# License Wars MEGA THREAD (now with GPL!)

#### meson800

Donator
But once I download the bundle, where is the link that guarantees me such right granting applies to me?

If the bundle was by some personal, non legal reasons dropped from OHM, I still have the rights to keep using that bundle?

Its defensible under the Copyright Act such kind of implicit licensing? Or in other words, The TOS of the site I download something can be used a licensing terms of the material I downloaded from them? It's this licensing terms still valid if the content is withdraw from the site?

And, this is the most important part, on what grounds you uphold your responses for my questions?

(links, quotes, anything - please educate me)
All of those are covered under private use.

By your means, you are implying that as long I do not distribute, it's perfectly ok to use Software under Copyright infringement?

Am I allowed to use a Pirated Copy of Microsoft Windows to run Orbiter, as long as I do not further distribute it?
Yes.

Why do people get in trouble for torrenting? Is it because that Game of Thrones episode sitting on their hard drive is illegal? No. People get in trouble for distributing copyrighted material, which happens whenever you torrent.

For an example, I had to agree that I read the following for college:
Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material...is a violation of US civil and criminal law under the federal Copyright Act

Not unauthorized use, not seeing Emilia Clarke without subscribing to HBO, but unauthorized distribution is what is illegal.

For another example, see this article on pirated Windows 10.

Microsoft clearly knows which copies of Windows 10 are pirated, they have the ability to put watermarks on your screen. If it really was illegal to use copyrighted products, wouldn't Microsoft just find your IP address, report to the police (who would find your house through your ISP), and arrest you instead of just putting a watermark?

In that article there's a quote from the Microsoft executive vice president of operating systems:
Non-Genuine Windows has a high risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information, and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions. Non-Genuine Windows is not supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner
Not "non-genuine Windows has a chance of you getting arrested or sued", but just non-support and higher chances of viruses.

Moreover, as the US Government site on copyright points out:
Infringement is a crime only where it is done “willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain.” 17 U.S.C. § 506(a). The penalties for criminal infringement, set forth in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, are determined by its extent: if the infringer has made, in any 180-day period, ten or more copies of one or more copyrighted works with a total retail value of $2,500, the crime is a felony entailing up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to$250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations. That was the original definition of infringement, which hinged on how many copies were made. The No Electronic Theft act amended this to: The NET Act amended the definition of "commercial advantage or private financial gain" to include the "receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works" (17 USC 101), and specifies penalties of up to five years in prison and up to$250,000 in fines. In addition, it added a threshold for criminal liability where the infringer neither obtained nor expected to obtain anything of value for the infringement – "by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than \$ 1,000

All of these definitions hinge on reproduction.

And, more important, the paper you link (interesting reading) is Law Abiding? Ms. Jessica Litman interpretation of the Law is usable over USA borders?

Now, and IMHO, we need to address the use rights from people from other countries too. Such law interpretation is valid on EU?
No idea. I put the burden of proof on you, to find a case where someone got sued because of private use. I doubt it exists, but prove me wrong :thumbup:

I don't see GitHub granting me the right to use the forked material.

Picky? Yes. But nobody likes to be poked by such things.

Yet further, in the very same page you gave us:

They don't have to grant you the right to private use.

As to later, yes, that doesn't grant you the right to "fork" or create a derivate work. Github's TOS lets you create a "Github fork" which is different than what we generally mean with "fork".

That is an example where a clause in the TOS can allow a website to operate (everyone needs to grant the write to push the fork button).

I'm starting to feel like this is just trolling. So many arguments have been answered and countered. So I'm sorry to OF for feeding the trolls, if that is the case.

#### Lisias

##### Space Traveller Wanna-be
So many arguments have been answered and countered. So I'm sorry to OF for feeding the trolls, if that is the case.

The following case is more than 10 years old, so perhaps this thing could not happen nowadays (that WIPO thing et all).

From here:
As an adult, Mr Griffiths joined an internet group making proprietary software and computer games available for download, without financial gain. Members in 20 countries were investigated for software piracy in the US where the copyright was held. In December 2001, the Australian Federal Police seized Mr Griffiths’ computer.

It is clear to me that nothing of this is hassle for USA citizens. There will be no further arguments of mine about.

I have nothing more to add.

#### Urwumpe

##### Not funny anymore
Donator

Like has been said here VERY often: Distribution is illegal. Not ownership. The members of this group had distributed copyright protected material without permission of the copyright owner.

Also, the group had been active in criminal activities related to the copyright violation (mostly related to the operations of the group, no, you are not getting a criminal alone by not telling anybody that you download illegal software), which turned this from simple copyright violations (which would be a civil case) into a criminal investigation and other police agencies in other countries getting active.

Yes, of course, the copyright owners try to construct a crime so the state has to pay the bill for them. But you would be surprised how often a) the criminal charges are dropped and only civil damages remaining and b) the criminal investigation turned against the copyright holders because they violated laws themselves for finding the copyright violators.

#### dseagrav

I just realised this will mean GPLing the new version of OHM, too

No it won't. Unless I use the Affero GPL, installing on a server does not equal distribution.

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#### Xyon

##### Puts the Fun in Dysfunctional
Moderator
Webmaster
GFX Staff
Donator
Beta Tester
No it won't. Unless I use the Affero GPL, installing on a server does not equal distribution.

Oh true, interacting with !== integrating.

I might do it anyway, since I've just determined the frameworks it's been started in are compatible. I mean, why not?

#### dseagrav

http://www.lunar-tokyo.net/OALP/OALP.html

Here's the test interface for the license picker. All of the important pieces should be there. There's probably still issues in combining multiple source or multiple asset licenses in the same project (mixing someone's ARR assets with someone else's CC BY-SA assets or different CC options in the same project) but all the major issues (L/GPL+CC assets) should work OK.

If no major issues come up, I'll release it.

#### martins

##### Orbiter Founder
Orbiter Founder
I just came across this thread - 440+ posts in a month on LICENSING? Don't you guys have some addons to write? :lol:

Anyway, I couldn't bring myself to go through the entire thread, but I guess the gist is that Orbiter as a closed-source application might create some problems for certain open-source licenses in addons. Sorry about that, but Orbiter is what it is, and there are no immediate plans of going open-source.

If I understand correctly, the concern is that GPL in particular might not be appicable for addons, but that the problem can be resolved by adding an explicit exception, allowing the addon to be linked from the Orbiter executable. If that's the consensus, then by all means add such an exception. Personally, I regard that exception as implied, given that the only sensible use for an Orbiter addon is, well, to be added to Orbiter.

If you feel that LGPL is more applicable, by all means. If you think that double or triple-licensing is the only way forward, good for you. If you feel that you can't make use of somebody else's code because of their licensing terms, don't use it. If you feel that no existing licenses quite fit the bill, make up your own. If you feel disturbed about my lack of excitement about the issue, I can't help it.

On a slightly more serious note, I can understand that the multitude of licenses used for Orbiter addons is a problem, because it makes it difficult to decide what you can include or link against from your own code. Enforcing a common "Orbiter addon license" for all orbit-hangar based addons might have helped, but I guess that ship has sailed.

Now back to some Orbiter bug-hunting ...

#### Face

Beta Tester
I just came across this thread - 440+ posts in a month on LICENSING? Don't you guys have some addons to write? :lol:

At least we have a 440+ thread now to point people to. :lol:

We would write addons, if not every now and then some troll comes along and tells us that our chosen license is not applicable to Orbiter addons, followed more or less by a virtual nod by the community here. Besides: this only seems to be the case if you happen to use GPL.

Many developers already made up their minds about what license they want to use, which is not the point here. The point is that others tell them that they are not allowed to use that license for Orbiter addons. That their addons in fact are harmful for the community due to the license. Which I think is not the case.

I take it that you are not interested in licensing, so you are totally fine with Orbiter addons using GPL. Is that right?

#### martins

##### Orbiter Founder
Orbiter Founder
As far as I am concerned, and speaking as a layman - yes. But that doesn't say anything about the actual applicability here. You'll have to use your own judgement for that.

I remember the exact same discussion with regard to licensing the Orbiter Visualisation Project, resulting in double-licensing OVP with GPL and LGPL. At the time I think this made everybody happy. I very much hope I don't have to roll out that debate again.

#### Face

Beta Tester
As far as I am concerned, and speaking as a layman - yes. But that doesn't say anything about the actual applicability here. You'll have to use your own judgement for that.

Of course. Given the length of the discussion here, opinions whether or not it is applicable vary that much now, that I don't give a damn about the legal point anymore. Seems like if it comes to GPL, if you ask 10 people, you get 20 opinions.

YOUR opinion, however, is what is much more important to me. I also think it is very important to the majority of the Orbiter community. If you say it is fine to you, I don't need any other convincing.

Thank you for your clear statement, it is much appreciated!

I remember the exact same discussion with regard to licensing the Orbiter Visualisation Project, resulting in double-licensing OVP with GPL and LGPL. At the time I think this made everybody happy. I very much hope I don't have to roll out that debate again.

Indeed. However, back then it was "just" OVP, now it was whether or not GPL addons are somehow "bad" for Orbiter.

With OVP it was already a procedure to get permission of everybody involved, then change the license. Also it was driven by one particular contributor of the project itself, which is a totally normal process.

In this case here, the notion was to bully other projects into changing their licenses for the sake of conformity to some perceived applicability. As if suddenly their work was illegal and should be shunned. Typical anti-GPL FUD, if you so want.

In the end it was established that the whole "problem" was none to start with, because the license was mistaken for an end-user agreement. GPL is mostly a distribution license, not a usage agreement.

Therefore I don't think that the OVP project will see another license change debate, especially because it already has one of the less "viral" forms (LGPL).

regards,
Face

#### Donamy

Donator
Beta Tester
I'm glad that's all taken care of. And I agree with the Dr. ... Let's make some addons.

#### meson800

Donator
There was also the question about people deriving addons from the SDK samples, which are marked "All Rights Reserved". I think the thread agreed that its implied that the OF community can make derived works from the SDK samples, because they are samples. Is that ok with you?

#### dbeachy1

Moderator
Donator
Beta Tester
I just came across this thread - 440+ posts in a month on LICENSING? Don't you guys have some addons to write? :lol:

It's even more dramatic -- it was 425 posts in just nine days. Not including the posts that met an untimely death by moderation, of course.

#### fred18

Donator
Since it was my addon that triggered this discussion crazily... I just would like to inform that I will release the code but without GPL, simpy with this statement:

Multistage2015 is distributed FREEWARE. Its code is distributed along with the dll. Nobody is authorized to exploit the module or the code or parts of them commercially directly or indirectly.

You CAN distribute the dll together with your addon but in this case you MUST:

- Include credit to the author in your addon documentation
- Add to the addon documentation the official link of Orbit Hangar Mods for download and suggest to download the latest and updated version of the module

You CAN use parts of the code of Multistage2015, but in this case you MUST:

- Give credits in your copyright header and in your documentation for the part you used.

You CAN NOT use the entire code for making and distributing the very same module claiming it as your work entirely or partly.

You CAN NOT claim that Multistage2015 is an invention of yourself or a work made up by yourself, or anyhow let intend that is not made and coded by the author.

You install and use Multistage2015 at your own risk, author will not be responsible for any claim or damage subsequent to its use or for the use of part of it or of part of its code.

I think it's fair, I hope that covers what is needed, if yes and somebody steals... my girlfriend is a lawyer :lol:

if it doesn't cover well... I'm doing this for fun... I'm not creating any new technology that could lead to billions... So no worries!

Cheers guys

Fred

#### Face

Beta Tester
I think it's fair, I hope that covers what is needed, if yes and somebody steals... my girlfriend is a lawyer :lol:

if it doesn't cover well... I'm doing this for fun... I'm not creating any new technology that could lead to billions... So no worries!

Sounds almost like MIT :thumbup:.

What you apparently can do, too, is take large parts of your code, put some additional features in it, then distribute this extras as closed-source, right? Of course you have to credit the original author, but nowhere does it say that these changes have to be open, too. That's why I proposed GPL for that kind of middle-ware.

If you are happy with this possibilities: no worries!

#### fred18

Donator
good point! Thank you very much! I'll add the open source obligation and that's it. I'm about to upload it to OH finally :sweet:

#### n122vu

Donator
You CAN use parts of the code of Multistage2015, but in this case you MUST:

- Give credits in your copyright header and in your documentation for the part you used.

You CAN NOT use the entire code for making and distributing the very same module claiming it as your work entirely or partly.

I'd like some clarification here please if you don't mind.

If, in the future, for whatever reason, you decide to leave the community, and Orbiter Addon Development behind, or God forbid your life ends unexpectedly, my understanding is I or another addon developer could take MS2015 as it is and continue development into the future because we would either be using 'parts of the code' (all of them in this case) to develop the new module, or relevant to the second point above, using the entire code as a base for a new module (not the very same module).

Do I understand this correctly?

#### fred18

Donator
I'd like some clarification here please if you don't mind.

If, in the future, for whatever reason, you decide to leave the community, and Orbiter Addon Development behind, or God forbid your life ends unexpectedly, my understanding is I or another addon developer could take MS2015 as it is and continue development into the future because we would either be using 'parts of the code' (all of them in this case) to develop the new module, or relevant to the second point above, using the entire code as a base for a new module (not the very same module).

Do I understand this correctly?

since this is exactly what I was meaning I'm happy to have been understood! :thumbup:

Point is: I would like to be the one who develops this project as far as I am present in the community, if one day I won't follow this anymore anyone can start from here.

I had to redo vinka from scratch, I'm avoiding this from happening again

#### stefan85

##### New member
*push*
A little push from a USER wanna using orbiter and it's addons. Is GPL really a nogo when you link non-gpl stuff? I think no! Because you only link it.

It's a shame. If everybode would release as an OS licence any other one could go ahead and take over dev. The thinking most of you have is not userfriendly. Orbiter will die as you see nowwhere and the community and it's absence of a community moderator is the reason. No rules for the community, war, licence fights. Thanks! What about to release your addons as opensource? GPL, LGPL, MIT, Apache as most companies release who struggler over open source. No... every semi developer needs to have it's own right on it's code. Sure they might have, but this is a kick in the ass of an community not gonna pay for addons. Then make this payware!.

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#### 4throck

##### Enthusiast !
In practice, licenses won't solve much.
My favorite example is Project Mercury. The code is there since 2006, ready to be updated!

This doesn't happen because of time. It simply takes too long to create something up to today's standards for free.

If it was simple, I'm sure someone would have programmed something like UCGO.