Help with licensing stuff

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PolySaken
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Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

I have a few questions regarding licensing for minetest modules/games.
1. Are non-commercial licenses allowed on the forums, or not? There is nothing in the rules and conditions about this but I've seen people being warned for it.
2. How would I go about relicensing existing software I have created, or is it impossible?
3. Does disallowing obfuscation count as limiting derivatives?
4. Is there any reason why I shouldn't/couldn't use this license instead of the CC-BY-SA I usually use?

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Eran » Post

1. Only non-derivative licenses are banned from here. I think exschem for example is under a non-commercial license. However many people here don't like commercial licenses because they make it so teachers and stuff can't use the thing.

2. Depends on the license. Many licenses don't allow taking away freedoms for instance. Switching to a newer version of the license shouldn't be problematic though.

3. Obfuscation can be seen as constraining the ability of people to study the code. In that sense the GPL prohibits obfuscation.

4. What does profit mean at number 5? Can I sell it without a profit? Writing legal text is hard and I wouldn't attempt it without being some kind of expert.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Eran wrote: 4. What does profit mean at number 5? Can I sell it without a profit? Writing legal text is hard and I wouldn't attempt it without being some kind of expert.
If you're not making a profit, then sure. This means that non-profit organizations such as charities may sell the code.
But that doesn't make much of a difference since the non-profit clause doesn't apply to everything using the code, only to the software on its own. For example: I'm developing a game engine under this license. I can use this engine inside a game for profit, but I can't profit off the engine alone.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Linuxdirk » Post

PolySaken wrote:1. Are non-commercial licenses allowed on the forums, or not?
Licenses with non-commercial clauses are nonfree licenses and nonfree licenses are not allowed.
PolySaken wrote:2. How would I go about relicensing existing software I have created, or is it impossible?
If you're the only author you just use a license of your choice. If you're not the only author then you need to get consent from all other authors. Relicensing applies to all new versions. Older versions keep their license.
PolySaken wrote:3. Does disallowing obfuscation count as limiting derivatives?
Free licenses usually disallow obfuscation.
PolySaken wrote:4. Is there any reason why I shouldn't/couldn't use this license instead of the CC-BY-SA I usually use?
Licenses are not a hobbyist thing laymans should write. Licenses are legal documents so only lawyers with licensing and copyright laws expertise should write licenses. Using hobbyist licenses could break your neck.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Linuxdirk wrote: Licenses with non-commercial clauses are nonfree licenses and nonfree licenses are not allowed.
Do the rules need updating then? because the only thing in the forum rules about that is:

Code: Select all

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
This doesn't say anything about specifically disallowing any non-free license. It just says Licenses that "do not allow derivatives or redistribution... and most other non-free licenses" aren't allowed. Where does it say all non-free licenses are banned, if not in the pinned topic?
Linuxdirk wrote: Licenses are not a hobbyist thing laymans should write. Licenses are legal documents so only lawyers with licensing and copyright laws expertise should write licenses. Using hobbyist licenses could break your neck.
Are there any professional licenses with similar rules? This is the license I'd like to use, as it suits my needs perfectly. However, a professional one to the same effect would be fine

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by rubenwardy » Post

Noncommercial licenses are allowed. Licenses that ban redistribution or modification are banned, along with those that discriminate.

ContentDB hides all nonfree content in the client, by default

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Also, no definition of free license I could find included much about profit rules.
The most I could find is:
...The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources...
As part of the open source definition, but my license would only restrict selling the software on it's own.
It allows selling the software as a component or library in a larger software, meaning my license meets this definition.
Last edited by PolySaken on Mon Mar 16, 2020 09:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

rubenwardy wrote:Noncommercial licenses are allowed. Licenses that ban redistribution or modification are banned, along with those that discriminate.

ContentDB hides all nonfree content in the client, by default
That's what I thought initially.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

-
Last edited by PolySaken on Mon Mar 16, 2020 09:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Linuxdirk » Post

PolySaken wrote:It just says Licenses that "do not allow derivatives or redistribution... and most other non-free licenses" aren't allowed. Where does it say all non-free licenses are banned, if not in the pinned topic?
Stop nitpicking. Non-free licenses are forbidden. NC-licenses are non-free. Case closed. Deal with it or do not advertise your content in the forums.
PolySaken wrote:This is the license I'd like to use, as it suits my needs perfectly.
Have fun. Maybe read this. A professional rips apart a hobbyist license. ("Bear in mind that, while I am very familiar with copyright law, I am not an attorney." ... now imagine what an attorney could do.)

https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2009/05 ... n-license/

Also this article by a Senior Product Manager at GitHub.

https://ben.balter.com/2016/08/01/why-y ... e-license/

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
PolySaken wrote:It just says Licenses that "do not allow derivatives or redistribution... and most other non-free licenses" aren't allowed. Where does it say all non-free licenses are banned, if not in the pinned topic?
Stop nitpicking. Non-free licenses are forbidden. NC-licenses are non-free. Case closed. Deal with it or do not advertise your content in the forums.
It seems you might not be correct on this one sorry. read a few posts up.
Linuxdirk wrote:
PolySaken wrote:This is the license I'd like to use, as it suits my needs perfectly.
Have fun. Maybe read this. A professional rips apart a hobbyist license. ("Bear in mind that, while I am very familiar with copyright law, I am not an attorney." ... now imagine what an attorney could do.)
Can you suggest a license then?

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Linuxdirk » Post

PolySaken wrote:It seems you might not be correct on this one sorry.
Says the one haphazardly trying to create a legal document but having no clue what has to be in a license.

It seems you might not be correct on this one sorry.
PolySaken wrote:Can you suggest a license then?
GPL version 3 or newer for code, CreativeCommons BY-SA 4.0 for media.

See here for simple information: https://choosealicense.com/

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Linuxdirk wrote:
PolySaken wrote:It seems you might not be correct on this one sorry.
Says the one haphazardly trying to create a legal document but having no clue what has to be in a license.

It seems you might not be correct on this one sorry.
I was referring to rubenwardy's post.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

rubenwardy wrote:Noncommercial licenses are allowed. Licenses that ban redistribution or modification are banned, along with those that discriminate.

ContentDB hides all nonfree content in the client, by default
To be clear, this means I could use the CC-BY-SA-NC, yes?

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Linuxdirk » Post

PolySaken wrote:To be clear, this means I could use the CC-BY-SA-NC, yes?
You can use whatever license you want. You're just not allowed to advertise stuff licensed under non-free licenses (like - and this is where I fundamentally disagree with rubenwardy according to the fact that they are allowed - all licenses with "non-commercial" clauses) in the forums and all stuff using non-free licenses is hidden by default in the CDB.

According to the seemingly official statement by rubenwardy you are allowed to advertise your non-free ("non-commercial" clause) stuff in the forums.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by rubenwardy » Post

Non free content is allowed on the forums. This is a fact. You may disagree with this, but that doesn't change the reality.

The only limitations the forums puts on licenses are as follows:
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
Note: I wrote this rule.

ContentDB places more limits on licenses because it is in the client and it needs to be compatible with distros that forbid the distribution of nonfree software. ContentDB tends to be stricter about a lot of things, as a well formatted repository should be.

Do not use custom licenses. You are not a lawyer. If you were, you'd realise the implication and stick to well reviewed existing libraries. Custom licenses are at least informally not allowed on contentdb, I should actually put this in the guidance if it isn't already

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Linuxdirk » Post

rubenwardy wrote:You may disagree with this, but that doesn't change the reality.
I reject your reality and substitute my own! :)
rubenwardy wrote:Do not use custom licenses. You are not a lawyer. If you were, you'd realise the implication and stick to well reviewed existing libraries. Custom licenses are at least informally not allowed on contentdb, I should actually put this in the guidance if it isn't already
Quoted for emphasis.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by rubenwardy » Post

Just noticed I wrote "libraries" instead of "licenses", I was thinking at the time how similar it was to software development in general - you want to benefit from a pre-existing body of work rather than rolling it yourself. You could end up with security vulnerabilities and bad bugs

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by Wuzzy » Post

Although this forum does not forbid so-called “non-commercial” licenses, such licenses are still generally considered to be proprietary licenses and are incompatible with all free software and open source projects.
Free software projects will never incorporate projects with non-commercial license, because the moment they do, they cease to be free software.
Proprietary software is evil because they deny their users freedom. We don't like that. Almost all software is proprietary, if not stated otherwise. Minetest is one of the very few free software games. And I'm convinced that a free engine also needs free mods, otherwise it would be pointless.

In this community, free software is the norm. Almost every mod is free software. And that's a good thing. It's a CRITICAL thing. This community works because we share, and we don't make silly or draconian demands only for the users to be “allowed” to use/copy/modify our stuff, or make pointless or unfair restrictions. Being able to just randomly use code from other mods without fear of being sued to death, this is extremely liberating. I am convinced our mod community would look very different if everyone would start to insist on their “legal copyright power” to shut down everything they don't like. And it works, our mod community is thriving. :-)

Why can't you just go along with the community and be OK with releasing free software like everyone else? What is so bad about it, that you are trying to circumvent the idea? We don't need no stinking proprietary software to have a functional mod collection. :P

That you ask whether it is OK to obfuscate code suggests you might not have the noblest of intentions … Why should I trust your code if it's secret? It might hide something evil … Almost nobody around here obfuscates their code. IIRC it only happened once, and it wasn't received well. We modders have nothing to hide, and neither should you.
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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

I didn't ask if I was allowed to obfuscate code. I asked if I can use a license that disallows it.

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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by TumeniNodes » Post

Your custom license, which seems to be more of an EULA, resembles practically every "license" found on MC forums... (which are annoying and imho obnoxious)

LGPL-3 and CC-BY-SA 4.0 basically cover everything you mention in your EULA... except the part where others need to contact you first...
So, worst case scenario... what if something ever happens to you, and no one can ever contact you again... now nothing under your EULA can be ever used or touched again.

There are so many licenses, which already exist to choose from, and are legitimate, and legally binding... I just don't see this desire from some to create their own custom license. (other than to add their name into it and make others have to contact them for consent to do anything with it)
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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by v-rob » Post

I agree that using a custom license will probably get you into trouble. And I don't think that non-commercial licenses are intrinsically evil or something, but I don't think they're a good idea for two reasons: 1) People who violate licenses don't care what kind of license it is, and DMCAs are a pain to file against them, and 2) These licenses will just end up hurting the Minetest community because people won't be able to use your code in any way since most people refuse to use commercial licenses.

I think the GPL doesn't allow obfuscation since that's a tenant of free software.
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Re: Help with licensing stuff

by PolySaken » Post

Thanks for being nice. I'm considering changing to GPL for my code and CC-BY-SA-NC for textures.

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