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License, Copyright, Credits And Other Stuff


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#1 Serge

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 11:08 AM

Somethimes people ask about what they can do with UFO2000 sources, whether modifications or derived works are allowed, whether they could and what credits can be expected.

UFO2000 uses GPL license, its text can be read here: http://lxnt.info:888...k/trunk/gnu.txt

Also you can read some explanations here:
http://www.gnu.org/l...es/gpl-faq.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL

But in a few words, GPL is a very permissive license, it allows you to make modifications to the original code, sell it, make business on it, but you are required to provide the sources of your modified work under the (which can be used by other people). That means, GPL licensed program is different from freeware. Freeware forbids commercial use, but GPL forbids adding modifications or using parts of sources without sharing them with everyone else.

Now about credits and copyright. Everyone who has contributed something to the project, should be mentioned in credits. Copyright is an universal thing and it exists independently of GPL or any other license (see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#R...ClaimCopyright).

Anyway, that's my personal opinion, but I think that being too worried about putting copyright to every piece of code or arguing about who has made more significant contributions can be a source of many problems.

If you look at current copyright notice, it states the following:
Copyright © 2000-2001 Alexander Ivanov aka Sanami
Copyright © 2002-2005 ufo2000 development team

As you notice, it does not even have my name in it :) The project was started by Alexander Ivanov, he was the only developer for the versions of the game up to 0.3.11, so he holds copyright for all the code written for 2000-2001. When I took over the project in 2002, I decided not to put my name here (just imagine, another developer joins and we have to edit the copyright notice, or if I insist on keeping copyright assigned to me, other people would not like this for sure). I don't know if it is correct from the legal point of view, but 'ufo2000 development team' means all the people who have actually contributed to the project up to this moment. If we have any lawyers reading this forum, probably they can comment on this issue or give some advice.

Even now it is very hard to maintain AUTHORS file. Some contributions are more important, some are less important, some are just tweaks that even get removed from the later versions.

I certainly would not like to have any issues like this in the future:
1. Somebody who had contributed a minor change to the code claiming to be a core developer and a special notice in the AUTHORS file.
2. Somebody who had contributed a badly broken or buggy code (which had to be removed from the game later, or required lots of efforts from other people to fix it), claiming full copyright on this part of the game.
3. Somebody who had done major modifications to someone's else code, claiming full copyright on this part of code.
4. ...

Fortunately we have a version control system (SVN) and it stores all the changes for the last few years with appropriate comments (we can always find out who has added any improvement, when, and what files were affected). Probably the AUTHORS file can be changed, all the contributors listed alphabetically with a reference to a full SVN changelog?

As for me, I myself don't care much about being credited or not, developing the game is enough fun for me and watching the game improving every day is a good award itself. But other people, especially music and graphics contributors can can be worried about this much more. So we probably need (or don't need) to make some decision.

Comments and discussions are welcome.
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#2 Kratos

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 06:44 PM

I just realized something about our geoscape...we have to make one of our own. :( The reason for this is because Xenocide has a new license which conflicts with our license, making it a problem to use data such as their great looking geoscape. (if they still had the previous license we could still use it...) :( Although, working on the "code" for it isn't doing anything wrong, so ignore my outloud thinking. :wink1:

Edited by Kratos, 18 December 2005 - 06:46 PM.

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#3 Beatkiller

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:11 PM

I just realized something about our geoscape...we have to make one of our own.


What does it mean? Just the graphics or is the code from geoscape-demo from the other project?
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#4 Blood Angel

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:13 AM

Houston, we have a legend.

You rule, Beatkiller.

As I have said before, as long as we don't sue each other over it, we should be fine about sharing resources.

#5 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:43 AM

As I have said before, as long as we don't sue each other over it, we should be fine about sharing resources.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is not how licences work, doesn't matter whether we sue ourselves or not, Xenocide assets are under the Creative Commons, and UFO2000 assets are under GPL (IIRC), they cannot be under two different licences, UFO2000 cannot use Xenocide assets without changing to CC and Xenocide cannot use UFO2000 assets without changing back to GPL.

#6 Blood Angel

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:59 AM

As I have said before, as long as we don't sue each other over it, we should be fine about sharing resources.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is not how licences work, doesn't matter whether we sue ourselves or not, Xenocide assets are under the Creative Commons, and UFO2000 assets are under GPL (IIRC), they cannot be under two different licences, UFO2000 cannot use Xenocide assets without changing to CC and Xenocide cannot use UFO2000 assets without changing back to GPL.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well that's just stupid. Who designed these licensing laws?

#7 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:08 AM

As I have said before, as long as we don't sue each other over it, we should be fine about sharing resources.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is not how licences work, doesn't matter whether we sue ourselves or not, Xenocide assets are under the Creative Commons, and UFO2000 assets are under GPL (IIRC), they cannot be under two different licences, UFO2000 cannot use Xenocide assets without changing to CC and Xenocide cannot use UFO2000 assets without changing back to GPL.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well that's just stupid. Who designed these licensing laws?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Check their respective site, I don't know, but that's how licences work. I find it a stupid issue myself, I find it ridiculous that two x-com projects, free, can't freely cooperate because of licences they impose on themselves, but that's how it is.

#8 dipstick

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:01 AM

Actually I would find that hard to believe, in fact I would go as far as to disagree. UFO2K can easily use resources from Xenocide, all it takes is a written/typed statement from Xenocide waiving the license, or setting restrictions. Most likely, not even that is needed.

I would also assume the other way is possible, but I am not so sure about the GPL, as I am not that familiar with it.
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#9 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:32 AM

Actually I would find that hard to believe, in fact I would go as far as to disagree.  UFO2K can easily use resources from Xenocide, all it takes is a written/typed statement from Xenocide waiving the license, or setting restrictions.  Most likely, not even that is needed.

I would also assume the other way is possible, but I am not so sure about the GPL, as I am not that familiar with it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe you should read the licence's conditions, then :)

You are free:

    * to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
    * to make derivative works

Under the following conditions:
by  
Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
nc  
Non-Commercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
sa  
Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a licence identical to this one.
If I'm not mistaken, GPL software can be commercial, so the two licences collide on that point, and nothing can be licenced under two conflicting licences (if I'm reading things right).

Also, read Serge's post on that:

License incompatibility comes from 'non-commercial' restriction, it means that working on the game should be always done for free. I greatly disapprove such thing as a 'free labour', it even sounds a bit like a 'slavery'. I prefer to think that my own work costs something, but it is me who covers the expenses paying to myself smile.gif And I don't mind being hired by someone else for implementing some of the features he thinks are important, but I don't.


Still finding it hard to believe, eh?

#10 Blood Angel

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:50 AM

Mind you, who'll enforce it? If someone says "they look similar" We can deny it.

#11 Beatkiller

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:27 AM

Oh no, thats my fault. I don't want to discuss about licence models. :P

But, thats not my first project with GPL, so some interesting things:

The restrict a programmer to share the code with others, even if they want to sell its software. If someone use other GPL'ed code, and want to sell its software too, they have to give the source code of its software with the ready-to-go-product.

I think, the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Licence isn't incompatible to the GPL. But we can take a question to Eric S. Raymond ;-)

The original idea of GPL was the code should be free as in sense of free speech not free beer. I think, if you accept the ccancsa-license (boah ey!), you can use, and you can share your code with them.

But, if its the problem, the code should be rewritten and graphics should be redrawn.

Ok, thats all not answering my question, which part of geoscape is shared from xeno.

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#12 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:31 AM

Meh, you can (and most certainly should) take the issue to Serge.
Blood Angel, denying it? that's not a nice way of thinking, and not very respectful to our respective projects, the fact that our licences make our projects incompatible is no reason to lose our will to cooperate, even if now it's not possible on all levels.

#13 Beatkiller

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:36 AM

that's not a nice way of thinking, and not very respectful to our respective projects, the fact that our licences make our projects incompatible is no reason to lose our will to cooperate, even if now it's not possible on all levels.


I agree 100% to you. So we respect the GPL and the founder of this project.

BTW: All code from me is 100% gpl'ed, but no licence info is added atm. If geoscape is more usable, I will add the copyleft.

Mike
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#14 dipstick

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:22 PM

Az, you can't see the wood for the trees. I know the CC license well, but this point is the same in ALL licenses:

If you wish to waive any part of the license, you are permitted to at any time.

I will get the precise quote if you so desire, give me one second.
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#15 Serge

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:23 PM

But, thats not my first project with GPL, so some interesting things:

The restrict a programmer to share the code with others, even if they want to sell its software. If someone use other GPL'ed code, and want to sell its software too, they have to give the source code of its software with the ready-to-go-product.

Well, if you think about the meaning of these words, it effectively means the following: the product (a piece of software) does not cost anything, it is easy to copy and redistribute and it costs almost nothing (network bandwidth is cheap), it is relatively easy (when having enough skills) to compile it from sources for different platforms, etc. So what's the idea of that commercial/noncommercial issue? The final product does not cost anything, but the work of the developers spent on developing the product really costs a lot. That's quite obvious as people need to earn money for living, they can't work completely for free.

Current commercial software industry reverses this logic (end users do not know and don't care about how many developers worked on the project and how much time, they know only that the product costs money and if you try make an 'illegal' copy, you are a 'criminal').

But 'noncommercial' restriction means that even the work should be free and can't be paid (in the form of contracted work or free donations). That's a complete nonsense. This restriction does not add any more freedom, it adds only unnecessery limitations.

I think, the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Licence isn't incompatible to the GPL. But we can take a question to Eric S. Raymond ;-)

I read some information about Creative Commons license, it is not considered to be GPL compatible. I don't remember the exact source of this information, but think that were FSF lawyers. Should be possible to search this information again, but I'm too lazy :)

But, if its the problem, the code should be rewritten and graphics should be redrawn. Ok, thats all not answering my question, which part of geoscape is shared from xeno.

I think this is just a misunderstanding. UFO2000 does not use Xenocide code currently. The source of this misunderstanding is probably the fact that we use the same Earth texture ('blue marble') as 'Xenocide' and 'UFO: Aftermath' by the way :)
Also as such, geoscape interface af all these games looks similar, that's a grey area and I don't know if it is legal, it can probably start 'they have stolen our ideas' rant. But we all have borrowed (I don't want to say 'stolen') a lot of ideas from the original X-COM.

Also about the licenses issues. If some person develops some code entirely on his own (geoscape for example), he can contribute it under GPL license to UFO2000 and under Creative Commons to Xenocide. None of these licenses can take rights from the original author to do with the code what he wants. That's just inconvenient, and it becomes a real nightmare if there are lots of people working on the code.

Edited by Serge, 19 December 2005 - 12:24 PM.

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#16 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:57 PM

Crikey, Serge, you know more about law then I do! D:

Would not the best idea be to use a different texture? For starters, the current seems a little too detailed to discern differences in the ground.

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#17 dipstick

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:59 PM

I agree with what Serge said, but Azrael, with the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License (Generic) I refer you to the following paragraphs:

Section Three (Subsections a, b)

3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:

to reproduce the Work, to incorporate the Work into one or more Collective Works, and to reproduce the Work as incorporated in the Collective Works;

to create and reproduce Derivative Works;


Section 4 Subsection c

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.


This is the one you seem hung up on, but:

Section 8 Subsections c and e

If any provision of this License is invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, it shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the terms of this License, and without further action by the parties to this agreement, such provision shall be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make such provision valid and enforceable.

...

This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the Work licensed here. There are no understandings, agreements or representations with respect to the Work not specified here. Licensor shall not be bound by any additional provisions that may appear in any communication from You. This License may not be modified without the mutual written agreement of the Licensor and You.


And most importantly:

Subsection d

No term or provision of this License shall be deemed waived and no breach consented to unless such waiver or consent shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged with such waiver or consent.


Thank you and goodnight.
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#18 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:01 PM

This thread has more lawyers per square inch than any other.

If no code is shared, and the geoscape texture is changed, we're in the all clear, I take it? Well, at least with Xenocide.

-Angry Lawyer

#19 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:05 PM

I agree with what Serge said, but Azrael, with the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License (Generic)  I refer you to the following paragraphs:

Section Three (Subsections a, B)

3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:

to reproduce the Work, to incorporate the Work into one or more Collective Works, and to reproduce the Work as incorporated in the Collective Works;

to create and reproduce Derivative Works;


Section 4 Subsection c

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.


This is the one you seem hung up on, but:

Section 8 Subsections c and e

If any provision of this License is invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, it shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the terms of this License, and without further action by the parties to this agreement, such provision shall be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make such provision valid and enforceable.

...

This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the Work licensed here. There are no understandings, agreements or representations with respect to the Work not specified here. Licensor shall not be bound by any additional provisions that may appear in any communication from You. This License may not be modified without the mutual written agreement of the Licensor and You.


And most importantly:

Subsection d

No term or provision of this License shall be deemed waived and no breach consented to unless such waiver or consent shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged with such waiver or consent.


Thank you and goodnight.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I still think you're reading it wrong :) I've read it and to me it still says that CC software cannot be used for commercial purposes, it's always free, cannot be charged.
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#20 Kratos

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:04 PM

I didn't mean to start a discussion in beatkiller's geoscape feature thread, but maybe to throw the hint we could make our own...

Moved to appropriate place. :)
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#21 Llyr

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:29 PM

ahm... thats maybe a stupid question, but i'm wondering how it is possible to actually CHANGE your licence??

once some source is released under gpl license, you definitly MUST release any code that contains any part of the gpl-ed code (modified or not) under GPL again. so if you are not allowed to make any modified version of the code non-gpl, you surely can't be allowed to make the non-modified code non-gpl... at least not without written permission of the Free Software Foundation ??