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Offline vilvoh

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Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« on: April 07, 2009, 02:53:27 PM »
When you download a copy of Simutrans binary, it includes two text files: the project license and the copyright. I guess the first one is more updated than the second, but there may be a conflict.

This is what copyright file say about modifying Simutrans:
Quote
Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without
written  permission by the author.


The original author:
   Hansjoerg Malthaner
   D 70563 Stuttgart (Germany)
   Fuggerstr. 1

The source code from the program is available under the Artistic Licence.
Download the source from https://sourceforge.net/projects/simutrans or
find out about our svn in the forum.

However the license (Artistic License v1.0) says about modifying Simutrans:
Quote
3. You may otherwise modify your copy of this Package in any way, provided
that you insert a prominent notice in each changed file stating how and
when you changed that file, and provided that you do at least ONE of the
following:

Or selling Simutrans:
Quote
5. You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this
Package.
You may charge any fee you choose for support of this Package.
You may not charge a fee for this Package itself. However,
you may distribute this Package in aggregate with other (possibly
commercial) programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial) software
distribution provided that you do not advertise this Package as a
product of your own.

If I'm not wrong, this is not possible, isn't it? I mean, if your project license allows somebody to modify the projects files, as jamespetts is doing with Simutrans-Exp for example, then the copyright should allow you to do at least the same, for not to get in conflict with the license.

Obviously, it doesn't mean the copyright is not valid. Hajo is the original author, so he's some rights over the game, the same as Prissi. Imho, we should update the copyright file. I know these issues are boring, but would be good to solve them, in order to avoid possible problems in the future.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 11:32:58 AM by vilvoh »

Offline VS

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 03:59:46 PM »
Yes, that is a conflict.

copyright = who is author
license = what you can do

I would say removing the first two lines from copyright.txt would fix that. See patch...

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 04:02:14 PM »
a patch file!! arghhh, run!!  :D

Offline VS

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 04:22:42 PM »
Yes, I just did patch a document.

And yes, I deviated from my usual practice of giving these suffix .diff. What can I say, it was done in a hurry ;)

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 04:31:35 PM »
Does the statement, "Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without written  permission by the author." really conflict with the issue of Simutrans under the Artistic Licence? In other words, is the use of the Artistic Licence in connexion with the Simutrans files not precisely the written permission envisaged by the original statement?

Offline VS

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 05:45:59 PM »
Hah, yes, that way it indeed does not create any contradiction. But I would prefer something accurate without much thinking...

Offline prissi

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 07:53:49 PM »
This is there for historic reasons and since we really want to make clear that selling simutrans is not allowed. The artistic licence is not that strong in that aspect.

Furthermore, only the SOURCE CODE is available under this artistic licence. The pak (including the translations) is not neccessarily(?) under the same licences. Just imagine we would use commecrial music with the game!

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 07:56:51 PM »
Some Paksets are released under the Artistic Licence, aren't they? PakBritain is, I know, and isn't Pak64 also under that licence?

Offline prissi

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 08:42:01 PM »
Jain, the graphics and dat files (source code) are under artistic licence. Technically the pak files are not neccessarily also under artistic licence, and the config and translations files are probably under unclear licence. But pak128 is clearly closed licences, same for pak.japan (64).

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 08:57:35 PM »
The point is, which document has priority? I guess the author may revoque some rights that the license gives.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 09:07:02 PM »
Not after it's been released.

Offline VS

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 09:23:43 PM »
Well... to me it seems strange that we would claim something about not allowed unless permitted and then allow that by using the license... but whatever. It's not like these people can't simply ask here and be done with it.

Offline prissi

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 10:19:03 AM »
The author may do as he/she likes. I can write I put it under artistic licence but in addition to clause xyz I explicitely forbid selling of the compiled program unless a written note is given. THis is essentiall the same but with less legalese.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 10:24:37 AM »
So seems there's no conflict after all, isn't it? The license may no exceed the rights given by the original author.

Offline prissi

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 01:41:45 PM »
THis is my understanding. Since for Debian etc. only the source licence matters, it should not affect the inclusion in any distribution, or?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2009, 02:19:35 PM »
I think Simutrans is already included there, and nobody complains about anything related with the license.

EDIT: Simutrans package is available in <a href="http://packages.debian.org/lenny/simutrans ">Debian Lenny (stable)[/url], among others, and the file they use to set the package copyright is the project license, a.k.a. Artistic License v1.0.

Offline neroden

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Re: Possible conflict between License and Copyright files
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 06:20:13 AM »
"Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without written  permission by the author."
This technically true, but the Artistic License grants the permission from the author, so it's very confusing.

It would be a lot clearer if it said "Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without written permission by the authors.  The authors have already given you some written permissions in the form of the Artistic License (license.txt); please read that."

That's got to be what you actually mean (I hope!).   You *cannot* add extra restrictions to the Artistic License -- if you do, it isn't the Artistic License any more, and the package would probably be banned from Debian.  If you thought you added extra restrictions, you were wrong.