Their website is no longer available as it was earlier.
The front page now reads ‘GAME OVER’.
I’m holding off on actually publishing the games because I’m half hoping we’ll get one last announcement and a chance to ask questions and possibly come to some arrangement about where things go from here.
Graphics are something of a grey area in regards to licensing.
(Which is why I often advise people to use a different licence for their graphics.)
Whether they count as being part of the software is an often debated topic,
and as far as I’m aware there’s never been a conclusive court ruling.
That said, I’d most likely try to contact the artists involved in the games if possible to get a clarification.
Failing that the graphics can be replaced as @drummyfish did once with Arduventure,
at which point it would no longer be an issue.
If you’re on a Windows computer I could give you a copy of the command-line image conversion tool I wrote in C#.
(I’ve never published it because I’ve always intended to clean it up before publishing it, but I’ve never got round to doing so.)
It’s ok to publish the games in their original form, for free they just can’t be sold. Or, shouldn’t anyways.
@JO3RI made a life decision to move on away from video game programming. He told me several times and announced publicly that he would be taking down his site and GitHub. I have a backup too somewhere. He said it was ok to repost them.
Sorta? Without going into personal details, like I said before it was more of a life decision than it was anything else. It was done without malice he just wanted to completely move on. Some people value their online presence and try not to leave too many digital fingerprints and try to clean up / remove content that they no longer manage / use themselves and that is of course their perogative.
Also, if @pharap or anyone else wants to go ahead and “fork” their repo and post it on their own github, that’s totally fine with basically adhering as best as possible to the suggested conditions for sharing… If you want to upload hex to the community here that is also fine.
Basically, as long as we honor the “spirit” of the license here, there is no problems. The only issue that there would ever be is if someone started to try and represent themselves as team arg and sell the games themselves somehow. That is the only thing that would be a problem because @JO3RI was looking at selling the company in the end so that would be stealing. But he didn’t want the games to disappear, so we are the right community to keep them alive.
The way I look at it is this: if a repo as a whole has the LICENSE file in the root directory, then that should apply to everything in it, unless it isn’t stated elsewhere (like they did with Arduventure) that some things are excluded, and also on the condition that the license text can be applied to all those files (which e.g. MIT can be, but I am not so sure about GPL). Of course as you say, only a court case can confirm this though, but I see this as the logical thing.
Excluding things is a dangerous and usually bad idea because terms like “content” can be very unclear and ambiguous, and also stating exclusions “elsewhere” is a bad idea because this can be overlooked and confusing (it is better to put the excluded files into a separate, e.g. content, repository or at least state exclusions directly in the LICENSE file). Also the LICENSE can’t apply to files in the repository that can’t be licensed by the repository “owner” (e.g. fair use files) and it’s a bad idea to put them in that repository.
That’s why I advocate this:
Be as clear as possible with licensing, more clear is better than less clear. Put a LICENSE file in the root directory, state that you’ve created all the files in the repo and that you apply the license to all of them, code and assets, and in each text file itself state the author, the same license and its version. If you decide for specific terms to your creation you have to really mean them and try to give the users the best proof, clarity and certainty about what these terms are and that they hold.
Keep it as simple as possible, i.e. use standard licenses with clear and simple rules, best if more permissive. That’s also why I advocate CC0 – it can be applied to everything and puts on no restrictions or weird rules (except the trademark and patent issues, which I personally solve by adding another waiver of these alongside CC0).
It is pretty bad people usually ignore these rules, as Team ARG did, because then we have situations like this one: unclear licensing, people not knowing what they can and can’t do and so called “open source” games becoming de facto proprietary.
If that were the intent, the art should have been licensed as one of the CC BY-NC-ND (non-commercial, no-derivatives) licences.
Unfortunately that’s not what the licences say.
The licences appear to only cover the “software”,
which leaves the dilema of whether “software” includes art.
If it does, anyone’s free to distribute, edit and even sell the code and the art.
If it doesn’t, strictly speaking the art is under full copyright and no permissions are given.
I think it might be a bit of an oversight.
JO3RI may not have realised that the organisation account is tied to his account and that shutting his account down would terminate the TEAMarg account.
The better solution would have indeed been to pass ownership of the organisation beforehand.
In hindsight I regret not trying harder to coax them towards a CC licence.
Any CC licence other than CC0 would have handled some JO3RI’s attribution concerns.
(Point 3 can’t actually be enforced due to the permissiveness of the source code licence.)
I don’t think @MLXXXp was trying to imply that,
it’s more a case that (regardless of intent) it has caused a few minor issues and there were several other options that would have resulted in a smoother transition/handover.
If the intent was really to wipe the git history then it’s succeeded.
While I’m doubtful that really is the case legally, I also doubt someone who has wiped all their internet profiles is going to quibble.
I still think it’s worth double-checking with some of the other people who contributed though.
Particularly in the cases where JO3RI wasn’t the artist.
Someone representing themselves as Team ARG wouldn’t be legal, it would be fraud.
Selling the source code (or indeed the compiled code) on the other hand is completely legal.
It wouldn’t be stealing, the MIT licence gives that right explicitly:
to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software
I’m cautious of that interpretation for two reasons.
Firstly because many code licences (including MIT) specifically mention ‘software’ and the software/asset distinction has (to my knowledge) never been verified in a legal setting.
Secondly because I know that’s the interpretation that’s typically more beneficial for my circumstances so I’m wary of opting for an interpretation that suits my biases.
There’s logic both for and against, but without legal precedent shrodinger’s cat is firmly in the box and we just have to gamble on whether it’s dead or alive.
(*Insert “you spin my head right round” joke*. :P)
I agree with all your other points though.
A rule that applies equally to code and licensing: “Explicit is better than implicit.”
In fairness I think the intent was that the art would be covered by the same licence as the code, so it’s more a case of lack of knowledge/realisation/clarity than outright ignorance.
Really it’s the Arduventure incident that puts the cat among the pigeons.
The one time they chose to say “the software licence doesn’t cover the art or story” casts doubt on the intent for the other games.
The artwork is still covered by copyright, meaning that if you use the assets in either the pre-compiled games or take them use them for some reason in something else for commercial purposees, I’ll ask you to take it down so don’t do that. I.e. don’t sell Arduventure on your website, or if you do, you can’t mention Arduboy. Then I guess you could get away with it, but you would be a stink head if you did. Is anyone planning to do this? I sure hope not.
Otherwise if you want to totally change all the graphics and release the games and do whatever you want with it, you are free to do so. Just respect the licenses and give the credit.
I’ve finally uploaded all the repos that I had saved.
I probably won’t make them all public tonight,
but hopefully within the coming days.
I’ve made the GitHub organisation “Team ARG Museum” and I’m hoping to create a mini website via GitHub pages to explain the purpose of the repo and maybe include a bit of info about Team ARG’s history, as a museum would.
If anyone wants to get involved either with writing some stuff about Team ARG or making some graphics to make it look less awful then by all means let me know.
I’m starting with the non-games, particularly the ATMlib stuff since people have been asking about that.
Everything is archived so it’s read-only,
but every repo can still be forked, and the forks will be editable.
I may unarchive things to add a local copy of the images from the website in case the website goes down, but apart from that my intent is to keep everything as it was.
What I don’t have is .hex files and .arduboy files.
Compiling .hex files should be fairly easy,
but recreating the .arduboy files would take some time,
so if anyone’s got any that they’d like to donate,
please let me know, it would save a fair bit of time.
In other news, I designed a logo for the museum,
but adapting it to make a decent digital version would take me quite a while.
(I actually designed several, but this is the one I settled on.)