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DarkPlaces Dev Forest Hale Corrects Nexuiz GPL Stance 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the two-sides-to-every-story dept.
Time Doctor writes "There has been a lot of information going around about Nexuiz, the GPL, and what the Nexuiz leadership has done. A new interview has gone up with DarkPlaces developer Forest Hale to set things straight. Quoting: 'The original plan was to contact every developer and relicense the Nexuiz 2.5.2 GPL gamecode sources for this title, to ensure authentic gameplay and return some important features to the community for the benefit of everyone. However this gamecode re-licensing attempt did not go well; with the former developers making claims of violations there was no choice but to re-implement the gamecode from scratch on non-GPL sources. As a result there will be no ongoing code contributions back to the community, and the gameplay may differ more than originally planned. This is a very unfortunate outcome but has no significant impact on development. To make this perfectly clear – the game is being reimplemented from scratch; all they share is a name.'"
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DarkPlaces Dev Forest Hale Corrects Nexuiz GPL Stance

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  • by sourcerror (1718066) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:22AM (#31595642)

    Actually, you'd have to go to court to force them to show their code, and compare. (I'd doubt they were willing to disclose by themselves.)

  • Re:GPL freaks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:50AM (#31595802)
    uhm, not. they wouldn't even contribute in the first place if it was not a gpl source base, and the game would not probably exists in the form it is right now.
    they choose gpl, they gather the contribution under the premises of making it better fir everyone in the community, then try to change the licence and keep the proceedings for themselves going after xbla and ps3n - it was obvious that contributors who originally put their effort in the "community" are now pissed at them bagging their work up and changing the licence so that any other couldn't benefit anymore from the advancement in the source code.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:59AM (#31595848)

    I don't know anything about this game or the company. Nor do I particularly care. But, outside of some "bad juju" from the slashdot and like minded communities, what is the downside to them? Has there every been anything approaching an actual lawsuit of a company for a GPL violation? Even if a major, major player like EA Sports or whatever came out and used GPLd code to save half the development time on their leatest sports title, what could possibly be done about it other that generalized bitching and whining from the "community" and a (likely small) boycott? GPL is a dog without teeth, and for a small unknown game publisher, it's a dog worth ignoring, I suspect.

    The FSF could sue them.

  • Re:GPL freaks (Score:5, Informative)

    by selven (1556643) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:11AM (#31595918)

    using the term "Free Software" is implying that someone sides with the FSF and GPL over other open source licenses.

    No, the term "free software" implies the four freedoms [gnu.org], nothing more, nothing less. There's lots of pubic domain and BSD-ware which is called free software (eg. Chromium, Postgres, BSD itself). If you're trying to draw a line between free software and open source, the line has already been drawn [gnu.org].

  • by impaledsunset (1337701) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:21AM (#31596016)

    The GPL says that you're free to study the source code for any purpose.

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:20AM (#31596592) Homepage

    Interesting comment LordHavoc makes about the state of console gaming.

    Honestly, attempting to bring a fast-paced shooter like Nexuiz to a console is going to fail and fail miserably - there is a reason "slow-paced" shooters are more popular on consoles - fast-paced shooters require a fast and precise control mechanism (mouse + keyboard), console control mechanisms are neither of these. (Which is why I don't play console-based shooters.)

  • Not really (Score:3, Informative)

    by mand1nga (1772962) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:33AM (#31596700)
    He can't really say that the original plan was to contact every developer, the deal was made in complete and absolute secret. Not a single developer knew about the Nexuiz deal, not a single notification was sent, most of us knew about it when we saw the the homepage was changed, only providing a small link to "Nexuiz GPL" at the bottom.

    In my opinion there is no way to consider that this deal was morally right, there was people who were contributing code on a daily basis for *years*, the least you will expect is to get some sort of notification if someone is about to make money out of your hard work [alientrap.org]. In other words what they done is just stealing.

    And of course they must rewrite the whole Nexuiz codebase now, that's the only way for them to prevent getting sued. Not to mention that after the deal was made public there was no dialog *at all* between Lee Vermeulen (the owner of Nexuiz) and the developers, there was no attempt at all to fix what they done (again, stealing), mostly because you actually need to talk in order to fix things.

    That was the very reason because the Xonotic [xonotic.org] project was born, we as developers just can't trust Alientrap (which is only Lee Vermeulen) anymore.

    It's sad that LH now makes it look like thanks to the unreasonable (ex)developers of Nexuiz now there will be no improvements flowing back to GPL Nexuiz. I don't know you but I'm getting used to his bursts of insulting statements.
  • by dlapine (131282) <dlapine@ncsa.uPA ... u minus language> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:00PM (#31598830) Homepage

    From paragraph 0 of the GPL v2, thanks for the link, btw.

    "This License applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this General Public License."

    "Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope."

    So the GPL doesn't limit your rights for things outside of copying, distro and mods.

    Section 4 then steps in-

    "You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License.

    GPL code doesn't have additional restrictions on it. Once you accept GPL as the basis for your work, you don't get to distribute the modified work with extra terms. So GPL code doesn't have restrictions on things other than copy, distro, and mods. And since it expressly doesn't restrict you in areas other than those 3, you're free to examine and study it to your heart's content.

    So there ya go- have fun studying, examining reduplicating the functionality, style and format of the code in question. Just don't copy the code verbatim, or in such as a fashion as to be considered a direct copy.

    A reasonable person could see the GPL as encouraging the re-use of ideas, whether by modifying the original code and redistributing it, or by re-implementing those ideas in new code.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:03PM (#31598882) Homepage

    That it's not an EULA and so I don't even have to accept any terms at all to read the source code, unless there's an exclusive right in copyright law. The only question is whether the work is derivative or not, and if it isn't the GPL can't apply. If it is derivative, the GPL and all its terms does apply but again it's got nothing to do with the GPL per se, just the scope of copyright law. Since they seem to have secured the rights to the name and most of the overall look and feel, that sounds like and uphill battle unless there's evidence of copy-paste.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:20PM (#31600124)

    The word "study" does not appear in either GPL version 3 [gnu.org] or GPL version 2 [gnu.org].

    The FSF does define the freedoms that their licenses are intended to protect here [gnu.org]. The first freedom is to run the program, and the 2nd is to STUDY it. So if the argument ever turns from specific wording to "intent" of the license, I think this is clearly documented.

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