Topic: License Policy

Lastmerlin on October 19, 2011, 08:57:30 PM

Lastmerlin

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Please note a very important change to the license policy:

All source code must be released under GPL V3, as before.
All ressources and content must be released under CC-BY-SA 3.0. There is no option to chose a different license anymore.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 09:29:43 PM by Lastmerlin »
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mafm on October 30, 2011, 04:50:09 PM
Reply #1

mafm

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Can CC-BY-SA be restricted to 3.0? Or several at once, but including 3.0?

Because, for example, if under 2.5, the artwork cannot be distributed in Debian:
http://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses

I expect that Fedora or others, including Ubuntu, might have similar restrictions.
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dezGusty on October 31, 2011, 06:40:55 AM
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dezGusty

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There is always the option of dual-licensing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_licensing which can help with incompatibilities... The only issue now is that adding a license, or changing the existing one requires all the existing authors to give their permission for the change.
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loic on November 02, 2011, 07:48:24 AM
Reply #3

loic

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Hi,

Because the decision to enforce CC-BY-SA on data is a recent one, it seems logical that the latest version (i.e. 3.0 or later) is designated. However, it would not hurt to change the policy stated above to change the recommendation and explain that 3.0 should be chosen otherwise the game will not make it to the Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu etc.

My 2ct ;-)
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Lastmerlin on November 02, 2011, 09:37:17 PM
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Following this argumentation I have decided to just update the the license number to 3.0 . As far as I know, no artists specified a version number - so we can just assume that the most recent one was meant.
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mafm on November 02, 2011, 11:34:22 PM
Reply #5

mafm

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Version 3.0 was launched even before this project was launched, if I am not mistaken ( 23rd of February 2007, http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7249 ).  So it seems natural that the version is at least 3.0, or better, 3.0 or later versions (so you cover future "upgrades").

But as dezGusty says, you should make sure that the people who created the artwork have agreed for the work to be published under this license, or dual/tripled/n-licensed it, or published under another more liberal license which can be changed to this one.

I am going to update License.txt.  Please let me know in the future if something important changes in this regard (e.g., artists refuse to give their consent).
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Kulik on November 09, 2011, 10:34:01 PM
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Regarding today's discussion about GPLv3, I think sumwars is better off with GPLv2+ (GPLv2 or, at your discretion, any later version). It doesn't limit the project whilst GPLv3 does (no deployment on iOS devices and various other devices, cutting off lots of potential users).

I think it's not too late to switch back.
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mafm on November 10, 2011, 12:26:21 AM
Reply #7

mafm

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The question of whether GPLv3 restricts the project is quite idiotic from my POV.  GPLv3 protects users from TIVOisation (which sneakily work around laws to get away with using GPLd software while striping benefits for users); fights against DRM, which is one of the most stupid things ever invented (unless you're a corporation interested in milking the consumers); and also fights and protects users from software patents, which are going to be one of the technology cancers of this century (they already are at this point, see all the fighting over Java, Android et al.).  Since I'm not on the corporation side of the fence I have zero interest in going backwards and downgrading the license to GPLv2.

But for me, it's quite telling the notion that people is worried about this and not, for example, the non-commercial restrictions of the fonts that I raised recently, and it was only me who did some tangible effort to avoid this problem.  It is quite disappointing, really.  This non-commercial restriction even forbids you to ask for donations on your website, if you put a link to a download with the fonts inside, so it is a far more immediate and tangible damage for the project overall.

Lastly, my contributions are made with GPLv3, so if you want to switch to a backwards you don't have my permission and have to remove all of them.


PS: I'm not going to discuss this, so if anybody tries to convince me, please don't.  I already rejecting switching licenses in projects far more important and far-reaching than this one.
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trapdoor on November 10, 2011, 04:57:12 AM
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I am strongly against GPLv3 since it only has negatives, and not a single positive reason to use it. Whilst I would rather the GPL was not used at all (I thought at one point we agreed to switch to MIT like Ogre), GPLv2 is definitely better than GPLv3.

GPLv3 will only hurt the project in the long run, considering its incompatibility with most popular platforms and the fact more and more developers are understandably wanting to avoid it because of the fact you have to release changes even if you don't plan on distributing the changed binary. The only reason for using GPLv3 is for political reasons.

All my contributions are under the BSD license which is compatible with the GPL, so none would need to be rewritten (another advantage of a less restrictive license).
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dezGusty on November 10, 2011, 08:33:40 AM
Reply #9

dezGusty

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Guys, if license switching is ever going to happen, it will require the (written) permission of each contributor. If someone will no longer be part of the project, we'll need to track him down and ask for permission. One of the things that would help would be multi-licensing... but that would complicate the way the headers would look, as currently we have the license in each source file. I'm not sure whether we can say we're using this main license (GPLv2/3), but we also recommend licensing under MIT.

As a matter of personal taste, I would like to have the game released under a very permissive license, like MIT. If someone wants to take the game, add a multi-player match-making server and charge money for it, I have no issue with them using my code. But others may have...

Edited: like seen in the posts above; others may have political reasons for not releasing their code under a different license. This would mean that no parts of the game can be reused by anyone else, if someone doesn't give his permission. Because the code has little mentioning of the author of each file/class/function. I would suggest updating the code comments to also include the authors of various sections. (doxy: \author or @author)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 10:15:59 AM by dezGusty »
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Kulik on November 10, 2011, 10:14:54 AM
Reply #10

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MIT doesn't make any sense for this project. It would basically allow anyone to close it down, rename it and sell it as his own (yeah, attribution and all that but still).

GPLvX is the only sane choice IMO.

I find mafm's post quite offensive TBH. I understand his motives but it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. IMO the logical path is to go GPLv2+ if you want to deploy somewhere with DRM and GPLv3 otherwise.
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Lastmerlin on November 10, 2011, 10:26:42 AM
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Lastmerlin

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Yeah I love this topic ;)

As soon as I have finally understood the differences between GPL, CC-*, BSD etc, you start to fight about version numbers - yeha x(
You are surely right that this is an important issue, but  apparently I am too naive and idealistic to get a grasp of it.

Can you please just a present a list of the options and concrete implications at the end ? All I can say right now is that any option which has *Important contributor X leaves and we have to revert all his work* on its list has a rather low chance to be chosen. However, I hope that discussion wont go this direction anyway - this is already the highest level of rhetorical escalation and therefore not really helpful. One other thing: Having a wild mix of licenses, in worst case per code line seems a very bad idea to me as well.

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dezGusty on November 10, 2011, 10:42:41 AM
Reply #12

dezGusty

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Keeping the author written in the code is simply meant to know which parts would need to be rewritten in case someone is no longer in the project, he did not leave the option to relicense (or is not reachable) and a license switch is decided by the remaining team.

Having a multi-license means that the used licenses should still be clear and applicable for all the code. So if we add 2 licenses, we use the exact same 2 licenses in all files, allowing the users to redistribute the code under one of the 2 licenses (whichever they preffer).
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Kulik on November 10, 2011, 11:56:49 AM
Reply #13

Kulik

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Lastmerlin: Basically GPLv3 prevents sumwars of ever being on platforms like iOS (ipad, ...), steam, ... (all platforms with inbuilt DRM). You potentially lose a lot of users. GPLv2+ is effectively a multi license (GPLv2, GPLv3, ...). But mafm has a point: GPLv3 prevents Tivoization and various other exploits and loopholes of GPLv2. I would strongly discourage MIT, BSD and other such licenses, they avoid rebranding/exploitation for profit and don't enforce others to contribute back. Multi licensing would only make matters far more complicated (IMO).

Since all contributors contributed code as GPLv2+ previously you only have to contact people who contributed in the time between the GPLv2+->GPLv3 change and now. Shouldn't be that hard. In the end I don't see why someone would make such a strong stand and blackmail the other developers over GPLv2+ vs GPLv3. I hope mafm will reconsider...
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mafm on November 12, 2011, 03:49:23 AM
Reply #14

mafm

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I am strongly against GPLv3 since it only has negatives, and not a single positive reason to use it.

This is false, as me and other people have said in other messages.  Whether you pretend to be that the differences are only negatives and not positives is your point of view, not an universal truth.

In fact, if one likes the original GPL (and the side that GPL chooses: users' freedom), GPLv3 has several objective advantages, since it goes further into trying to make sure to protect user freedom, even by sophisticate ways that some people/companies use to subvert it (the aforementioned TiVO, or software patents).

GPLv3 will only hurt the project in the long run, considering its incompatibility with most popular platforms

If this was true, you'd think that Battle of Wesnoth for iPhones would be doing very well, right?  Maybe not so ([1] and [2]).  It seems that there are no releases for more than 1 year and a half, and in fact it lived actively for less than 6 months, apparently.

[1] http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=35395&p=511806&hilit=iphone#p511806
[2] http://wesnoth.repositoryhosting.com/trac/wesnoth_wesnoth/

Now, I don't think bad about Sumwars, but I would contend that Wesnoth is more close to what people considers complete and polished game, with many years of experince and a strong community of users and developers.  And they have a couple more contributors/workforce than Sumwars, also [ http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Credits ].  If they [seem to have] have abandoned the iPhone path, I would be more cautious than you when saying that by using GPL license (or GPLv3) in particular Sumwars is getting hurt and missing many opportunities.

And it is well known that with this move to try to get Wesnoth into iphones, they created a fracture in the community [ http://lwn.net/Articles/396535/ ], so overall was probably more harmful than good.

So sorry if I offend you again, but this assertion of yours is quite stupid and not substantiated in anything other than your prejudice towards the GPL license.

[...] and the fact more and more developers are understandably wanting to avoid it because of the fact you have to release changes even if you don't plan on distributing the changed binary.

This is simply false.  You can modify GPL software and not publish it, as long as you don't distribute it, it's one of the basic facts being there since the beginning:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic

I thought that you would be better informed about this issue... the fact that you don't understand this vital part of the license while you say to oppose it fiercely, it's quite amusing.

The only reason for using GPLv3 is for political reasons.

All my contributions are under the BSD license which is compatible with the GPL, so none would need to be rewritten (another advantage of a less restrictive license).

I would expect that 2000+ years after the greek philosophers, we would be already be settled in the notion that everything that humans do is political, in one way or another [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z?on_politikon ].

Your choice to not GPL is also quite political, too.  Saying that BSD license is "less restrictive" in the sense of not restricting what developers or companies can do with the product; but permitting them to kill the product and thus restricting freedoms and options in users.

And apart from that, many times products with "more restrictive" licenses win, like Linux with GPL and BSD with their license, as explained many times by Linus Torvalds linking the success of it's pet project because of (not in spite of) being GPL and not any other license.  In fact, the whole history of failed Unix systems before Linux (and GNU) is a mixed history of "too permissive" licenses and companies short-sightingly wanting to make big bucks quick, and killing the product early.


Executive summary: If you (plural: trapdoor or others) want BSD, that's your choice, but don't pretend to treat people as fools and put the burden on people who did an informed choice when choosing to contribute to this project -- like I did.  Had this project be licensed under BSD I wouldn't have contributed to it, and if it would be GPLv2 only (and not GPLv3), maybe not either.  And if you are so concerned about the badness of the GPLv3 license, put your money where your mouth is and rewrite my contributions.  They are not that many, really.

But this said, I am quite pissed off that I've been the only one who, after waiting for a long time to see if somebody else did, finally got to implemente installing with "make install" in a more-or-less sensible way (even if some of you are still unsatisfied), including conditional compilation of enet/tinyxml; and I put very serious effort in trying to widen the channel of distribution of Sumwars by creating Debian/Ubuntu packages.  And lastly, it's seems that I am the only one who takes seriously the problem of licensing (instead of just spitting prejudices in a forum) when it comes to real and current issues, like with the non-commercially-distributable fonts which could potentially get Sumwars into some trouble -- that everybody ignored until now, and continues to ignore the last bit (Commonwealth font).

So that's it, I'm quite tired of all of this.  Get serious, folks.
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