I hate digging through those damned archives: Most of this stuff appears to have occurred in July of 2002.
Infogrames is prepared to give the qBlood developers/publishers a royalty
free quitclaim license to use the copyrighted materials in Blood and Blood2
for purposes of this one project. We will not license the trademark Blood
or any variation that incorporates the word Blood, including Bloodbath.
Let me know if these terms are agreeable and the name and other pertinent
contact information for the licensee.
From: Joseph Carter [mailto:knghtbrd@...]
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 3:28 AM
To: Small, Doreen
Cc: Bushkin, Nancy; Conner, James; blood-devel@...
Subject: Re: Blood and Blood2
On Tue, Jul 23, 2002 at 03:14:30PM -0400, Small, Doreen wrote:
> Nancy Bushkin referred your 7/19/02 email to me for response.
Thanks for your reply. After sending my message to Ms. Bushkin, I
forwarded a copy of the message to the qBlood development list. I've
discussed with them what they might need to do based on Infogrames'
position on the project and what it's doing. Several questions were
raised. I've offered to speak on their behalf and they've accepted. I
have informed them that I am not an attorney and can not give legal
advice. I therefore take no responsibility for their actions, even if
those actions are taken at my suggestion. In terms everyone can
understand: Please nobody sue the messenger!
In the great tradition
of CYA, I now consider my A to be C'd.
Additionally, I've added the qBlood list to the Cc of this message. If
they have any further pertinent comments or questions, I'll pass them
along as appropriate. (qBlood guys, please direct replies to me or to the
list. The people at Infogrames have better things to do with their time
than wade through list chatter. I will do my best to organise any further
questions you have based on the answers I get from these. I'll let you
know what comes up, in any event..)
> At this time, Infogrames has no plans to license Blood and/or Blood2
> under a GNU General Public License.
(Again to the qBlood guys, don't hold this against them ne? Companies
have to weigh the permissions they wish to grant to licensees against
potential risks of doing so when they write software licenses for their
products. The GNU GPL is so ambiguous in places it has holes big enough
to drive a Mack truck through. (And don't tell Richard Stallman I say so
or I'll catch hell at the next tradeshow. He'll remember, especally after
that NERF dart incident two years ago..) Seriously, companies such as AOL
and Apple have written licenses which grant the same to you and me, yet
grant far more protection than the GPL does.)
While I understand Infogrames' reluctance to license any portion of Blood
or Blood 2 under the GNU GPL, qBlood does have a few other questions:
1. qBlood uses original sounds (ie, Caleb's voice) from Blood and perhaps
Blood 2. Alterations to these are purely format conversions. They've
also used textures from both games with some touchups, changes for the
limited colorspace, etc. Is Infogrames explicitly denying permission for
qBlood to use these clearly Copyrighted data in their non-commercial
2. The team has created new data which I personally believe to be
original works. These include player and entity models which needed to
be recreated. Blood used 2D sprites and a type of 3D model that can be
best described as building with legos. qBlood is using entirly 3D models
which are better described as connect-the-dots. I believe some of the
images used to paint these models fall under the above category and may
I would also consider the map geometries they have created to be
original, even those maps which closely mimic levels from the original
titles, to be original works under Copyright law, based on my
understanding of Title 17, USC. The textures in the compiled maps are
another matter however, and are discussed above.
If qBlood is required to remove Copyrighted data and derivative works of
that data, are my interpretations along these lines as to which data is
covered by Infogrames' Copyright satisfactory?
3. Is Infogrames willing to consider allowing the qBlood project to
continue using any of its Copyrighted data from its titles under any
other license terms? They ask, when considering your reply, that you
please keep in mind that these games are no longer in publication, and
certainly the original game's program data has never been released for
modern operating systems. The cost of such a port would be impractical
given that the title is no longer in publication.
I would ask, as a Debian developer, if Infogrames would additionally be
willing to allow this data to be included on CD collections, in which the
software is not sold, but a reasonable fee may be charged for the media
which contains it and other software. qBlood does not have this concern
however, and it is not at all necessary to their project.
4. Is Infogrames concerned about the naming of the project? The qBlood
project realizes that Infogrames owns the rights to inellectual property
associated with Blood and Blood 2, and do not wish to trample Infogrames
trademarks (especially if a Blood 3 is being considered!) The names
associated with the project are "qBlood" and "BloodBath", though "Blood"
is also mentioned with intent to credit the original source. The name of
the main character, Caleb, is also used.
I personally am a much less fluent in Trademark law, but believe
BloodBath is perhaps a different enough name that it should not be
confused with the original. The hosting provider used by the project
uses the name "blood" for its purposes however, and this will be
difficult for the team to change. They can ask SourceForge and try to
explain the situation to them, but my own experience tells me SourceForge
is not set up to handle renaming things in that manner.
(qBlood guys, keep in mind that for Infogrames, this is likely a much
bigger concern than the actual game data. Copyright licenses can allow
as much or as little as they want, but it is my understanding that if
they don't defend a Trademark, they can lose it. A couple good examples
of trademarks nearly lost are "Saran Wrap" and "Q-Tip", which those of
you in the United States recognize instantly as a generic type of
product, even though there is only one of each.. If they decide they
can't let you use some names for Trademark reasons, you've gotta listen
to them, okay?)
> Thank you for checking and thank you for your interest in Infogrames.
Thank you for responding! When I approached the qBlood project with my
licensing questions, they told me that they had tried to reach someone at
Infogrames who could give them explicit permission to develop qBlood then.
It was my understanding that they were unable to reach anybody who knew
about the rights to Blood, much less could give them any definitive
answers about what they may and may not do. So they went ahead and did it
anyway. Not exactly the wisest course of action, I'll grant.
I do believe it would be a terrible shame to lose all of their hard work
now though. They are just inches from a final release after long months
of careful work to make their mod feel just like the original game. I
hope that Infogrames can reach an agreement with them which will allow
them to continue developing the mod, hopefully without scrapping much of
their work. I will be happy to help both qBlood and Infogrames in any way
I can to make this possible, but I accept and understand that there are at
least a few things which they may have to change. If it comes down to a
need to replace any graphics or sounds, well there are reasons why I
design code and not artwork...
I wish that I had been aware of the legal situation months ago when they
began the project. It would have simplified things immensely and they
could have, I hope, developed their project with any concerns Infogrames
has in mind from the beginning. I can understand when they say they had
some trouble finding anybody to give them definitive answers about the
project since I hit a few dead ends trying to find the right people
myself. I was a bit more persistant than they were it seems, and I've a
feeling they all wish I had been less so right about now. =(
> Best of luck with your project.
Putting my Debian hat on again, thank you. Debian recently had I believe
its 7th birthday. We're very proud of it on the whole, and we really hope
that with your help the qBlood project will be able to release something
soon, and also that what they release can be packaged by Debian for our
users to enjoy.
Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@...> You want fries with that?
<Knghtbrd> I SNEAK TO BUN
<Knghtbrd> HELP ME FOR TO QUACK
<Venom> kb: what the hell are you talking about?
<Knghtbrd> bwahahaha.. It's a long story.