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Re: [andrew@AmbrosiaSW.com: Re: Copyright of maelstrom artwork]

On Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 02:09:22PM +0200, Christoph Baumann wrote:
> Negotiations with Ambrosia seem to be over:

Then let's drop the package.  Maelstrom is a very fun game, but if these
guys are going to be uncooperative they don't deserve any cognition from
our distribution.  We don't put up with half-measures from Apple or Sun,
and we shouldn't from Ambrosia, either.

If they want to put the original game sprites and sounds under a different
(even non-free) license, that's fine, but to shackle a GPL'ed source tree
to some non-free accessories quite possibly creates an aggregate that is
not legally distributable by us (recall the GPL's "no additional
resitictions" clause).

If Ambrosia wants that degree of control over the sprites/sounds, they
should put a s/Microsoft/Ambrosia/ EULA on them.

In the meantime, I think we could rescue Maelstrom itself from this limbo
if someone were willing to come up with some freely licensed sprites and
sounds.  They can be minimalistic and simplistic -- or even lousy.  If
Ambrosia isn't interested in having their game look good in the free world,
then we don't have to bend over backwards to make it so.  Since the engine
is under the GPL, let those who love the game claim it for their own.  If
this doesn't happen, and Maelstrom dies because of ugly sprites (or even
lacking them altogether), then it will serve as an appropriate case study
for the future.

Two things to note:

1) id Software, for instance, doesn't seem to have any difficulty with the
   concept of releasing a game engine under a free license while keeping
   level data proprietary.  All they had to do was devote a little
   attention to the issue.
2) It is a software author's right to license software however he wishes,
   within the bounds of the law.  It is also every consumer's right to
   point out shortcomings in such licenses, and/or how these licenses may
   be acting at cross-purposes with the goals that the software author claims
   to be pursuing.

If Ambrosia software would like to *work* with the free software community
to come up with a solution to the Maelstrom licensing problem, I'd be happy
to accomodate them.  Despite my distress at the situtation, I am willing to
negotiate in good faith to accomplish an end desirable to everyone.  As I
said before, they don't have to place the game artwork and sounds under a
free software license to satisfy the free software community.

However, until and unless the current situation is resolved, I suggest we
drop the package to insulate ourselves from liability.  It's a shame, I had
written (minor) some patches to Maelstrom that fixed some things.

G. Branden Robinson            |
Debian GNU/Linux               |    Mob rule isn't any prettier just because
branden@ecn.purdue.edu         |    you call your mob a government.
roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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