Ubisoft Teams Up With Mystery Rights Holder To Remove Fun Fan-Made 'GoldenEye 007' Maps From 'Far Cry'

from the no-fun-for-you dept

We have seen our monumentally absurd permission and copyright culture kill off all sorts of cool fan projects. Perhaps no industry is impacted by this more than the video game space, where you have the combination of rabid fans of particular games and franchises coupled with an above average level of technical skill in exhibiting that fandom. This combination sees an absolute ton of fan-made projects, including ports of games to different hardware, fan-made games, and even the re-creation of old games within new ones. It should be obvious that all of this carries very little monetary risk for the game makers, and, in fact, often times could be a boon, and yet it is all too common for publishers and developers to sic lawyers on their own fans rather than figuring out a way to coexist or benefit from them.

But sometimes this nonsense gets down to an absurdly granular level. Such appears to the be the case with one YouTuber going by Krollywood, who spent hundreds of hours recreating the maps for the classic N64 game GoldenEye 007 in Far Cry 5, only to have those maps removed by Ubisoft in response to a copyright claim.

You could find and play these levels yourself by hopping into Far Cry 5’s arcade mode and punching in Krollywood’s username. As of this writing, you no longer can. Ubisoft removed them all from Far Cry 5, a move that Krollywood described as “really sad,” noting that he probably won’t be able to restore them since he’s “on their radar now.”

“I’m really sad—not because of myself or the work I put in the last three years, [but] because of the players who wanna play it or bought Far Cry just to play my levels,” Krollywood told Kotaku in an email today.

Ubisoft hasn't responded as of this writing as to who made the copyright claim, but it appears the rights are held by MGM, the film studio that put out the movie of the same name. Notably, it's unclear just how valid a copyright claim would even be. Ubisoft owns the code used to make the game and used by fans to make new levels. Krollywood recreated the levels, rather than borrowing any digital assets from the original. Also, the maps were not for sale; they were free to download.

But even if we granted that MGM or someone else could make a valid copyright claim on these maps... why the hell bother to do so? What precisely is the threat being staved off here?

Players just want a taste of nostalgia, and MGM has a track record of shattering the plates before they’re even delivered to the table. (Recall GoldenEye 25, the fan remake of GoldenEye 007 remade entirely in Unreal 4 that was lawyered into oblivion last year.) MGM has further neglected to do anything with the license it’s sitting on—for a game that’s older than the Game Boy Color, by the way. At the end of the day, shooting this latest fan-made project out of the sky comes across as a punitive move, at best.

“In the beginning, I started this project just for me and my best friend, because we loved the original game so much,” Krollywood said. “But there are many GoldenEye fans out there … [The project] found many new fans and I’m so happy about it.”

Sadly, it appears happiness is not on the menu at present, to keep the analogy going. Instead, the only dish served is cold, hard copyright.

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Filed Under: fan made maps, fans, far cry 5, goldeneye 007, video games
Companies: ubisoft


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  • identicon
    Bobvious, 29 Jun 2021 @ 8:53pm

    Far Cryin out loud

    MGM - More Gittish Moves, Menacing Gamers' Modernisations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 29 Jun 2021 @ 10:08pm

    "You have no right to the content you spent years of effort on because it sort of looks like something else" is one of the more harmful frauds copyright expansionism has enabled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      tp (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:59am

      Re:

      It just shows how sloppy these devs are in their copyrights. GoldenEye is clearly bond movie ripoff, recardless of who implemented the material. If the developers had done proper work with naming their assets in such way that noone in the world has product with that name, these issues wouldn't ever happen. But no, the naming is some random stuff ripped off from some existing popular product.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:13am

        Re: Re:

        "GoldenEye is clearly bond movie ripoff, recardless of who implemented the material"

        So, today's laughable claim from an incompetent and failed developer - a licensed product is ripping off the people they licensed the property from.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:13am

        Re: Re:

        And a bond movie is derived from the works of Ian Fleming, which are retelling of how a heroic adventurer save the day. The problem with extending copyright to derivative works is that in the end all works are derivatives.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          tp (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 5:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem with extending copyright to derivative works is that in the end all works are derivatives.

          The only thing that this "extension" is causing is that copyright owners will need to ask permission from more people. Given that they refuse to ask permission from anyone, adding more people to this list shouldn't be a big problem. The material is anyway infringing, this extension just lets more people to sue for it.

          When you humiliate copyright owners, there's always consiguences.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        AC Unknown (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 6:27am

        Re: Re:

        What the fuck are you smoking or drinking? Goldeneye is a James Bond film.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 6:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Try reading the article as it is about a game mod called Goldeneye ......

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            AC Unknown (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which was a game licensed off the movie, iirc

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:48pm

            GoldenEye was a Bond movie that was licensed out for a Nintendo 64 game, and the Far Cry maps discussed in the article remade the levels in that N64 game. When you want to look down on someone for being wrong, make sure you’re right about your own bullshit first.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:04pm

        Re: Re:

        It just shows how sloppy these devs are in their copyrights.

        [Sloppy developer Tero Pulkinnen, who has never once made a truthful statement about copyright law, Projects facts not in evidence]

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Jul 2021 @ 3:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, to be fair to tp, his only real issue is that he has a serious problem with logic. His world is based on a one-sided narrative where we jettison every right and privilege associated with property ownership, free speech and legal standing for everyone except copyright stakeholders.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 29 Jun 2021 @ 10:30pm

    Maybe if we keep shitting on the fans they will learn to respect our copyrights!

    MBA's cause a form of brain damage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 1:08am

    Surely the only valid claim with a leg to stand on...

    ...would be trademark over the Goldeneye name, easily fixed by, as the modder has suggested, reuploading the levels with name changes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      keithzg (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 2:58am

      Re: Surely the only valid claim with a leg to stand on...

      You may we'll be right but ol' Bill Clinton didn't really put any penalties on DMCA requests that abuse the system through laughable legal premises, so they can file to take it down anyways, and unless you can fight it out and the eventual court actually doesn't find against you through specious logic (or relying on problematic legeslation or precedents), that's that.

      Probably not worth it for a fan mod (which is why you should always think twice before doing something based off any corporate IP; at very least sand off the serial numbers ;))

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 3:07am

    It's a shame to take down a fan made level that's only available in far cry
    The chances of a new goldeneye game is close to zero
    It's just a tribute to a game but made with modern 3d tools
    It would likely still be available if it was called some other name
    And it's free
    What harm could it be doing to the James bond franchise?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    n00bdragon (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 6:59am

    Can you even copyright the layout of a video game level? Keep in mind: No actual assets of Goldeneye 64 were used, no code from Goldeneye 64 was lifted.

    I guess the real crime here is that there's no crime. Ubisoft is rightfully allowed to moderate or manage whatever levels they want to offer in the Arcade mode of FarCry 5 for any reason they see fit. They don't need a "rightsholder" to allow them to do that. If someone made a "Yves Guillemot is a big stinky doo doo head" level they'd be perfectly able to remove that too.

    The fact they are hiding behind a veneer of "copyright" though is pretty shitty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:49pm

      Can you even copyright the layout of a video game level?

      Probably, yes. Feel free to test that assumption at your own convenience.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2021 @ 4:54pm

      Re:

      "Can you even copyright the layout of a video game level? "

      Pretty sure the answer to that is no, I'm fairly certain I've encountered a fair share of "homages" in my time playing games, which were direct clones in full price AAA games of layouts from rival publishers' titles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rocky, 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:28pm

    Update

    The author (KrollyWood) has released a new version called Golden Cry, in which any references to Bond and names of characters from the book/movie has been stripped out. We'll see if it's enough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tp (profile), 1 Jul 2021 @ 9:52am

      Re: Update

      We'll seef it's enough.

      removing the james bond references will fix the trademark part.

      there's still minor problems with maps that were supposedly ripped from existing game. The whole improvement work might be based on illegal base content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 1 Jul 2021 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Update

        So you couldn't be bothered to actually learn about the subject before saying something that confirms you don't know what you are talking about again.

        Now, will you go and educate yourself and then come back here and correct your mistake, or will you put up some other faulty argument after which I will mock you with facts?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tp (profile), 2 Jul 2021 @ 5:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Update

          I will mock you with facts?

          I'm kinda interested what you think the facts are in this case? Seems like your previous message failed to hint to the correct direction, so its difficult to say if you're bashing for no good reason, or if you have actually found some improvements to the available material.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rocky, 2 Jul 2021 @ 1:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Update

            When you use the word "supposedly" you haven't done any fact-checking, you are offering an opinion based on no to little information. I've leave the rest for you to figure out.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2021 @ 2:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Update

              you haven't done any fact-checking

              you just have to trust that the information provided in the article are accurate and contains enough factual material to make the conclusions that those assumptions logically entail.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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