Discussing Intellectual Property

This subject came up in the Green Patch Document thread, and it spun out into its own discussion so I figured it was worth talking about in its own right.

The Backdrop: It’s been documented that several sprites have been used in Japanese hacks without explicit consent from the artists, as is customary in the English community. This difference in approaches has perhaps led to some misunderstanding between our two communities, which have been highlighted with the joining of a new member from the Japanese hacking community, @MisakaMikoto.

I’m writing this post up because there wasn’t really a good “start point” to that discussion, it kind of came out of nowhere. But I’ll be moving posts over from the other topic promptly.

And I’d also just like to say that I’m thrilled to have a Japanese hacker join the forum, so let’s not be too abrasive towards someone who hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

Also keep in mind that this forum was established for the collective advancement of FE hacking, and that perhaps we could stand to learn from our eastern counterparts (although, as with everything else, east/west is just a matter of perspective - we’re all here for the same reason).

So, to the topic!

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I know that you hate Japanese hacker who stealed your work but I am not him. I swear I have never stealed anything from you and no attempt to do that, so maybe I am not your enemy.

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Nah bro, it’s all cool. Actually I was wondering if you had anything to share in terms of documentation from Japanese hacks and/or the hacking community.


I am pleased to share what I have with you, but I bet you have no interests in it. The reason why I am here is that I also wonder how the display system works so that I can use it im my FE7 hack and I have confirmed nothing useful on it in the hacking community. And in fact there are no professional Japanese forums on FE hacking like here and the communication is much less than you expected(Japanese hackers never leave their names or contact info as you do). That’s also the reason why they only credit instead of informing the author for permission when they use sth in others’ hack, because they cannot(let alone the language barrier if thay want to connect foreigners). So maybe you can be more kind to them.

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Or maybe they can just join a forum like you did and ask permission?

It’s really hard to join a community where you cannot understand what the members there are talking about.After all, not everyone can master a foreign language to communicate with foreigners.

In addition, they can’t expect that their hack will be distributed oversea someday and cause any trouble. Let me just take the green patch as an example:

You can find these in the read me:



Which means he used many portraits, animations, patches and midi from other hacks and don’t spread the hack somewhere else, please.(the “no secondary distribution” policy)


The Blind Archer様


He listed the authors here and thanks.

And he is willling to share his own work with others without any cerdits:



Which means you can use or modify his graphics and no credit needed. He has already contained his art graphics in the package and released with his patch and expected others’ modification and usage.(Of course you cannot contact with him because no contact info left like most Japanese hackers do)

More comprehension and less hostility. I don’t think he is an evil guy as you expected >_<

I will ask for permission first for my hack but I cannot control the behaviour of anyone else. I can only do what I can ,such as expelling a young hacker who stealed Blazer’s UT and refused giving any credits from a community I managed several months ago and led his hatred for me, but it doesn’t matter, because I think what I do is correct and I received supports from most members.


You’re the one who brought up the Japanese community’s mentality, I’m just trying to understand it.

Regardless of their reasons why, it doesn’t make what they’re doing any better. I’m not trying to make you the Japanese community’s spokesman, but you’re the only one who’s able to communicate with us and them. No one from the English speaking communities does what the Japanese ones do (not in the sheer amount and lack of consequence); why should they adhere to a different set of rules? If someone on our side steals sprites, no matter where they’re from, they are reprimanded (the definition of steal being use something without the creator’s actual permission). I’m glad that you have a similar thinking and punish those who do these things, but I don’t think this is a meaningless discussion in the slightest.

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It seems like a cultural difference to me.

English-speakers tend to have a more acute focus on individual ownership, whereas Misaka’s translations help highlight a more collective mindset. This hacker drank from the well, but at least he had the decency to bring back more water for the community to drink. Different approach, and we should try to be more mindful that wrong and right are matters of perspective influenced by a wide variety of factors. Sure, we punish petty sprite thieves. Most of them are merely incompetent.

Hell, I’ve only seen one person outright steal something major in the English community. And Klok’s still here.


Of course stealing is totally wrong but I just expect you to know why they do it though it is wrong. I am not for theft but understand their reasons to be a “theft” according to your standard.

In fact, I know that many western hackers discriminate against eastern GBAFE hacks because they are extremely difficult to play, contain lots of spirits from other hacks and no totally new story. Anyone wants his or her hack to be better,but most eastern hacks are made by only one person(usually a programmer or someone like that, least possibility to be an artist), so the most important thing to a good hack is ASM tricks and strategy difficulty. As for art…I am doing my hack alone,too.That’s why I understand their hard situation. They just want their hacks more beautiful to amuse themselves but cannot complete spirits by themselves,otherwise who is willing to steal from other hacks? It is unfair to compare a hack totally completed by an individual with those by a team. Their hack needs several years’ work and if you think the outcome is ugly(maybe the truth), I have nothing to say.

Thanks for your considerate reply :slight_smile:

When did anyone ever compare these two things? There are very few projects done by a team(and even those aren’t really a team in the first place); but aside from that 90% of the hacks in the English community are done by one person. If they don’t have the ability to make their own sprites, they use what’s open source. I don’t think many people care if the story is unchanged because if the purpose of the project was a difficulty hack/new perspective or whatever; no one is paying attention to the story. Of course if there’s some kind of claim it’s a brand new story, then the complaint about a reused story is valid.

I don’t think it matters your reasons for stealing, it’s still stealing. Ask anyone who’s had their work ripped off and reskinned for some other project. If you don’t have permission, don’t use it; it’s not that difficult of a concept to understand. This is the real reason there’s project discrimination. I understand that eastern cultures have a collectivist thinking while the western cultures have an individualist one; but unless I’m completely off, both cultures have a disdain for stealing. These aren’t even necessity acts, they’re purely because someone is bored and impatient. If someone does it for their own entertainment, fine; but once they distribute it, an issue arises.

Frankly I’m tired of doing this because all I ever wanted was to know why any old member can’t do exactly what you do and just join a community and ask. If you don’t understand the language, ask someone who does/use a translator; there are options.

Well, translators aren’t exactly the easiest to come by, especially since Japanese is probably the single hardest significant language to learn for native English speakers, or is at least the language that takes longest to learn to fluency (heck, Japanese speakers learning English probably have as much difficuty, if not more, from what I’ve heard.) So unless you have a close friend or relative (@crazycolorz5’s sister is fluent in Japanese, for example) who’s fluent in the other language, it’d be difficult to find someone willing to translate and has the free time to do so. (And of course, online translators are terrible - we’re programmers and we should know better than anybody why it’s extremely difficult to make such software good. :stuck_out_tongue: It might translate the gist acceptably, but even then a lot of things would not make sense.) Not everyone can ask a translator friend to interpret things for them; it’s not just a matter of “join a community and ask.” If only it were that easy… :frowning:

And @Arch, are you referring to the RennacIsUnderrated (or whatever his name was) incident on Serenes?

Also, @MisakaMikoto, I have to say that your English is actually pretty good! I mean, it’s not quite as accurate as our native English speaker’s writing, but we can understand what you’re saying and you seem to understand what we’re saying, and that’s what matters most. :slight_smile:

Are you kidding? “Idea thieves” are a dime a dozen. He was just acting petulant.

I’m referring to the grand FEXP heist of forgotten lore. An entire engine stolen, but in the end we get FEXNA and Klok paid for it so everything worked out eventually.

That’s the key difference in philosophy I figure. To eastern hackers it might seem strange to make something, post it on a public forum and not have it be considered open source. Obviously I don’t think we should allow people to post hacks which blatantly steal mugs from other hacks, but generally the Japanese have “stolen” images of characters which are not the artist’s original property either. And thus we run into the quandary of the west’s focus on property and ownership.

Part of the intent of this forum, of course, is to cultivate more of these available resources. If more things were readily available to use, there’d be less incentive to take things that aren’t.

Oh, sorry. I haven’t been around here long (I’m basically @Crazycolorz5’s disciple - that makes me Pals With Jesus, heh) so that incident was the only thing I had heard of. I don’t even remember exactly what it was about - all I remember was that he went all arrogant and continuously insulted you. :confused: FEXP heist? I’ve never heard of that…

Hm, I wonder why a Japanese hacker would join an English community now and not any other time… I wonder if something happened over there, or if someone just decided to join for no external reason.

It’s cool. All ancient history now anyways, lol.

Misaka said so above, but it’s pretty difficult to interact with a community that speaks a foreign language. I just hope we haven’t scared em off with that Serenes “GET THE THIEVES” mob mentality nonsense.

I’m glad that we can at least have a mature discussion about sensitive issues like this. I think it speaks rather highly of our community.

Also important: it might be tempting to view western/eastern communities as a singularity, but even within our own chunk of the fandom you’ll find radically different environments between two places (i.e. FEU and SF).

[quote=Skype][11:38 AM] zahlman: but I mean, I think there’s also a programmer-artist cultural divide here

[2:42:46 PM] BwdYeti: I think this is the biggest thing yes
[2:43:10 PM] BwdYeti: and in fact might be related to why we have different concepts of sharing and fair use[/quote]
ie. that it’s possibly both cause and effect:
That western fans value from over function and thus have more people making art and resources instead of manipulating the game, which in turn causes those artists to expect and be given more control over how their creations are used; while a history of strong intellectual property laws and heavily commercialized media where the narrative is “creative pursuits are one avenue of personal (not corporate) wealth” affects the culture as a whole and subtly encourages people to dabble in art.
It could be a feedback loop. (which I imagine an IP proponent would argue is the purpose and intent of IP, but I don’t think it’s that clear cut)


You mentioned that the guy was willing to share as well? Any chance of battle sprite sheets of his are available somewhere? I means, it’d be easier to have a place to acquire those than ripping them one by one via VBA emulator which is what Klok is doing, or creating an add-on from scratch to make our FEditor works with Japanese Rom.

And to be honest, that’s what I’ve always thought the English community should do.

Good one

But being honest there, plenty of people have stolen sprites and whatnot without credit, the English community just eventually realizes and shuns them until they remove the graphics or gain permission.

oh you

@Temp is actually working on a big FEditor update or side update that will allow us to rip from Japanese hacks.

I mean honestly, seeing it from the perspective of a Jap hacker makes things very different. I remember the one time we tried to contact them, it was when Sock wrote a letter to them asking them to treat our hard work with respect, ask permission before using, etc. We had a couple other japanese speakers in the community like @Agro help him fix the letter, then we pasted it on one of their forums. What happened? Well, if the japanese readers among us were correct, we were laughed and, mocked, and then promptly ignored. Not exactly the best first step to maintaining community relations.

On the other hand, now Misaka appears and says it was all a difference in cultural values. To be honest, I prefer the japanese way of doing things. Why can’t artists just make their art, animators make their animations, ASM hackers make their ASM hackers, we all feed into a pool, anyone who wants to use their things can use them, and not worry about this ‘asking for permission’ bollucks in the first place? Only one addendum: If someone makes something specifically for a project (Say, Yeti’s animations) then they have the right to have their works go unmolested until the full project is released, finished, or abandoned. Why forever lock out excellent resources from the rest of the fandom? Absolutely, you should have the right to use your stuff first and before anyone else. You should be known as the guy who originally made an animation or a sprite or whatever. We should give credit for anything we use.

But I think there’s no reason to act like on the internet, a place where the Barbara Streisand effect takes place on a daily basis, that we should lock our hard works from being used or altered by anyone else.

I see where you’re coming from, I’ve always been on the fence about this. Because like, on the one hand, there’s so many great mugs/other general art things that just fall into obscurity and I’m just like wow seriously is no one going to use this?

but on the other hand, as a spriter myself. To have my work being manipulated/recolored and having their context(?) for lack of a better term morphed without me knowing… I would not enjoy seeing it.

Thought I’d give my two cents :open_mouth: