Licensing and attributing

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Roots
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Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:30 am

There are two things I want to talk about here.

1) Remove GPL2 license from our artwork, music, and other media files

The GPL just wasn't designed for this type of work, and it's kind of awkward to apply it to creative works like art and music. I really think we should toss out the GPL and re-license it under something more suitable. Particularly, one of the Creative Commons licenses. I haven't looked into the differences between these licenses myself so I can't recommend a specific one at this point, but I think this will be better for us in the long run because it makes our work easier for other projects to use and credit appropriately. Particularly, I want to find a license that:

1) Allows free use of our works for non-commercial/open projects
2) Properly credits the original authors of the work so that they are recognized in those other projects.

The tricky part is that all of our existing original work was agreed to by the creators to allow us to use under the terms of the GPL2 license (although I doubt many of them fully read and understood this license). Changing the license on their work without their approval is a bit risky, but there's no way we will be able to contact them all. I think Safir-Kreuz and Rain are the most important people to get approval from, as they created the most art and music for us. But I think as long as we pick the right license, there shouldn't be any problem.


2) Provide a proper list of accreditation for outside content that we include in Allacrost

https://github.com/Bertram25/ValyriaTea ... r/LICENSES

Bertram did something awesome when he forked Allacrost by going through nearly every media file and listing the appropriate license it is used under and crediting the author(s) appropriately. I think we should definitely take the work that he has done and maintain our own list, so that we properly respect those content licenses and the creators of those original works. Although I don't know about calling the file "LICENSES", though I can't think of a better name for this file at the moment. This would be something that game designers especially would be responsible for maintaining as they are the ones I expect to be going out and finding new free content for us to utilize.


Thoughts on either of these two proposals?
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby rujasu » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:37 pm

I always hear this "GPL isn't designed for media" and while it's technically true, it doesn't really matter. Just keep the GPL2; trying to put the media into a different license after all this time and distribute the whole thing under multiple licenses is going to give us far more headaches than the GPL will. GPL2 and the Creative Commons licenses don't get along particularly well (though I understand some progress might have been made in that regard).

As for #2, it's not something I have any particular feelings about. You can do it if you want, or if you find someone else who wants to do it for you, that works too. :shrug:
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:35 pm

But we're already distributing the game under multiple licenses. We're just not doing a very good job at it. If we only stuck with GPL licensed content, we'd really be limiting ourselves to what external work we can use. I don't see how GPL and CC licenses would be in conflict. GPL for the code and CC for the content, how could the two possibly create a conflict when they cover something entirely different?

I feel #2 isn't something that we could do, but something that we need to do. It's not a tall demand to comply with a license and attribute the work. It's certainly easier than creating our own works from scratch. This is something that I feel game designers could help us keep on top of, since one of their primrary tasks is to organize and acquire content.

Also I think we could update the game credits to remove anyone's name that hasn't directly contributed to the project (because the list would become extremely long). Instead, we can simply add a not pointing to the LICENSES file and state that Allacrost was made possible by numerous external sources and authors llsted in that file.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:37 am

http://www.allacrost.org/wiki/index.php ... ee_Content

Finished this wiki page tonight. I also read through all the various Creative Commons licenses and the page explains the differences at a very high level. I think our content should be licensed either under CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC-SA. The former requires users to credit us for using our work and to make any alterations available under the same license. The latter adds on the additional restriction that the work can not be used for commercial purposes. I don't really like the idea of a commercial project being able to come along and use our work to help them make a profit when we get nothing in return. Even for some small hobbyist developer making a simple mobile game or something. It just doesn't sit right with me that people can make money off of the work that we have done here (technically, I believe under the GPL they can use our work for commercial purposes).
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby gorzuate » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:49 pm

I also do not like the idea of someone coming along and making money off of this project :nono:
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:09 pm

In that case, I say from henceforth all original artwork, sound, and music that we create will be licensed under CC BY-NC-SA. Of course, just the same as it always has been, the original author(s) are free to retain full rights and ownership of their work. The only thing they give to us is permission to use the work under CC BY-NC-SA (instead of the GPL2 like they did before). Really the two major difference between GPL2 and CC BY-NC-SA licenses for our content are that (1): we now require credit for using the works, and (2): we prohibit use of our content for commercial projects. Commercial projects can still make use of our code, provided that they comply with the GPL2 and make any modifications open source.

I feel pretty satisfied with this scheme. Of course, not all our content will be under CC BY-NC-SA, as we might pull in external content that falls under a different license. I'll get around to adding the LICENSES file in the next week or so.

My only open question is when we we request others to give us credit, should they credit the project as a whole or the original creator of the work? I'm going to go with the project as a whole, because otherwise we'll have to keep tabs on who created what files and things will just get messy and difficult to manage. So in the LICENSES file, I'll go ahead and state that.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby gorzuate » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:43 am

Sounds good :approve:
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby rujasu » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:46 am

(There was more of this post, but I somehow clicked edit instead of quote so some of it is missing...)

CC-BY-ND shouldn't be allowed either. The NoDerivs clause not only restricts what others can do with our content, it restricts what we can do with it. If we use something with CC-BY-ND, we can't modify it. That's a huge deal-breaker for us.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:59 am

You raise several good points there. I honestly don't know what to think now about specifying our content as CC-BY-NC-SA. I'm going to take some time to think about it.

As for your objection to using ND content, yes I realize that there is that restriction that we can't modify it. We could only use that artwork as it was made available, so if it doesn't fit our style then it has to be immediately rejected. Honestly I don't imagine that we will ever put any ND content in Allacrost simply because most artwork isn't going to automatically conform to our standards, but I didn't want to expressly exclude it from the list since there might be a rare case in the future where something is ND and fits in perfectly. But if you really feel that it would be best for us to remove ND from our acceptable license list, I'm okay with doing that.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Zabin » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:41 am

I think it's awesome how Bertram made his "Licenses" file. It's inspired me a lot because I used to think all graphic assets on a game had to be under the same license. He has 3 (at least) or more different licenses with proper attribution and I know from experience (because I've search the internet thoroughly) there is no-way you can find enough art for a game licensed under the exact same license. If you combine them (like Bertram's done) I see that you can easily put together enough assets to complete a game.

Since you guys were talking about using stuff licensed (CC BY NC) I thought I'd point out this tile-set I found yesterday. It's pretty nice and there are some things I think would definitely match the style your looking for.

http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/hypt ... :.offset:2

I wouldn't suggest using that license because OGA doesn't accept stuff under that license. I do like the idea behind that license though.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby Roots » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 pm

That tileset does look awesome, but I'm hesitant to include it because it's obviously taken from FFVI. Although I know that it is not identical, I think it's too close to the original and probably violates copyright since it is clearly a derivative work. Maybe we can use it as a starting point and add our own changes though so that it is unique enough to stand out on its own.
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Re: Licensing and attributing

Postby rujasu » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:24 pm

CC-BY-ND shouldn't be allowed either. The NoDerivs clause not only restricts what others can do with our content, it restricts what we can do with it. If we use something with CC-BY-ND, we can't modify it. That's a huge deal-breaker for us.


After thinking this over a bit more, I'm going to have to absolutely insist that we do not allow any ND-licensed content in Allacrost.

Aside from the problems it would cause for our own purposes, there's another issue: Allacrost is an open-source project, and that's a big part of the reason why I joined this project. I'm sure that was the reason for others. The fundamental idea of open-source software is that you can use, distribute, and modify freely.

CC-BY-ND is fundamentally not open-source. It allows you to use and distribute, but not modify. That's not good enough, and it doesn't belong in Allacrost.

My objections to CC-BY-NC remain the same as before.

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