Topic: License Policy

Lastmerlin on November 14, 2011, 05:08:14 PM
Reply #15

Lastmerlin

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 Well it seems that this topic leads conflicts once again :(

First of all, it seems that you do not feel appropriately valued for the work you did. If this is the case, its my fault. I always said that the should somehow get into these repos for Ubuntu and other popular distros to get a big boost in attention. Therefore, your work was a decisive step into the right direction. I should have expressed this more directly - sadly I always missed you in IRC for instance due to my own limited activity lately. And these complaints should not be taken personal - this just happens if you force any developers to change their workflow.

However, you must accept, that not everyone is proficient with these licensing issues. This is normal and acceptable. I am not good at graphics either (and I wont learn it properly if I tried it due to lack of talent) and I still realize that graphics are important. So if there is some decision in this department, I rely on qualified opinions of those who know better. This is not ignorance - this is just realizing you own strengths and weaknesses, delegating and aquring filtered information.

This works well for most topics - except licensing x(

On the topic: Who threw BSD into the discussion ? I believe that I informed myself about this in the past and rejected it because of any grave disadvantages. But I have already forgot again what the problem was. However, discussion about GPL V2 <-> V3 should be enough, right ?
Apparently both have their issues as I see it. So what I want to ask is: Can we please make a sensible discussion about the risks instead of discussing about general ideals and philosophy and prejudices ? Its not that I have no ideals or philosophical thoughts at all - this is exactly what prevents me from understanding these license issues properly. But here there is no point discussion which license (or company or world view) is *good* and which is *evil*. Here - we should consider what works best for this project.

So the question is: What is the complete list of issues with GPLv+2 (it always seems that only two examples were named but the list might be longer)? How grave and realistic are these issues ? Is there really a realistic chance to get the program running on one of these Apple products (Ipad...)? I somehow doubt it considering our demands in graphics etc. .

By the way: The example of Wesnoth is really disturbing. Wesnoth is always what I consider as the perfect example of open source game developement. Of course they are vastly superior considering completeness, professionality, organization, amount of content, contributors and so on. In fact they state they have is what I dream of achieving one day. Its alarming if they have massive issues with an IPhone port.
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mafm on November 17, 2011, 01:04:45 AM
Reply #16

mafm

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First of all, it seems that you do not feel appropriately valued for the work you did.  [...] I always said that the should somehow get into these repos for Ubuntu and other popular distros to get a big boost in attention. Therefore, your work was a decisive step into the right direction.

Actually, it's not something so straightforward, the question about how I feel comes from different aspects:

1) I somewhat have the impression that I was pissing off people by changing old workflows and what not, when creating a "make install" target and trying to get everything working properly for multi-user systems (personal settings vs system-wide data, etc).  Despite the complaints and some people volunteering to fix things in a better way, I think that nobody made any serious improvement to my implementation, yet.  But, at any rate, I did that after waiting for about ~1 year to see if anybody got the strength to do it, because I had told you that I would try to do it.

I was not waiting sitting with my arms crossed, and overtook Ogre package mantainance in Debian (and Ubuntu) to bring it up to date, and prodded CEGUI's maintainer to a point where he got a bit angry with me, with the main purpose of getting Sumwars into Debian/Ubuntu.  And I got a very difficult year, involving defending thesis, holidays for 1 month in a country without internet, unemployed and new job in a new country, and some personal nasty problems; but that's another story.

2) AFAIK only me cared enough to warn you about serious licensing issues (like with the fonts).  Are you familiar with the running story that Microsoft gets more revenue from Android phones than Windows phones?  I don't know if that's actually true, but it's not beyond possibility that, if you wanted to sell Sumwars as iphone app and got enough popularity/money, they would be suing your ass and could have to pay them royalties for using the fonts, or libraries, or what not.

So it's not that I feel that everybody should bow at me when I join the room.  But having people babbling non-sense about GPL being harmful for the project when they didn't even read the license, and are not doing anything at all to remove the more serious licensing issues of the remaining Commonwealth font (which I brought several times to attention, and still at this point nobody removed) nor did anything previously to remove other really harmful things, is not funny.

On the topic: Who threw BSD into the discussion ? I believe that I informed myself about this in the past and rejected it because of any grave disadvantages.  But I have already forgot again what the problem was.

BSD or GPL?
http://www.matusiak.eu/numerodix/blog/index.php/2007/12/15/gpl-vs-bsd-a-matter-of-sustainability/
  (read fully or not at all, you can get the wrong impression if only reading half of it)

Basically, it boils down to if you want to ensure that everybody (including players) should have access to project that you develop remains freely available forever (GPL); or if you want to give developers who want to use your code the power to use it in any way that they please, even if that involves creating a closed-source project from that, and never publish the code (BSD).

However, discussion about GPL V2 <-> V3 should be enough, right ? Apparently both have their issues as I see it. So what I want to ask is: Can we please make a sensible discussion about the risks instead of discussing about general ideals and philosophy and prejudices ?

It's difficult to discuss licensing without discussing ideals and philosophy.  Because, if you are motivated enough to create a vast software project as you did, for sure you all did it for a reason, with a motivation, with a general ideal, a goal.  And, ultimately, licenses are implementations (in law) of the ideals and goals that you have with your new baby-project.

So you should choose the driving ideal, goal for the project first, and then choose the license that you think that suits that ideal/goal better.

Like, if you prefer that your game becomes freely available at all times in the future for everybody, to allow others to continue your effort when you are not interested (or create alternate games), but always having players enjoying your game freely.  Or if you prefer to get to as many users as possible for your game as a whole or only parts, even if that means risking a company using your code and dialogs for a different game in the next XWii PS-Box console, without you getting a dime nor your users being able to exercise the rights that they had when using your code directly.

So the question is: What is the complete list of issues with GPLv+2 (it always seems that only two examples were named but the list might be longer)? How grave and realistic are these issues ?

Reasons to move to GPLv3: http://gplv3.fsf.org/rms-why.html and http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html

Probably not much that affects a project like Sumwars.  "Tivoization" is not a problem for a project Sumwars.  But it will allow companies to not have to pay for Sumwars to Microsoft (see Novell-Microsoft deal in the article).  Or, if distributed on a DRM-enabled platform, with GPLv3 you would be giving your users the freedom to remove DRM restrictions (which is why they don't).

So it depends on your opinion of the matters, I consider this a feature.  I don't want to allow any company to take profit from my project to turn it against my users and take rights away from them.  If they are not going to maintain the rights that I want for my users, I rather not having the company dealing with my project at all.

Apart from that, some company could sue Sumwars as developers, for infringing their patents, even if they distribute it, which is quite crazy.

To remove all of this non-sense, and try to fight agains software patents, GPLv3 was created.

Also, a project with GPLv3 is compatible with Apache 2.0-licensed stuff, which at the moment you're not using it, AFAIK.  But apparently, GPLv2 and Apache 2.0 are incompatible.

So, as a summary, there's no reason practical reason to downgrade your license to GPLv2, other than if you want to allow some of the described practices trying to sneak around the protections that you give to the users of the software.

Is there really a realistic chance to get the program running on one of these Apple products (Ipad...)? I somehow doubt it considering our demands in graphics etc. .

Those topics don't concern me... if you want to try, go ahead.  I just won't change the license of my contributions to allow you to reach that goal, if that's what you, as a project, desire.

I very rarely (or never, probably) get involved and contribute with projects with licenses allowing that, or with exceptions to let the project run in essentially control-freak I'll-sue-your-ass-and-forbid-porn-and-WiFi-and-what-not platforms like Apple's.

Its alarming if [Wesnoth] have massive issues with an IPhone port.

Don't take my word for granted, I only clicked in a couple of links to get to the status of the iPhone port, I didn't follow closely and I don't know what's the reason that they abandoned the port, or if there are similar efforts to port to other places.

It's only that this discussion brough to my memory the licensing debates of them, and how it harmed the community, and how ultimately the non-clear licensing and wanting to publish in these AppStuff platform harmed them more in the long term than anything else.
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dezGusty on November 17, 2011, 09:31:11 AM
Reply #17

dezGusty

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Here's the official page from GNU as to the possible reasons to upgrade GPL from v2 to v3 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/rms-why-gplv3.html

It basically says that if you go with GPL, go with the latest, because it's better protecting against patents. (Although I haven't heard of any open source games having a problem with this. And Wesnoth, cited by Lastmerlin has GPLv2 http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Wesnoth:Copyrights). As to anti-DRM... not sure that helps or hurts in any way. Meaning: if we ever add a multiplayer dedicated server with user/password and some encryption for securing identities, will GPLv3 affect this in any way? I don't want to bother with this yet; I just hope we get to progress far enough that we have this problem one day :-)

EDIT: mafm: please write shorter entries :)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 09:35:41 AM by dezGusty »
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artisticdude on November 17, 2011, 05:01:37 PM
Reply #18

artisticdude

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Quote
"Its alarming if [Wesnoth] have massive issues with an IPhone port."

Don't take my word for granted, I only clicked in a couple of links to get to the status of the iPhone port, I didn't follow closely and I don't know what's the reason that they abandoned the port, or if there are similar efforts to port to other places.

It's only that this discussion brough to my memory the licensing debates of them, and how it harmed the community, and how ultimately the non-clear licensing and wanting to publish in these AppStuff platform harmed them more in the long term than anything else.
Actually, what killed the Wesnoth iOS port was that the guy who ported the project to iOS jumped ship and got involved with another project. Since the iOS port is under his iOS dev account, only he has access to it, which means that we have no control over the port at all (although the Wesnoth project still gets a certain percentage of whatever revenue the guy takes in from sales of the port), and efforts to contact the porter have been futile. There was some talk of licensing issues and such, but it was the porter abandoning the project that doomed the iOS port of Wesnoth, not the licensing of the port itself. Now we've got an Android port (done by an official Wesnoth developer), although since I personally don't own an Android device and there has been minimal discussion of the port on the Wesnoth forums, I can't say how that's been going.

But anyway, I'm just here to say that whatever license you want to put my contributions under, I'm fine with it. Like, literally whatever license.

Also, I'm no expert on licensing and legalese, but Wesnoth is licensed under the GPL v2+, which allows for later revisions of the license (including the GPL v3). Would something like that be feasible?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 05:11:39 PM by artisticdude »
Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
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Kulik on November 19, 2011, 12:48:27 PM
Reply #19

Kulik

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This all boils down to philosophy. I believe GPLv3 is the way if you are not going to be distributing the game on DRM platforms. If more developers decide to go GPLv3 the distributors will be forced to support GPLv3 software as well. GPLv3 definitely offers most freedom to the user and that's what matters IMO.

GPLv2+ as I suggested would be a compromise.

GPLv2 and GPLv3 are separate licenses, GPLv2+ means GPLv2 and all future versions (so GPLv2 and GPLv3).

GPLv2+:
+ proven (Linux et al)
+ can be distributed on DRM platforms
- no patent protection
- TiVoization possible

GPLv3+:
+ most user freedom
+ patent protection
+ TiVoization impossible
- de facto forbidden on many DRM platforms (which might be an advantage actually)

BSD/MIT/...:
+ most freedom for developers
- possibility of exploitation (someone closing the game down, rebranding and selling without contributing back)

All in all it's a philosophy battle. In my honest opinion GPLv3 is philosophically the best but limits the project in some ways (which might or might not matter). To get the discussion closer to conclusion, why don't you discuss how would you want sumwars to be distributed and whether GPLv3 poses a problem there?

Apparently you can't even distribute GPLv2 software on apple store: http://www.fsf.org/news/2010-05-app-store-compliance http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/should-apple-ban-gpl-from-the-app-store/11484
Maybe that changed in the meantime though.

I am changing my vote to GPLv3+.
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fusion44 on November 19, 2011, 04:27:44 PM
Reply #20

fusion44

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I vote for GPLV3. My guess is that GPL will be banned some time in the future anyway, like Microsoft did already for WP7 store...
Thechnically we can't even distribute it on Android Market because there is no direct way of getting the source...

http://blogs.computerworld.com/17279/gplv2_blocks_vlc_from_apples_app_store
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