I’ve been toying with the idea of making a music mod of copyrighted music but I’m wondering if that would count as copyright infringing file sharing. Anyone in the know if it’s OK copyright wise to make a music mod containing copyrighted music?
I’ve seen there’s an existing LotR music mod and I know for sure Howard Shore’s music is copyrighted so clearly it’s possible to make these kinds of mods but I’m wondering still about the copyright issue
You should definitely read what the ToS says about uploading mods, if they have a line in there that “we at microsoft aren’t responsible for the UGC” then if anything happens you are the one getting the Cease and Desist notification and have to take the mod down. OR they have a line “You as a mod uploader have to make sure all files are within your allowed copyright to use” then obviously it would not be allowed. I haven’t read or seen them myself, better to educate yourself prior to wasting time making a mod that eventually could get taken down, but I have yet to see a mod get taken down despite obviously people not having the full rights for a thing.
I think AoE2 mods (and mods for other games in general) are kinda obscure and don’t generate any profits, so companies don’t generally care about copyright
Unless you start making a considerable amount of money from it or it becomes very well known even to people who don’t even play AoE, you shouldn’t worry about it
I don’t know the licences in the music industry. For software, however, there are different kinds of copyright. Some allow the non-commercial (re-)use and even modification. Other lincences don’t grant these rights.
In your case, I’d assume that it is illegal to distribute such a mod. That’s also the opinion of this user: https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/78s5eu/comment/dowejyv/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
My personal view, how i expect the laws to be worded (without knowing if it is really this way):
Just because the companies don’t care if you distribute their copyright material, does not mean it is legal. Or put another way: If they start to care, you may get into trouble. Whereby it can also be that it does not hit you at first, but the platform you have uploaded the mod to. In this case, however, maybe the operators of the platform can take legal actions against you if you violated against their terms of services by uploading copyrighted material!? Or they may argue that you have caused them financial damage.
If you want to be on the safe side: Ask the copyright holder for permission to include the music in an AOE2 mod.