Table of Contents
In the PlaneShift Project we have two different licenses:
It is very important that new developers and the community understand why we have decided to split our efforts among these two licenses, so we encourage you to read it all. If you just want to have a brief explanation jump here.
Atomic Blue is the name of the Non Profit Organization that holds all copyrights of PlaneShift assets and is used to run the development team.
The PlaneShift Team believes strongly in the Open Source community and, more importantly, in the Open Source philosophy and process. For this reason, before the project ever started, we decided to open our source code and to have all this code publicly available. The theory was that the Open Source strategy would enable us to gain more developers and to share knowledge and ideas with people that do not have the time to join our team full time, but are still interested in contributing some code. We believed it would enable PlaneShift to build a community of developers and to help other projects that decide to use Crystal Space as their 3D engine. We have been gratified over the last three years to see that these beliefs were correct.
The more controversial decision, of course, was the decision to use more proprietary licenses for the non-code assets of the game. However, we believed at the time and still believe that this decision is a necessity for the success of this project and protects the value of the efforts of all team members.
Let us explain our view of the MMORPG scene and of the many developers out there that are trying to build a game.
It all starts when someone has a great idea and he begins to work very hard to obtain what he wants. He will surely look to other games and he will try to build something that is at least decent compared to the current industry standards. The tremendous amount of work needed to create a competitive product will overwhelm him. No one can create a good game without a big and solid team. In the gaming industry there s no place for small projects, they will simply fail for lack of resources, lack of time, lack of money, and mainly lack of commitment. If the project does not progress quickly, the interest of the net- surfers dwindles and with it the morale of the team. With bad team morale, the project slowly dies. Surely he can ask the community of developers to help him, but they will be probably running their own projects, or they want to attach themselves to a winner, not a sinking ship so they will have no time or inclination to really help. The problem is that many people have a good idea in mind for a great game and start to create a new project on a very small scale. They focus on adding the most innovative ideas and content, but this costs a lot in terms of resources. When using this method any small project will ultimately fail.
In the current MMORPG and RPG scene, many projects are very similar. Although different teams tend to build everything in different ways-new rules, new races, new interface, new engine-if you look closely, their final goal is absolutely the same: a persistent multiplayer fantasy world forming a successful and enjoyable game. This diffusion of talent with common goals among dispersed projects is one of the primary reasons few Open Source projects succeed.
We have seen too many projects fail, and it is painful to see more when we know how much effort has been put into them. We want to find a way to gather all these individualistic developers and create a successful project-for the players, but also for those developers that share the same dream.
The commercial industry does not care too much about Open Source because in most cases the projects are not organized and strong enough to reach their goal and to compete with them. The only way for any of these small OSS projects to succeed is to sacrifice a little of their pride and to join a large and well- organized team. In this way, all talented people can bring their ideas and skills into one project. These talented people will be less responsible for overall project progress, but they can concentrate more on what they really want to do, have more fun and have a much greater chance of success.
Our vision is to convince talented and dedicated people that this is the right path to follow, by focusing on two key objectives: gathering and keeping resources, and maximizing chances of success.
Objective 1: Gathering resources under a single common project is very important to build a strong team. We should try to avoid our project forking into other similar projects, because that means splitting resources and thus, lowering our chances of success. Those other forked projects will repeat efforts already spent on discussion of rules, building new races, writing new code and we will end up again with a lot of resources wasted and no goal reached.
Objective 2: Ensuring success is another key point of our organization. We are trying to preserve the work done by our members as much as we possibly can, with licenses and by adding only talented members to our team. For the project to be successful, it needs to be unique in architecture, rules, music and ideas; it must attract good players and RPG ers and create a fun, stimulating, friendly community. Most importantly, it must be playable and complete.
To try best to achieve these two goals we have made some tough decisions about licenses. However, in order to explain our conclusion, first it is necessary to examine the alternatives:
Option 1: Release absolutely everything under the GPL license. This option sounds great in theory but in practice has the following problems:
Option 2: Leave the copyrights in the names of the authors of the material. Again, this approach sounds very fair to everyone, but on closer examination has the following problems:
Option 3: The final (and best) option is to have a proprietary license that will assure past, present and future PlaneShift Team members that Objectives 1 and 2 are met and that their work will be used for PlaneShift only.
A contributor does not have to be a member of Atomic Blue (a non-profit organization), to submit graphics, rules, code or any other contribution for use in PlaneShift. However, he is required to agree to the ABC LICENSE, which creates three categories into which submissions are divided, each of which is licensed differently: source code, game rules and all other work.
Assets that are property of Atomic Blue, use the following PlaneShift Content License.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR USAGE, COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION
0. This License applies to any material or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this PlaneShift Content License.
1. Terms defined in this Article 1, and parenthetically elsewhere, shall throughout this License have the meanings here and there provided. Defined terms may be used in the singular or plural. Definitions:
2. You may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, sell, participate in the transfer or sale or reproduce, create Derivative Works from, distribute, perform, display or in any way exploit any of the Material released under this License unless expressly permitted by the PlaneShift Team.
3. You may use the provided Material, for personal use only, to connect to an Official PlaneShift Server only in conjunction with a PlaneShift Client, distributed by the PlaneShift Team. Official PlaneShift Servers can only be designated by PlaneShift Team.
4. THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE MATERIAL PROVIDED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. THE MATERIAL IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE MATERIAL IS WITH YOU.
5. IN NO EVENT SHALL ATOMIC BLUE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE MATERIAL.
END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS