|| ||David White <davewx7-AT-gmail.com> |
|| ||Rusty Russell <rusty-AT-rustcorp.com.au> |
|| ||Re: Wesnoth Apple App Store GPL violation? |
|| ||Mon, 12 Jul 2010 12:23:17 -0500|
|| ||Article, Thread
Whew, it seems like when one spends more than 24 hours to come up with a
reply on a thread like this, by the time they get around to replying their
reply is obsolete! :) Still you raise some points that I think are worth
addressing, but first I want to make some general points.
To begin with, the conception -- and completion -- of a port to the iPhone
occurred long before any of this controversy with GNU Go and the FSF
making statements about the GPL conflicting with the iPhone app store.
I was approached by Kyle about the possibility of a port. My main concern
was that any port would have complete source code availability. I probably
failed to consider other aspects of the port -- after all,realistically I
didn't expect there to be a port. I get approached all the time by people
who have ideas to port to this device or that device or make a sequel to
Wesnoth or reuse Wesnoth content in another project or make voice overs
for Wesnoth or a bunch of other ambitious projects all the time. 98% of
them come to nought and I never hear about it again.
Fortunately -- or perhaps unfortunately, depending on one's perspective --
Kyle did an excellent job of the port. For my part, this puts me in a
difficult position. On one hand I feel an obligation to Kyle since I told
him I felt he could distribute Wesnoth on the app store if he undertook
the substantial effort to complete the port. On the other hand, I am of
course obliged to all of the Wesnoth developers who have contributed
content under the terms of the GPL, and specifically those ones who feel
strongly that source code availability and other measures are not
sufficient to meet the terms of the GPL and thus that Wesnoth being
distributed on the app store is a very serious violation of the GPL. This
is all my fault, of course: I should have researched the issue much more
thoroughly -- and probably discussed it much more openly than with the few
developers I did discuss it with when Kyle suggested the port.
I agree that to resolve the situation, we need to make it clear that to
allow the iPhone/app store port to be unarguably uninfringing on anyone's
rights, that a licensing exception has to be agreed to by any developer
who has contributed a substantial amount of C++ code  to Wesnoth. Any
developer who objects to the licensing exception will have to have their
code removed from Wesnoth, or at least from the iPhone port of Wesnoth
(with steps taken to ensure it's not re-added in any future merges).
So I am asking you, specifically, Rusty, to consider the benefits to the
Wesnoth community and FLOSS gaming in general, and consider whether you
will allow a licensing exception of your code. If you don't want to agree
to a licensing exception, of course, we will of course work to remove your
code from the tree. I ask the same thing of other developers: to consider
allowing a licensing exception, and to let us know if you find the app
store distribution unpalatable and would like your code removed.
I feel that we should work to scour SVN logs to find a list of all
developers of Wesnoth code and make best efforts to contact them and make
them aware of the situation.
 It is my belief that the other content we have in Wesnoth -- art,
music, WML, is not problematic. If anyone thinks it is they are welcome to
discuss that, of course.
On Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 9:55 PM, Rusty Russell <email@example.com>
I honestly didn't realize you needed money. ï¿½There's no donate button on
wesnoth.org that I could find, for example :(
We had a donate button at one point, but the number of donations were very
small. Also, registering Wesnoth as a charity is problematic, so people
giving donations would not be able to receive charitable giving benefits.
To make things clear, none of the money we have received or will received
goes to me or other senior developers. It has been spent on a number of
different programs, mostly revolving around commissioning art and other
content for the game.
Developing a FLOSS game is difficult, in my view, because it requires
contributions from so many different areas. Being able to support artists
with a stipend while working on art has been a major boon for us.
> ï¿½- FLOSS gaming has been exposed to a significant audience which might
> otherwise unaware of it.
I browsed the page on the Apple website. ï¿½People think it's a great game
for $5. ï¿½I don't see any exposure to "floss gaming". ï¿½Can you back your
The game's description has a link to the wesnoth.org web site, and we
have had a substantial number of users arrive on our forums saying that
they discovered the game specifically through its presence on the app
store. Our web traffic has also increased by around 25% since the release
on the app store.
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