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Bikerdude

Status of Steam Greenlight?

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Legal entity will probably be in Canada, and the process to create it is relatively simple. So that's not really much of a worry now.

 

The really big task is giving Valve a report on the licensing rights for our assets.

 

To do this kind of task, we might need to get volunteers among fans, divide up the assets, and assign them out.

Then we can have a memo about the kind of research they should do.

 

For planning purposes, any fans out there reading this now, would you volunteer to help us with this kind of work?

 

Think of going through dozens or up to 100 or 100s of assets, confirming the license status with its source as far as you can track it down.

 

I don't think you need to know too much background information. Assets come with rights & licenses, and I or someone can write a memo of what to do. We'll want to make a spreadsheet with each asset & its license status. It might be that we don't need volunteers, but it's good to know in advance who'd be interested. This is essential work for us to release on Steam, so we'd have to do it one way or another.

 

To contact Valve, unless we have a really specific question (which we don't really have right now) we'll need something to turn in to them, otherwise they'll just repeat what they need. And what they need is: a legal entity, a report satisfying them that our assets are properly licensed for release, & keeping the Steam code out of our sourcecode.

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I would be willing to help with the license stuff. I just need to know what exactly to do / what to look for. I have absolutley no knowledge about lsicensing, but am willing to learn.

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What would that work be like? Searching for the image on Google, and checking the original site for the license? Further, which "assets" are meant exactly? The ones included in the Dark Radiant editor? And, even further, have those not be checked about their license? AFAIK, it would be illegal already to have assets in there, whose license protect them for free distribution, wouldn't it?

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\\

Edited by Anderson
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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Think of going through dozens or up to 100 or 100s of assets, confirming the license status with its source as far as you can track it down.

 

I don't think you need to know too much background information. Assets come with rights & licenses, and I or someone can write a memo of what to do. We'll want to make a spreadsheet with each asset & its license status. It might be that we don't need volunteers, but it's good to know in advance who'd be interested. This is essential work for us to release on Steam, so we'd have to do it one way or another.

 

To contact Valve, unless we have a really specific question (which we don't really have right now) we'll need something to turn in to them, otherwise they'll just repeat what they need. And what they need is: a legal entity, a report satisfying them that our assets are properly licensed for release, & keeping the Steam code out of our sourcecode.

 

 

I would be willing to help with the license stuff. I just need to know what exactly to do / what to look for. I have absolutley no knowledge about lsicensing, but am willing to learn.

 

+1, willing to help and need more details when the time comes.


"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Thanks for volunteering everyone. And anyone else feel free to join at any time.

We might need a bit of time to get organized, but I'll PM people when we need help & give instructions.

 

@chakkman, "Assets" means any artistic creation that's going to be distributed by Steam. So the things packaged in the .pk4s (which is what shows up in DR). And yes, people thought about licenses for assets from the beginning. This task is more about we just need to document them for Valve in a single document, and there's a lot of them. Anything made & contributed by fans become Creative Commons (A.NC.SA) on submission by the terms of our own license, so those would be easy. And for those coming from banks, if they have their source or license carried with them in a readme or like heading text in a soundshader, those would be relatively easy. Just a matter of going through and compiling all that info into one place. Research would come in if, e.g., to check to see if the asset is from an asset bank.

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Demagogue,

(spoilered so biker don't have to).

 


Considering the number of assets in use by TDM, I'm not certain this will be a quick and easy task...
While it may be more simple to check something such as an image, model or whatever - how to backtrace a sound?

 

The premise that it will be easy to quickly populate a spreadsheet with tickboxes for everything that valve will distribute includes not only the original content from TDM, but also all the things that have been added to the source over the years.
It might be easy to trust that the original content is CC, but to verify this..? Also for the additional?

Depending on how stitch-picky valve would be - it might result in a fuck-tonne of time and effort.

To blanket (almost dismiss) the situation with "anything and everything contributed becomes CC on submission" is almost a straw-man response - especially as it is only supported with "by terms of our own license".

If this was the case, then why is such verification required and requested?

Are valve to host FM's for download?

If yes:
All the FM's will have to be checked.
If no:
Hope the mission mirrors are up to the task.

What is the future going to entail?
There will have to be absolute certainty in the licensing of any and all assets submitted for distribution - this will require an adherence to a standard, through declaration that, "yes, this is all my/our own stuff (except for the stuff I nicked and photoshopped/changed a few lines of code)" tick box and hope no-one notices - as you said, a standard/template for including licensing information in readme or commented text in gamefiles.

 

This future standard must also be a consideration, unless someone has a time machine around and we can all go back to 2009 and leave a post-it not to say, "plan ahead for steamworks' distribution licensing in 2017".

It would be good to show that this has been taken into account - I believe it would help you - as it negates the need to ever have to do this kind of tediously boring, mind-numbing bullshit ever again.

Would valve accept "could not find" as a simple, direct response and verification for any asset that could not back-traced or ascertained that - upon, eg, a cursory tineye search - that it appears as an original [visual] asset without trawling through internet archives and every single asset vault, to show that it either is or isn't..?

What are the requirements for proof?
Is it based on trust in the form of a document that - in the case of proven anti-trust, can be fallen back to and used to beat you over the head until your pockets are empty and you're wiping windshields for cheeseburgers and crack?

What happens if an asset that has been contributed and assimilated into the source, "therefore, by the powers invested unto me by god almighty, through the lord saviour, our own terms of license and the power of greyskull, I denounce thee Creative Commons, dominos rectum imperator (mexicana)", and is determined to not quite fall under CC as was expected?
eg, The typefaces. If anyone contested them - pretty much everything would be royally screwed to a barrel and shafted with a rolled up bunch of worthless paper, before being sent home.

That's an extreme example, as pretty sure they are all bespoke or free for commercial use or whatever, but it serves to illustrate a point...

It appears to me that there is an assumption that is based upon trust.
Shakey bridge.

Hopefully valve will also assume to trust whatever document you present to them that verifies everything's legit - if it's long enough, they might not even bother reading it at all (similar to most people at TDM forums and my posts, just ask Springheel, or was it Grayman? - think they even PM'd me at some point to say they can't be arsed to read anything I write again).

As an artist - I know a thing or two about getting into legal barfights over a patchwork quilt that had one square that someone thought might've been free to use, but actually was sourced from a place where someone had gone and changed a colour and covered up a watermark with a skull tattoo.

In my experience of the software industry - there are some extreme nit-pickers, due to the nature of the work and the type of person it attracts. Esp. when it comes to srsbzns.

That's why I'm being a dick and playing devil's advocate.
(also I'm a dick, so...)

Hope you understand - I'd really like to see TDM continue to succeed - but how is someone to research some foley to find out if it was taken from a movie or something like this..?

Furthermore - does anyone particularly care that much, so long as there's a massively long piece of paper that says, "was not found to not be CC"?

Therefore - the formatting of whatever documentation that is presented in order to support your own declaration might be best, simply, "Asset: verified CC / not found (unable to verify)*".

*(after tedious research / impossible to establish)

This way - a tick in either box can be argued to be verification that the assets conform to your own license agreement for submission, and so acceptable by whomever you're talking to with.

It depends upon what is going to be acceptable to the distributor. Maybe they want more exacting standards... Hopefully they merely want a document that means, "hey, if it turns out that anything ain't CC - it's not our problem, look... go talk to TDM and screw them to a barrel". In which case - they'd probably take any list that looked legit, even if it wasn't entirely complete or entirely legit (who's got the time to check it? for a "Y iz dis f2p"... that kid.. what a noob.).

But to say "anything made and contributed by fans becoms CC on submission by the terms of our own license"...

Does that mean I can make a painting in the game by ripping "The Singing Butler" and not have Jack Vettriano's legal team come hunting me down for magically turning one of his biggest earners into a piece of freeware, because you decree it is?

That assumption is kinda flimsy...

(I've got a bucket of water over here and fancy getting drunk - please turn it into tequilla)


Please don't underestimate the task or how much asshole can be involved in stuff.
Here's hoping that it's nothing but a formality and won't be scrutinised under a microscope - is nothing more than a gaben-ass-cover-maneouver.
Researching assets and copyright for license is one of the things that drove me insane.

ps, 8==D > (o) > ((

 

 

Edited by teh_saccade
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On the subject of making your list, since pk4's are zip's - there's this useful thing that ls' contents, name, size, date, etc..:

http://www.nongnu.org/atool/

als darkmod.pk4

there's your list of the entire directory structure.

 

//i mean ".zip", not ".pk4"... easier to chisel away from a big list than build up from nothing.

Edited by teh_saccade
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@teh_saccade, I was being dismissive to simplify things here, but we're well aware of what we're dealing with. Right now it's just a matter of thinking through our approach, and most of the discussion isn't happening in this thread. It's going to be a process with Valve, we'll do what we can, they'll let us know what they want as we go, and hopefully the two ends will meet and it's not a big deal.

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Legal entity will probably be in Canada, and the process to create it is relatively simple. So that's not really much of a worry now.

 

The really big task is giving Valve a report on the licensing rights for our assets.

 

You should make a well-founded decision about where to place the legal entity. Why is that?

 

Well, in the last few days I got interested in how Creative Common licenses work and I did some research on the Internet. I would not call me an expert on CC licenses but there is one thing I found that might cause trouble to tdm: Namely the fact that The Dark Mod uses the CC-BY-NC-SA for the main part of their assets. Things you have to bear in mind are:

 

1) This license does not allow commercial use. The main problem is the lack of clarity what commercial use actually is. Now no matter what you personally define as commercial use, some countries' jurisdictions seem to have a weird definition of commercial use and might come to - hmmm let's say- interesting findings. Take this German Court's decision for example. I don't know how the Canadian Jurisdiction would define "commercial use"...

 

2) The imho more fateful consequence of choosing to include the NC module into TDM's art assets license however is this: You must not mash up content that is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license with the core TDM. That is because works licensed under CC-BY-SA can only be combined with works that bear the same license type or the freer license types CC-BY or CC-0.

 

Imho if all the content tdm is using had been placed under CC-BY-SA that would spare a lot of trouble. But I guess it's too late to switch...so you have to carefully monitor if you have content that was actually licensed under CC-BY-SA and if so either contact the copyright holder to get permission to place it under your CC-BY-NC-SA license or if that should not be possible remove it from TDM.

 

For planning purposes, any fans out there reading this now, would you volunteer to help us with this kind of work?

 

Think of going through dozens or up to 100 or 100s of assets, confirming the license status with its source as far as you can track it down.

I might be too busy for this the next two weeks but if you afterwards still need help, I'll happily volunteer.

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- We have a pretty compelling reason to have it in Canada, greatest physical presence of mods/admins by quite a bit. And still English language.

 

- That German court decision is insane. But anyway, Steam distributes 10,000s of games, very many of them non-commercial. If someone really wanted to go after it like that, it'd be a much bigger fight than our tiny little game. We're as good faith as good faith gets. And not for nothing, TDM is, has always been, and will always be non-commercial. The whole heart and soul of our entire enterprise is not for profit but for love of the game. Anyway, I've never read about any campaign or bloodlust Canada has against indie games. Canadians are nice, eh?

 

- Yes, I'm only too aware about the crazy knots of license mixing. That, again, is a much bigger problem that could eat half of the entire software universe once it got chomping than our tiny little game that's mostly made out of assets people made on things like Photoshop and Maya in their bedrooms. We'll do our best and if they have issues we'll deal with them as they come.

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tbh - considering what i've been hearing this past week from different people, i'm considering TDM abandonware that spreads its butter too thin on stale bread.

 

 

Seriously? Abandonware after just having a pretty big release not long ago, and the next revision gearing up? Not to mention a brand new release of the Dark Radiant editor. What utter nonsense.

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I think we’re fine here. Grand visions are cheap, everybody has them. It’s the actual tiny steps in a consistent direction that are the hardest.

 

Also, while not trying to be normative in any way (I’m definitely not the one to judge), I think we should get used to the fact that both TDM and TTLG Forums attract all kinds of peculiar people. Some just have short fuse, others may need counselling, meds, or both. That should not distract TDM team too much, nor it should lead to any doubt about the work that has been done. The progress is steady, the subsequent changes are consistent and more than welcome.

 

I'll admit this does seem to be the case. After reading this forum for quite some time, I tentatively reach the same conclusion.

 

Nor am I trying to act better or "more normal," since I've got my own peculiarities.. shall spare the details for now, at any rate.

 

But what is it about these forums that leads to this?

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Nothing. All forums have weird personality conflicts and occasional flameouts; some are just better at hiding it than others (and they tend to be repressive hellholes).


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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should have seen some of the flame wars that went on at the ttlg forum, some of them were epic lasting up to 6 months or more.

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Yes, this forum is very civilized, compared to other forums i frequent. Hell, not even the devs take offense when you ask to change, or add a feature, that's much more than i'm used to from other places or devs. :laugh:

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Overall, I have to say this forum is probably my favorite place on the internet. I'm pretty quiet and don't talk much but I check these forums usually everyday. This is hands down one of the nicer corners of the hellscape that can be the internet.

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Just to confirm, I know Bikerdude sent a message to GOG regarding The Dark Mod but did anybody actually send anything straightforward via: https://www.gog.com/indie ?


"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I really don't see the benefit of getting TDM on GOG... rather pay for Google Ads, i think that's much more expedient, if you want to bring TDM to a bigger public. Steam would have been nice, but, yeah...

Edited by chakkman

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