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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:There is a lot to this but Wolvereness isn't wr (354 comments)

Ah, I see now. You blindly believed the Slashdot summary (which is in fact a load of bollocks) without doing any research yourself. Never a good idea.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:There is a lot to this but Wolvereness isn't wr (354 comments)

You keep using the word dim as an insult towards me yet seem to repeatedly be unable to grasp the concept that offering the open sourcing of the Minecraft server source code as a solution to the problem he has decided to create is identical to asking for the Minecraft source code, I'm not sure why you struggle with with such a simple concept, but apparently you do. Maybe you're, well, a bit dim?

I've used the term dim once, so I'm not sure why you think I "keep" using it; however, I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty well merited here. I'll say it once more, in the probably vain hope that you'll actually read it: Wolfe has neither asked for nor offered the open sourcing of Mojang's server source code. Once again: you made that part up yourself.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:There is a lot to this but Wolvereness isn't wr (354 comments)

I can't quite tell if you're a bit dim, or just being deliberately obtuse here. Wolfe has never demanded that Mojang release their proprietary source code (and he doesn't have the legal right to do that anyway). He's saying, correctly, that CraftBukkit cannot legally be distributed under its current license. It can certainly be argued that this is a petty move - he is basically making the entire project unavailable to everyone - and I'm in two minds about that myself, but it's a bit more than just a "pet peeve". It's two years of his work (and Wolfe was one of the biggest contributors to the project) under basically false pretences.

It's now up to Mojang to decide how to proceed. They have several choices, only one of which is re-licensing their server code under the GPL (and I very much doubt that will happen). They could alternatively shelve the Bukkit project (they are after all working on their own modding API), or they could meet Wolfe in court.

The problem is not entirely Mojang's fault, but they have basically been storing up trouble for themselves since the release of CraftBukkit in January 2011 by not dealing with the license issue then. It seems pretty clear they wanted the Bukkit project to continue (let's face it, it's certainly helped their bottom line), up to and including acquiring the project, but it was foolish of them not to immediately clarify the licence.

By the way, using the blanket insult "you FOSS zealots" says a lot more about you than it does me. You know nothing about me, or my overall stance on software licensing.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:There is a lot to this but Wolvereness isn't wr (354 comments)

Stop being dense. He's not demanding the "Minecraft server source code" and no one who's actually paying attention has ever claimed that. He's saying that his GPL'd contributions can't legally be distributed in CraftBukkit along with Mojang's proprietary classes, and in that respect he's correct.

Of course this has been the case all along - CraftBukkit has never been legally licensed - but until now both Mojang and the Bukkit development team have basically swept that problem under the carpet. What gotten Wolfe (and no doubt other) contributors annoyed is that Mojang concealed their ownership of Bukkit until the current Bukkit team basically threw in the towel due to the difficulty of keeping CraftBukkit up-to-date wrt. Minecraft. At the point, Mojang basically said, "no problem, we've actually owned Bukkit all along!".

This is the fault of the original Bukkit team (who are now Mojang employees, or have been) for their poor licensing decisions, and also the fault of Mojang for failing to deal with the licensing problems either initially or when they clandestinely acquired the Bukkit project. Wolfe and other contributors may be accused of poor judgement for continuing to contribute to such a legally shaky project, but the original licensing problems are not theirs, and their contributions were made under the false belief that Bukkit remained a community-owned project.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:What the heck? (354 comments)

Wolfe didn't do the original decompiling of Mojang's code and combining it with GPL'd and LGPL'd code. That was done by individuals who were since hired by Mojang as developers for their own planned modding API.

So while Wolfe's contributed a huge amount of GPL'd code to Bukkit/CraftBukkit, he's not the original infringer. If Mojang want to sue, they'll basically have to sue their own employees (whom they hired knowing full well that they'd been releasing decompiled Mojang code).

CraftBukkit has never been legally licensed. That does not however invalidate the copyright that Wolfe (and every other contributor) has over his own contributions. And he does maintain copyright since Mojang have never required contributors to agree to a Contributor License Agreement.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott Re:There is a lot to this but Wolvereness isn't wr (354 comments)

He's not trying to ransom it back. At no point has there been a suggestion that Wolvereness wants any kind of material gain for his code. He's unhappy that the GPL code he contributed to Bukkit is now being distributed by Mojang in breach of the GPL.

about two weeks ago

DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Des Herriott An attempt at level-headedness (354 comments)

There's an awful lot of guesswork and name-calling going on here, and a sense that the argument is divided into "Mojang sux!" and "Mojang rulez!" camps. The truth is of course, way more complex. Here's an attempt to lay out some (hopefully) objective facts, mixed with my subjective opinion. Disclaimer: I've been involved with Bukkit for over 3 years as a plugin developer and contributor to the forums, and (very minor) contributor to the Bukkit project itself.

* The Bukkit project was started late 2010/beginning 2011 as a replacement for hMod, an earlier server mod, by 4 people: Dinnerbone, EvilSeph, Tahg and Grum.
* The Bukkit project consists of two main deliverables: the Bukkit API, licensed under the GPL, and the CraftBukkit server, licensed under the LGPL.
* The Bukkit API contains no Mojang code. It's the Java JAR against which Bukkit plugins are compiled.
* The CraftBukkit server contains a copy of the Bukkit API (via Maven shading), some original Java classes in the org.bukkit.craftbukkit Java package (most of which either implement Bukkit API interfaces or serve as glue code between Bukkit and Mojang's own code), and decompiled/semi-deobfuscated copies of Mojang classes from Mojang's official minecraft_server.jar.
* Effectively craftbukkit.jar contains code with three separate licenses: GPL, LGPL, and Mojang's proprietary license. My opinion: "what the hell were the Bukkit team thinking when they chose this license model?"
* Mojang were presumably aware of CraftBukkit from the start, it being the pre-eminent server modding platform, but chose not to take any legal action over the inclusion of (decompiled copies of) their code in a GPL'd project. In fact, Mojang even went so far as to supply deobfuscation mappings to the original Bukkit team, so it's very clear that they supported the Bukkit project. My opinion: "of course they would, it's helped their sales enormously"
* Early 2012, Mojang announced that the original Bukkit team (Dinnerbone, EvilSeph, Tahg and Grum) were being hired to work on Mojang's own planned modding API. Note that this API had been announced some time before, and has yet to materialise.
* Apparently at the same time, Mojang also acquired rights to the entire Bukkit project. This, however, was not publicised.
* The Bukkit project continued under new direct leadership (mainly feildmaster, Wolvereness and Amaranth) after the original team were hired by Mojang. feildmaster recently stated that Mojang stopped providing deobfuscation mappings shortly after the original team were hired. However, Mojang allowed the project to continue, and did not take any legal action over the CraftBukkit server.
* EvilSeph left Mojang shortly after, and is the only member of the original four to remain involved with the Bukkit project.
* Cut to last month: EvilSeph posted an announcement that the Bukkit project was being ended, due to the increasing difficulty of updating it for new Minecraft releases (remember: no more deobfuscation mappings from Mojang), and concerns of its legal status being exacerbated by Mojang's recent EULA changes.
* At this point, Mojang sprang into action, asserting ownership over the entire Bukkit project. Dinnerbone tweeted that he'd personally update Bukkit for the new Minecraft 1.8 release. Mojang's Jeb confirmed that Mojang owns Bukkit (I quote his tweet: "we checked the receipts"), having acquired it when the original four joined Mojang in 2012.
* The revelation over Mojang's ownership of Bukkit caused very significant consternation for many contributors to the project (there are around 170 individuals, including myself, who have contributed code licensed under the GPL).
* Wesley Wolfe aka Wolvereness, one of the new Bukkit dev team leaders, filed a DMCA takedown notice on Sep 5th, on the grounds that Mojang cannot legally distribute CraftBukkit when it contains both GPL'd code from him, and proprietary code from Mojang.
* In the last couple of days, pretty much all of the existing Bukkit staff (forum administration, plugin review & approval...) have resigned, effectively gutting the project.
* Also in the last couple of days, a new modding initiative called Sponge has been started by many individuals from the Bukkit project as well Forge, Spout, Flow - other leading Minecraft modding efforts. It's intended to be a higher-level abstraction layer on top of Forge, and won't be Bukkit compatible or contain any code from Bukkit. Given the calibre of many involved and the solid foundation of Forge, it has a very strong chance of success IMHO.

So those are the facts, basically. My opinions:

* The Bukkit team should not originally have chosen a LGPL license for CraftBukkit. And given that the Bukkit API is licensed under the GPL, and distributed in the CraftBukkit JAR file, this was also a poor licensing choice.
* Mojang had the opportunity to complain about this licensing decision at the start. Not only did they choose not to, but they provided tacit support to the Bukkit team, and later hired them as developers for their own API.
* Mojang's failure to make it clear that they owned the project subsequent to hiring the original dev team was unfortunate, and left many contributors feeling deceived when their ownership came to light. There is a feeling that people were being tricked into writing code for Mojang for free, when they believed they were contributing to a community-driven project.
* Wolvereness's decision to file a takedown is justified, although it's stirred up a huge amount of resentment from people who believe they're automatically entitled to software that he and others have spent a lot of time writing for little or no recompense. In addition, it may have the useful effect of forcing a solid resolution to the affair.

tl;dr Bukkit is most likely dead.

about two weeks ago

Don't Fly During Ramadan

Des Herriott Re:Just fuck the fucking Muzzies already (1233 comments)

That's a shame then, a case of mistaken identity. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens occasionally, but it is the Muzzes to blame not the authorities defending against them.

I generally don't presume to speak for others, but in this case I'll make an exception.

On behalf of everyone who isn't a bigoted moronic arsewipe, I'd just like to say to you: You are an oxygen thief.

1 year,29 days

JavaScript Comes To Minecraft

Des Herriott Re:Hardly revolutionary (149 comments)

Right, and there are also multiple Bukkit plugins which allow scripting in various languages - JRuby & Jython, for example. And WorldEdit already allows a degree of Javascript. I'm sure this particular mod is cool, but it's absolutely nothing new. People have been extending Minecraft with scripting tools for well over a year now.

Slashdot... 2011's news in 2013!

about a year and a half ago

Employees Admit They'd Walk Out With Stolen Data If Fired

Des Herriott 71, 57, 43 percent? (380 comments)

So, they asked 7 people?

more than 2 years ago

A Memory of Light To Be Released January 8, 2013

Des Herriott Re:Praying for (228 comments)

Not me. I enjoyed the first three books, slogged through the next five in the hope the pace would pick up, and gave up halfway through Winter's Heart. At that point, I gave up caring about how the bloody things ends :)

more than 2 years ago

Firefox 4.0 Beta Candidate Available

Des Herriott Re:Screenshot/Mockups (366 comments)

But will Firefox stay relevant? Chrome is coming up fast and Mozilla seems to be stagnating.

Until Chrome supports the use of a master password (which, since the devs won't even admit is a serious problem, seems unlikely), Firefox will continue to be my default browser. Pity, since Chrome has a lot going for it otherwise.

more than 4 years ago

The Cell Phone Has Changed — New Etiquette Needed

Des Herriott Re:Here's a few (585 comments)

When checking out at any store, do NOT ignore the cashier while talking on the phone. The rest of us would like to check out as well.

Agreed - that's one of the rudest, most pig-ignorant kinds of behaviour I've witnessed. It is treatable, however, with this.

more than 4 years ago

Google Upgrades Chrome To Beta For OS X, Linux

Des Herriott Any master password support yet? (197 comments)

This one's a show-stopper for me (and, I suspect, others). Chrome offers to save your passwords but gives absolutely no protection on the saved password database. The discussion threads I've seen about this suggest that the Chrome devs don't even understand why this is such a serious problem. Chrome has a lot to like, but I'll be sticking to Firefox for now.

more than 4 years ago

Go, Google's New Open Source Programming Language

Des Herriott Re:Build-in function library (831 comments)

There is basically zero quality control, anyone can put any module up they want and use any namespace. They don't have to offer ANY documentation

Sure, but since you can check the namespace and browse the docs before you choose to install the module, is that such a problem? I admit the quality control is limited, but there is a review facility which is reasonably well-used -see

if they go AWOL and stop maintaining the module, it just stays there, festering

Just like any other open-source project then.

more than 4 years ago

UK Copyright Group Tells Cinemas to Ban Laptops

Des Herriott Re:What about cellphones? (438 comments)

If you can't live 2 hours without worrying about your children, maybe your children would be better off with parents less paranoiac than you.

Sorry, but that's nonsense.

The only chance my wife & I have these days to go to the cinema is when our son is in daycare. If anything was happen to him while there, they need to call us. If we're not reachable, they could call social services, and how would that look? So we need to be contactable while our son's there.

Having said that, my phone's always on silent when in the cinema, and I would leave the auditorium to take the call should I happen to receive one. That's just common courtesy - something most cinema-goers, parents or not, don't seem to have these days.

more than 4 years ago

Do Retailers Often Screen User Reviews?

Des Herriott Re:Their site... (454 comments)

Likewise, with one Exception (Glenn Beck), I've never read a negative review on a book's dust jacket. Authors and publishers are generally more savvy than that, and they are certainly under no obligation to put someone's scatrhing review of their book / movie / car / NAS / whatever on the site.

Actually I remember one other - The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Quick search for "wasp factory negative reviews" got this:

Those familiar with Banks's work will understand the statement he was making by insisting that extremely negative reviews also appeared on this book.

more than 4 years ago

Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair

Des Herriott Re:Rule of thumb with the Daily Mail (366 comments)

If the Daily Mail headline is "Could X do/cause/be Y?", the answer is almost certainly "No".

Unless X = "dirty foreign immigrants" and Y = "coming over here stealing our jobs".

about 5 years ago


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