License of the GZDoom pk3 files

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License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:55 am

I am aware that an effort was made to separate non-free assets to their own pk3s (cf. viewtopic.php?f=4&t=57776), but I'm having trouble finding the specific license for these assets.

Are the gzdoom.pk3 and lights.pk3 files licensed under specifically the GPL?

What are the brightmaps.pk3 and zd_extra.pk3 files licensed under?
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:05 am

The brightmaps are a bit problematic because they are based on the original game content. so for all intents and purposes, consider both brightmaps.pk3 and zd_extra.pk3 as non-free because they contain copyrighted material that is needed to run the original games.

For the definition files nobody ever claimed copyright on them and in some cases it's not even possible anymore to find out who made them. The vast majority merely contains info from the source code in reorganized form, for these the same license as the originating code should apply, that'd be the GPL indeed.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:18 am

Graf Zahl wrote:The brightmaps are a bit problematic because they are based on the original game content. so for all intents and purposes, consider both brightmaps.pk3 and zd_extra.pk3 as non-free because they contain copyrighted material that is needed to run the original games.


Thank you for the quick reply. So these were derived by modifications to the original game assets? Were these derived from assets available in the demos for these games, or assets exclusive to the full retail release?
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Rachael » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:22 am

vilhelmgray wrote:Thank you for the quick reply. So these were derived by modifications to the original game assets? Were these derived from assets available in the demos for these games, or assets exclusive to the full retail release?

Full releases.

Demos are under an extremely restrictive license. You are not allowed, under any circumstances, to modify content in the shareware version, or to create content compatible with the shareware versions.

There's very few things that are exclusive to the shareware versions anyway - I think the title screens, to be specific (and they only differ from their respective originals in that they show a suggested retail price point) - and that might be it. For some reason both Doom and Heretic kept all their shareware-specific advertising info in their mail-order releases, but they removed that stuff in the full retail releases.

id Software believes that this will encourage people to buy the game.

However, for the full game, as long as you have the original fully licensed copy of the game, you are allowed to run modified assets based on it, or distribute such modifications.

One caveat: Since all the stuff available in the shareware versions are available in the retail versions anyway, that means that such content falls under the retail license, even if it is available in the shareware version.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:45 am

Rachael wrote:Demos are under an extremely restrictive license. You are not allowed, under any circumstances, to modify content in the shareware version, or to create content compatible with the shareware versions.

There's very few things that are exclusive to the shareware versions anyway - I think the title screens, to be specific (and they only differ from their respective originals in that they show a suggested retail price point) - and that might be it. For some reason both Doom and Heretic kept all their shareware-specific advertising info in their mail-order releases, but they removed that stuff in the full retail releases.

id Software believes that this will encourage people to buy the game.

However, for the full game, as long as you have the original fully licensed copy of the game, you are allowed to run modified assets based on it, or distribute such modifications.


I believe you are right that id Software permitted mods given the thriving history of the DOOM mod community, but I'm having trouble finding the specific wording in the license use file that permits this: https://github.com/id-Software/DOOM/blo ... OOMLIC.TXT

4. Copyright. The Software and all copyrights related thereto
(including all characters and other images generated by the Software
or depicted in the Software) are owned by ID and is protected by
United States copyright laws and international treaty provisions.
Id shall retain exclusive ownership and copyright in and to the
Software and all portions of the Software and you shall have no
ownership or other proprietary interest in such materials. You must
treat the Software like any other copyrighted material. You may not
otherwise reproduce, copy or disclose to others, in whole or in any
part, the Software. You may not copy the written materials
accompanying the Software. You agree to use your best efforts to
see that any user of the Software licensed hereunder complies with
this Agreement.


Was DOOM relicensed at some point to explicitly allow the distribution of modifications to the game assets? I'm working with a distribution group that requires the particular clause verbatim in order to permit distribution of these pk3 files, so I'm trying to track down that license file.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Rachael » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:24 am

Oh, in that case, what I understand of it is from word of mouth. Actual documentation to that effect supposedly came from someone who was still actually working at id Software at the time. I do not know what form it came from - email, forum post, social media, etc.

Your best bet is to ask on Doomworld. They're much more of an expert on this topic than I am and they're likely to find you the original source material that permitted modified game content to be distributed.

They'll be nicer to you if you don't mention GZDoom. Just... trust me on this. ;)
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:19 pm

That'd be in the game license, not the source license. Wrong text file. ;)
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Gez » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:40 pm

See Section 2: Permitted New Creations of the LICENSE.DOC file that accompanied the original releases of the game.

2. Permitted New Creations. Subject to the terms and provisions of this Agreement and so long as you fully comply at all times with this Agreement, ID grants to you the non-exclusive and limited right to create for the Software (except any Software code) your own modifications (the "New Creations") which shall operate only with the Software (but not any demo, test or other version of the Software). ID reserves all rights not granted in this Agreement, including, without limitation, all rights to ID's trademarks. You may include within the New Creations certain textures and other images (the "ID Images") from the Software.


There's more to that section, but that's the relevant bit.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:15 am

Gez wrote:See Section 2: Permitted New Creations of the LICENSE.DOC file that accompanied the original releases of the game.

2. Permitted New Creations. Subject to the terms and provisions of this Agreement and so long as you fully comply at all times with this Agreement, ID grants to you the non-exclusive and limited right to create for the Software (except any Software code) your own modifications (the "New Creations") which shall operate only with the Software (but not any demo, test or other version of the Software). ID reserves all rights not granted in this Agreement, including, without limitation, all rights to ID's trademarks. You may include within the New Creations certain textures and other images (the "ID Images") from the Software.


There's more to that section, but that's the relevant bit.


I don't think that section was part of the original release of DOOM, but fortunately it was in the Doom Collector's Edition (2001) release which means the original Doom game assets are covered by it: https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/5 ... ense-eula/

For posterity I'll post the entire Collector's Edition (2001) user license agreement here:

Spoiler:
Last edited by Blue Shadow on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spoilered the EULA, as it's too long.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Rachael » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:36 am

Relevant portion here:

2. Permitted New Creations. Subject to the terms and provisions of this Agreement and so long as you fully comply at all times with this Agreement, ID grants to you the non-exclusive and limited right to create for the Software (except any Software code) your own modifications (the "New Creations") which shall operate only with the Software (but not any demo, test or other version of the Software). ID reserves all rights not granted in this Agreement, including, without limitation, all rights to ID's trademarks. You may include within the New Creations certain textures and other images (the "ID Images") from the Software. You shall not create any New Creations which infringe against any third party right or which are libelous, defamatory, obscene, false, misleading, or otherwise illegal or unlawful. You agree that the New Creations will not be shipped, transferred or exported into any country in violation of the U.S. Export Administration Act

- First underline prohibits making your work compatible with the shareware version.
- Second maintain's id Software's rights over the content, especially if trademarks are used. (By this it can be inferred that it's not allowed to work in non-id Software games, or likely even the game from which it was sourced, in order to encourage people to buy the game)
- Third is what actually allows content creators to include resources from the original software in their modification works.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:10 am

This license agreement should cover the assets derived from the Doom games, but are there any assets in the GZDoom pk3s derived from other games?
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Rachael » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:10 am

Yes - Heretic, Hexen, Strife, and Chex Quest. Possibly more, but those are the ones I know for sure.

Heretic and Hexen are currently governed by Activision (as far as I know)
Strife is governed by Nightdive Studios.
Chex Quest is governed by General Mills. It is hosted here: http://www.chucktropolis.com/gamers.htm
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby vilhelmgray » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:54 am

I investigated a bit further to try to find the license for these assets.

Heretic and Hexen
I was able to track down the EULA for the Heretic and Hexen game assets: https://www.doomworld.com/eternity/activision_eula.txt

Spoiler:


While it does allow for "New Game Materials", I think GZDoom may not currently be in compliance since the EULA requires a "prominent identification" of the words "THIS MATERIAL IS NOT MADE OR SUPPORTED BY ACTIVISION." This can be remedied easily by adding a copy of the EULA to the wadsrc_extra/static directory in the GZDoom repository. I can submit a pull request to add it in if you want, as well as the other EULAs so that we don't have we refer back to this thread whenever the question about copyright licenses is brought up again.

Strife
Strife did not appear to be released with an EULA, and the only thing I could find in the game was the splash screen which states:

Code: Select allExpand view
(C)1996 VELOCITY INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



This is a clear statement that all copyrights are reserved by the owner Velocity Inc. The copyrights for the Strife assets were eventually bought by Night Dive Studios, LLC, who are now the current owners. I contacted the Nightdive Studios CEO, Stephen Kick, via Discord on July 12, 2019, and inquired about the license situation of the Strife assets. On July 16, 2019, Stephen Kick responded by saying that he doesn't have an issue with us distributing the modified Strife assets (https://imgur.com/a/Zqdg1xu). I'm not a lawyer, but I think this should suffice to avoid legal issues.


Chex Quest
I contacted Charles "Chuck" Jacobi, the original art director and artist for the game. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware of any license for the Chex Quest assets, but he did point me to the legal information provided on the Chex Quest CD-ROM intro screen. I've taken some screenshots of this text along with the splash screen: https://imgur.com/a/ct78ZYn

The splash screen has the typical copyright boilerplate:
Code: Select allExpand view
(C)1996 Ralston Foods, Inc. All rights reserved.



I've transcribed the "Read This!" pages for convenience:
Spoiler:


The relevant portion for us is the Ownership section:
Code: Select allExpand view
Ownership:
Except to the extent expressly licensed by Ralston Foods, Inc. and from
Waters Molitor, Inc., Ralston Foods, Inc. has and reserves the exclusive
copyright, trade secrets and other rights to the Program, and the right
to use the Trademark CHEX, the CHEX(R) QUEST logo, and any of the
characters contained within the Game in connection with it.



Ralston Foods, Inc. is the original copyright owner of the Chex Quest assets. Ralston Foods, Inc. sold its Chex brand cereal lineup to General Mills, Inc., so I believe General Mills owns the copyright to the Chex Quest assets now. I decided to try to ask General Mills about distributing modified Chex Quest assets, like I did to Nightdive Studios about Strife, but their contact form returns an error for me when I try to use it: https://contactus.generalmills.com

Perhaps someone will have more success with their web form, or alternatively call their customer line as 1-800-248-7310. As it stands right now, I believe the modified Chex Quest assets in GZDoom are in violation of the copyright -- so they should be removed from the GZDoom distribution unless we get a verification from General Mills that such distribution is permitted.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Gez » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:00 am

I wouldn't worry about it, when they remembered that Chex Quest exist it was to link to Jacobi's site so people can download Chex Quest 3, which is powered by and bundled with ZDoom.
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Re: License of the GZDoom pk3 files

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:16 pm

And that said, take a guess where the CQ fonts were taken from... ;)

And regarding PRs with legally relevant content like copyrights, licenses, etc., in light of the recent episode with Eternity, let me make one thing clear: I will not accept ANY PR that alters such content, completely regardless of whether it has merit or not. If you want such things changed, contact me personally, laying out what should be done - so I can make the change myself.
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