Policy on Licenses and Clones

Discussion in 'Community News and Announcements' started by Jadedcat, Sep 26, 2014.

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    There are any number of licenses you can pick for a plugin. GPL amongst others allows other people to copy and redistribute your code under certain conditions. Most noticeably the requirement that any fork also be GPL. Other open source licenses have other requirements.

    If you pick the GPL license or any other open source license for your plugin and someone clones your plugin it is not a copyright violation as long as they follow the requirements.

    As it pertains to plugins uploaded to BukkitDev or Curse, things are slightly different.

    We feel the spirit of open source licenses is to allow for continuing an abandoned project, or forking and creating a new project based on the original. The purpose is not to allow anyone and everyone to create a straight 1-1 clone of actively developed plugins.

    On BukkitDev we will decline to host simple clones of existing plugins, regardless of licensing legalities. If you are aware of a straight 1-1 clone of an existing plugin please report it via the site and we will investigate.

    Forks of projects with compatible licenses will be allowed providing they are not 1-1 clones. This should represent a non-insignificant change of the code including package name changes, rewrites of existing functionality, and/or additions of functionality. Also important is that plugin names themselves are not normally licensed the same as the code. Many licenses specifically prohibit the use of the plugins or plugin author's names in your derivative.

    We always recommend you try to work with the existing projects to contribute directly. If you do fork an open source plugin it's always best to give attribution in your project description for the inspiration and original efforts.

    Ultimately, please be careful when picking your license, and if you are going to clone something, make it your own.
    _LB, 1mpre55, xLed and 9 others like this.
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    Thanks for this information!
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    Hmm... I'm not sure how I feel about this.
    ZeusAllMighty11 and JOPHESTUS like this.
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    You're waaaay late to the party :p

    And a nice TL;DR for this thread: We will continue to do what the original DBO staff did in regards to licences/clones.
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    Sure, so much has happen so idk.. is it legal to run a server on a existing build tho? Lolmewn
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    DHLF likes this.
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    Plumeex Not really. In school i guess ;)
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    Jocke155 Oh, right. Sorry, I didn't think it was possible to have missed all the drama, considering all the fuss it made. :)
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    Plumeex Yeah i've not missed all of it! ;) but is it legal or not, to run a CB server still?
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    Even if it wasn't legal, I don't think the police will knock on your door for running a CB server. :O
    But you cannot share copies of builds, though.
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    Yes, it's perfectly legal. It's illegal to distribute the CB builds until the copyright issue is resolved (so don't go putting a download link to a CB build on your website/server). But it's fine to run a server on it.
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    Sure. Just illegal to distribute it ;)
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    Question is it it illegal to share a version of CB that doesn't have the DCMA code in it ;D and is nearly 1.8 ready minus bunnies and the new doors
    Walkman100 likes this.
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    I'm not 100% sure what the previous staff did. We have however received a lot of feedback on various projects for the last few days. So we wanted to make our position on the matter clear, and don't have the subject matter expertise to do proactively police this so reports are very essential.

    If all of Wolvereness's code has been removed that version of CB would not be subject to his DMCA.
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    What do you mean? Do have have something like this?!! :O
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    Jadedcat There is 1 issue though with what you said, and it's something I've learnt recently.

    Bukkit is a GPL project. To create a Bukkit plugin, one must create a class that implements JavaPlugin. JavaPlugin is an abstract class in Bukkit. Subclassing a class is creating derivative work. Therefore, the GPL affects the whole program where the subclass is used (src: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#OOPLang).

    Which means every Bukkit plugin has to have a license compatible with Bukkit's License (GPLv3).

    Of course it also means plugins forking existing plugins which were open source and rereleasing them must apply the previous License or compatible.
    Walkman100 and someoneB like this.
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    From my understanding CraftBukkit itself is/was licensed under the LGPL. The LGPL makes additional allowances for the subclassing of classes, and are projects which do so are not considered derivative works.
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    Kaelten The CB license was never cleared out. And plugins are normally built against the Bukkit.jar, not the Craftbukkit.jar.

    I'm just mentionning this because it's what someone from FSF told me when I asked. And it makes sense sort of.

    Edit: I'd really love if someone could prove me they don't have to be GPL.
    Walkman100 likes this.
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    If it is just your understanding how are rules/guidelines/restrictions being enforced to your interpretation/understanding of the licensing of Bukkit/Craftbukkit?

    Why has one not gotten a definite answer regarding the license and legality?

    I really think that the subject needs official clarity rather than others opinions/interpretation.
    I see tons of opinions on the matter but not any official valid interpretation of the said licensing.
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    lol a new try to relicence bukkit so mojang/microsoft can start ripping off the GPL parts?
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    With GPL that's absolutely true. But APIs are also a kinda interesting situation in the US thanks to Google and Oracle. In a recent rule courts have decided for the first time APIs are indeed be copyrightable. However, they didn't rule on whether the use of them or reimplementation of them counts as Fair Use, instead leaving that up to a future court case to decide.

    Under old rules APIs where immune to copyright, and one could have an interesting discussion if licensing even applied to APIs. Under these new rules, it could be Fair Use which could have it's own implications for licensing. Either way, you won't truly know without a court case to get a ruling.

    It'd be great to get a definitive answer. However, to get a definitive answer on licensing and legality it normally takes a multi year court battle. Most of the times things are settled long before that.
    Inscrutable likes this.
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    Kaelten Alright, I'll take into account that APIs license doesn't apply to projects using it (still applies if we fork the API)
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    Correct, the new API would have to be licensed the same.

    I really wish all this was a lot simpler.
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    Don't we all? :p
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    Quick question, is Mojang/Microsoft currently handling the situation with the DMCA take down or are they ignoring it?

    I couldn't really find out any info on this and wanted to know if someone knew.
    Walkman100 likes this.
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    We didn't allow code to be stolen regardless of license.
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    Yeah... I really don't like the idea of people just going and ripping my codes off.

    You say we can just report them, but by then the damage will be done. And how will we even know? I just think the general idea that it's "bad" to do that will be enough to get peoples' honor-codes working. But if it's just a "you can do it just don't rip it off TOO much." Then it's completely subjective.
    Walkman100 likes this.
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    If I want to report a plugin, how would I go about doing so? I can currently only see how to report comments...
    Walkman100 likes this.
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    ColonelHedgehog chaseoes
    If you don't want others to extend/modify your code, you shouldn't release it under GPL.
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