Enforce Free Software Licenses

Discussion in 'Bukkit Discussion' started by metalhedd, Jun 12, 2013.


Should all non-free licensing options be removed from the plugin page?

  1. Yes, it's a legal requirement of the Bukkit licence!

    14 vote(s)
  2. No, I don't believe in legally binding contracts

    26 vote(s)
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  1. Offline


    Bukkit and CraftBukkit are both licensed under the GPL.

    The Official GPL FAQ makes specific mention of licensing requirements for plugins, which state:

    Bukkit and CraftBukkit UNQUESTIONABLY Fall into the second category, therefore, according to the GNU Gods, All bukkit plugin have to use a license at least as permissive as the GPL, and that means ALL Bukkit plugins must provide source code upon the request of any user, and that source code MUST be the original code, not stuff we have to decompile ourselves. with that being said, I don't think plugins should be given the option of "All Rights Reserved" they already signed away those rights when they linked to bukkit.jar. I want source code, or GTFO.
    tanveergt5 and TheBeast808 like this.
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    I agree 100%. Bukkit's license requires them to, and they should even if they didn't have to. Many times I've wanted to mod a plugin or add something to it so that it fits into my server, but the plugin is closed source and when I asked the authors they wouldn't share the source. Requiring all plugins to be open source would allow for better server quality.

    For those plugin authors who don't want others to 'steal' their code, being closed source doesn't solve it. Anybody who wants to 'steal' code could still decompile it. However, anybody that just wants to extend the plugin or make a custom mod to face multiple problems when they use a decompiled source. You're not making it harder to steal, you're making it harder to legitimately use.
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    The answer could not POSSIBLY be more clear... Bukkit developers are harmed by having their choice of license violated. plain and simple. I am a developer (with admittedly very little code in the tree) but I do feel disrespected when I see such blatant license violations against code that I contributed to. and that is harm.

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    Remember that those plugin authors wouldn't publish their plugin here in the first place if they would be enforced to something they do not want.
    Cupcakes69 likes this.
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    Excellent! that's the goal! I dont want to wade through page after page of All Rights Reserved crap that I will never even look at.

    Also, I think that's only true for about 10% of the cases at best.. the other 90% of the people choose "All Rights Reserved" because they don't know any better and it seems like the 'safest' option.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
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    personal feeling only, but i believe that the plugin developer should choose how people should work with his plugin. if the plugin maker doesnt want anyone to touch his code, then IMO, you should respect it.

    at this case you could simply contact the plugin maker, these who set "all rights reserved" because they dont know any better dont actually understand the purpose of the license and will be happy to change it to something better.
    xxyy98, jorisk322 and Jozeth like this.
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    I find these sorts of replies INCREDIBLY ironic and hypocritical, why should I have to respect the desires of the plugin developer who doesn't respect the desires of the code THEY are using? what gives them the right in the first place to take open source code and close it? it's wrong, and their desires are irrelevant and ignorant.
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    all they are doing is "close sourcing" their own code extension.
    would you like everyone to take your plugin, rename the author, and declare it theirs? no. what you suggest is making it possible, because, you suggest that everything should be owned by bukkit, thus you cant steal authority.

    what this system pretty much does is to allow plugin developers to claim some credits about the plugin without a pack of plugin copiers come and rename the plugin to their own. the licenses are used here as a matter of "what i allow you to do with the plugin, and what i dont want you do to" and complain to bukkit moderators if violated. it was never ment to be used actually legally.
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    In fact, the GPL Explicitly allows exactly what you said.. it's frowned upon, because you should make meaningful changes, but yes, you should be allowed to change the author and re-release it as your own. of course that re-release would be required to be under the GPL as well, so it's a win-win for everyone. upstream gets bug fixes and contributions and downstream gets a whole existing code base to work with. that's what the license was DESIGNED for.

    This is why I call ignorance when I hear people say that a plugin author should have the choice, they absolutely should not, they signed away their rights when they published a derivative of a GPL work.
  10. Offline


    so, let me take your plugin, that you worked months on, do a 1 minute change to the plugin.yml, and upload it as my own! isnt that great? because this is entirely what you suggest. loads on loads on plugin copiers.
  11. Offline


    go ahead, just make sure its GPL. The bukkit staff may have a problem with 2 identical plugins, but I don't. just make sure you abide by the GPL in doing so. I h ave 14 plugins to choose from, knock yourself out.

    EDIT: If I *DID* have a problem with it, I'd have selected a different license, perhaps one that required attribution as well. but I didn't, because I chose my license based on my own philosophies, not arbitrarily.
    Lucariatias likes this.
  12. Offline


    and you want to force your philosophies on everyone else.
    how considering of you.

    you forget that by accepting your suggestion you disallow people from choosing a different license, thus even if they have a problem with it they cant do anything.
  13. Offline


    I'm not the one who selected the GPL for Bukkit. so I'm not trying to force my philosophies on anyone, I'm just trying to make sure people comply with the contracts they agreed to -- however inderectly -- by publishing gpl-derivative works.

    and I suppose as a contributor to bukkit, I would *like* to force people to abide by the GPL, because they ARE using *MY* code.

    and you can consider that a 'royal' *my* on behalf of everyone who contributed to bukkit in good faith that their license would be respected.

    and for the record, there are TONS of GPL Compatible licenses that have different rules, some require attribution, some dont, but I haven't in any way said that they HAVE to choose the GPL, just that it has to be GPL compatible, and MOST of the licenses available on the bukkitdev list ARE GPL compatible.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
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    and if the bukkit developers dont want to enforce them?
    you want to tell the bukkit developers they cant let their clients a bit more freedom?
    the only sue casing here, are either by the GPL sellers on bukkit (which will never happen, since technically all plugins do have GPL licenses, but the licenses on the plugins are used as a form of "what i want you to do with my plugin") or bukkit on the plugin makers (which will also, never happen, since by uploading to dev.bukkit.org they gain the access to the plugins anyway)

    all you suggest is simply a way to make DBO a place of chaos and dismay, instead of people actually working to make their own plugins, you suggest they should copy off other people.

    this is already simply a trust system, if you try to steal code from other plugins, what you are going to face is people hating you, NOT a legal sue case.

    as it seems, the only reason for what you say is:
    and be treated like you made the source code. this suggestion fixes nothing.
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    You're missing the point again necrodoom. its not up to me, and its not up to some "team" of official Bukkit developers, it's up to every author who has contributed to Bukkit, we all maintain individual copyright over the code we've contributed, Bukkit cannot make the decision on our behalf to not enforce that license if we so choose.

    You're freedon arguement also completely misses the point... I want to GIVE the freedoms that have already been guaranteed by the license, not take any freedoms away. I'm not forcing you to publish source code unless you're publishing your plugin. at that point it becomes a requirement or you're violating the licenses and desires of MANY MANY Developers who came before you who built the foundations of your code. Just because the official bukkit position is one of indifference doesn't mean they speak for all of the authors of said code.

    I hope you're not serious about thinking i'm only interested in taking credit for other people's code, I have a giant list plugins that I've written from scratch, I've contributed to plenty of open source plugins, and Bukkit itself, and I've allowed code from my plugins to be reused in other people's work as long as they are free software. I dare say I wouldn't even consider running code from most of the developers on bukkitdev, most are clueless amateurs.
    Lucariatias and Skyshayde like this.
  16. Offline


    Why don't you just ask EvilSeph?
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    Read the first paragraph of my last post, this has nothing to do with EvilSeph. he doesn't have copyright over anyones code but his own.
    Jozeth likes this.
  18. Gee thanks.....
    But anyhoo I don't know why not sharing your source code is bad for other developers, because if you don't obfuscate it then they can just decompile it? Granted it would be nicer to have the actual source code but with a few extra clicks it's not a big deal in my opinion.
  19. Offline


    #1 people do obfuscate on bukkitdev, i've seen it
    #2 ITS IN THE LICENSE. Decompiled code is NOT ok. the original source is REQUIRED.

    that's why is a big deal, and thats why your opinion is completely irrelevant.
  20. Offline


    Fine. Open source it or GTFO. If they don't want to share the source, they shouldn't share the plugin in the first place.
  21. Offline


    Let me re-phrase what you just said:
    • You want less unique plugins on bukkitdev (if authors want to release on bukkitdev using all rights resevered and you don't allow them to do so, they won't publish to bukkitdev)
    • You want tons of almost identical plugins on bukkitdev, only with a different author, but (almost) the same code
    • You want to put your name on something someone else's spent hours, days, maybe months coding at just because you made a little fix
    I have embedded feedback, error reporting, a small donate function and I am able to offer some functions thanks to interactions with my webserver (e.g. detection of your external IP). There are plenty of reasons I don't want to share my code with anyone. It's not that I don't trust the community. It's just that there is always one idiot who's there to steal your work. What you publish on bukkitdev is public to the whole internet, not only limited to the bukkit community. (I'm not subject to the forced GPL, in case you're wondering. I have a program that's all rights reserved. With reason. If anyone asks me the code, I won't give it. But I'll give advice if it's someone else who needs a hand with coding their own similar program, or I'll consider the change that the person who requested the code wanted to do.) Same name, so if he does something wrong, your reputation is wrecked.

    What you say means everyone should be able to grab a plugin, put some force-OP code in it and redistribute it. I think the bukkitdev has better things to do than to handle another load of these.

    If there is any problem with this, the bukkit team would just announce this, put in a transition phase and then force the GPL license. But they don't. Because they have no problem, and as long as they have no problem, you shouldn't have one.

    p.s.: instead of changing the licenses of every single plugin that uses "all rights reserver" , you could also change the bukkit license so it doesn't force GPL. Didn't think of that, did you?
    you also don't offer a fair poll: while I do "believe in legally binding contracts", I don't agree with you. Next time keep in mind to stay somewhat objective on your poll options ;)

    edit: I'm actually interested in Gravity, mbaxter or TnT their opinion.
    xxyy98, tanveergt5 and Cupcakes69 like this.
  22. Offline


    never said that, but yes actually, I'd prefer to see a handful of quality plugins with code that's been viewed by many eyes than a metric ass-ton of one-off garbage plugins that we have today. most of which are just cheap copies of other plugins already on bukkitdev. i don't see the gpl making this situation worse. possibly better because there is no reason to clone it if the project is open source.
    More ridiculous hyperbole. I never said anything of the sort. I've said the opposite several times though. I personally would never put my name on someone elses code, but I've given a explicit permission for anyone to do so with MY code if they want to.
    blah blah blah. this is either a superiority complex (Ie. my code is too good to share) or an inferiority complex (If people see my code they'll find exploits or know how bad I am) none of the awesome features you've mentioned in any way preclude open sourcing the code, unless you're doing a terrible job of securing communications with your webserver.

    2 projects can't exist with the same name on bukkitdev. furthermore, the author is clearly listed on the page. if someone forks my project and makes it suck, it doesn't reflect on me at all.

    With the exception of the fact that putting force op code in a plugin is against bukkitdev rules, so that file would have been culled during the approval process anyhow, i dont see how you're making a point at all... if there are 2 otherwise equal versions of a plugin and one has force-op exploit, it will be pretty apparent by comparing the sourcecode, which will be provided in a clear and unobfuscated format for both plugins. the approval process would be faster if all plugins were required to provide source code.

    I actually DIRECTLY addressed that exact issue. it's not feasible because bukkit is the work of potentially hundreds of authors and the "bukkit team" would need the permission of each and every one of them.

    In fact, I'm fairly sure bukkitdev does already have a policy against publishing a plugin that just duplicates another one with out any meaningful difference... this wouldn't change by enforcing free software licenses either. a blatant copy would not be approved for publishing, exactly as is the situation now.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
  23. Offline


    I think only slugs need to be unique.
    Even for plugins and stuff that isn't GPL, bukkitdev gets to see the source. I think every plugin author is willingly to cooperate with the bukkitdev team in order to keep their plugin on bukkitdev and to keep approval times as low as possible.
    10-14 years old are using plugins, pretty sure they can't recognize a force-op plugin. Also, do you check the code of every plugin you install? Even while the bukkitdev team ensures the quality of files on bukkitdev (which is greatly appreciated) sometimes there might just be an exploit they don't notice. They're humans after all.
    say the name is almost identical:
    "Hey, did you hear about X which does Y and Z?" *2nd person thinks it's about X' * "Yeah, but it sucks" While everyone should mention the original author, there you go. Should. Pretty sure not everyone's going to do that. I've seen more than one "He stole my code" threads passing by on the forums.
    You didn't say it, but as I said, I rephrased. You indirectly said you agree with those things.

    Say worldedit was closed source, if they had a reason to. In that case you wouldn't want Worldedit, still the #1 world editing plugin, on bukkitdev?

    Yes. But are you going to check each plugin against the 10.000 other plugins on bukkitdev?
  24. Offline


    no, the names do. I had to rename one for that reason

    they get to decompile the source, its different, the original source would unquestionably speed the process.

    first of all, yes, I do check the source code of every single plugin I install, always. as a rule. i wont even download an all rights reserved plugin, its off the consideration list immediately.

    as for the kids, that's the whole reason for open sourcing it, so that those 10-14 year olds can feel safer knowing that an entire community has access to the source code and many of them have probably already checked for exploits. and like you said, bukkitdev staff are human, they may miss a mistake that i might have seen if i had access to the source.

    here's the thing... if X' is a fork of X, then the code CAN'T suck that bad.... surely no more than if the the author of X' had tried to make a cheap clone WITHOUT access to the source code... source access only makes him able to provide a product of higher quality... would the author of X' INTENTIONALLY Put his name on an inferior product to slander another author? he would be doing more harm to himself as the primary author of said project that sucks...
    so, again, this situation isn't made worse by free software, it's made better.

    and if we forced free software, every one of them could be closed without needing to waste the time of bukkitdev staff.

    no, what you did is take all your preconcieved notions about the evils of free software and make a bunch of outlandish claims about the bad things that would happen, none of which are remotely true.


    i couldn't care less if WorldEdit was on bukkitdev or not. I use it, I like it just fine, but if I needed a world editing plugin i would find it regardless if it was on bukkitdev or not. Here's an interesting thought experiment though... look at how old WorldEdit is... look how many people have worked on it... do you think it would stand even the slightest chance of being as popular as it is if it WASN'T Open source?

    no, it would have died off a LOOONG time ago.

    Another thing to note about "Project X" and its inferior clone, is that by the time Project X Reaches a state where it's actaully WORTH cloning, it has a significant head start in popularity, and X' will be seen as an obvious clone by anyone with a brain.... would you download "Essentialzzz", or "Assentials" ? I wouldn't.. there are an awful lot of wanna-be essentials clones on bukkitdev though... every 14 year old seems to want to make one and slap an all rights reserved licence on his awesome code.

    EDIT by Moderator: merged posts, please use the edit button instead of double posting.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
    Lucariatias likes this.
  25. Offline


    If it's actually mentioned in GPL that plugins have to be under a similar license, and Bukkit is licensed under GPL, it seems like it's just an error to allow this, not something that requires an opinion. While I like to see open source stuff so I can see how people tackled various problems (or find out why something isn't working, or correct something myself and recompile for personal use, etc), I don't personally have anything against licensing as All Rights Reserved, but if the whole similar-license thing is true, my personal feelings don't change anything, right?

    That being said, I'm not a lawyer or anything, just throwing my two cents into a pail of quarters.
  26. Offline


    The argument used to justify this seems to be "Bukkit itself is already on legally shaky ground, so let's just turn a blind eye to any violations against it." In my opinion it shouldn't really be a matter of lawyers or not, but about being respectful citizens of the software community. there isn't one single All Rights Reserved plugin on bukkitdev that is a more significant piece of work than bukkit & craftbukkit themselves, so it's just downright rude to slap together a few "player.getInventory().addItems()" and then protecting it like you just wrote the bible. it shows complete disregard for the layers and layers of code below you that made it possible.
    Lucariatias and Skyshayde like this.
  27. Offline


    I did this... O.O
  28. Offline


    Personally, I don't believe this should be enforced - give people the option to close-source their software if they want! I don't really like it when developers don't open-source their software, but it's a personal decision of the developer and you have to respect that.

    Anyways, I don't see why this is really bothering people - it's not like you're allowed to publish other people's work here.
  29. Offline


    Actually it's not the developer's choice. The minute they decided to release a plugin that hooks into bukkit the way it currently does, their choice to keep it closed source was erased. According to the license bukkit is under, they must release the source.

    Although, bukkit is the only one that can enforce it. But, if they don't want to enforce it, why are they using GPL in the first place?
  30. Offline


    I've said this before in other threads, but it bears repeating, I think:
    • The Bukkit API is GPL'd, and any plugin which is built against it must be licensed under a Free (GPL-compatible) licence. The terms of the GPL are very clear about that.
    • CraftBukkit (as opposed to Bukkit) is also GPL'd, and there's a problem with that, since it also distributes code owned by Mojang, which is certainly not GPL'd, or even open source. Mojang have chosen not to take issue with that, it seems, but a license incompatibility does exist.
    • It wouldn't be worthwhile for the Bukkit team to enforce GPL compatibility on every uploaded plugin.
    • There is a case for not explicitly offering a closed-source option on dev.bukkit.org, but that's ultimately up to the Bukkit team, and it's really not worth getting too worked up about. It would still be nice to see an official statement from the Bukkit team about this, though.
    • Plugin authors who do choose a closed-source licence have little or no legal protection against their code being decompiled & used, since they haven't licensed their own code legally. In other words: if you get your closed-source plugin code ripped off - tough. You shouldn't be developing closed-source code with the GPL'd Bukkit API.
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