Mod packaging and repositories

Feedback on past, current, and future development.
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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 21 Jan 2014, 17:24

Isn't there already kfreebsd-gnu?
http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/

Next step is Debian GNU/windows.... 8-)

GNU Userland, GNU C Library running on windows! Take that cygwin!

skullgrid
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by skullgrid » 21 Jan 2014, 18:26

Okulo wrote:
skullgrid wrote:
Okulo wrote: The issue is not picking a license that is not the default or even one that is libre - the issue is people not picking a license at all. You might not want to force freedom, but you do want to force clarity. There is literally nobody who suffers from such clarity.
GPL is not as permissive as most people say. How about WTFPL or CC or BSD for default?
It seems you're missing the point of what I'm trying to say... It doesn't matter what the license is, as long as there is a license attached, be it libre or non-libre. As long as people know what they can and cannot do with the mod.

You can't force that on repositories that are not controlled by you. You can however, force it when it is mandatory metadata. That is why having a license on a website or in a textfile alone is not enough to ensure every mod has it attached. People can repackage it and modders can just neglect to add one. It needs to be stapled to the mod.
As far as I know if no license is supplied you can do whatever the hell you want since there's no grounds for legal action.

Metadata licenses are a good idea however, if only for visibility and not cluttering the folder with text files.

maqifrnswa
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by maqifrnswa » 21 Jan 2014, 19:56

skullgrid wrote: As far as I know if no license is supplied you can do whatever the hell you want since there's no grounds for legal action.

Metadata licenses are a good idea however, if only for visibility and not cluttering the folder with text files.
That is not true, and it is very important. If no license is supplied, it is assumed "all rights reserved" and no license is given to distribute at all, nor use or modify. That's one of the problems in the mod community, they don't know that not licensing means no one is legally allowed to use it or give it to a friend. Sometimes they say "for personal use only" which means you're allowed to use it, but you can't put it on a flash drive and give it to a friend.

EDIT: This gets to the heart of the issue. Clarity is needed in licensing, mod users need to pick one that is standard and reflects their intentions. I like the CC set of licenses because they are designed for content like this and has options that modders could be happy choosing between (no-derivatives, commerican/non-commercial, share-alike copyleft, etc.)
http://creativecommons.org/choose/

GPL is more "infectuous," but people should be free to choose if they want their mod to be GPL or not.

Putting some metadata into openCS files with license would be great.

It is possible to have mods in debian, except if they depend on content from commercial morrowind. mods that just mod the engine are fine.

SquireNed
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by SquireNed » 22 Jan 2014, 00:31

skullgrid wrote:As far as I know if no license is supplied you can do whatever the hell you want since there's no grounds for legal action.
Speaking as someone who's studied copyright, I can confirm that this is absolutely untrue. In most jurisdictions, not specifying copyright is keeping all rights reserved. There's an implicit right to distribution wherever the author has submitted it, but there are grounds for legal action should someone else distribute it, make a derivative work using it, or publicly perform it. This actually means that those quasi-sanctioned YouTubers who make play videos of games could be sued by a mod-maker, although this is highly unlikely (and runs contrary to most modders' goals) there is a precedent for such things occurring. Remember that copyright law almost always rules in favor of the content creator; my professor always said "If a verbatim copy is made, and it's not fair use, it's infringement", and while video footage is not "a verbatim copy", it's close enough to such to be risky, and there's no evidence that anything like this would be fair use. Especially since courts usually get tech wrong.

maqifrnswa
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by maqifrnswa » 22 Jan 2014, 02:26

SquireNed wrote:
skullgrid wrote:As far as I know if no license is supplied you can do whatever the hell you want since there's no grounds for legal action.
Speaking as someone who's studied copyright, I can confirm that this is absolutely untrue. In most jurisdictions, not specifying copyright is keeping all rights reserved. There's an implicit right to distribution wherever the author has submitted it, but there are grounds for legal action should someone else distribute it, make a derivative work using it, or publicly perform it. This actually means that those quasi-sanctioned YouTubers who make play videos of games could be sued by a mod-maker, although this is highly unlikely (and runs contrary to most modders' goals) there is a precedent for such things occurring. Remember that copyright law almost always rules in favor of the content creator; my professor always said "If a verbatim copy is made, and it's not fair use, it's infringement", and while video footage is not "a verbatim copy", it's close enough to such to be risky, and there's no evidence that anything like this would be fair use. Especially since courts usually get tech wrong.
exactly! this is why choosing a license is very important to modders and actually helps their mods, they sometimes see it as some odorous action where they lose creative control. In reality, it is the thing that makes the mod playable and distributable in the first place. Just pick one that does what you want.

SquireNed
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by SquireNed » 22 Jan 2014, 02:55

That said, you could likely make a "good faith" defense by attempting to contact a modder (i.e. if their name is known you search them up, if they give an e-mail you contact them, and you kick around in the community). As the "damages" we're likely to see would be actual, and you haven't actually pirated something that would have been sold, you'll probably be fine. In fact, copyright law is usually pretty lenient; the worst case scenario is that you get sued for statutory damages. These can be pretty brutal, actually; in the US you see as much as $30k per item (not per redistribution, literally "per item distributed", so redistributing something once or ten thousand times is the same penalty). Note that the statutory damages are awarded by a judge, and they'd be likely to go toward the lenient $750 end if the thing were just being "given away" by the original creator.

From any perspective, it is much less legally dubious to link, however. You could also eke out a fair use argument in the case of dead links or the sort by pointing out that you're "prolonging the life of the work", though I must point out that you'd wind up in (potentially costly) litigation.

Necessary disclaimer: I'm not licensed to practice law, nor am I particularly willing to. This advice is given strictly from an academic, and not a legal, standpoint.

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vv221
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by vv221 » 22 Jan 2014, 16:23

K0kt409P wrote:hosting game mods seems like it would be outside the scope of the Debian project, so I rather doubt they would agree to it even if the mods used permissive/copy-left licenses.
Debian project seems to disagree with you:

Code: Select all

[email protected]:~$ apt-cache search minetest-mod
minetest-mod-moreblocks - Minetest mod - More Blocks
minetest-mod-moreores - Minetest mod - More Ores
minetest-mod-pipeworks - Minetest mod - Pipeworks
minetest-mod-worldedit - Minetest mod - ingame world editor
And that's good news ;)

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psi29a
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by psi29a » 22 Jan 2014, 16:30

One interesting side-effect is that if you see it available on Debian, then you know that the license of the content has been scrutinized and that the quality is above average.

skullgrid
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by skullgrid » 27 Jan 2014, 04:31

Reviving this discussion.

I've spent some time thinking about this and it seems like some people like the idea.

There are two things I'd like feedback on however. First, could we adapt existing tools for this purpose? The main downsides I see to this are stratification and the need to maintain functionality across different systems. If we can use, say, Pacman and Aptitude for OpenMW mods but not Yum then some users are left in the dark. Also, I'm not sure if any of them offer all of the features necessary. In most cases those package managers resolve conflicts by detecting them and asking the user to make a choice. This is not suitable in our case.

Second, what is the OpenMW launcher going to do? Will it simply match the bethesda launcher and allow ticking of esx files or will it feature conflict detection/load order/etc?

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Okulo
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Re: Mod packaging and repositories

Post by Okulo » 27 Jan 2014, 07:02

Also don't forget about the people who are still left on Windows. Unless the team writes something like OpenTTD's Bananas (or adapts it to its own needs), they're going to be left out. Plus, someone would have to pay for those servers, so it seems Windows users are left out in the cold with that system.

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