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Can't redistribute Pak128 with sound?

Started by Kernigh, February 15, 2020, 03:12:58 AM

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I'm asking about Pak128's sound/README.txt, which says, "These sounds are NOT available under terms of Artistic license 2.0, only distributed together with the pakset!" This doesn't say who can distribute the sounds with the pakset. I fear that I don't have permission to distribute the sounds. Can we edit README.txt to grant this permission to everyone?

I'm asking because I would like to add Simutrans, with a few paksets, to OpenBSD's packages. We would need permission to put the paksets on OpenBSD's mirrors. Among other distros, it looks like Arch Linux and FreeBSD already have Pak128 on their mirrors, while Debian doesn't have Pak128 (but does have Pak64 and Pak128.Britain).

Other threads claim that Pak128 is open source and free to distribute. When I last checked the licenses, I found that Pak128 uses Artistic License 2.0 and its Percival_Maya_Temple uses CC-BY 3.0. My only problem is sound/README.txt.


Arch Linux repositories definitely have Pak128 with sounds included. Maybe it was an overlook, maybe it was an optimistic interpretation of inherent permission in "distributed together with the pakset!".

Either way, if you want to avoid permission issues, just distribute the pakset without the sounds. I don't think a few old sounds are relevant enough for someone to care...


This thread says many of the sounds are just renamed from pak64, which is Artistic Licence 1.0. So at least the sounds listed in that post can be distributed with pak128.

EDIT: Also, this post from 2011 says that everything in pak128 is free-licensed. It was written by VS, who controlled the old closed-source repository, and is the person who could give the most definitive answer. According to the CHANGELOG, several sounds (not from pak64??) were added on 2006-03-25, which is well before that.  The changelog also has an e-mail address for VS, though of course it's probably well out of date,
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Ah, the sounds. My memory is a bit hazy, but here's how it (most probably) went:

  • Hajo made the game as freeware and got the sounds from who knows where
  • pak128 was started, as a direct copy of pak64 in the beginning
  • Tomas (Napik) added sounds from who knows where
  • We collectively turned open source and license started to formally matter
  • I wished to replace all sounds but never managed to do anything

Assuming that - I can't say in good faith the sounds are "libre kosher". Actually, as an "authority" I strongly assert they can't ever be. Let's just say I remember in-person discussions and "stuff" that makes me doubt they come from a verified source that gave us the rights :-/ To prevent any misunderstanding, here I am talking about the sounds in pak128, all together.

Bottom line, if you are asking about this as a packager for a distro, ditch the pak128 sounds for sure. Or rather that's what I would do.

I always wanted to get rid of the sounds, and get some fresh new set. But sounds are surprisingly hard. There is always more going on than just the thing you hear. I tried to record some stuff myself and it was never any good.

My projects... Tools for messing with Simutrans graphics. Graphic archive - templates and some other stuff for painters. Development logs for most recent information on what is going on. And of course pak128!

Isaac Eiland-Hall is what I used for a decade for theatrical productions. We can purchase and that specifically allows use in a video game.

Perhaps this is a project I can actually help with. I have played with sound off since I first started.

I do have some skill at sound editing. Which is not to say anyone else couldn't also work on the sounds.


Since the sound capabilities of Simutrans has been extended for some time (environmental and factory sounds) a sound overhaul might be anyway a good idea ...

The pak64 sounds were free to use, or from sites that allowed the free reuse. However, they are sampled down to 12kHz 8bit mono.