Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

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aeonios
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Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by aeonios »

Split from viewtopic.php?f=44&t=35662 (Silentwings)
nixtux wrote:Thanks Forbs but I did read it clearly the first time, and as I stated added thoses model would only benefit BA, all other *A have model with textures that would still infringe. So still no official endorsement imo.
Technically the new models don't change much in terms of copyright infringement issues. As far as games are concerned, style is as important as the original artwork, so insofar as BA is the same as OTA it presents a potential issue. Particularly whatever units are the same as OTA (names, design, etc), as well as the original core/arm factions and their related artwork/symbols.

The original artwork by beherith and others does not actually present any issues in and of itself, and assuming that the authors permit it the models/textures could be reused in other games no problem. Also insofar as the new artwork in BAR is distinct from BA/OTA (the airfacs for example) obviously it cannot pose any issues.

So basically if your *A game is too much like ota then there may be a problem, and if so then it's your own stupid fault (assuming that someone ever actually gets the copyrights and decides to take legal action). Otherwise there's nothing to stop you from using bar's models/textures/shader tech/etc. (according to beherith, who I interpret as having given explicit consent to as much earlier in this thread, correct me if I'm mistaken)
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abma
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by abma »

you guys are very good in going offtopic.

the initial answer still isn't answered: when beherith disappears the project BAR is dead as IMHO nobody is allowed to continue it. The new models currently don't improve the situation that all TA-derived spring games can't be freely distributed. Its still a risk to host these games as we can be sued for it.

As i'm currently the idiot who seems responsible for getting sued i'm really motivated to improve this situation which would mean to remove these games which can't be freely distributed.

(practically its much more complicated as i'm not the owner of the server(s)/domain(s))
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aeonios
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by aeonios »

Beherith wrote:I do not recall adding anything to the BA repo that I would like to assert copyright on (artwork or other). And I would like to pass on BA to whoever wishes to maintain it.
That, however, does not stop someone from buying the copyrights to OTA from the remnants of cavedog and then suing you based on stylistic grounds. It's like if you made a game with disney characters; it doesn't matter if you made all the art yourself you're still using disney's characters without permission and so they can sue you. Same with star wars. You cannot even call your game "star wars blah whatever" or "mickey mouse's adventure" without the risk of being sued.

In that case you would likely get a cease and desist order first anyway because nobody wants to go to court if they can avoid it. If that did happen most of the art would still probably be usable, but you could no longer continue developing BA or distributing it on rapid unless you developed it into something which no longer resembles OTA in which case it would no longer be recognizable as BA either.

That's a lot of "ifs" though.
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PepeAmpere
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by PepeAmpere »

I would suggest to be calm and don't be stressed by some "potential" doom. In this legal things there works one simple rule: If you don't make money directly or indirectly from using illegal content, big companies won't bother themselves to start any legal action.

And I see no reason why abma should be sued if some game project just btw using Spring engine is breaking some law. Abma is save and we have record of his effort to keep it here legally pure.

-------

>> "bus factor" in title

I do not believe in bus factor. That's a mythological term. Ideas + interesting or hardworking people are what drives any non-commercial project forward. If you base your new game on just replacing old content by new one, that may be pretty weak baseline (i assume BAR was intending to keep the ancient game mechanics of BA). But I dont know the background, maybe there were bigger plans or bigger ideas behind it. I just want to repeat that content is just one part of game. Gameplay design is as same important (if not more important) than content. That is my problem with e.g. Zero-K and why I really respect Spring 1944 and why I joined nota-crew.
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abma
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by abma »

PepeAmpere wrote:I would suggest to be calm and don't be stressed by some "potential" doom. In this legal things there works one simple rule: If you don't make money directly or indirectly from using illegal content, big companies won't bother themselves to start any legal action.
you don't want to understand the problem. it does not go away from discussing, actions are needed.
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Silentwings
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by Silentwings »

As far as I can see - and as I've said before - there is no problem and nothing to gain by rehashing this question. Spring grew out of OTA and, measured by player count to date, all its most successful games either currently use OTA related models or grew directly out of games that did. No amount of content replacement alters the formal consequences of this, what matters here is time.

You cannot ignore infringements on IP for years and then suddenly choose to enforce it - if the right is not exercised within reasonable time then it is lost.

Moreover, in case of OTA, the content has been widely used by many communities, without any objection, for over a decade, and Springs own usage is comparatively tiny.
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abma
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by abma »

As far as I can see - and as I've said before - there is no problem.

You cannot ignore infringements on IP for years (decades, in this case) and then suddenly choose to enforce it - if the right is not exercised within reasonable time then it is forfeited.

Moreover, in case of OTA, the content has been widely used by many communities, without any objection; Spring is comparatively small to the point of insignificance.
This clearly doesn't make it easier to find new people helping here. Who wants to help with project(s) with possible infrigements?

again, you can't discuss this away, we need some actions here.

BAR is on the same way as SWIW was.
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Silentwings
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by Silentwings »

This clearly doesn't make it easier to find new people helping here.
Can you provide some evidence for this? Spring has now put games onto Steam and been packaged as part of a (small) commercial game sold via the 'normal' distribution routes, as well as given birth to a small sister community with no remaining relation to *A. Afaics this supports my view that IP worries remain a non-issue, and I can't see a reason for any effect on devs outside of *A games.

I agree that IP questions might drag on finding devs for games that do still include OTA content, or which have done in the past - and rightly so. Ofc it was a question I once had to research and answer for myself, with my answer given in my previous post. However, there seems to be no shortage of people interested in developing *A games. Since *A continues to attract both devs and players, we might reasonably assume its existence was a plus point.

Ofc one might argue that supporting "old tech" holds back engine development, but this is separate question, and the issues there are distribution of manpower, not IP. In particular, making "new" models that do exactly what existing models can already do is never going to be an attractive proposition for game devs.
you can't discuss this away
Without some substantive arguments in reponse to viewtopic.php?f=44&t=35708&p=579895#p579890, I can't see anything else for me to say here.
BAR is on the same way as SWIW was.
I appreciate your concern, and share it, but this is a separate issue; the existence of *A content in BA & others does not stop anyone working on BAR.
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aeonios
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by aeonios »

Silentwings wrote:Moreover, in case of OTA, the content has been widely used by many communities, without any objection, for over a decade, and Springs own usage is comparatively tiny.
That perspective is certainly valid, and there are also several TA-style commercial games (SupCom, Planetary Annihilation, Ashes of the Singularity) out there as well, so in practical terms IP is probably not likely to be a pressing concern any time soon.

Also, even in the worst case the only thing that would happen is that BA development would have to be discontinued and BA removed from rapid/springfiles. Any non-infringing art and any of the gpl code could be recycled and that's about it. As the spring engine is GPL and does a lot of things that OTA did not and was written from scratch there are no legal grounds for anyone to make a complaint.

There are also projects like that tiberian sun remake that require you to own a copy of the original game (and which import art assets directly from it) which is another possibility, although not as straightforward. And that's still extremely unlikely to ever matter.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Future of BAR? (=How to increase the bus factor of BAR?)

Post by PicassoCT »

abma wrote:you guys are very good in going offtopic.

the initial answer still isn't answered: when beherith disappears the project BAR is dead as IMHO nobody is allowed to continue it. The new models currently don't improve the situation that all TA-derived spring games can't be freely distributed. Its still a risk to host these games as we can be sued for it.

As i'm currently the idiot who seems responsible for getting sued i'm really motivated to improve this situation which would mean to remove these games which can't be freely distributed.

(practically its much more complicated as i'm not the owner of the server(s)/domain(s))
Don't worry instead of IP-Lawyer social justice warriors could lawsuit you for hosting jw.. your nightmares are secured.
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abma
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by abma »

Silentwings wrote:
This clearly doesn't make it easier to find new people helping here.
Can you provide some evidence for this? Spring has now put games onto Steam and been packaged as part of a (small) commercial game sold via the 'normal' distribution routes, as well as given birth to a small sister community with no remaining relation to *A. Afaics this supports my view that IP worries remain a non-issue, and I can't see a reason for any effect on devs outside of *A games.
Spring is a community because code / stuff is shared. When some party/project doesn't share code it is IMHO not a full member of the community.

IMHO SWIW and modinfo.adune.nl are good examples for projects beeing finally dead because the code is closed source: nobody can continue it or is allowed to continue it. Its impossible to say if the projects wouldn't have died if they were open-source.

The same can happen with BAR when its kept as closed source.

Because i saw several closed source projects die my personal motivation basicly drops to zero to help closed source projects.

As side note: TA is sold on steam, so some party still tries to earn money with it / can sue people publishing TA based stuff.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by PicassoCT »

Could they meet halfway- basically closde-source for a specified time, after that open source again?

I try to see the other side too. People going closed source, are actually some of the most commited. They invest part of there lifetime, money and family happyness into a project. Usually they want to sell part of that and then the source bascially becomes worthless to them.

It could be returned after 3 years on steam for example.
My opinion, and abma has a valid point of course. The source should be on a third party server, which upholds the contract, even if one side vannishes. (public is unlikely too vannish, but hey)..
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gajop
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by gajop »

Maybe I've missed something important, but afaik BAR is NOT closed source. The code (widgets and gadgets by default) and even all shaders last I checked, are released under an open source license. This is what really matters, because those things can be worked on, improved, and already come in such a format that it's stupid to put restrictions.

Art (models, textures, etc.) might not be open sourced, but it probably already isn't in a number of other projects, including some of the main ones (e.g. ZK, Evo). What I'd actually appreciate is to have all projects contain clear licensing information on art so people know what's usable. Personally I think it makes no sense to have restrictive licensing on models if you won't be selling your game, but, at least art usually doesn't have the same "iterative development until project death" that's common with code, so it's not as important.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by PicassoCT »

But what if the art is code, and the code is part of the art.
For example procedural units?
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Silentwings
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by Silentwings »

abma wrote:BAR when its kept as closed source
It looks like the standard terminology is being used wrongly here, and history being mangled...

Closed source - the source code/files are not available publicly
Open source - the source code/files are available publicly.

BAR is open source.

CC-BY-ND, "No Derivatives" - people may re-use this in their own work but they may not alter it whilst doing so.

BARs code (including shaders) is GPL or equivalent and allows derivatives and re-use.
BARs artwork is CC-BY-ND and allows re-use but does not allow derivatives.
abma wrote:modinfo.adune.nl
modinfo.adune.nl died because of a disagreement between its maintainer and Springs devs/mods, which resulted in its maintainer being banned (fwiw, I was "only" a BA player at the time).

Oddly, shortly before this Behe asked for its source code, because it relied on tdfs and could not parse BAs "new fangled" lua defs, and was refused. The reason a modern equivalent of modinfo.adune.nl exists - http://springrts.ru:8080/ba939/index.html - is because Behe wrote one from scratch and open sourced his own code, http://imolarpg.dyndns.org/trac/balates ... _generator.
abma wrote:SWIW ... The same can happen with BAR
SWIW is correctly an example of a project in which the devs moved on and artwork can no longer be changed because of an ND clause, although this has not prevented people recycling/updating its lua. Naturally, this is a risk associated to all ND artwork.
abma wrote:TA is sold
OTA has been sold via one medium or other throughout the entire history of the Spring project.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=35708&p=579895#p579890 etc etc.

gajop wrote:Art (models, textures, etc.) might not be open sourced, but it probably already isn't in a number of other projects, including some of the main ones (e.g. ZK, Evo).
The source files for BARs artwork are available (and are mostly CC-BY-ND). I am not sure of the status of other projects.
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gajop
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by gajop »

Well I think CC-BY-ND (or -NC) is generally not open source, or at least is pretty much the opposite of what GPL is. They're "less open" and not considered "free culture licenses": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Free ... nse-cc.svg
I'm not sure what's considered a derivative in this case (different project or change in the art itself?), and even commercial has its own ambiguties (e.g. making money of Youtube streaming a game that has NC assets), so I tend to assume I just shouldn't use anything that falls under those licenses.

However... art isn't what makes a project open source. It's the source code that matters the most, and in that perspective I consider BAR, ZK and similar games open source with restrictive art licenses.

@Picasso
For example procedural units?
Please make all your procedural generating code open sourced, but feel free to put arbitrary licenses on the source images/models if you use any.
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Silentwings
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by Silentwings »

I think CC-BY-ND (or -NC) is generally not open source, or at least is pretty much the opposite of what GPL is
Of course you're entitled to choose your own perspective but I'm personally siding with Wikipedia in saying "Closed source is the opposite of open source" :wink:
I'm not sure what's considered a derivative in this case
Nor is anybody, unfortunately.
BAR, ZK and similar games open source with restrictive art licenses.
That.
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FLOZi
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by FLOZi »

Silentwings wrote:
BAR, ZK and similar games open source with restrictive art licenses.
That.

This.

S44 and SWIW are both open source games with restrictive art licenses, and all the debian-randism about NC clauses just doesn't hold water.
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hokomoko
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by hokomoko »

Some random remarks.
1) No one will change their opinion as a result of this thread.
2) The majority of devs I know would gladly work on projects of any license, provided said project holds their interest. While license is a factor in how fond they are of a project, it's far from being the main one.
3) Saying that there's a shortage of devs due to its license is something that is impossible to disprove, so it doesn't say much.
4) If abma (or anyone else) would say "I want to do X for BAR but I don't due to its license" this discussion will become 1000 times more productive.
5) *A games decided long ago to risk a C&D. It's not feasible to change that fact now without severe consequences for the spring community, so we're forced to live with the status quo.

I'm getting off a bus. To be continued.
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hokomoko
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Re: Role of *A content (split from "Future of BAR?")

Post by hokomoko »

Now, since no one is going to be convinced (see previous post) I'll just state my personal view.

It's highly unlikely that I'll ever contribute to BAR directly, whatever license they choose.
The situation is similar for most other games (it's not personal :P ). ZK is a bit of an exception because I actively play it, but it's still far from being a major focus of mine as a dev.

I will not support any OTA content abolishing, not because I think it's ok, but because I like the vast majority of *A devs and in this case that matters to me more.
If someone thinks this is hypocrisy, I believe that Open Source communities are fragile by their nature, and taking social ties into account in decision making is an entirely valid strategy for keeping them alive.

I wish to encourage everyone else to write more posts with "I will" and "I won't" and not just "we/you should"
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