GPL Policy

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Tomsik
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by Tomsik » September 13th, 2008, 4:44 pm

Indeed creators of GPL did not have content of ANY type in mind when creating it - just source code for applications.
I can see why musicians don't want to GPL their creations and commercial-use CC license would make some sense in this situation.

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kitty
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by kitty » September 13th, 2008, 4:45 pm

i just wanted to express my sympathy for the musician's problems and attitude.

the last couple of posts are really ungrateful! you are talking to people who invested a lot of work and improved the game a lot! it would be a pitty if we couldn't find a solution with which everybody could be happy.

i'm no fan of the gpl at all - i'm all for giving my work for free but having to allow to modify it is a shame. i see what people do to my work all the time and it is butchery. if there was any way to release my stuff without having to allow that i would be the first to do so - unfortunately there is no and i decided to live with it (and believe me sometimes i wish i didn't). but that is my decision and i honour everybody who can't take it.
(and if anybody comes up with artists' having to release the layered files or anything like that, i'm out)

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by suokko » September 13th, 2008, 4:47 pm

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

That page includes answers from creators of license if you want to have answers to your questions.

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by Thumper » September 13th, 2008, 5:15 pm

TimothyP wrote:When the GPL license was created, did it have art and every form of created content in mind?
No. It maps poorly onto formats other than source code. That's the reason for Creative Commons. But Creative Commons (at least in the forms which actually matter) also requires that derivative works be allowed with little or no hindrance, and not enough thought has gone into how to combine GPL and CC works (as is required for games).
For some reason, I can't see how software code and art is the same
Few artists see source code as art. That's the leap that has to be made.

- Chris

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West
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by West » September 13th, 2008, 5:21 pm

anakayub wrote:I believe that licensing is meant as a means to an end, for which most of the time is assuring quality and recognition, with some variations to allow for additional features, e.g. continual improvement if source files are provided to allow modification.

There's no need for strict "you have to use GPL because everything else is in GPL" in my opinion as long as other options are available/feasible. The best option is to use what's appropriate for the particular component.[/i]
I agree with this. The notion that keeping everything strictly GPL-adherent is more important than getting as good contributions as possible... well, I find that unsettling to say the least.
Thumper wrote:Vastly so, because it doesn't restrict my freedoms. Wesnoth has proven that one of the previous "truisms" of free software video games - that you can't get good graphics under the GPL - isn't true. It would be folly to give up on trying to get the same change in attitude from musical artists.
Fair enough. Then how about giving the musical artists some compelling reasons why they should change their attitude?

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by dkaufman » September 13th, 2008, 5:47 pm

Wow, had no idea there would be such an explosion over this - took me twenty minutes just to read through all the opinions :).
I can understand the desire to keep everything in the game neatly under GPL. Unfortunately, GPL just isn't a valid way of licensing music - there's just no such thing as "source code" for music.
Period.
Nothing comes close. Give it up.
I think we've all just kind of rolled with it because it was easier just to let it be than try and have this fight. (And because the likelihood of any issues arising is pretty low.)
If we want to be serious about licensing, another direction needs to be chosen. A simple permission clause that all composers agree to (I've written a lot of these, and I'd be happy to create one for us), or CC. A permission clause would be the most effective in my opinion, since it could be adjusted to meet exactly what's needed here.
Music just doesn't fit neatly into the world of open source software.

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ivanovic
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by ivanovic » September 13th, 2008, 5:59 pm

Since lots of unwanted noise appeared, I moved it to the Developers Discussion section. Everyone who really should be involved in this discussion is allowed to do so and all those who produced noise are not allowed to post in here.

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by ivanovic » September 13th, 2008, 6:03 pm

Since esr currently has problems with logging into his forum account, I am now posting this for him:
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.

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West
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by West » September 13th, 2008, 6:46 pm

ivanovic wrote:Since lots of unwanted noise appeared, I moved it to the Developers Discussion section. Everyone who really should be involved in this discussion is allowed to do so and all those who produced noise are not allowed to post in here.
Now let's hope people find it again ;)

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by TimothyP » September 13th, 2008, 10:57 pm

It seems to me that it would at least be possible to release the game under GPL, then release the music under a separate CC, non-commercial, no derivatives license. That makes much more sense for audio media. That's what a lot of podcasters use.

Even though I'm not contributing to Wesnoth anymore, I'm interested to see how you all resolve this issue and what the release ends up looking like.

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by esr » September 14th, 2008, 12:05 am

TimothyP: The 'non-commercial' restriction would be a bad idea. Among other things it would prevent Linux distributions from shipping Wesnoth on their CDs or hosting it in their repositories. This is why the Open Source Definition explicitly excludes licenses with a non-commercial distribution requirement.

The Attribution, NoDerivs license (cc-by-nd) is the right thing for this situation.

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by Dave » September 14th, 2008, 12:52 am

For what it's worth, I think that the GPL was designed with code in mind. We use it for all forms of content, but this makes certain sections of it rather non-applicable.

I actually think that we would be willing to consider alternative licensing models for various forms of artwork (visual arts, music, sound effects, etc). However, there would have to be a very firm proposal from interested parties for the developers to consider.

I would imagine that the approach that'd make people happy would be something along the lines of "you can use this work however you want, redistribute, etc, but you cannot modify the work". I think such an approach might work for music and 'large scale' images (portraits, storyline art, etc). I don't think it'd be workable for sprites, because modifying sprites to provide animations and so forth, tweaking for things like team coloring, and so forth may always be necessary.

On the other hand, I will say that I think many coders -- especially good ones -- consider coding to be an art form too. I would say I sometimes cringe at modifications people make to 'my' code. But living with that is part of participating in a Free community.

David
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Re: GPL Policy

Post by Sapient » September 14th, 2008, 4:13 am

You may want to consider a provision that allows compression algorithms and resizing/cropping/rotating/flipping to be applied to the images as well.

I agree with Dave about code as an art. I do sometimes worry that someone will "steal" a clever algorithm I wrote and try to pass it off as their own, or make modifications to it which I would consider inelegant or inefficient. But, I know what I did and svn history backs me up on that as well as the game credits. Ultimately I can't control everything that other people do with my work, and I am willing to accept that risk because any provisions that prevent modifications would be a great hindrance to development.

With portraits, some young kid may want to "frankenstein" them for their UMC. Or maybe just add a moustache. Or add a music track that incorporates elements from an existing track. Do we really want to forbid them?
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by esr » September 14th, 2008, 5:35 am

Let's not try to wrestle with too many issues at once, here.

Code, art, and music are three different kinds of content. They present different kinds of problems. There is no reason they all need to travel under the same license. Arguments about one kind of work do not necessarily appply to either other kind.

Code needs to be modifiable so it can be debugged and improved. Music, other than trivial transformations like applying compression, does not need to be modifiable. Art is an intermediate case; the ability to make derived works is useful but not essential.

Here are the guidelines I would write for contributors:

* Code must be under GPL

* Art may be under GPL or a Creative Commons license with any or none of the following options: Attribution, NoDerivs. While we allow NoDerivs for art, we ask artists not to use this option without strong and specific reason; the ability to modify accepted artwork to create new images for other uses is important to the project.

* Music may be under GPL or a Creative Commons license with any or none of the following options: Attribution, NoDerivs. We do not modify and mix music to create new tracks, so applying NoDerivs option is not a problem for us.

* We accept art and music content on the contributor's understanding that we may distribute compressed, transcoded, or down-sampled versions without violating any NoDerivs constraint.

* We will not accept Art or Music with a No Commercial Distribution constraint, as this creates legal difficulties for Linux distributors and violates the Open Source Definition.

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Re: GPL Policy

Post by mog » September 14th, 2008, 7:21 am

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.

(I don't like the idea of unmodifyable content in wesnoth either, it is an open source project after all)
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