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License Clarification


sparhawk
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Since we started with this project I haven't heard anything about which license we will use. This is IMO quite an important decisision, as some memebrs may not want to use one license modell while others may and still others don't care. As we have seen in the case SCO against IBM this issue is NOT so trivial and can potentially affect everybody here. This is also important to protect our project against copyright claims or others ripping off. So I would suggest to discuss this BEFORE we start to create to much content and afterwards being dissatisfied with the decisions.

 

One question: If we code for D3 what resctrictions are there for our mod? As with DromEd we had the restriction that all FMs had to be free and were not allowed to be commercially used without permission. I expect that a similar restriction exists for D3 mods (but then again it may not) so this already might affect the decision on which license model we can use.

 

There are also other considerations, because if we choose i.E. GPL or any other open source compatible license model (there are several of them) we can register for services like webhosting, shell accounts, CVS services and others, which may not be available for closed source developments. I think it is better to use such existing services instead of relaing on private resources, because this gives us a major advantage.

If there ever is a break in the private resources we will have to find new resources where to translocate them. If we use public resources, everybody has access and we don't need to worry over uptime or accessability or support. That doesn't mean that we can NOT use private resources as well, but it gives us many advantages for free and serves as a seamless backup.

 

If this is comptable with D3 restrictions therfore I would suggest to use GPL/LGPL or a similar license model and I think there is also an Open Content license for art so we could put this there as well. Since this is a community project and we want to use community resources as well, I think this would be a fair decision.

 

One reason why I also want to have this clarified is, to protect our work (I already have seen such a thing happen). If i.E. somebody writes a good AI code and suddenly decides that the code is so good that he no longer wants to offer it for free, then we are screwed. In this case we woould have to start from scratch and rewrite all this code from new. I don't want something like this to happen, so we really should decide an a license early on, so everybody knows what he can expect or not expect from the project.

 

Of course this is also true for art (images, sound, models, levels, etc.), despite me writing mainly about code because I'm a programmer myself. :)

Gerhard

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All mods that are made are under the GPL, General Public License. I feel that all of you need to download the Quake 3 Game Source and read the agreements and install it to check out the code. This will give you a better idea of what to expect since from the beginning I could tell that none of you have actually modded for any games besides Thief before. This would be a really good idea. You don't get to choose a license, ID Software chooses it for you. If you make a mod for an ID Software game you HAVE TO release it for free, no questions asked. If you want to sell your mod then you need to buy a license to the engine and produce it all yourself and find your own distributor. I really think before you all get too involved that you need to take a few steps back and take a look at the agreements for ID's other game source that they have released.

 

Quake 3 Arena/Team Arena 1.32 Game Source

Edited by Phil

-Phil

"The man who learns only what others know is as ignorant as if he learns nothing. The treasures of knowledge are the most rare, and guarded the most harshly."

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All mods that are made are under the GPL, General Public License.
If you make a mod for an ID Software game you HAVE TO release it for free, no questions asked.

 

That's perfectly fine for me, and what I really wanted to aim at. :) The question is if all the other members and the project lead is aware of this. :)

 

What about models, textures and sounds and other stuff beside the code itself?

 

I will download this and take a look at it.

Gerhard

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hm, what does "are released for free" mean ?

 

can everybody use our textures, models and sounds in his mod or whatever he does ?? :blink:

 

or do you just mean, that we can't sell them ?

GPL mean that EVERYBODY can use it. They are not allowed to seel it or sell derivative work from it, but they can use it in a commercial product. If you don't like this then now is the time to leave the team. That's exactly why I raised this subject NOW instead of when we are finished.

 

If they are using it in a commercial product then they will have to make this also open source. Or at least the part that contains the GPLed stuff.

Gerhard

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I think it means anyone can use them. But it would only be polite to ask, really. We can ask that without legally demanding it (obviously we have no control over what people do), but we can politely ask for recognition, etc.

Nobody has to ask or acknowledge you. If you put it under GPL then you give up most of your claims on the stuff that you submitted. And that's exactly why EVERYBODY working on the project has to be aware of that BEFORE he starts submitting files. Once they are submitted they are assumed to be under GPL and we should make this clear to everybody. That's the job of you as a project leader. :)

 

Another thing is, that we should get a file for every file that is submitted, that the submitter is either the copyrightholder and can do as he wishes with the file he submitted, OR that he has gained permission from the copyright holder to submit it to our project and it can indeed be put under GPL.

 

For this it is also important to use a CVS system (not neccessarly CVS but *A* CVS-like system) in order to keep track of who submitted what. In case of copyright infringment this is our only defense.

 

Since we can not allow everybody to have write access to CVS (at least I wouldn't recommend it) we should select two or three people with write access and everybody has to submit files to them. The job of these guys is to look through the submission for coding standards and probably to check if the code looks ok and to make sure to track who submitted it.

 

For example in Wine or wxWindows they have a seperate mailinglist for sending in patches and then once a day they are submitted to CVS.

Gerhard

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I never implied that they had to ask. I said we can still politely ask them to ask us, out of courtesy rather than any legal bound. People are usually fairly decent, and will hopefully give credit where credit is due.

 

Bottom line: I don't think it's really something to worry about.

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Bottom line: I don't think it's really something to worry about.

If this is not clear we really can get into trouble. And I don't want the project to go down because of such a small detail.

 

And considering the reaction of BlackThief in thies thread, it is fairly obvious that this is not clear to everybody.

 

Therefore I would suggest that you [Fingernail] put this into the project info forum so that everybdoy knows whats up. And you should also inform each new member of that.

Gerhard

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Oh, Agreed. For sure. I thought this was fairly expected of most Mod projects, especially considering we would be using an open source SDK, and indeed creating for the specific purpose that people create custom content (levels mainly).

 

But I will spell it out.

 

And I think GPL would be a pretty good way to go.

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