The Long Arm of the Law: Bardic Performances

With the release of Patch 4.15, Bards can acquire the coveted Perform function to play notes on their harps (with the promise of additional instruments in the future) and string together delightful scores.

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TIL: Perform actions don’t fire off with /gpose. Sad.

After accepting the quest to unlock the action, players receive an expected dialog box asking them to agree to abide by our TOS. Lately, SE is taking steps to have videos that show an FFXIV Bard Performing copyrighted works taken down. While some are upset that they can’t show off their talents, it’ll be more harmful to us, the players, in the long run.

Basically, the jist of the issue is this:

1) Music is copyrighted through its sheet music and its performances.
2) Performing Bards who upload videos of them performing copyrighted works infringes this copyright.
3) It opens SE FFXIV up to litigation because they “allow it to happen” in their release of the Perform action.
4) COURT legal words lawyers ahmigod
5) FFXIV loses money that would otherwise go to game development to lawyer and court fees.

For more detailed information, this blog post by LawNinja offers a more in-depth look at the legalities of it, including previous court cases where this exact situation opened a game developer up to a lawsuit. TL;DR– The developer settled out of court and lost money.

Because of this issue, and after reading through the potential harm it could do to the FFXIV community, our FC will not condone its members uploading videos or streaming themselves performing copyrighted works. 

As an FC, we desire to be an example on our server and in the FFXIV community by our good works, our achievements, and our positive atmosphere. We cannot, then, in good conscience, promote our members to open our game and its developers up to lawsuits. Doing so would come back to harm our community by damaging our developer’s capability to produce more content.

So please, if you have a Bard and want to play copyrighted works, do not record or stream yourself in any way. Playing in the privacy of your own FC room or personal house is one thing; it’s entirely different and damaging to do it in a way that gets the wrong kind of attention.

What you can perform: FFXIV music, or, basically, anything created by Soken-san. “Dragonsong,” “Answers,” and “Revolutions” are not allowed, as they were created by Nobuo Uematsu. There are other scores that were borrowed by FFXIV from other FF titles to present in the game; these are also not allowed.

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Soken-san. Image Courtesy of Developer Blog

Primal Themes, zone music, and other battle music options are open to you. And since Soken-san won a Guinness World Record for the amount of scores he’s done for a single game… You have a lot to choose from!

P.S.: I love Soken-san. He’s such a great guy and such a character. Don’t make Soken-san sad by getting the game in trouble.

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