From time to time licenses and copyright are discussed again when it comes to find a license for some collaborative work, in the (O)TTD(P) domain mostly when it comes to NewGRFs.
The idea for this article was born back when there was the big discussion about the future license of OpenGFX. At that time there wasn’t even the now well-established online content service of OpenTTD, BaNaNaS, nor was there the DevZone.
In that time (late 2008) we, mostly dihedral and myself, tried to come up with a NewGRF collection which can be freely distributed. The #openttdcoop grfpack is similar to this, so is BaNaNaS now – though both in principle only require that they themselves may distribute the NewGRFs they offer. Thus the right to re-distribute a NewGRF found on BaNaNaS or in the #openttdcoop grfpack is not automatically granted. We contacted many NewGRF authors and asked them to attach a free license to their NewGRFs (most didn’t have any license back then).
Though the initial motivation, ease to extend the #openttdcoop grfpack, is now obsoleted by BaNaNaS in a convenient way, all the arguments exchanged back then remain valid. We read a lot of licenses and had a lot of license discussions with various people. Further, even though copyright is a tedious and boring topic for most people (including myself), copyright and license issues don’t and didn’t get better or easier during the last years.
Read the rest of this entry »