Redistribution License

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Mac_Fife
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Redistribution License

Post by Mac_Fife » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:49 pm

The lack of a license that allows shard operators to redistribute Cyan's MOULa game content has been a nuisance since day one of the Open Source CWE. It required that shard users first obtain an up-to-date copy of the data from MOULa, and then keep it up-to-date through any changes on MOULa. A number of user have fallen foul of the "File not found on server" error,

Originally, this subject was rolled in with the more general subject of a "Content License", but I think this is case that can stand entirely on it's own and for that reason I've broken this out from the main Content License thread.

One of the main considerations here is "what" is to be licensed: To service the need to be able to redistribute Cyan's content, we're looking at the stuff that goes in the "dat", "avi" and "sfx" folders. We don't need all the original "source" files that were used to create these folders, just the contents themselves, so that is immediately different to what we hope to cover with a Content License. Also, thinking about "how" it will be used, for the purpose of purely redistributing the content we don't need a license that allows modification of the files - that could come as part of a Content License at a later date.

Putting these things together with the little snippets we have (from the other thread) on Cyan's general view of content licensing, we could surmise that a Redistribution License, from Cyan's perspective, should:
  • Assert Cyan's property on the licensed material,
  • Restrict the ability for third parties to profit from the licensed material,
  • Permit redistribution of the licensed materials in an unmodified form,
  • Require that any redistribution passes on the same license terms
  • Restrict the licensed materials to be used only in conjunctions with MOULa/CWE and direct derivatives.
The first four of these I can readily see being accomplished with one of the many pre-existing license models in common use. The last point would really require a customized license. However, I'd be inclined to argue that by requiring the material to remain unmodified it will severely limit aspirations to use a large proportion of the material for any other purpose.

What I'd like to suggest to Cyan is that they consider whether a license such as the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) (by way of an example) could be adopted as a Redistribution License for the MOULa content. With something that has an established legal code it may be easier for Cyan to see the implications than it would be for a custom license.

The above describes a fairly restrictive license, but I think that's what Cyan are looking for. In any case, there's nothing to prevent them relicensing under more relaxed terms at a later date if that seems appropriate (and it's much easier to relax a license than it is to tighten one up).

As is noted in the top post for the Content Licensing - Rebooted! thread, there are some items that need to be excluded from a Redistribution License due to their own licensing restrictions. That's a pain but hopefully it'll be a relatively small number, and will be files that can relatively easily be substituted with alternatives by the shard operator.

There may be reasons that Cyan might push back against a suggestion like this, but are there any immediate problems that we'd see with doing something like this?
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by branan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:21 pm

I'm in favor of CC-BY-NC-ND for this. It's a step towards making shards a lot less painful for our users.

I think point 5 will be nearly impossible to adequately describe in any sort of legally-binding manner, and is probably made sufficiently moot by the ND clause.

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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Hoikas » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:24 pm

I would agree with both of the above posts. It would be great to not require confusing indirection through a MOULa install.

If all of the stuff Cyan cannot license is sound-related, that's fine. The game won't die horribly if a few sounds are missing, and I agree that we can probably put together suitable alternatives.
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by GPNMilano » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:10 pm

Hoikas wrote:If all of the stuff Cyan cannot license is sound-related, that's fine.
Unfortunately all the stuff Cyan cannot license is not sound related. There are a number of textures within the Avatar files that Cyan cannot license or use. (All the Turner, and UbiSoft related shirts and clothing options) these were made internal for MOULa, but are still present in the PRPs. The textures however were removed from the avatar source files. However not everyone has access to 3dsMax, so we can't expect all Shards to compile their own clothing files. Nor can we expect Cyan to be able to license these as redistributable until the textures are removed from Cyan's PRPs.

EDIT: I just gave a second look. It's only the Turner T-shirts that are still around that may cause an issue with redistribution.

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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:30 pm

OK, thanks for checking that, GPNMilano. We're probably going to need to sort out all the non-relicensable stuff for a Content License too, so this is a good opportunity to flush out all those things for both a Redistribution License and a Content License. It's probably helpful if we prompt Cyan on the things we suspect to be problematic - that might act as a stimulus for Cyan to recognize other things. There's obviously a lot of textures and sound files involved here and it's probably a big ask at this stage for someone in Cyan to spot all the "gotchas" by themselves.

If it's only a couple of Turner T-shirts, then it's maybe not too big a task to get them replaced by Cyan (maybe even with some fan contributed designs). We can ask. And if it turns out it's just those plus the Pete Gabriel loop, then I think we're in pretty good shape overall - it could be a lot worse.
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:06 pm

The assets I had to remove for Cyan (a couple of other projects were there, including MQO) before the Global Clothing release were indeed mostly Turner. I sorted by date to isolate the periods when work was done which pretty much indicated who owned the assets. It looks like I had to remove 91 MOUL textures. They included Adult Swim, AOL, Cartoon Network, CNN, GameTap, NASCAR, Sam & Max, TBS, TCM, TNT, Ubisoft (with GameTap logo), and Mantis.
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Hoikas » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:29 pm

Once again, we find ourselves with another pointless update from Cyan that touches PRP files. What's worse is that there was absolutely no warning this time. Due to the lack of a license and a lack of time on my part (yay, school), it means that new users won't be able to join Gehn for about a month unless I sneak in a frustrating GOTCHA out-of-band manifest update. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:07 pm

I think there's widespread irritation that this update came with no advance notification :? . If we'd known of it I'm sure rarified would have held off on getting Minkata re-synched to MOULa 918 until afterwards.

I'm guessing it was to include the Obduction T-shirt that a few people have been clamouring for. I've no issue with that at all - it's kind of a reward for those folks who backed the KS even though I wouldn't expect it to be an "exclusive" item - but there was 220+ files "touched" that probably didn't need to be. I thought we'd identified the issue that was causing these random, flapping version changes?
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Hoikas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:00 pm

The issue cited by a'moaca' can't cause a nearly 200 MiB update. EncryptedStream is only in effect for age, fni, and csv files (all very small files). There are two real issues that we've observed--one can be seen here. The other is that we've noticed some rounding that changes slightly in animations between builds. Thankfully, Texture PRPs are unaffected.

Both of these issues probably require game data rebuilds to fix. We can't distribute Cyan game files, so we can't test fixes, so we're stuck in this hellish state of follow-the-uncommunicative-leader. Unless we decide to bunk the rules, which is becoming a serious option as of late.

As far as the update goes, I noticed two new PRP files: GlobalClothing_District_MaleFan01.prp and GlobalClothing_District_FemaleFan01.prp. They contain no new content, rather they are duplicates of GlobalClothing_District_Male.prp and GlobalClothing_District_Female.prp. That might cause some problems...
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Re: Redistribution License

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:27 pm

Yes, those were wedged in as temporary fixes since the files that were intended to go there turned out to have inadvertently acquired some copyrighted logos in addition to the expected content. Hence the backout of the update. Since the patcher can't remove files (and some folks had already downloaded the update before the issue was found during verification) the only option Chogon had was to put in "safe" substitutes to overwrite the infringing files.

You're right that there's a problem with that: Because they're duplicates of other files the updater will re download them every time the game is run, but it was felt that was better than having infringing material in the wild. It's intended to be short term and will sort itself out once Cyan can update with the correct PRPs.

I'd forgotten about Paradox' follow up and didn't page through the thread before adding the link. So, there'd still be some indeterminate variability possible in animations, even if the other bits were fixed up?
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