|| ||Rusty Russell <rusty-AT-rustcorp.com.au> |
|| ||"dev-talk" <wesnoth-dev-AT-gna.org> |
|| ||Minutes of IRC Licencing Meeting |
|| ||Wed, 4 Aug 2010 11:48:29 +0930|
|| ||Article, Thread
On Sunday August 1st, at 16:00 UTC the Wesnoth developers met on
Internet Relay Chat to discuss their attitudes towards (and possible
responses to) the licensing questions raised about sale via Apple's
The atmosphere was positive and constructive, and we all gained a
better understanding of each others' concerns, but the differences are
significant and we are did not reach a conclusion.
Proposals will be culled from the logs and posted separately for
evaluation and discussions leading to a follow up meeting.
Thanks to all who attended and contributed (as always!).
Noy chaired and coordinated the flow of topics. We started by asking
everyone's motivations for contributing, and a few cherished moments
in their personal experience with Wesnoth.
The most common motivation was how great the game itself was; at least
9 people mentioned that. Seven people praised the excellent Wesnoth
community. Sharing or contributing was mentioned by four people, and
Open Source / Freedom was noted by five. 4 indicated they found it
The point was generally agreed that this meeting was about where our
boundaries are, and not specifically about Apple; other platforms we
are considering present similar issues. Android (with AT&T's apparent
removal of the "allow third party apps" button) and PalmOS were
specifically mentioned as imminent porting targets.
There was a proposal to change the iPhone port from a $5 app to a "pay
what you want" model (this is as close to donations as Apple allow),
to at least alleviate some of the most obvious access restriction.
There was a fair bit of support for this.
There was a proposal to make a build available for jailbroken devices,
eg. on Cydia. The question was then whether this was pointless if the
app was made freely available via Apple anyway. (The legality and
ease of jailbreaking was discussed, and the question of whether
"voiding the warranty" was real, but we got back on track.)
It was proposed that we emphasize the community "world-wide volunteer
contributor nature" on the app store and in the game, to grow
community and contributors. This seemed fairly uncontentious.
It was also proposed that we add an in-game donate (or Pay What You
Want) on all platforms, now we have found a use for money. It was
noted that a previous donate button on the web site was very little
used, however and has been removed
Things got a little scattered again, with discussion of the legalities
of licensing and violation and compiling apps for a jailbroken phone,
Apple's Terms of Service and some wise statements about why it's more
important to know firstly what we want before worrying about what the
law or licenses say.
Two proposals were then raised: that the code always be available, and
that a "howto compile" document be kept to ensure that it be as simple
as possible to make Wesnoth for such devices (presumbly jailbroken).
This was generally well-received as a baseline requirement, at least.
In the context of potential loss of users, it was noted that although
an estimated 10% of the userbase were on these devices, most of them
likely have another supported platform: one popular recent feature is
the ability to transfer saved games to Windows/MacOS.
Ad-hoc version releases were discussed (limited to 50 users and 100
versions per $99 developer license), but generally dismissed in favor
of jailbreaking as a preferred non-AppStore distribution method for
people to contribute and modify their code.
A suggestion was made that even within the closed system, the app
itself could be made more hackable, particularly the WML which
describes scenarios. Some developers didn't know that currently even
this modification is not possible. There was little followup
discussion on this point, but what there was was supportive.
(Discussion wandered again into the exact details of jailbreaking,
warranty and non-AppStore apps and developer licenses.)
It was proposed that a second license be crafted for Apple's AppStore
(and possibly other platforms).
It was proposed that the GPL remain, and we provide an alternate
version for jailbroken phones with easy to find instructions on
wesnoth.org on how to jailbreak/install, and we set up a 'pay what you
want' system for all platforms with a competent presentation
(i.e. Humble Indie Bundle-style).
It was proposed that "if you sell on a closed deviced, you must share
your revenues (X%) w/ Wesnoth", for some definition of closed. No
comments on this proposal
It was proposed (again) that we should make license-questionable
platforms less attractive than fully compliant ones. There was some
support, but concerns about "punishing users on their device choice",
and unanswered questions about how exactly it would be done, such as a
one-version delay for the app store.
Towards the end it was proposed that on non-jailbroken phones, Apple
takes 30% of your gold at the end of every scenario :) That helped
close out the discussion.
It was agreed that we would meet again.
Attendance (those who spoke during the meeting, thus appeared in my logs):
to post comments)