License question

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Re: License question

Postby YetAnotherGameDev » May 29th, 2016, 9:49 pm

wow. So we can donate? "Donate" or whatever
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Re: License question

Postby Dave » May 29th, 2016, 10:43 pm

YetAnotherGameDev wrote:wow. So we can donate? "Donate" or whatever


So for donations, I'd love to float an idea and see what people think about it.....

Let's say there is some art you want done. A series of portraits or animations or whatnot. We can assess it and determine how much it would cost to commission at market rates.

You create a 'campaign' to do it and the aim is to meet half the goal. People can donate to the campaign. When it's done if it reaches the goal, Wesnoth Inc will match the donations making up the full amount and we get the work commissioned.

Does that sound intriguing to people?
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Re: License question

Postby Pentarctagon » May 29th, 2016, 11:11 pm

Dave wrote:
YetAnotherGameDev wrote:wow. So we can donate? "Donate" or whatever


So for donations, I'd love to float an idea and see what people think about it.....

Let's say there is some art you want done. A series of portraits or animations or whatnot. We can assess it and determine how much it would cost to commission at market rates.

You create a 'campaign' to do it and the aim is to meet half the goal. People can donate to the campaign. When it's done if it reaches the goal, Wesnoth Inc will match the donations making up the full amount and we get the work commissioned.

Does that sound intriguing to people?


I am 100% in favor of this idea.
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Re: License question

Postby doofus-01 » May 30th, 2016, 4:51 am

Dave wrote:I feel I should clarify some points here.
Thanks for replying in this thread. Discouraging conclusions could be drawn, if this and the iPhone thread were taken as context. There are a couple questions I have, I hope they aren't taken as antagonistic or trolling, since that is not my intent.

1. Much of the art, including material taken from Wesnoth, in the github citadel directory is CC-BY-NC-ND. What were the reasons for that? GPL applied to art can be kind of silly and the re-licensing of Wesnoth assets is an issue, but why the "ND" part? Would artists not commit without that?

2. Transparency...
Dave wrote:Regarding transparency, at one time we did post fully detailed income/expenses for Wesnoth, Inc, but I found that it didn't spark very constructive discussion among the community.
What is there to discuss? You post the data you have, and if community people don't like it, they vote with their feet. If they hector you, the posts get deleted (assuming we're talking about this forum). Am I underestimating the vitriol?

This reminds me me of the problem West (former Lord of Music) had, where some useless clowns badgered him over not making his "source code" available, then when he tried to comply, no one downloaded the files he went to extra pains to provide (big surprise). The "community" was not really militantly & pointlessly demanding he comply with strict GPL requirements, but it seemed that way to him, so he took his leave. I think the attribution he assigned was not correct; most of the "community" enjoyed his work and the useless clowns did not represent the "community".

Dave wrote:I do think some of the money from Wesnoth, Inc should be spent on "R&D" type projects like this, so some money from Wesnoth, Inc has been spent on server infrastructure for this and for some art for Argentum Age. But any R&D type expenses like this have accounted for only perhaps 10% of Wesnoth Inc expenses.
That sounds reasonable. R&D requires funding and needs some shelter. Ideally, financial contributors (e.g. iPhone app purchasers) would be told that was where their funds were going.
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Re: License question

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 30th, 2016, 5:42 pm

YetAnotherGameDev wrote:wow. So we can donate? "Donate" or whatever

Someone can setup a donation campaign, accepting money for the development of Wesnoth (and possible other FOSS) and then taking all the money for himself. I wonder, why site admin havent done that himself already. A few thousand bucks could have been great. After Hurricane Katrina shown how profitable is donation fraud, only lazy haven't jumped on the bandwagon.
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Re: License question

Postby Pentarctagon » May 30th, 2016, 6:08 pm

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:
YetAnotherGameDev wrote:wow. So we can donate? "Donate" or whatever

Someone can setup a donation campaign, accepting money for the development of Wesnoth (and possible other FOSS) and then taking all the money for himself. I wonder, why site admin havent done that himself already. A few thousand bucks could have been great. After Hurricane Katrina shown how profitable is donation fraud, only lazy haven't jumped on the bandwagon.


Err... what does this have to do with the rest of the thread, exactly?
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Re: License question

Postby iceiceice » May 30th, 2016, 9:57 pm

I feel I have some obligation to try to set some things straight.

I'm not suggesting that there was any kind of fraud, or that anyone was misled.
I worked on Wesnoth for some years, and later I contributed also to Anura and Argentum Age for some time.
Dave is a nice guy, he is smart and makes nice games. To my knowledge, Dave has a good job at a large company. These various Wesnoth inc.
affiliated games seem to be like hobby projects for him -- it doesn't really make sense that he would try to pocket money from Wesnoth inc.
and it would be quite irresponsible to suggest that. I certainly didn't in what I wrote.

I don't want to cast shade on Wesnoth inc. either, it is a small and friendly group of creative people.



On the other hand, let me speak in my defense.

Many of our players and contributors basically think of Wesnoth as a form of charity. For instance Dugi explained it this way in a post from a long time ago that I remember: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=40125&start=60#p569526.

I don't think this is actually specific to Wesnoth, actually most free-software projects seem to exist in a grey area where they aren't exactly a charity but somehow they serve some communal purpose or benefit, and very little money is changing hands anyways, mainly its just code. Related issue: Having to explain to your grandma that Linux is not "software for the poor". In broad strokes, sure, Wesnoth inc. is like a foundation of some sort.

But in the context of what OP wrote, "Is there something like a Wesnoth Foundation that I can donate money to?" if you say "yes, there is",
what are some of the things that Joe Programmer is likely to take away from that exchange?

1. He might infer that the Wesnoth Foundation is some sort of organization dedicated to the cause of Wesnoth. Maybe there is a mission statement saying something like "The Wesnoth Foundation exists to provide financial support for the administation, development, and promotion of, the Battle for Wesnoth Project" or some similar thing.

2. He might infer that the Wesnoth Foundation is a charity of some sort, that you can donate money to in order to support the cause.

3. He might infer that all or most of the money that goes to the Wesnoth Foundation, is ear-marked to be spent on the Battle for Wesnoth Project.

4. He might infer that all or most of the money that goes to the Wesnoth Foundation *actually goes to the Battle for Wesnoth Project*.



After all, the charitable foundations that most people have heard of, all are going to have things like (1) - (4) in common.

However, to my knowledge, these things (1) - (4) are not true about Wesnoth inc.

So, I think that describing it that way in that context without really explaining, has the clear potential to mislead. And I was surprised that shadowm described it that way. I don't think that was intentional, I think it's a complicated situation that historically hasn't been discussed publicly, and he just didn't want to go into detail.



I will say this also. If you work on a project for free for a long time, and you start to get the sense that, the people at the top decided to cut the funding years ago and didn't tell everyone, and you didn't even realize when you started that that could happen, you might get a bit miffed about that.

At the same time though, that's life. You have to read the fine print and not just see what you want to see. If you assume that everything that you think might be a charity actually is a charity, and that everyone is always going to do exactly what you happen to think they should do, you might be in for some surprises.

Anyways, please understand that my criticisms of Wesnoth inc. are pointed and not without reservations, and that I was aiming for "gadfly" not "troublemaker". I was quite careful not to say anything that I couldn't support and to avoid personal attacks. Judging from responses, I don't think most readers thought that I was accusing people of fraud or something, but if some people did think that, and Dave feels like I smeared him now, then I'm sorry for that.

The matching funds idea sounds like it might be a good experiment, +1 from me.
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Re: License question

Postby Dave » May 30th, 2016, 10:59 pm

doofus-01 wrote:1. Much of the art, including material taken from Wesnoth, in the github citadel directory is CC-BY-NC-ND. What were the reasons for that? GPL applied to art can be kind of silly and the re-licensing of Wesnoth assets is an issue, but why the "ND" part? Would artists not commit without that?


Any Wesnoth art we have been using there is intended to be placeholder. Yes, we should clarify that this art is GPL (but yes, GPL is a nonsensical license for art).

I think artists generally prefer ND for art in the style Argentum Age uses, but I am happy to listen to both feedback of artists working on it as well as people who might want to reuse the art for one reason or another.

doofus-01 wrote:What is there to discuss? You post the data you have, and if community people don't like it, they vote with their feet. If they hector you, the posts get deleted (assuming we're talking about this forum). Am I underestimating the vitriol?


With anything like that you can't delete posts. Once you start deleting posts it just magnifies controversy.

iceiceice wrote:On the other hand, let me speak in my defense.


I don't think you need to "defend" yourself. I didn't take any offense at what you (or anyone) said in this thread, and I don't think anybody else did either.

I just wanted to clarify some points of confusion since some people seemed uncertain about some things.

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Re: License question

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 31st, 2016, 3:15 am

Dave wrote:Any Wesnoth art we have been using there is intended to be placeholder. Yes, we should clarify that this art is GPL (but yes, GPL is a nonsensical license for art).

GPL is perfectly fine license for art, because art can be seen as code, and code as art. Each png file can be seen as a library, which can be loaded into main program. In fact, any data is also code, and any code is data. And you can't relicense GPL code/data under -NC-ND, especially -ND, when GPL was always about freely making changes. :augh:
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Re: License question

Postby Pentarctagon » May 31st, 2016, 4:08 am

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:
Dave wrote:Any Wesnoth art we have been using there is intended to be placeholder. Yes, we should clarify that this art is GPL (but yes, GPL is a nonsensical license for art).

GPL is perfectly fine license for art, because art can be seen as code, and code as art. Each png file can be seen as a library, which can be loaded into main program. In fact, any data is also code, and any code is data. And you can't relicense GPL code/data under -NC-ND, especially -ND, when GPL was always about freely making changes. :augh:


The GPL actually says "The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it."

What exactly that means for art/music/etc is, as I understand it, the subject of some controversy.
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Re: License question

Postby doofus-01 » May 31st, 2016, 4:52 am

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:GPL is perfectly fine license for art, because art can be seen as code, and code as art.
The problem is, as Pentarctagon says, what is "source" for art? Realistically, the image (or sound) itself should qualify, but some people think the layered working file is "source".

Dave wrote:Any Wesnoth art we have been using there is intended to be placeholder. Yes, we should clarify that this art is GPL (but yes, GPL is a nonsensical license for art).

I think artists generally prefer ND for art in the style Argentum Age uses, but I am happy to listen to both feedback of artists working on it as well as people who might want to reuse the art for one reason or another.
Fair enough. Hopefully, you get past the point where you need the place-holder art soon, then there is no issue. As for the "reuse" part, I can only speak as an amateur, but I've submitted images to Wesnoth with the understanding that other people could make derivative work, but that the derivative work would need to be under the same license. The people making derivative work would probably be either beginner artists or GPL content creators. It's kind of interesting to see some of the derivative works. But if I were a professional, my attitude might be quite different.

Dave wrote:With anything like that you can't delete posts. Once you start deleting posts it just magnifies controversy.
Right, but posts get deleted all the time. Surely you don't think I meant deleting posts that were merely questioning.
Dave wrote:I don't think you need to "defend" yourself. I didn't take any offense at what you (or anyone) said in this thread, and I don't think anybody else did either.

I just wanted to clarify some points of confusion since some people seemed uncertain about some things.
Sorry to be combative, but there is room for further clarification. Is there ever a good argument against transparency? You already have the income/expenses for Wesnoth, Inc. data, what is the cost to provide it?
Last edited by doofus-01 on May 31st, 2016, 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: License question

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 31st, 2016, 6:13 am

doofus-01 wrote:
Nikita_Sadkov wrote:GPL is perfectly fine license for art, because art can be seen as code, and code as art.
The problem is, as Pentarctagon says, what is "source" for art? Realistically, the image (or sound) itself should qualify, but some people think the layered working file is "source".

There are a lot of WIP threads on wesnoth.org. Most of Wesnoth art was iteratively improved by different persons. A lot of art is created from layered files, vector formats, or rendered in 3ds max, or created from sketch, some art is created using scripts (i.e. nice pov-ray art at OGA by http://opengameart.org/users/varkalandar). Same for sound effects, good example is THX deep note, which was rendered by a C code file. The other way around, code can be produced from art, say by translating an image to a sequence of x86 commands.
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Re: License question

Postby Pentarctagon » May 31st, 2016, 11:41 pm

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:There are a lot of WIP threads on wesnoth.org. Most of Wesnoth art was iteratively improved by different persons. A lot of art is created from layered files, vector formats, or rendered in 3ds max, or created from sketch, some art is created using scripts (i.e. nice pov-ray art at OGA by http://opengameart.org/users/varkalandar). Same for sound effects, good example is THX deep note, which was rendered by a C code file. The other way around, code can be produced from art, say by translating an image to a sequence of x86 commands.


And that's neat and all, but that doesn't resolve the ambiguity in the GPL license. The fact that everything digital is data doesn't mean that I can arrange that data any way I like and say it's the "preferred form" for making modifications. It would be disingenuous to say that releasing an object file or an executable file would fulfill the terms of the GPL, for example.
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Re: License question

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » June 1st, 2016, 6:57 am

Pentarctagon wrote:And that's neat and all, but that doesn't resolve the ambiguity in the GPL license. The fact that everything digital is data doesn't mean that I can arrange that data any way I like and say it's the "preferred form" for making modifications. It would be disingenuous to say that releasing an object file or an executable file would fulfill the terms of the GPL, for example.

Yet executable file produced from GPL code is licensed under GPL too. If original source code is assembly, then object file should be fine. Then again, with contemporary tools, like Hexrays, it is relatively straightforward to restore the original source code from a binary file. I think for a program of the size of Wesnoth it will take a few man-months to restore it from binary back to maintainable source code.

IIRC, Wesnoth also has support for texture atlases, which is basically a split all of sprites into small squares parts, which are compressed into single texture so that they take minimum memory and have no large transparent areas, speeding up load time and drawing. These atlases are impossible to edit and basically an equivalent to compiled source code. With art files it is impossible to restore source sketch/vector/3d_model from say a pixelart sprite. So GPL could be useful for art more than for the code.

Anyway, I hope Dave got artist permission to relicense the artworks under -NC-ND, otherwise he could get sued or his game gets pulled out of stores, or somebody fills a DMCA to github.
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Re: License question

Postby Pentarctagon » June 1st, 2016, 11:30 pm

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote:And that's neat and all, but that doesn't resolve the ambiguity in the GPL license. The fact that everything digital is data doesn't mean that I can arrange that data any way I like and say it's the "preferred form" for making modifications. It would be disingenuous to say that releasing an object file or an executable file would fulfill the terms of the GPL, for example.

Yet executable file produced from GPL code is licensed under GPL too. If original source code is assembly, then object file should be fine. Then again, with contemporary tools, like Hexrays, it is relatively straightforward to restore the original source code from a binary file. I think for a program of the size of Wesnoth it will take a few man-months to restore it from binary back to maintainable source code.

IIRC, Wesnoth also has support for texture atlases, which is basically a split all of sprites into small squares parts, which are compressed into single texture so that they take minimum memory and have no large transparent areas, speeding up load time and drawing. These atlases are impossible to edit and basically an equivalent to compiled source code. With art files it is impossible to restore source sketch/vector/3d_model from say a pixelart sprite. So GPL could be useful for art more than for the code.


The fact that you can't "restore source sketch/vector/3d_model from say a pixelart sprite" is in fact why there is the argument that not making the original source of the image available is violating the GPL. The pixel art .png image is not the preferred form for modification, the source that the artist originally used to create it is.

Likewise, the Ogg Vorbis format that Wesnoth distributes music as is, as far as I know, not the format most musicians would be working with when creating the song. As such, the argument is that the music Wesnoth comes with is violating the GPL.

The Wesnoth executable/object files are also not the preferred form for modification, since the core of Wesnoth is written in C++, not assembler. It also wouldn't be the preferred form because Wesnoth releases are compiled with the -O2 option. The fact that you could, given enough time, reverse engineer the Wesnoth executable or object files into maintainable code is not relevant.
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