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Doomkid

The legality of charging money for a source port?

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Posted (edited)

i'm just passing by to say hi!

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.

...

Sooooo, Hi Doomkid :)

How you doing, pal?

 

On the thread topic, i'm not a guru at all, but, if the port has a license to be selleable, kinda like the GNU of Freedoom, doesn't make it possible to be behind a paywall?

Not aknowledge i am, but that question raises as soon as i read the thread :/

 

Aside from that, good to know there is a group of DoomMyth Debunkers: Fact or Fiction Edition out there preventing people getting scammed.

;)

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No expert but GPL code is fair game for commercial projects as everyone knows. Zandronum though is using a "modified Sleepycat License" whose site does not make mention of commercial use specifically. However reading the Zandronum page further one finds "Practically, this means that Zandronum's source code is safe to use in either GPL or Doom Source License/Raven Source License/etc. source ports as long as the terms of the Zandronum license are satisfied." So logically that implies the Zandronum code can be used for commercial purposes I think so long as due acknowledgement is given.

 

That said, a paid for Doom port has about as much odds of having a successful financial return on time invested as magic beans in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

The GNU GPL, which the Doom source code is licensed under, allows people to sell copies and/or forks.

 

However, the GPL still requires that derivative works be licensed under the GPL, and users must have access to the relevant source code. The GPL also allows anyone to upload a copy of the software online and give it away for free, so long as they follow the GPL's conditions for doing so, which means that selling GPL'd software is not going to be very profitable. It is 100% legal to sell copies of the Doom engine or source ports, but often times people trying to sell copies of Doom will end up violating the GPL's conditions by not including the license or the source code.

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4 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

The GNU GPL, which the Doom source code is licensed under, allows people to sell copies and/or forks.

 

However, the GPL still requires that derivative works be licensed under the GPL, and users must have access to the relevant source code. The GPL also allows anyone to upload a copy of the software online and give it away for free, so long as they follow the GPL's conditions for doing so, which means that selling GPL'd software is not going to be very profitable. It is 100% legal to sell copies of the Doom engine or source ports, but often times people trying to sell copies of Doom will end up violating the GPL's conditions by not including the license or the source code.

 

Yeah. Someone could simply download the code, change the name, and upload it for free out of spite. Even if this coder can pull off what he claims, putting it behind a paywall is silly.

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But thats not what happening here.

 

Is Zandronum under GPL license?

GZDoom is, but Zandronum?

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

The one in question claims to be a fork of Zandronum with "multi core support"

aaah, that one. in this case it doesn't matter if he can or can't, because he has nothing to sell anyway. this is a known wannabe-scam-artist, only he is too dumb to even become a scam artist, lol.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

Is Zandronum under GPL license?

it doesn't matter. even if somebody will use the original release as a base, it is still illegal to sell it, because the original license was non-profit. good luck aggroing ZeniMax lawyers, lol.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

But thats not what happening here.

 

Is Zandronum under GPL license?

GZDoom is, but Zandronum?

As @Murdoch pointed out, Zandronum-specific code uses a "modified Sleepycat license" which is very similar to the GPL and also allows for commercial use. Zandronum adds an extra condition which states that derivatives can't imply endorsement of the original author, but otherwise it's actually less strict than the GPL.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ketmar said:

aaah, that one. in this case it doesn't matter if he can or can't, because he has nothing to sell anyway. this is a known wannabe-scam-artist, only he is too dumb to even become a scam artist, lol.

but is people aknowledge enough to know it is a scamm?

I know it was debunked...but still there is a risk of people getting scammed :/

I suppose there is a way to report them...somehow?

3 minutes ago, ketmar said:

it doesn't matter. even if somebody will use the original release as a base, it is still illegal to sell it, because the original license was non-profit. good luck aggroing ZeniMax lawyers, lol.

ahh, well...poor those who believe on the feature and fall for it then :(

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

ahh, well...poor those who believe on the feature and fall for it then :(

i don't really think that anybody will blindly throw their money at that. i mean, who needs a new sourceport for Doom? can it be somebody who doesn't care about Doom at all? and if they do care, they're reading one of Doom forums/publics/discords/etc. where it all was debunked several times, and will be debunked again if that scam will become a reality.

 

and even *if* somebody will be fooled, they will quickly find that. dropping a letter to ZeniMax costs nothing, and it will be hot show then. ;-)

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, ketmar said:

it doesn't matter. even if somebody will use the original release as a base, it is still illegal to sell it, because the original license was non-profit. good luck aggroing ZeniMax lawyers, lol.

It is illegal to redistribute the Doom data files, commercial or not, and that will get you in trouble with ZeniMax lawyers.

 

Selling a source port, without data files (or with Freedoom) is a somewhat different manner. John Carmack has relicensed the Doom source code under the GPL, and it has been sold - and legally - as part of commercial Linux DVDs and Freedoom-based games.

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3 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

It is illegal to redistribute the Doom data files, commercial or not, and that will get you in trouble with ZeniMax lawyers.

 

Selling a source port, without data files (or with Freedoom) is a somewhat different manner. John Carmack has relicensed the Doom source code under the GPL, and it has been sold - and legally - as part of commercial Linux DVDs and Freedoom-based games.

 

Not to mention various games on Steam, primarily GZDoom based I believe.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

Selling a source port, without data files (or with Freedoom) is a somewhat different manner.

it's a dead end in any case. if somebody will take the original non-GPLed source code, then it cannot be sold at all, because the original license forbids that (and any other license for that code have to keep non-profit clause). and if somebody will use some GPL port as a base, they have to supply the source code to anybody who'll buy the binary. considering the claimed features (nobody did "multicore Doom sourceport" yet),  the source will be instantly uploaded for everybody to see.

 

so it will be either a risk of the lawsuit, or one sell before everybody and their bunny will get it for free. ;-)

 

p.s.: all sourceport-based games has source code for their engines available for free, exactly because there is no way to make any profit from the engine itself. and here we have somebody who wants to sell the engine, not a custom-made game.

Edited by ketmar : added postscriptum

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, ketmar said:

so it will be either a risk of the lawsuit, or one sell before everybody and their bunny will get it for free. ;-)

 

Precisely. So this person is either a brilliant coder with an understanding of software licensing comparable to that of a particularly stupid tree stump, or he is a scammer... with an understanding of software licensing comparable to that of a particularly stupid tree stump.

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im not a master about the subject but since some comercial games have been made using gzdoom as the base engine then i inclined to belive you can though that depends on the licences and i remenber reading a long time ago that you couldint do that with zdoom so i guess it depends on the source port

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Posted (edited)

There was a variant of GZDoom that was completely allowed to be sold.

Gloome, it was called, and one and a half project were made for it.

At the same time, GZDoom went full GPL... but now we know that, since the source code of Doom is being use as a base, it can't be sold?

 

Interesting!

So Selaco and a lot of other already released commercial games like Hedon are not able to be sold?

They don't use any kind of Doom internal data, but the source code is on the engine.

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Posted (edited)

Hedon, for example, is using a slightly modified GZDoom engine. and its source is available on github, for free. other games are either using unmodified GZDoom engine, or have their source available too.

 

it is ok to sell custom assets and scripts. but not the engine itself. i mean, it is ok to sell GPLed binaries, but there is no reason to do that, as you have to make the code available to all buyers anyway, and they can freely redistribute that code.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, P41R47 said:

There was a variant of GZDoom that was completely allowed to be sold.

Gloome, it was called, and one and a half project were made for it.

At the same time, GZDoom went full GPL... but now we know that, since the source code of Doom is being use as a base, it can't be sold?

 

Interesting!

So Selaco and a lot of other already released commercial games like Hedon are not able to be sold?

They don't use any kind of Doom internal data, but the source code is on the engine.

The source code of Doom is under the GPL and can be sold, even though there's not much of point. From 1997-1999 Doom's engine was under the non-commercial Doom Source License, but in 1999 it was re-released under the GPL. The Doom IWADs are all-rights-reserved by Zenimax, so that is more of an issue with commercial distribution; however, Freedoom allows commercial distribution.

 

FOSS licensing is really confusing, so a lot of misconceptions like this arise. This is one of the reasons I release my music under the CC0/public domain :).

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

The source code of Doom is under the GPL and can be sold, even though there's not much of point. From 1997-1999 Doom's engine was under the non-commercial Doom Source License, but in 1999 it was re-released under the GPL. The Doom IWADs are all-rights-reserved by Zenimax, so that is more of an issue with commercial distribution; however, Freedoom allows commercial distribution.

 

FOSS licensing is really confusing, so a lot of misconceptions like this arise. This is one of the reasons I release my music under the CC0/public domain :).

My bad, i understand it wrong.

Sorry for the trouble.

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5 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

FOSS licensing is really confusing

actaully, no, GPL is very easy: if you gave somebody a binary compiled from GPL code, you have to make that code accessible to those people who got a binary, on unmodified GPL terms. you can ask any amount of money for binaries, but the source code should remain freely accessible, buildable, and should not be obfuscated.

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Pffft, the "multi core" nutter is back. Maximum Welpage.

 

Post Hell is out of order, so here's a link to one of the ol' "project" threads on the ZDoom forums: https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=51887

 

I'm not even sure if it's intentionally a scam; they seem far too unhinged from reality to attempt such a thing. :P

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Xaser said:

Post Hell is out of order, so here's a link to one of the ol' "project" threads on the ZDoom forums: https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=51887

 

I wonder what this "vannela doom" is all about that he speaks of. Sounds interesting. Anyone got a download link?

 

The guy's spelling and grammar made my brain hurt. Coders are generally pretty precise people by nature of what they do. His words alone are clear evidence he is full of crap, let alone that weird script that got shared.

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Posted (edited)

It's probably the same weirdo that was hacking at Doomworld not too long ago.

They likely all reside in Malaysia and work for Comcast for $1.25 an hour.

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Why would you want to pay for a source port, when there are practically a billion other source ports that are both free, and have more reason to use outside of "Zandronum but slightly better I guess"?

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1 hour ago, ketmar said:

and should not be obfuscated.

 

Is this actually a part of the GPL license agreement?

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Yes, read the license here: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html

 

"The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it."

 

Obfuscation runs completely counter to that stipulation and is a pretty clear violation of the GPL, especially when we can prove what the original versus obfuscated code actually looks like -- messy programmers making messy programs in the first place doesn't count as a violation.

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