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-   -   Can I edit addons myself to make them compatible with 5.04? (http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44077)

EricHelms 08-31-12 03:53 PM

Can I edit addons myself to make them compatible with 5.04?
 
There's a few addons that aren't working in 5.04 and I'm wondering if I could just edit them myself for my own personal use. Would that would be against the rules?

My second question is how would you go about doing that? What is it that makes some of the older addons not work in 5.04? I have a few LUA editors now but when I open up a LUA file it's just rambled text. Is it a lot of work to change the addons to make the compatible with 5.04?

Thanks! :)

Dridzt 08-31-12 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EricHelms (Post 261557)
There's a few addons that aren't working in 5.04 and I'm wondering if I could just edit them myself for my own personal use. Would that would be against the rules?

My second question is how would you go about doing that? What is it that makes some of the older addons not work in 5.04? I have a few LUA editors now but when I open up a LUA file it's just rambled text. Is it a lot of work to change the addons to make the compatible with 5.04?

Thanks! :)

Nothing prevents you from editing your local copies as long as you don't distribute them
(in the general case; some addons might have a license that allows you to do that, but it's still not advised as it creates chaos in the case of addons that are not truly abandoned)

There's no 'one size fits all' solution for what might be breaking an addon, can be something very simple or involved it depends on the addon.

A good reference is here and here. (as well as alot of individual threads in that section)

SDPhantom 08-31-12 04:40 PM

Editing your own copy is fine and for outdated addons, you may upload a "Fan Update" as long as you credit the original author. As a warning, trying to fix someone else's code isn't for novice programmers.

Phanx 08-31-12 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDPhantom (Post 261575)
... you may upload a "Fan Update" as long as you credit the original author.

This is only true for addons licensed under an open-source license, Creative Commons license, or other terms that allow it. If an addon doesn't specify any license terms, it defaults to "All Rights Reserved" and copyright law does not allow you to distribute modified versions of it.

Morsker 09-01-12 06:30 AM

A significant difference on WoWInterface is the "Allow Updates & AddOns" option, which is on by default here, and which we agree WoWInterface can turn on if the addon is abandoned.

SDPhantom 09-01-12 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phanx (Post 261604)
This is only true for addons licensed under an open-source license, Creative Commons license, or other terms that allow it. If an addon doesn't specify any license terms, it defaults to "All Rights Reserved" and copyright law does not allow you to distribute modified versions of it.

Doesn't significant change in the code as sometimes required for bringing an addon up-to-date give it a new copyright of its own? This was discussed recently here. I know same kind of rule applies when songwriters make parodies of existing songs.

Phanx 09-01-12 07:11 PM

If you're only using parts of the original work, as might be the case if large portions of the addon required rewriting from scratch, then you're creating a derivative work. Techincally, a modified version where you only changed 1 character on 1 line of code is also a derivative work. You could argue that the new portions are covered under a new copyright, but any portions reused from the original work are still copyrighted to the original author, and if you don't have permission to use them, then your whole work is considered infringing.

Parodies are slightly different. Parodies -- in the US -- are usually allowed under fair use, being considered a form of commentary or criticism. Updating an addon to work in a newer version of WoW than it was written for isn't a comment or criticism on the artistic or social merit of the addon, so it can't be called a parody. Updating an addon would be more like taking Shakespeare and updating all of the dialog to Modern English. That's not a very good techincal example since Shakespeare's works have long since passed into the public domain, but I think it's a good conceptual example.

It's also important to note that the legal status of parodies varies greatly from one country to another; while they're generally allowed in the US, they may be considered direct infringements of copyright law in another country whose concept of copyright encompasses things like moral rights that US copyright law doesn't address at all. The basic tenets of copyright -- eg. Person A created it, so Person B can't use it in their work without permission -- don't vary much between countries, and are covered by several major international treaties that normalize how works copyrighted in one country are respected in others.


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