Etiquette?? Say what?

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Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:16 am

Okay, since Fate locked the other thread I was forced to create a new thread to get my question answered.

If the story's development is the property of the FOG community or those that were involved in its development, then what if a system of rules, such as turn based combat system in a RP, is created on this website, helped by 1 or more members of the FOG community, and then finally complied on a different website for organization purposes?

Would that not also place said information in the category of FOG property?

If this is true, I'm going to halt all my development of my RPG project on this website.

This isn't about a story, it's about the development and progress made on one of my projects. I don't like the idea of something being able to take however much claim to something they want that I've poured my heart into. I consider the RPG project intellectual property owned by me, its creator, regardless of where it is posted on the internet.

So would this RPG project be consider FOG property?

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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Gunneh on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:17 am

Why has this been coming up a lot lately? lol Ok, Tkwiget, here's what tis means....

Role-Plays and Role-Play Posts Won't Be Deleted
If you are joining FOG or plan on continuing your stay here, be forewarned that once a thread is created, it will not be deleted. We may lock, close, or move a thread, but we will never delete it, and at the very least will keep it within our archives (in our hidden Recycling Bin forum). Your role-plays become property of FOG and belongs not only to yourself, but all the others involved. It belongs to all who participated in it and does not belong to just one person.

What it means is that you can't take your role-play off-site and claim responsibility for all of the creative work involved in its creation when there were others who participated. It becomes the "property" of FOG insofar as the mulitiple people who worked together to make the story did so here at FOG, and records of it will be kept here at FOG. It belongs to all who participated in it, and no one should take credit for it alone.

When we say that, it's so you don't plagiarize from other people who also worked on the RP with you. You're thinking it down further than it's supposed to be. Belonging to FOG in that sense means that it belongs to the users who took part in it. Your work is your work, not ours, but if someone else helps GIVE THEM CREDIT.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:32 am

I have no problem giving someone credit for their help. I don't like the idea of it being considered property to a website that, as a whole, didn't contribute to the project's creation. But the way that rule is written, even after Fate modified it, still only is connected to the story of a RP. Unlike a story, a RPG system, in the end, be finished with every i dotted and every t crossed. I have no problem giving the credit where it is due.

It still doesn't answer the question. Is something like an RPG project, not the actual story, but the actual system of rules behind the RPG project that make it up considered to be FOG property if it is created on this website? There is no story involved, none. I'm still able to cut out all information given to me by others and call it mine. Even if there was 1 idea in it from someone else, it's still mine. It isn't a story, it's a game system for RPing purposes.

When I say RPG, I mean a game. Not a Role-Play that everyone is so familiar with. Think of Final Fantasy when I say the term RPG.

I didn't even know this was a problem until I saw the previous thread.

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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Weiss on Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:04 am

Tkwiget, if you post a roleplay concept to a forum community and multiple people take part in expanding and participating in that roleplay, the entire roleplay becomes the shared property of those involved. Each person who writes within that roleplay becomes a co-author, because they are contributing their own work to a collaborative project.

Furthermore, the roleplay will be archived on the site, the community where you have posted your literary work. In other words, we have documented proof that you are not the sole creator of the roleplay's contents.

If you don't like the idea of sharing ownership of a roleplay, then don't post your idea on the internet. If you are asking people to contribute their efforts to helping you finish a project that you will later claim is entirely your own, we would prefer that you didn't, in fact.

Even if there was 1 idea in it from someone else, it's still mine.

The moment you take someone else's idea and use it as your own, it's considered plagiarism. If you post to this site hoping to get ideas from other people on how to expand your own project so that you can turn around and call the whole thing 100% your own, then don't post it. You're asking other people to do your work for you, and I feel safe saying that no one here takes kindly to that.

Just because you had the original idea doesn't make the entire project yours. If I told a Hollywood director about an idea I had for a movie and they turned around and loosely used that concept to create a movie, it's their movie. If, on the other hand, I had a full movie script written out from beginning to end and showed it to a director, who then turned around and made a movie out of it without my permission, it is considered plagiarism.

If you post a completed project here on the site to have it reviewed by our members, then it remains your project. If, however, you ask for ideas and incorporate them into your project, it becomes the property of all those who contributed to its creation. If you don't like that, don't post your project here hoping to glean ideas from others.

This is applicable whether you're speaking of a storyline or of a RPG system, up to and including the rules, character sheet formatting, basic world summary, et cetera.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by 6billionghosts on Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:17 am

Gunneh2113 wrote:Why has this been coming up a lot lately?

The Etiquette section doesn't use quotations marks around the "property" like you do here.

I have a feeling it is confusing and frustrating to people to read a document about local rules of a forum when the language falls somewhere between legal terms of agreement and social terms of agreement.

I mostly agree with your analysis of Tkwidget's argument. However, I can still relate to his feelings, because of the wording of the terms regarding content ownership.

You're thinking it down further than it's supposed to be.

I can understand why he would.

I don't come from any background in forum RPing - this is my first time - so I have no knowledge of general social expectations. So when I read the Etiquette section here, it is extremely vague, because it assumes that I already understand the concept of "bringing things to another forum" and why that is a dishonest thing to do.

It took some explanation for me to understand that this concern is related to but different from a general copyright ownership concern. It is specific to RP communities. This is all made more confusing by the use of the word "property" (without the quotes) in a local, socially determined sense, and not a legal sense. Whenever I see the word "property" I will think of it in terms of the American legal system. It's a loaded word that sets people off, and it's presumptuous to assume that everyone will understand the distinction that is being made.

If you post a completed project here on the site to have it reviewed by our members, then it remains your project. If, however, you ask for ideas and incorporate them into your project, it becomes the property of all those who contributed to its creation. If you don't like that, don't post your project here hoping to glean ideas from others.


Belonging to FOG in that sense means that it belongs to the users who took part in it. Your work is your work, not ours, but if someone else helps GIVE THEM CREDIT.

I think this is a far better explanation that explains the concept of "property" here at FOG. The problem with the language in the Rules is that it uses language resembling American law, but it doesn't make it clear whether these are rules of FOG that I am agreeing to by taking part in the forums, or an interpretation of copyright law. There is nothing more dangerous than vague laws.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Weiss on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:48 am

From the appropriate perspective, I can understand why you're so concerned about it, but Gunneh was right in that you guys are thinking it down too far.

The rules on the forum are the rules of the forum. We cannot enforce the laws set forth by the U.S. government, and attempting to do so on a forum that extends its hand to people of all nationalities is illogical.

Nowhere in the explanation of that 'rule' does it say that your ideas become the property of FOG. Nowhere does it say that anything you post on the site becomes the property of FOG. For that matter, even by further defining what constitutes a collaborative project, I overstepped the original intent behind that particular 'rule'.

The rule states that all roleplays that take place in this forum community will be kept in our archives, and that the roleplay becomes the property of FOG. To assume further than the text implies is what creates convoluted issues about "true meaning" and "misleading syntax".

It states that a roleplay that takes place in the FOG forums becomes the property of FOG. If you post an introduction to a roleplay and other members take part in that roleplay here on the forums, the cumulative project becomes the property of FOG. It doesn't say that the original idea behind the roleplay becomes the property of FOG. It doesn't say that each character in the roleplay becomes the property of FOG. It states that the roleplay itself - the physical (even if in the form of data) item - becomes the property of FOG. So, if you intend to move that roleplay, as a whole, from this site, you need the permission of FOG. Permission to do so will most likely be granted if and when all other participants in the roleplay have agreed to it.

So, let's review.

It doesn't say that your work becomes the property of FOG's administrators. It says that roleplays become the property of FOG.

FOG is the name of our community, as a whole. No single person, or limited group of people, represents FOG. FOG is the shared identity of all those who participate on these forums.

Thus, roleplays become the property of this community, because they took place among this community and combine the shared efforts of members from this community.

You can keep overcomplicating it all you want, but it's actually a very, very simple thing.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by 6billionghosts on Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:27 am

Weiss, the reason I've been overcomplicating it is because the original Rules and Etiquette are insufficient, so I've been forced to A) make my own attempts at interpretation and B) ask for your interpretation. The rules and the way they are written may be simple to you, but it's not the case for me, and perhaps Tkwidget as well.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't want to bring American copyright into this. I have no desire to do so because it's a complicated and insane system that I will never fully understand. What I do want is rules that use clear terms. The terms and examples you use here make sense to me, whereas the rules laid out in Etiquette and Rules sections set off danger signals in my mind because of their language and lack of explanation.

If the rules were as clear as you have written them here, you could simply direct Tkwidget to them and I would shut up about it.

The distinctions and explanations you have made here are not in Etiquette or Rules. For example, these documents don't explain the difference between "idea" and "role-play." I appreciate your explanation, because it is very clear - I don't want the rules to be more complicated. I want them to be clear, and your explanation here is the first time they have actually made sense.

For someone who's familiar with the world of online RP they might be completely fine. But for someone who's not as familiar with that world they are confusing.

In personal terms, I have an obsessive brain that overcomplicates things, so I'd rather that the rules be immediately clear so I don't have to do that. I don't enjoy throwing wrenches in the system or raising a ruckus. I appreciate that Fate Foretold modified it, but I still find it lacking for someone with no background in RP communities. Maybe if it's too long to put in the Etiquette post it could go in a "for newbs" post or something.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:12 am

Alright, there is one simple answer to this and that is this:

    Once you post it here, we aren't removing it.


That is what this all boils down to, basically. Why is this a problem?

This is etiquette, meaning it should already be implied (but apparently it's not?). This is not a claim of ownership over the concept or the story, merely of the right to retain what is specifically posted on these forums already -- posting constitutes an agreement to display the post and that we won't take down RP threads with multiple players at the request of a single person, even if they are the original poster of the thread.

That, very simply, is what this refers to. Since it appears I have to, I further helped clarify this in the etiquette.


Last edited by Fate Foretold on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:13 am

Edit: Hah, nevermind, Fate said something already. This was written while she was posting and posted after she did. It's not a disputation of what she said. But I figure to leave it anyhow.

...the original Rules and Etiquette are insufficient...

I'm not 'teh authoritah' so I suppose I have no actual right to take a swing at it, but 'authoritah respeckifyin' isn't my thing anyway, so here goes nonetheless.

As far as I can tell, the following applies; if you originate a post here, FOG will not destroy the post if you leave for whatever reason. You are giving FOG permission to display your posted work in perpetuity.

For example, you start a thread and then get irritated and leave, demanding that FOG destroy the entire threads in your wake -- it won't happen. In short, FOG is preserving anything written on the site. It's not some sort of claim on your work beyond that.

Of course, if you go to another forum and start the thread again, but use the work of others, odds are a letter with links (to prove that others' ideas were merged into your original idea sans credit where due and/or permission) will be sent to the admin of that other board and they may or may not do something about it (depending on whether said admin is a douche or if the letter sent to them is undiplomatic and douchey. If Fate's writing it, I wouldn't bank on the idea that the letter will be douchey, so odds are you'll be in a bit of hot water, even if you did squeak by eventually.)

If you aren't planning on ganking anyone else's work, and I doubt that you guys, 6billionghosts and Tkwiget, are, then I think you're in the clear. Just be careful, if you ever went to another site and did a similar storyline, to only use the elements you created, in recreating it.

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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:18 am

Heyseuss wrote:For example, you start a thread and then get irritated and leave, demanding that FOG destroy the entire threads in your wake -- it won't happen. In short, FOG is preserving anything written on the site. It's not some sort of claim on your work beyond that.
Exactly. This is what this bit of etiquette is referring to. Thanks, Heyseuss.

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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by 6billionghosts on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:32 am

Thank you for posting the clarification. I appreciate it.

Fate Foretold wrote:That is what this all boils down to, basically. Why is this a problem?

This is etiquette, meaning it should already be implied (but apparently it's not?).

Etiquette is implied when you are familiar with the etiquette of a culture. As I said above, I am not familiar with this culture. It may be obvious to you, a member of the roleplaying community. But if you were to step into a dinner party at the other side of the world, I'm sure you would appreciate being able to read up about the expectations of their culture before sitting down to eat.
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Re: Etiquette?? Say what?

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:56 am

We appreciate your concern for the etiquette guidelines, but remember they are just that. The guideline in question is for you to follow so that you respect other members involved in the works created on this forum. It is stated to inform you that your posts and the posts of others involved will not be removed from the forum. We are not trying to claim ownership of your work, nor are we trying to enforce any sort of copyright laws. Anything that is yours, will always remain yours. We cannot take your work away from you and you are free to do as you please with it. However, the collaborations on this forum belong to each person involved and this forum was the means in which they were created.

Again, thank you for your concern for our rules and guidelines. Your thoughts are being considered and I feel this topic has been discussed to it's fullest. If you have any further questions or concerns on the topic, please feel free to PM a member of the staff.

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