Licensing with Dead Man clause

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Norby
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Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Norby »

There are licenses which prohibit changes in OXPs, for example CC BY-NC-ND 3 or clauses used by Okti and Thargoid. This works as a timed bomb: if author is missing then nobody can fix errors, follow changes in core or extend functionality anymore which can cause losses.

License in Deep Horizons contain a solution:
The "Dead Man's Switch" Clause: If the Author is unresponsive to communication attempts through the official Oolite forums (currently located at http://aegidian.org/bb/ at the time of this writing), via email (.....@.....), and all other reasonable attempts at communication for a period of 6 months following the final communication attempt, this OXP will transition to Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 US License and all rights and priviledges are awarded accordingly. [...]
The "Dead Man's Switch" Clause within this license automatically and immediately becomes activated upon death of the Author provided that this OXP is not superseded by a later released revision.
The "Dead Man's Switch" Clause within this license will only apply if this OXP is not superseded by a later released revision.
I would like to suggest for all authors to include something similar clause if not use CC BY-NC-SA 3 which allow modify (but -ND version not). Without this the situation will be worse due to new OXPers tends to copy licenses from famous authors and the problem will spread.
What do you think?

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Cody »

I'm inclined to think that a 'dead man's switch' is a good idea. I remember Cheyd explaining his ages ago (on IRC, I think).
However, I am definitely not an expert on licenses - they are a mystery to me (like code).
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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Thargoid »

I could accept the concept, but I'm not keen on a fixed time period switching over to a free-for-all.

We have had some people take extended breaks from here and then come back, for a variety of reasons. And in many cases even during those absences they still respond to emails or other communications, even if it is just to explicitly give permissions.

I'm going to have a ponder on this with respect to licensing my own OXPs, but I will also wait to see what others may comment on this topic. There are various reasons why my license is worded and set up as it is, but I must admit I hadn't considered such a clause as I'm not planning on dying :twisted:

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Norby »

Maybe "Missing Man" is a better phrase which allow modifing after a time temporary until author is not responding, but without changing the base license. I aim to cover frequent non-fatal situations when authors take long unplanned tours in RL.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Duggan »

One of Oolite's greatest assets and attractions is the ability to personalize the game by using the creative oxps that have been created. As technology improves the creative ability of oxp developers improves.

So when I stumble upon a great oxp from 2007 and get to thinking it's a great idea but the graphics could do with ringing the changes a little. e.g the excellent two updates and facelifts to both Gal Navy and Random Hits.

I expect spara to have been able to get approval before embarking on these updates. Like wise keepers excellent retexture of Staer 9 's ship set which was only doable thanks to the oxp authors approval.

My point is, there are some great oxps from way back when that really could benefit from a look see only the authors are "persona absentia"

I for one would have loved to undertake the Cataclysm Mission but that oxp has been broken for as long as I can remember, I also very much enjoy the idea of the vector Missions.

I think in the case of consigning formerly good oxps to history for want of an update and permission from a departed author takes away from the Oolite oxp canon . I accept fully that currently active members should retain the rights of the creativity of their own creations., but if an author has been gone a couple of years and are not answering PMs....Well ..there should indeed be some recourse to getting a broken oxp working or giving the Drake a newer chassis.

Please though, Don't let good older oxps die for want of a bit of spit and polish :)
but I must admit I hadn't considered such a clause as I'm not planning on dying :twisted:
Not many of us do, It just happens sometimes....I reckon that as this game has lasted so long , it might not be too ambitious to hope that maybe our grand kids might have something of an affection for this wonderful game also but with a good few oxp's lost to history, especially your's the game would be missing something.
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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by spara »

Duggan wrote:I expect spara to have been able to get approval before embarking on these updates.
GalNavy is a fine example of a poorly licensed (no license in practice) oxp, which prevents me from making and releasing an updated version. Instead I've repaired and expanded properly licensed adck's behemoths oxp. To be able to work directly with GalNavy would make things a bit easier.

I'm very sad that KillerWolf's work has to be seen as lost due to poor licensing.

I too think that there should be some mechanism to save oxp's from dying because of author's leaving. While I'm here, I want to be in control of my oxps, but when I have left this building, I would be honoured if someone keeps my work alive.

'Dead Man clause' could be a solution, but it requires oxp licenses to be updated.

How about a stickied forum thread where oxp authors could say something like: "All my work is free for adopting if I'm gone and don't answer pms or emails for over six months."? This has already been proposed by Thargoid here.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Norby »

spara wrote:it requires oxp licenses to be updated.
I have suggestions to expedite updates and licensing of new OXPs, as JensAyton said: you must specify a license when you release an OXP.

1. The community has the power to make decisions about [wiki]OXP_List[/wiki]. After we discussed and accepted we can make a new section at the end of list (like WIP) for OXPs without license to prevent new ones getting into the main list before properly licensed. I can undertake the work to check licenses in the whole list and separate OXPs without any license into the bottom section.

2. Thargoid will make soon an extension to his license (I think) which can be used as a strict but community friendly license. If we want support license updates which cover "missing" situations then we can say ND licenses without covering this part is not enough to get into the main list but into the bottom part only, and authors can copy the solution from Cheyd or Thargoid.

I think after these authors will see that it is worth to fix licenses, or at least will say a word in this forum which allow fix it in his products.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by spara »

But the oxp list is for finding oxps to use with Oolite. Is it really a good idea to sort them by their licensing? I don't see how that helps the primary target group: players.

About licensing. If it's CC share alike, isn't it reusable anyway? Do we really need any other licensing? The problem are the old oxps with missing licences (galnavy for example) or oxps with custom licences (miner pod for example). New licencing does not really help there.

What is the real problem here? I'm kind of not seeing it as the majority of new oxps seem to be released with cc share alike already. New licencing (or oxp list ordering) will not bring KillerWolf's oxps back and I don't think it will bring the author of GalNavy back to licence his his work.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Norby »

CC SA is ok, the problem is in the custom licences. I count 60 OXPs using Thargoid-like and maybe there are more unique type. Another problem is to prevent using strict licenses like CC ND in new OXPs without attaching a solution to the "missing man" problem which will be bad for the players in time.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Cmd. Cheyd »

Speak of the devil, and he shall appear...

Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name. :D

I worked with Phantor to create that license because I knew at some point my real life would call me away from Oolite. It happened about 2 years ago. I started a new job and travel 95% of the time now, and have VERY little free time. What I have, goes to my family. I don't get to tinker with Oolite anymore. (Hoping this changes sometime next year...)

If folks want to copy my "Dead Man's Switch" Clause idea, please do. I sincerely wish more authors / creators did so that orphaned OXPs could be updated.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Cody »

Cmd. Cheyd wrote:Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.
<chortles> I rode a tank, held a General's rank!

Good to see you here, Cheyd.
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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Diziet Sma »

Cody wrote:Good to see you here, Cheyd.
Seconded! Best of luck with the planned situation change next year!
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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Cmd. Cheyd »

Thanks guys. I'll be working the same job, but instead of 95% travel, there's a long-term staff-augmentation contract where the customer needs one of us for a year plus. And it's in my home town, so... :)

If that gets inked, I'll be home nightly like a normal job. Means I'll have some free time that I don't feel emotionally obligated to devote to my wife and kids. I'll have some "me" time.

So, yeah, hoping to come back to the community soon. Till then, I'll keep dropping by every few weeks when I can. :)

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by Zireael »

1. The community has the power to make decisions about [EliteWiki] OXP_List. After we discussed and accepted we can make a new section at the end of list (like WIP) for OXPs without license to prevent new ones getting into the main list before properly licensed. I can undertake the work to check licenses in the whole list and separate OXPs without any license into the bottom section.

2. Thargoid will make soon an extension to his license (I think) which can be used as a strict but community friendly license. If we want support license updates which cover "missing" situations then we can say ND licenses without covering this part is not enough to get into the main list but into the bottom part only, and authors can copy the solution from Cheyd or Thargoid.

I think after these authors will see that it is worth to fix licenses, or at least will say a word in this forum which allow fix it in his products.
The idea with a separate part for unlicensed/poorly licensed OXPs is is a very good idea.

I believe the OXP list is too long and clunky and splitting it up into more parts will only make it more readable. Also, for the OXPers out there, it will make it clear what can be modified and what cannot.

True that it will not bring back some old authors, but at least new ones will not fall into that trap.

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Re: Licensing with Dead Man clause

Post by UK_Eliter »

Dear all

I notice that the wiki does indeed now have a section entitled 'Licensing Problems' (i.e. a section for OXPs with problematic licenses). Good! However, I wonder whether the current position of that section - namely, near the top of the page - is the best place for the section to be . .

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