Is it illegal to patch a PC game, with a patch made by fans?

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hydralisk86

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#1 hydralisk86
Member since 2006 • 8835 Posts

Is it illegal to patch a PC game, with a patch made by fans? I'm talking about patches that do things like alter and enhance the graphics and music.

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LUMIN4RY

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#2 LUMIN4RY
Member since 2011 • 416 Posts

Beware the Patch Police... they're watching.

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kaealy

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#3 kaealy
Member since 2004 • 2179 Posts

Isn't it fair use if you don't try to resell it?

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N30F3N1X

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#4 N30F3N1X
Member since 2009 • 8923 Posts

Nope, it's not.

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Elann2008

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#5 Elann2008
Member since 2007 • 33028 Posts
There's one user-made patch that basically saved the game: Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. If that's a crime, then the developers should be punished excessively for abandoning their game in a broken state. :P
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kozzy1234

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#6 kozzy1234
Member since 2005 • 35966 Posts

Vampire The Masquerade and Gothic3 are prime examples of this...... both amazing games once they got patched up by the community.. but on relase they both had tons of issues.

Nothign illegal with downloading community patches for Gothic3, Stalker or Vampire.

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N30F3N1X

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#7 N30F3N1X
Member since 2009 • 8923 Posts

There's one user-made patch that basically saved the game: Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. If that's a crime, then the developers should be punished excessively for abandoning their game in a broken state. :PElann2008

They were forced to. You know, with Activision as their publisher.

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hydralisk86

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#8 hydralisk86
Member since 2006 • 8835 Posts
So it is NOT illegal? Sorry, didn't get my coffee in the morning, so I'm a little confused.
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James00715

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#9 James00715
Member since 2003 • 2484 Posts

It's not illegal. Against the terms of service maybe, but not illegal unless proven in a court. Most games come with terms that say you aren't allowed to modify the game files in any way except official patches. However, I have never heard of anyone sued or convicted for doing it unless it disrupts multiplayer (bots, hacks, etc).

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hydralisk86

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#10 hydralisk86
Member since 2006 • 8835 Posts

It's not illegal. Against the terms of service maybe, but not illegal unless proven in a court.

James00715
You mean it's OK as long as no one finds out?? O.O
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gameguy6700

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#11 gameguy6700
Member since 2004 • 12197 Posts
I believe the DMCA technically makes it illegal, but fan patches are treated just like any other mod. I've never heard of a developer complaining about them either seeing as how if the fans felt it necessary to make a patch then there's probably a good chance that the biggest thing holding back sales of your game was that it was a buggy mess. As for mods in general, developers at worst just ignore them and at best enthusiastically embrace them. A good modding community can greatly expand the lifespan of a game, and multiplayer mods can often cause a game to sell far better than the publisher would have ever thought possible (see: Counterstrike, DOTA).
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lostrib

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#12 lostrib
Member since 2009 • 49999 Posts
[QUOTE="James00715"]

It's not illegal. Against the terms of service maybe, but not illegal unless proven in a court.

hydralisk86
You mean it's OK as long as no one finds out?? O.O

I think it falls under: No it's not but if you screw something up it's not the companies fault and they dont have to help you. In other words, dont worry about it, and follow the instructions
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deactivated-5ac102a4472fe

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#13 deactivated-5ac102a4472fe
Member since 2007 • 7431 Posts

considering that fan patches often gets help from devs or ex devs, I doubt you should ocnsider it illegal :P

The cases where a fan patch is not allowed by devs are really rare, and If I weret o point fingers at likely publishers who would consider it illegal I would say Activision and Ubisoft.

Generally tho,most publishers and devs allow it, shows that the community cares, and you can find alot of talent there.

You could say that it is a gray area, what could make it illegal, is that it falls under the same juridical place as hacks, and security bypasses.

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MonsieurX

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#14 MonsieurX
Member since 2008 • 39514 Posts
How could it be illegal?
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wis3boi

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#15 wis3boi
Member since 2005 • 32507 Posts
How could it be illegal?MonsieurX
the patch police brigade are watching you with tiny cameras :P
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deactivated-57e5de5e137a4

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#16 deactivated-57e5de5e137a4
Member since 2004 • 12929 Posts

It can be. You have to read the TOU for the specific game to be sure. Some specifically say that you can't modify the game files.

Realistically though, even if you get caught they'll probably not care. How likely is it that they will find out? Not very.

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C_Rule

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#17 C_Rule
Member since 2008 • 9816 Posts
[QUOTE="James00715"]

It's not illegal. Against the terms of service maybe, but not illegal unless proven in a court.

hydralisk86
You mean it's OK as long as no one finds out?? O.O

Pretty much, same deal with people who pirate stuff. And even if authorities did for what ever reason find out, they're not going to care, not when they have more important stuff to worry about.
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deactivated-5cf4b2c19c4ab

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#18 deactivated-5cf4b2c19c4ab
Member since 2008 • 17476 Posts
Yes it is, it is punishable by death in over 50 countries.
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yellosnolvr

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#20 yellosnolvr
Member since 2005 • 19302 Posts
there are probably a few games that would disallow this (as stated in their ToU's), but definitely not illegal if you aren't accessing other people's private information, etc.; you know, illegal stuff :P in other words: you're fine :)
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#21 KillerJuan77
Member since 2007 • 3823 Posts

Vampire The Masquerade and Gothic3 are prime examples of this...... both amazing games once they got patched up by the community.. but on relase they both had tons of issues.

Nothign illegal with downloading community patches for Gothic3, Stalker or Vampire.

kozzy1234

Gothic 3 is a nightmare without the user patch, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines... not really, I've played it like 5-6 hours and I hadn't found a single bug, but the performance is atrocious.

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Drosa

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#22 Drosa
Member since 2004 • 3136 Posts

Illegal, I doubt it. The only catch is the developer/distributor won't support it. Concidering how many times these patches have been made for brand new games they should support it as a thanks for not suing us for selling you more broken garbage.

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Litchie

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#23 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 25922 Posts
Not sure. Might be. But there's no reason to care.
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TheHunterV3

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#24 TheHunterV3
Member since 2011 • 66 Posts
No it's not illegal Fallout3nexus as my example, they basically mod pc and and patches now i don't know about community made patches for consoles.
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JKnaperek

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#25 JKnaperek
Member since 2006 • 2023 Posts
Welcome to the wonderful world of modding.
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SaintJimmmy

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#26 SaintJimmmy
Member since 2007 • 2815 Posts
To Sum it all it all up No its not don't even worry about it.
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guildclaws

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#27 guildclaws
Member since 2009 • 7921 Posts

Of course not

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Beagle050

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#28 Beagle050
Member since 2008 • 737 Posts

I don't think so. It might be against the TOS, though, which could get you banned from the game's multiplayer, or something like that.

If it's a patch to crack a game that you don't own legally, though, then that's illegal.

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pelvist

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#29 pelvist
Member since 2010 • 7757 Posts

As long as the patch doesnt cercumvent copy protection then no it isnt illegal.

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Kinthalis

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#30 Kinthalis
Member since 2002 • 5503 Posts

It is not illegal.

And people, breakign an EULA is NOT illegal.

So you're safe TC.

In fact, mods and community patches are a hallmark of Pc gaming. IT's one of the many things that sets PC gamign apart from consoles.

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theshadowhunter

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#31 theshadowhunter
Member since 2004 • 2956 Posts

Nope.