Licenses and your mods

Licenses and your mods

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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Radtoo
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Licenses and your mods

Post by Radtoo »

Hi. I'm the guy who, together with hollowsoul, maintained the Spring Gentoo Linux installation script (ebuild) for a while now.

I come with a small request to the modders here: Please indicate how and whether your mods may be reused, modified and redistributed (aka specify a license)!

To clarify something before it comes up again: You may have heard that Linux distributions are hellbent on GPL'ing everything. That is not true for the majority of Linux distributions.
While less restrictive "open source" licenses are preferred and some distributions indeed even require them for their official content, usually it's enough to allow a distribution and it's users to repackage, rehost and use the files.


There's one more related thing that bothers me: A lot of mods seem to depend on content no one actually has a license for I don't currently know what to do about that. I already verified that Gentoo.org doesn't want to have anything to do with said content, since it could mean trouble for them. And shipping Spring with most of the mods "broken" isn't that great either...
Perhaps someone has got an idea or quick fix for that? For instance, I wondered whether just replacing textures, units etc. with "dummy files" would be possible... but perhaps that would entirely break your mods as well?

If you have ideas, comments, questions, please post here or meet me in #taspring on freenode.
Oh, and thanks for reading this!
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

Gundam RTS.
I, Steve(Smoth)Smith do not yield permission, rights to modify, disassemble parts of this project for use in any work. I expect the project to be recognized as a single entity which unless specifically granted, no one has permission to modify or use outside of it's purpose.

Unless I have given specific permission, I do not permit the usage of any asset of Gundam RTS. However, if requested permission may be given, at my discretion, to an individual allowing use or modification for a specific asset of the mod. Such permission will not relinquish my rights to the work contained in Gundam RTS. If I do choose to permit the usage of Gundam RTS assets, such usage will be limited to that asset of the project and nothing else.

Distribution:
I encourage distribution of Gundam RTS as a whole package, I only require that this mod is credited to me as a product of my work and that Bandai is recognized as the copyright holder of all designs, names and fiction related to Gundam. It may not be distributed under any license other then the license written here.

Purpose:
This is a mod for Spring, it may be used in Spring as game content, screenshots maybe taken and used as promotional material for Gundam RTS or Spring. Videos maybe recorded and used as promotional material for Spring or Gundam RTS. Gundam RTS is not to be modified, it may only be used as a game package for spring RTS.

Assets include but not limited to:
All artwork(models, textures, effects art), scripting, effects script.

This means NOONE HAS PERMISSION TO modify and/or use any part of my mod for their work. I am not releasing it as open source etc because I do not have any license over the work. However, it is my work(scripting, modeling, texturing) and I retain the right to said work as my own for use as I see fit.

As a note:
If there is an asset that someone needs for their project I will consider a creative commons release of said asset for public use. I have already made a few assets publicly available.
Last edited by smoth on 06 Jan 2007, 18:08, edited 2 times in total.
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KDR_11k
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Post by KDR_11k »

Some mods are just TA derivatives. Other than Caydr's Abolition project I don't think theres a chance those will ever be foreign IP free.

Smoth: You forgot to mention whether other users are allowed to redistribute Gundam as a whole.
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

KDR_11k, is that better?
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Abokasee
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Post by Abokasee »

Argh will be here any minute...
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

now, now, don't give Argh a hard time. although this thread would be a nice sticky since moders can pile their licenses in one place.
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Abokasee
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Post by Abokasee »

ok fair point, I would like to retract that last post,
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Post by Forboding Angel »

Radtoo, since fang's comp is on the fritz, pretty much read the deal for EE like Gundam.

EE is 100% free of copyrighted content, so if you want to include that then go ahead.


Personally I would reccommend including EE and Gundam RTS as they are very fun, very balanced, and are the best looking mods in spring (models and effects) bar none.

*note* I am not speaking for Fang, but I do know what he cares about as far as the rights type of stuff.
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie »

E&E is technically Fang's IP, so I believe his license would include something to that effect with similar release elements as Smoth's.
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SwiftSpear
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Post by SwiftSpear »

Forboding Angel wrote:Radtoo, since fang's comp is on the fritz, pretty much read the deal for EE like Gundam.

EE is 100% free of copyrighted content, so if you want to include that then go ahead.


Personally I would reccommend including EE and Gundam RTS as they are very fun, very balanced, and are the best looking mods in spring (models and effects) bar none.

*note* I am not speaking for Fang, but I do know what he cares about as far as the rights type of stuff.
Aren't some of the EE sounds copy written to someone aside from fang? And EE is not copyright free, it's copyrights all belong to fang or are considered public domain (assuming the sounds in question are indeed not copyright elsewhere). As Neddie said, most likely fang's release falls somewhere in the same ballpark as smoth's.

I BELIEVE that nanoblobs is a fully GPLed mod, and that is currently the only fully GPLed mod. So to address Radtoo's question, AFAIK the only mod that can be shipped with spring and have all content 100% GPL is nanoblobs, hence our nanoblobs lunix release. All our other mods belong to their respective creators and third party copyright holders and as such are under the distribution control of those entities by permission only.

This being said I REALLY wish someone would take on a full scale GPL mod project similar to EE or the TA mods that we could ship with spring and would REALLY show off all the engine features.
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Tobi
Spring Developer
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Post by Tobi »

SwiftSpear wrote: I BELIEVE that nanoblobs is a fully GPLed mod, and that is currently the only fully GPLed mod. So to address Radtoo's question, AFAIK the only mod that can be shipped with spring and have all content 100% GPL is nanoblobs, hence our nanoblobs lunix release. All our other mods belong to their respective creators and third party copyright holders and as such are under the distribution control of those entities by permission only.
No, the scripts are GPL and the sounds/models are CC. This makes it unsuitable for inclusion in debian (see debian bug 367883). (But, debian is by far the most strict free linux distribution I think, so I'd be happy already if spring gets in :-)). EE and Gundam aren't even close to being allowed as default mod in debian main (see the DFSG).

To keep things consistent, and save time, I'll probably push for barebones spring on all linux distro's, and rewrite the setup guide to point users to UF to download some maps and a mod, and optionally the base OTA content.
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imbaczek
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Post by imbaczek »

Workaround for debian would be to make a script that would wget some free-but-not-GPL'ed mods, just like msttcorefonts downloads fonts from sf mirrors. A little problem with that is mods being updated a lot more often than spring, but this could be solved by asking the user to rerun that script again. A start menu entry (so jumping to console isn't required) wouldn't hurt.
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KDR_11k
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Post by KDR_11k »

What part of CC is incompatible with Debian?
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

The problem you are looking at though is that spring is a single work which is composed of a lot of work of many people where as many mods are one man shows. This means that ONE person is working for some time(for gundam it has been 2 years) and doing this with every ounce of their free time. If I understand you correctly to GPL a mod one has to give up all rights to it and FULLY accept that someone else may modify and disassemble their work and all head aches associated with that correct?

That has been my assumption.

So basically, lets say I make a mod. 100% me. I give it away to spring pretty much for anyone to do ANYTHING they want with it. Included turning into another TA:S clone completely ruining the concept of my mod? Then would I even want to claim it as my work? I had planned on doing a mod for you guys to donate but the people who were going to help me were unable to free the time. So I cannot do it without them.

I can say that looking at this community, the possibility of someone starting a project and then pretty much relinquishing all rights will be slim. I say this because this community generally treats the moders like shit. Most mod makers are going to have to do something by themselves and frankly there would be headaches trying to deal with the whining populace. The reason I NEVER play gundam in the lobby is all that I hear is whining about how the mod is not another TA:S. I am not going to sink down to something as pathetic as TA game play.

I have been used too much in my life to allow it and I am doing what I can to help you guys but not many people are really helping me. I still do not understand this GPL stuff. I do not understand why CC is now somehow incompatible with spring

I couldn't get a team together this break and do the GPL mod I wanted. So I have been releasing what I can to the community. I still intend to do more for spring in the way of content for mappers etc. I have already started the slow process of generating packs for people. I also have been modeling features for use in spring maps. There has to be some way to work with the GPL crap. Every time someone tries to do something these licenses are a real pain. I know that myself and some others do everything we can to make content for this Spring project and in general every time we try to do something we get some war over licenses. Or people saying we cannot release this or that.

I want to help spring but I am also not going to neglect my studies or Gundam. I personally am getting completely screwed over in real life and I give whatever spare time I have to spring content and Gundam. However, I was in irc for some time asking what is the best license and now after I have made all these releases under creative commons you are saying that the mods that include them can never be included with spring!??!?!?!?!?!? I AM BEGGING YOU PLEASE, EXPLAIN THE GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING WORK TO SPRING!

TA:S is just my way of loting all the Total annihilation mods in one batch. I call spring spring.
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jcnossen
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Post by jcnossen »

You don't lose any rights, you only give other people some rights to modify your mod and release it (including their source materials).
You still have copyright, so you can still release it under some other license as well.

With gundam however, even if you make it GPL, there is still the problem with the designs being owned by bandai right?
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hrmph
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Post by hrmph »

SwiftSpear wrote: This being said I REALLY wish someone would take on a full scale GPL mod project similar to EE or the TA mods that we could ship with spring and would REALLY show off all the engine features.

My hopes are for the same exact thing. Although I do have a suggestion that might address the problem. The linux installations could ship with Nanoblobs pre-installed. Of course we want it to be extremely easy for people to download other mods right at the start: So (I know this has been mentioned before elsewhere, but its a GREAT simple idea that needs implementing) what seems to be needed is a built in mod distribution system. This should be included in the windows lobby client as well as the ones that are being working on for linux (I know AF has plans to include something along these lines). It doesn't have to be complicated at all: There just needs to a button along-side 'battlescreen' and 'Help' that says 'Mod(Game?) Downloader.' Basically this button just opens up a list of mods. For each mod there is the name, description, download link, and maybe a few small screenshots (and/or a link to that mod's official page, or page on unknown-files). These listings could be hard-coded to make it even more simple. IMO this is something the any lobby client really needs.
To keep things consistent, and save time, I'll probably push for barebones spring on all linux distro's, and rewrite the setup guide to point users to UF to download some maps and a mod, and optionally the base OTA content.
This is a great idea too.
Last edited by hrmph on 07 Jan 2007, 19:03, edited 1 time in total.
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

yes, but that doesn't mean I lack the capability to do another mod. Gundam would never be released in a form that others could modify. The reason is that if I did... you don't want to know the kind of stupidity you might see.



Ok, so CC licenses are OK? So, IF I did say do a mod to give to you guys. Before I would even start... lets say I would consider it..

What are the requirements as far as license?
What rights will I retain?
Would it stay as I designed it? If not can I at least require that modifications be done as a mutator of that mod?
How many sides would it need?
How many units(give me a range)?
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PauloMorfeo
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Post by PauloMorfeo »

Tobi wrote:...
To keep things consistent, and save time, I'll probably push for barebones spring on all linux distro's, and rewrite the setup guide to point users to UF to download some maps and a mod, and optionally the base OTA content.
I think that is probably the best idea! Allows us to separate the engine, which is suitable for Linux distribution, from the mods, which might not be suitable for linux distributions. Distribution becomes responsible for distributing the engine and then the users take care of geting the mods, whatever license problem that might pose to them. Spring has been trying to do that for a long time, anyway, me thinks. That is, separating it's engine from possible licensing problems in the mods.

I've been waiting for ever for Spring to reach Linux. News that they are adding the Spring engine to debian are very good news. It would be godam about time. Still, a fully functional lobby is missing (going to test AF's lobby right now).
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smoth
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Post by smoth »

requesting a topic split and move to the dev forum so we can discuss this in a proper place.
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Radtoo
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Post by Radtoo »

@smoth:
First of all, I don't think CC is incompatible with Spring. Unless you link files (programatically) against Spring or directly use it in some other way the GPL wouldn't permit, you can use any license you want.

However, the GPL license only allows you to distribute a modified variant (included in this is also stuff that links against Spring) of (any part) of Spring, if you also release the entirety of the source code of what you distribute, free of charge.

I myself ATM have no evidence that you did breach the GPL, so I'm perfectly fine with your license, and have already created an ebuild.
As you can see, the licenses can be properly handled on a per ebuild base as well, so everything should be fine.

As far as Debian is concerned, well maybe your license won't work with them, but that shouldn't be too terrible.
AFAIK Tobi could just create Debian packages for non-GPL'd and release them on BerliOS or somewhere else.


*a little rant follows*
BTW, I certainly doubt that the GPL would have effects as you described it.
Neither will it rob you of your right to relicense the stuff you have (although you cannot withdraw the GPL, or relicense the stuff that was released for the GPL'd version), nor will it allow others to pretend a modified GPL'd version was your work, both because it still isn't allowed to incorporate other persons and because they surely don't automatically get the right to your homepage etc either.

Just think about all that GPL'd software out there: The Linux kernel, QT, Java, KDE, GNOME... none of them has these problems, and there would surely even be people who could financially benefit from ruining their image.

BUT there's a good reason against using the GPL with things like mods: It was designed for software. Many things don't make sense on artwork and such... you really should use a different license for anything non-software even if you DO like the idea that others can reuse your works...


EDIT: I also wanted to thank you for immediately giving me a license to work with! I'll also be happy to update the Ebuild to refer to the CC one instead, once I know which one of the CC variants you picked.
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