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Old 08-09-2015, 11:06 PM   #46
Face
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 Well, you can ask me about my opinion, but technically I'm not a lawyer and directly answering such questions as I have the authority to do so is a felony (fraud).

And felonies are something that could kick me out from the Forum in a blink.
Oh.My.God. Is it really that hard to get an answer to a simple question? How do I have to phrase it so you are not trying to evade it?

Perhaps like so: please give me your - legally not binding or otherwise restraining - OPINION on whether you see GPL addons as illegal in the sense of the forum rules. Is that safe enough?
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:24 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Face View Post
 Of course there is. For me at least.[...] This makes the situation unclear for me. Period. Is it legal or illegal to release Orbiter addons under GPL in the sense of the forum rules? Will my addons get removed if I continue to do so, yes or no? And I sure won't hire an attorney for that.
It would depends in which country you are (or, better yet, the country where the servers used by Orbiter Hangar and Forum are). Copyright infringements are dealt differently in different countries.

In some countries, it's a felony. In others, just an infraction or even less, a contravention. That's why I'm reluctant in accept the use of "illegal" in this discussion.

But getting back to your concernings (and away from my covering ones ), yes, your addons can be taken down at any moment without notice - but not because their are GPL'ed, but simply because they are there.

Any half baked attorney nowadays can issue a letter of "Cease and Desist" to a site complaining about anything, and then the site owner itself should issue a counter notice to dispute the claim. There should be ONE counter notice to EACH Cease and Desist claim, and this can be a huge task to a site maintainer.

Worst, by issuing the counter notice, the maintainer will become liable of the copyright infringement if he lose the case. If he simply complies, all the charges goes only to the guy that upload the material.

GPL is far from the most used excuse for emitting a Cease and Desist claim, since my affirmations that GPL is not a problem now.

But in the event in which Orbiter became famous enough to attract some economics interest from someone, I think it would not cost too much on closing an obvious attack vector.

For a example of a potential external and hostile stakeholder, a Game Publisher could think it would be a good idea to publish their own Space Simulator, and it would be their best interest to taking down as much Orbiter addons they can to make their solution more attractive in comparison (yes, this already happened before).

This can happen? Yes, it can (it already did...)

This is going to happen? Who knows...

---------- Post added at 11:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:20 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
 Oh.My.God. Is it really that hard to get an answer to a simple question? How do I have to phrase it so you are not trying to evade it?
When laws are involved, yes it is!

The World is a dangerous place, there're lawyers at loose out there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
 Perhaps like so: please give me your - legally not binding or otherwise restraining - OPINION on whether you see GPL addons as illegal in the sense of the forum rules. Is that safe enough?
As long as nobody "out there" cares about Orbiter, it's safe.

For while.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:35 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 That's why I'm reluctant in accept the use of "illegal" in this discussion.
So much I have guessed already.

---------- Post added at 01:35 ---------- Previous post was at 01:32 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 As long as nobody "out there" cares about Orbiter, it's safe.

For while.
And again no answer. But I understand, anyway.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:46 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Face View Post
  And again no answer. But I understand, anyway.
Unfortunately, this is a question that can not be honestly answered.

---------- Post added at 11:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:40 PM ----------

I made a subtle, but serious mistake in my argument, and I want to clarify myself.

There's the code OWNER, and there's the COPYRIGHT HOLDER. I used OWNER wrongly, I should had used COPYRIGHT HOLDER ( I edited my posts and fixed them).

You can be the owner of the code and sell the rights to copy and resell your work for another guy (essentially, the business model of the Game Publishers nowadays).

It's tricky to see the difference, but it's important to know it (all that mess about GPL is because Gnu uses the Copyright laws to fight Copyright - a very awkward example of reentrancy on law enforcement - they call it Copyleft. )
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:50 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 Unfortunately, this is a question that can not be honestly answered.
Sure it can... "Do you think GPL addons are illegal in the sense of the forum rules?"
  1. "Yes, because... (e.g. GPL forbids binding to the Orbiter libs)!"
  2. "No, because.. (e.g. Orbiter addons are clearly made for Orbiter, so the exception is implicit)."
  3. "I don't know."

Or do you mean it is against the forum rules to answer it honestly? Wow... that would be a kind of... rules inception .
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
 Sure it can... "Do you think GPL addons are illegal in the sense of the forum rules?"
  1. "Yes, because... (e.g. GPL forbids binding to the Orbiter libs)!"
  2. "No, because.. (e.g. Orbiter addons are clearly made for Orbiter, so the exception is implicit)."
  3. "I don't know."

Or do you mean it is against the forum rules to answer it honestly? Wow... that would be a kind of... rules inception .
Forum rules are not law abiding, so its not illegal to break these rules per se.

Some Forum rules can reflect the law in some countries, so breaking these rules would be illegal in such countries - but not because the Forum rules says so, but because the Laws that the rules mimics says so.

But if you are asking if GPL addons are against Forum Policies, and then liable to be taken down by the Forum rules, then it's completely another history. Let me read all that rules and I will reply in a moment.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:04 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 Let me read all that rules...
Does that mean you did not read them thoroughly when joining the forums?!?! GOTCHA! BURN HIM!

just kidding, of course...
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:54 AM   #53
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Default My opinion on GPL AddOns compliance to *Forum* Rules

From here:
Quote:
Fraudulent activity will not be tolerated.

Fraudulent activity on ORBITER-FORUM.COM is strictly prohibited, including but not limited to; hacking the forum (guessing someone else's password counts as hacking), creating a "sock puppet" account or creating a new account to get around a ban, illegal peer-to-peer game or media swapping, illegal download sites, or rip-off websites. Do not point people to illegal software or media distribution sites. Don't ask for serial numbers, manuals, or cracks.
{emphasis are mine}

Not, it's not Forum Policy Violation to talk or link about GPL AddOns. The rules talk about illegal download sites, not illegal download content - so you can publish a link to an illegal download content if the site hosting it is not specialized on it! (a loophole that I think will be fixed soon... )

If the GPL copyright infringement hypothesis is valid about Orbiter AddOns, it would be a problem to the site that hosts the AddOn (Hangar), not to the guy that talks, develops or links this addon here.

Of course, depending in what country you are, you can be prosecuted by doing so (being or not kicked out from Forum).


Quote:
Fraudulent activity can and usually will result in the termination of your forum account.
And this is the reason I'm reluctant in directly answering legal questions. I'm not a lawyer, and doing that can be seen as fraudulent activity. So why take the risk?

---------- Post added at 12:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
 Does that mean you did not read them thoroughly when joining the forums?!?!
uh.... Whoops. =P

---------- Post added at 12:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:14 AM ----------

I didn't found any set of rules on Orbiter Hangar.

But digging into Forums, I found this:

Quote:
5. Reporting copyright / license violations for Orbiter addons.

Do not post on the public forums accusing someone of stealing another person's work. Doing so is not constructive, nor is it the best way to contact that person. If the addon in question is published on ORBITHANGAR.COM, then you should report it by using the Report This Add-On button, located on the top-right corner of each addon's page (looks like an exclamation mark icon). Please include the name of the original addon and a link to the copy-righted material and any other evidence required to support your claim in the report on orbithangar.com. Complaints raised without evidence will not be responded to.
By going there, I finally found this.
Quote:
5. Copyrights and Permissions

a. The uploading of content to Orbit Hangar Mods without the explicit permission of the original author is prohibited.

b. If you are uploading an add-on containing content created by someone other than yourself, you must give the original author credit in a text file within your add-on's archive as well as in the add-on description.

c. If any complaints are received about permissions, the add-on targeted by the complaints will be removed and the uploader will be asked not to upload the file again until proper credit is given within the archive and description.
So, the Orbiter Hangar are completely agnostic about Copyright Laws and Licenses. Orbiter Hangar maintainers will respond to any claim at their entire discretion.

So, nope. They will not kick your addon out by using GPL for your code. They will kick your addon out for any reason they find relevant.

I think you should ask the guys directly to know what they think about GPL addons.

---------- Post added at 12:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:36 AM ----------

I finally found something that *might* hurt you, the GPL loving developer, if someone really twists the Rules against you.

From here:
Quote:
*If the staff believe you have violated one of our forum policies, they will issue you a warning or an infraction. If you receive an infraction, first you will get an automatic PM from the mod that issued you the infraction. This PM will have an explanation of what we believe you violated, which infraction you have received, and the point value (if applicable).

We have 19 categories for infractions right now:
[...]
Excessive Posting
Inappropriate Material
[...]
Illegal Content
Terms of Service Violation
[...]
Bullying New Members
[...]

Each infraction has the following point values and expiration times.
[...]
3 Points -- Excessive Posting (60 day expiration)
4 Points -- Inappropriate Material (60 day expiration)
[...]
5 Points -- Illegal Content (60 day expiration)
5 Points -- Copyright & Terms Infringement (60 day expiration)
[...]
5 Points -- Terms of Service Violation (60 day expiration)


What happens when I get a certain amount of points?

If you accumulate enough points actions will be taken. Below is a list of point values and their respective action.
9 points -- 3 Day Account Suspension
14 points -- 7 Day Account Suspension
19 points -- 2 week Account Suspension
24 points -- Account Termination
So, yes, theoretically and *IF* GPL'ed Orbiter AddOns are considered copyright infringement by some moderator, there's a chance that you can get some infraction points - if the moderator is willing to do that. I didn't saw anything that *forces* a moderator to do something.

Frankly? We can get infraction points for excessive posting (how much is excessive?), for inappropriate material (where are the acceptable or unacceptable material listing?) and even by Bullying new Members (bullying old members is ok?).

I'm concluding that GPL'ed addons can be a problem - as far as anything else.

Last edited by Lisias; 08-10-2015 at 04:31 AM. Reason: man, my english sucks. =/
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:17 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Lisias View Post
 I'm concluding that GPL'ed addons can be a problem - as far as anything else.
So in other words: it is not clear. Thanks for the analysis!
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:38 AM   #55
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The general consensus seems to be this:
  1. Publishing a GPL addon without an Orbiter exception is probably a violation, unless there's an implied exception.
  2. Only copyright holders can take down the addon. As long as no other GPL software is used, this is the addon developers
Is that correct?

Question to face:
  1. Is it even legit to publish GPL w/ exception code, derived from some other GPL code? Does the Orbiter exception make the GPL w/ exception non-compatible with vanilla GPL?

What are we even arguing about? Multistage? Face, I assume you put an Orbiter exception in, is the issue some addon that uses some vanilla GPL code?
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:25 AM   #56
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I have to admit that this discussion is making my head hurt. No wonder lawyers charge so much.

Anyway, on my set of addons I put a light-hearted blurb in there along the lines of; Hey, I did all this work for free. If you want to use it fine, just credit me.

Would that be in the realms of a fire-and-forget type license? I reallly only concerned myself with someone taking my mesh as their own. Even then drawings and dimensions are pretty easy to find. I'd have a hard time saying "That mesh is MINE!!!" if someone else used the same drawings to develop the same rocket. Maybe I could score on the textures? But even then I had one of the guys make a logo for me and I credited him in the documentation. I also made it super simple for others to add their own nose art/graphics.

Last edited by PhantomCruiser; 08-10-2015 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:31 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
 So in other words: it is not clear. Thanks for the analysis!
Yes, its not clear - but please note that isn't clear towards GPL per se, but because the rules are not explicit in details.

I don't see this as a problem - Forum rules are not law abiding, so there's no point in detailing every possible violation, we already have the Government doing that.

---------- Post added at 04:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:34 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by meson800 View Post
 The general consensus seems to be this:
  1. Publishing a GPL addon without an Orbiter exception is probably a violation, unless there's an implied exception.
  2. Only copyright holders can take down the addon. As long as no other GPL software is used, this is the addon developers
Is that correct?
It's my understanding of the status quo, and I don't know of anyone that can state the inverse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by meson800 View Post
 Question to face:
  1. Is it even legit to publish GPL w/ exception code, derived from some other GPL code? Does the Orbiter exception make the GPL w/ exception non-compatible with vanilla GPL?
Excellent questions. I wish I could answer it with the same excellence!

It's my understanding that you need the permission from *ALL* copyright holders in order to add an exception to the given codetree (it appears to fall in the same case of double licensing).

If you are the only holder, no problem.

If you are using someone else's code that is also GPL, It' my understanding that you need the permission from the guy(s). But I can be wrong here, I will see what I can find on FSF site.

If you are using someone else's code that is not GPL, but GPL compatible, your mileage will vary. BSD is always a green light on this matter, by the way.

---------- Post added at 05:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomCruiser View Post
 I have to admit that this discussion is making my head hurt. No wonder lawyers charge so much.
It hurted a little to learn all that stuff, you are not alone.

(and I still make mistakes, by the way...)


Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomCruiser View Post
 Anyway, on my set of addons I put a light-hearted blurb in there along the lines of; Hey, I did all this work for free. If you want to use it fine, just credit me.

Would that be in the realms of a fire-and-forget type license?
Yes, it's a fire-and-forget license - if you says so explicitly. I downloaded one of your addon (EnergiaM), and I didn't found anything stating that, however.

So the traditional copyright laws applies (at least in my country), and nobody can (re)use your work without your permission (even the permission to use by end users are implicit in your case).


Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomCruiser View Post
 I really only concerned myself with someone taking my mesh as their own. Even then drawings and dimensions are pretty easy to find. I'd have a hard time saying "That mesh is MINE!!!" if someone else used the same drawings to develop the same rocket. Maybe I could score on the textures? But even then I had one of the guys make a logo for me and I credited him in the documentation. I also made it super simple for others to add their own nose art/graphics.
As far as I understand, Copyright laws entitles you to a set of rights when you develop a work, and you must explicitly wave each one of them that someone else will need in order to be able to use it somehow. Without explicit consent, it would be wrong even to download and use it on my computer (that consent is implicitly given by Forum Hangar rules). So as far as I know, your work is already protected - if you are willing to make the claims in case of infringement.

Things get complicated when you are willing to allow others to reuse your work on some ways, but not in another ones. This is the hard part - how to give the needed permissions without unwillingly waiving other rights by accident.

Using your add on as example, you don't want other people to copy and distribute your meshes in their add ons, that is clear. But would you allow someone to write an addon that depends of yours?

May I write and distribute a DLL that loads one of your meshes as far as I state that the user should download your add on first?

May I write and use only in my computer a DLL that loads one of your meshes?

Without your explicit consent (or Orbit Hangar implicit ones, that you are obliged in order to upload your add on there), I can, legally, do nothing!

---------- Post added at 05:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:21 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by meson800 View Post
 [*]Is it even legit to publish GPL w/ exception code, derived from some other GPL code?
I was right - you must get permission from *ALL* copyright holders in order to make an exception.

From Gnu site:
Quote:
Only the copyright holders for the program can legally release their software under these terms {the GPL incompatible code linking}. If you wrote the whole program yourself, then assuming your employer or school does not claim the copyright, you are the copyright holder—so you can authorize the exception. But if you want to use parts of other GPL-covered programs by other authors in your code, you cannot authorize the exception for them. You have to get the approval of the copyright holders of those programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meson800 View Post
 Does the Orbiter exception make the GPL w/ exception non-compatible with vanilla GPL?
No. Other GPL projects can still use your GPL with exception code (it's still GPL!). What's not clear is if they are obliged to keep the exception.

What I understood by reading the GCC system library exception rationale (these guys have a huge headache to deal on, they compile the world!) is that you don't have to keep the Exception in your codetree if you don't want. A GPL with exception appears to be something like double licensing, you choose the license that suits you best.

So if you use code from someone else that is GPL'ed with an exception, and don't mind the exception, it appears to me that you can keep it in your codetree (but you don't have to if you don't want).

If you don't keep the exception, and someone else wants to use your code under another GPL project that needs that exception back, it's my understanding that the guy should ask your permission to do that - but the permission from the original project's copyright holders is already granted.

---------- Post added at 06:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred18 View Post
 The only thing that I would like to protect are:
Man, I'm sorry! I missed your post!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fred18 View Post
 - do not circulate the dll without permission, but just provide the link
Under the GPL, I'm afraid you are not entitled to do so. You are not entitled to prevent your customers from further redistribute any GPL work no matter it's yours or not.

You should use another license, and add a explicit statement that you and Orbit Hangar are the sole authorized distributors of the binary package (the license you use should allows such restriction, by the way).

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred18 View Post
 - do not take all the files, press "compile" and then say that you have a new multistage file made by yourself

How can I protect this but allowing the correct free circulation of the open source code?
That is easy. You keep the copyright of the project name, and forbids its use by anyone except with explicit authorization. The BSD guys did that.

Another option is forbidding the use of the code in ways that would compete with you. Microsoft does that, IIRC (it's a "non compete" clause). But again, you must choose (or write from scratch) a license that allows such restriction.

But as far as I know you can't prevent one to write another DLL with the same filename and distribute it saying it's yet another implementation to solve the same problem.

Such a license I described here would not be OSI approved - but this would be hardly a problem to you.

Last edited by Lisias; 08-10-2015 at 08:04 AM. Reason: fighting language barrier while trying to make my statements clearer
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:37 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by PhantomCruiser View Post
 I have to admit that this discussion is making my head hurt. No wonder lawyers charge so much.
But I also find it interesting that the Orbiter add-on community is professional enough to for this to be recognized as an issue. Perhaps too professional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meson800 View Post
 [*]Only copyright holders can take down the addon. As long as no other GPL software is used, this is the addon developers
I don't get it. If listed on O-H, then the addon developer can already take it down at any time for any reason, regardless of licensing (assuming that the uploader is the developer). If other GPL software is involved, wouldn't it be quite against the spirit of the GPL for them to throw a hissy to force the add-on to be removed?
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:12 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by boogabooga View Post
 I don't get it. If listed on O-H, then the addon developer can already take it down at any time for any reason, regardless of licensing (assuming that the uploader is the developer).
I think we messed up the discussion a little (and I'm also have my share of the fault, I didn't noticed this).

Only the copyright holders can issue (or better saying, hire a lawyer to issue) a Cease and Desist Claim to force the addon to be taken down from Orbit Hangar.

Any add on can be taken down by Orbit Hangar's moderators for any reason they like. They're kind enough to publish a set of rules they oblige themselves to follow - but again, there's no law in this World that enforce that rules to them, they can change or ignore that rules at their entire discretion.

Any addon can be taken down anytime by its uploader, at his entire discretion.

Please take this in consideration on all my statements.

So I think that the idea would be better phrased as:

Quote:
Only copyright holders can FORCE the take down of the addon. As long as no other GPL software is used, the addon developer is the only one with the right to do so .


---------- Post added at 07:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:58 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogabooga View Post
 If other GPL software is involved, wouldn't it be quite against the spirit of the GPL for them to throw a hissy to force the add-on to be removed?
Au contraire, it's totally in the spirit of the GPL to issue a Copyright infringement claim against any code that violates the GPL.

The guys from the Free Software Foundation advocates that every software would be free (as in freedom), and they don't have any interest in promoting any kind of software that is not Free Software.

So if someone makes a non free software that makes unlawful use of a free software, it's their best interest to take it down as it is against what they defends!

Last edited by Lisias; 08-10-2015 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:12 AM   #60
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What are we even arguing about?
I think the original argument was Face lamenting about the restrictive multistage 2015 license, and then people started lawyering
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