GPL Policy

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Re: GPL Policy

Postby ivanovic » September 14th, 2008, 10:44 am

Hmm, for Artwork I see some real problems with a "noDerivate" policy. That is for sprites everyone knows that changes like TC, adding a shadow and fixing some off pixels is needed every now and then. Plus add that frankensteining for usermade stuff is somehow needed since the number of "good artists" is rather low compared of the number of people who need graphics for content.

But even for portraits we will need to be allowed to modify them. That is for example change the black background to transparent due to a change in how portraits are displayed ingame. Stuff like this requires us to be allowed to alter the images.

Yes, in general many modifications to art that we have included (okay, most) are not as good as the original. But there might be some that are good and even enhance the artwork. Yes, this is unlikely to happen for the music included since modifying an already compressed piece of music in a good way is difficult as hell. Compared to altering music, changing some portrait, sprite or story image is rather easy. But who knows which progress will be achieved in 10 years? Maybe then it is possible to easily alter music pieces in a way that improves them? IMO it would be nice if users were allowed to do so. Of course they have to follow the license and acknowledge the original creator.

Personally I would really love it if everyone of use, no matter if coder, translator, musician, artist or content creator can agree on using an open source license that allows user to freely use and alter the provided material. That is "use and alter with the limitations applied by the license". So with the GPL active, the resulting work still have to be under the GPL so that you in turn can improve it if you want to. If the person altering things does not adhere to those rules, you can eg as the FSF for support and they will send in their lawyers since the GPL *is* an accepted and valid license. So even if someone uses your creation in a commercial product, he still has to make the altered version available. So if someone eg used your music in a movie, this has to still be available under the GPL and you as creator have to be credited. If one of those two are not met, you are allowed to call eg the FSF which will likely send in their lawyers to enforce this.

Overall the GPL is a two edged sword. That is everyone can freely use the stuff but still has to follow the rules attached to it like granting everyone else the same rights as he had. So your work, if under GPL, is free and will stay so.

I hope this explains a little the background of the license and what it is meant to achieve. Using a "non Commercial" CC license for material included in Wesnoth is not really possible since then all distributions would have to remove at least the music part from the game. I would not like to see this happen since the music is really a great piece of artwork that I would really not like to miss in the game since it really enhances it. Using a "no derivates" CC license should be possible. Though we would need to at least be allowed to transcode the files for the case that it is needed. So a strict "no derivates" license is not possible (strict as in "not a single bit is allowed to be changed").

Personally I really hate dealing with this licensing hell since it just makes my head smoke without too much gain. I would at least like to get a usable consensus that everyone can live with.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby esr » September 14th, 2008, 4:35 pm

mog wrote:Just as a note: I'm quite sure that a NoDerivs license would be unacceptable for at least some distributions (Debian among them), as is would be non-free.


At worst, it means that some Wesnoth music and art would go in a separate Debian package in the non-free tree.

This fails to concern me. Keeping our artists and composers is more important than the Debian distribution's sometimes extreme notions of doctrinal purity.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby ivanovic » September 14th, 2008, 5:38 pm

I was asked via PM to post this. Since it looks reasonable in my eyes, I will forward it to the thread:

Thumper wrote:No derivatives licenses means that I can't even use a Wesnoth theme as my phone's ringtone. It means that I can't put them on my mp3 player (because I'd have to convert them from ogg).

Furthermore, two things would happen straight away with regards to Debian; firstly, Wesnoth would be removed from the official Debian repos. Secondly, someone would immediately start a fork of the project without the music.

- Chris
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby ivanovic » September 14th, 2008, 5:58 pm

Thumper wrote:Secondly, someone would immediately start a fork of the project without the music.


This is unlikely to happen since the music package is already separate in Debian. This one (and only this one) would be moved to a different repo or something like this.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby Rhonda » September 14th, 2008, 7:11 pm

esr wrote:I have been asked to suggest a solution to the problem that some Wesnoth composers don't like the aspect of the GPL that allows their music to be modified and redistributed. I agree that this is a valid concern, and I think the GPL is a poor choice for non-code content anyway.

I recommend as a solution the Creative Commons license with the Attribution and NoDerivs option (cc-by-nd). This Creative Commons license guarantees free redistributability and are acceptable everywhere in the Open Source world.

See http://creativecommons.org/about/license/

Note that the "noncommercial" option is *not* open-source compatible. But all the other options are. Because we have to distribute with mixed licensing including the GPL for code, composers should stay away from ShareAlike as well. But any combination of nd and by options (or neither) would be acceptable.


This really astounds me. Especially since no-derivs is also *not* open-source compatible. And when I read the history of the OSI properly you were involved in their origin. Just for the record so we don't stumble upon further misunderstandings, I mean this definitions: http://opensource.org/docs/osd - in here I'm especially refering to Point 3 of it. I would really like to hear the discussion why the no-derivs should be considered compatible with open-source, because it isn't.

I don't want to push the discussion in a specific direction, but if a license is chosen that either forbids commercial use or derivates then those part will have to be ripped off by almost all distributions, no matter wether OpenSuse, Fedora or Debian. Forbidding commercial use forbids being able to sell distribution CDs, forbidding derivates forbids recoding to a different format, transposing or cutting. So going that direction would mean that distributions will have to ripp off the music and ship wesnoth without it, how unfortunate that might be.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby Rhonda » September 14th, 2008, 7:26 pm

esr wrote:
mog wrote:Just as a note: I'm quite sure that a NoDerivs license would be unacceptable for at least some distributions (Debian among them), as is would be non-free.


At worst, it means that some Wesnoth music and art would go in a separate Debian package in the non-free tree.

This fails to concern me. Keeping our artists and composers is more important than the Debian distribution's sometimes extreme notions of doctrinal purity.


That's a nice statement from someone who started the OSI in the first place and also had the 3rd rule in there. No matter wether you call it an extreme notion doesn't change that Debian (and not only Debian, Fedora is going along that path too) actually honors the license terms people hand around. And if license terms says that they aren't allowed to produce derivates then distribution that work gets tough because in quite some cases it is infact required to produce derivates. Take e.g. the --tinygui approach. If the graphics wouldn't be allowed to produce derivates the approach of converting the images to a smaller size simply won't work and were illegal.

Yes, keeping artists and composers interested in contribution is always a challenge. But that doesn't mean that it has to mean that what the Open Source and Free Software terms stand for should be called "extreme notions of doctrinal purity", or that people who believe in them like it at least had the impression in the past you did yourself should be looked down at and deserve your slander.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby tsr » September 14th, 2008, 7:48 pm

Rhonda wrote:And if license terms says that they aren't allowed to produce derivates then distribution that work gets tough because in quite some cases it is infact required to produce derivates. Take e.g. the --tinygui approach. If the graphics wouldn't be allowed to produce derivates the approach of converting the images to a smaller size simply won't work and were illegal.

Just to get things clear, would no-derivates mean that we can't resample the music too? (Meaning the option to change the bit-rate would have to be taken out.)

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Re: GPL Policy

Postby SkeletonCrew » September 14th, 2008, 9:26 pm

I agree with Dave that the GPL is a bad license for music and art. I prefer to
keep the entire Wesnoth distribution free so everybody that distributes Wesnoth
now can also do that in the future without further restrictions. AFAIK it seems
that the CC 3.0 license optional with 'by' and/or 'sa' seems to allow that.

[As a side note in the past it was also unclear whether Wesnoth was GPL2 or
GPL2+. Personally I dislike the GPL2+ due to the "or at your option any later
version", since I can't tell what the FSF will do in the future. Since it was
Dave's original intent to make Wesnoth GPL2+ I also allowed my code to be
licensed GPL2+. (I thought Wesnoth was GPL2 and I'm still not convinced it was
GPL2+, but I think Dave's original intent is the most important thing in this
case.)]
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby esr » September 15th, 2008, 4:40 am

Rhonda wrote:This really astounds me. Especially since no-derivs is also *not* open-source compatible. And when I read the history of the OSI properly you were involved in their origin.


You are correct. The OSD was, in fact, my idea (portions were adapted from the DFSG, but that in itself was part of the idea) was composed by a board I hand-picked, and is promulgated by an organization I founded. I am, therefore, a more reliable source on what the OSD is intended to mean than the entirety of debian-legal combined. This is something I wouldn't ordinarily have brought up in this discussion, as I dislike throwing my weight around. But since you raised the issue, I guess we'll deal with it on those terms.

Now look at OSD Clause 4. I personally wrote it, so my claim to know what it means is even stronger than for the OSD as a whole. It explicitly permits licenses which require modified versions of code to be distributed as pristine sources with patches. Read the rationale. Think about how it applies to the current case. CC-NoDerivs is exactly such a license; it is conformant because nothing in it forbids you from making a package containing a pristine music file, patches for the music file, and a recipe for combining them.

We intended Clause 4 as an escape hatch for this sort of situation, to preserve creators' moral right to have their reputation tied only to the pristine form of their work. I know this because I know I was thinking this when I wrote it, and I know that the original OSI Board was thinking this when we approved it. We wrote in terms of code, but there is absolutely no reason the same logic should not apply to licenses for art and music files.

Some Debian people disagree with this interpretation of Clause 4 and claim CC-nd is not OSD-compatible. They are wrong. The fact that they are wrong is their problem; it is not mine and need not be Wesnoth's. I am the project founder of the OSD, and arguably of the entire movement that calls itself "open source" (oddly enough, Richard Stallman agrees with the second claim but I'm not sure I do). Therefore, on the subject of what OSD (and especially Clause 4, which I personally wrote) was intended to mean and intended to accomplish I am the authority.

(Damn, I hate it when I have to do that.)

I hope that answers your question, Rhonda. Now can I go back to being just another dev, please?
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby Sapient » September 15th, 2008, 6:11 am

esr wrote:nothing in it forbids you from making a package containing a pristine music file, patches for the music file, and a recipe for combining them


That's a very interesting escape hatch. But, it doesn't help in the case of "lite" mods which are mainly trying to reduce file sizes for people who are on dial up connections. (Since you must transfer the original as well as the diff, it would actually make things worse.) If we have a clause that allows for cropping, compression, and lower sampling rates, then I guess we wouldn't have to worry about that.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby Rhonda » September 15th, 2008, 7:20 am

esr wrote:Now look at OSD Clause 4. I personally wrote it


Sorry, but that claim is a blatant lie, because it's exactly the same wording as in the DFSG. :lol2:

esr wrote:so my claim to know what it means is even stronger than for the OSD as a whole. It explicitly permits licenses which require modified versions of code to be distributed as pristine sources with patches.


Exactly - which cc-nd does not allow. No derived works, no matter what.

esr wrote:Read the rationale. Think about how it applies to the current case. CC-NoDerivs is exactly such a license; it is conformant because nothing in it forbids you from making a package containing a pristine music file, patches for the music file, and a recipe for combining them.


Erm, recipe for combining them is unlike being able to distribute the combined works. And this was ever what the FLOSS was about - to be able to distribute the modifications in ready form already, too. The clause is for having it clear and easy distinctable to see what was changed, not for disallowing modifications completely - which the CC-nd is about.

esr wrote:I hope that answers your question, Rhonda.


No, but it shows me that you like to claim stuff that is historically wrong (and can easily be proven so) because you seem to think "I am the authority" is an argument.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby Jetrel » September 15th, 2008, 9:24 am

:augh:
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby esr » September 15th, 2008, 11:23 am

Sapient wrote:If we have a clause that allows for cropping, compression, and lower sampling rates, then I guess we wouldn't have to worry about that.


That's why I included one in my proposed guidelines.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby esr » September 15th, 2008, 11:24 am

Rhonda wrote:Sorry, but that claim is a blatant lie, because it's exactly the same wording as in the DFSG. :lol2:


Yes? Now go look at the edit history of the DFSG.

I should add that there have been efforts from both sides to converge the language. It is entirely possible that the 2008 version of Clause 4 has also had wording changes to make it identical to the DFSG clause; I have not kept track of that.
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Re: GPL Policy

Postby ivanovic » September 15th, 2008, 2:02 pm

After some discussion here in this thread and on IRC, lets try to get things onto a clear basis of what we need and want from our side.

With the current status of technical development and tools, what do we want/need to have Wesnoth working nicely now and in the future? That is: in regards to music (and *only* music, nothing else since other areas have other requirements and make it easier to eg modify things):

1) What are cases where we need to modify the files right now (already resulting in a single bit being changed)?
- updated metadata (adjusting to some changed "general format", always retaining the original creator as author)
- transcoding to a different format (eg if we are forced to change the format due to license claims on vorbis, ...)
- transcoding to save space (eg lower bitrate, other compression type, ...)
- chopping things to just have parts where just parts are needed and adding fading in/out and allowing mixing multiple tracks

2) What should the use cases be that we do *not* want to stop users from doing?
- using the music with the game
- using the music with "mods" of the game (eg Spacenoth like stuff, Wesnoth RPG and things like this as well as using the music in usermade content)
- allow users to use the music eg on their mp3/music player when not using Wesnoth

3) Which other things do we have to keep in mind?
- making sure that we are allowed to have the music in one tarball (source release)
- making sure that distributions are allowed to bundle wesnoth (distributions are counted as commercial product when they sell their discs beside offering them for download!)
- making sure that we are allowed to host packaged binaries (which are easy to use for the enduser without requiring extra downloads later on to get the music in)


Now it would be nice to get an explicit list of things that you as artists want. Then we can compare this with the stuff implied by the points mentioned above and try to find a license that suits all of our needs as good as possible. It would be nice if you joined IRC (irc.freenode.net, #wesnoth-dev) so that we can discuss in there, this is a lot easier than using forum posts.
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