[quake3] ioUrT licensing controversy (was Re: Greetings)

Erik K. erik at insectenboek.nl
Thu Apr 17 15:40:22 EDT 2008

On 17-4-2008 20:19, Tim Angus wrote:
> indicating an intention of dependence.
Seems like a weak argument to me. If you really feel so bad about it 
though, I'll tell them to change 'basegame' to 'timangus' next release. 
That way, the game will be dependant on you? ^^ It would still work fine 
and it wouldn't be 'dependant' on UrT anymore. GPL problem solved?

> "a. So long as this Agreement accompanies each copy you make of the
> Software, and so long as you fully comply, at all times, with this
> Agreement, ID grants to you the non-exclusive and limited right to
> distribute copies of the Software free of charge for non-commercial
> purposes by electronic means only and the non-exclusive and limited
> right to use the Software to create your own modifications (the “New
> Creations”) for operation only with the full version of the software
> So you're denying that distributing UrT with ioUrT suggests you
> should use UrT with ioUrT? Is your argument that it's the user deciding
> to use ioUrT? I really think that's pretty ridiculous. By distributing
> them together you're /inviting/ the user to use them in tandem.
The sdk does not say you can USE a mod only on Q3A. It just says the mod 
has to be CREATED for operation only with Q3A. And that it is. It's 
coded to work on Q3A. It HAPPENS to run on any Q3-based-engine.

>> The UrT team even asked
>> IDsoftware directly to make sure they were doing nothing wrong and
>> IDsoftware gave them the okay. *So no SDK violation either.*
> I was under the impression that the correspondance with id was in order
> to secure a waiver from the above clause; i.e. admission of a licensing
> issue and legal permission to ignore it. Unfortunately since no one
> arguing over the licensing has ever seen or produced the
> communication in question (including you, or so you told us), it
> doesn't seem worth mentioning.
Haha. The sdk is a matter between ID and the UrT devs. Why would they 
feel obligated to 'proof' to you that this correspondance happened? And 
yes, it was an "okay, that's legally fine", not an "okay, we'll make an 
exception for you".

>> They ARE separate products, they are just bundled in one
>> zip/installer for convenience.
> By that logic, is the baseq3 game a separate product from Q3A?
By that logic, it could have been. If the ID would have decided to brand 
it like that. But they didn't.

>> PS: I am now retired from Urban Terror, so I couldn't really care
>> less about all this
>> I don't know and don't really care about the details,
> ...but you're certain there are no licensing problems?
Thanks for taking those lines out of context. Just because I don't care 
about it, doesn't mean I don't know about it. Just because I don't know 
about the details of aggregating doesn't mean I don't know about how 
bundling closed and open software is often perfectly fine. Yes, I am 
sure there are no licensing problems. Are you sure there are? Get a 
lawyer and sue the hell out of the Urban Terror Mod Team for all their 
money ;) I'm sure they got very rich from their free mod.

>> but I do know that linux distros often come combined with closed
>> source software as well. So I don't really see a problem.
> Linux distributions are aggregations of independent works. ioUrT and UrT
> share headers, data structures and APIs which are intended to
> interoperate. This analogy is silly.
ioUrT and UrT are independent works too. UrT is based on the Q3-sdk. 
ioUrT is based on ioquake3. They happen to share those headers etc. But 
ioUrT and UrT were definatly developed separately from each other, by 
different people, working of different code bases.

> Regardless of your opinion/thoughts of the licenses employed, you can't
> deny that at best the whole shebang has been engineered to skirt any
> licensing issues and avoid giving anything back. I personally think
> that's a crock of shit.
I assume you missed the last paragraph of my initial message:
"I think the Urban Terror mod code should go GPL, cause the coder for 
Urban Terror barely has time to work on it anyway. Also it would avoid 
all this legal hassle. It would be a great form of respect towards 
IDsoftware and ioquake3 coders, who also made their work (the base of 
Urban Terror’s success) available. And of course to be a REAL 
stand-alone game. The assets/copyright/whatever could still stay with 
the Urban Terror team. So yeah, enough reasons to GPL the mod code. 
However, legally not required."

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