(note: read Part I if you haven’t already)
In beginning my romp through the magical land of software “created” by Michael J. Hardy, I will start with the first “product” by him I witnessed: Michael J. Hardy’s Doom Legacy. This was pointed out to me (and the Doomworld community at large) in this Doomworld forums thread. There is also a more dedicated thread about him at the NewDoom forums, which got its start by pointing out the same site in question.
So great, Mr. Hardy created his own 3D first person shooter video game. Or did he? Reports (I never downloaded it) say that the “game” uses a modified version of the jDoom source port, with Mr. Hardy’s name plastered almost everywhere possible. Doomsday (the engine jDoom is based on) is released under the GNU General Public License. However, the game data Mr. Hardy packaged with his version of the engine is not, and, by its nature, cannot be under the GPL.
“Mike Hardy’s Doom Legacy” uses game data from the Doom 64 TC. While the legality of the actual TC is somewhat questionable in and of itself, many people worked hard in porting Doom 64 for the Nintendo 64 to the PC. It is unlikely that Midway, who has distanced themselves from the title, would be concerned if it is released in a free form on the PC, as the amount of sales today of the real game for the Nintendo 64 are likely zero. However, the fact still remains that Mr. Hardy was using data that he did not have permission to use. In addition, he used id Software resources from the original Doom games as well, pushing his “creation” further into the realm of copyright infringement. To make things worse, Mr. Hardy charged $20 per copy of this “game.”
My next expedition into this matter will deal with more his exploits of the Doom series.