Sita's Ramblings

or - my explorations in the wonderful worlds of Sims

IPR, file-sharing and the Sims Community

From Discussion on The Sims Daily about the above.

See also Aaron

May 2015

As a downloader

I've lost count of the number of beautiful houses, and Sims, that I wanted to download for Sims - all three versions - that I could not get because I couldn't find the CC, the site was gone, or the link was bad. For Sims 1, a house with missing CC would crash my game, almost certainly. Or you got the horrible black "this is where a door was" lines, and of course the whole design of the house was spoiled. Or a beautiful hair for Sims 3 that is now completely unobtainable unless you speak fluent Korean and Cantonese AND are incredibly lucky.

A friend of mine made a beta program for Sims 1 for creators which listed the CC that was referenced in a lot ready for upload. That was wonderful. Very few people used it, and I never really got it to work for my own lots. The problem of making lots with CC was so large that I eventually gave up on CC and tried to make my own lots (for upload) purely with EA stuff, or my own uninspired recolours of EA stuff.
But this has always been a problem for me, as I said, as a downloader, as well as an uploader of lots. The paucity of decent content EA gives us... Well, it's been said. It's as if there's an assumption on their part that Simmers WILL make more content, so they don't need to. But doesn't that imply that we WILL share what we make?

[rant mode on - ignore if you want.]

From the "Real World"

Now, allow me a short diversion to the Real World, where I worked as a Webmaster and I had to enforce the Intellectual Property Rights thing. It was the part of my job I least liked to explain to my clients, who were teachers, and with limited time for preparing course materials, over and over again that they could not simply copy material - text, diagrams, etc, from a text book and paste it into their web page. EVEN IF the students all had bought that same textbook, it was not allowed without written permission. I had to explain that simply tracing the diagram, or worse, scanning it and changing labels, was not good enough to make it "original". Some accepted this, and made their own, (usually better and more to the purpose). But I saw far too many excellent teachers put off the whole idea of making online materials for their students by this legislation.
I could argue till I was blue in the face that online materials are FAR more useful to students, as well as a much better use of resources, easier for revision and actually for learning from, than poorly photocopied piles of paper (which also certainly contained illegally copied stuff but were assumed to be all right because they had always done that and "because no-one outside our institution would ever see the photocopies anyhow because they would simply turn up lost in the students' rooms.") Also, that wasn't my domain so I couldn't tell them they shouldn't do that...


As a hobby I also did like to make digital art, which was usually derivative - we stand on the shoulders of giants, all of us. (cf Banksy!) I spent some time looking at the legalities and finally decided that the IPR is actually a negative influence on most artists. I've come to believe that it's one of those things that has a NEGATIVE effect on the development of the human race.


I love classical music and the same thing applies. How many compositions have a few-note-theme which is a direct quote from another composer's work, which may simply be a nod of thanks to a teacher or a great master, and\or may then be developed into a whole new tune? And yet the legal ruling at that time (late 90s), just as with pictures, was that if it reminded a judge of the older composition, it was illegal. (All right, it was acceptable, because already accepted, in older pieces but not in new compositions). Now I'm no lawyer but this never did make sense to me. If I make, for example, a drawing of a woman's face and it's good enough to remind a judge who knows little of art, of a drawing by da Vinci, I can be prosecuted? Come on!

Back to topic. I DO believe in giving credit to makers of Sims CC, very much so. Just as I happily give credit to the inspirations of things I write. I don't believe the whole industry that's grown up around IPR is anything that is giving any benefit to the human race and I believe it actually IMPEDES our growth. Where that impinges on the Sims world, well, it makes me very very angry.

[/rant mode]
No apology for ranting here. This is MY site. Comments welcome: please send them to If appropriate I will post them.

One thing to add: I LOVE to see how the Sims community has matured over the last 12 years!

My POV: briefly, see Red Tape. My site is file-share friendly.