About "portlegs" and the MS rules

Golden Shine

Here to bring light!
This bothered me for a while, please hear me out. Fanmade ports are currently treated the same as making unauthorized edited versions of mods. Hosting them online results in a ban, and anything else will at least get everyone at each other's throats playing community police.

I'm wholeheartedly behind that behavior when people make unauthorized edits, or try passing other's work off as their own. It's disrespectful and affects the content creator. But that's not the same for fanmade ports. These are made by people who like the creator's content as it is, but because SRB2 updates keep breaking stuff, they can't play it anymore. The content creator may be gone, or not care to put in the effort porting their content each time SRB2 updates decide to break everything. (and then even usually get ragged on for not updating their work to meet "the new quality standards".)

srb20068.png


As the rules are now, all mods are fated to disappear until the creator actively stops that from happening. If a creator's gone, or is fine/doesn't care about ports, then people are getting banned and going at each other's throat for no reason at all.

I've made lazy ports of all of E123-Omega's levelpacks. He's fine with fanports. All I know can prove that is a single sentence buried in a Youtube comment section. Yet I'd be a "criminal" until I explicitly prove that. I might even be banned if I hosted them. We have a "guilty until proven innocent" system.

srb20067.png



My proposal is to reverse this. We still shouldn't allow unofficial ports in releases without authorization, but unless a creator's explicitly against their work being played through a fan port, let's assume it's fine and leave players be. This SHOULD work out because of the way our community operates.

We know creators have given permission for their work to be played when they publicly upload it; so they've given permission to play it.

We know the community's intelligent enough to recognize when ports are unofficial; so they're perfectly aware ports don't reflect the creator's intended quality. We've seen it time and time again. From rants about port quality to the amount of policing for merely showing screens of "portlegs", plenty intimately keep up-to-date with this stuff.

So I am sure they're also perfectly capable of relaying proof in cases when a creator's actually against ports. That means admins and community members won't have issues keeping up with this information. If people were expected to know what's a fanport or not, then this isn't much different. It's only a matter of time until someone comes in and tells you "Sugoi22.pk3" is a banned mod.


Pros:
  • Content can carry over to new versions in playable states without the creator's constantly having to come back for it.
  • Less people banned, especially in the case of ignorance/language barriers of what are portlegs or not.
  • Less hostile community and backseat modding.
  • Creators can see firsthand the demand for an official port, even from new players who never had a chance to try their stuff before.

Cons:
  • Absent creators might come back years later to find unofficial ports being used and dislike it. Their fanported content can still be banned from there.

srb20069.png


Regardless of a porter's capability to port with quality, it's merely trying to preserve an artist's work. That's not malicious. Even less so for people just playing it. If creators have issues with fanports not meeting quality standards, they can mention that rather than let their silence incriminate everyone.

I have faith in the community informing everyone what unofficial ports are banned and which aren't. Much in the same way we currently have faith in master server users knowing what's unofficial in the first place.
 

D00D64

Probably Responsible
Its considered "guilty until proven innocent" because this straight up breaks out rules on content reuse and content theft. If it's not marked as reusable, then don't reuse it. If its from a time before the Reusable system was even a thing, we got a rule for that. A portleg is theft, just like a bootleg is theft. It is content that does not belong to you, even if you try to fix it for newer versions. If you do not have permission for a work not marked as reusable, then you have no right to use it.

I know of some creators who absolutely, do not want their work having unauthorized ports at all. In fact, I'd often send these porters to go ask for permission from these authors, because they need to know that these authors do not wish to have their works ported. Heck, sometimes you get lucky, like with Mystic Realm, and that project gets to live and become a remake. But other times, a creator wants their work dead and buried, and you have to pay respects to those works to rest in peace.

But as for anything where an author cannot be contacted...

AtLeast2Months.png

You really can't wait 60 days?

Ever since this rule was added, I have not seen a single person use it. The ability to do this has been sitting there for like... a year maybe? You just need to show you tried to contact an absentee member of the community, and gave it time. If you can't be patient enough to wait, then I think that's proof that you shouldn't make that port. If someone did try this, I'd probably do some work into looking for the original author myself, just to be sure. If nothing comes up, I'd release it, as long as it met quality standards and got whatever updates it'd need (like Amy/Fang support), but the porter has gotta do their part.
 

lnferno

Blazing Creator
Its considered "guilty until proven innocent" because this straight up breaks out rules on content reuse and content theft. If it's not marked as reusable, then don't reuse it. If its from a time before the Reusable system was even a thing, we got a rule for that. A portleg is theft, just like a bootleg is theft. It is content that does not belong to you, even if you try to fix it for newer versions. If you do not have permission for a work not marked as reusable, then you have no right to use it.

I know of some creators who absolutely, do not want their work having unauthorized ports at all. In fact, I'd often send these porters to go ask for permission from these authors, because they need to know that these authors do not wish to have their works ported. Heck, sometimes you get lucky, like with Mystic Realm, and that project gets to live and become a remake. But other times, a creator wants their work dead and buried, and you have to pay respects to those works to rest in peace.

But as for anything where an author cannot be contacted...

View attachment 54969
You really can't wait 60 days?

Ever since this rule was added, I have not seen a single person use it. The ability to do this has been sitting there for like... a year maybe? You just need to show you tried to contact an absentee member of the community, and gave it time. If you can't be patient enough to wait, then I think that's proof that you shouldn't make that port. If someone did try this, I'd probably do some work into looking for the original author myself, just to be sure. If nothing comes up, I'd release it, as long as it met quality standards and got whatever updates it'd need (like Amy/Fang support), but the porter has gotta do their part.
As for that rule, I've seen it brought up or attempted several times.

The primary reason nobody has successfully tried to use it is because of the time frame you can use this for. Which makes SOME sense, as this was created to account for addons made before the reusability system. However, this doesn't account for all absentee community members. Which in effect creates the problem Shine has mentioned.

Even disregarding that, I believe one or two people have attempted this before. They just got responses saying no.
 

Tatsuru

2.3 will have menus
Moderator
Sonic Team Junior
Judge
As the rules are now, all mods are fated to disappear until the creator actively stops that from happening.
As nitpicky as it may sound, I'd like to make clear that mods don't simply disappear by virtue of not being ported to the current version. They're still there, meant to be played in the versions of the game they were made for, in the way the author gave permission for them to be played at that point in time. It does not follow that they absolutely need to be ported to be enjoyed or even archived.

I've made lazy ports of all of E123-Omega's levelpacks. He's fine with fanports. All I know can prove that is a single sentence buried in a Youtube comment section. Yet I'd be a "criminal" until I explicitly prove that. I might even be banned if I hosted them. We have a "guilty until proven innocent" system.
All this means is that we have a permission denied until explicitly given system, commonly known as consent. The fact that people won't even seek that permission before porting content already shows a priority misplacement within the community, a misplacement we have a problem with - it's an all-out disregard for the author's wishes. The reason we can't do the process in reverse - permission given until explicitly denied - is that we don't have access to time machines in order to prevent the content from being ported and distributed and thus undisrespect the author's wishes, in the very likely event they didn't want their work touched in the first place.

The primary reason nobody has successfully tried to use it is because of the time frame you can use this for. Which makes SOME sense, as this was created to account for addons made before the reusability system. However, this doesn't account for all absentee community members.
This is true! However, the rule only refers to the time period after it's reasonable to assume the author is just MIA. Having explicit permission to port content, even if it wasn't ever made reusable, from any period of time, trumps everything, which means you've got nothing to lose and all to gain by trying to contact the author anyway. This is how Inazuma gained permission to port Tortured Planet, by the way. But how many people actually go through the trouble?

Even disregarding that, I believe one or two people have attempted this before. They just got responses saying no.
And this is a perfectly valid outcome. I don't think you could possibly argue against it if you wanted to.

The community hasn't shown itself to be intelligent enough to recognize when a port is unofficial, let alone to respect that - which is why moderation has made itself necessary. Just yesterday we had to delist someone for hosting with Movienight, a mod so un-reusable in nature the author hex-modified the PK3 so SLADE could not read it. It is also why we keep seeing SUGOI ports here and there, even though everyone is aware a 2.2 port is on the works. We don't see intelligence in this blatant dismissal.
 

SeventhSentinel

STJr Team Representative
Administrator
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Fanmade ports are currently treated the same as making unauthorized edited versions of mods
That's because the vast majority of them are sloppy or broken. We want them off the MS because of how rare it is for ports to preserve the original gameplay experience. In addition, it is completely reasonable to disallow hosting such edits when creators express no desire to have people create such ports. It's not a matter of purposely preventing mods from being played on modern SRB2, it's a matter of respecting the artist. This is an art community, after all; the art just happens to be code, textures, music, and geometry rather than images to look at.

all mods are fated to disappear
We don't delete mods from the MB. There are archives going back years and years. Nearly every version of SRB2 is also archived. Netplay in each of those versions still works. If there is no official port of a mod, there isn't much stopping anybody from downloading the original, booting up the SRB2 version it was meant for, adding it to the game via the console, and playing it. Yes, it's inconvenient and it means people miss out on modern features while playing, but it means you get to play the original mod as intended with no problems caused by sloppy porting, and more importantly, it respects the desires of the original creator.

We have a "guilty until proven innocent" system.
No, we have a "you are disrespecting the artist if you don't get their permission to port/modify their content" system. Tracking down the original creator to ask for permission is hard -- sometimes impossible, we fully acknowledge that -- but unless we know for certain that whatever someone wants to do to their mod is okay with them, in most cases, we are forced to assume it isn't.

unless a creator's explicitly against their work being played through a fan port, let's assume it's fine and leave players be
Ever since the Reusable tag was added, creators have been explicitly stating that they are against ports of their work by choosing not to add the tag to it. As for older mods, we outlined an acceptable procedure for submitting ports here under rule 12 of the submissions guidelines. If we haven't been kept in the loop regarding this procedure, regardless of whether or not the port is actually submitted to the forum, we are forced to assume it has not been followed, and that therefore no attempt was made to contact the mod creator beforehand, which once again means whoever ported the mod may be going against the creator's desires.

so they've given permission to play it.
Yes -- the version that they created, for the version of SRB2 they created it for.

We know the community's intelligent enough to recognize when ports are unofficial; so they're perfectly aware ports don't reflect the creator's intended quality.
You are forgetting that kids 10 & under play this. You are forgetting that there are many other people out there playing SRB2 without any context of the last two decades of modding. The SRB2 playerbase is not solely comprised of people who "keep up" with this stuff. No, not everyone is going to be able to recognize when a port is unofficial; no, not everyone is going to be aware that a port isn't of the same quality as the original. Enough people probably won't even recognize that many ports are in fact ports.

It's only a matter of time until someone comes in and tells you "Sugoi22.pk3" is a banned mod.
This is the worst possible example you could have used. TehRealSalt is adamant that people don't make ports of SUGOI, ever. So uh, yeah, given that when she gets around to porting it, it will be submitted to the forum with the proper file name, absolutely "Sugoi22.pk3" is a banned mod. (Some people who contributed to SUGOI are adamant about their individual maps never being ported by anyone but themselves, too, for what that's worth; and many of them have already done such ports, if memory serves.)

Less people banned, especially in the case of ignorance/language barriers of what are portlegs or not.
We may not like having to ban people, but if you can't be bothered to read the MS rules before hosting things that break them -- especially considering that the MS webview has an easy way to view them -- then you deserve to get banned.

Edit: You know, I thought about this, and this is a bit much. But we do have the ban appeal system for the MS. We could probably work on integrating that into the game better, as well as:

(I'm actually pushing the dev team to find a way to display them [the rules] ingame so that they're even easier to access!)

The MS admins are usually willing to unban people if they make a good argument for why within the appeal form.

As for language barriers...what are we supposed to do, find people to translate the MS rules into every language, and then also find translators to help us communicate with every single non-English speaker who sends a ban appeal? Granted there is some pretty good translation software these days, but only for some languages. It's not practical. We don't have the time or money to spend on it. It's not happening. [And we can't communicate in broken English, though we do try to make it work to some success.]

Less hostile community and backseat modding.
I don't understand what is hostile about trying to protect someone's art. There are certainly hostile ways to go about doing that, sure, but people should feel free to call out others (and/or contact moderators) for being overly harsh about it. "Hey, there's rules about porting things, you should really read them before you make/host a port, here's some links to them" is all anyone really has to say. I don't see how trying to protect someone's art is backseat moderating, either. It's, like, the correct thing to do in general, especially in an art community.

Creators can see firsthand the demand for an official port, even from new players who never had a chance to try their stuff before.
Creators can see the demand just fine from people flooding their PMs/DMs/YouTube comment sections/social media accounts/etc asking for ports.

Absent creators might come back years later to find unofficial ports being used and dislike it.
The rules exist to minimize this happening as much as possible.

it's merely trying to preserve an artist's work. That's not malicious.
Anything you do to someone's work without their permission is malicious whether the intent behind it is malicious or not. Creators' works are already preserved by being archived here, and by SRB2.org keeping archives of every version used to play them.


Sorry man, I have no beef with you, but this is a total miss. Just because you're okay with people porting your work, and just because people want to make ports of other old works, doesn't mean it's okay for anyone to make any port or edit willy-nilly. Our rules do not stem from a place of wanting to keep people from ever experiencing old mods, they come from a place of putting the wishes of the original creators above all else. As long as people like Charyb, wolfs, Boinciel, all the Judges, and myself have anything to say about it, this is the way it's going to be. I'm sorry that that makes it harder to play old mods, but everything one needs to play them is within reach (though I also acknowledge that hardware compatibility does also make it harder or impossible in some cases, which is unfortunate).

I'd like to close by reminding everyone of a couple things:
- You do not have to advertise your game on the Master Server in order for people to join it. No Master Server, no rules. Host whatever you want. We can't possibly moderate that.
- It is perfectly possible to create your own master server for people to advertise games on. People who want to make an MS where people are allowed to host unauthorized ports are free to do so. Again, we can't possibly moderate that. We would prefer that anyone hosting their own MS concerns themselves with making sure artists' rights and intentions are respected, of course.
 
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lnferno

Blazing Creator
And this is a perfectly valid outcome. I don't think you could possibly argue against it if you wanted to.
And I never wished to. My main point was just stating that people had tried to use that rule. A "no" is a perfectly valid response, naturally.
 

MotorRoach

Roach when Sonic
Sonic Team Junior
My proposal is to reverse this. We still shouldn't allow unofficial ports in releases without authorization, but unless a creator's explicitly against their work being played through a fan port, let's assume it's fine and leave players be. This SHOULD work out because of the way our community operates.
...if a creator didn't state their work is up for use, then don't assume it's up for being used. It's as simple as that.

So I am sure they're also perfectly capable of relaying proof in cases when a creator's actually against ports. That means admins and community members won't have issues keeping up with this information.
This just sounds like it would needlessly complicate moderating unauthorized ports or not, because suddenly everyone would be allowed to make portlegs, and both members and moderators would constantly have to argue back and forth with portleggers that someone doesn't actually authorize portlegs, as opposed to simply following the rule of "if they didn't make their mod as reusable, then simply don't use it". Your proposal solves nothing and only creates more potential problems.

Regardless of a porter's capability to port with quality, it's merely trying to preserve an artist's work. That's not malicious.
Malicious intent and disrespect aren't on the same lane at all. You could be very well meaning and still unintentionally disrespect an author's wishes without even knowing that. Plus, we kept all the old released mods in here archived? They're not going anywhere. If you want to play them, then just play them in their intended versions.

We know the community's intelligent enough to recognize when ports are unofficial
...yeah, I'm gonna guess you didn't hear about the Movienight incident in here. It's the exact opposite of your statement, to put it simply lol

Also, I had forgotten about the 60 day waiting rule for porting mods, so like... that makes things far less stricter than you make it sound too.
 

Charybdizs

>WTB lamp oil
Administrator
Kart Krew™️
Judge
Cosigning what the other staff said.

Addressing one concern I haven't seen brought up so far. You seem to be very concerned about people going at each others' throats over ports. Is that a problem? Yes, it's a problem that people are going at each others' throats. It's not a problem that it's happening over the rules on ports. The fact that people are concerned about author permission and asking the hard questions? That's genuinely a problem. It's all in the delivery.

If you encounter people who are taking a legitimate thing to be concerned about and using it to be overzealous or bully people around... just report them. If they're being like that then it's a character problem, not a rule problem. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, ya know?
 

mayo

Cobaltn't 's Unwanted Twin, The Sapphire Blur!
you know, your fanports are way better than i thought, some day i might play them if i can get them that is...
 

Varren

depressed furry
Sonic Team Junior
My proposal is to reverse this. We still shouldn't allow unofficial ports in releases without authorization, but unless a creator's explicitly against their work being played through a fan port, let's assume it's fine and leave players be. This SHOULD work out because of the way our community operates.

The reason why this rule exists now is because this did happen last year based on what I remember (the gamebanana SRB2 page, etc), and it got out of control

This unfortunately already has been proven to not work out (shadow-fix.pk3, etc)

We know the community's intelligent enough to recognize when ports are unofficial; so they're perfectly aware ports don't reflect the creator's intended quality. We've seen it time and time again. From rants about port quality to the amount of policing for merely showing screens of "portlegs", plenty intimately keep up-to-date with this stuff.

So I am sure they're also perfectly capable of relaying proof in cases when a creator's actually against ports. That means admins and community members won't have issues keeping up with this information. If people were expected to know what's a fanport or not, then this isn't much different. It's only a matter of time until someone comes in and tells you "Sugoi22.pk3" is a banned mod.
Regardless of a porter's capability to port with quality, it's merely trying to preserve an artist's work. That's not malicious. Even less so for people just playing it. If creators have issues with fanports not meeting quality standards, they can mention that rather than let their silence incriminate everyone.

The problem here is that most people outside of the discord server don't actually keep up with this, or ignore it altogether

My biggest personal example: I have voiced my concerns involving a subarashii port several times in the last year and a half, along with small requests involving my content in it. (I also left multiple notes in my own code to not use them without my permission, so all they had to do was ask me). As kind as I tried to keep my comments, they were ignored. Instead of actually hearing out my requests after the fact, some doubled down and instead tried to argue that the ports should be allowed, and nothing should happen


I know where you are trying to come from- but I am sorry, I can't agree. The actions shown in the past year have only furthered my stance on this
 
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glaber

Emblem Radar Ready
Some fan ports require a ton of work most porters are just not willing to put in. Like SRB2 the Past. I've seen at least 2 portlegs pop up on game banana, but neither of them were by people willing to put in the work to get everything fixed up to work on 2.2.

Now if you're curious about my position of unofficial SRB2 the Past ports, I'm ok with them, but you got to put in the work to get your port fully working.
Accept no Low Quality Portlegs
 

Golden Shine

Here to bring light!
View attachment 54969
You really can't wait 60 days?

Ever since this rule was added, I have not seen a single person use it. The ability to do this has been sitting there for like... a year maybe? You just need to show you tried to contact an absentee member of the community, and gave it time. If you can't be patient enough to wait, then I think that's proof that you shouldn't make that port. If someone did try this, I'd probably do some work into looking for the original author myself, just to be sure. If nothing comes up, I'd release it, as long as it met quality standards and got whatever updates it'd need (like Amy/Fang support), but the porter has gotta do their part.
To be fair, I didn't know/remember that. In at least 1 way that's almost more lenient than what I've proposed.

My post is from the perspective of someone getting fed up by the constant backseat policing(I was referring to THOSE people when I'm saying there's always plenty of people able to recognize when a port is unofficial), and seeing how easily people can get banned. This rule's kink still doesn't fix that for players, but it gives the porters an option at least. One I didn't know we had.

I have little left to add, I can agree with at least the majority of what's said. Just keep in mind I never once intended to say "we deserve all this content from previous creators", especially not from any creators that were actively against it. If you're against it, my stance is the same.
 

rocklight124

An Avenger
And this is what happens when someone miss understands your words. I believe if someone wants something ported then contact creator or make a level yourself. Also not everyone is gonna read the rules. It's sad, but true. I have seen way to many "illegal ports" around.
 

Dr bob

So when will you add a Exp system to your Addon???
To Give my two cents, And retread over ground walked on by many o' People Aaand in baby talk:​
People vary on if they want give perms for porting addon to next number increase in srb2.​
60 day good,​
And sometimes people Dont read the rules they totally should.​
 

time gear

Eternity in an hour
And this is what happens when someone miss understands your words.
This is generally why I prefer watching voiced videos for trying to understand what someone is talking about. If I had a good mic I'd probably do that more myself, honestly. Through video, you not only are able to get your tone of voice across as well as say what you want said at your own pace, but you can also provide on-screen visuals in tandem with your audio to help provide a visual for what you are talking about when necessary. It's not entirely fool-proof, but it does generally do a better job of getting what you are trying to say across better than written paragraphs ever could, even with images mixed in.

The problem with text is that there's not as much context for how you are intending what you are saying to have been said. You lack tone of voice, so emotions and sarcasm don't necessarily translate as well. Sometimes such things are obvious through text, other times the reader might think they are obvious when they actually weren't intended. When what you are trying to say is something that feels important to you, video just feels like the better method to me, when the option is there.
 

SoupMob

I can't put up with this anymore...
This bothered me for a while, please hear me out. Fanmade ports are currently treated the same as making unauthorized edited versions of mods. Hosting them online results in a ban, and anything else will at least get everyone at each other's throats playing community police.

I'm wholeheartedly behind that behavior when people make unauthorized edits, or try passing other's work off as their own. It's disrespectful and affects the content creator. But that's not the same for fanmade ports. These are made by people who like the creator's content as it is, but because SRB2 updates keep breaking stuff, they can't play it anymore. The content creator may be gone, or not care to put in the effort porting their content each time SRB2 updates decide to break everything. (and then even usually get ragged on for not updating their work to meet "the new quality standards".)

srb20068.png


As the rules are now, all mods are fated to disappear until the creator actively stops that from happening. If a creator's gone, or is fine/doesn't care about ports, then people are getting banned and going at each other's throat for no reason at all.

I've made lazy ports of all of E123-Omega's levelpacks. He's fine with fanports. All I know can prove that is a single sentence buried in a Youtube comment section. Yet I'd be a "criminal" until I explicitly prove that. I might even be banned if I hosted them. We have a "guilty until proven innocent" system.

srb20067.png



My proposal is to reverse this. We still shouldn't allow unofficial ports in releases without authorization, but unless a creator's explicitly against their work being played through a fan port, let's assume it's fine and leave players be. This SHOULD work out because of the way our community operates.

We know creators have given permission for their work to be played when they publicly upload it; so they've given permission to play it.

We know the community's intelligent enough to recognize when ports are unofficial; so they're perfectly aware ports don't reflect the creator's intended quality. We've seen it time and time again. From rants about port quality to the amount of policing for merely showing screens of "portlegs", plenty intimately keep up-to-date with this stuff.

So I am sure they're also perfectly capable of relaying proof in cases when a creator's actually against ports. That means admins and community members won't have issues keeping up with this information. If people were expected to know what's a fanport or not, then this isn't much different. It's only a matter of time until someone comes in and tells you "Sugoi22.pk3" is a banned mod.


Pros:
  • Content can carry over to new versions in playable states without the creator's constantly having to come back for it.
  • Less people banned, especially in the case of ignorance/language barriers of what are portlegs or not.
  • Less hostile community and backseat modding.
  • Creators can see firsthand the demand for an official port, even from new players who never had a chance to try their stuff before.

Cons:
  • Absent creators might come back years later to find unofficial ports being used and dislike it. Their fanported content can still be banned from there.

srb20069.png


Regardless of a porter's capability to port with quality, it's merely trying to preserve an artist's work. That's not malicious. Even less so for people just playing it. If creators have issues with fanports not meeting quality standards, they can mention that rather than let their silence incriminate everyone.

I have faith in the community informing everyone what unofficial ports are banned and which aren't. Much in the same way we currently have faith in master server users knowing what's unofficial in the first place.


If someone makes an edit of the original mod that hasn't been ported to 2.2 WITH permission and credit, does it count as a portleg?
Edit as in, heavily modified. (same project with drastic differences)
 

lnferno

Blazing Creator
If someone makes an edit of the original mod that hasn't been ported to 2.2 WITH permission and credit, does it count as a portleg?
Edit as in, heavily modified. (same project with drastic differences)
If you have permission full stop, it's no longer a portleg, or even problematic.
 

time gear

Eternity in an hour
I assume the question is one of terminology. If a project is being ported with permission but includes heavy changes, what would you call that? At least, that's how I'm reading it.
 

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