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Mod licensing and "etiquette"


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Just now, R-T-B said:

Good job not reading any of the above.

Mojang didn't get served, Bukkit did.

GPL code must link with GPL code.

Guess what Kopernicus isn't doing?

Mojang owned Bukkit at that point in time according to what you linked, so yes Mojang got served (and would have gotten served even more had they not axed Bukkit). I see no problem of the referenced event, a license was broken and the infringing works were killed and the offending parties asked to cease or face further legal consequnces.

So yes, file a DMCA takedown against Kopernicus. Go for it. If Kopernicus is in violation of licenses, whether their own or those whose code they reuse, they should be served.

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3 minutes ago, R-T-B said:

GPLv3 code must link with GPLv3 code.  It cannot and shall not link to anything else but a (x)GPLv3 license

Not exactly, at least on the USA. The Copyright Act is cristal clear that once the binary is on the user's machine, it's plain dead letter any licensing terms trying to dictate what he can or cannot do with the binary. As far as I know, it's the only thing on the GPL that even the FSF avoid at all costs to see in court, because even them believes that they will lose.

But...

You can't redistribute it with GPL incompatible code. And static linking makes impossible to distribute the two differently licensed codes separately - so the only legally safe option is to link the two code on your's machine and don't redistribute it for anyone, otherwise it would be a license infringement.

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12 minutes ago, King Arthur said:

Mojang owned Bukkit at that point in time according to what you linked, so yes Mojang got served (and would have gotten served even more had they not axed Bukkit)

It seems I own you an apology.  I was under the impression curse owned bukkit at that point in time.

The point is who really lost was the users.  And it was completely avoidable.

You can't redistribute it with GPL incompatible code.

I know, and that's what they are doing.

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3 minutes ago, DoctorDavinci said:

No, you're not an ASS ... no stability system in here :rolleyes:

I apologize for swearing.  I am old, tired, and frankly, this is starting to make me all think less of you.

I hate that.

I don't think it's your fault either.  We are just getting off completely on the wrong foot.  So I'm going to leave now.  I sincerely hope you do not ignore what I have pointed out.

Happy trails, spacetrips, or whatever you want.  I love you all.

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On 10/20/2019 at 7:11 PM, R-T-B said:

I apologize for swearing.  I am old, tired, and frankly, this is starting to make me all think less of you.

I hate that.

I don't think it's your fault either.  We are just getting off completely on the wrong foot.  So I'm going to leave now.  I sincerely hope you do not ignore what I have pointed out.

Happy trails, spacetrips, or whatever you want.  I love you all.

So you keep saying 'you' and that 'you have a problem'

All I did was provide you a bit of insight into why things go so out of hand and why a bunch of people got bent out of shape but yet I am the one with a problem?

[snip]

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On 10/20/2019 at 7:49 PM, DoctorDavinci said:

All I did was provide you a bit of insight into why things go so out of hand and why a bunch of people got bent out of shape but yet I am the one with a problem?

A completely separate, documented legal issue, yes.  And not you.  Very specific mods in this community.  I pray you did not license yourself away GPLv3.  That'd be... unfortunate.

[snip]

For the record, I have considered the idea that you may be right regarding my conduct.  So much so I have asked my fellow forumites of another, equally large dev-oriented forum to weigh in (and I have enemies there too, so it's hardly biased).  It shouldn't get ugly as I've only provided screenshots with names edited out, not a direct link, so they don't even know where this is really (I know, google, but I asked them not to), but I really do take your critiscisms seriously and am seeking outside perspective.  I just can't see being this angry about it, personally.  It's confusing to me.

[snip]

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On 10/20/2019 at 8:00 PM, DoctorDavinci said:

o now you are implying that my mods break copyright laws?

No, I edited above to clarify because I figured it was ripe for misunderstanding.

Certain mods.  Essential mods.  Kopernicus in particular.  How many things depend on that?  If the source vanished what would it do?

It wouldn't be pretty, and frankly, when I realized this I quit worrying about my horrible rep (is that all we do this for?  I'm confused) and moved on to push an issue that actually matters

[snip]

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[snip]

You probably want to relicense your work under something other than GPLv3 btw, you include module manager which is CC-SA licensed and...  I have no idea if that's allowed or not.  Anyone a lawyer?  If you're including a copy of the GPLv3 AND the CC-SA you MIGHT be ok.

https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/ShareAlike_compatibility:_GPLv3

Still, I wouldn't mess with it.  I'd change it just to be safe.  Of course, I'm betting that means you certainly won't.  Again, just showing where the leaks are.

[snip]

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[snip]

there's another factor beyond the issue of licencing.

You took on more projects and code, virtually blindly compiling them across a significant version change (I'd say the 1.7.3 to 1.8 transition is the most significant change for the underlying code base that's ever happened in KSP), and you have taken no time for true understanding of those mods' code nor have the capability to properly support it in its current uncertain state.

From what you've said about your experience, you must know that just because code compiles and links and even runs without apparent issue is a far cry from not having problems minor and major.  I'm seeing the premier mod writers talking about what they're going through transitioning their mods to 1.8.  People I know from watching for a long while who are competent and care.  And they're having enough issues.

The mods you have forked are a minefield waiting for a player to make a wrong step.  And whether it gets back to you or wrongly to the prior mod author, that's not right.

Sure, the licences allow you to do what you did.  Should you have?  You guarantee your mods?  You wanna bet on that?

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[snip]

On 10/20/2019 at 8:31 PM, Jacke said:

You guarantee your mods?  You wanna bet on that?

I expressly did not guarantee my mods and warned my users.  Please, though I'm trying to move past that.  You really all should be over that by now.

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On 10/20/2019 at 8:31 PM, Jacke said:

From what you've said about your experience, you must know that just because code compiles and links and even runs without apparent issue is a far cry from not having problems minor and major.

I really wish my release codenames were here for reference.  I think "upside down computer wrecking devil" for one labeled version .999 was my favorite.  If anyone downloaded that they got what was said on the tin.

All of them compiled mind, and loaded to main menu.  Beyond that they probably killed kerbals, and I knew that very much so and did not hide it.

[snip]

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1 hour ago, Lisias said:

Not exactly, at least on the USA. The Copyright Act is cristal clear that once the binary is on the user's machine, it's plain dead letter any licensing terms trying to dictate what he can or cannot do with the binary. As far as I know, it's the only thing on the GPL that even the FSF avoid at all costs to see in court, because even them believes that they will lose.

But...

You can't redistribute it with GPL incompatible code. And static linking makes impossible to distribute the two differently licensed codes separately - so the only legally safe option is to link the two code on your's machine and don't redistribute it for anyone, otherwise it would be a license infringement.

Actually the gpl license is explicit that you can do whatever you want with the code for personal use: yes you can use it with propietary code. Hell it's the whole idea "open source code allows anyone to modify programs so they are to their liking":if you don't release the adaption it's by definition closed source. There is a whole section in GPL explaining this.

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On 10/20/2019 at 8:58 PM, paul23 said:

Actually the gpl license is explicit that you can do whatever you want with the code for personal use: yes you can use it with propietary code. Hell it's the whole idea "open source code allows anyone to modify programs so they are to their liking":if you don't release the adaption it's by definition closed source. There is a whole section in GPL explaining this.

Yeah, I read some more and you are right.  The GNU foundation has some helpful docs on this.

It's the distribution that's messy.  And we have several people I have pointed out distributing with incompatible licensed products included in binary form.

There is no question if that is a violation, it simply is.  Not that I care, the GPLv3 is the silliest license known to man as far as I'm concerned (what was wrong with v2?). 

[snip]

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On 10/21/2019 at 1:58 AM, paul23 said:

Actually the gpl license is explicit that you can do whatever you want with the code for personal use: yes you can use it with propietary code. Hell it's the whole idea "open source code allows anyone to modify programs so they are to their liking":if you don't release the adaption it's by definition closed source. There is a whole section in GPL explaining this.

What the GPL says is irrelevant. The Copyright Act has the final word on the matter.

And I suggest you read what FSF says about: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#NonfreeDriverKernelLinux

Note: this is not an argument on you on what you mean. It's just the explanation of a fact. The Copyright Act has precedence over anything else, anything that contradicts it has any legal value (it's a dead letter). If you want to talk about what you think about it, I'm hearing - chances are that I will agree with you (I was a kinda GNU diehard when young), but, for now, we are talking about the cold letter of the law.

Edited by Lisias
fixing a miswording
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Many, many posts have been removed and/or redacted due to adults who ought to know better descending into personal attacks, flaming, open mockery, and off-topic flamebaiting.

People, this is a place to discuss matters like civilized adults.  C'mon, folks, you know better than this.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with spirited disagreement.  If someone says something you disagree with, by all means rebut or debate.  But please address the post rather than the poster.  Attacking the person themselves (e.g. calling them names, openly mocking them, impugning their motives, etc.) accomplishes only two things:

  • It provokes flamewars that derail the thread, and everybody loses.
  • It demonstrates that you lack convincing arguments of your own, so you go after the poster rather than reasonably addressing what they said.

So don't do that.  Just don't.

  • Do not make personal criticisms or attacks.  Address arguments, not people.
  • Do not respond to personal criticisms or attacks.  That just ignites pointless flame wars, and if you do this you're adding to the problem.  Don't.  If you believe you've been personally attacked, either just ignore it, or else report it so that the moderator team can have a look.  Don't descend to the level of people who can't win arguments on their merits.

We've tried to be nice about this, and give people the benefit of the doubt that they can comport themselves like civil adults.  Please don't prove us wrong about this, folks.  Further personal mudslinging here will be dealt with more sternly.

Thank you for your understanding.

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On 10/21/2019 at 6:25 AM, Lisias said:

What the GPL says is irrelevant. The Copyright Act has the final word on the matter.

And I suggest you read what FSF says about: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#NonfreeDriverKernelLinux

Note: this is not an argument on you on what you mean. It's just the explanation of a fact. The Copyright Act has precedence over anything else, anything that contradicts it has any legal value (it's a dead letter). If you want to talk about what you think about it, I'm hearing - chances are that I will agree with you (I was a kinda GNU diehard when young), but, for now, we are talking about the cold letter of the law.

Not everyone lives in the US  though. "copyright' isn't even a thing in the netherlands, we use a fundamentally different thing. (Auteursrecht).

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14 minutes ago, paul23 said:

Not everyone lives in the US  though. "copyright' isn't even a thing in the netherlands, we use a fundamentally different thing. (Auteursrecht).

If your country signed the Berne Convention, you must respect USA Copyright Law when handling IP owned by North-Americans. It's the price your country pays in order to have your countrie's copyright laws respected on the rest of the World.

I misread the guy's post. The Copyright Act is USA specific, indeed. However, it still can be enforced due WIPO treaties.

https://www.hack-hunt.com/knowledge-base/does-the-dmca-apply-outside-of-united-states.html

However… What must be internationally respected, AFAIK, are the Copyright Restrictions. Additional granted rights to American users may not necessarily works the same way. That's something to learn about...

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Yet anything *I* create is under my own country: so each time I help with a project under gpl the part I create is not governed by the US law. I never signed any contract so the default of country of residence applies.

 

Actually it's part of our fundamental law that you can always make a copy for personal use (and do whatever you want with anything you bought, so long as it is non criminal/not violating other laws), a government cannot sign a treaty that takes away this liberty as it's a fundamental right. So if the us copyright implies that you cannot make a personal copy the Berne treaty would actually go against the law, a much older law based around 18th century.

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I believe in that in theory US copyright law allows you to make copies of anything you own a copy of for your own personal use.  (Provided you don't break any other laws of course - one of the issues with the DMCA is/was that it provides companies with a way around that: It made removing copy protection illegal, even if the removal was for legal purposes.)

As far as I understand it, if your country is a signatory of the Berne treaty, they've implemented or changed their laws to generally conform to the terms of the treaty.  Exact details will very from country to country of course, but the general scope should be quite similar on anything the treaty covered.  (There are of course things the treaty didn't cover.)

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3 minutes ago, paul23 said:

Yet anything *I* create is under my own country: so each time I help with a project under gpl the part I create is not governed by the US law. I never signed any contract so the default of country of residence applies.

Ok. but as far as I know, KSP is ruled by American Laws. Any software you create for KSP use should abide to KSP terms, that are under American Laws - unless you don't bother to redistribute it, of course.

Anything you create is under the rule of your country, INSIDE YOUR COUNTRY. Once your work is shipped to other countries, it is, also, subject to the Laws of that country. You can make a game with a controversial but legal theme on your country, travel to another one where such theme is illegal and get arrested and prosecuted by having your own game on your own notebook/tablet/mobile.

So you don't need to have a signed contract on another country to be subject to other countries laws.

The WIPO / Berne Agreements are a stunt to ensure one country's laws will respect a common set of rules on the work made by foreigners - in exchange of having the works of their citizens respected on the others.

This is so true that in somewhere in late 1990 or early 2000, Brazil's Parliament almost made GPL illegal on the Country. They managed to vote a Law that would make one item of the GPL unenforceable on the country, and since GPL voids itself if you can't comply with any of the terms, no one could use GPL around here. The yet more tricky part is that the law made that item unenforceable, not illegal - illegal terms are null and void, so it would make GPL still workable here, because void terms doesn't exist, and so a contract with 11 terms, being 1 illegal, is a contract with 10 terms and "all terms" referees to that 10 that are good.

Yep. Messy.

 

19 minutes ago, paul23 said:

Actually it's part of our fundamental law that you can always make a copy for personal use (and do whatever you want with anything you bought, so long as it is non criminal/not violating other laws), a government cannot sign a treaty that takes away this liberty as it's a fundamental right. So if the us copyright implies that you cannot make a personal copy the Berne treaty would actually go against the law, a much older law based around 18th century.

If your country's Laws are not compliant to the Berne, it means that your country is not a Berne signatory, what means that your work is not protected by international agreements, what would render impossible to you to defend your work on my country - i.e., I get a copy of your work, I could do whatever I want (including registering it on my country as mine) because my country would not have any obligation of respecting your works.

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3 minutes ago, Lisias said:

Any software you create for KSP use should abide to KSP terms, that are under American Laws

This is fundamentally not the case: just like microsoft cannot decide what license I need to give when I create a document in word. Or just like I can program any extension for firefox/chrome without taking into account the license those companies use. My code is my code: it only *uses* kerbal space program's code to run (so obviously users of my code have to follow also ksps license), but my program is fundamentally my own and I do not even have to agree to ksp terms: I can very well just license it on my own.

 

Then anyone who runs ksp is free to do as they wish, this is not even part of the copyrights anymore; no eula can ever decide that you cannot use program XYZ if you also use ABC. (EULA can of course limit support to only non modded, but it cannot prevent anything from running at my own pc it's my own pc and I sure as hell can decide how the electrons move).

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17 minutes ago, paul23 said:

This is fundamentally not the case: just like microsoft cannot decide what license I need to give when I create a document in word. Or just like I can program any extension for firefox/chrome without taking into account the license those companies use. My code is my code: it only *uses* kerbal space program's code to run (so obviously users of my code have to follow also ksps license), but my program is fundamentally my own and I do not even have to agree to ksp terms: I can very well just license it on my own.

You are forgetting that in the same sense you own your works and nobody can tell you what to do, Microsoft owns Word and nobody can tell them what to do with Word. If you don't comply with Microsoft (legally enforceable) terms, they are allowed to revoke your license. All your country can do is to force them to give your money back.

Edited by Lisias
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No microsoft *sold* word. I own that copy and can do whatever I want with it. Actually this isn't even "our" country. This a decision from the european high court, which ruled that copyright has no effect here:

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?docid=124564&doclang=EN

 

So in the whole of europe, sold software is owned by the new owner and they can do whatever they want with it, resell it, break it down throw it in the bin whatever. I know indeed in the US the court ruled exactly the opposite, however this is oracle -even with copyright based in the US- and the eu court still ruled that it holds, and they have to abide the european laws lest they cannot operate in the EU.

 

If the full transcript above is too technical, there are several blogs from different viewpoints if you google the oracle vs usedsoft case, but the bottomline is: "software sold must be able to be resold, a company cannot add statements that change the nature of ownership", and: "only the creation and redistributing of copies is government by copyright law, this can still obviously not be done".

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