OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

About the actual programming of the game.

Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby Qworg » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:00 pm

OK, isn't there an alternative method to separate plugins?
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby danix111 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:17 pm

Qworg wrote:OK, isn't there an alternative method to separate plugins?

I suggested MPL, which would allow Trillek to be linked with non-MPL code (such as plugins), while changes to Trillek code would have to be available in source form and under MPL.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby adam » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:18 pm

So what is wanted is a license that protects our original code, but can allow others to link against the code freely.
Also we want one that requires improvements to be submitted back.

I want a simple to read and understand one as well, but lawyer speak is Greek to me anyways.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby danix111 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:26 pm

adam wrote:So what is wanted is a license that protects our original code, but can allow others to link against the code freely.
Also we want one that requires improvements to be submitted back.

That's exactly what MPL provides.

adam wrote:I want a simple to read and understand one as well, but lawyer speak is Greek to me anyways.

Unfortunately licenses need to be detailed to be able to defend themselves in court.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby croxis » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:01 am

I'm personally a fan of MIT/BSD/zlib/etc types. I'm not that worried about code theft. I don't care if EA uses it or not. I would much rather have an open license that others feel comfortable using.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby DarkSpartan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:15 am

All of those licenses cover code, and not non-code assets.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby croxis » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:17 pm

I'm not as familar with non-code licenses other than there are several options for creative commons. My personal bias is that it would be nice if it was a similar open license.
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby Alderin » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:30 am

adam wrote:... we are not an entity and as such it might be hard to enforce a license should someone go against it.


I see this as a problem. No matter which license is chosen, "we are not an entity" should be corrected. This would allow Trillek to hold the copyright of submitted works, consolidating the consent requirements should a future License Change be needed, as well as (you said it) increase the enforcement-ability of said license.

Beyond that, I believe MOD writers should have the option to license their MODs as they see fit, while changes to the code game client/server should be required to be transparent/shared. Server Admins should be able to purchase and offer high-end developer-supported closed-source MODs for their users if they want, or run with Open MODs and the main code, or just the main code, or build their own MOD that they never distribute. GPL forces only two of those five choices (Open MODs and Unmodded), while several people will likely also build their own without distribution, in (very low risk) violation.

GPL seems awfully closed-up as far as a Market goes, to me. Don't get me wrong, I've contributed tons of time to open source projects, happy to give back to such a community, even happy to build things from scratch under open licenses. But GPL seems unsuited to a situation where MODs come into play, MODs are almost in the same class as the Art of a game, and should be allowed to be profited from, IMHO.

That's my $0.02
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby tecywiz121 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:57 am

Alderin wrote:
adam wrote:... we are not an entity and as such it might be hard to enforce a license should someone go against it.


I see this as a problem. No matter which license is chosen, "we are not an entity" should be corrected. This would allow Trillek to hold the copyright of submitted works, consolidating the consent requirements should a future License Change be needed, as well as (you said it) increase the enforcement-ability of said license.



Copyright assignment is a terrible idea. For one, it requires the establishment of some kind of entity, corporation, or whatnot. That can be a difficult problem on its own. Secondly, why would I, as a developer who wants his code open sourced, contribute to a project that can relicense my code on a whim?
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Re: OK So FOSS licenses are a pain and a fight

Postby Alderin » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:35 pm

tecywiz121 wrote:
Alderin wrote:
adam wrote:... we are not an entity and as such it might be hard to enforce a license should someone go against it.

I see this as a problem. No matter which license is chosen, "we are not an entity" should be corrected. This would allow Trillek to hold the copyright of submitted works, consolidating the consent requirements should a future License Change be needed, as well as (you said it) increase the enforcement-ability of said license.

Copyright assignment is a terrible idea. For one, it requires the establishment of some kind of entity, corporation, or whatnot. That can be a difficult problem on its own. Secondly, why would I, as a developer who wants his code open sourced, contribute to a project that can relicense my code on a whim?


The pattern of copyright assignment for re-licensing gives the most flexibility and legal defensibility to the Project. Yes, there must be a legal Entity of some sort, but I've done that half a dozen times and it isn't really all that hard, and not that expensive if done without hiring a legal council to do the entirety of it (so much of it is boilerplate that can be understood by a layman).

As for your second concern, I understand your hesitance, but assigned copyright does not negate an open source license in operation at the time of submission. Depending on the by-laws and stated purposes of the Entity, the effect allows defense of the license even if contributors can't be contacted, and alteration of the current license again without having to track down missing contributors.

Overall, how much sense the copyright assignment makes depends on the License chosen, and the willingness of the community to defend it. The existence of a legal Entity also more easily allows for cost offsetting efforts for server, bandwidth, (legal fees,) etc, while not relying on some single individual's altruistic efforts. Due to the heavy focus this game has on Programming at very low levels, we might even have a strong argument for Non-Profit:Educational status, but I am not a lawyer. I have dealt with major legal stupidity, and consequently tried to find how I could have had better "shields", due to once-bitten-twice-shy reaction.

My basic stance is that MOD writers, working through an API, should be able to keep their code closed if they wish. If they make changes to the API to enable something, that must come back to the Project, and Art is owned by the Creators, allowing servers to run unique and interesting worlds without losing their control, and without the Project losing code.

Though I'll admit my stance doesn't count for much. :-)
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