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Mod protection/lock tool

Forum Overview >> Feature Requests

CategoryFeature Requests
Created02.06.2015 19:21


Thenevsova36 (thenevsova36) 02.06.2015 19:21
Are you going to add some tool to lock mod files in the future? I think it would be good protection against mod thieves and editors.

Emil Drefers (giants.edrefers) 15.06.2015 08:17
Hi,

our policy is to keep everything as opened as possible.

Personally I can totally understand your wish because I was modding once too.
But, try to see it like this ...

You learned from our opened script documentation and vehicle assets as well as from other mods.
So, it is just kind of fair to let others have a look into your scripts/vehicles to be able to learn from your work.


Cheers,
Emil




Thenevsova36 (thenevsova36) 15.06.2015 18:34
OK, thank for answer. Have a nice day. :-]

Kristian Asplund (Harryy) 27.06.2015 09:24
Emil: How can you say "everything opened" when we cant open the dlc packs??

Emil Drefers (giants.edrefers) 29.06.2015 09:51
Hi,

well the DLCs can't be open for an ovious reason.

Who would buy a DLC if he/she could get it for free from a friend?

But the next version of FS might contain some parts of the DLCs.
So later on they will be open.

Finally you can still adjust stuff in the DLC by scripts.
e.g.
http://ls-mods.de/download.php?hash=7d4722413b324104090fbd4b71e32490&language=de


Cheers,
Emil

J Merc-cas (unknown) 08.12.2015 15:27
"You learned from our opened script documentation and vehicle assets as well as from other mods.
So, it is just kind of fair to let others have a look into your scripts/vehicles to be able to learn from your work."

it is fine if someone wants to learn the scripting but as far as taking our actual models and re-skinning them and maybe adding some new wheels and putting it out as their own... not acceptable. And being the lack of actual quality 3d models some of us have resorted to paying for 3d models. So lets see 80-120$ for a 3d model 20-100 if not more hours depending on the quality and complex of the model just so we can enhance the communities gaming experience on our dollar and countless time. I will tell you what Emil it is a shame that there are content creators out there putting better mods and equipment out than the PAID giants staff and we can not get even a little appreciation by giving us a tool that WE KNOW you guys already have. Why dont you guys put out a poll asking the FS gaming community if this game would be anything without modders and content creators.



Emil Drefers (giants.edrefers) 11.12.2015 07:58
Hi,

again, I can only say that I can totally understand your opinion.

So, all I can do is to bring this topic up and try to start a discussion about it internally.
But I can't guarantee anything ...

Cheers,
Emil

Thenevsova36 (thenevsova36) 13.12.2015 20:57
A few days ago another good modder left FS community because somebody stole his mod, deleted his name and put in on all websites in the world. In 2020 there will be only bad and nonfunctional mods made by these kids and dishonest people. Please, do something!


---
Sorry for my English!

Raymond Larson (unknown) 15.12.2015 16:14
Well in my opinion, I would like to see some kind of lock protection, but in the form of editing them. As in, you could still open the files, but editing anything within them would not work. This may not protect the text based files, but models would surely be much harder to try and modify.

But I will say, there is no way to make any model 100% theft proof.

I wonder, if using WinRAR to create a .zip file, if you place a password on the archive, will the game still be able to use the mod? I know I have downloaded 1 mod that I wanted to adjust the price on ($1 isn't very realistic), and when trying to open any file inside the archive I get a corrupted or unknown format error, but the game itself can use the mod.

J Merc-cas (unknown) 15.12.2015 19:27
@Raymond Larson

password protecting a zip does not work. I wish it did. I understand why giants does not want to do it saying that it is a way for people to learn off others But being a modder myself all i can say is I have learned what i learned from tuts videos and the ingame stuff itself. Never from someone elses mods. Too many wanna be modders out there have broken mods so why would I want to learn from them. Lately I have expanded my knowledge in making animations using 3dsmax for FS15. And my latest project has 60hrs into it so far and i am far from done unfortunately in fear of someone else tearing it apart and putting their name on it and re-releasing it My mod will most likely never see public. Hopefully one day someone realizes that our time is valuable too and gives us the resources it would take for us to protect ourself... even if you cant give us a lock give us the legal right to be able to fight people in court.

Tomas Bet (Dzi4d3k) 04.01.2016 10:52
Hello to All interested,

My idea (and wish), is that Giants release, light version of DLC locking/creating tool.
These files (archives) have appropriate properties (I would refuse to enumerate them in details) to stop mods thieves.
The only difference would be to not require license key, making them free in therms of game logic.
Access to such tool should be limited to modders with appropriate skills - proven in contests or other form of qualification.

Question why we need such option is I think answered, but I just to point out that many mods today are abused against their author's consent. I'm observing now collapse of quality mods community, and seeing more and more crappy mods, each of them made (stolen) only to make money on download-awarding sites.

Regards.





Emil Drefers (giants.edrefers) 05.01.2016 07:13
Hi,

want to say thank you to everybody for your inputs.
I will bring this topic up internally, but I can't guarantee you anything at this time.

Cheers,
Emil



Mykola Kushnir (Mykola) 07.10.2016 15:22
Hi Emil,

I am totally agree with folks above. We definitely need some solution to protect our work. I spent hundreds of hours working with mods starting from models and ending with scripts ...
So, for now I see few solutions:
1. Giants provide a tool for mod protection and probably some extended SDK. This stuff should be distributed under commercial licence agreement. Actually I am ready to buy it.
2. Giants provide some plugable way (e.g. plugins/interfaces) for mod protection. Implementation of that protection tool will be handled by modders community. I can contribute to that activity as well.

Personally option #1 is preferable for me, since its more transparent and clean in terms how to make business together.

Best Regards,
Mykola

Per Bjorn (mrbear) 08.10.2016 08:41
I just want to voice an other opinion regarding mod protection, which I believe is a very bad idea.

1. We will not be able to fix any bugs or misstakes in mods our selfs as we can do today, and not only the perfect mods will be protected.

2. We will not be able to modify mods for personal use, or transfer them to the next version of FS. This includes things like MR conversions, adding passager mod and so on.

For me a protected mod is a dead mod. As Emil says there are commercial reasons why protection are added to the DLCs that I can understand, but for us as a gaming community there are no such interests and I which the community would become more about sharing than building egos.

Mykola Kushnir (Mykola) 08.10.2016 13:55
@Per Bjorn,

Seems you are out of topic or did not even create any serious mod. You want fix smth in mod ?! OK, no problem, imagine next mods - courseplay, GRS, multioverlay, FabrikScript (from Marhu) - what you want fix here ?? This is very complex mod, you will need spent a lot of time to figure out, and most likely you fix will not be valid in that context, since you are not operate business logic of that mod. For instance course play has 24 000 code lines, you still want to fix bug here ? Instead, you can contact authors, report about bug, and get update with proper/tested and valid fix.
Regarding small mods here no reason to protect them, since there are not so big efforts to create them.

We are talking about protection for big and complex mod where people spent a lot of time and money to create it and this should be somehow protected.



Tykonket (IlMat) 12.10.2016 17:50
@Mykola Kushnir
If you are a good programmer, you will not have problem in fixing bug on this mods, most of them are written very clearly and well.
I fixed problems in lots of mods and if mods are well written, I can guarantee that you don't need too much time.

Mykola Kushnir (Mykola) 13.10.2016 11:22
@Tykonket,
Yes, I am good programmer (more then 15 years exp), so there are no problems in fixing mods from my side.
The problem actually is in another context - we want to have ability deliver our modding content at commercial basis. Similar to DLC. Will be it locked/protected, actually its less important here. I wrote above, that we are ready to buy licences or another kind of agreement with Giants, to have the ability sell our content. I am not talking about some simple stuff which can be done in few days.
Consider next (in my case):
I have a team - devs, designer, testers. We build maps and mods. Currently we are working hard on 3 huge projects for FS15, and have a lot of plans for FS17. We are looking for quality first of all, so we pay for 3D models for example. Now, you can imagine that we spent a lot of money already. And there are no satisfaction for this expenses, only donate which did not cover that.
It's hard to support all that stuff if you pay for everything you own money. That's way we asking Giants to help us in way to give ability sell our work.
Otherwise our projects may not be finished and delivered.
Who will in that case ? Nobody.


Tykonket (IlMat) 13.10.2016 12:57
@Mykola Kushnir
Oh yhea, I didn't understood, sorry.
I totally agree with you in this, i think would be great for GIANTS and for modders do some kind of store where modders can sell mods like DLC etc.
In this case modders would pay a license or GIANTS would keep a fee on the sales.
Do you mean this right?

Tykonket (IlMat) 13.10.2016 13:03
Well, three identical posts, hey @GIANTS engineers when you have time, try to implement this pattern ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post/Redirect/Get ) and you will fix this problem.
Please remove duplicates!

Mykola Kushnir (Mykola) 13.10.2016 14:39
@Tykonket,

Exactly! Something similar to AppStore from Apple. You write you software, ship to store, then they validate it according to store rules and start selling.
Having something like Giants modders store will be awesome.
>>In this case modders would pay a license or GIANTS would keep a fee on the sales.
>>Do you mean this right?

Tykonket (IlMat) 13.10.2016 15:30
@Mykola Kushnir @GIANTS

And i can assert more, this business model works very well, it's proven!
For example, take a look at the Unity Asset Store, there, anyone can create "assets" (in the fs context would be mods), once one of them is approved, starts the sale and the owner of the store (in the fs context would be GIANTS) keeps a fee on revenues.

I think you should discussing this whit all the fs team.

Thomas Fischer (tomsite) 23.10.2016 05:27
There is a way to keep at least most people out of your mod, however it will also make you a VIP-Target.
If your mod relies on a script (or you make it rely on a script to function properly) you could pre-compile tthe LUA into a luc file. As LUA can read XML Files you could make the mod function if not modified and misbehave or even not functioning at all if modified. For example set the max fill volume to 1 and max speed to 1 should be possible. Or you disable all animations etc. whatever you fancy.

However, i don't think that such a protection would do any good. 1st of all, it is reversible, that is why i said it makes you a VIP-Target for every cracker. Then: Farming Simulator lives from the modding community, it would be a less interesting game if there wouldn't be mods. I think we all can agree on that. Part of the modding world around FS is that i can download mods and change them to my liking, how i want to use them. Lets take a trailer for example. Do you, as a modder, want to maintain the mod forever and add every bleeding possible filltype and release each and every time you make a small change a new version? Do you want to create a new version each and every time somebody wants to have 100 Liters more fillvolume? Or do you want be ignored by the gamers just because you don't want to change the mod to their liking and gaming style? GMCW and I play for example the Altkirch Map, the map itself is large enough to keep many people more busy. Do you think i want to drive around with trailers which only can hold 10000 Liters? Nope. If i wouldn't be able to change certain settings i simply wouldn't use that mod. Of course one can write scripts to change the settings this way, but every script adds to the loading time and means a performance hit. Especially valid for Multiplayer Games. And lets be entirely honest, there are but only a few mods out there which are outright brilliant. My estimate is that far over 90% of all mods contain errors the modders simply ignore and which they won't fix. But the mods still are excellent and you really want it, either because it looks good or it adds to the game play. Also there are many one hit modders. They upload a mod somewhere and are never seen again. Mod support? What is that? If we can't fix these mods ourselves it would be a mod lost, which would be really nice to have. Next argument: many people do have the ability to write mods on their own, taking an existing mod and then mod it often results for the original modder in good partnerships with others. The problem generally spoken is not that the mods need protection, it is that many idiots can't respect the work of others. But also that some modders don't allow others to reuse their work. Especially given that most mods are anyway just a collection of many different mods by others, or they are ripped out of other games (Trucks are a prime example, ripped out of ETS or ATS and then a few hundred lamps and horns added which were found in another mod). And sorry, exporting a Tractor from Giants, changing a few minor things and then uploading it as a new mod is not modding. However especially there the modders cry and state "May not be uploaded elesewhere, may not be modified" etc. Ridiculous. I personally can only think of a handfull of mods in LS15 which were really worth it to be protected. However these mods are so specific that the community will kill everybody claiming falsely that this is their mod.
And always think that most of the resources most of the modders use are just copied from somewhere and then modified here and there.


Giants made this a very open game for modders of all kind, lets keep it this way because it is also one reason why this game is so interesting and good.

Just my two pennies ^^

Raymond Larson (unknown) 15.11.2016 21:47
I am going to put a little different spin on this conversation. As it has been pointed out, the DLC packs are locked so you can't open them. Well I could have any one of the models in 3ds Max in 30 minutes, ready to edit or render as it was released to the game. Just because you encrypt a model does not mean it is not able to be taken. Someone just has to have the correct software and knowledge of how to use it.

example of having used the software on another game:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn302/roylee18/Models/Cobra/Cobra2.jpg
Cobra model from ProjectTorque, the models were never released, nor were they directly accessible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUSGyn8JtL0 Video of the Cobra in the game.

No, I do not use the software for such disrespectful acts. I actually acquired it when doing stuff for another game where our locked models were taken and we needed to prove they were ours to have the stolen stuff removed from download.


So in the mean time, you really only have 1 option to do (can be undone by the above referenced software). That is model in a specific logo or text on a model to identify it as yours. It could be as simple as 2 letters in the bottom left corner of a window. But you have to actually model the letters/logo in, and raise them from the surface. A image using bump or specular mapping will not work, as that is very easy to change.

Bit I will say I kinda like the fact that it is open, because I personally will alter some textures to be more accurate or clearer as if it was new, and having the models open allows me to check to make sure everything lines up correctly. Plus I adjust different values in other files to be more realistic ($1 for a vehicle is not real, nor is a vehicle having 800 HP vs a real one having 350 HP). Plus there are others that have had glitches/errors I have fixed, and I have also removed unused textures to reduce file sizes. Granted, any mods I have edited have never been uploaded anywhere, nor distributed to anyone privately.

There are both pluses and minuses to both sides. I would say it is a battle that one side will ultimately lose on.

Samuel H. (modelleicher) 16.11.2016 04:22
There are a few things to keep in mind..

1. no protection is secure.. It will always be cracked.
2. the more you protect something the more likely somebody will have a go at it and make sure everybody knows (by making the files availiable) once he has succeeded
3. if there are locking tools, everybody can use it.. So mod thieves can use them as well. And removing all possibility to proof that something is taken without crediting

4. if locked mods become the norm modding and the interest in mods will be dead within a short amount of time.

FS exists since 2008 and there were multiple attempts from multiple people locking down mods.. And none of them did any good to the FS scene. It is an illusion that it will fix problems..
Lets just think about the bale mod in FS08.. It was completely locked down so nobody else could use the scripts for his balers, or attempt to make a mod to use the bales somehow..

The problems with stealing things for profit aren't mod-related.. Guess how much FS17 gets pirated.. Guess how many people of you complaining about stolen mods have pirated modding software or some other software used in relation to modding?
The word "stealing" is even wrong.. If you steal something the person it belongs to doesn't have it anymore.
Using it without permission or distributing it without permission would be more accurate, and its all over the software industry just because you can "steal" something without actually stealing it.
And as we all know, software most likely is locked, has keys and registration.. Yet you can find almost everything online "stolen"..

So, do you really think locking mods is going to solve the problem?


"stolen" mods are just a thing we modders have to live with.. It gets really frustrating from times, but after all we do this for fun, right? We do this because we want something in the game that isn't already, because we want to create something to fit our needs or taste. Why should we have this fun ruined by anybody? Really, i can not understand people who leave the modding scene because their mod was "stolen"..
It just means to me that this person didn't really have fun modding, because if he would he wouldn't let anybody ruin it.. or has a way too big ego, which seems to be a problem in modding scene as well..


Also, i don't play mods i can not edit. If i want smaller wheels i want smaller wheels, if i think the blue isn't the right color i change it.. And if the tractor has to much horsepower i adjust it. The great thing about farming sim isn't just the fact that mods are available, the great thing is that you can change almost everything to the way you like it.
(Just think about FS13 MoreRealistic.. Would have never been possible with locked mods, lots of people did convert all their favorite mods for MR)


And last, if all mods are locked there is no way to learn. Yeah you can learn with tutorials, you can learn how to build a tractor in blender for example with tutorials.
But there is no way to learn how the i3d file is set up with tutorials alone.. You need to look at other vehicles. For most things the FS17 in game vehicles might be enough, but maybe there is a mod with a special feature you want to make as well.. and guess what, it is locked and nobody can figure out how to do..
(Would be great for the ego though.. HAHA i have something cool and nobody can make something similar)


So.. To prevent "stolen" mods..
- while W.I.P don't give the mod to anybody
- while testing only give the mod to people you really trust
- on public release make sure to send the mod in to every site you know with your link and your credits (if the mod already exists on the site it will not be stolen)
- if somebody used your mod for his own without credits or permission and the uploaded or website is somewhere in europe.. try to get it taken down.
If it isn't.. forget about it, don't let it bother you.

- if you can not live with the fact that somebody might "steal" the mod, keep it to yourself.


Another thing to say.. compiling scripts into LUC is the worst most selfish idiotic thing to do.. sorry. I know no scripter that didn't learn by reading other mods, i know no scripter that didn't "copy" or at least took inspiration on a solution for a problem by another script.
Also my experience is that the people actually compiling LUC files in mods usually do that to hide that its a completely "stolen" and hacked togehter script completely based on other scripts.. Without credits, of course..




Nick Freed (DoctorWhofan) 22.11.2017 22:04
hi i just wana know how to separate the model parts from the fs 17 sample mod cuse i want to edit it and work with it you know for experimenting but i cant cuse if i delete the vis it all gets deleted. thanks :)

O.wiesemann (TopAce8888) 25.01.2019 21:29
@Per Bjorn (mrbear): I totally agree with you. Usually, the first Thing i do with a new mod, open it, and have a look at it in the Editor. Perhaps there is something i can learn from or I can adjust if im not happy with something. And I learned a lot from other mods in the last months, since i started modding (for myself) with FS17. A locked mod is of no interest. If all mods are locked then in consequence the game if of no interest.

And this is why I usually downt play the DLC Maps. Editing and playing goes hand in hand for me, so a map which i cant adapt for my own ideas is not worth playing.

But thats only my personal opinion.

@Thenevsova36 (thenevsova36): Who is this modder who the modding community?



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