The Bnsf Situation?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Monder, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    A recent discussion in a different thread (ironically one about TGV) has brought back the topic of BNSF and their licensing policy. It is known that this company isn't providing licences outside the US (and Canada if I'm not mistaken), therefore their routes are not happening in TSW2.
    [​IMG]
    This also applies to all routes merged into what now is BNSF. It has however been discussed that the reason for this is actually the fact BNSF does not own right for their own trademark outside the US meaning people shouldn't in any way be punished for use of the logos outside the US (bear in mind I am no lawyer, so don't just run out and create your own railroad company with these logos in Asia :D ).

    This made me think what exactly is the problem with BNSF licensing. It has always been mentioned they only license products sold in the US... well... that's all they CAN license. Outside it supposedly can just be made no problem if this is true. Here's where I'd like to get someone from DTG to give us a more detailed insight than normally. Tell us what the situation is with these products. There are many amazing routes being simply ruled out because of the license problem, that according to this information might not even be a problem. Granted BNSF could just walk in saying "oh you want to sell this worldwide? No US license for you then" blocking probably the biggest customer base for such DLCs. That's why I'd like to know from someone close to the discussion. In the end, it would still be advertising even for them with very little effort, and many fans would be more than thrilled seeing Tehachapi or Racetrack in TSW.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    I would suspect this is privileged information and not something that DTG can openly discuss in a public forum.
     
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  3. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    There isn't anything stopping DTG from bringing Tehachapi to any TS game though... as the route was owned by the Southern Pacific, now Union Pacific, BNSF only has trackage rights on the line and it shouldn't effect licensing should DTG want to make the route.
     
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  4. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    Well damn... I checked and you're right... why did I think it's owned by BNSF with UP trackage rights? Well... let's replace Tehachapi with Marias Pass :D
     
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  5. krustynuggets

    krustynuggets Well-Known Member

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    I remember Marias pass on the original Microsoft train simulator, good times had on that, definitely loved the scenarios that lasted up to nearly 8 or more hours, never did complete them........
     
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  6. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    You could of confused it with Cajon Pass, which the ATSF originally owned but granted the UP trackage rights between Daggett and San Bernardino.
     
  7. saint.russian

    saint.russian Member

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    What I'm curious to know is... given that DTG already have licence for many great routes for TRAIN SIM, does the licence apply to THAT SPECIFIC GAME ONLY (TS)? or can it be used with TSW2 since it's still a product released by the same company (DTG)? ..... you know what... at this point I'm just pulling it out of my (where the sun won't shine) because I DON'T KNOW SQUAT and I'm not a lawyer LoL
     
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  8. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    And as I've stated previously, this licencing issue does not appear to affect other companies producing/selling train sim products...
     
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  9. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    There is a nice BNSF loco on the Peninsula Corridor.
    Would be sweet to see it extracted and available for use elsewhere.
    (Thinks - Where's that Muff chap when you need him?)
     
  10. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    What loco?
     
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  11. krustynuggets

    krustynuggets Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly :o, can't wait for the reveal, my mind is ready to be blown clean out of my skull!! :cool:
     
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  12. BinaryRun

    BinaryRun Active Member

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    Depends on the license agreement, but generally a license is for one product only.
     
  13. JGRudnick

    JGRudnick Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what is in the agreement. Whether the license is for one game, one route, or one country. It is up to the owner what is done with their logo. DTG can either agree to the terms, or just not bother with it. The latter is what I think has happened in regards to the BNSF license.
     
  14. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Where did you see this, exactly?
     
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  15. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    If you saw one on the Peninsula Corridor it's likely someone's Livery creation and they chose to put it on that route, but sadly due to licensing issues it will not be to be shared to anyone.
     
  16. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    There was a very nice BNSF AC4400CW mod for TSW1 that I took along SFJ a few times. Perhaps others got the same idea and there are images of a BNSF locomotive floating around the internet. :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. pugilist3

    pugilist3 Member

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    I have this repaint as well and wish someone would convert it to TSW2.
     
  18. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    I find it interesting that whoever painted that went with the H3 logos and not the H2 ones (As I don't think BNSF has painted any of their AC44's into H3 colors yet)
     
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  19. james.hunt64

    james.hunt64 New Member

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    Hi Vern,
    I'll say what DTG can't even if they wanted too. Having been around the Train-Sim community for a long time I know that a lot of these companies do not hold licenses for the products they sell. I'm not going to point fingers or name names but it's a fact of life, and also let's face it BNSF is not going to spend a lot of legal dollars chasing a small company. Interesting fact, I just did a whois and corporate name search for 4 of the North American companies that you think are reputable (And list themselves as corps). Domain info is all registered through a 3rd parties and I could not find a formal corporate registration for any of the companies. Whereas DTG info is right on the "contact us" page. If I were BNSF/UP/CSX etc.I wouldn't waste the dollars chasing a company that's just going to shut down and start selling under a different name. 2nd. The might not go after TDG as they are UK based, but they sure as hell would go after Valve/Steam for selling an unlicensed product. Also notice how steam is smart enough to figure out your IP address and decide to sell you a pack with the BNSF logo, or one with just the color scheme.

    Excellent pics, however BNSF did not buy any AC4400's with steerable trucks, this was a CSX/CP thing. Then both companies went back the the Hi-Adhesion trucks. Just a small point, but thanks for sharing a great pic.
     
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  20. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Yes, including a certain beloved simulator of North American rail. I like your point about Valve.

    Yes, I know. BNSF also did not have any AC4400s with nose-mounted headlights, but alas, there is no better model at the moment. The upcoming Cane Creek UP AC4400CW will serve as a better base model for future livery artists.
     
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  21. Kazick

    Kazick Member

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    Things about licensing that people forget is that your train sims, unless you put that "officially licensed" sticker on it you don't exactly need a license. Yes copyright is a thing but for decades the model railroad industry has operated under "good faith building" practice. The railroads didn't care so much if Athearn or Atlas or Bachman made models of their locomotives and rolling stock because at the core it wasn't depicting them in a negative light. And it was not at all hurting their profits. Back in 2004 ago UP tried to sue Lionel and Athearn and the above "good faith building" practice. So the augment that "we cant get a license to make a route" I find a little meh. Its hard to copyright the ground. Its more likely they don't want to put the effort into make a route that has been made so many times in other sims and varying levels of details.
     
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  22. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    From my understanding you can do a route without a license, the initial TS routes (such as Hagen-Siegen) were done without any license from (for example) DB, yet TS has not been sued, because (from what I understood) DB couldn't care less whether a sim has its logo in it, of course there are exceptions, such as BNSF but generally I think if I were to put a sim on steam with the DB logo and didn't include any harm to their image they would be fine with it.

    However, I think you would technically need a license for it and so DTG for TSW decided to be correct and license things anyway, this also means they can get in touch with the various companies which can provide details and insider informations, as I believe was the case especially with SNCF.
     
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  23. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    The sad thing is, this will prevent some great US routes ever making it into TSW2. Marias Pass (or part thereof) come to mind as does Stevens Pass but the other route which would have made an excellent study is the BN "Funnel" between Sandpoint and Spokane, especially if set before the route was largely double tracked. Constant procession of grain trains, hotshot intermodals and Amtrak.
    But unlikely to be...
     
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  24. JGRudnick

    JGRudnick Well-Known Member

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    The track, ground, bridges, etc that the trains run on are not copyrighted. It is the logos that are, and DTG doesn't want to do a route, unless they can have locomotives with the respective companies' logos.
     
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  25. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Dovetail Special Projects Staff Member

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    Were we to do so the first thing we'd get as a response is "I think you'll find that train company X operates on this route, not the one you've used" followed by "Petition to use train company X on the new route".
     
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  26. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Would this effect something like Cajon Pass?
    While BNSF owns the tracks that runs thru the pass (Except the Palmdale Cutoff) Union Pacific has trackage rights thru the pass to Daggett north of Barstow.
     
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  27. JGRudnick

    JGRudnick Well-Known Member

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    Yep, exactly what I mean by you don't want to do routes where you can't get the proper companies logos in the game.
     
  28. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Produce loco in generic colours without logos.
    What decorations individuals choose to add won’t be dtg’s responsibility.
     
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  29. TD Trader

    TD Trader New Member

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    Interestingly enough there was a GREAT discussion on licensing today with Sam and Adam during today’s live roadmap update.

    Sam answered quite a few of our questions pertaining to these issues (at least the ones that we asked).

    I do wish we could create “generic” paint schemes or even create a custom “DTG” logo (using fonts similar to other companies), but the logos would be custom and be our own and wouldn’t violate any copyright since they would be our own works. I believe all of this would fall under “fair use” as has been the case for model railroading for many decades now where many model railroad companies have produced and manufactured scale model locomotives without any official licensing, and continue to make and sell models with paint schemes and logos.

    It is true that the ground, tracks, land and routes are NOT copyrightable and routes of anything could be produced (by DTG or the community). As long as logos were removed, I would think that we could create generic liveries (without logos) created by the community.

    But DTG has made it very clear that it would need to be done by the community and NOT by DTG (not because of any licensing issues, but more along the lines that they don’t want to “burn any bridges” or “upset” any current or potential or future licensing partners or future agreements). So from that perspective I guess I understand DTG’s position.

    But there would be nothing wrong with Community Modders creating our own modding tools that we could use and could be used to create custom liveries or custom routes. But ultimately we would have to create the Modding Tools ourselves. (which is the hardest part).

    Personally, I could really care less about custom liveries and I truly just want the Modding Tools to create new train routes!

    I personally would be ok with riding a CN locomotive on any of the routes that I created. I just want to create custom routes and environments and make the new train routes as realistic as possible. I don’t care about creating liveries and other modders could create custom liveries (if they wanted to) or create their own wagons or locomotives (and a multitude of liveries for each of the wagons/locomotives). I just want the tools to create new train routes/maps!

    But it seems that this would be something the Community would have to do (on our own) and we must create the custom modding tools to do, and we would need to use third party websites such as Mod Hub to host Community created locomotives, wagons and add-ons (Community created content).

    I personally just want an editor that we can use for making routes and using the same tools that DTG uses to make our own routes. So we can develop and share Community created routes. (via Mod Hub) Just like community-created airports, aircraft, ground vehicles, and other items that Community members/modders create for FS2020 or Farming Simulator or X-Plane or any of the other sims out there.

    But every company (other than DTG) releases the modding tools so that the Community can create their own maps, aircraft, custom liveries and anything else the Modding Community wants to create (on their own).

    I understand DTG wanting to keep an “arms length” distance from these things (to not upset the copyright/trademark owners), which is understandable and completely fine, but land/ground/landscaping and train routes are NOT copyrightable and I just wish that we could have the tools we need to create new maps and new routes and have the ability to “polish” some of the existing content that DTG has already created so that we can make the vegetation and some of the interiors and wagons even more photorealistic (improved textures, sounds, etc).

    Plus anything that I create, I would be more than happy to give back to DTG (and allow them to use it and include it in the game) and anything the Community can do to make additional routes (of the highest quality) will make the game better for all of us.

    This way DTG can focus their efforts on the original TSW2 game (Game Engine updates) while Community members and modders work together on creating new routes and Community created content. Much of the stuff that Squad is using and adding (with each new release) is Community created maps, and community created vehicles, weapons, and maps (and vehicles and fast roping and other addons created by the community) and given back to OWI so that it can be included in the game!

    I just wish we could create and sign some type of contributor agreement and that DTG would allow us to have the same tools that they use, so that we can create our own custom routes and content. Just have some type of EULA or clause or agreement that we agree NOT to use or violate copyright or trademarks without permission. Routes and land is not copyrightable, so we should be able to make train routes for the whole United States (or world) for that matter without violating any copyright laws.

    But as a Community we are pretty “dead in the water” without Modding Tools.

    After today’s discussions it seems very clear that DTG isn’t saying that we can’t create our own community content, but we would need to create our own modding tools as well.

    I can create environments and routes, but I would definitely need some help with creating modding tools that the community could use to create new Community-created routes, wagons, locomotives and Community-created content.

    I just wish that we could have some type of “Gentleman’s Agreement” (or Contributor Agreement) that we agree to use the modding tools (responsibly) and use them for creating new routes (and we agree NOT to create liveries that would violate any Trademarks or logos that DTG doesn’t have licensing agreements for).

    That way we could model new locomotives and create liveries for new wagons and locomotives for CN and CSX, and being working on creating new routes that those locomotives and wagons could be used on.

    I personally just want to create routes and eventually later add/create new locomotives and wagons that “already licensed” railroads (such as CN and CSX) so we could just add new rolling stock and new locomotives (for those already licensed) or even create our own Custom Community-created liveries that are our own (and don’t violate any copyrights) that we can share with on Mod Hub and even give to DTG to use or include in the game for free.

    The more Community content that we create, the better that the game will be.

    The biggest issue is creating the Modding Tools that we would need to get started to create the Community-created routes and content.

    I just wish DTG could allow us to have the same tools that they use. Like every other developer does. Then just let us create our own routes and community content.

    After today’s discussion, I do understand their point of view, but I also understand the problems that we face with having to try and create our own Modding Tools (which I personally can’t do by myself and would need some help with). Once the Modding Tools are created, then we can write tutorials and YouTube videos on how to use them and tutorials on how to create new custom routes. That would definitely help the community grow as we begin to create new routes and community-created buildings, routes, wagons, locomotives and content (using generic liveries without any logos or without any trademarks).
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  30. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    No, no no. Just because BNSF don't own those trademarks, it doesn't mean that nobody does. On the contrary, somebody certainly does, and that Somebody has been the problem for DTG.
     
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  31. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    If you want to know why DTG doesn't and won't do that, you can ask the former executives of Napster. Once they get out of prison, that is.
     
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  32. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    Actually from what they've said in the last livestream BNSF do have them, it's just that working out the international rights is a difficult process as it would need to get other portions of the company involved, which BNSF aren't able or willing to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  33. Costpap

    Costpap Member

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    Actually, I don't think it's just dependent on the IP address you have when visiting Steam, since that can easily be changed by using a VPN. But rather, a combination of your IP address and your Steam account's region settings.
     
  34. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Actually it will be your setup with your steam profile, as you will need to setup your address and and country. Not sure how much your IP address would play into this.
     
  35. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    It's... complicated, as Sam said. I believe the situation is that outside North America, the IP is owned by the multinational conglomerate which owns BNSF, Berkshire Hathaway.
     
  36. mattdsoares

    mattdsoares Well-Known Member

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    Ehhhhhh I get where you're going but no. Napster and piracy is about copyright infringement. This is an issue of trademark. Copyright law and trademark law are completely different things. Copyright protects intellectual property and creative works. Trademark is about brand. I know they get confused by people often, but they shouldn't be. They're very different things. If DTG were to say screw it, and sell a product with BNSF branding in Europe, this wouldn't be a copyright issue, it would be a trademark issue.

    Also, as has been pointed out before, the issue with DTG allowing mods that use branded content isn't the mods themselves. DTG isn't going to be liable if I go and make a BNSF logo patch and share it on my website (this is literally what happens in Train Simulator 20xx). The problem is consoles. In order for consoles games to have mods, the developers generally need to create a mod "marketplace" where people can share their creations IN the game. So in that situation you'd have DTG itself actively participating in the distribution of potentially trademark (and perhaps in some cases, also copyright) infringing content. Now an extremely strong case would be made that DTG would win in court if it went that far as there is a pretty big area of fair use around trademarks, but that would obviously be very expensive for DTG regardless and their legal and business folks have determined it to not be worth the risk.

    For how a marketplace for consoles would work, look no further than what the devs of Snowrunner did. They created a mod marketplace for consoles and it's been a disaster. People can release pretty much whatever stuff they want for PC but to get it on console the devs need to vet it and determine whether publishing it would open them up to legal liability. Is that Dodge Ram that's not called a Dodge Ram too close to a Real Dodge Ram? Or is it different enough? This has not gone well in snowrunner and would likely be the same or worse in TSW. Snowrunner is a pretty big game with a very large developer/publisher behind it that can devote the resources to running a curated marketplace. DTG, not so much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  37. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    And the console thing is also why there is no editor in the game amonst other things. Sure you can make one for pc but it would not be easy to make one for console.
     

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