License issues are important for Oolite.
Oolite is offered for free under the GNU General Public License version 2, with the data files (ship models, graphics etc.) dual licensed under both the GPL and the Creative Commons License.
The offering of the .oxp's is more murky!
Synopsis of the licenses used
Not too sure what to write here: needs a useful synopsis of each of the various varieties
When one uploads a new OXZ to the in-game Expansions Manager, one is greeted by the following text:
A short summary of the license terms of the OXP (e.g. CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0). Note that since the purpose of this system is to allow players to download OXPs, using it requires you to grant a license to download and make copies for personal use, and that minimal permission will be assumed if this field is left blank.
The licenses which people seem to use the most are:
- CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 - Practically this means that you may rip it apart and use whatever seems useful to you, as long as you credit the original author.
- CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0
The following have also been used:
- GNUstep public license (see eg RXSoftware)
- WTFPL (see ClearHUD)
- © 2008 the Oolite team (see Military Fiasco or Bounty Scanner
Historical Overview (Problems!)
There was a general presumption held by some in the early days that any oxp's posted came under the same license as Oolite itself. See Hotrods OXP, where Arexack_Heretic argues that the Oolite license covers the oxp's too. Certainly, a number of people back in the early days understood that uploading one's oxp's to either of the Oosat repositories automatically meant that one was de facto licensing it.
There are problems with unlicensed OXP's. With the collapse of Oosat 2 in Oct/Nov 2006, the OXPs there were lost. When they were replaced, the ReadMe's which would have contained any licensing information were lost.
So a number of the early OXP's seem to have lacked licenses, and many others lost them (if they ever had them in the first place)!
This issue was then compounded during the Sung affair. Sung Mehta, in Germany, produced some absolutely spiffing ship textures. Two things happened. His retextures were uploaded to the resurrected Oosat 2 with minor modifications to meet the data limits, and he got upset. Then, he wanted to use them elsewhere for financial gain. A number of the more militant members of the Friendliest Board This Side of Riedquat raised a big hoo-hah and he ended up removing his work from Oosat and leaving in a huff in early 2007.
|Sorry for this, but the textures are not longer available.
This work is too much annoyance for me.
Good luck all bye Sung
This led to lengthy discussions about licensing combined with various decisions being made by Ahruman and others.
Next there was the Lestradae affair, starting with Lestradae's creation of his mega-oxp, Realistic Shipyards. This was going to include everybody else's ship.oxp's and regularise them to make them compatible with each other and with Oolite as a whole. It became regarded as his "muscling in" by some of the other .oxp writers who then started insisting that he leave their oxp's out of his Realistic Shipyards! Again, matters escalated, and Lestradae ended up "resigning", so to speak, in Nov 2012. He argued that the real reason was the broken nature of his concept, but his reception by the then stalwarts of the community (who all seem to have since fled) could not have helped.
Killer Wolf affair
There are two important stages in this.
1) Initially, Killer Wolf refused to give any of his .oxp's a license.
|jeez....i'm off for a day and the Community just about falls apart :-(
i understand Sung's miff at having the name taken off, i hope he just overreacted due to language probs. i do art myself, have a site (where my oxp is) and browsing google i found a shed load of my images were on a girlie's MySpace site. but, i mailed her nicely first saying, i don't mind but would you just put a note saying KW did them? she was nice as ninepence and rather frantic that she might've upset someone. i can't help feeling the only reason Sung did these was that he wanted payment, or a contract as a result of his work, and when that didn't come, he wasn't happy.
now, while i would be hugely chuffed if someone thought my Vampires worthy enough of being used in their OXPs even if they didn't ask, i WOULD get huffed if that someone made it out to be their work, ie the readme didn't say "Vampires nicked from IsisInterstellar OXP" or such. but then, if they did that, i'd mention it on the boards, and see what happened - no doubt the community would police matters by making feelings known. still, since i'm not losing money by someone stealing my ships, it's hardly a huge matter...
|(Killer Wolf (Feb 2007))|
|"It is amoral to not properly license. These unlicensed oxp's need to be properly highlighted with a toxic label on the wiki. "
well that's your opinion. i have refused to put licences in any of my OXPs. i come here and make stuff for the fun of it, and to share it around. the licences are a (to me) obnoxious element that only seemed to raise its head when lestradae started trying to justify his OXP. as has been stated multiple times, this always seems to have been a respect issue, not a legal one. i put my ships and station up there for people to use, play w/ and (i hope) appreciate. if they want to incorporate them into their own work, they can. i would assume if anyone wanted to, they would have the courtesy to ask first, as Drew did. if someone wants to incorporate them and go changing their specs and/or stats w/out asking, as Real Shipyards did, well that's up to them. I ain't happy about it, but neither am i going to get het up about it because the Oolite i run here has my own OXPs on so i'm unaffected.
i wouldn't dream of going an messing w/ another OXP especially when it's been made abundantly clear the creator was against it. i think this whole debacle could've been avoided w/ some simple courtesy and respect rather than 50 page debates, strops and legal BS.
i mean, jesus - we all share and learn from each other don't we? there's absolutely nothing more simple to this whole thing that ASKING to borrow/incorrporate/adapt someone else's work. that's all, just ASK. if they say no, for whatever reason, just suck it up and deal w/ it.
|(Killer Wolf (Nov 2009))|
|...i'll add a note to my new ship ReadMe explaining my stance and leave it at that. my current stance is i flatly refuse to quote licences and what have you as i think it's kinda counter to the community we had happily existing only a few short weeks ago. i'm happy to toe the line though, if the community decides that it's a requirement, although as i've said numerous times, simple courtesy should be enough to get this board back to the way it was. i hope.
there's no sales or money involved in all of this so why legalities and licences suddenly became such a hot topic is somewhat disappointing to me...
|(Killer Wolf (Nov 2009))|
These are just edited highlights showing KW's side of the debates - click on the links above to see more. Note KW's emphasis on community. And note that he never gave his oxp's licenses (despite a grudging willingness to do so if forced to).
2) Secondly, there was the later issue of KW's being chased out of the community. Killer Wolf started a new thread to discuss a new game, Sol Exodus (back in Jan 2012 - second half of this thread is here). It was hijacked (as so many threads are) - hijacked by some of the then leading community members. Killer Wolf took this badly (see second half of thread - and note the personally abusive reactions to him) and he ended up leaving - and taking down his oxp's from his purgatori website (and then later taking the entire website down).
3) So what is the status of Killer Wolf's .oxp's? On the one hand he gave everybody permission to adapt and publish them as long as he was credited in the ReadMe's. On the other hand, he left upset and took down his oxp's. On the third hand, that was then (2012), we are now, and his tormentors seem to have all left the community.
Update Killer Wolf returned in February 2022 and wrote this to Spara:
@spara ~ as per other threads/comments/whatever, all my stuff is freely available for people to do what they want w/; my only stipulation was, be respectful.
Introduction of the Expansions Manager
The Expansion Pack Manager was devised by Cim for Oolite v.1.80 (2014), and ushered in the move from OXPs to OXZs. When a new .oxz is uploaded a license can be chosen for it from a drop-down menu. One does not have to select a license, though... this remains optional (in line with Killer Wolf's views above?).
So there are now issues with applying licenses to older .oxp's which one might wish to publish on the Expansions Manager (see Galactic Navy OXP for an example). One work around has been employed by (eg) Spara & Montana05 who have created override .oxp's (which are licensed), and then publishing both the original and the override. Sometimes the override is just a "fix", at other times it provides new textures, etc.
The Selezen License
All works by David TW Hughes, also known as Selezen, advertised under the banner of Seldar Shipyards, heretofore referred to as The Products, are hereby protected under the Tionislan World Agency for Trade* Intellectual Property Law (Modified Electronic Media, Revision 439, Volume VII, Chapter II, Subsection a sub-paragraph iii, microdot alpha-three-seven).
Any and all use of The Product without express permission for each instance of execution will be classed as breach of copyright and fair use.
Standard recompense for breach of this agreement will be a fine of not less than £3000 per kilobyte of memory used. Should the memory usage increase to over 1Mb used, the copyright breacher will be required to pay damages of one (1) chicken tikka masala with keema naan (no rice) within 48 hours.
Should the copyright breaker still persist in this act for a further three occasions, the copyright holder will personally visit the abode of the individual and show them holiday photos on a mobile phone screen for a period of no less than seven (7) hours. This will be done on a day when the copyright holder's IBS is playing up and he has just eaten all the chicken tikka masala awarded for previous breaches of the agreement.
Hardcopies of this agreement can be found in the recycle bin at the Agency for Trade office on Tionisla Coriolis 3.
* check the initials...hee hee
- Analysis of Licenses (2014)
- Dizzy on Pleiadian's rewrite of a licenceless .oxp (2017)
- Thread about licenses & recovering old oxp's (2017)
- Licensing OXPs – Discussion (2009-16)
Choose a License.com: