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Ok, so, getting closer to wanting to start early distribution of the mod i have been working to fix (with help).  I was wondering, how do people decide on a license for the mod?  And, aside from the obvious "it's the rules" why do we need them?

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10 minutes ago, Sampa said:

And, aside from the obvious "it's the rules" why do we need them?

The rules state:


1. Licenses

  • All add-ons, dependencies and packs that are posted on the services maintained by Squad that serve the KSP Community (such as this forum and Curse) must be accompanied by a license for each add-on contained therein, that regulates what other users can do with the copyrighted material.
  • These licenses must be made available in both the download file as a readme or license text, and in the location the user downloads from (such as a forum post or a Curse listing).
  • Packs of add-ons cannot be licensed as a whole and no ownership of a pack of add-ons is permitted.


1.1 Including other licenced work with your add-on.

  • Your license must be compatible with that of any other material you include with your own add-on, and each license in your package must be mutually compatible. This includes textures, models, sounds, entire mods etc. You must also comply with the license terms of each and every external work in your download and include those licenses in your package. This is very complicated but is a legal requirement. For this reason, it is recommended that you use CKAN scripts instead of bundling others' content when possible and avoid packaging other people's work with your own unless you really know what you are doing. If you are not completely certain that a license is compatible, do not include that content.
  • Special circumstances apply for material licensed GPL. This license requires that software that includes GPL-licensed code must also be licensed GPL, but merely including GPL software in a bundle of software does not have that requirement. Whether or not including a GPL-licensed mod along with your own one comes under this requirement is a grey area, so we will not forbid users from packaging another mod that is GPL-licensed along with their own mod. However, if the current maintainer of that packaged mod objects, we will ask you to respect their wishes and either remove that material or change your licence to a compatible GPL one. Please be aware that if you are using a different license and do decide to package a mod that is licensed GPL (or any other license that may be incompatible with yours), you open yourself to the possibility that others can take legal action against you for doing so.

So this kind of explains all. Mods contain intellectual property and, like most 'software', it can be protected so that the creators can ensure that their property is handled in the way that they intend. For example, if a mod is licensed under Creative Commons Non-commercial, Sharealike it requires that all further work and distrubution of the work also be open and can be shared between distributions but it must never generate any commercial revenue by the distributor. This kind of thing can stop mods being exploited.

14 minutes ago, Sampa said:

I was wondering, how do people decide on a license for the mod?

If you're working on a pre-existing mod, look at what the mod was licensed under previously. In nearly all cases in that scenario, you cannot distribute a mod under a more restrictive license as the previous license may impose requirements on you in the distribution of the continuation. The best bet is to look at the range of options available for license and pick the one that; satisfies any pre-existing license requirements, suits your needs and is applicable to the type of software (mod) you are releasing.

This thread is not exhaustive but is a good starter: 


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4 hours ago, Poodmund said:

it must never generate any commercial revenue by the distributor

I don't like CC-NC much, to be honest. I prefer CC-BY-SA or even more inclusive licenses like MIT.

I'm not aware of any precedent in this matter and I'm certainly not starting a streaming career anytime soon but I always read "You may not use the material for commercial purposes." as very broad and vague and that it could mean that CC-NC mods must not be used in videos uploaded to Youtube or streamed via Twitch as these platforms are inherently commercial (supported by ads, at least, if not even making a few cents for the streamer).


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First, the disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and the following does not constitute legal advice. :)

You said that you're reviving a mod (well, working to fix one, which is close enough) - the short answer is, you use that mod's existing license - unless it says "All Rights Reserved", or it doesn't state a license (which is assumed to be the same as "All Rights Reserved").  If it's ARR, you can't redistribute the mod without express permission of the original creator.

If you were creating a new mod, or completely new configs (to replace configs in an existing mod), it'd be a different matter - you'd select a license.

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