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Modder's Open Source Licence to Protect Your Content (Bethesda version)

Kendo 2

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The following is a license I crafted to protect original work that is not dependent on Bethesda SoftWorks LLC software.  Primarily this License protects original scripts, meshes, textures, sounds, animations and so on.  As long as your content wasn't derived from Bethesda assets this license will prevent Bethesda from asserting interest over the game content you've made and shared.  Contrary to Bethesda's claim, they DO NOT own your content simply because you make it work with one their games.  If your content doesn't rely on Bethesda software they have no legal or moral claim to it, though be default they assert that they do.

To use the License, simply include a copy of it with your original work.  DO NOT edit the license.  If you do, I will NOT help you should the need arise.

NOTE: The language of the License is complex out of necessity.  Read it carefully.



You should read all of the conditions of this Agreement before you install for personal use or edit Protected Content, as defined by this Agreement. If you do not agree to the conditions do not install the content.

(1). Protected Content: meshes and models (either as a whole or individual pieces) animations, sounds, art (regardless of format), or the unique contents of ESPs or ESMs, (including but not limited to scripting, processes, and functions pertaining to game mechanics, et al.)
(2). Uploader: the provider and/or De facto creator of the content. The Uploader does not have right, title or interest in the Protected Content, other than those specified in this Agreement. All game modifications dependent on processes provided by Bethesda Softworks LLC are the sole property of Bethesda Softworks LLC. The Uploader retains full creative rights over content not dependent on processes provided by Bethesda Softworks LLC.
(3). Downloader: the recipient of the Protected content.
(4). Users: End recipients of the Protected Content.
(5). Derivative Work: means modifications (corrections, additions, upgrades, improvements, extensions, compilations, abridgment or other forms of alteration) of the Protected Content.

This Download Agreement is made effective at the instance of receipt by the Downloader. In consideration of the mutual promises contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:

I. Content Materials; Grant of Agreement

The materials that are the subject of this Agreement shall consist of the electronic information published or otherwise made available by the Uploader (hereinafter referred to as the "Protected Content").

The Downloader acknowledges that the title to the Protected Content and any marks or characteristics relating thereto remain with Uploader. Downloaders shall not have right, title or interest in the Protected Content except as expressly set forth in this Agreement.

The Uploader hereby grants to the Downloader non-exclusive use of the Protected Content and the right to provide the Protected Content to Users in accordance with this Agreement.

II. Authorized Use of Protected Content

Authorized Uses. The Downloader and Users may make all use of the Protected Content as is consistent with this Download agreement.

The Protected Content may be used for purposes of entertainment, education (tutorials) or other non-commercial use as follows:

Display. The Downloader and Users shall have the right to electronically display the Protected Content.

Digitally Copy. The Downloader and Users may download and digitally copy a reasonable portion of the Protected Content.

III. Specific Restrictions on Use of Protected Content

Modification of Protected Content. The Downloader is permitted to modify or create a Derivative Work of the Protected Content without the prior permission of the Uploader. Derivative Work is to be clearly acknowledged and identified as being derived, transformed, adapted or recast from the Protected Content.

Removal of Identifying Marks. Downloaders may not remove, obscure or modify Identifying Marks placed by the Uploader without prior written consent.

Addition of Identifying Marks.  Downloaders may not add or otherwise attach logos, watermarks, or other marks without prior written consent.

Commercial Purposes. Downloaders may not use the Protected Content for commercial purposes, including but not limited to the sale of the Protected Content.

IV. Uploader Performance Obligations

Support. The uploader will offer one-time activation or installation support, including assisting with the implementation of the Protected Content. The Uploader is not required to offer reasonable levels of continuing support to assist the Downloader and Users in use of the Protected Content.

Training. The Uploader is not required provide training to Downloaders or Users relating to the use of the Protected Content.

If the Protected Content fails to operate in conformance with the terms of this Agreement, the Downloader shall notify the Uploader, and the Uploader shall use reasonable efforts to repair the nonconformity.

Withdrawal of Protected Content. The Uploader reserves the right to withdraw from the Protected Content any item or part of an item for which it no longer retains the right to publish, or which it has reasonable grounds to believe infringes copyright, is unlawful or otherwise objectionable. The Uploader shall give written notice to the Downloader of such withdrawal following the removal of any item pursuant to this section.

V. Downloader Performance Obligations

Provision of Notice of Agreement Terms to Users. Downloaders shall provide Users with appropriate notice of the terms and conditions under which access to the Protected Content is granted under this Agreement including, in particular, any limitations on access or use of the Protected Content as set forth in this Agreement.

Protection from Unauthorized Use. The Downloader shall use reasonable efforts to protect the Protected Content from any use that is not permitted under this Agreement. In the event of any unauthorized use of the Protected Content by a User, (a) The Uploader may terminate such User's access to the Protected Content, (b) The Downloader shall terminate such User's access to the Protected Content upon the Uploader's request. The Uploader shall take none of the steps described in this paragraph without first providing reasonable notice to the Downloader and cooperating with the Downloader to avoid recurrence of any unauthorized use.

VI. Term

This Agreement shall continue indefinitely, commencing on the effective Download Date.

VII. Early Termination

In the event the Uploader believes the Downloader has breached any obligations under this Agreement, or if Uploader believes that Downloader has exceeded the scope of the Agreement, the Uploader shall so notify the Downloader in writing. The Downloader shall have 48 (forty-eight) hours from the receipt of notice to cure the alleged breach and to notify the Uploader in writing that a cure has been effected. If the breach is not cured within the 48 (forty-eight) hours, the Uploader shall have the right to terminate the Agreement without further notice.

VIII. Perpetual License

Except for termination for cause, the Uploader hereby grants to the Downloader a nonexclusive perpetual license to use any Protected Content accessible during the term of this Agreement. Such use shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, which provisions shall survive any termination of this Agreement. The means by which the Downloader shall have access to such Protected Content shall be in a manner and form substantially equivalent to the means by which access is provided under this Agreement.

IX. Assignment and Transfer

The Downloader may not assign, directly or indirectly, all or part of its rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the Uploader.

X. Force Majeure

Neither party shall be liable in damages or have the right to terminate this Agreement for any delay or default in performing hereunder if such delay or default is caused by conditions beyond its control including, but not limited to Acts of God, Government restrictions (including censorship) and/or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the party whose performance is affected. 

XI. Entire Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and supersedes all prior communications, understandings and agreements relating to the subject matter hereof, whether oral or written. 

XII. Amendment

No modification or claimed waiver of any provision of this Agreement by the Downloader shall be valid except by written agreement of the Uploader.

XIII. Severability

If any provision or provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid, illegal, unenforceable or in conflict with the law of any jurisdiction, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby. 

XIV. Waiver of Contractual Right

Waiver of any provision herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any other provision herein, nor shall waiver of any breach of this Agreement be construed as a continuing waiver of other breaches of the same or other provisions of this Agreement. 

XV. Notices

All notices given pursuant to this Agreement shall be in writing and may be deemed received within 48 (forty-eigth) hours of delivery confirmation.


For convenience I have included a doc version of the License.



Do not upload your content to Steam Community WorkShop or Bethesda.net. if you want to retain control of intellectual property and your instance of creation rights.  Both of those websites are controlled by corporations and their Terms of Service agreements strip you of your organic rights if you choose to participate or submit your content to them.
The License provided here will legally protect you, but you would be facing a lengthy and expensive legal process if you chose to sue for just cause.  To prevent that prospect simply do not participate or allow your Downloaders or Users to submit your content to Steam Community WorkShop or Bethesda.net.  The License expressly states Downloaders and Users do not have interest in your content beyond what the License provides for, but that doesn't mean people won't do it anyway.  At the very least, you will have this License to present if that situation comes to fruition.
One way to avoid this is to state in your upload page permissions/terms documentation that Downloaders and Users are not allowed to submit your content to Steam Community WorkShop or Bethesda.net.

If you have any questions or need clarification feel free to leave a comment.  Happy modding.

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On 3/27/2016 at 8:39 AM, Anatriax said:

Are you like ... a paralegal or some shit? Jesus, Kendo. Not a wordsmith my ass.

Interpreting and drafting licenses is part of my RL job.  That's why I get a kick out of game forum types telling me I don't what I'm reading when I say things they don't want to hear, particularly about Bethesda and the game they have installed.

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24 minutes ago, Kendo 2 said:

Interpreting and drafting licenses is part of my RL job.  That's why I get a kick out of game forum types telling me I don't what I'm reading when I say things they don't want to hear, particularly about Bethesda and the game they have installed.

Fan-fucking-tastic. I love it.

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1 hour ago, Chaos63 said:

Way to go, Kendo. Glad all that partially pent-up rage went to good use.

It's more productive than running around locking threads because people are say things I don't like and shrieking 'drah-muh!' every time the wind blows up my skirt. :D

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For those who want to help build the modder's resource but don't have any skill at 3d modeling or animation, grab a camera and take photos of anything (grass, leaves, stone, wood) and upload them under the license Kendo 2 provided. Simple things like that will help modders out a lot. :)

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4 hours ago, CPU said:

I understand that this site is privately owned, but personally I always give full permissions on the mods I do. So in case this site will disappear (I hope not) and the link to the licese will be lost, then I will not care too much.

I don't think we're going anywhere ;)

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