Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Wuzzy » Mon Jul 02, 2018 00:01

It's nice to see that you, celeron55 open up to the possibility of at least trying. Thank you! :-)

That being said, we haven't had any issues with the forum related to this, with its policy.

That's not surprising. A tiny minority of modders have insisted on non-free. Non-free licenses were very rare. It's as if there was an unwritten rule that any non-free software is not desired here. As a community, we have cultivated a strong pro free software stance. Anything non-free was always generally frowned upon, no matter what the forum policy says.

So the permission for non-free was simply very rarely used.

So, we are dominated by free mods here. Non-free is simply not desired by a large portion of our community. Which is good!
The strong stance on free software has helped this community grow tremendously, I cannot stress enough how important this has been for Minetest and our community. It's much easier to get started if you have the legal trouble right out of the way. It's much better when you can enter without fear of copyright lawyers going after you.

Let's imagine for a second what would have happened if a majority of modders would have insisted on non-free licenses (but licenses which were permissible under forum policy), and the minority would have let get them away with this. Things start to get ugly quickly when you try to fork a mod, or re-use portions of a non-free mod (even if permissible for your particular use case). It's likely that you now have to apply the non-free license to your own mod as well. The non-free licenses would just continue to spread like a cancer, causing fewer and fewer mods to be still free software. Newbies would have had to deal with restrictions they do (oddly) not face with Minetest alone. The fear of copyright lawyers returns. And we are not (much) better than Minecraft.
Also, a large portion of mods would have simply been off-limits to me, as I would have refused to take part in this. Things around here would also have been a lot less pleasant to me. It surely would have been very demotivating to me to see my own contributions drown in a sea of non-free.

Obviously, none of this has actually happened. Because we did care about freedom, we didn't just surrender them. And as a result, everyone is a winner. :-)

NC (non-commercial) : I think this should be allowed, after all Minetest isn't commercial. This does have the side-effect of making lots of "fake-minecraft" (modified minetest) further illegal, if they charge for this content.

This reasoning is flawed. Just because MT is not commercial does not mean everyone else should be forced to not “act commercially” (whatever that means). Live and let live.
Note it is very easy to violate a CC *-NC license:
- YouTube monetizations (i.e. video ads)
- Even the tiniest hint of ads on a website
- Affiliate links
- Putting the data on a data storage drive, then selling that drive
- You do something whatever the court believes to be “commercial” (the license is ambigious)
- You're the Deutschlandfunk (a public radio broadcaster owned 100% by the state) in Germany
- I don't know, maybe even asking for donations. Might happen if you have a crazy judge.

For an user, CC *-NC sucks. It's not any better than full copyright. So it is simply irresponsible to treat CC *-NC as a viable license choice (alongside actually free licenses), or to even recommend it and to pretend there is absolutely nothing wrong with those licenses. IMO Creative Commons needs to get their act together and finally review their NC licenses or even drop them. The definition of “NonCommercial” has not been changed since 1.0!

Modified Minetest is off-topic here. The license of Minetest is LGPL. It is definitely NOT going to change to the worse, this is a clear no-go. I think every core dev will agree with me on that one.
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My summary

by Wuzzy » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:34

Since I wrote many walls of text so far, I should summarize my overall position:

1) Forum policy could stay the same.
2) BUT! In order to get your stuff to the new Content DB, it must be 100% FOSS.

Basically, the forum grants everyone “base exposure”, but is less strict.
Content DB is a bonus. To get exposure here, you will have to use a free license. You have to “earn” it.

My main reason is that the Content DB will be a direct part of Minetest, so it cannot be compared to the forum policy at all.
My biggest worry is that if Content DB would not be strict here, then Minetest would directly contribute to the promotion of proprietary software. And I think this should simply not be our goal.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by LMD » Fri Aug 17, 2018 09:01

rubenwardy wrote:I very much personally hate non-free code, especially with smaller projects such as mods, and my first thought is that it shouldn't be allowed. However I don't mind non-free art/media

The real question is if our personal preferences should be enforced on other people, and I don't think so. The sorting algorithm will penalise packages with non-free licenses (and along with packages without screenshot)


Hmmm - does a long documentation outweigh the penalty of having no screenshot ?
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Re: My summary

by LMD » Fri Aug 17, 2018 09:02

Wuzzy wrote:Since I wrote many walls of text so far, I should summarize my overall position:

1) Forum policy could stay the same.
2) BUT! In order to get your stuff to the new Content DB, it must be 100% FOSS.


Is GPLv3 100 % FOSS ?
I mean, it has strong copyleft.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Wuzzy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:03

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by rubenwardy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:54

Both ContentDB and the forums now require licenses to allow redistribution and to not discriminate. Exact wording:

Allowed licenses: The use of licenses which do not allow derivatives or redistribution is not permitted for mods, games, and texture packs. This includes CC-ND (No-Derivatives) and most other non-free licenses. The use of licenses which discriminate between groups of people or forbid the use of the content on servers or singleplayer is also not permitted. This applies where ever the content is found, including but not limited to any forum or signatures


ContentDB additionally disallows obfuscation
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Wuzzy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 14:04

Thanks for clarifying that. I always thought that redistribution was always kind of implied by ruling out no derivates, but it's good to clarify.

Seems like we are finally getting somewhere! :-)


The use of licenses which discriminate between groups of people or forbid the use of the content on servers or singleplayer is also not permitted.


We are getting closer to having freedom 0 (freedom to use the thing for any purpose) guaranteed for everyone then. Very good!

It's now partially guaranteed, but only under narrow conditions: Can't discriminate by person, can't forbid use on server or singleplayer. Obviously, these are essential freedoms and I fully endorse that every Minetest player should not be in fear of lawyers for doing such things. I want to note these exceptions are very specific and quite narrow. This of course implies that all other uses of a thing are still fair game and can be restricted as harshly as possible.

So, it seems the following (non-free) licenses would still be OK (including, but not limited to):

- Licenses that forbid to use the thing in a certain manner
- Licenses that forbid to use the thing more than X times
- Licenses that forbid to gain *any* form of profit or money (even just 1 cent) somehow related to the thing
- Licenses that forbid some vague affiliation with something something commercial
- Licenses that forbid to use the thing in combination with a certain software
- Licenses that forbid to use the thing “for eeeeevil” purposes
- Licenses that forbid to use the thing in “monetized” videos (i.e. with ads) or similar

Just to clarify.
Can you please justify why you believe these non-free (!) licenses above are OK and fit to the Minetest project, while a lot of non-free licenses are now clearly ruled out and unacceptable? What makes freedom 0 (from the Free Software Definition) different from freedoms 1 to 3?

----

Obfuscation is a very good point, I totally forgot about that. Yes, this is poison and clearly has no place in our community. But this threat is mostly of theoretical nature, I have not heard of anyone daring to try to obfuscate their Lua code, and that's a good thing.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by paramat » Wed Sep 19, 2018 22:06

Oddly enough, after my earlier posts, i now agree with Wuzzy's proposal.

I'm not a militant FOSS person but apparently to distribute MT on Debian we would need to add a filter to (optionally?) filter out non-'free' content.
Also, although i'm fine with the forum continuing to have non-'free' content, it does seem a little weird to distribute a 'free' game with an in-game content browser that oontains non-'free' content.
Non-'free' MT content is a small minority so it's no loss not having it in the CDB, it's not difficult to download it the classic way.
This would simplify the CDB too.
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Wuzzy » Thu Sep 20, 2018 20:12

I too have less strict views on the forum. It's simply not as important.

My main concern is indeed the Content DB since it is accessible directly in Minetest.
it does seem a little weird to distribute a 'free' game with an in-game content browser that oontains non-'free' content.

Yeah, this is one of my main concerns. It's a surprise to anyone not involved, especially since when one, as an user, has to learn it the hard way.
It's perfectly reasonable to assume that, since MT is free, so are its mods (at least those openly promoted in ContentDB). Surprising the user is rarely a good thing.

Non-'free' MT content is a small minority

Yes, thankfully. Non-free is not representative of our community at all, quite the opposite. Also what I've been saying all the time. :-)

So, to clarify, to fulfil the proposal right now, basically only the following license options would have to disappear on Content DB:
- CC BY-SA-NC
- CC BY-NC (not actually listed right now but it's implied)
- “Other (non-free)” (i.e. obscure license that restrict usage of any kind; I say “obscure” because the popular licenses are already covered)

Any of these options are very rare anyway. Also, let me just reiterate that NC has many problems, both philosophical and practical.

Yes, this proposal is technically now only about removing these license options, because most other non-free licenses have already been ruled out.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Chiantos » Sat Nov 03, 2018 16:07

Hello,

Nc is not a licence free and Open, you cant disabled commercial use. Nc is not FOSS ...

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by sofar » Sat Nov 03, 2018 17:41

Chiantos wrote:Nc is not a licence free and Open, you cant disabled commercial use. Nc is not FOSS ...


Technically incorrect. Example: For years Minix was open source, but NC. It even thrived with lots of people contributing, and thus, you can't claim that it wasn't Open Source.

So, the statement that "NC != foss" is incorrect. They are not opposed. You can be NC and be open at the same time, even if it does mean a large limit on who can actually use it.
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by sofar » Sat Nov 03, 2018 20:33

rubenwardy wrote:If it is NC then it is not open source. http://opensource.org/osd


It's their right to claim their interpretation of what "open source" means (and fair for the "standard" they set). I disagree with that interpretation and believe it isn't an honest interpretation, nor a fair interpretation.

OSI receives a lot of private funding and even companies like Microsoft (and my employer) are sponsors. As such they are motivated to assure that companies are enthusiastic about the standards that they set, and it's unlikely that they will ever take a more idealistic approach than they are doing now.

I understand the reasoning, but I feel that valuing commercial activity is ultimately irrelevant and society will at some point move on beyond it, and at that time any -NC clause will effectively become irrelevant. And therefore, in the (utopian) distant future, OSS+NC-clause equals OSS.

What OSI does currently by labeling "NC != OSS" is essentially, in my mind, hypocritical. In one way they promote openness, but they reject some code that is open, and accept some other code.

Please note that everyone in the world can use NC software. Not a single living person is prohibited from using software that has this clause. You just may not use it as a vehicle or means to obtain profit (etc.) or deploy it in an organization that has this aim (etc.). That is a huge difference from "It's NC and so I can't use this". It's the users *choice* to have this clause apply to them.
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by sofar » Sat Nov 03, 2018 20:44

BTW, I obviously realize my utopian views are not very practical at the moment, as currently Open Source is driven to innovate on a massive scale in companies, which is fantastic of course. In no way am I saying that the current OSI definition is impractical or bad (currently). Things are just not as simple on a larger time scale.

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by jas » Sun Nov 04, 2018 06:04

While I agree we should promote and encourage free software (and not particularly "open source"), I don't think we should force this on content creators.
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by sofar » Sun Nov 04, 2018 07:19

jas wrote:While I agree we should promote and encourage free software (and not particularly "open source"), I don't think we should force this on content creators.


Nothing is forced. We certainly encourage OSS adoption. But if people want to create non-free content, they are welcome to post it somewhere else.
 

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by TumeniNodes » Sun Nov 04, 2018 08:02

It may sound ridiculous, because there are already like, 20 variants of the same licensing language, regarding NC but... I almost feel it would be nice to try to create one which can translate best that while people can use a NC licensed work for minor gain (as through a youtube channel, etc) it would prohibit from one stealing the content and using it (other people's work) to make substantial, financial gain... or, unless some of the amount (a %) is forwarded to content creators or toward a charity, etc...

Some people place such strict licensing to their works, for lack of anything in between 'completely open and free' and 'you can't touch this'
I will never berate anyone for not wanting to leave a chance open for others to significantly gain, financially from their work, even if credit is given.

The available licenses are too 'black & white'. Something like a 'limited commercial use' clause can help in such situations.
I feel such a clause is reasonable, where it only prohibits substantial monetary gains.

This has been discussed before, and it is known there are such clauses but, the moment anyone sees the 'NC' they go nuts (mostly freedom warriors)

No Derivatives is the only one I feel is a large concern in a community like this.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Chiantos » Sun Nov 04, 2018 09:17

Hello, The problem is that this NC is often used wrongly and through, and does not take certain situation into account

: _ You organize a conference where you distribute software FOSS, open source or free for free ... problematic you pay for the entrance say 5 euros to simply be able to your fees. The author of this software may consider that you have a commercial use of his work. And so either you make free entry, aoit you do not distribute his software because simply you can not charge the entry or distribute it on a dvd pay as did gnu or even ubuntu.The NC will therefore prevent giving his product here.

_ you are the author of a game, you want to distribute your work in a commercial way to pay your rent, your bills and other ... You want to use a script of a person in your project, but you will not be able because in his anti-capitalist vision ... the author will not have thought that apart from big company, independent game authors must still have a minimum of money to pay his rent, his bills and even to eat . The author will not use your code. NC is stupid ... This is to forget the positive aspect of the trade for indies developers.

The NC is a beautiful idea, I thought it myself for a long time, having a vision utopian, but it must be realistic.

It will not prevent large boxes to make money, they can easily get this code of a one way or another.

This just will prevent organizations just for a more humane approach or independent developers from surviving or even distributing your products or using them in theirs. The NC is often a notion of egoism or of not sharing, because nothing prevents your code remains free and therefore to enjoy the improvements of your code in a fork to pay to recover its improvement in your free product ... Trade is not a bad thing, it contributes strongly enough in a positive way to the survival of the free and even to its expansion ... To introduce a NC is to deprive other developers of being able to use your code in a paying product or by a paying use, and thus this NC is more negative now in a capitalist world for the users, the developers and even the distributors that something else.

The NC is like proprietary licenses, it is harmful for the survival of the independents or of human structure, because it is good to want to share, but the NC is simply the death of the free. I am for a world without money, this is not possible . I can tell you that living in poverty ... I find it totally selfish to prevent an independent developer from being able to resell his code, because he would need mine. The NC is a rather binary vision, it does not take into account that structures or devellopeurs with few means will be the victims of this type of license

... that big boxes that anyway, it is necessary way for circumvent this nc.

A big company does not care about your NC, it can easily get you into a long and expensive lawsuit ... You'll probably win, but the legal fees will have put you in a situation where you will have lost more than this company. The NC is the best way to help capitalist societies destroy independent alternatives. Using the NC is just signing the death of free and open source.

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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by LMD » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:19

ContentDB licenses IMO only need to allow possessing, sharing, and using - but not necessarily modifiying the content.

At least this is how Im gonna handle it for my UnCDB.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Chiantos » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:47

LMD wrote:ContentDB licenses IMO only need to allow possessing, sharing, and using - but not necessarily modifiying the content.

At least this is how Im gonna handle it for my UnCDB.


Joke ...Freeware cdb ? Seriously ? UnCDB ....

You can not impose a non-modification, on mods containing free content partially or totally, your cdb will be virtually empty LMD or will quickly enter a framework of illegality. You can not impose a logic of freeware or nc, you just risk seeing the majority refuse to participate in your cdb.Minetest is basically a foss project, stop trying to make it a private thing, just because you want to keep that code for yourself or are afraid someone is making money with your code. If you really want to prevent sharing, why do not you code your own game engine with private, non-commercial code? I no see problem with cdb of Ruben ... Only maybe for égoïsm people.
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Wuzzy » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:02

It's their right to claim their interpretation of what "open source" means (and fair for the "standard" they set). I disagree with that interpretation and believe it isn't an honest interpretation, nor a fair interpretation.

Dude! This is http://www.opensource.org, homepage of the OSI, which was co-started by Eric S. Raymond, the inventor of the term “open source”. That the freedom to use the software for any purpose is a requirement for open source has been like this since the beginning. It's not an “interpretation” of a random fringe group. Also, large portions of the community accept this definition (including, for example, the Wikipedia).
It is you who is trying their own position that “commercial use” (whatever that means) is evil and must be stopped.

I am not a fan of the term “open source” myself, but I recognize the definition is very, very similar to that of “free software”.

Anyway, from now on, for absolute clarity, I use the term “sofar source” to refer to your definition of “open source” and I use the term “open source” to refer to OSI's definition of “open source”. :P

Comparing those two different definitions, it's also clear that open source is more liberal than sofar source, because sofar source might forbid you “commercial use”.

but they reject some code that is open, and accept some other code.

[citation needed]

OSI receives a lot of private funding and even companies like Microsoft (and my employer) are sponsors. As such they are motivated to assure that companies are enthusiastic about the standards that they set, and it's unlikely that they will ever take a more idealistic approach than they are doing now.

The rejection of NC has been part of free software and open source from the beginning, long before any evil corporate entity could have made influence.
But I generally understand scepticism about open source proponents because most of their arguments revolve around pragmatism, rather than freedom and ethics. To be clear, I come from the “freedom” side of the argument, not from the “pragmatism” side. :-)

However, that does not give you the right to dispute their definition of open source. That's like a meat eater telling a vegan what is and isn't vegan without ever having seriously researched the basic terminology.

Historically, the term “open source” was derived from the Debian Free Software Guidelines, so the terms “open source” and “free software” are very similar, they are basically interchangable.

By the way, if anyone is wondering how to call a software for which you have the source code but the license is restrictive, we actually have a term for that:
It's called “source-available”.

So a software with public source code for which there are no restrictions except “commercial use” is:
  • free software: NO (according to FSF and Wikipedia)
  • open source: NO (according to OSI and Wikipedia)
  • source-available: YES (according to Wikipedia)
  • sofar source: YES (what sofar believes is “open source”, see above)

I understand the reasoning, but I feel that valuing commercial activity is ultimately irrelevant and society will at some point move on beyond it, and at that time any -NC clause will effectively become irrelevant. And therefore, in the (utopian) distant future, OSS+NC-clause equals OSS.

This is not about valuing commercial activity, but about not restricting the ability to do so.

Let me put it another way: That you, as the user, can use the software for any purpose, is an essential and basic freedom. Now if someone tells you, nuh-oh, you cannot sell the software, that's a restriction of a freedom.

You just may not use it as a vehicle or means to obtain profit (etc.) or deploy it in an organization that has this aim (etc.). That is a huge difference from "It's NC and so I can't use this". It's the users *choice* to have this clause apply to them.

It does not matter how nice the words sound in which you put it: The fact stands that this is a restriction of freedom. Freedom is not about what you do, but about what you could do. That's why it very much matters if there is an NC clause or not.

Anyway, this statement of yours describes sofar source, not open source.

BTW, under the LGPL (Minetest license), it would be totally fine if I sold Minetest.

Why would that be OK? Simple: While yes, I could make money, the one crucial thing I am not allowed to do is to monopolize my release. Basically I am forced to compete against anyone else who could release the software as well for any price. It's hard to compete against free.

The ethical problem with most commercial software is not actually that people ask for money but that it's legally monopolized thanks to license restrictions. This, and only this is what free software / open source is about.

Even if suddenly everyone decides to dismantle capitalism, that doesn't make NC okay, because it's still technically a restriction of freedom. And hoping that one day in “the distant future” capitalism just disappears is wishful thinking, but not practical. Maybe capitalism will disappear, but it's impossible to predict, so what you're doing here is just gamble, basically.

Our point is, NC is, here and now, bad. It's not good enough for me if NC might become irrelevant in the future.

Please note that everyone in the world can use NC software. Not a single living person is prohibited from using software that has this clause.

False.
‘Non-Commercial’ is also an extremely vague term which has unfortunate effects. For example, in 2014 the non-profit German public broadcaster Deutschlandradio was successfully sued for using an NC photo on its website, as the court interpreted NC as ‘purely private use’.

Quoted from the page which you probably haven't read yet.

I think the whole philosophical flaw in your thinking is that you view trading stuff as a crime. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of capitalism either, but we're definitely not going to dismantle it simply by forcing everyone not to. Communists have tried this in the past, and it never worked. Even under communism, people have often traded in secret. Forbidding trading does not work.

Finally, what I find especially weird about you defending NC is that (as far I know) not a single one of your released software has an NC restriction (correct me if I'm wrong). If NC is so important, why aren't you using this license yourself? It's as if deep down, you know that something's not right with NC.

ContentDB licenses IMO only need to allow possessing, sharing, and using - but not necessarily modifiying the content.

If Minetest.net would have denied this freedom from the start, our modding landscape would be much worse. We did have traditionally cannibalized a lot of code from other mods, and that's okay. If we're not allowed to do that, then we all have to re-invent the wheel over and over again.
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Punk
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Re: Proposal: Content DB should only accept FOSS

by Punk » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:56

I can't understand how CC-ND is tolerate in an open source environment.
Will it be a problem in many free distros policy?
Last edited by Punk on Mon Nov 05, 2018 16:08, edited 1 time in total.
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