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Thread: Intro and a Question

  1. #1
    Guild Member Baron's Avatar
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    Default Intro and a Question

    Hi everyone, I've been on the site for a while but have never posted anything I made. Well, I just made my own version of a color overland map for the DCC adventure "Peril on the Purple Planet" using Hexkit. I'd be happy to share it here, but I'm not sure where it belongs because it's not original. I tried looking at the FAQ and didn't find an answer. If some kind soul knows, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
    Running: 1st ed AD&D, two different campaigns. A Ghastly Affair, in Barovia.

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    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    We have plenty of people who have shared fan art and other re-creations of existing maps, so I don't see any reason why you couldn't share your version of the map as well. The Finished maps section, or the Regional/World WIP area would be good bets depending on do you consider the map to be complete or not. Share away!
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    Guild Member Baron's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. The reason I have a question is because of this post in the Read Me Before Posting thread on the Finished Maps section. Posted by Robbie Powell, site admin:

    ***Update***

    Maps posted in this Finished Maps forum should be of your own creations. While they can contain clip art/contents not originally created by you (as many users use token/icon based mapping software) the map as a whole should be an original creation. Variants, deviations, and mash-ups should not be posted here.

    Thank you!
    Running: 1st ed AD&D, two different campaigns. A Ghastly Affair, in Barovia.

    Playing: Cyberpunk RED.

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    Guild Member Baron's Avatar
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    Per the Read Me I just sent my question using the Contact Us link.
    Running: 1st ed AD&D, two different campaigns. A Ghastly Affair, in Barovia.

    Playing: Cyberpunk RED.

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    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    When you say "your own version" of the map, what does that mean? Basically, yeah, if you have taken an existing map and re-drawn it in your own style, that's good to go (I can't even count how many people have posted their fan maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth over the years). If it's a map drawn by someone else that you've touched up on Photoshop to alter some colours, add a few city icons, or something to that effect, then I would say it's not an original piece, if that makes any sense?
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    Guild Member Baron's Avatar
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    Robbie's "the map as a whole should be an original creation" gave me pause, because it's not defined. Sure, people re-draw Middle Earth all the time, and are always looking at existing maps when they do. But by my definition, their maps are not "original." Your take on it is clearer to me, but still I'm not looking to get chastised if I post something that's not "original."

    As I said, I used Hexkit to make my own version of the published map, because the original is in black and white. It's also hand-drawn. Hexkit uses proprietary artwork on hex tiles that the user can assemble into a map and share non-commercially. So neither the map layout nor the tile artwork are my own, only my assemblage of tiles to represent the original published map in a new format.

    Robbie doesn't have a problem with programs like Hexkit per se, but nonetheless by my understanding of the word "original" all those re-draws of Middle-Earth shouldn't be posted here.

    So I guess I just need to hear from a site rep... It's all so complicated. I'm a game master, I like maps, and I wanted to share mine with the community. Heck, even one of the original authors of the adventure module encouraged me to share my version of the map on the Goodman Games site! But this site says "original only."
    Running: 1st ed AD&D, two different campaigns. A Ghastly Affair, in Barovia.

    Playing: Cyberpunk RED.

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    Community Leader Kellerica's Avatar
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    Well, I am a Community Leader, so I feel like I can speak with some authority here.

    We don't have a problem with fan-art as long as the fan-map is made by you. By my understanding, re-drawing of a map is still considered an original work if you are the person who drew it, even if the initial design of the world was created by someone else. We've accepted fan maps of Middle-Earth and other popular worlds (I myself have made a map of my favourite setting, Le Guin's Earthsea a few years back and posted that on the forums too) for years, and don't really see any reason why we'd suddenly make a U-turn on that. The "original work only" rule is there more to stop people from taking a piece drawn by someone else, slapping a Photoshop filter on it and going on to claim the work as their own, which unfortunately around the web happens all the time.

    And as a general note, nobody tends get chastised for much around here unless they are going out of their way to be rude and disrespectful to anyone. We're a very friendly and relaxed community here, so no need to worry too much. At the very worst you might have someone politely point it out to you if something you do is against the rules. And you're always welcome to ask if anything feels unclear.

    So share away, my friend! Any additional concerns, just holler.
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    henlo! welcome to the guild!

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    "Original" generally means that you did the work to make your own representation of the concept. "Derivative" means that you based your work on someone else's work (for example, most of those Middle Earth maps are in some way or other derivative works based on subject matter and often layout, but are generally considered "original"). "Plagiarism" is where you would be copying everything about the composition and notations on the maps, doing nothing of your own except some stroking.
    From what you said here, I would think that your hexkit map would definitely qualify as "original". It shouldn't qualify as infringing in any sense that would cause anyone particular distress. Post it! If I understand US copyright law (I am not a lawyer), the worst that can happen is that the copyright owner requests that the site pull it down and it will be pulled down. At the very least you'll get feedback about what you did. Sometimes, you'll get comments about the original source material.

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