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Author Topic: Releasing modules and the CC license  (Read 13473 times)
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Nightborn
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 02:24:30 AM »

 Grin one more thing.

what if I bought (yes, for $) a module from a coder because I simply had no time or motivation to do it... and the terms are "only I use it, you don't sell it to others please".
Take for granted this runs on a vanilla install of a DP edition.

Wouldn't this be a license in a way? a contract? or is that invalid by default?

I am asking because that is one way of me getting stuff done. I could pour 100% of my  time into coding and still have tons of important work to do.
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2008, 05:34:48 AM »

Grin one more thing.

what if I bought (yes, for $) a module from a coder because I simply had no time or motivation to do it... and the terms are "only I use it, you don't sell it to others please".
Take for granted this runs on a vanilla install of a DP edition.

Wouldn't this be a license in a way? a contract? or is that invalid by default?

I am asking because that is one way of me getting stuff done. I could pour 100% of my  time into coding and still have tons of important work to do.
If you in effect hired someone to produce it for you, it's a work for hire, and belongs wholly to you, all licensing applies as if you were the physical author.
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Nightborn
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2008, 06:08:03 AM »

an author, who is basically bound to CCL or withhold, these to choices.

so IF I make a special that runs on both game versions, what would happen?

and if I know get paid by somebody to let him use this module?  Huh
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2008, 08:26:22 AM »

Just to be clear...

If I hired someone to write a module for my exclusive use -

- The use and sharing of the module is at my discretion
- The hired coder should get proper authorship credits, but control of it is mine
- If the module meets the established pre-requisites where it requires release under the license (derivative work; requires a module by another author; requires a core modification), it must still be released publicly and without charge?
- Would the concept of requiring a module by another author assume that the author could be either the hired coder, myself, or any other coder hired by me to produce the required module?
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MightyE
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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2008, 08:27:41 AM »

You can't sell a module unless you're assigning ownership (and hence giving up your own right to it).  You can hire a module to be created on your behalf, and you can keep it private as long as you're the only person using it (and it matches the other criteria for keeping it private).  Within US law, such things are called works for hire, and the hiring party retains all of the same rights to the code as if they had written it themselves. 

When you're selling your own work, it has to be to a single customer, and you have to give up your own rights to it (effectively you are transferring ownership, which is what enables the exemption to remain).  Effectively it's work for hire where the work is performed without solicitation, and the hire happens after the fact.

Whenever two people are using the same module, it falls into the CC license.
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Nightborn
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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2008, 09:25:48 AM »

Hm, funny.

That limits several things.

I exchange/share sometimes unreleased modules with another server under the condition that they must remain private.

So this means, this agreement is invalid...
tough stuff.
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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2008, 09:39:47 AM »

Hm, funny.

That limits several things.

I exchange/share sometimes unreleased modules with another server under the condition that they must remain private.

So this means, this agreement is invalid...
tough stuff.

If you do release some modules you create to another server surely you trust that person not to give it out.  Or is it a case of when another server has it it must be released?
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2008, 10:00:54 AM »

I think the rule is simple, either keep it to your self, or share with the rest of the class not just your friends  Grin
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Nightborn
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2008, 10:07:39 AM »

 Grin which lets me think "that's bull"

because then, I won't share with nobody ^^
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2008, 10:09:56 AM »

Surely if you have released a module to another server you need to release it here  Smiley

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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2008, 10:21:59 AM »

Surely if you have released a module to another server you need to release it here  Smiley



Stay on topic.  If you don't understand the topic, read and learn
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2008, 10:33:45 PM »

Quote
You can't sell a module unless you're assigning ownership

Is this a special case for modules related to the licensing?  I thought Kendaer was considering selling his captcha module on an individual basis while retaining ownership:
http://dragonprime.net/index.php?topic=2996.0

Perhaps I am taking too broad of an interpreation of ownership rights; but I was starting with the concepts presented in this article:
http://www.wbhm.org/News/2007/fightsongs.html

To summarize the article, it talks about how U of Alabama hired a writer to pen a fight song for the school.  However, the school did not pay to retain rights to the song, only for the service of the song to be produced.  Since they failed to obtain rights for the song, they do not receive any money for the future sales of items that play the song.

There are 2 ways to sell what you create:
1.  Selling your services to create the object but retaining all rights for reproduction and future sales (Retained Rights, as per U of Alabama Fight Song)
2.  Selling the object you create and also releasing all rights for reproduction and future sales (Works for Hire, as per MightyE's post)

I can understand both positions though; if I write an amazing module and only get 10 dollars for it, it may help your site become really popular. You get it for cheap, but I recognize that my module has so much to offer allows me to sell it other sites so that I can get more than a one-time payout.  On the other hand, I'd be really mad if I paid $50 for a module and found that EVERYONE had a copy of it because it suddenly became public domain.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 10:47:06 PM by DaveS » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2008, 07:55:53 AM »

As I understand it, I don't believe that "assigning ownership" would work, either. I code for a few other products under the Creative Commons license((predominately SMS->Starship Management System by Annodyne Productions)), and have learned that regardless of how the product is released, it falls under the ORIGINAL license the core code falls under, however ownership of the code is given to the coder/person who released it.
However, a person can decide not to release a module, and simply keep it for themselves, and only give it to those who "donate" to their' cause. However, the major loophole here, is that you can't put a 'minimum donation' there. A person could, in theory, donate as little as 1 cent, and be permitted to obtain a copy of it.

In addition, I personally code for my own enjoyment, and for others to enjoy. I don't code anything to make a profit out of it, simply to have fun later. I realize this is not a common theme, but if you are going to code modifications to someone else's game, I believe you shouldn't have the RIGHT to charge for it. But that's me((and what I believe. Personal opinion only.))
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2009, 01:41:23 PM »

As far as I'm aware, under British and European Union law there is no prerequisite for those who would write modules to do so under the license of the game they are written for, unless they incorporate code (and are thus derived from them).

You cannot prevent a party from writing a module from scratch and releasing it under whatever terms they wish.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario where somebody hands me a sheet of paper detailed the hook functions of LoGD came up to me and I wrote code based on that. I've never even seen or used the original product and that code is solely my own. By the reckoning of this topic, I would be tied into a license that has nothing to do with me or my work at all. It simply doesn't work that way.

I could come along with a totally different game, with the same hook interface, and use that module I just wrote in that. It'd work in LoGD and in my completely different game as well. How on earth could LoGD define what I could and could not use it for or how I distribute it? It's impossible and that's why the law doesn't allow that kind of thing to happen.

The key word there is derived. If I write a module that isn't derived from the core code, it cannot possibly be covered by the license relating to that core code.

Using 'shrinkwrapping' to prevent this doesn't tend to hold up in the US either.

"A majority of [US] courts see shrinkwrap licenses as "contracts of adhesion, unconscionable, and/or unacceptable pursuant to the U.C.C."' -Id (Citing Step-Saver, 939 F.2d  at 91)

"Language on a software box that said that an end user agreed to be bound by the terms of service for the software enclosed within was "not sufficient to render [the manufacturers] acceptance [of the users offer] conditional." -Step-Saver, 939 F.2d at 102.

Also, regarding this talk about GPL:

The GPL isn't intended to restrict rights at all. It provides rights to the people who then derive works from it instead. It has always been intended to work that way. It's about spreading work freely and ensuring nobody else can stop the free spread of that work. It's not about tying people down.

On the other hand the chosen Creative Commons license, by comparison, is a very restrictive license and does not meet the Open Source Definition. It takes away more rights than it grants.

Disclaimer:

Obviously none of the above constitutes actual legal advice and may very well not be accurate, as I'm not a solicitor.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 02:15:28 PM by Rushyo » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2009, 05:57:29 AM »

As far as I'm aware, under British and European Union law there is no prerequisite for those who would write modules to do so under the license of the game they are written for, unless they incorporate code (and are thus derived from them).
Writing a module using the game hooks automatically makes it a derived product whether or not you copy & pasted any code out of the original.  In fact you could rewrite the game completely from scratch and it would still be a derived product since it was based on the original.  Derivation has no requisite for containing a part of the original, it only has to be based on the original.

Quote
You cannot prevent a party from writing a module from scratch and releasing it under whatever terms they wish.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario where somebody hands me a sheet of paper detailed the hook functions of LoGD came up to me and I wrote code based on that. I've never even seen or used the original product and that code is solely my own. By the reckoning of this topic, I would be tied into a license that has nothing to do with me or my work at all. It simply doesn't work that way.
In fact it works exactly this way, and wishing otherwise doesn't make it so.  A derivative product is a derivative product no matter how many times you derive from a derivative or how many layers of obfuscation from the original product you put it through.  Your hypothetical scenario has someone doing you the disservice of making you ignorant of the underlying license, but you cannot strip a license by having a third party remove it without a fourth party's knowledge.  That sheet of paper detailing the hook functions is a derivative product, as is any code that is the coded based on the specifications on that paper.  The medium is irrelevant.

What's funny about all this is that it seems like you're pointing at this big hole in the licensing (you're not), while ignoring the fact that we in fact wanted exactly this exception to exist.  The basic licensing does not provide a way for you to have modules which fall outside the game license.  So we explicitly grant you the ability to do exactly that on the condition that it runs on a vanilla install (requires no modifications to the game core code, and depends on no modules which are not part of the game core).

Quote
I could come along with a totally different game, with the same hook interface, and use that module I just wrote in that. It'd work in LoGD and in my completely different game as well. How on earth could LoGD define what I could and could not use it for or how I distribute it? It's impossible and that's why the law doesn't allow that kind of thing to happen.
It's so ridiculously unlikely that another game would have compatible hooks completely by chance that either you're talking about a situation so astronomically unlikely that it's not really worth entertaining (what if I waved a magnet over my hard drive and it managed to accidentally produce a useful bug free game module, that's clearly not derived!).  This is another hypothetical and so far out there that I have a better chance of winning the lottery tomorrow by a few thousands of orders of magnitude.  It can only really be debated from a philosophical standpoint, as in, "What if the chair I'm sitting in doesn't really exist?"

The only way this would actually happen is if the second game with identical code hooks was derived from LOGD - and thus the chain of derivation is in tact, and licensing is preserved.  This is just another way of trying to play license down the lane, and it doesn't absolve you of the responsibilities set forth in the license.

Quote
The key word there is derived. If I write a module that isn't derived from the core code, it cannot possibly be covered by the license relating to that core code.
Yes, that is the key word.  "Derived: formed or developed from something else; not original."  If a module truly sprung fully formed out of your head, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus, and without any prior knowledge of the LoGD module API, then you'd have yourself a genuine exception.  It would have to be the first module you ever wrote, and I'm not sure how you'd convince either myself, a judge, or a jury of your peers that it happened this way because again you're talking something so unlikely that you'd have a better chance of spelling antidisestablishmentaria nism in Boggle.  And yet even still we specifically state this to be an exception regardless of whether you are a mythical Greek god.

Quote
Using 'shrinkwrapping' to prevent this doesn't tend to hold up in the US either.

"A majority of [US] courts see shrinkwrap licenses as "contracts of adhesion, unconscionable, and/or unacceptable pursuant to the U.C.C."' -Id (Citing Step-Saver, 939 F.2d  at 91)

"Language on a software box that said that an end user agreed to be bound by the terms of service for the software enclosed within was "not sufficient to render [the manufacturers] acceptance [of the users offer] conditional." -Step-Saver, 939 F.2d at 102.
Whew, it's a good thing we don't ship this in a box then!  LoGD's license is not a shrink wrap license in the legal sense (if the term "shrink wrap" can be said to be a legal term).  More specifically this is a click-through license which you are presented with repeatedly throughout the process of acquiring the software, and which appears on the bottom of every single page while you're playing the game.  Shrink wraps are not enforceable because you cannot prove that the user even noticed the license terms on the back of the box.  People tear into packaging then discard it.  This is precisely why most companies have transitioned to click-through licenses.  You cannot say you were unaware of the license when you clicked "I agree to the terms of this license."  Anyway, none of this has been tested in a court of law, but every major software manufacturer in the world (before you get into really heavy enterprise stuff where they have you sit down with a paper contract and a meatspace lawyer) uses the same approach. 

The only defense for violating a license is, "I was not aware of the terms of the license," which is a non-defense if you knew there was a license but chose not to inform yourself as to its terms.  LoGD's licensing is prevalent enough, and is explained in the simplest possible terms (Creative Commons, Non-Commercial, Provide Attribution, Share Alike), then in plain English (we make our best attempt to put it in normal human terms), then in another form of plain English (the CC folks provide a nice easy to digest description of the license), then in legalese (the full CC-by-nc-sa license text).  I find it unlikely you'd convince anyone that you were unaware of the existence of the license, and I find it unlikely that you'd convince anyone that you read the four presentations we provide for the license and still failed to really get it.

Quote
Also, regarding this talk about GPL:

The GPL isn't intended to restrict rights at all. It provides rights to the people who then derive works from it instead. It has always been intended to work that way. It's about spreading work freely and ensuring nobody else can stop the free spread of that work. It's not about tying people down.

On the other hand the chosen Creative Commons license, by comparison, is a very restrictive license and does not meet the Open Source Definition. It takes away more rights than it grants.
I'm not sure what your point is.  The applicability or not of the term "Open Source" is irrelevant to this discussion.  However, in my opinion we meet the definition of "Open Source" because our source is open (see what I did there?)  It might not be FOSS depending on what definition of Free you choose (it's certainly free as in beer, it's arguable whether the CC license qualifies as free as in speech; RMS would say no, but most non-zealots would probably disagree).  If you disagree then assign any label you want, it doesn't really matter to me. 

We originally launched under the GPL.  It didn't provide the protections we required since its protections only attach when the product is distributed in a binary form.  Web pages aren't served to users as a binary.  When the GPL was written, there was no consideration given to this sort of technology because this stuff was still either theoretical or nobody really understood that it would become a whole new distribution mechanism.  It could be the GPL v.3 has the protections we require, I haven't really looked into it.  But I do know that CC-By-Nc-Sa does, and so I don't really see any reason I'd want to transition away from that.

I want exactly three things from game admins: Credit for my (and others') work, access to their local modifications (except for the conditions where we explicitly grant immunity, as I've discussed here several times and as is discussed here: http://lotgd.net/about.php?op=license), and for them to not sell the product we produced.  That's it, I'll give you thousands of hours of work and lifeblood if you agree to those things.  If you don't agree to those things, then I think you have found the wrong project.
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