Modifying My Work

Recently a new user in the Arma community took the code from my Raven addon and modified it in order to, in his opinion, “fix” broken things.  The things he “fixed” weren’t broken, they were just personal preferences that he wanted to implement.  He went onto my release thread and tried to get me to use his changes to modify my original files.  When I told him that the modifications he made were a violation of my terms and conditions of use of the addon, he reacted badly and said that he had a right to do anything he wanted.

Unfortunately, I had to get the moderators involved and they shut down the discussion.  But I’d like to post a little more about my own point of view and why I’ve set the terms and conditions as I have.

In the terms and conditions for the Raven, I clearly state that you can do whatever you want to my code and addons and mods if you want to learn from them.  You can feel free to reverse engineer them and I encourage that by putting comments in my code which I think other people can find useful.  

But once you start modifying my code for the purposes of releasing it without my permission, that’s when I have a problem with it. The reason for that is that I’ve had a few people over the years take my hard work and modify it and release it without my permission, oversight or consent. These people get credit for my original work and I get the blame for when it doesn’t work.  People have come to me and said things like, “Hey Feint, I was using your Raven addon in the Altis Life addon and it didn’t work. Can you fix it?” And I respond with, “The Altis Life people never told me they were going to modify my files. So I’m sorry, I don’t know what they changed and I don’t know what is wrong.” It’s just a pain in my ass. It’s happened with several of my addons and graphic mods and having to spend time to answer those emails and PMs, research what’s going on and figure out that the problem has nothing to do with me is just tiresome and unfortunate.

I hope that people will understand that I’ve been a strong contributor to the Arma community for years and that those contributions don’t involve me just giving everything away so people can do whatever they want with it.  The terms and conditions of use should be read and respected so that a community of mutual respect can continue to grow and flourish.

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