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  EA Grabs Your ‘Spore Creature Creator’ IP  
Posted 2008-06-28 by Tony Walsh
Talk about harshing my buzz. Electronic Arts is going to let us design creatures with its long-awaited Spore game and stand-alone Creature Creator, but in using the game and creator, we agree to hand over all rights in our creations to the megalithic publisher, including the right to "further modify" the creations. So much for using Spore as a sketchpad for creature concepts.

In my legally-ignorant view, EA should have no IP rights in how I assemble the building blocks it supplies. That's like LEGO claiming ownership over everything we build, or Adobe claiming ownership over images run through Photoshop. The way I see it, creature designers are creating new IP with a tool set they paid for--why should we give EA our work, except for the exclusive purpose of sharing with other creature creators in the way the game was designed?

Here's the relevant legalese from the EULA:

(b) Spore IP Rights. EA owns all of the right, title and interest in the Spore Creature Creator, the assets included in the Creature Creator for building and animating creatures and for creating backgrounds and video clips, and all derivative works comprised of those assets, including the Spore creatures that you create, animate, and capture in screen shots or video clips using the Spore Creature Creator. You may use only the assets supplied with the Creature Creator to create Spore Creatures. You may not further modify Spore Creatures with any other materials, tools, or software programs. All rights not expressly granted herein, are reserved by EA.

(c) Your Contributions. In exchange for use of the Spore Creature Creator, and to the extent that your contributions through use of the Spore Creature Creator give rise to any copyright interest, you hereby grant EA an exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully transferable and sub-licensable worldwide right and license to use your contributions in any way and for any purpose in connection with the Spore Games and related merchandise, including the rights to reproduce, copy, adapt, modify, perform, display, publish, broadcast, transmit, or otherwise communicate to the public by any means whether now known or unknown and distribute your contributions without any further notice or compensation to you of any kind for the whole duration of protection granted to intellectual property rights by applicable laws and international conventions.

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    Comment posted by Chris Charabaruk
    July 3, 2008 @ 11:52 am
    As if I needed any more reason to avoid Spore. Sucks, though... In the beginning it was awesome. But like everything EA does these days, it's been turned to crap.
    Comment posted by GeorgeR
    July 8, 2008 @ 9:33 pm
    While this is rather obnoxious, I can see EA doing it as a whole sort of blanket protection for themselves. They'd rather say something like that then end up doing a commercial where a critter looks like one someone made and uploaded online and get sued by said creator.

    It does suck, and it shouldn't be needed, but they're just practicing CYA.
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