Forum Thread
A game under GPL on IndieDB? (Forums : Support : A game under GPL on IndieDB?) Locked
Thread Options
Dec 24 2013 Anchor

There is a game I am playing which is licensed under GPL and has had a lot of contributors.

The terms of service of IndieDB are as follows:

Someone wrote: 2.3 You warrant that you are the owner or creator of any User Developed Content, or any User Generated Content you choose to upload, or that you have received permission from the owner or creator of any such content to make such submissions and to licence that content as set out in this clause

Someone wrote: 2. Use and ownership of user provided content

2.1 All rights in any games, addons, modifications and related downloadable content that you upload for distribution via the System ('User Developed Content'), remain with the owner of such material unless otherwise agreed in writing. You grant to DBolical:

2.1.1 a non exclusive, and sub-licensable licence in all rights in the User Developed Content necessary to facilitate the distribution of the User Developed Content via the System; and

2.1.2 the right to use still images, graphics or any other audio, visual or audio visual elements contained the User Developed Content for the purposes of promotion of the System only.

This is what the team said:

cim wrote: We can't grant extra rights on top of that license without the permission of all copyright holders (and there are a lot of them, so that's not practical)

Reading the GPL, it should give them "all necessary" redistribution rights, and is non-exclusive. It is not sub-licensable, but has terms which achieve similar effect. However, whether DBolical share that opinion will depend on exactly what rights "all necessary" means for their lawyers. You'll have to ask them - if they're willing to "facilitate distribution" under GPL terms, then they already have permission. Otherwise, they don't, and we aren't able to grant special rights.

The specific terms in GPL version 2 that they might be concerned with, at a quick glance are:

  • 3 - requirement to also distribute source code, and they'd have to use 3a for that since we don't make offers under 3b that they can rely on under 3c
  • 4 and 6 - no rights provided except under GPL, additional terms not imposable on redistribution, no sub-licensing allowed

GPL version 3 has similar restrictions.

So, any one want to shed some light on that? Can a game under GPL be uploaded to ModDB?

Dec 24 2013 Anchor

Sure. There's a lot of games that a re GPL based engines & CC based assets (GPL is a code license, not an asset license).

EDIT: to distribute it, the people who made the stuff need to say it's ok to distribute. since you're playing & didn't make it yourself, they have. Now a days some content creators have a real hissy fit if they don't PERSONALLY give permission to hand out the stuff they've handed out themselves, for free. IE they only want it distrubited on their website, not anyone else's. Used to be when you made content with the intent for others to play, you liked it when it was shared by others.

Edited by: TheHappyFriar


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

Dec 25 2013 Anchor

I suggested that one of the team leaders set up an account here. Cim's post was an answer.

I believe the team sees a potential problem in the way 2.1.1 of Terms of Service is worded - if the clause amounts to 'facilitating distribution' as set out in GPL, they'd go ahead, but the way it's written now, the team can't grant the DBolical the license mentioned in 2.1.1.

Dec 25 2013 Anchor

Are you talking about this? :
Or this:

2.1 in the Lindon Labs terms of service says they own all the copyrights, trademarks, etc. associated with their service, except for the content generated by users. You also can't use their copyrights/trademarks/etc. Obviously you can say "Available on Desura" but you can't say "Distributed by the same people who make Second Life!"

There's several GPL programs on Desura, so I believe they're over-thinking a simple matter. The GPL license is far more strict then the Desura TOS.


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

Dec 26 2013 Anchor

Nay, that clause seems to be written having only proprietary content in mind.

Developers of proprietary indie games who upload their demos and full versions here (games under proprietary licence, not GPL, MIT, CC or any other) grant DBolical such a sub-licence.

That clause cannot apply to any other licences than proprietary ones.

So not only you can upload GPL releases here, as long as all GPL copyright and author notices are preserved unchanged in release files, but the original authors can also request downloads to be taken down by the site staff without any hassle.

DBolical/DesuraNET cannot take your or anybody's (copy)rights or author rights, and the site is completely out of conflict with GPL terms. So distributing GPL games and engines here has to be strictly under GPL terms without any need for extra rights or sublicences.

Therefore to sum it up, that clause applies to content under proprietary licences only. (Though it seems there should be at least mention or another clause about GPL and other similar licences, to avoid confusion.)

As TheHappyFriar mentioned, there are dozens of GPL games both on Desura and DBs (Mod DB, Indie DB) and so far there were no problems with publishing any of them (only with the unclear wording of publishing terms a couple of times, this is not the first time). Perhaps except for some non-commercial uni licenced games - as you know - they cannot be distributed on Desura even if developers (students) themselves consent (the case of Nitronic Rush).

Edited by: feillyne

Reply to thread
click to sign in and post

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.