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Author Topic: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt  (Read 3471 times)

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Offline ansgar

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Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« on: July 29, 2010, 03:47:02 PM »
Hi,

today I got a bug report in Debian by somebody who interpreted simutrans/copyright.txt as forbidding modification and selling (even in the ways permitted by the Artistic License):

Quote
The wording does not make it clear if the non-free clauses are meant
as additional restrictions trumping the Artistic License or if the
Artistic License is meant as an additional freedom trumping the
non-free clauses.

Note: "non-free clauses" refers to "Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without written permission by the author.".

I think one must want to misunderstand in order to think that one is forbidden to modify/do other things with Simutrans as permitted by the Artistic License as otherwise releasing it under the Artistic License would not make sense at all...

But in order to try and make everybody happy:

1. Is my assumption that the statement that Simtrans is available under the Artistic License counts as a written permission to modify/sell/whatever as required in the statement above correct?

2. If yes, can this be included in copyright.txt? Maybe just remove the problematic sentence [1] and optionally add something along the lines "For uses not mentioned in the Artistic License you must ask the author for permission." (might need better wording though...)?

Thanks in advance and sorry for causing such boring bureaucratic work,
Ansgar

PS: One other minor thing comes to mind: could you please include the files in skins.src/ in the statement what contains source code in simutrans/licence.txt as well? As far as I know it moved over from the pak64 and is thus not yet mentioned there.

[1] Hajo already mentioned that it should only be a leftover a long time ago: http://archive.forum.simutrans.com/topic/06696.0/index.html#msg60560

Offline prissi

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 08:44:02 PM »
The problem is, that some parts of simutrans are not free, like pak128 set. Furthermore the Artistic Licence forbids charging for the package itself or redistribution. Furthermore part 5&3 of the artistic licence states:
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.

...

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:

    a) place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise make them
    Freely Available, such as by posting said modifications to Usenet or
    an equivalent medium, or placing the modifications on a major archive
    site such as ftp.uu.net, or by allowing the Copyright Holder to include
    your modifications in the Standard Version of the Package.

    b) use the modified Package only within your corporation or organization.

    c) rename any non-standard executables so the names do not conflict
    with standard executables, which must also be provided, and provide
    a separate manual page for each non-standard executable that clearly
    documents how it differs from the Standard Version.

    d) make other distribution arrangements with the Copyright Holder.

I think those just specify in more detail the statement:
Quote
Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without
written  permission by the author.
...
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.

Also a copyright cannot be given away by german law. Only free usage can be granted. Insofar is Hajo still holder of the copyright ... but if it is more satisfying I can change the wording of this file.

Offline VS

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 09:03:48 PM »
The problem is, that some parts of simutrans are not free, like pak128 set.
The text in question is only for source code, I think... IIRC 128 is not part of "official" Simutrans anyway.

Offline ansgar

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 11:36:15 PM »
The problem is, that some parts of simutrans are not free, like pak128 set. Furthermore the Artistic Licence forbids charging for the package itself or redistribution.

What about this change to copyright.txt? I think even those wanting to misinterpret things should have a hard time doing so and it mentions explicitly that pak sets may have their own licence:
Code: [Select]
--- a/simutrans/copyright.txt
+++ b/simutrans/copyright.txt
@@ -18,5 +18,9 @@ comments please send to:
        team@64.simutrans.com
 
 The source code from the program is available under the Artistic Licence.
+This is a written permission as demanded for above for every right granted
+by the Artistic License.  Note, however, that individual pak sets may come
+with their own license.
+
 Download the source from https://sourceforge.net/projects/simutrans or
 find out about our svn in the forum.

Here is also a patch for the other change to licence.txt I suggested (mentioning the new files in the skins.src/ directory):

Code: [Select]
--- a/simutrans/licence.txt
+++ b/simutrans/licence.txt
@@ -7,6 +7,7 @@ Simutrans source code is provided by the current simutrans team
 
 This includes the translations from:
 http://translator.simutrans.com/
+the images and .dat files included in the source distribution,
 the midi files and the fonts with the execption of the m+10r.bdf, which
 is taken from the M+ font project:
 http://mplus-fonts.sourceforge.jp/

Edit:

And because somebody just pointed to an old thread: Is the `no-sell' restriction intended to be stricter than the one in the Artistic License? That is, is selling intended to be forbidden even as part of a software compilation (such as, for example, a Linux distribution as Debian) as well or just selling Simutrans on its own (as the Artistic License states)?  From prissi's comment above I take that it is not intended to be stricter than the Artistic License.  I think this does not need an extra comment when the change I suggested above is done.

*sighs* I really don't like discussing license problems :-/
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 03:50:39 AM by ansgar »

Offline Spike

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 11:52:10 AM »
When I agreed to the change to the artistic license, I meant to agree to the effects of that license. My understanding was, it will supersede the old license.

Technically I think copyright is shared, between all the contributors. I don't think I automatically get copyright for all the other contributions, even if I made the initial core of Simutrans.

Offline prissi

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 09:38:45 PM »
I hope, taht is ok. I also added the documentation in the source files to it.

Offline ansgar

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Re: Wording of simutrans/copyright.txt
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 04:52:20 AM »
Thanks.  I think this leaves no questions open :-)