While there are many great tutorials on how to create maps and modes, there are occasional posts like these:
License? No.Obsidian wrote:
Out of curiosity, what are you licensing this under?
Or, are you not using a license to begin with?
Why? Do you think I should license it?
Why does the new release of sauerbraten has all the characters of platinum arts? and also has alot of platinum arts textures and it also has an rpg mode now platinum arts has nothing special why did you did this platinum?
This is a tutorial on software copywrite and licensing as it pertains to content created with Platinum Arts Sandbox Gamemaker.
Whenever you create something that is publishable, you own the copyright to that work. So once you make your first texture or model you can put the following with it "Copyright 2010, Joe Sandbox <firstname.lastname@example.org>" (the email address is optional). When you have the copyright, no one can use your work without your permission. This gives you a lot of "power" in allowing how others can use your work. You can give people permission to use your work under certain conditions that you choose. This giving of permission is "Licensing."
Why should you license your work? Most importantly, it makes sure that your work is used the way you want it to be used. How should you license your work? Well, luckily for us, lawyers have donated time and written some very solid licenses that we are free to use for our own software (for example, the creative commons licenses http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses, which is used for the quotes below). The basic questions that you have to ask yourself: "Will allow other people to share my work with others? Will allow others to edit/modify my work (commercially/non-commercially)? If someone modifies my work, should I make them release it under the same rules I gave them?" Below is a list of choices you could use starting from most permissive to least permissive.
Releasing your software into the public domain isn't really a license, it's just giving up your copyright. If you chose to release content into the public domain, anyone can use it for any purpose. Pros: it's simple and your work can be shared anywhere Cons: you lose control over your work
If you want your content to be widely used, you can choose a permissive license such as the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. "This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution." Examples of software that uses a permissive license is the Cube2 engine that Sandbox is based on as well as the enet library (they use a variant of the zlib license). Pros: Widely usable by anyone, including for-profit companies. Cons: You may not have permission to use improvements or changes to your content that other people have made.
If you want your content widely used, and you want to make sure that you are allowed to use someone else's modifications to your work, then you can use a license such as the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license (CC-BY-SA). "This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use." In the interest of full disclosure, this is my favorite license. This is a powerful license, it requires that anyone who modifies (or makes derivatives) of your work can do it for whatever reason (even if backed for commercial reasons), but they must license their changes under the same terms. While this allows commercial use, it is practically limited to non-profit organizations since they have to give away a license to the content for along with the content. This is probably the "best" license if you'd like the widest usage base, the most people contributing/improving your work while maintaining that you can use the modifiations people use. You need this or a more permissive license to be included in the main repositories of Debian, Ubuntu, or Edubuntu. Pros: wide use and improvements by many groups, including commercial development, and all changes/tweaks to your code will also be made available in this permissive license. Cons: Your work could be used commercially, although if it is, a license to use and modify the content is included with the content (so people can share it with each other for free, legally, even if they "bought it." That's why commercial companies generally avoid this license)
If you like the above license but want to make sure that your work is only used non-commercially, see the Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license (CC-BY-NC-SA). "This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature." Pros: Wide spread usage and modifications, and your work will not be used commercially. Cons: many software projects (such as Ubuntu/Edubuntu) are legally allowed to be sold, even though you can download it for free. Therefore, if you use this non-commercial license, your work cannot be included on their CDs since those projects give a license to people who download their CDs to sell them. You are legally allowed to download Edubuntu, burn it onto a CD, and sell it.
You also can have more restrictive rules on whom can use your software and what they can do with it. For example, you can make sure that no one is allowed to use or distribute your work unless you give them permission (which you could sell). You also could use the Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
(cc by-nc-nd) license. "This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially." Pros: you retain lots of control, possibly make money. Cons: it will have limited use in the community
This isn't necessarily part of licensing, but if you are producing something besides static content (i.e. scripts or programs), you can put a statement like this with your license/copywrite. This way you are explicitly not liable against data loss. "This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE."
How to license:
If you choose a CC license from above, make the following README.txt (or LICENSE.txt) file and add it to your package:
"Copywrite 2010, Joe Sandbox
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA."
Replace the "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License" with the license you choose and the correct link.
If you choose another license, replace the text with the license you choose.
Let's look at those two question from the introduction:
Why license your content? Licensing is important since it sets the rules on how people can use your content. That is important since Sandbox is an open an collaborative project, your work can help others (and you can use other people's work too!)
How did Saurbraten get sandbox content? Sandbox content was licensed in such a way that allows others to download and use for non-commercial (and/or commercial use, depending on the content). Sandbox get's its engine from Saurbraten through the Cube license, and Saurbraten gets Sandbox content through the CC licenses. This way everyone gets more work done faster and produces better work in both projects!