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World Database


ruggbean
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As with the mod database, for those that don't necessarily want to build their own content but want to partake in the content of others, there could be a database for people to download copies of their worlds and share them with people.

It would share information like world seed, world configuration commands at time of upload, theme or inspirations (like Greccan Steampunk or Medieval German or World of Warcraft), mods required to utilize the world, and could be updated in the same way that mods are updated, where there are versions of the world and there is an audit log of those updates in a separate tab. 

Thoughts?

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The good news is: world configuration commands, seed and such are in the world file(s) and wouldn't be needed to be stated. And it IS already possible to share world files if one wanted to do it.

The bad news is: builders are fond of their creations and technically there are rights involved with those, the server admin sharing world files, without the builders who built it consenting to share it, can get messy or even pull apart the scene, especially as it's easy to copy the world, change its name and re-upload it as one's own. Stolen content, like adventure maps and skins, being sold might be the biggest problem with Minecraft's marketplace, hence Idk wanting something like that market place (refering to comicbookguy here) for VS seems to not really help the argument.

Edited by Hal13
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4 minutes ago, Hal13 said:

The good news is: world configuration commands, seed and such are in the world file(s) and wouldn't be needed to be stated. And it IS already possible to share world files if one wanted to do it.

The bad news is: builders are fond of their creations and technically there are rights involved with those, the server admin sharing world files, without the builders who built it consenting to share it, can get messy or even pull apart the scene, especially as it's easy to copy the world, change its name and re-upload it as one's own. Stolen content, like adventure maps and skins, being sold might be the biggest problem with Minecraft's marketplace, hence Idk wanting something like that market place (refering to comicbookguy here) for VS seems to not really help the argument.

I mean, we upload mods and when we do, we get the consent of all of the people involved in the process of making the mod to put it up on the database. If you load the file and not every has consented, then you can seek arbitration in the same way one might for mod disputes. And none of these downloads would be sellable in the same way that you're not allowed to pirate the game.

By the same token, it's just as easy to download a mod, change the name, and re-upload it as one's own as well. But as far as I've seen, people are willing to work on an honor system here and I don't see why we can't give people the same benefit of the doubt. 

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33 minutes ago, ruggbean said:

By the same token, it's just as easy to download a mod, change the name, and re-upload it as one's own as well. But as far as I've seen, people are willing to work on an honor system here and I don't see why we can't give people the same benefit of the doubt. 

Re-uploading a mod is possible, but not without much work. Other than the world file which is mostly procedurally generated, a mod's code has way more content to identify the original author, it's rather easy to prove who made the mod (if the mod exceeds a certain size) and who just reuploaded it. Even with a simple reskin or remodel mod there could be some hidden signature / water mark in/under the texture or inside the model or other marking. As such a reuploaded mod can get taken down again rather quickly. But with world files it may be rather easy to just purge all text from signs via a command, changing a few blocks here and there or copy the desired building to another world, so it is technically worked upon / added to the other creator's work, clearly not the same world...

But yes, as long as there is no money to be made with it, it might be possible to keep up a honor system. Though schematics (which you can copy / paste in creative if i'm not mistaken) might be the better way to go as they wouldn't be as bloated and could be added into other worlds.

 

Additionally there are less incentives to reupload a mod, a player can brag easily with a cool build and basically anyone might be impressed by it, but the only people who really could be impressed by a mod are other modders... Thinking about this angle, there is money to be made with world files, content creators make money by impressing people with their builds commercial multiplayer servers make at least some money by luring in new players for which they need impressive builds...

Edited by Hal13
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8 minutes ago, Hal13 said:

Re-uploading a mod is possible, but not without much work. Other than the world file which is mostly procedurally generated, a mod's code has way more content to identify the original author, it's rather easy to prove who made the mod (if the mod exceeds a certain size) and who just reuploaded it. Even with a simple reskin or remodel mod there could be some hidden signature / water mark in/under the texture or inside the model or other marking. As such a reuploaded mod can get taken down again rather quickly. But with world files it may be rather easy to just purge all text from signs via a command, changing a few blocks here and there or copy the desired building to another world, so it is technically worked upon / added to the other creator's work, clearly not the same world...

But yes, as long as there is no money to be made with it, it might be possible to keep up a honor system. Though schematics (which you can copy / paste in creative if i'm not mistaken) might be the better way to go as they wouldn't be as bloated and could be added into other worlds.

I'm sure that there is a way to make it to where you can download a file and incorporate a watermark into it in the same way that mods do, which I do agree would make the idea more palletable, especially because people put a lot of work into some of their worlds. It could even be a matter of somehow merging the kind of JSON that modinfo is, reformatting it as a worldinfo JSON, and making that information available as one would see in the mod manager.

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The problem is: either that file is not needed to use the data inside the world file and it is possible to download the world, copy the desired builds over into another world and circumvent the old world file that way or the file would be needed to use the data inside the world file and that data would get corrupted when copied to another world... As in the latter case there is way too much possibility for a bug to corrupt/destroy world files I highly doubt something like that will be implemented, meaning if anything the first option would be pursued, but as that doesn't provide any safety I doubt many will bother with using it.

19 minutes ago, ruggbean said:

I'm sure that there is a way to make it to where you can download a file and incorporate a watermark into it in the same way that mods do

Mods are written code and coding is kinda like handwriting, you don't really need a special watermark inside the (bigger) mod as the way you write your code is the watermark, people don't change the way they write midsentence and as such hard breaks in the way it is written can indicate parts of the code not originally from the person writing the rest. Else you can just test the persons knowledge of the code, someone who only reuploaded it usually doesn't have the firm understanding what is doing what inside their mod (something you usually can expect the original author who has put dozens to hundreds of hours into writing and bug fixing it will likely know). Additionally code is a more clear case under copyright laws.

On the other hand world files are mostly procedurally generated, as such you'd have to find the parts made by someone first, then you'd have to try to prove it's not their creative work, which is difficult as in the cases where it may count, content creators and commercial servers making ad revenue of of it, you either have no way to get their file for comparison (which means word against word until a judge decides it has to be compared which is really not an easy case, meaning the original creator might need to invest more money into defending their creative property than they might get for its use) or get them to confess having it stolen or bought from someone who might have stolen it... And then you'd need people in the justice system versed enough in art and video games to even open a copyright case, which could fail because it might fall under fair use depending on the amount of work put into presenting it etc.
There are relatively big Minecraft Youtubers (partially with a few million subs) making tutorials for or show casing other people's builds (most often technical builds as those are the ones people might want to replicate), without crediting properly or even bragging about having invented that thing themselves, while clearly copying a block by block tutorial of an actual redstoner, partially fans of those thieves then go and attack the original creators for "stealing the contraption" even though the video they comment on is (partially years) older than the tutorial they saw. Sure that is less of a problem at this point looking at VS, but it shows that it's a problem that could come to VS creators too.

A schematic of a build could be better (legally) protected (it's rather clearly made by a person, it's not part of another work of art that may not be possible to protect, ...) and easier identified and tracked, it may even be possible to add junk code with a watermark only visible when not just copy-pasting the file's content (similar to comments in a program's code), additionally the file size would be way smaller, outside of creative you'd still have to build it and even in creative you'd still need to modify the terrain around it to incorporate the build into your world, meaning you'd actually would have to put some work into it. Hence a database for schematics might be a more useful thing to make.

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On 10/23/2022 at 9:03 PM, Hal13 said:

A schematic of a build could be better (legally) protected (it's rather clearly made by a person, it's not part of another work of art that may not be possible to protect, ...) and easier identified and tracked, it may even be possible to add junk code with a watermark only visible when not just copy-pasting the file's content (similar to comments in a program's code), additionally the file size would be way smaller, outside of creative you'd still have to build it and even in creative you'd still need to modify the terrain around it to incorporate the build into your world, meaning you'd actually would have to put some work into it. Hence a database for schematics might be a more useful thing to make.

So, how would the database for schematics work in a way that is different from adding a world file and what is stopping someone from claiming that the schematic is their own? I'm asking because I have no idea how schematics work in VS - I've never seen them and have nothing to reference as compared to a world file or a mod.

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The biggest difference is the schematic is rather clearly made by a person not an algorithm, the fact that the world file is mostly procedurally generated can mean that copyright laws might not be applicable (but that depends on the court and if they deem the additions done by players significant enough). Another one is: a separate schematic file could easily be compared with another, without the help of additional programs, just a viewer program or copying both into an empty world would suffice, and if both are identical the one that got uploaded first does have a huge advantage when it comes to bragging rights (or legally defending your copyrights). And of course there is little clicks gained by just showing a schematic, you would have to insert it into a world and terraform around it to make it fit nicely (meaning malicious content creators do need to put in some effort if they want to show your work as being theirs), sadly that same can't be said for automated machinery later on.

Additionally such a partially encrypted/signed schematics file that can only be used with the added file stating its game version, name and creator could be implemented easier than overhauling how the game handles world files, and even if that protection gets lost when copied into a world after which one could generate a new schematic from the world's content, it means it is some (alas not much) work to do, taking some (alas not much) time and deter the laziest of copycats from taking one creator's content as their own (again some MC Youtubers are known to just use the original world download for their content not crediting the actual creator) especially if there is kinda some central database where the schematics would be registered / hosted for download.

Atm, from my little understanding of worldedit, you can select an area and export it as a file and later import it into the same or other worlds.
This feature could be expended on into giving the player the option to export as an official schematic which than would prompt the player to name it, after stating a name the game would save it as an encrypted file (similar to a password protected archive) adding another file as the key (automatically assigning player name as the creator, but there might just be an optional text input for another person, and game version, possibly even active mods). For importing the official schematic you then would have to have the according key file next to it. This way you can still just copy-pasting something around but if you want to make it public in the official schematic database you'd need to make it an official schematic.

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