Reminder: Plagiarism, Porting and Site Rules [RECOMMENDED YOU READ]

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Alright guys and gals, I think it may be time for a little reminder and refresher course in the rules regarding file uploads here at KotORFiles.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of files being uploaded that are in breach of the rules here and the staff are starting to notice it. Since I joined the staff at the beginning of February, there have been multiple instances of plagiarism, ported content and other breaches of the rules. There may have been more of the same at the very start of the year, but I wasn't staff then, so I don't know anything about that.

Ported Content

Porting is the act of taking a resource or asset from one game, and using it in another. This is not allowed here, as it breaches copyright laws. Over the last month, I have seen several instances of this, and there may even have been more, that were dealt with by one of the other members of Staff. Porting is illegal, and no matter how small a resource you port, it is still illegal, and could result in a lawsuit. If you are new to the site, maybe you are not familiar with this rule, and it's a genuine misunderstanding, which we can understand, but even those of you who have been around for quite a while try to submit ported content once in a while. For this there is no excuse. I suppose you could eve say there is no excuse for new members to do it either, as they should read the upload rules before submitting a file anyway, but there we are.

Any breach of this rule is treated very seriously, and can result in a temporary ban from the site, and even a permanent ban, if the same member submits ported content after being temp-banned for it at an earlier time. The staff do talk to each other, so we all know who has tried what in the past, so trying to slip something through in the hope that a different staff member to the one who found you out last time gets your file won't work. :)

Plagiarism

This is has been a big problem in the modding community both here, and over at Holowan Labs for quite some time. Stealing the work of another modder and trying to pass it off as your own is immoral and wrong. All it does is discourage other members from submitting files, in the fear that their work will be stolen by someone else. Some modders have no problem with other people using their files, as long as they're asked first, but even these files are used without said permission once in a while, which just results in the original author refusing permission afterwards and the file being rejected. Other modders do not like their files being used by other people, which is understandable, as they have no doubt put a lot of hard work into what they do. Yes, this can be inconvenient sometimes, but it's the authors decision, and you must respect that.

After the incidents with Darth Balor/Pikmin, you should all know better than to plagiarise. Therefore there is no excuse. Even newer members should know this as soon as they arrive, as it's just common decency and courtesy to ask before using something that is not yours.

Misc

While Porting and Plagiarism are the two main problems we've been having to deal with, there are also a few other issues which are starting to crop up.

*Screenshots As you no doubt know, authors are required to submit one or more screenshots of their mod when they upload their file. Screenshots serve to give the downloader something to look at to give them an idea of what they're getting. A file without screenshots will most likely be ignored by the public if it is uploaded, as there will be nothing for the downloader to see, apart from the review, which not everyone reads. Also, screenshots should NOT be included in the .zip/RAR/7z archive you submit your mod in, as they will just increase the size of the download for those of you with lower speed connections, and take up unnecessary space on the server. If there is a valid reason why you cannot include a screenshot yourself, try asking a friend from the community to make some screenshots of the mod for you. In some rare circumstances, the staff member may decide to add screenshots if they think you have a valid reason no to have done so yourself, but this does not happen often and as such should not be taken for granted. *Readme Files A readme file is a text document containing information on the mod, such as what it is, what it does, permissions regarding other modders, etc. Without a readme, your mod will be rejected without a second glance. Period. A readme takes only a few minutes to put together, so there's really no excuse not to include one. Unlike screenshots, a readme CAN and SHOULD be included in the download archive. *Compressed File Formats Another issue i've noticed, is people submitting their mods without compressing them. Every file should be submitted in either .zip .RAR or .7z format, with a readme included. This means you can include all required files, without taking up much space on our server, or the downloaders hard drives. Files submitted without being compressed will simply be rejected. If you don't have any software with which to compress your mod, I suggest either 7zip or WinRAR, both of which are free.

Now, I realize that most of you abide by these rules, and that I am talking about a minority of people here, but this is nevertheless an issue. An issue that is starting to get picked up on more and more, and we want to nip it in the bud, before it goes any further. By submitting files that are in breach of our rules, all you are doing is slowing the staff down, by making us deal with your problem files, when we could instead be reviewing and uploading a file which meets all the requirements of the site, and has been submitted by someone who respects the staff and the rules that we have put in place here on the site.

Now, I would like to thank those of you who follow the rules here, as you make the site a pleasure to use and work for. The majority of visitors and members to the site fit into this category, and the staff are thankful that there are so many of you. I hope after reading this, you will continue to visit here, and behave in the manner in which you have since joining. As for the rule breakers, I hope that you after reading this will see the error of your ways and turn over a new leaf as they say, and start to follow the rules properly. In not doing so, you are ultimately cheating only yourself.

Thank you again to those of you who are honest members of the community!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you are unsure about the site rules, you can find them here:

http://knightsoftheoldrepublic.filefront.com/upload/

Our rules regarding plagiarism can also be found here:

http://knightsoftheoldrepublic.filefront.com/info/Plagiarism_Policy

Thanks again for reading. :)

-Marius

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