LICENSING AND PLUGINS

About the actual programming of the game.

LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby mrout » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:18 am

Important Announcement:

It has come to my attention that our plans for the separation of licensing for the core/engine and the server mods/client mods is incompatible with the GNU GPLv3. The reason for this is that when we dynamically link client plugins to the client engine, or server plugins to the server engine, the combined work is considered a derived work. The plugins will be licensed under the GNU GPLv3, which requires derivative works to be licensed under the GPLv3.

I recommend that if you want a more thorough explanation then you should visit https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.ht ... GPLPlugins . TL;DR: if the engine is distributed with the base game plugins, and it dynamically links with them to load them, then they are both derived works of each other, and must be licensed under the more restrictive license.

As such, almost certainly the best thing to do is to license the client engine and server core under the GNU GPLv3. I doubt anyone here actually has a problem with this, but it's important that we make it clear to everyone for transparency reasons.

Finally, note that if this change goes ahead, all plugins for the trillek client or server will be required to be under the GNU GPLv3.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby mrout » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:24 am

On another note, I personally think we should license the server core and plugins as AGPL, so that people running and providing public access to modified copies have to distribute source.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby Andrew » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:32 am

AGPL would make sense for the server-side of things, although would that complicate licensing the common libraries?
EDIT: AGPLv3 and GPLv3 both have explicit clauses in them which allow cross linking, so there's no problem there.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby SunShiranui » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:11 am

What if we have server mods and client mods as LGPLv3? Would that solve the problem? :?
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby croxis » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:11 pm

Hmm didn't I say such a thing back during the license discussion....

Does this mean that all plugins made have to be gpl as well?
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby mrout » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:09 pm

SunShiranui wrote:What if we have server mods and client mods as LGPLv3? Would that solve the problem? :?


That depends on your definition of solve. The only benefit would be to allow people to produce closed source mods. That's not a benefit.

croxis wrote:Does this mean that all plugins made have to be gpl as well?


Read the post.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby SunShiranui » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:59 pm

One thing I've seen in some Minecraft servers is that they often have some custom server mods with their own gamemode. I thought it was pretty cool as it gave people a reason both to host and play in special servers. I think that we should at least allow for that sort of thing to happen, because I think it would encourage game server hosters to host public Trillek servers. I agree that we should encourage open source software as possible, but we should still allow for things like this.

Afaik we can still do that if we GPL everything, but we can't if we go with AGPL.

Another thing that I think we should do is allow developers who want to build another game with our engine to do so, as long as they release any modification to the engine itself as open source. I don't think we should restrict it to open-source games only, just keep the engine free (as in freedom).

Thoughts?
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby mrout » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:29 pm

SunShiranui wrote:One thing I've seen in some Minecraft servers is that they often have some custom server mods with their own gamemode. I thought it was pretty cool as it gave people a reason both to host and play in special servers. I think that we should at least allow for that sort of thing to happen, because I think it would encourage game server hosters to host public Trillek servers. I agree that we should encourage open source software as possible, but we should still allow for things like this.


How does that benefit us? If all the high quality mods are closed source, that removes a massive source of reference material for newer and less experienced potential mod creators to reference.

SunShiranui wrote:Afaik we can still do that if we GPL everything, but we can't if we go with AGPL.


That's quite right.

SunShiranui wrote:Another thing that I think we should do is allow developers who want to build another game with our engine to do so, as long as they release any modification to the engine itself as open source. I don't think we should restrict it to open-source games only, just keep the engine free (as in freedom).


IMO that's absolutely what we don't want - people building proprietary games off our engine.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby Pseudonym » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:50 am

The central issue here is what constitutes a "derivative work". The GPL FAQ has an opinion on the matter which has never been legally tested. No country's copyright act (as far as I'm aware) mentions dynamic linking, static linking, or forking and execing.

One option is to release under the GPL along with a statement that we do not consider plugins which a) can be distributed separately, and b) use only this API as being "derivative works". Another option is to dual-licence (say, GPL and QPL).
Last edited by Pseudonym on Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LICENSING AND PLUGINS

Postby Andrew » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:57 am

Since development of this game will be primarily community-driven, using a license which allows people to take our source and not give back to the community doesn't only not make sense, but seems utterly bizarre.

A GPL/AGPL licensing option makes the most sense for *this* project. Using a GPL licence also means if someone makes a really cool gameplay enhancing mod, it will be possible to include it in the vanilla game with zero licensing complications.
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