Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free software

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mYse|f
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Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free software

Post by mYse|f » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:33 am

First I wanna thank the KS dev team for creating such an amazing VN game. This topic was created with good intentions and I doesn't want to blame anyone for anything.

Recently, I have been informed that Katawa Shoujo is neither "open source" nor "free software" as multiple sources claim to be. After investigating this claim, I found out that the Ren'Py scripts located in game/*.rpyc comes only in compiled form. With some research I was able to reconstruct the full game source to check whether it contains python code (and it does). Since the game is covered under the CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license, these files are also distributed under this proprietary / non-free license.

I've opened this topic to ask about the possibility to include the missing source files (game/*.rpy) in the distributed game archives (or in some other way like an SVN repository) and license them liberately by dropping the NonCommercial (NC) and NoDerivatives (ND) clause for the source, or by choosing a different free software license. This way Katawa Shoujo will stay a non-commercial project with no derivatives possible, while become free software. Note that only the KS code is in question, not the whole game.

Thanks and regards,

Peter

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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:09 pm

I smell something cooking...
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:21 pm

KS is "Free Software" as in "You don't have to pay for it".

It is not Open Source, and the script files won't be published, since the only uses someone could have for the script files (apart from the official translations) would be violating the VN's licence, which explicitly forbids use of KS assets (which include the script files) for anything not explicitly allowed by 4LS.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:11 pm

The first post also misses the fact that the ren'py engine on which KS is based upon is open source software (covered under the MIT license). Also, any python in the compiled scripts is a result of the use of the underlying ren'py engine.

Thus, it would only be the 4LS assets (art work, script files, etc.) that are covered by CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by AussieInquisitor » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:16 pm

I think the devs have made themselves very clear on this (relating to the assets proper) and similar issues every single time, regardless as to whether the person asks for permission or doesn't have their blessing.

To quote Dr Evil (inb4 the Cook burns this thread): "................... How about 'no'?"

EDIT: The engine proper, as Wildcat pointed out, might be a very tentative possibility, but the assets and script files of KS itself? Nah uh, no go.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by mYse|f » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:31 pm

Thanks for the comments.

Eurobeatjester: Would be great, but I doubt this will ever gonna happen. :(

@Mirage_GSM: You miss my point that these files include Python code which makes them software (this also underline the fact that these are compiled binaries). Otherwise plain text files with dialogues would be ok (btw., the game/data.rpa is the file holding all the assets).

Oscar Wildecat: Ren'Py along with other libraries including the assets are all ok, except these .rpyc files which are software. I just want to know whether the KS developers are willing to release them as "free software" or they keep the game closed-source.

AussieInquisitor: Can you post a link to the thread you mentioned? The engine is already free so that's not a problem, nor the assets included in game/data.rpa. The issue is with the game source code not beign free as in freedom.

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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by mYse|f » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:15 pm

Just to make myself more clear, I am not asking to distribute the character dialogues under different terms - that is game content after all. What I ask is to release the Ren'Py scripts written in Python by the KS dev team under a free license. Other Ren'Py scripts that does not contain Python only needs to be available in source form.

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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:49 pm

Of course they are software. They are a part of a VN after all.

You miss the point that they still fall under the license of 4LS.
If you had read the FAQ:
Suriko wrote:Q: Are you going to release [sprites, CG, music, backgrounds, etc] separately once the project is finished?
A: An OST (Original Sound Track) can be downloaded from the official site. Other than that, no. You're welcome to grab anything you can from our main site though, and to screenshot away.
And later on:
3. You may not alter the game, nor make your own derivative work that builds on it. Specifically, we have a dislike for reverse engineering the game to extract the music, art or scripts, which is in breach of this license.
So, no, the plain text version of the script is specifically not available and won't be.

Again, I don't see what you could do with the files that would not violate the licence…
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by delta » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:52 pm

I think you'll have better luck convincing your erroneous sources. Specific problem solutions can be made available upon request, but I'll have you know that I think that the FSF is a bunch of lunatics and I'd rather never write a line of code again than put it under the GPL, unless I strictly have to legally.

I believe software is a means to an end and results are what counts, so if you see a thing in KS and want to know how it's done, feel free to ask, and then I'll probably tell you how I did it if you're not obviously a terrible person. But I am not blanket-releasing the sources, reasons including:
• It's terribly disorganized and badly commented
• most of it is old and terribly written
• it's hackjob upon hackjob for an engine that is 5 years out of date
• the majority of it is completely trivial
• a lot of the things that aren't trivial are extremely specific to KS and making them less so requires as much effort as coding them from scratch
• I consider the "software is people too, it wants to be free" crowd getting annoyed a bonus
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by mYse|f » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:53 pm

@Mirage_GSM: This is a principial question. If KS is not free software, I have to remove it from my wiki. That's the point in this case.

@delta: Thank you for your response. Judging by the KS intro sequence, I suppose you're the one responsible for the original game source code so I'm taking your words as definitive. You does not need to go with the GPL licensing scheme if you don't like to, there are many other software licenses that fits the case just as well like MIT/Expat, Python, CC-BY-SA and many more. I asked because without the source code beign freely licensed, I can no longer recommend KS through my wiki and that would be a HUGE loss from my perspective. If it's just about the code quality, this can change once it is freely licensed. There are enthusiastic people around KS and other free software projects who already proved this. This issue may seem trivial but from the freedom perspective it is decisive. However, if this is your decision I fear that I must remove KS from my wiki. :(

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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:31 pm

Better do as he says, delta. He has a wiki.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Megumeru » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:04 pm

Then again...(since I am more or less ignorant on the source code or wtv)

Why would you need the source code to stop you from putting in on the wiki and advertise KS? It's been word-of-mouth for a long time and that's how we got this small, tight-knit fan group. So what does a wiki has to do with it?
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by FelOnyx » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:51 pm

Megumeru wrote:Then again...(since I am more or less ignorant on the source code or wtv)

Why would you need the source code to stop you from putting in on the wiki and advertise KS? It's been word-of-mouth for a long time and that's how we got this small, tight-knit fan group. So what does a wiki has to do with it?
It seems the wiki he's talking about is an encyclopedia of things with freely available source code, and something with source code that isn't freely available wouldn't belong there.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:56 pm

The wiki linked in the original post has to do with polishing a specific Linux/GNU distribution. Not sure if that's the wiki in question, but it doesn't seem like the type of place you'd see a link for KS.
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Re: Please release Katawa Shoujo source code as free softwar

Post by Notguest » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:12 am

The other thing you seem to be missing is that the "source code" of KS essentially is just the scripts which are obviously more content than software. The only nontrivial code is a few things for customizing the menus and settings, and that's obviously highly specific to KS. I doubt there's anything there that would be of interest independent of KS anyway, so free software licensing doesn't even make sense.

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