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First Person Shooters (Games) GNU is Not Unix PlayStation (Games) Games

Nexuiz Founder Licenses It For Non-GPL Use 246

King InuYasha writes "Nexuiz founder Lee Vermuelen, along with several other core developers, have licensed the Nexuiz name, domain, and DarkPlaces engine to Illfonic in a deal to get Nexuiz on consoles. However, the kink is that the engine has been licensed for non-GPL usage. That is, Illfonic has no intention of contributing their code back to the main GPL Nexuiz project. As a result, Nexuiz has been forked into a new project called Xonotic. While the main Nexuiz site doesn't mention that Illfonic has no intention of contributing back, the Xonotic project FAQ explains what's going on. Additionally, the Xonotic project states that Illfonic 'may be in violation of the GPL as most contributors to the Nexuiz codebase have not relicensed their work for inclusion in a closed-source project.'"
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Nexuiz Founder Licenses It For Non-GPL Use

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:05PM (#31574422)
    Google answers:

    Nexuiz is a first-person shooter which started as a Quake modification in the summer of 2001
  • by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:11PM (#31574514)

    Nope, id is happy to provide commercial licenses to replace the GPL in their open source offerings: []

  • Re:I hope... (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:17PM (#31574648)

    They did not create all of this code. Darkplaces is a Quake1 derivative. They also took community contributions of code. Unless copyright was signed over they cannot keep that code.

  • Doesn't Nexuiz have code from Quake 3 when it was open sourced? Wouldn't that mean that if they close sourced the engine, id could sue them?

    Id Software offers both free and non-free licensing terms for Id Tech 3. It could be the case that the non-free version of Nexuiz uses the non-free version of id Tech 3.

  • Re:I hope... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ffreeloader ( 1105115 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:22PM (#31574738) Journal

    Ah, no it isn't. It's more like there is a group of people giving away popcorn because they believe it's important to give it away. Then a few people in the group make an arbitrary decision to start charging for the popcorn without the entire group's agreement.

    If it had been a single developer who created the project and was the only one who had written any code then your analogy would be correct. It's not what has happened though.

  • by LordHavoc ( 1394093 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:26PM (#31574792) Homepage
    The engine has been licensed as non-GPL for Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, these are very closed platforms and the game had no chance of reaching them under GPL, publishers would not touch it.

    IllFonic actively promotes the GPL Nexuiz for all operating systems.

    The console game code is being started fresh now that GDC is over, no GPL claims can apply to it.

    Note: Nexuiz 1.0 was to be a commercial game in the first place, but was GPLed for the enjoyment of everyone, this deal pertains to the name and concept, not the community enhancements that occurred after the original release.
  • Some real info: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tei ( 520358 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:27PM (#31574800) Journal

    There are a lot of quake game engines, most of then have a single person behind. Behind DarkPlaces is Lord Havoc.

    • Lord Havoc plan to commit to the GPL DarkPlaces version all the features that are worth it. This excluse any SDK bit, since the PS3 SDK EULA don't able to share that part. This mean that even if Illfonic will not contribute, Lord Havoc will, and that is what is important.
    • Illfonic have a license to use the engine from Id Software. And a license from Lord Havoc. If theres part for other people, will be removed/replaced by Lord Havoc code. The result will be a fully legal and Illfonic licensed closed source version of DarkPlaces
    • The new version of Nexuiz for consoles seems awesome. This is only good news for Nexuiz, that will get more exposure, more code ,...

    We normally see the other route, ... a closed source game (Quake engine from Quake) open source his engine. A open source game is created from a closed source game (FreeCiv from Civ ). This route is "new", a open source game spawns a closed source game.

    There has ben some discussions on the forums, but It has been mostly about the use of the name. Is like how Firefox started as Phoenix so got renamed to Firebird... (only to be renamed again to Firefox!). But this time Illfonic let the community continue using the name.. . Of course, some people really dislike the very idea :-/. To this date, not contributor has claimed steal code or something like that.

    Vermeulen is a hardworking individual, and has push this game (nexuiz) for more than 9 years now (And If you have work on a open source project, you know how hard is to get people moving forward). I have only good things to say about Lord Havoc and the very high quality of his code. He control all the code of DarkPlaces to be of the best quality possible, this mean rewriting things to get to his standard of quality. Is this rewriting all code that probably has made possible to closed-source the engine.


    1) You get the original source code from the Id Software FTP, and a license for it (probably legacy, since is not for sale now).
    2) You put all that code in the CVS. This code is the original, and you have a license for it.
    3) Lord Havoc commit all his code changes to this CVS. Since he own his own changes (he is the author of these changes) he can do it.
    4) The resulting code is both authored by Id Software and Lord Havoc.
    5) This code is licensed by Lord Havoc to Illphonic (Illphonic already have a license from Id Software).
    6) If theres some code from other authors, Illphonic acquire rights from these authors.
    7) TADA!... you have a closed source engine you can use to create games for XBox 360 and Playstation 3 (I suppose lots of changes are needed to achieve this compatibility, but you have the basics of the engine).

    The authors of a work can "relicense" his work. This why Id Software can release the quake source engine as gpl AND a different license. Lord Havoc is the same as Id Software, so is doing the exact same thing, releasing his work on a different license.

  • by headkase ( 533448 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:32PM (#31574886)
    Then don't use it. Anywhere. The Freedom to rip it off is not included. It's is - as someone else mentioned - Freedom for EVERYONE not Freedom for YOU.
  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:50PM (#31575168)

    No, that's why they also got a license to the Quake1 engine:

    Illfonic has obtained the rights to the Nexuiz's engine code, along with a license for the Quake1 engine. The engine has been licensed as non-GPL for Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, these are very closed platforms and the game had no chance of reaching them under GPL.

    From here [].

  • They've been /.-ed (Score:2, Informative)

    by fredrik_haard ( 720279 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:53PM (#31575220)
    Mhm? There's an update up on the Nexuiz news page: "There appears to still be some confusion over this change. I would like to make more things clear: *Illfonic has obtained the rights to the Nexuiz's engine code, along with a license for the Quake1 engine. The engine has been licensed as non-GPL for Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, these are very closed platforms and the game had no chance of reaching them under GPL. *The Nexuiz's engine's prime developer (LordHavoc) is currently working on the Illfonic console version. The Nexuiz codebase will benefit from Illfonic's additions *IllFonic actively promotes the GPL Nexuiz for all operating systems."
  • Re:Freedom (Score:2, Informative)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @05:13PM (#31575480)

    Exactly! If this project had only been BSD licensed, the developer could have just walked away with the code and never contributed anything back. Or heck - anyone could. Businesses should take note. Develop with BSD licenses so your competitors get your work for free! That's obviously the best way to do things and avoids all this "virus" GPL stuff.

    Yep, that is exactly true, and you're a dumbass for thinking thats a bad thing.

    Do you realize that the IP stack in systems we use today are ALL based on BSD licensed code? The fact that the Internet works as well as it does is because people could all use a common bit of code, in their own projects, without having to turn EVERYTHING ELSE over to the public.

    Where do you think the original IP stack in Linux came from? Or Windows ... or Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, BeOS, OS/2, Netware ... probably anything else you can come up with ...

    They ALL start with the BSD socket API. So yes, I'm quiet happy that the BSD license gets 'abused' the way it does. Thats an example of open source working properly.

    GPL is used to force other people to do your work for you basically. If they fix your bugs, you get the changes, but you at that point can just sit around and slurp down their changes. GPL tries its best to make everything it touches GPL, thats not a license, thats a fucking virus, have yourself a glass of perspective and soda.

    BSD code helped create the Internet. GPL wouldn't exist without BSD code crutching up everything that supported GPL to getting where it is today. You'd do well with a history lesson or 20.

    You're modded funny, but ignorant is far more accurate.

  • Re:What this is: (Score:2, Informative)

    by LordHavoc ( 1394093 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @05:16PM (#31575512) Homepage
    I only want to point out that in a recent analysis of the DarkPlaces engine source, 1.29% of lines that are not license headers or blank lines, have never been modified.

    Put another way, the engine is no more than 2% Quake1 codebase, and a vast majority of the code was written by me, especially the platform independent core portions.

    Tracking down contributors when there is one primary author of the entire codebase, who knows almost every line of it by memory, is not as hard as it sounds.
  • by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @01:26AM (#31579804)

    But Mozilla "owns" the source code. They request contributions of code be signed over to them to be in the official tree... that way they can legally prove they "own" every line, and can adjust the license at will. Each contributor gets the choice UP FRONT to agree or not to sign off to Mozilla.

    This is the same problem the Linux Kernel has moving from GPL2 to GPL3. Linus specifically didn't include an "or later version" clause, and some contributors are even DEAD. There's no way to change the license... Unless this game had code assignment too, I can't see how they can do this.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.