as a sticky?

I suggest we start with that, though there are a couple of more nuanced cases that I’ve suggested he discuss with us.


I haven’t. I don’t have NwN EE on steam. I stayed with BD. Can you link to it? That’s not to say that I don’t play stuff via steam. But I only do so where there is no other choice. I’m still waiting for the demo stuff from BD to appear elsewhere as well.


The new guidelines are here.

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So I asked on today’s live-stream about when none stream user’s can expect to get the new stuff from BeamDog. It was suggested on there that this new stuff be unofficially transferred here. Given all the fuss that was made about stuff being unofficially uploaded from here to steam I have one response. Don’t do it. It opens us up to accusations of hypocrisy or worse it could lead to a take-down notice. Both of which would leave the vault’s reputation in tatters. So I say no, to unofficial transfer of BD assets from steam to here.

Just to be clear. I am not talking about edited versions of BD’s work just their original stuff.



Pretty sure we already qualify for accusations of hypocrisy on that one, what with the migration of the content from the IGN Vault. Situation’s a good bit different, sure, since one site was going down and the content’d have been gone if it hadn’t been migrated elsewhere… but it’s similar enough that, were people hereabouts to condemn content migrations in general, it’s likely to elicit cries of “Hypocrisy!”. Checking the Steam thread… heck, it already has. 'm counting that as another point in favor of taking a fairly calm stance on content migrations.

Also: Takedown notices really aren’t the end of the world. They’re to be expected, for any content hosting platform; people uploading stuff and the copyright holder being displeased by that happens a lot. It’s why hosting platforms make sure to make the uploader take full responsibility for the content they upload. There’ll be takedown notices hereabouts, sooner or later, over something or other. We really shouldn’t beat ourselves or eachother up over it when it does. It’s seldom meant personally, and - fucking up/making mistakes/getting stuff wrong somehow/pissing somebody off (especially when it’s somebody else doing it - as when an individual user uploads something without checking the sources thoroughly) aren’t the worst cause of DAMAGE_TYPE_REPUTATION; being unwilling to acknowledge and try to learn from it when it happens is, since that means that the “wrongdoing” may be expected to become standard going forward.

Nobody gets everything right every time, and nobody should be expected to. We’re always operating on a crass lack of data, in a “nature of reality” kind of way. It’s inevitable; the more things we say or try to do, the more chances we’ve got of saying or doing something wrong in somebody’s eyes. Spoken or unspoken accusations of hypocrisy, selfishness, ignorance, or ineffectiveness, are just unavoidable for anybody who does anything at all. Fearing that too much leads to inaction, which leaves doing things to people who don’t care about getting those things wrong, or about what impact their actions have on others.

::puts up the “People should not be held to impossible standards. It’s stressful and leads to inevitable misery and disappointment”-, “There’s more to people than than what other people think of them”- and “No matter what you say or think or do, somebody’s going to have a shitty opinion of you for it… and that’s okay and makes life more interesting for all involved parties”-motivational posters::

But yeah, BD uploading their own content (not necessarily on the Vault, but somewhere) would be the cleanest route for everyone. They’ll want to make the stuff available to people who aren’t on Steam some way or another anyway, since they’ve got the BD Client version of the game. And - putting the EE assets into the general view of as many non-EE players and builders as possible is good advertising, so it might actually be a pretty good idea to have the stuff on the Vault. If not the actual files, then perhaps just as pictures and a description, linking to the place where the files are hosted. Normalmapping is flipping amazing. Everyone needs to see that shit. ::fist shake at the skies:: It’s a travesty that we went without it for as long as we have.

It’'d be very sensible to ask BD representatives for permission before migrating anything. If that’s the standard mode of operations, we can reasonably expect migrated content to have been uploaded with official permission, and needn’t wonder whether we should be bringing out the pitchforks every time we see an upload like that.

But since Niv is with BD now, I think it’s fairly safe to say that they’ll have an easy time of taking down migrations of their content if they don’t want them here. Note how the unedited Aribeth HD upload didn’t spark cries of outrage either. :slight_smile: I think that was actually done with express permission, as a friendly “Hello!” to the modding community. BD’re modders, too, after all, just professional ones. A good ‘good-faith’ baseline to follow is probably something along the lines of “Avoid doing stuff that could hurt sales for people who’ve got mouths to feed”, like not making EE content compatible with 1.69 or earlier.

Actually, heck… this one’s much simpler than discussing this stuff amongst ourselves until there’s a consensus of some sort.

Hey, Niv. Should the lot of us alert you (or somebody else) to Vault uploads of BD’s unedited EE assets when we spot them?

There could be pitchforks involved. :smiley: :fire: :fire: :fire: Piiiiitchforksssss…

@TheBarbarian my understanding is that the Vault migration from IGN was licensed.

Since the Beamdog work is clearly under the control of live authors, it would send the right signal if they published their stuff on the Vault. After all, that’s what we want future authors to do, so that people who don’t want to buy the game from Steam (or use it there) can still access all the new content.

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We have been wanting to publish the new demo stuff on the Vault. It’s just been a time constraint so far.

If you want to upload the originals, that’s fine. If you want to modify stuff and upload that, that’s fine too. See where you can take it, run with it. In either case, please add original author attribution so people know where it’s coming from.


Won’t make a difference to people who’re going “And who are YOU to tell ME that I may not do this thing, which you yourself have done?!”, far as preventing accusations of hypocrisy and avoiding ‘These people are total jerks!’-reputation damage goes. Trying to argue that point at all is really likely to just be extrapolated a la “(what one party said) It was legal for us -> AND IT’S NOT LEGAL FOR YOU! (what the other party heard)” and tick them off worse. Bloody implicit communication… -_- :fire: <- is the only solution.

why do we even have pitchforks if we never use them niv :expressionless:

iirc we have specific written license from old Vault.

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As a modder (fortunately not for NWN at this point) I find most of the responses on that Steam thread to be more than a little disturbing. There is a big difference between what happened when IGN shut down and this situation. The Neverwinter Vault was set up to prevent content loss, not to make money. That content should not be able to be uploaded elsewhere without the author’s permission. This is an opt-in not an opt-out condition. I hope Steam cleans all of this up before Beamdog or someone else revises NWN2.


@TheBarbarian it’s a matter of judgement as to what does most harm.

Much as we might dislike Steam, it is an unprecented opportunity to revive interest in NWN, yet few active authors are publishing there. My reading is that we are successfully discouraging unauthorised cross-posting, making it more civilised place that hopefully more authors will eventually want to be part of.

It’s true that there are grey areas around abandonware and dependencies, which is why my personal focus has been on attribution & active author control rather than trying to block reposts entirely.

Of course, there are always a few people out there whose overweening sense of entitlement prevents them from listening. They no doubt will accuse us of hypocrisy, regardless of the enormous legal and ethical differences between Steam and the Vault migration. However, remaining silent simply because there are aggressive fools out there is the primrose path to ruin IMO.

Tactically, though, there are lessons to be learned. We’re on much firmer ground if we stick to the NWN forums on Steam, rather than the animal house of the general forums. Above all, we need to promote both Steam and the Vault as complementary resources - we don’t need conflict.


::chinscratch:: You’re suggesting we try to bring the Steam branch of NWN up to the same level of civility the Vault is on? I didn’t even consider the option. :thinking: I think I figured the “troop numbers” were extremely not in our favour, and - trying to make people be what one considers to be “better people” doesn’t seem to work so well for most other evangelizing groups in society to date. For example - you don’t like feminism, right? I’ve seen a couple comments along the lines from you. Not judging; it’s just a relatable example of how a group that tries to do good and improve others and the world at large (except for “the people who don’t matter”) winds up generating dislike and rejection of what they stand for. If you want to actively spread an ideology, it might be interesting to try and assess what other people who’re doing the same (if with different ideologies) are doing wrong.

I’m pretty sure if we try to push our standards onto other people, those people’ll just see an arrogant, oppressive, wannabe moral elite trying to tell them how to live their lives and make them feel like shit for being what and who they are. And if they’ve got a backbone, they’ll push back. Which is good. They should. People shouldn’t just keel over and submit to "Because I say so!"s from random strangers on the internet.

But in a “:fire: CONVERT THE NONBELIEVERS! :fire: LOGIC AND REASON AND BASIC KINDNESS AND DECENCY SHOULD RULE THE EARTH!! :fire:”-kind of way… I like the idea a lot. :smiley:

If we want the NWN subforums on Steam to be a reasonably kind and civil place, I think the best thing we can do is just go post and be reasonable and kind and civil and accepting of others there, setting the overall tone of the interactions by example, welcoming people same as we would on the Vault. That’s probably an achievable goal - if also one that would take quite some time and effort on our part.

But also… Steam users at large come from a vast amount of different places with different and conflicting mentalities, and the overall purpose of Steam is a different one entirely. ::chinscratch:: Steam is always going to be a somewhat hostile environment, just because it needs to be able to attract and retain customers by sheer amount of people, not by ideological compatibility. And when you’re trying to keep people of many different ideologies from tearing at eachother’s throats, people who’re going “Mind your own business” are actually enacting a very valid and effective peacekeeping measure.

There’s the “amateur versus professional league” divide visible somewhere in there, I think. Maybe uploading in places like Steam isn’t really supposed to feel comfortable and safe for hobbyist authors; it’s more for seeing whether your work can hold up and have worth in the eyes of people who’re willing to pay money for games, and for learning to get by dealing with Real World Law™… and whether you still love the craft enough to keep going when you start to realize that you’re working for the benefit and entertainment of a good lot of people who really don’t give a damn about anything you give a damn about. Shitstorm Avoidance and Shitstorm Weathering seem like pretty important survival skills to cultivate, for fledgling game devs and authors in general.

I suppose it comes down to whether we collectively want to put in the effort of “extending the borders of the Vault” into Steam, or keep the places separate. In the former case, yes, absolutely, it’d be a good idea for all active authors to post our work on Steam, especially the more flawed stuff, so the “Newbies welcome!”-mentality can survive, and we should do what we can to establish similar social standards there. It mightn’t actually be necessary or even desirable for the lot of us here, though, since we’ve already got the Vault. And, in the latter case, the divides between the places would be clearly drawn, allowing pure hobbyists a space where the more cutthroat and competetive rules of the Real World™ don’t apply quite so harshly.

Should we consider the Workshop an extension of our “workspace” on the Vault, or should we consider the Vault hobbyist and learning space and a community on a personal level, and the Workshop a foray into the commercial sector? :thinking: Should we hold both places to the same rules of conduct, or to different ones? Do we rally the forces to FIGHT IN THE GLORIOUS INTERNET WAR OF THE “Everybody out for Themselves” MENTALITY VERSUS THE “One for All, All for One” MENTALITY, or do we cede ground ot the FORCES OF EVIL so the peaceful need not fight and suffer for THE CAUSE? Do we even get to decide any of that, or do we just get to decide how we each, personally, conduct ourselves in either space?

I have no answers. I think I’m just going to make tea.



I think there should be encouragement for better communication between author content and content users:
A method for A. notifying on each project whether it is or will be hosted on Steam as well as the Vault, and B. a quick and certain means for contacting the author to request permission to share it on Steam. I realize both can be done already, but a persistent and consistent method might go a ways toward standardized communication.
While I can understand people being upset and worrying over ‘losing’ their stuff, I think knee-jerk reactions will only hurt the game and community, thereby actually causing a loss of stuff, in a way. In other words, one can create some fish creatures, but if nobody uses 'em and he just has them on his hard drive and wishes people would, but then if someone does and shares them with friends he freaks and snatches them away . . . well, did he really gain? Did anyone?

I know this is a touchy subject. This has bitten me before, years ago, when I offered a difference of opinion. It was, in fact, some of the very same people. :slight_smile:

I hope things work out better this time.


Actually, I only know one person who is like that and I am not going to name them.

There is a simple reason for that reaction. Download counts. With the lack of comments or votes, download counts remains as the author’s only indication of whether people want what they have created. Now I know a lot of people are not that fussed whether or not their stuff is used, they just have a drive to build stuff. But there are those who, if they think nobody is interested in what they are doing, will just stop making any more. Why bother going to all the trouble of making things. It’s not a praise thing either. It’s just knowing that what they do is not pointless. For others it’s simply a control issue. So it’s not quite as simple as some builders being 'ornery.

Hey JFK, isn’t it time you made some new stuff? It’s been around 3 years now…:sunglasses:



I wasn’t actually thinking of any single person, just laying out an example. But I definitely agree, it’s not being ornery at all to want credit. I’m probably not making my point crystal clear.

Time is the enemy. :slight_smile: After almost thirty years as a roofer, I decided I’d rather be a roofing company owner. I thought I’d have more time.
Yes, I actually thought that.
The truth is – hold on, I 'll have to finish this later.


I appreciate that my content was migrated on my behalf though as I had zero back ups… and the projects were handed over to me when I made an account on new vault.

The vault also respects the authors wishes to have it removed / updated / maintained as they see fit. We have no such luxury when bob starts lifting content onto a third party site.

I have a very strong ‘open source / sharing is caring’ mentality. However I still want control over where content I produce is hosted and how I can manage / present / update it. Oh also Credit is nice too… Which that person seems to have forgot to add.