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Mod licensing and "etiquette"


TiktaalikDreaming
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[Moderator note:  This thread was split off from the Kerbal Joint Reinforcement thread, since it diverged into a long series of posts which are off-topic for the KJR thread since they're about general licensing / etiquette issues.]

On 11/10/2018 at 8:29 AM, LKN said:

It looks like he released this under GPLv3.... that means anyone can fork this mod and continue development as long as they comply with GPLv3 terms

While true, I think any coding modder that could do this justice, would prefer a polite handing over of the torch, so to speak.

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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 5:29 PM, LKN said:

It looks like he released this under GPLv3.... that means anyone can fork this mod and continue development as long as they comply with GPLv3 terms

 

19 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

While true, I think any coding modder that could do this justice, would prefer a polite handing over of the torch, so to speak.

 

Is this really that important for all of you? ... that's by the way the reason why I have deleted my version of this project. Just to mention that... nobody seems to invest into the development, but everyone tells you what's wrong with how you "took over" the project (or just fixed a bug) and where you forgot to mention a license and that a specific link isn't in place which is "mandatory"... is that how "communities" are supposed to work? I don't think that like this we will see any progress. ... I really don't understand that ...

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26 minutes ago, Rudolf Meier said:

Is this really that important for all of you?

I'm familiar with your history here regarding this, but seems like common decency and respect towards the original author to me. Plus, complying with the licensing is part of the forum rules. If you're not going to follow them then of course people are going to raise an issue with you about it. There have been countless mod ownership handovers here done with consent from the original modder and compliance by the new owner of any licensing. Some new owners have even managed to get the original author to switch to a less restrictive license. I'm really not understanding why you feel you have to do things any differently

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1 hour ago, Rudolf Meier said:

 

 

Is this really that important for all of you? ... that's by the way the reason why I have deleted my version of this project. Just to mention that... nobody seems to invest into the development, but everyone tells you what's wrong with how you "took over" the project (or just fixed a bug) and where you forgot to mention a license and that a specific link isn't in place which is "mandatory"... is that how "communities" are supposed to work? I don't think that like this we will see any progress. ... I really don't understand that ...

Waiting for a proper handover makes no sense when the original author used a license that give you the right to modify the project. If the author didnt want people to make modifications he would have used a license that forbid it in the first place, I dont understand why people think there should be more to this. This mod is 2 versions behind, its not like if you were trying to branch a project that is in active development. Truth is, this community is slowly dying, and this mentality is not helping. Thanks to you and everybody else who help keep this community alive.

Edited by flack
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2 minutes ago, flack said:

Waiting for a proper handover makes no sense when the original author used a license that give you the right to modify the project. If the author didnt want people to make modifications he would have used a license that forbid it in the first place, I dont understand why people think there should be more to this. This mod is 2 versions behind, its not like if you were trying to branch a project that is in active development. Truth is, this community is slowly dying, and this mentality is not helping. Thanks to you and everybody else who help keep this community alive.

There's having a legal ok and there's not being a <redacted>

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2 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

There's having a legal ok and there's not being a <redacted>

I'm obviously talking about the legal ok here; Morality of branching a project that has a license that allows it.

Edited by flack
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ferram4 has inactive for a while now. Waiting for an OK from someon not following the forums is pretty silly. The way to go is make your own branch, share your work, make a pull request. If ferram4 comes back, he can accept your changes or make his own. No one is being a jerk, this is how open source works.

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39 minutes ago, infinite_monkey said:

ferram4 has inactive for a while now. 

He had connected last Friday. So, he's not inactive - he may be lurking between a task and another (RL can be such a drag...), but he's not inactive.

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5 minutes ago, Lisias said:

He had connected last Friday. So, he's not inactive - he may be lurking between a task and another (RL can be such a drag...), but he's not inactive.

Yeah, he connected, but his last post is from may... So updates to his mods aren't to be expected anytime soon. The only reason NOT to contribute to his mods would be if that would mean the same thing being done by multiple people... Of course by that I don't mean hijacking his mods, but just contributions.

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9 hours ago, infinite_monkey said:

The only reason NOT to contribute to his mods would be if that would mean the same thing being done by multiple people... 

It's the exact the other way around. Open Source is about redundancy. The more people doing the same thing, the better the quality of the final work as one has more choices and, so, more chances to find the best option.

 

9 hours ago, infinite_monkey said:

Of course by that I don't mean hijacking his mods, but just contributions.

As long Copyright is respected, one cannot "hijack" a work. Only ferram4 has the rights on "Kerbal Joint Reinforcement", and anyone publishing something with this name would be on copyright (and trademark) violation, unless ferram4 authorize the use / transfer the rights.

 

9 hours ago, RaiderMan said:

has anyone messaged him asking if he plans to continue maintaining KJR, and if not, requesting permission to adopt, or at least provide maintenance/compatibility updates for the KJR mod?

Yes, I saw people asking him about. I don't know about the answer.

Edited by Lisias
tyops as usulla… (and a small addendum)
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On 11/11/2018 at 9:45 PM, flack said:

Truth is, this community is slowly dying [cut by me]

I want to dispute that.

With the exception of 2015, when Steam registered a staggering 19K+ players online on KSP, the number of people playing KSP is more or less stable, with a slight tendency to increate this year. The second peak of all time happened this year, on February. Dropped significantly on the rest of year, but it's increasing again (the count for November is around 7K+). My guess? Holidays! KSP is a time consuming hobby, most people use the holidays to play it!

I agree that 2018 we have a slightly smaller amount of KSP players on Steam, but on the other hand, the curve is smoother, with very few deviations. The average online KSP players is slightly higher on 2017, but the peaks are higher this year.

And we have to take in count people not using Steam, or Steam users playing offline with previous versions of the game. The 1500 hours of gaming I gave on KSP should not be half the real playing hours I have.

So… We can be far away from the golden years of 2014/15, but we are not dead yet. Neither "dying".

https://steamcharts.com/app/220200#All

Edited by Lisias
tyops as usulla...
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Adding to that; there are more twitch streamers streaming KSP than ive seen in a good couple years. Compared to other games like Space Engineers, the modding scene here is amazingly strong - just click on spacedock once a day and see that mods get updated or new ones come out -every- day.

People love saying "such and such is dying" because they themselves fall out of love with a game, or have a problem. But the objective truth is, Kerbal, as @Lisias says, has a very stable and strong following. One that other indie games would be envious of.

Edited by Stevie_D
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On 11/15/2018 at 5:11 AM, Lisias said:

I want to dispute that. //

 

I'm not talking about the player count, I'm talking about the modding community. Most mods stopped being developed and are simply being updated. I cant thanks enough linuxgurugamer and the handful of other modders who are nice enough to keep the vast majority of useful mods alive. Honestly... the player count doesnt really matter to me....I just gave my opinion on the original topic; "is it okay to update / branch a mods when the license allows it if the mod is not actively maintained" Anyway, lets stop polluting KJR thread the debate is over anyway.

 

Edited by flack
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8 minutes ago, flack said:

I'm not talking about the player count, I'm talking about the modding community. Most mods stopped being developed and are simply being updated. I cant thanks enough linuxgurugamer and the handful of other modders who are nice enough to keep the vast majority of useful mods alive. Honestly... the player count doesnt really matter to me....

You say dying. I say matured.

You don't need to develop something that's (by the developer's opinion) complete.

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10 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

You say dying. I say matured.

You don't need to develop something that's (by the developer's opinion) complete. 

I didnt know having many of the useful mods not updated and also many others being updated by a single guy was a sign of a mature community. Linuxgurugamer is pretty clear about it, if you want new functions submit a pull request.  By the way I'm not complaining, I'm already greateful enough to know some people are there to keep the mods alive.

Edited by flack
reformulation
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23 minutes ago, flack said:

I'm not talking about the player count, I'm talking about the modding community. 

You will see that both are intrinsically merged. The best modders are the heavy players, because they not only knows what's "wrong", they known what's "better". There're no modders without users.

 

24 minutes ago, flack said:

 Anyway, lets stop polluting KJR thread the debate is over anyway.

You have a point (and not only here - my disagreement with your opinion was only that one).

10 minutes ago, flack said:

if you want new functions submit a pull request.

This is the reason, IMHO, there're a "lack of modders". The Open Source way of developing new features is "fork it and publish it." If the feature is good, people will use it and, eventually, such a feature will go mainstream in a way or another.

Focal points works for the Cathedral model of software development (but, then, you must pay for someone develop it for you).

Perhaps, instead of "dying", you could better express yourself as "stagnating" - on that, I would agree with you.

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Well… so let's go back to the basics. :) 

On 11/11/2018 at 9:49 PM, TiktaalikDreaming said:

There's having a legal ok and there's not being a <redacted>

When licenses are involved, the only <redacted> :P ones are the ones in license violation.

If you read carefully the licenses involved, you will find that every one of them explicitly forbid adding any other restrictions beyond the ones stated on the license, and, unfortunately, that's final and it's not open to debate: It's the license, comply to it or use something else.

Some licenses are even harsher, they revoke the rights if you, intentionally or not, violate some of their terms - adding restrictions one of such violations.

By any perspective you use, it's impossible to demand such "respect" by using any of the Open Source licenses accepted by the Open Source Org. And for the most used licenses used here, it's also a license violation itself, liable to rights revoking what could render the licensor in bad situations.

Dura lex, sed lex.

Edited by Lisias
Tyops... As usulla.
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3 hours ago, Lisias said:

Well… so let's go back to the basics. :) 

When licenses are involved, the only <redacted> :P ones are the ones in license violation.

If you read carefully the licenses involved, you will find that every one of them explicitly forbid adding any other restrictions beyond the ones stated on the license, and, unfortunately, that's final and it's not open to debate: It's the license, comply to it or use something else.

Some licenses are even harsher, they revoke the rights if you, intentionally or not, violate some of their terms - adding restrictions one of such violations.

By any perspective you use, it's impossible to demand such "respect" by using any of the Open Source licenses accepted by the Open Source Org. And for the most used licenses used here, it's also a license violation itself, liable to rights revoking what could render the licensor in bad situations.

Dura lex, sed lex.

While you're technically correct when a mod has no copyrightable material (added that although it doesn't apply to kjr, being all code, but we're in a brand new thread now) I think we'd all still prefer a community that at least tried contacting the original author for guidance and permission, even if it's not strictly required.

Note, I'm not saying such efforts have not been made. And the license can include any terms the original author thought were requisite for re-use or repurposing. I just kinda made my comment in response to people claiming things were "open source therefore just steal it".

Obviously the best way forward is to create a new thread and leave a post in the old thread pointing at the new one. And possibly a minor rename like adding "continued" or "redux" to the name. Although with the added libraries, maybe name it KJR2?

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4 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

While you're technically correct when a mod has no copyrightable material 

There're no such thing.

Every single "material" is copyrightable, no exceptions. One can grant public domain on his IT, but it's still a copyright. He just granted unrestricted rights on it.

4 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

 I think we'd all still prefer a community that at least tried contacting the original author for guidance and permission, even if it's not strictly required.

So you need to find a License that allow it.

4 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

. I just kinda made my comment in response to people claiming things were "open source therefore just steal it".

What's intrinsically wrong. "Open Source? So it's not stealing" is the right claim. 

If you don't like it, don't do Open Source. You can't have the cake and eat it too!

Edited by Lisias
Tyops, tyops, tyops evyrwehre!
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2 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

And possibly a minor rename like adding "continued" or "redux" to the name. Although with the added libraries, maybe name it KJR2?

Humm... It's this we are talking about since the start? 

I'm a bit "legalistic", I talk by the letter of the law. Perhaps I I missed what you are meaning and attached myself to what you wrote instead.

The name "KerbalJointReinforcement" is property of Ferram4. Point. There's no argument about.

Anyone willing to use this name need his explicity and registered permission. Using this name without it is a copyright infringement, subject to sanctions from the license and from the law.

You are right, a renaming is needed. But also a reasonable effort to prevent anyone to misrepresent your derivative with the original. 

KJR2 I don't think it's good, it implies a follow-up from Ferram4.

Adding "Continued", "redux", etc, should be OK due Forum Rules. But don't try using "Star Trek Continued" stunt on Real Life, Paramount will sue you for sure. :)

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