Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

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Veyrdite
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Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby Veyrdite » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:35 am UTC

Our wiki has been licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA for a long time (forever?). Getting rid of the 'NC' term has some benefits and some of us want to do this.

People who have contributed to the wiki have done it under the current/old license. I don't like the idea of changing the whole wiki to a new license without people's consent ("if we don't respect other people's licenses, how do we expect them to respect ours"). It will be impossible to find and contact every person that's ever contributed to the wiki, so no matter what there will be a little hope and love involved in a changeover.

What do you think?
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lamefun
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby lamefun » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:35 am UTC

Veyrdite wrote:Getting rid of the 'NC' term has some benefits and some of us want to do this.


What about also getting rid of ND in maps and textures?

Veyrdite wrote:What do you think?


:thumbup:
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Veyrdite
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby Veyrdite » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:26 am UTC

lamefun wrote:What about also getting rid of ND in maps and textures?


Do we encourage this at the moment or is it down to individual authors?
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby kharnov » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:47 am UTC

It's down to individuals.
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velociostrich
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby velociostrich » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:55 am UTC

Veyrdite wrote:Our wiki has been licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA for a long time (forever?). Getting rid of the 'NC' term has some benefits and some of us want to do this.

I'm not sure that I agree, but tbh I don't think I ever realized that the wiki ever even was 'NC'.

What are the benefits and why would you (and others) like to make the change? I'm all ears; if you'll forgive me, it's been a while since I've even considered the difference in those licenses, and I'm not sure why the project would be better off without NC than with. I guess one thing that comes to mind is scammers who burn FOSS software on CDs and sell it at a price, which is kinda sketchy license-wise and also kinda unfair. I don't know if there's a legal precedent as to if that's OK or not. (Maybe on http://gpl-violations.org/ w.r.t. the GPL? Don't know.)

Then, of course, there's whether anyone actually cares; scammers gonna scam anyway, and if removing -NC makes people happier and more likely to contribute, then sure, I'm in. Thoughts?

Veyrdite wrote:People who have contributed to the wiki have done it under the current/old license. I don't like the idea of changing the whole wiki to a new license without people's consent ("if we don't respect other people's licenses, how do we expect them to respect ours").

I guess here's where things get sketchy, and this is something I've never really read about, so I have no idea the laws. Generally, as I understand in the US, suppose you work for a company developing a piece of software: that company owns copyright on whatever you do unless they explicitly disclaim interest in copyright on the work that you produce. For this reason, the SQLite project (and possibly others) require that contributors disclaim copyright explicitly with any code contributions, and they even go so far as to require employers to send a form letter, signed by a "company officer," before they'll accept patches. (I guess that's to avoid the possible scenario of an employee slapping the "disclaimer of copyright" statement on their contributions while submitting patches written on company time, thinking that that's somehow OK).

What we've got here is obviously not an employee-employer relationship between contributors and the project, so I don't know if copyright automagically goes to Unvanquished Development or not. (Anyone know the answer to this? And I mean really know, not just idle speculation.)

Veyrdite wrote:It will be impossible to find and contact every person that's ever contributed to the wiki, so no matter what there will be a little hope and love involved in a changeover.

This and the problem that I mentioned above (i.e., just who exactly owns copyright) is the real legal issue. Basically, as I understand it, if each contributor owns copyright for each specific change made, the license could theoretically be changed and any changes made by contributors who don't agree or can't be reached could just be culled. This exact issue was actually had by the Darkplaces engine lead devs, who wanted to buy a license from id for the Quake 1 source (I presume), then get all of the code contributors to agree to closing the source, just so that they could make a closed-source commercial version of Nexuiz (which is what prompted the whole Nexuiz -> Xonotic change). The TL;DR (as I recall) was that they couldn't get in touch with all of the contributors and not all of them agreed, so they gave up and bought a license for CryEngine.

Otherwise, if Unvanquished Development has some sort of legal entity behind it (did that ever happen? lol I don't remember.) and the copyright belongs to that, then I guess whoever represents Unvanquished Development can make that change.

Anyway, sorry for the long post (as always) and tl;dr, if everybody else wants it, I'll gladly agree to the switch, just thought I'd share what (little) I know about some of the legal issues.
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velociostrich
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby velociostrich » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:56 am UTC

Also hello everyone! I have no shame in double-posting.
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kharnov
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby kharnov » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:43 am UTC

velociostrich wrote:Then, of course, there's whether anyone actually cares; scammers gonna scam anyway, and if removing -NC makes people happier and more likely to contribute, then sure, I'm in. Thoughts?


That's more or less the idea I'm operating off of, here.
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Veyrdite
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby Veyrdite » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:14 am UTC

With the engine code my understanding is that it's contributed to under 'Copyright Unvanquished Development'. Presumably this means the engine can be re-licensed by whoever shows they most officially represent 'Unvanquished Development', but how that is actually legally worked out (eg if the dev team splits or reduces) and under which country's laws is in the air as far as I know.

The wiki has never said that contributions are copyrighted under a central name. It only specifies that it be under a certain licence. Presumably then the copyright of individual commits does indeed lie with the individuals who submitted them. This is atleast how I understand it would work in America (where the server is hosted).

if each contributor owns copyright for each specific change made, the license could theoretically be changed and any changes made by contributors who don't agree or can't be reached could just be culled.

I'd prefer not to have to do this :P I expect that only a tiny subset of contributors will be contactable, hence the need of 'love and hope' that we wouldn't offend any previous contributors.

What are the benefits and why would you (and others) like to make the change?

Kharnov mentioned that someone wanted to contribute but decided not to because of the license (kharnov: can you verify?). This is my only motivation: helping others if they want to contribute. Otherwise I couldn't give a hoot :bsuit:

Then, of course, there's whether anyone actually cares; scammers gonna scam anyway, and if removing -NC makes people happier and more likely to contribute, then sure, I'm in. Thoughts?

I've been trying to invent entertaining scenarios where scammers rip off the wiki. Something like selling the game with a ream of wiki printouts or something :P

What are the avenues for people to feel that their work on the wiki has been ripped off in a commercial way? I guess if a commercial project wants to spin off from Unvanquished it could duplicate the wiki and use it as a starting point, but unless they are actually selling the wiki or wiki access itself then they can do with or without an NC clause.
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby lamefun » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

Veyrdite wrote:I guess if a commercial project wants to spin off from Unvanquished


Is that even feasible? The engine is GPL, so you can't add PROtective ✪DRM✪, at least not easily, and much of the core art is CC-BY-SA.
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Re: Re-licensing the wiki (without the non-commercial clause)

Postby kharnov » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:59 pm UTC

I recall Calinou didn't want the NC clause, as well as several others whose names escape me.

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