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I have a few questions regarding the license of TDM assets in relation to using 3rd party roalty free models and textures (either as is or for derived works).

I understand that TDM assets use the CC-BY-NC-SA license.

This trivally means that for creating these assets we can use anything licensed under the same license, CC-BY-NC-SA, or anything under CC0.

What about other CC licenses? From this page in the CC FAQ I understand that we can also use CC-BY and CC-BY-NC, as those can be relicensed under CC-BY-NC-SA. So far so good.

 

I have noticed, though, that most asset libraries today (free or paid) use some form of "roalty-free license" or "asset license" which allow any type of usage without attribution, even commercial, except redistributing them in their original form. This includes some of the asset libraries that have been link around this forum as usable. This licensing is most prevalent with models, but for example textures.com also uses a similar license. This is from their terms of use: 

Quote
6.3

 

You are not permitted to:

 

(a)
 
sell or distribute any Content (modified or not) by themselves or in a texture pack, material, shader, scale modelling papers (pre-printed or digital), scrapbooking pack;

While textures.com explicitly allow using their textures in games in general, this section seems to be incompatible with CC-BY-NC-SA as CC in my understanding explicitly allows redistribution. But while trying to research this licensing issue I noticed that textures.com was used for assets at least in the past.

So how does this work? Are there exceptions where TDM assets can use a different license? Or is textures.com a relic of the past from when licensing wasn't enforced? 

If it's the first case, there would be other potential sources of assets that could be adapted for TDM. For example I'm a paid subscriber to blenderkit.com, a library with almost 2000 models which can be used under a license that doesn't allow redistribution and some of them probably could be used in TDM's setting. They're mostly hipoly with PBR materials, so retopology and some material work would have to be done, but that's less work than creating models from scratch and I want to try to do it anyway.

So what's the situation?

Edited by vozka
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This is how it works:

 

NC == sell  (we don't sell or do make any money from TDM)

 

SA ==

or distribute any Content (modified or not) by themselves or in a texture pack, material, shader, scale modelling papers (pre-printed or digital), scrapbooking pack;

 

The license from textures.com says you are allowed to share (distribute) within the context of a "full game asset with attribution" (model, map, etc).

TDM distributes (shares) textures in the form of a full game package with attribution.

Share Alike means that other projects can use TDM "game assets" and share them too as long as they also "follow these rules" (Alike).

 

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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6 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

Share Alike means that other projects can use TDM "game assets" and share them too as long as they also "follow these rules" (Alike).

But according to CC they can redistribute them by themselves. They have to give attribution, do it noncomercially and with the same license, but as long as the assets themselves are licensed as CC, I don't see any reason why they couldn't be shared on their own outside the game. CC doesn't limit anything like this.

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https://www.textures.com/faq-license.html#anchor-games says 'you need to release content that has been created using our materials under a closed source license'. I tried googling for "textures.com" site:thedarkmod.com and out of the results I got, the only one that clearly seemed to identify a texture as coming from textures.com was in R Soul's red button. That attribution is also in the readme packaged with it, which doesn't otherwise identify any licence, open or closed.

Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

Yes, that is exactly what "SA" \ Share Alike means. You must "share" in the "exact same way" (alike).

I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing here, but share alike is not related to the way the assets are distributed in TDM. Share alike is only related to the license used, it only means that anybody who uses TDM assets has to share them under the same license. That's how it's explained here: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Share_Alike

This explicitly allows redistribution "as is". 

11 hours ago, VanishedOne said:

https://www.textures.com/faq-license.html#anchor-games says 'you need to release content that has been created using our materials under a closed source license'. I tried googling for "textures.com" site:thedarkmod.com and out of the results I got, the only one that clearly seemed to identify a texture as coming from textures.com was in R Soul's red button. That attribution is also in the readme packaged with it, which doesn't otherwise identify any licence, open or closed.

A better search term would be "cgtextures" since that's what the site was previously called. This gives me 59 results and some of them seem to have been used as assets although I have not checked too deeply. It certainly seems like using cgtextures was encouraged by some people and in wiki tutorials as well.

 

EDIT: The question also is "has the cgtextures license always been limiting in this way?", which I cannot answer fully since waybackmachine is painfully slow for me today, but according to this thread it's been like that since at least 2012.

Edited by vozka
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On 3/27/2020 at 4:46 AM, nbohr1more said:

SA ==

or distribute any Content (modified or not) by themselves or in a texture pack, material, shader, scale modelling papers (pre-printed or digital), scrapbooking pack;

Hang on, are you saying that the CC-SA license used to distribute TDM assets is not in fact the regular Creative Commons license, but a sort of hybrid "Creative Commons + additional restrictions imposed by third party texture libraries"? That is certainly news to me.

My understanding is that the "sharealike" terms in a CC license are a simple copyleft-style provision that ensure that recipients cannot integrate the content into a closed-source product. If you receive assets under a CC-SA license, you must allow the content to be redistributable under the same CC license. The "SA" section is not simply a placeholder for a list of other restrictions that are not mentioned by, or compatible with, the actual Creative Commons terms.

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Right. This is what CC themselves clarify in the CC wiki I linked above.

It means that TDM probably uses a nontrivial number of textures that infringe on cgtextures license.

I have found in several threads that people noticed the clause that forbids redistribution as early as 2010, but they wrongly concluded that as long as the textures are distributed as a part of a level (=not a texture pack), it's OK to use them. This is not true, as long as the license is CC, the way in which they are packed is irrelevant. The only way to make it right would be to use a nonfree license.

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1 hour ago, vozka said:

I have found in several threads that people noticed the clause that forbids redistribution as early as 2010, but they wrongly concluded that as long as the textures are distributed as a part of a level (=not a texture pack), it's OK to use them.

I do remember having at least one discussion about this kind of issue, and I was concerned about it back then. I think somebody wanted to use a library of royalty-free sounds which could be used provided you "integrated" them into some larger production (i.e. by mixing them into a song or a movie soundtrack), but specifically prohibited distributing the sounds by themselves.

But we are distributing assets by themselves, because we literally have a subversion repository from which people can download individual assets and use them however they like. And even if we only distributed assets as part of a complete level, it is trivial for people to extract individual assets from the mission archive, and the CC-BY-SA license explicitly allows them to do so provided they maintain the same CC-BY-SA terms when redistributing.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

But we are distributing assets by themselves, because we literally have a subversion repository from which people can download individual assets and use them however they like. And even if we only distributed assets as part of a complete level, it is trivial for people to extract individual assets from the mission archive, and the CC-BY-SA license explicitly allows them to do so provided they maintain the same CC-BY-SA terms when redistributing.

I asked the owner of a different asset library (that I normally use for other work) about this situation and while he wasn't as specific as I'd like (he probably doesn't care about games, their primary use is archviz), what I got from his reply is that only the license is an issue. As long as the license prohibits redistribution and any use outside of the game, the fact that anybody can extract art from the game does not matter. Different stores might see it differently of course, the terms of use vary and some are quite vaguely written.

Edited by vozka
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1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

But we are distributing assets by themselves, because we literally have a subversion repository from which people can download individual assets and use them however they like.

Is the assets SVN public now? I knew the glprogs had been made part of the public source code at https://svn.thedarkmod.com/publicsvn/darkmod_src/trunk/ but hadn't heard of any opening of the assets SVN.

Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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1 hour ago, VanishedOne said:

Is the assets SVN public now? I knew the glprogs had been made part of the public source code at https://svn.thedarkmod.com/publicsvn/darkmod_src/trunk/ but hadn't heard of any opening of the assets SVN.

Again, this does not matter as long as the assets are published under creative commons and accessible in any way, even just inside the game. 

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18 minutes ago, vozka said:

Again, this does not matter as long as the assets are published under creative commons and accessible in any way, even just inside the game. 

Thanks, but I wasn't asking as a question of law, I was asking because I wanted to know the answer.

Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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  • 1 month later...

The assets in the SVN (their authored features) are available packaged in the game for the purposes of the license. That makes them pubicly released.

The asset folder in the SVN requires private SVN access, so it's not publicly accessible AFAIK.

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