Copyright Issue with PhantasyRPG.com

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Dave
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Copyright Issue with PhantasyRPG.com

Post by Dave »

Some users may be aware that it was noticed that a web-based game, PhantasyRPG (http://PhantasyRPG.com) was using images from Battle for Wesnoth without properly complying with the terms of the GNU GPL, by not displaying the GPL on their website.

I'm writing this message to let everyone know that I have discussed this matter with the lead developer of PhantasyRPG, and it has been amicably resolved. They have attributed copyright, and displayed a link to the GPL, as well as referenced Wesnoth (which is not required by the GPL).

We'd like to thank PhantasyRPG for their co-operation in this matter, and for choosing to take advantage of the GNU GPL by reusing our content.

David
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Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

I'd like to congratulate the whole dev team, this matter has been dealt with perfectly without anything turning into a flamewar,

congratulation all
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

Guess what? They are no longer referencing wesnoth.

They are also now using a bunch of neo's drawings.


I must say, I really get a kick out of the fact that these guys can't draw to save their lives. [censored], if they wanted images, they could just ask. I'm sure it would be quite easy for wesnoth people to repurpose graphics for their game the right way.

And hell, some wesnoth people might well be willing to do stuff straight.


Legal as it may be, it's just not cool to deny a link to the SOLE source of their graphics. They would not exist save for our work.
eugenelim
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Post by eugenelim »

They don't seem to understand the GPL. Nowhere can I find them referencing Wesnoth. The only blurb i see is at the bottom of their page.
Graphics are © their respective owners, or are licensed under the GNU GPL
All rights reserved. A Division of GamersBrand Entertainment
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Gafgarion
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Post by Gafgarion »

I also couldve sworn that some of the equipment graphics are pulled from Final Fantasy Tactics.
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eugenelim
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Post by eugenelim »

Gafgarion wrote:I also couldve sworn that some of the equipment graphics are pulled from Final Fantasy Tactics.
At least one of the "Houlizard" they are using are from Final Fantasy Tactics.
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Circon
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Post by Circon »

:roll: Wizard's Third Rule :roll:

What do we do now? Contact them politely? IMO we just remind them that "hey, all your graphics are belong to us".
"(C) their respective owners" is fine, but who are these respective owners? Shouldn't that be listed somewhere?
Oh, and I think it's illegal to mix and match copyrights - everything must be under GPL if part of it is due to the fact that something cannot be un-GPLed. So they're breaking the rules again.
scott
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Post by scott »

Circon wrote::roll: Wizard's Third Rule :roll:

What do we do now? Contact them politely? IMO we just remind them that "hey, all your graphics are belong to us".
"(C) their respective owners" is fine, but who are these respective owners? Shouldn't that be listed somewhere?
Oh, and I think it's illegal to mix and match copyrights - everything must be under GPL if part of it is due to the fact that something cannot be un-GPLed. So they're breaking the rules again.
The drawings they took from the forums when neorice was doing the pencil drawings of all the characters. They also have at least 1 of the unused Li'sar battle princess sprites (one with a large headdress) as an avatar. They would need to be completely oblivious to not know who owned what. They may not know that these graphics aren't part of the game so neorice retains copyright on them until (if) he releases them under a free-use license of some sort. I don't know what counts as a "work" in this case - just the images used as part of the game or everything on the site. I think you could separate the site graphics from the game graphics, so if the game is under GPL the website could have a copyright. I think their actions warrant a polite e-mail or two.
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miyo
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Post by miyo »

scott wrote:They may not know that these graphics aren't part of the game so neorice retains copyright on them until (if) he releases them under a free-use license of some sort. I don't know what counts as a "work" in this case - just the images used as part of the game or everything on the site. I think you could separate the site graphics from the game graphics, so if the game is under GPL the website could have a copyright. I think their actions warrant a polite e-mail or two.
GPL does not mean you lose your copyright, it just means that you, from your own will, set it free (as in free speech) to be used, copied, modified and distributed.

"We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software." -- http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

Also, please check - http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2014

- Miyo

ps. patched as suggested per isaac
MadMax
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Post by MadMax »

I use the cow, horse, rock golem, and chicken graphics (in FtF) from PhantasyRPG's website, but I believe that eugenelim's blurb says it is GPL, but they probably were copied from somewhere else anyway. I know the chicken is an edit of the cockatrice.

I will remove them if I have to.
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Torath

Post by Torath »

Dave wrote:They have attributed copyright, and displayed a link to the GPL, as well as referenced Wesnoth (which is not required by the GPL).
Like Dave said they are not required to reference wesnoth;

But they still could be breaking the GPL, because

According to the GPL: section 2
b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

So if I understand it correctly then all their code should be free because they use some free code.
scott
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Post by scott »

miyo wrote: GPL does not mean you lose your copyright, it just means that you, from your own will, set it free (as in free speech) to be used, copied, modified and distributed.
Fine, but that hasn't been done for some of the art they copied from neorice. But, it's his issue, not mine.
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miyo
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Post by miyo »

Torath wrote:According to the GPL: section 2
b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

So if I understand it correctly then all their code should be free because they use some free code.
They only need to tell the images are GPL (and in case not all of them are under GPL, it is possible they need to define which of them are under GPL). Please do consider that web-applications are a bit problematic. When you are using the application on their server, you are a user, you don't get your copy of the binary/code so they don't really publish anything. You don't get the PHP/Perl/Python code, you get output of the code, usually HTML.

When this was first time found we did contact FSF and ask for their advice, and they told us that "they need to state that images are released under GPL or remove the images".

- Miyo
Neoriceisgood
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Post by Neoriceisgood »

Sue them! revenge will be mine!

Dwarawrf.
eugenelim
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Post by eugenelim »

Images released with Wesnoth are clearly under the GPL, however images in the forums and other places like the wiki .. their license is ambigious? When posting an image, our artists should explicitly state what license this is covered under to avoid any misunderstanding and misappropriate use.

Ethically, I feel that PhantasyRPG should have contacted the artists and ask for permission before using those images in their game, and that the forum should have a very visible notice / sticky FAQ that states so. A general default license for images posted in the forum / wiki should also be thought of, which applies if the artist does not state the license.

Their use of Final Fantasy Tactics graphics are a clear violation of copyright, even if they are modified. I hope that if anyone from PhantasyRPG is reading this that they are more careful and take action to address this and also the issue above. They should really get their own artist if they are building an entire web game.
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