Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nexuiz Founder Licenses It For Non-GPL Use

Comments Filter:
  • Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @03:57PM (#31574268)
    The people who contributed their code to Nexuiz under a Freedom license have every right to be pissed if their code is then sold off against their wishes. If the Nexuiz developers want to do so then stop stealing and re-write what isn't yours. The GPL isn't a charity to be exploited - it is a philosophy that says cooperation enriches everyone. If you don't agree with GPL code: DON'T USE IT and write your freaking own. Leaches.
  • keep in mind... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:00PM (#31574322)

    ...that the situation with the licensing isn't all that clear. There _might_ be GPL violations. No prove yet afaict. I'm part of the Xonotic project anyways. And moving away from alientrap was the right thing to do. The project is more open now. No single point of command, etc..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:03PM (#31574400)

    As far as I know (IANAL, IAAAC) the legality of this depends largely on one thing: did the code contributors reassign their copyrights to Nexuiz / the code maintainer, or did they retain it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:04PM (#31574406)

    Without John Carmack and LordHavoc (Darkplaces engine developer) giving permission, they're in a huge mess. I wonder if they are using anything slurped up from other Quake engine projects? Even if the submitter of the code signed off, doesn't matter if they aren't the original author.

    Relicensing your code is fine, doing it to others... Well, people get in trouble with that with stolen commercial code as well as GPL. It's dishonest, no matter who it's done to, if it's not done with permission (either direct from all authors or through the terms of the license), they're opening themselves for a world of hurt. And destroying their reputation, as well.

    If the only thing that is truly being closed up is the interpreted gamecode and they are developing new artwork, there's nothing to see here...

  • Nexi-wha? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:05PM (#31574414)

    As a person who follows gaming pretty closely, I have no idea what this is or why anyone should care.

  • Reading is good... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coolgeek ( 140561 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:14PM (#31574594) Homepage

    Especially the part where it says they are relicensing code contributions without the consent of the contributors.

  • Re:Nexi-wha? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:15PM (#31574620)

    As a person who follows gaming pretty closely, I have no idea what this is or why anyone should care.

    It underscores the risk of what happens when you trust random people over the internet to have your best interest at hand. It's a lesson hard learned, never forgot.

  • by Dragoniz3r ( 992309 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:20PM (#31574708)
    If you wanted true freedom you shouldn't've used code licensed under the GPL. The GPL's interpretation of "freedom" is freedom for EVERYONE, not just for YOU. So while you have free use of the code in question, everyone else has free use of any changes you may make to it. The idea is that if we leave it up to peoples' good wills to ensure freedom, we'll all live in slavery, so we'll legally force everyone to let everyone else be free. Seems to be working out OK.
  • Re:I hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by teg ( 97890 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:26PM (#31574778) Homepage

    How? It is just like if someone gave away popcorn for free and they are now charging them ten cents. They were the producers, they can change the licensing terms. Anyone is free to do what the GPL allows for the GPL'd licensed source but for the non-GPL'd you follow the proprietary license.

    Only for the code you own yourself. If others contributed, you have no right to relicense that part of the code - you need their agreement that you can do that.

  • by pydev ( 1683904 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:36PM (#31574958)

    One different than the one I do. Because your freedom seems to come with restrictions.

    Freedom always comes with restrictions if it is just and equal, because your freedom to do something often implies a restriction or cost for me. The GPL ensures that all the contributors have a common set of freedoms, but those translate into restrictions as well.

    The Apache and BSD licenses ensure that all the contributors have a different set of freedoms, and a different set of limitations placed on them.

  • Re:I hope... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:42PM (#31575038)

    How? It is just like if someone gave away popcorn for free and they are now charging them ten cents. They were the producers, they can change the licensing terms.

    Sure. IF they were the producers.

    But what if I gave YOU butter for free, but under a license (i.e. the GPL) which improves your popcorn. And you in turn gave it away for free along with the popcorn you produced. (which is allowed).

    Then you decide to start charging 10 cents for the popcorn, and are still including my butter. That's not ok. It violates my license.

    You are allowed to change the license and re-license the stuff YOU produce, but in this case, and in most oss projects, the individual contributors retain copyright, and as a result the project 'founder' cannot simply relicense it, because he only owns copyright on his actual code. He can change its terms, but not the terms of contributed code. Separating the two is not easy, and the end result may not be desirable... like popcorn without butter.

  • Re:Some real info: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7.cornell@edu> on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:43PM (#31575050) Homepage

    It's definately possible to prove that ALL nonapproved contributor code was removed, but it's going to be EXTREMELY difficult (see the AT&T/BSD legal battle...). In theory possible, but I think this is going to wind up becoming a very interesting test of the GPL.

    "This why Id Software can release the quake source engine as gpl AND a different license." - That's a MASSIVE difference, as the Quake source engine was developed as closed source and then later released as GPL - it's easy for iD to prove that all "non-GPL" derivatives were based on a "pre-GPL" code tree.

    Similarly, if LordHavoc had done 2/3) from the get-go, it might be possible.

    However, taking this same approach with a code tree that has been GPLed for close to a decade is going to be a completely different story.

    Also, what's the history regarding licensing of the content (artwork, levels, models, etc)? - These are all clearly "new" developments that have little to no traceability back to the original iD release, since the original content of Quake was NOT covered in the GPL release. Have all content contributors approved this?

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:51PM (#31575176)

    You have less freedom under the GPL to do what you want with code. And you gain the ability to tell others what they can do with the code under the GPL.

    Neither of these is a proper subset of the other, so it's difficult to say you have "less freedom than under the GPL".

    My point was the author of the comment called the GPL license a Freedom (italics theirs) and it is not a license of freedom, like all licenses, it's a license of restrictions.

    The GPL is only a freedom license when compared to closed-source license. Compared to other, freer licenses, it's really concerned about creating a commons than it is about freedom.

  • by BrentH ( 1154987 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @04:53PM (#31575212)
    I never understand this argument. People always talk of freedom without personal pronouns, which makes the argument moot. There's no such thing as 'freedom', there's only my, your, our freedom. The BSD protects someones freedom pretty damn totally, and the GPL protects everyones freedom at the cost of basically not allowing you to distribute binaries without source. Trying to compare these in 'freedomness' is moronic: it's literally comparing apples and oranges.

    Now I don't know if 'freedom' is shorthand for either of these, but if it's a measure of importance (which is more important, my or our freedom) I'd argue our freedom is more important (thus, the GPL). Just like how one mans ability to rule himself (monarchy) is less important than our ability to rule ourselves (democracy), even if it is at a small cost (I actually can do less than a king).
  • Oh. Do you not believe you are free unless you have the right to keep slaves, then?
  • Re:Freedom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pydev ( 1683904 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @05:58PM (#31576124)

    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.

    Yes, and GNU realized that, which is why there is the LGPL and the GPL with linking exception. And many people who license some code under the GPL also license other code under BSD or Apache.

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

    No, you're a "dumbass" for thinking that because a license works well for something, it must work well for everything. There are different licenses for different purposes.

    For something like a small, standards-setting library, something you want companies to incorporate into their own operating systems, a BSD or Apache license is fine.

    For something like a game, end-user app, kernel, or compiler, the GPL is the better license. And that's probably one of the reasons Linux and gcc have succeeded where BSD has largely failed.

  • You are confusing freedom and sovereignty, as no doubt are others in this discussion. Your sovereignty is reduced if any action is not available to you. Sovereignty is a one-to-many relationship, freedom is maximized to the extent that all persons are free and that persons are not allowed to act as sovereigns over the rest. Thus, law providing fairness, for example the sharing implemented in the GPL, both increases freedom and limits a sovereign.
  • Re:Freedom (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @06:12PM (#31576340)

    If that were wholly the case, then why is *BSD not *THE* OS out there used in everything from routers to mobile phones to desktops to servers?

    Glad you asked. The answer is simple: Because back when BSD was at its NET-2 release and not FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD (and whatever I'm forgetting), AT&T sued Berkley for releasing it. (Well, they sued Berkeley Software Design, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California; someone's going to point out that Berkeley is a city, but for this post, Berkeley means - well, the people AT&T sued.) An injunction was issued forbidding Berkeley from distributing NET-2.

    Which left people scrambling to find a new open source UNIX. Unlike today, Herd wasn't a working kernel, so that left Linux, a small project created by some student somewhere. Unfortunately Linux was missing the various userland utilities, and since BSD wasn't an option thanks to the lawsuit, that left the GNU utilities.

    And there you have it - the reason that Linux won over BSD: because of an AT&T lawsuit. But don't take my word for it, read up on it at the Wikipedia [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @06:14PM (#31576374)

    Agreed. The GPL is not free, it's ultra left-wing communist.

  • by hhw ( 683423 ) on Monday March 22, 2010 @06:29PM (#31576584) Homepage

    We can argue about degrees of freeness, but the fact that there were debates about the use of drivers (wireless I think), from BSD into Linux, I think it is fair to say there are restrictions implied in BSD too.

    Note, I think it is 100% fair to say that BSD is more free for the recipient than GPL.

    Right, BSD licensing does not give the freedom to license BSD code under a different license just because you make modifications to it. No license allows that, so you can't really call it a restriction. You can license your own modifications under any license you like however, unlike the GPL.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @08:18PM (#31577752)

    "Freedom" is a heavily overloaded word, and you have to be clear about the usage. You seem to be either confused, or intentionally using the word out of context.

    I do not know how heavily overloaded "freedom" is, but I do know that the GNU project has redefined "freedom" so that they get all of the cachet from using the word, yet none of the particularities of, you know, letting something be free.

    After all, if GNU definition was so blindingly obvious, GNU wouldn't have a track record of obsessing and telling everyone else what it means.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @08:43PM (#31577976)

    BSD license is true freedom.

Variables don't; constants aren't.