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Can I use someone's thesis published and accessible from Internet to create code derived from it and sell it in the Marketplace?

The title refers to content inside a thesis in the link:

https://tubdok.tub.tuhh.de/bitstream/11420/1439/1/GPGPU_FFT_Ocean_Simulation.pdf

where some of the examples of code found in the appendices can be converted by me from OpenGL/GLSL to HLSL with lots of modifications and transformed into two separate plugins for Unreal Engine.

Thanks in advance!

Product Version: UE 4.17
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asked Jul 20 '18 at 04:59 PM in Legal & Licensing

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NilsonLima
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1 answer: sort voted first

Under the terms of the Marketplace Distribution Agreement (https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace-distribution-agreement), you must warrant that you have all necessary rights to content you deliver to Epic for distribution through the Marketplace.

We aren't really able to speak to what rights you have to that particular thesis or the code therein. That will depend on at least the nature of the code and the terms under which the thesis was published. Please note that just because a work is publicly accessible does NOT mean that it is in the public domain.

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answered Jul 20 '18 at 05:30 PM

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SonsOfKorhal STAFF
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avatar image NilsonLima Jul 20 '18 at 09:23 PM

I understood your explanation. Thanks!

I just figured looking at some products on the marketplace that there is one with the same code found in that thesis, and that it contains the same variable names and comments, and there is no mention in the product telling that thesis was the source. Looking at the references used in the thesis I have found some of those contains the source code where both codes derived and that one is under GPL 3.0. The product at MP: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/realistic-ocean-simulator, has links to part of its code where the copy is found. The original code which is in Java and OpenGL/GLSL is found here: https://github.com/oreonengine/oreon-engine/tree/master/oreonengine/oe-gl-components/src/main/resources/shaders/fft

Big question is: I know where the thesis got their content, but the product at marketplace I am really not sure. The repository predates the product launch on MP btw, thou it is not a definitive argument, it might be both refers to same source of that knowledge and code, which I fail to find, and both are omitting.

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