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Licensing on a ZC Tileset


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#1 Maloney

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

Hey guys, I'm a dev from Solarus (a similar Zelda-style gamemaker) and one of us is wanting to use a ZC tileset in a game. However, he was unsure of what the license was for the tileset, and all of the authors have been inactive for years, so he can't ask for permission. What would be the license on a tileset like this?

 

Semi-related, I'm new to the community and I'm really excited to see what y'all have been making over the years. I'm working on a CC pack for Solarus use that I'm pretty sure could be brought to Zelda Classic no problem. Here's the Github if you're interested in seeing what I have so far.


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#2 Migokalle

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 05:49 PM

Unfortunately it's a collaboration tileset, and people who were deeply involved are no longer regulars. Some of them we don't even have a way to contact, so there's no way we could get an OK from all of them.

 

I wouldn't personally mind but it's not my place to give you a green light despite being involved. I wouldn't want the others to one day find their assets in a commercial product without being contacted first, and like I said there's people I don't even know where to begin about getting in touch.

 

So unless they all suddenly pop back in and tell you otherwise, the answer is gonna be that this tileset is not for commercial use. Sorry!

 

If it's not for commercial use then I would imagine that it should be okay, though it's not something any of us have really discussed as far as I can remember.



#3 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 06:19 AM

Hey guys, I'm a dev from Solarus (a similar Zelda-style gamemaker) and one of us is wanting to use a ZC tileset in a game. However, he was unsure of what the license was for the tileset, and all of the authors have been inactive for years, so he can't ask for permission. What would be the license on a tileset like this?

 

Semi-related, I'm new to the community and I'm really excited to see what y'all have been making over the years. I'm working on a CC pack for Solarus use that I'm pretty sure could be brought to Zelda Classic no problem. Here's the Github if you're interested in seeing what I have so far.

 

These tilesets were released for use, so, I don't see any reason why you couldn't adapt them to Solarus Engine. I know Christopho and I'm on the Solarus forum, too. One day I'd like to get some more ZQ-like editor stuff into the Solarus engine, and perhaps merge Solarus and ZC, at some temporal node, down the road. 

 

(Ask if you are curious how, in a separate thread. Yo may want to join the ZC Dev/Support Discord, here.)

 

Basically, with regard to the tileset, it was released for PD use, based on existing commercial game tile rips and modifications thereof: You can't mark it as GPL, ,so, it's just generic shareware that may carry a stigma of being derived in an unauthorised manner from a commercial game. I'm unsure of your goals, but because it is derived from commercial assets, its license would never be GPL-compatible. A large amount of the sprites are 'original', but they are still clearly derived from copyrighted materials. I'm unsure how many of the normal tile objects are wholly original. 

 

(We're struggling at present to create our own fully GPL compliant assets modules.) 

 

I'll note however that there is no copyright indication given, so, follow fair-use guidelines if you want. 

 

Unfortunately it's a collaboration tileset, and people who were deeply involved are no longer regulars. Some of them we don't even have a way to contact, so there's no way we could get an OK from all of them.

 

I wouldn't personally mind but it's not my place to give you a green light despite being involved. I wouldn't want the others to one day find their assets in a commercial product without being contacted first, and like I said there's people I don't even know where to begin about getting in touch.

 

So unless they all suddenly pop back in and tell you otherwise, the answer is gonna be that this tileset is not for commercial use. Sorry!

 

If it's not for commercial use then I would imagine that it should be okay, though it's not something any of us have really discussed as far as I can remember.

 

Solarus isn't a commercial engine, nor is it intended for making commercial games--at least, there haven't been any to date. It's a open-source game making tool, like ZQuest, for making games more like Zelda 3. It's more complicated to use than ZC, but it produces very solid games if you have the technical ability to work with it. 

 

Mystery of Solarus is a dmned good game, IMO. 


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#4 Migokalle

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 07:11 AM

In that case I can't imagine anyone would have any problems with that.

 

I think in theory it's still good to ask because I do know there's a few sprite artists from here who have given this community free stuff that is being sold elsewhere, with the intent that it is specifically free for ZC use only. I have never heard any of the guys talk about Firebird in that context though.



#5 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:06 AM

In that case I can't imagine anyone would have any problems with that.

 

I think in theory it's still good to ask because I do know there's a few sprite artists from here who have given this community free stuff that is being sold elsewhere, with the intent that it is specifically free for ZC use only. I have never heard any of the guys talk about Firebird in that context though.

 

When the creators leave the userbase, their tilesets become abandonware. Who's around to ask?

 

Besides, publishing a tileset for use, without any specific exemptions, is the very essence of making it a public domain resource. The core issue here, is how much it borrows from other copyrighted assets.



#6 Migokalle

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:31 AM

I was talking about users who are selling assets elsewhere despite having given them to the ZC community specifically for use within ZC. I don't know how that'd work from a legal perspective, but I'd consider it common courtesy to keep the use of those assets to what was requested by their creator, even if you legally could get away with it anyway.

 

If the creators aren't still around to be asked, then I don't think that should be looked as a free pass to ignore their wishes.

 

Just to clarify so OP don't misinterprets this: I don't think anyone is gonna come knocking if you use Firebird outside of ZC for non-commercial projects. I would imagine that if anything, the guys would only be happy to see it. :P


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#7 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:00 AM

I was talking about users who are selling assets elsewhere despite having given them to the ZC community specifically for use within ZC. I don't know how that'd work from a legal perspective, but I'd consider it common courtesy to keep the use of those assets to what was requested by their creator, even if you legally could get away with it anyway.
 
If the creators aren't still around to be asked, then I don't think that should be looked as a free pass to ignore their wishes.
 
Just to clarify so OP don't misinterprets this: I don't think anyone is gonna come knocking if you use Firebird outside of ZC for non-commercial projects. I would imagine that if anything, the guys would only be happy to see it. :P


It would not be legal to use any assets in a commercial product without an appropriate license.

#8 adsfndsajgfkhdjgkejf

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:31 PM

When the creators leave the userbase, their tilesets become abandonware. Who's around to ask?

god if you keep posting takes like this there's gonna be a whole lot of abandonware sitting around on PureZC

 

not that things aren't trending in that direction already, but hey


Edited by Rambly, 17 September 2019 - 06:32 PM.


#9 P-Tux7

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:09 AM

god if you keep posting takes like this there's gonna be a whole lot of abandonware sitting around on PureZC
 
not that things aren't trending in that direction already, but hey


1. Old ZC quests from the "heyday" were made in 1.90, 1.92, and 2.10 where the broken enemies and items caused horrible difficulty. I never want to go back to that era even if people did release more quests.
2. There are plenty of abandoned quests from the pre-2.5 days. You just notice the current people abandoning quests and think it's a modern problem because the quests abandoned years ago left your memory. But it's always been like that.
3. You really shouldn't quote ZoriaRPG as if it's his fault ZC hasn't been updated for years. He's working hours a day to fix bugs that have sat unfixed in 2.50.2 for years, add new script types to make scripting less hacky and unintuitive, and he's even admitted to me that he hardly has anything in common with the PureZC members socially, only working on updating ZC because he believes in how good ZC can be. One of the most promising quests right now is being made by a high schooler (TabletPillow) and Zoria is in his 60s. What I mean is he is not working on ZC to get ANY cred in the community or to become a sensation, yet several dozen members have personally updated to his 2.53 bugfix patch of 2.50.2. His job is already almost thankless, so quit trying to make snide remarks as if it's Zoria's fault at all that people stop using ZC.
4. Oh, and by the way, what will actually REPLACE ZC? Zelda Classic is popular because you can quickly make a quest with nothing but prefabs. There is also a forum where people take personal interest in each others' projects. With Unity or Godot you get neither the easy level making or the tight knit community. Unless your game is sell-quality nobody pays attention to you. ZC is perfect as a hobby because you don't need to make your own scripts, graphics, or music. Long story short that's why people use ZC instead of "moving on" to other game engines. It's a place where when you make something messy people still enjoy it instead of complaing about "indie garbage" on Steam Greenlight. And guess what, PAID games get cancelled somewhat often (Silent Hills, 90s Arcade Racer, Shenmue 3 got its Steam release cancelled, games like Halo 3 or Super Paper Mario get moved to the next console, entire consoles like the PS Vita get cancelled...) and are oftentimes disappointing if they do get released. ZC is fully in line with the game industry in being "abandoned" or "low-quality", and it happens to be FREE to boot.
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#10 Dimentio

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:30 AM

god if you keep posting takes like this there's gonna be a whole lot of abandonware sitting around on PureZC

 

not that things aren't trending in that direction already, but hey

 

mfw zc is dead triggered

 

All aboard the "abandon ZC" bandwagon, eh? 


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#11 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:19 PM

1. Old ZC quests from the "heyday" were made in 1.90, 1.92, and 2.10 where the broken enemies and items caused horrible difficulty. I never want to go back to that era even if people did release more quests.
2. There are plenty of abandoned quests from the pre-2.5 days. You just notice the current people abandoning quests and think it's a modern problem because the quests abandoned years ago left your memory. But it's always been like that.
3. You really shouldn't quote ZoriaRPG as if it's his fault ZC hasn't been updated for years. He's working hours a day to fix bugs that have sat unfixed in 2.50.2 for years, add new script types to make scripting less hacky and unintuitive, and he's even admitted to me that he hardly has anything in common with the PureZC members socially, only working on updating ZC because he believes in how good ZC can be. One of the most promising quests right now is being made by a high schooler (TabletPillow) and Zoria is in his 60s. What I mean is he is not working on ZC to get ANY cred in the community or to become a sensation, yet several dozen members have personally updated to his 2.53 bugfix patch of 2.50.2. His job is already almost thankless, so quit trying to make snide remarks as if it's Zoria's fault at all that people stop using ZC.
4. Oh, and by the way, what will actually REPLACE ZC? Zelda Classic is popular because you can quickly make a quest with nothing but prefabs. There is also a forum where people take personal interest in each others' projects. With Unity or Godot you get neither the easy level making or the tight knit community. Unless your game is sell-quality nobody pays attention to you. ZC is perfect as a hobby because you don't need to make your own scripts, graphics, or music. Long story short that's why people use ZC instead of "moving on" to other game engines. It's a place where when you make something messy people still enjoy it instead of complaing about "indie garbage" on Steam Greenlight. And guess what, PAID games get cancelled somewhat often (Silent Hills, 90s Arcade Racer, Shenmue 3 got its Steam release cancelled, games like Halo 3 or Super Paper Mario get moved to the next console, entire consoles like the PS Vita get cancelled...) and are oftentimes disappointing if they do get released. ZC is fully in line with the game industry in being "abandoned" or "low-quality", and it happens to be FREE to boot.

 

Late fifties, but, close-enough.
 

That is a lot to take in there. I think I'm rubbing off on you in an unintended manner of my longsighted argument. :P
 

For article 4, I'd say that Solarus is a candidate for future consideration. It's a massive codebase, and I'd need Christopho on board with some other people to work on something that is close to the ease of use that ZC offers--then connect it to the current ZC stuff to side-launch old quests in the new software via an invisible layer that runs ZC Player (and ZQ Editor, if desired), in Legacy mode.

 

Truth be told, Solarus in the next ten years might become part of ZC 3.x or 4.x, so, using our assets now is a good start on bridging these two talent pools. 

 

god if you keep posting takes like this there's gonna be a whole lot of abandonware sitting around on PureZC
 
not that things aren't trending in that direction already, but hey


I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. Abandonware is a major component of retro gaming. You can't ring up Interplay and ask permission to copy one of their old games. No-one exists to sell it, nor to permit copying it--although they allowed this of me many times in the mid-late 90s.

When members here leave, stop checking their PMs, and change email addresses, how precisely are people to contact them and ask on their intent for an asset uploaded to a public database for use?

Obviously, you can't use that material commercially without permission, but using it socially, in open-source and/or free games/software, is certainly already implied by the assets being made-available for public use. Anyone using them should certainly record and credit the tileset designers, the original artists, and the hosting source, but I'm completely unaware of 'abandonware' being in any way an objectionable classification.

That word defines exactly what some of these assets are: Software components created and no longer maintained, with no way to contact the copyright holder--should they qualify for unique copyright claim.

 

I certainly am not stating that people should be required to remain in contact, nor to maintain these creations. There are no obligations required to submit resources on ZC.com, or here.All support is provided gratis at the discretion of the person who submitted the resource,  and otherwise by the userbase as a whole. 

 

Even I don't feel an obligation to support on an individual-by-individual basis., everything that I have published or released;nor indeed even things that I routinely maintain. My time, health, and other factors dictate how much I can pour into any support projects. That said, I'll likely be around until I kick the bucket. 


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#12 adsfndsajgfkhdjgkejf

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 04:47 AM

wew there's a lot of bad posting here to unpack
 

a lot of words

this entire post is one (very) long strawman (what are you even talking about??? did i say there weren't a lot of abandoned 1.92-2.10 quests? also i like the fact that ZC is relatively non-commercial and that it's a relatively niche program, why did you just assume that i didn't) so i'm going to ignore most of it and just focus on the parts that i think are worth addressing (mostly #3)

i'm really not saying that it's ZoriaRPG's fault that ZC has seen less activity lately. not at all. there's a billion different factors as to why i think ZC isn't as popular as it used to be (and why a lot of older members aren't likely to come back) but i actually don't think Zoria is chief among them. like he wouldn't even make my imaginary "top 10 reasons zc is a ded boomer program" list. i actually really do respect the fact that ZoriaRPG stepped up to the plate when almost nobody else was willing to to bring updates and fixes to a frustrating ancient spaghetti code mess of a program with ideas and code styles from 500000 different eras of existence. (i've looked at the source code now so i can finally definitively say that).  really!  i'm not just saying that to be nice, i really genuinely feel that way

my contention -- and please pay attention to what i'm saying -- is that if Zoria's going to be de facto in charge of ZC that his word is going to carry a lot more weight in terms of how it influences the community.  and that i really wish if ZoriaRPG was gonna go around espousing opinions on things that he'd consider how it could have an effect on how it impacts the decisions people make with regards to the program.  that's all.  (more on that in a sec)
 
 

(this post is long enough i don't need to copy Zoria's post verbatim)

finally a good post.  first off, thanks for at least trying to address my concerns.  seriously, the fact that anyone here is putting genuine effort into how they approach things means a lot to me and that stands regardless of any criticisms i may have about your leadership.
 
 
i fully understand the legal status of abandonware and its lack of enforceability; i'm not really concerned with the legal status of anything here.  i'm a lot more concerned about the ethics, which may or may not be possible to enforce but should be considered in my opinion anyway.  specifically, i'm concerned about a couple of things:
 
1) what people consented to when they uploaded their stuff to the database
i'm not talking about legally binding contracts here, for the record.  i'm sure nobody here wants to have to litigate zelda classic (a program that's already legally questionable) or figure out the legal status of anything.  i'm rather talking about what is expected: obviously if someone's uploading their stuff to a Zelda Classic database, they fully expect their stuff to be passed around the community and that's fine.  but that doesn't mean that they expected to, or implicitly consented to having their stuff used in areas outside of Zelda Classic.  it might not be easy to enforce, but i'd feel pretty cheated if someone just decided to take my uh... my penguin sprites or the like 3 palettes i made for IHM2 and decided "okay, this is going in my non-ZC community indie game, to be used by all these people who might not share the same interests or who i don't even know".  i guess i just feel like when i released my stuff onto PureZC i was giving it to the PureZC community, not to everyone, and i'm willing to bet a lot of people unconsciously feel the same way.  i know the nature of the internet has screwed up our expectations wrt copyright and sourcing, but just because something's online doesn't mean it's automatically public, free use.
 
2) potentially alienating other members from submitting or participating in the community
there are, frankly, a lot of... troubling decisions with regards to the ZC community at large and a lot of troubling behavior (i have several friends that have left PureZC entirely because they hate the way that it is run and what is allowed vs. not allowed).  so people are already potentially being driven away because of a perceived attitude among the staff.  for someone to just say "oh, yeah, you can do whatever you want, it's all abandonware" just... strikes me as reinforcing that perception as ZC community's leaders being by and large people that don't really care about the community.  and i worry that will just drive people even further away.  hence why i said there'll be a lot more abandonware.
 
it just strikes me as not all that good of an idea to just imply that everyone can go around pillaging whatever they want because it's all abandonware.  i mean, they can, sure.  doesn't mean it should be taken as granted or that we shouldn't respect the wishes of people who might still exist peripherally.  i still think a best faith effort should be made to contact the authors of various things in 100% of cases, and i feel like -- again, you're in charge here, whether you realize it or not -- that's the position that should be advocated.  maybe not everyone will respond, but it shouldn't be a given that they won't, either.  if there's no response, if they really really really don't seem to care, if they're literally MIA for years and there's no way to contact them, then sure, given any of those cases i think it's probably ok to proceed.  "when they leave the userbase" is really the wording i took issue with, because that's often not a clear-cut line for a lot of people (there's a lot of people that, say, may not have logged in for a while but would notice an email from a PM they got).  something about it just struck me as kind of flippant, i guess, and that was frustrating.
 

mfw zc is dead triggered

All aboard the "abandon ZC" bandwagon, eh?

GOBmSpW.png


Edited by Rambly, 25 September 2019 - 04:47 AM.


#13 Shane

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 04:55 AM

Yikes. Bad day, eh?

 

Anyways, I generally make all my released and cancelled stuff available for public use unless people who I've collabed with feel otherwise. I see no point withholding it, especially if I'm gone. That's just my personal take, of course. I wouldn't want to see it used commercially, but I mean, if someone wants to use my stuff to make a fan game, hell yeah I say as long as I get proper credit. I also think with or without "abandonware", most people are going to adhere to not taking anything from another person without asking unless they're truly long gone. I think it's no good assuming the worst case scenario because there's already nothing stopping people from just taking stuff already. And while there has been, like, one real exception to this unspoken community belief, I think no one's going to go into your quest file and make an extension out of it because Zoria slipped a word into our minds when reading his posts. And if someone wants to use ZC resources outside ZC... well, there already has been such cases with Pure and DoR, and as long as credit is given and it's not commercial, I think it's cool to see the ZC community have that kind of reach and I doubt there's gonna be people outside ZC that will take things from actual quests as I've yet to see evidence of that outside tilesets that are public. If you're really that adamant on things not being taken, a disclaimer would go a long way than relying on everyone on the Internet to know that maybe you do or don't mind.

 

So what's really the scare here? What's the controversy? Because Zoria said people can use a public tileset however they want? Zoria said you have to get a license from the creator(s) if you use it commercially, so it can't be him advocating you can use abandonware commercially. I'm not seeing the problem here.  :confused:


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