Home » SIRTECH CLASSICS » Jagged Alliance: Unfinished Business » Vanilla Modding » Licence/Legal Issues
Licence/Legal Issues[message #100574] Fri, 12 March 2004 06:58 Go to next message
Digicrab

 
Messages:254
Registered:December 2003

The following is the text of the licence agreement:

This Strategy First Inc. Source Code License Agreement ("SFI-SCLA") forms a legal agreement between you and Strategy First Inc. ("Strategy First") for the source code, related materials, or related documentation (together, the "Software").

By using this Software you agree to be bound by the terms of this SFI-SCLA. Do not install, copy, or use the Software if you do not agree to the terms of this License Agreement. The Software is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and Strategy First is licensing the Software, not selling it.

YOUR RIGHTS:

You may use this Software for any non-commercial purpose, subject to the conditions of this License. Non-commercial purposes include, but are not limited to, teaching, research, public demos and your own experimentation. You may distribute this Software with books or other teaching materials, or publish the Software on websites that are intended to teach the use of the Software for academic or other non-commercial purposes. You may not use or distribute this Software, or any works that derive from it, in any form for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes include, but are not limited to, running a business, licensing, renting, or selling the Software, distributing the Software for use with any commercial products, or any other activity which purpose is to procure a profit or gain to you or others. This Software includes source code or data, and you may modify such portions of the Software and distribute the modified Software for non-commercial purposes, as provided in this Licensing Agreement.

This Licensing Agreement does not grant you a license to any of Strategy First's copyrights or patents for anything you might create using any of the information included in the Software.

In return, you agree:

1. That you will not remove any copyright or other notices from the Software.

2. That if any of the Software is in binary format, you will not attempt to modify such portions of the Software, or to reverse engineer or decompile them, except and only to the extent authorized by law.

3. That if you distribute the Software or any derivative works of the Software, you will distribute them using a verbatim copy of this License, and you will not grant any
rights to the Software or derivative works that are broader than those provided by this Licensing Agreement. For example, you may not distribute any modifications of the Software under terms that would permit commercial use, or under terms that require the Software or such derivative works to be sublicensed to others.

4. That if you have modified the Software or created derivative works, and distribute such modifications or derivative works, you will cause the modified files to carry
prominent notices so that recipients know that they are not receiving the original Software. Such notices must state: (i) that you have changed the Software; and (ii) the date of any changes.

5. That Strategy First is granted, without any limitations, and on a royalty free basis, the rights to reproduce, install, use, modify, distribute and transfer your modifications to the Software source code or data.

6. That any feedback about the Software provided by you to us is voluntarily given, and Strategy First shall be free to use the feedback as it sees fit without obligation or
restriction of any kind, even if the feedback is designated by you as confidential.

7. THAT THE SOFTWARE COMES "AS IS", WITH NO WARRANTIES. THIS MEANS NO EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY WARRANTY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ANY WARRANTY AGAINST INTERFERENCE WITH YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE SOFTWARE OR ANY WARRANTY OF TITLE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. THERE IS NO WARRANTY THAT THIS SOFTWARE WILL FULFILL ANY OF YOUR PARTICULAR PURPOSES OR NEEDS. ALSO, YOU MUST PASS THIS DISCLAIMER ON WHENEVER YOU DISTRIBUTE THE SOFTWARE OR DERIVATIVE WORKS.

8. THAT NEITHER STRATEGY FIRST NOR ANY CONTRIBUTOR TO THE SOFTWARE WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES RELATED TO THE SOFTWARE OR THIS LICENSE, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL,
CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT THE LAW PERMITS, NO MATTER WHAT LEGAL THEORY IT IS BASED ON. ALSO, YOU MUST PASS THIS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY ON WHENEVER YOU DISTRIBUTE THE SOFTWARE OR DERIVATIVE WORKS.

9. That we have no duty of reasonable care or lack of negligence, and we are not obligated to provide technical support for the Software.

10. That if you breach this SFI-SCLA or if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software or anyone's use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically and you shall destroy all of your copies of the Software immediately. Section 5 of this SFI-SCLA shall survive any termination of this license.

11. That the patent rights, if any, granted in this Licensing Agreement only apply to the Software, not to any derivative works you make.

12. That the Software is subject to U.S. export jurisdiction at the time it is licensed to you, and it may be subject to additional export or import laws in other places. You agree to comply with all such laws and regulations that may apply to the Software after delivery of the software to you.

13. That your rights under this License end automatically if you breach it in any way.

14. That all rights not expressly granted to you in this License are reserved.

15. That this SFI-SCLA shall be construed and controlled by the laws of the Province of Quebec, Canada, without regard to conflicts of law. If any provision of this SFI-SCLA shall be deemed unenforceable or contrary to law, the rest of this SFI-SCLA shall remain in full effect and interpreted in an enforceable manner that most nearly captures the intent of the original language.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100575] Fri, 12 March 2004 07:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SSFSX17

 
Messages:26
Registered:November 2003
Location: California
Sounds amazingly reasonable. I like it.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100576] Fri, 12 March 2004 07:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Digicrab

 
Messages:254
Registered:December 2003

I'm not a lawyer, but the following important thing is apparent to me from the above:

We can make the source code available to those who have not purchased Wildfire. This is of course for "educational" purposes.

What do you think?
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100577] Sun, 14 March 2004 01:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
osk

 
Messages:24
Registered:April 2000
Location: Malmoe, Sweden
With one exception, this license is basicly a free (as in free software) license with limitations only for commercial parties. The exception being clause 5, which scares me somewhat:

5. That Strategy First is granted, without any limitations, and on a royalty free basis, the rights to reproduce, install, use, modify, distribute and transfer your modifications to the Software source code or data.

Strategy First can do anything they like with every modification you make. (As long as you've distributed the modification. Smile ) They probably don't have to credit you for the work either.

A good thing though is that there's no clause revoke the license. Strategy First can't say all of a sudden that they no longer want to distribute the source.

But to answer Digicrab: As I read the license, then yes - the source can be distributed freely for education purposes! I am not a lawyer (IANAL) though. Smile In fact, I think someone should do this. So I can download it immediately. Smile
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100578] Sun, 14 March 2004 11:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Digicrab

 
Messages:254
Registered:December 2003

osk, check out the read only forum, I've put together a distro of the source which you can get there.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100579] Mon, 26 April 2004 03:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
masguy

 
Messages:52
Registered:November 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
The main problem with this license agreement is that it lacks "consideration." Consideration is a legal term of art (yes, I am a lawyer) which refers to the value that parties exchange when they form a contract. To put it simply, something for nothing doesn't work in contract law. In exchnage for a designer coming up with an exciting new way to make JA intersting, and maybe incerasing the value and extending the life of the JA franchise, Strategy First pays nothing. As a result, I don't think this agreement would be enforceable in a court of law, especially if a home designer, or one of a group of home designers is under the age of 18, at the time the work is done.

In other words, if you come up something that Strategy First wants to use (In future iterrations of JA or in other games or programs) they are going to have to get you to sign your rights away more thoroughly than they have through their unilateral license. A good rule of thumb in the law is that signatures cost money.

nasguy

masguy
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100580] Mon, 26 April 2004 04:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lanfear

 
Messages:47
Registered:April 2004
Location: The Netherlands

that's all really nice, but how exactly do you intend to prove that it is in fact *your* code or idea being used in other titles unless they open up the source for that as well? to be quite honest i doubt anyone can come up with something that can be done using this source code that doesn't fall under the "duh, anyone could have thought of that" header...
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100581] Mon, 26 April 2004 09:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Snap

 
Messages:286
Registered:September 2000
Location: USA (by way of the Old Wo...
That's where Masguy comes in Smile
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100582] Mon, 26 April 2004 14:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
masguy

 
Messages:52
Registered:November 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
It is important to note that neither patent law or copyright law were intended to protect naked ideas. Such ideas must be set down (most often in writing) before they can be protected. So merely having an idea is sufficient to get the benefit of protections afforded by intellectual property law.

It is also important to note that software is protected by copyright law rather than patent law. Copyright law not only grants exclusivity for a much greater period of time, it is much easier to get a copyright than it is to get a patent. To get a patent, you not only have to show that your invention is original, you also have to show that it is not "obvious". To get a copyright, all you have to do is give an afirmation that the work is original, or that you have created an original work derived from something done before (called a "derivative work"). The fact that a work might be "obvious" has no impact on whether a work can be copyright protected. Many movie producers have learned to their horror that the song "Happy Birthday to You" is copyright protected. Is there anything more obvious than a song that wishes someone a happy birthday, has a lyric which does little more than repeat the phrase "Happy birthday to you"?
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100583] Mon, 26 April 2004 22:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lanfear

 
Messages:47
Registered:April 2004
Location: The Netherlands

but in this case someone actually went through the trouble of copyrighting the damn song...and the only situation where copyright law might be applicable here is when Strategy First decides to take code and reuse it as is in a future release, which will be hard to check anyway since it's very unlikely the source of future releases will be open as well.

as for the IP law situatiom, the USA has a, well, i can only use the word "ridiculous", set of laws to protect this, but in any case, if I have a great idea for a project using this source code, and SF decides to use that idea in a future release, there's a not a whole lot i can do to stop them, even if i wanted to(I'd more likely be flattered than pissed off, to be honest), unless I actually bother to patent the idea, and what are the odds of anyone coming up with a truly novel idea that entails using this source code that is even remotely eligible for a patent?
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100584] Tue, 27 April 2004 00:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
masguy

 
Messages:52
Registered:November 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
Under U.S. Copyright law, which is largely in agreement with the Berne international Convetion on intellectual property and therefor not as unique as you think it might be, a work gains copyright protection from the moment it is created. By registering a copyright an author of a work obtains enhanced protections and a legal presumption as to damages.

This is one area where patent and copyright law differ significantly, because if a patentable invention is disseminated (there are excpetions, like drug trials) before patent protection is obtained, the invention passes into the public domain.

Knowing about such differences, and a better understanding of U.S. copyright and patent law might lead to a different conclusion than you have arrived at. I think they are far from ridiculous, and are provided for in the U. S. Constitution, a document created by writers, thinkers and inventors. If the U.S. has a law that is more friendly to Davids out to defend themslves from Goliaths than the copyright law, I haven't seen it. I have worked with folks whose works have been infringed, and with strong facts on their side, it mattered very little that they were small guys taking on corporate interests.

If your view is that because you are samll you will be screwed and there is nothing you can do to stop it, I can't say that you are totally wrong. However, sometimes you can fight back and win. I am much more certain though, that someone with a losing attitude rarely, if ever, wins.

masguy
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100585] Tue, 27 April 2004 03:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lanfear

 
Messages:47
Registered:April 2004
Location: The Netherlands

i never intended to make any such claim, all i wanted to say is that your point is as moot as it is valid. i simply can't imagine coming up with an idea spectacular enough to validate such steps.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100586] Tue, 27 April 2004 06:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
masguy

 
Messages:52
Registered:November 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
If you think of intellectual property along the same lines as other kinds of property, while every piano is not a steinway nor every home a mansion, they all still have some value. If you see that value of something you create as not worth defending, that is your choice. The importance of copyright law is that as the author it is your choice to make and not someone elses. I forgot who said it, but I remember someone said,

"Never knock your own work, you might be the only person who has something nice to say about it."

Masguy
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100587] Fri, 14 May 2004 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
AZAZEL

 
Messages:756
Registered:February 2004
As a lawyer specialised in such things, I can offer free services if you gang need it. It's the least I can do...
Sorry, can't do it right here.You'll have to contact me the usual way.

Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100588] Fri, 01 October 2004 06:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
YoshikoWashima

 
Messages:20
Registered:September 2004
Well ... as far as the high court of germany and I am concerned - they can shove their licenses. Luckily such crap doesn't apply here, no matter how often you have to press "accept" to install something Smile

*snickers*

Yoshiko
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100589] Sat, 02 October 2004 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
defrog

 
Messages:242
Registered:March 2004
Location: Austria
Which law or ruling does this come from? and is it EU or Germany specific? I do know that EU patent and copyright laws are weaker and more relaxed than the states.

I see this a lot lately as they have the 3 years in prison for X$ in copyright violations for specific types of copyrights. I sure hope this gets cut down in the courts, because it reaks of double standard copyright laws.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100590] Sat, 02 October 2004 10:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
YoshikoWashima

 
Messages:20
Registered:September 2004
Dear Defrog, you wrote:

Quote:

Which law or ruling does this come from? and is it EU or Germany specific? I do know that EU patent and copyright laws are weaker and more relaxed than the states.
Well this is a bit more complicated than it seems. First of all there is no such thing as "copyright" in Germany - no matter what you write in your books, put on your CDs or state in your "license agreement". However there is something analogous which is called "Urheberrecht" - freely translated this means: "The creator's right". The "Urheberrecht" shall ensure that a creative person can reap the benefits of her works. That means if you f.e. copy the music of a songwriter (or an author or such, yeah even code) and sell it without the author's agreement, you commit a crime. Same is true for duplicating movies, DVDs or such stuff.

But that's simply not the point here. I bought my copy of JA2 and I bought my copy of UB too. Sadly I could only puchase a localised version, but that's another story. The point is, that the german high court ruled it unconstitutional that a software producer claims to tell the buyer what to do with software. This is about license agreements, they are simply invalid over here. The judges made the example with a car. It simply was not imaginable for them that you purchase a car and the car-dealer makes you sign a contract that you are only allowed to handle your car in a certain way, like f.e. only drive on tuesday or such. The same applies to software. No matter what a software company writes in their "EULA", it simply does not apply in Germany. That's it. If you purchased the software legally, you can do with it what you want, as long as you don't commit a crime against the "Urheberrecht" which mostly means, dont sell -copies- of software or pirate software. Aside from that you can practically do anything with it what you want.

Smile

Quote:

I see this a lot lately as they have the 3 years in prison for X$ in copyright violations for specific types of copyrights. I sure hope this gets cut down in the courts, because it reaks of double standard copyright laws.
Again, there is no such thing as "copyright" law in Germany. You create something you are the creator - the "Urheber", it's your right to earn money with it. You don't have to do anything else - write copyright into it, or such. The moment you create something, you are it's owner. Yes - pirating software (or music, photographies, movies, etc.) or such is a crime in Germany too, but no one can tell you what you're gonna do with what you purchased legally. That's it. If a company gives me the code for free, well I don't see how I can pirate that Smile

Yours,

Yoshiko
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100591] Sat, 02 October 2004 12:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
YoshikoWashima

 
Messages:20
Registered:September 2004
Ok, you did it. You made me look it up. Who would have thought it was a company named "Microsoft" which got slapped *giggle*

Bundesgerichtshof, (german high court) ruled June 6th 2000, with case no. AZ I ZR 244/97 refering to the Urheberschutzgesetz (law of author's rights):

"Der Ersch
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100592] Sat, 02 October 2004 14:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ebuck

 
Messages:124
Registered:August 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Yoshiko,

Not a lawyer, but having heard a lot of business law talk in the household over the last year, you might be right, but it might not even matter.

There's a implicit contract in a sale, you get some money, I get an item. The laws all agree that generally, you can do whatever you want to the item you get after it is bought.

Software companies wanted to exercise more control over their products so they tried to recast the sale into an indefinite software lease through licensing. Initially it worked, but eventually people realized that it was an effort to undermine the concept of a sale. This new technique gave the corporation extra rights without giving the owner anything in return. The idea of getting something without giving something inheritly breaks the concept of contract, and eventually more countries are realizing that they can't protect sales rights and promote "sales recast as license agreements" at the same time.

The root of the problem is that most of the laws assume that copies of something require nearly as much work to produce as the original, which holds for nearly all of the crafts with the exception of software and printing. Actually printing something well costs a bit of money, making it not worthwhile, and the respectable printing companies are very keen to stay out trouble, so it's worked well with books and such. But with software the costs to duplicate are negligable, and there is no needed skill to make high quality copies, so anyone can do it.

But the source code agreement is entirely different. Unless you buy a copy of the source code, you haven't given the company anything, so there's not sales agreement. That means that the only agreement you have left is the one where you promise to give your changes back to SF in exchange for your pleasure of working on JA2 with restrictions on how you can do it. Mabye your laws apply in such a circumstance, but the lack of a distinct sale might weaken the applicability of the laws you belive protect you.

As far as I know, I don't believe that the source code was sold to anyone, if it was (included in a game CD or such) then mabye we've got something. Otherwise, I'll bet that the license (which might be non-enforcable on other grounds) will be the primary binding agreement.

I know, it's not real legal advice, and at best it's a layman trying to make sense of a very complicated field where a professional is needed, so beware and take it with a grain of salt.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100593] Sat, 02 October 2004 20:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
YoshikoWashima

 
Messages:20
Registered:September 2004
Dear Ediwn Buck, you wrote:

Quote:

Yoshiko,

(...)There's a implicit contract in a sale, you get some money, I get an item. The laws all agree that generally, you can do whatever you want to the item you get after it is bought.
Yeah, and there is no such thing as "license right" in Germany, that's why normal contract right applies. NO matter if apples or software, from the point of law it's the same.

Quote:

Software companies wanted to exercise more control over their products so they tried to recast the sale into an indefinite software lease through licensing.
I bet the guy who thought about it congratulated himself. Really, what a smart idea ... You know there are times I really am lucky I don't have to live in the US of A.

Quote:

But the source code agreement is entirely different. Unless you buy a copy of the source code, you haven't given the company anything, so there's not sales agreement.
Luckily that doesn't apply and I am sure about this. The german law refers to "in Verkehr bringen" - putting it into the economy, the market, giving it to someone. That's all it means. The Urheberrecht nowhere says you have to do a valid contract to be forced to give up your rights about a "thing". It's enough to give it away. And as things develop nowadays I doubt there will be a company called Sirtech for much longer.

Quote:


That means that the only agreement you have left is the one where you promise to give your changes back to SF in exchange for your pleasure of working on JA2 with restrictions on how you can do it. Mabye your laws apply in such a circumstance, but the lack of a distinct sale might weaken the applicability of the laws you belive protect you.
No, luckily that too ain't the case here. I am the Urheber of the changes I made, that's all that counts. Sirtech can't force me to give up my rights to them. Shall they try - I'd love too see them pulling me dragging and screaming to court. They'd loose. Also I think that at the moment they have other issues to deal with - and honestly from my point of view, they can HAVE the changes I made to the source. They can have them for free because...

*shouts*:

THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN JA2 IN FIRST PLACE, SIRTECH!

Smile

Shame on them for annoying me with skyrider for years *giggle*.

Yours,

Yoshiko
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100594] Mon, 06 December 2004 21:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
masguy

 
Messages:52
Registered:November 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
While not an expert in German law, any country that recognizes the moral right of a creator to profit from their work does indeed have a copyright law. In addition, as a member of the Berne Convention on Intellectual Property Germany has to have certain minimum copyright protection statutes. I think its simplistic to take one decision which limits a copyright holder's rights and interpret it as meaning that Germany has no copyright law at all.

On another point being made, just because the source code for JA was made available at no charge does not change the fact that what some modder or programmer does in creating new material based on that code remains the property of the person doing the creating. To be certain such a creation would be a derivative work, and so the ability to exploit it commercially might be limited, but the original elements would not belong to SF no matter what their license says. In the US, a transfer of copyright ownership has to be in a signed writing. A unilateral and unsigned license agreement simply does not meet that standard. :type:
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100595] Tue, 07 December 2004 04:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
defrog

 
Messages:242
Registered:March 2004
Location: Austria
I believe he was referring to the common policy in Europe that "license agreements" that are forced on users and contain unfair clauses are unenforcable in court. The policies do appear to be legal and unethical for their target market, the US.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100596] Fri, 05 August 2005 11:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hammurab
Messages:2
Registered:August 2005
Anyone who could tell me how to make JA2 work on Windows XP or on newer 2.6.x linux... I have bought the game so i feel I have the right to play... The game is Linux version but there's no support on that...
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100597] Fri, 05 August 2005 12:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hammurab
Messages:2
Registered:August 2005
Since I have bought and payed for official license for JA2 i feel i should be able to play it too... My Linux copy isn't working and there's no updates or user help coming... Please... Help me... i want to play... But downgrading is no optipon... Why can't i compile JA2 on WinXP?
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100598] Fri, 05 August 2005 16:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I don't know about Linux, but it should load and run fine on XP. Unless you have a damaged copy you should have no problem with XP.

Please explain.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100599] Fri, 05 August 2005 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JayDee

 
Messages:35
Registered:February 2001
Location: Toronto, Canuckistan
errr... I think he's trying to figure out how to take his non-working Linux version of the game and make it work under WinXP ? Razz Cool
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100600] Thu, 01 September 2005 08:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
madned
Messages:2
Registered:March 2004
A weak possibility could section 5 be there so they can update the source code?

granted most organized mod efforts immediately dump the source into a CVS and work from that.

the assumption seems to be that stipulation was included for nefarious purposes. while it might be a misguided attempt to promote up to date source.

given Strategy First's current financial troubles, i suppose the nefarious attribution makes a lot of sense though.
Re: Licence/Legal Issues[message #100601] Sun, 11 September 2005 00:31 Go to previous message
ebuck

 
Messages:124
Registered:August 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Hammurab,

Of course, the obvious is that the Linux version is designed to run on Linux. If you're running Windows, go back to the store and buy JA2 in the "bargain" section, you probably will pay less than $10 for it (if you can find it).

Now, if the Linux version is not working on a Linux OS, then odds are it was built against an older version of glibc than you have installed. Find the appropriate cd / website / whatever, and install any software that looks like "glibc-compat", and you may have better luck.

As for Strategy First's troubles, could someone open a new thread to discuss them? I think a few people (like me) probably don't have a good picture of the situation. Are they bankrupt? Have they been sold to someone else? And of course, what happens with an agreement (JA2 source license) to a company that no longer exists?
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