Comments on RelicensedGames

# 14 Comments. # I don't know the structure of the wiki very well. Can someone please create a link to this page somewhere sensibly? I cannot figure out where it would fit. Thanks!

-- selfthinker 2019-06-23 11:41 UTC


Meanwhile someone has thankfully linked the page from License.

I've just been through all the games by Clark Rodeffer and Ron Hale-Evans and have adjusted the licenses accordingly. I've also added a link to this page so it's clear why the license is different than the one in the rules.

The only game I haven't changed is Chess. As it is/was in the Public Domain, licensing it under CC BY-SA would make it less permissive/free. Technically, according to Ron's comment, we would have to do that. It would be good to get confirmation that the license change only affects games with previously more permissive licenses.

-- selfthinker 2019-07-14 12:01 UTC


Please keep Chess in the public domain. I'll go back and clarify that I really only meant to relicense games licensed with the GNU FDL. I forgot I had any PD rulesets on the wiki.

-- Ron Hale-Evans 2019-07-14 21:13 UTC


Technically Ron can't retroactively take away the public domain (and GFDL) license grants on his old rulesets (although he can release future versions that are CC BY-SA only). The intent in his comment was that he was dual licensing all his old rulesets under a CC BY-SA license (further clarified to refer to the CC BY-SA 4.0 International) - people can still choose to use the old rulesets under their original licenses if they wish.

-- TrevorLDavis 2019-07-15 16:54 UTC


I'm pretty sure you can re-license most things without needing to dual license. I think you are right for anything in the Public Domain (because there is no copyright anymore). But a copyright holder can change a license to anything (unless they are contractually obliged to not do that). The old versions would still be under that old license, no-one can take that away. But everything changed from now on would be under the new license. The current version (as it wasn't changed) is under both. Caveat: I'm not a lawyer.

From the wording it isn't clear to me if Ron meant to dual license or to re-license. I understood it as re-license, but re-reading it, I guess it could mean either.

-- selfthinker 2019-07-15 19:42 UTC


You are correct that going forward any revised versions of his games can be released just under a CC BY-SA license only (even the Public Domain case) if he adds new original "creative" content to the ruleset. I think if Ron releases new versions of his games he'll make the license clear in the text (and he'll probably simply re-license them to just be CC BY-SA) but for now all his old GFDL games are de facto dual licensed. In practice only reason to choose the GFDL over the CC BY-SA is if you wanted to release a piecepack rulebook ebook on a platform that mandates DRM (i.e. Amazon Kindle) which is prohibited in the CC BY-SA case but GFDL seems to have a clause that allows it if you include a link in the book to a drm-free copy of the ruleset (which must stay up at least a year after the last Amazon distribution).

-- TrevorLDavis 2019-07-15 21:25 UTC


Trevor is correct that my intention was to dual license my rulesets (GFDL and CC BY-SA).

-- RonHaleEvans 2019-07-19 20:16 UTC


The game "Gold Rush" was created by two people, Seth Jaffee and Jason Smulevitch. As far as I understand, you would need to get both people's statements in order to dual or re-license.

-- selfthinker 2020-12-12 19:43 UTC


> As far as I understand, you would need to get both people's statements in order to dual or re-license.

IANAL but I'm pretty sure that under American law any joint author can unilaterally license a joint work under a non-exclusive license (such as a Creative Commons license) and Seth Jaffee seems to be an American (in Arizona) so it should be okay under American law which is the relevant law that applies to Seth Jaffee, myself, and the piecepack wiki. My understanding is that in the United Kingdom all joint authors must agree to non-exclusive licenses and that in Canada neither the courts nor the legislature has ruled on whether the American or British system applies so in practice they all have to (conservatively) agree (there are some joint Canadian authored piecepack games). There is one piecepack game with joint Danish authors, I couldn't figure out which system applies there.

I guess one legal question is whether Jason Smulevitch (who I couldn't find the contact information for) could theoretically sue residents of non-American jurisdictions which require all joint authors to agree to non-exclusive licenses (such as the United Kingdom) of copyright infringement? Should we warn that although the game is dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 under American law it may not be so under different jurisdictions?

-- TrevorLDavis 2020-12-12 23:17 UTC


Huh! This is really interesting, Trevor. My intuition was just like Anika's, that both authors must agree to a new license (under American law). If you're correct, this would be really helpful for me. I have a complicated ruleset for the game Rithmomachia that I wrote around 1998-2000 and licensed under the GNU General Public License of all things. (This was before Creative Commons or even the GNU FDL.) I share the copyright with someone I no longer know how to contact. However, it says right here, "Authors own the work jointly and equally, unless the authors make an agreement otherwise. Each joint author has the right to exercise any or all of the exclusive rights inherent in the joint work. Each author may... Grant third parties permission to use the work on a nonexclusive basis without the consent of other joint authors..."

So, thanks for your diligent research! Now I can license the Rithmomachia rules (which would be difficult to re-research, re-playtest, and rewrite) under something that makes more sense, like CC BY-SA.

-- RonHaleEvans 2020-12-13 19:17 UTC


I think it would be great to see statistics for the remaining games, the ones that haven't been relicensed yet. How many items are left before all games on the wiki are free?

-- RonHaleEvans 2021-02-16 08:17 UTC


> How many items are left before all games on the wiki are free?

That is one of the statistics provided by the GamesStatistics spreadsheet. Anika has indicated that, time permitting, she'd try to keep the license info on the GamesStatistics spreadsheet updated and one of the tabs in the spreadsheet counts how many games there are grouped by license. Anika has the spreadsheet set up it so if a game is relicensed it counts this according to the newer "better" license (while the original license gets moved to a different column).

Although further license Kaizen is likely I suspect that we won't quite hit 100% free culture licensing...

-- TrevorLDavis 2021-02-16 19:18 UTC


I update the spreadsheet about once a month.

I think there are 58 games that are not libre. (I'm not 100% sure. This number is for games which cannot be used commercially, which might not catch all of them.) That means nearly 75% *are* libre.

The numbers I find more important: 25 games still have a custom license and 21 games have no license.

-- selfthinker 2021-02-21 19:42 UTC


Getting more of the no license and custom licensed games (dual-)licensed under a Creative Commons license are definitely priorities. Fortunately more than half of the games that didn't have a license now have one. I also think dual-licensing the GFDL games under a Creative Commons license is also pretty important and fortunately this has now happened for two-thirds of them. When you consider the 136 games now available under either the CC BY-SA 4.0 (96 games), public domain (29 games), or CC BY 4.0 (11 games) you've got a very solid collection of games including a majority of the CompetitionWinners, GamersDozen, and RecommendedGames.

-- TrevorLDavis 2021-02-25 07:29 UTC


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