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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bojjenclon View Post
    Fantasy Grounds is a niche product within a niche hobby. It's intrinsically only going to attract a very small subset of the population, and of that small subset will be an even smaller subset who can code up extensions/rulesets/etc. This means that content not produced directly by SmiteWorks is inherently going to be somewhat... rare.

    For the community to grow and flourish, I personally think one of two things needs to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by BearWok View Post
    Could SW pursue a more aggressive approach to adding features based on community demand? Perhaps features could be voted on in a prompt when FG is launched, and limit it to 1 vote per license? As someone who spends lots of time in Fantasy Grounds, but not much in the forums, it would be nice to have a more "in your face" prompt to give feedback and suggestions.
    I know SW has a lot on their plate with Unity just around the corner. I also know this solution would add to development time and cost, but it might be a good long term solution that would also provide a more feature rich product.
    The SmiiteWorks dev team has grown a bit. My guess is that once FGU has its main bugs ironed out I think we will likely see either more rulesets or more features or both.

    I would like to see the ability for other content devs to be able to sell the products.

    I would also like to see devs that make their content for free choose a license. This is something I need to do as none of mine has any license statement.

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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by damned View Post
    I would like to see the ability for other content devs to be able to sell the products.
    Until/unless there is some kind of licensing scheme that protects the content from being shared without paying, then it might as well just be donation-ware so that those that find it useful donate a small amount to the developer to entice them to add features and continue to support it. But I still revert back to my previous statement that if said developer abandons the community/code, it should become public domain.

    IF a licensing scheme were to be put into place to protect content in this manner, that still leaves the community vulnerable to support drying up / being abandoned...granted the same thing could happen to FG, but FGC is usable as-is with/without any additional support.
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  3. #23
    Well - I do code but haven't for this system (yet) - I want to just point out a couple of things here:

    Open source doesn't really solve anything - someone else who blew up here had all their stuff explicitly open source and they essentially tried to take all their toys with them when they left - I know the projects are still around but that's just because some people had backups

    As to Delux-Oz - his stuff has had explicit license info on it all and he was pretty upfront about it in all postings he made - I don't think anything would change here.

    I wonder - would developers like Delux that hold their code close - would they accept some kind of terms that would allow abandoned projects to be maintained for future compatibility as long as those changes do not constitute a revocation of copyright, or license at the time of publication?

    I'm not even sure how that would need to be worded to pass muster. I would think it could be a happy middle ground.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by deer_buster View Post
    Until/unless there is some kind of licensing scheme that protects the content from being shared without paying, then it might as well just be donation-ware so that those that find it useful donate a small amount to the developer to entice them to add features and continue to support it. But I still revert back to my previous statement that if said developer abandons the community/code, it should become public domain.

    IF a licensing scheme were to be put into place to protect content in this manner, that still leaves the community vulnerable to support drying up / being abandoned...granted the same thing could happen to FG, but FGC is usable as-is with/without any additional support.
    That still happens for commercial add ons for commercial software. The fgu networking engine appears to be one of those hence testing of another is now happening.

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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ckorik View Post
    Well - I do code but haven't for this system (yet) - I want to just point out a couple of things here:

    Open source doesn't really solve anything - someone else who blew up here had all their stuff explicitly open source and they essentially tried to take all their toys with them when they left - I know the projects are still around but that's just because some people had backups

    As to Delux-Oz - his stuff has had explicit license info on it all and he was pretty upfront about it in all postings he made - I don't think anything would change here.

    I wonder - would developers like Delux that hold their code close - would they accept some kind of terms that would allow abandoned projects to be maintained for future compatibility as long as those changes do not constitute a revocation of copyright, or license at the time of publication?

    I'm not even sure how that would need to be worded to pass muster. I would think it could be a happy middle ground.
    That is an interesting idea and if I were to apply a license to my stuff that could be attractive.

    While I'm active don't fork it without permission. If I'm no longer active it becomes available for someone else to take over if they want to.

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  6. #26

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    So, I have strong feelings on this subject. I don't think SW should be imposing *any* license restrictions on anyone not working for them. I'm an old Fantasy Grounds developer working before the current ownership of Smiteworks. I worked for a third party. Even though this niche has grown - its still a niche of a niche, and developers for pretty much anything other than WotC and a few others are at best making "Beer Money" - enough money to buy a case of beer, or two, and reflect on that awesome code you wrote - and that's it.

    I have a couple of skin extensions out there - and I explicitly gave copyright to Smiteworks for those because I used all their art assets or slightly modified some LUA. That is a massive difference from what Dulux-Oz did. He did original work and added brand new capability to FG through his extensions and efforts. He clearly is an experienced developer who has been around the block a few times, and also clearly stated, upfront, the extensions were his property.

    There is nothing worse for a developer, after spending time and effort, than to have his work ripped off and stolen. This is what an *after* the fact license would do.

    I also think it would be chilling for new content to be put under some restrictive community license. I think this thread was started because of the fear that a bunch of community members would be left in the lurch if Dulux-Oz's stuff went unsupported. I would like to point out this was a false fear, since at least one substitute quickly appeared.

    But let's say it was a well founded fear - mass numbers of the community were totally screwed because some community extension was no longer supported. You know what? Moon Wizard and the rest of the Smiteworks team would have learned that extension was a key feature of FG. I have total confidence they have the ability to quickly add the features of any community extension into the base FG app in a few days, ending any real crisis.

    So, no I don't think anything needs to change with Community Content Licensing.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griogre View Post
    There is nothing worse for a developer, after spending time and effort, than to have his work ripped off and stolen. This is what an *after* the fact license would do.
    Pretty sure they are not trying to change the license after the fact.
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  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by celestian View Post
    Pretty sure they are not trying to change the license after the fact.
    I don't know if it's true or not but it felt like to me there were some thoughts about "pressuring" Dulux-Oz to do this or that or you DM's Guild stuff is no long FG approved - which seems uncomfortably close to forcing a change to me.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by damned View Post
    While I'm active don't fork it without permission. If I'm no longer active it becomes available for someone else to take over if they want to.
    This is effectively (or maybe ineffectively) what I have been saying all along.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griogre View Post
    There is nothing worse for a developer, after spending time and effort, than to have his work ripped off and stolen.
    Can you steal code that is free and unsecured? "Ripped off", yeah, okay, I can see how some would feel like that. Personally I find it to be high praise if anything I "created" is considered good enough to be at least partially used by others. However, if I had secured paid-for code that I wrote that had been subsequently reverse-engineered and stolen in that manner, then yeah, I would be pissed and lawsuits would ensue.

    I think that there is nothing worse, as a developer, than to feel like my hard work and time is unappreciated. If I am getting paid for it, that is my "appreciation". If I am not, then knowing that it was useful to more than just myself is appreciation enough. I do not want to worry about the standards that are expected of paid-for code to be likewise applied tot code that I have not been paid for, nor the responsibility.
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  10. #30
    Nope. There was no pressure made on Dulux-Oz to return his content, or any intention of enacting an "after the fact" scenario.

    When we allow people to sell DLC through the store, we require in the initial agreements that the publisher/developer allow us to continue selling even if they discontinue sales of the product or discontinue the relationship (i.e. future sales); as well as give us the right to maintain the product in those situations. As you know in the industry, licensing policies can change direction within a company, or license agreements can even change companies. We do this to protect people that have already purchased content through our store from being subject to the changing business environment, because we felt that it was the right thing to do.

    This discussion was started to have a dialogue with the overall community about whether we should enforce some sort of license or license modification for any content we allow posted publicly in the forums. The goal is protect the average user that is heavily impacted by people yanking their content. If we were to enact this, the developers could make their decision prior to posting any content, and we would come up with a plan for any existing content that protects the developer's rights by giving them choices.

    There's no wrong or right answer to this question; but it's more of an open-ended discussion due to the community growing larger and some prolific community developers suddenly yanking significant content and heavily impacting users. As has been mentioned during this discussion, there is some fear that people will just not create community content at all with something like this enacted; but on the other side of the coin, if content can be yanked at will, why would the average user or us as a company want users to grow to depend on content if it could go away overnight? This is why we opened the discussion to the community to weigh in on the subject, before we even seriously considered taking any actions.

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