Using other folks' maps
Occasionally, someone will ask me if they can use one of my maps for their own homebrew RPG, and usually if it's not a map that I intend to use for anything, I'll tell 'em fine, go ahead. In fact, I think a couple people on this site have asked me that.
This evening, I was doing a google search for something, and stumbled across one of my own maps - this one, in fact: Picture 11 of 11 from Ye Olde Maps
Apparently, someone is using it as the basis for their own RPG, they've got a wiki, all kinds of things: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...les-of-Anneira
Now, maybe I'm just misremembering, but I don't think I gave anyone permission to use that particular map/setting/ideas, since it does contain stuff that I am using for my own writing. Not sure how I feel about this, exactly, or if I want to pursue it to the point of getting on the dude's case about it. In fact the only reason I'm posting this at all is I wanted to vent a little and see what everyone's opinion about this is. (And to let me know if it was one of you who asked to use the map, and I said yes and actually forgot about it. :D )
I think a large number of GMs are always going to use this site and the maps on it when they run their own games just like many players will often browse the net and use some random fantasy artwork for their character portraits.
It is only really an issue if they were to suddenly use your map in their own RPG book pdf and sell it or something in my opinion.
this is something that often worried me. though i try not to assume that people are out there 'stealing' my stuff it's something i cant help but think about. most of the maps I share here are part of my conworld, which i've been working on for some years not. I don't actively plan on doing anything with it (except maybe release an atlas/encyclopedia at some point) though still worry about people pinching my names etc. though in all fairness since so many people base their words off of stuff found on seventhsanctum.com (myself included, though rarely unmodified) it's somewhat difficult to not create similar sounding names (many fantasy names are so similar anyway as they tend to employ similar structures differentiated only by vowels).
Assuming that people using your maps are only employing them for home-brew campaigns and are fully aware of your ownership of them, I don't think there's any problem. though then again, how do you know the intentions of some faceless person on the internet... *ominous thunder rumbles I the background*
You should simply ask them if they have your permission. If not, you should at least demand a great THANK YOU FOR USING YOUR MAP from them.
As someone who has already profited from Diamonds generosity (Thanks again, man!), i am kind of angry that the dude didn't even ask.
That said, i don't think there is anything to worry here. He does not take credit for the map and/or names AND he even linked the map via your deviantart portfolio, Diamond. So he kind of acknowledges where the map is from.
As a comment (insight into someone's mind who does borrow maps from others, if you will ;) ) : I always think that something like this is the highest art of flattery! I mean think about it : there is someone who thinks your map is so awesome, that he wants to use it for his stories/rpgs.
I myself would never use a map without asking the creator, mind you! Especially if i link to it or even put it up somewhere on the internet. That's just courtesy.
I guess if i just used it off-screen and at my rpg-table, it would be ok even without asking. But puting it up on the internet...just ask the artist....how difficult is that?! Erm...sorry ^^
Why something like this makes me angry? Because guys like that one make it harder for other people (who are polite and use the right way) to get artists to agree to let them use their stuff. I can understand that stuff like this makes some artists more reluctant to share their awesome stuff...and that is a shame...for all concerned.
The above is for non-commercial use...if you want to use it for more than your own home-rpg or your stories-that-you-never-show-to-anyone...that's a totally different matter.
Anyway...that's my two cents. And i don't want to bore you with more ramblings and rants :D
I had something like this a little bit ago, my friend saw that on a Civilization 5 mod, someone was using one of my maps as the thumbnail, banner, and the main banner for the mod. Of course, this was extremely flattering, and so I cut him some slack, but what angered me is that there was no mention of me, who made the map, or any link back to the original Cartographers Guild or Deviant Art post, (This was a version without labels, when I was in the WIP.) I couldn't really figure out what to do, and didn't know any of his specifications to ask him to put my name on their, but if you didn't give them permission, and they aren't linking back, then you should talk to them, even while I couldnt :P
I didn't realize the guy linked back to my DA page; that mollifies me a bit. :D