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definition of "Open - Free and open if project also open"

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DrowChick
definition of "Open - Free and open if project also open"

I'm just curious what this means. Does it mean I am free to edit and redistribute it as I please or does it mean that the content of the module within can be used in other projects and mods?

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TheBarbarian

In absence of other flags, it means that you're free to do whatever you like (within the scope of NWN) so long as you do not place restrictions on your derivative either. See the Guidelines page for more information.

If it's migrated content, the "Open - Free and open if project also open" flag might not be in the intent of the original author, though, so be aware that it's still possible that someday, they'll come back and be taken aback to see their work has been multiplied and modified. If that happens, try to see and respond to "someone who made something you thought was really neat and who is currently upset", rather than "somebody who is being unwarrantedly hostile to me when I haven't done anything wrong what a jerk!". ::serious nod:: These conflicts happen, and can usually be talked through.

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Proleric
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Broadly agreed.

The guidelines don't limit usage to NWN, though.

"Migrated content" means those projects submitted by the Migrate Wizard. In those cases (only) it might be wise to limit usage to NWN, since we're not certain what the authors intended.

Open usage implies that you can edit and redistribute your edited version, or use the contents in other projects. It's advisable to follow the guidelines on attribution and redistribution, though.

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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TheBarbarian

We've got a "Allow conversion to other games"-flag, though, as opposed to a "Prohibit conversion to other games" one. ::confused headscratch:: I think if an active author posted a project leaving that field unchecked, they're likely to be under the impression that they explicitly didn't give permission for use outside of NWN, even if the "Open - Free & open only if project also open"-flag is set. Maybe we should update the flags for more clarity?

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DrowChick

Thanks for the info guys. This clears things up alot.

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Proleric
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@TheBarbarian - I see what you're saying. "Allow conversion to other games" is one of the permission options when creating a project, like "Open - Free and open if project also open" (the default). 

I'd support an additional "Prohibit use in other games" option.

For now, my reading is that Open trumps all the other options.

If that were not the case, it would not only prevent use in other games - it would also prevent modification and use in other works (both of which default to unchecked, like use in other games). No one thinks that mods or reuse are forbidden, so use in other games is no different.

Bear in mind that readers don't see the options that haven't been checked, so, in the absence of explicit prohibition by the author or the guidelines, they might reasonably assume that "open" means what it says. if the author doesn't want use in other games, they ought to be more diligent, by adding explicit words to the effect in the free text section.

Personally, I prefer to use recognised licenses like Creative Commons or GNU, which are less ambiguous.

However, I suspect we are splitting hairs over an issue that's rarely encountered.

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Proleric
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PS needless to say, Bioware's original components, which feature in many mods, are also subject to the EULA.

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Andarian

Make sure to reference the Neverwinter Vault Guidelines for guidance on this case:

"Most projects migrated to the new Vault by the Migrate Wizard were incorrectly listed with the license term "Free & Open Only if the Project is Open." The actual terms that apply to any item still owned by the Migrate Wizard are those specified in the "reasonable and customary" clause above."

That clause says:

"Reasonable and Customary. The new Vault recognizes a default standard of use for content on which specific terms of use have not been explicitly listed. This pertains, in particular, to content migrated from the old Vault, for which the owner has not come to the new Vault to assume stewardship (the project shows as still owned by the Migrate Wizard), or to new content for which no explicit permission and licensing options have been specified. In these cases, it is presumed that the applicable license terms follow the "reasonable and customary forms of re-use and re-distribution" observed on the old Vault. This means in practice that the content was provided for others to build, or to play, Neverwinter Nights games, with attribution and without reuse restrictions, and excluding unreasonable practices such as plagiarism. For such uses there is no requirement that the author be contacted for permission before doing so (see requesting permission under point 4 below)."

The discussion surrounding and explaining this can be found on this thread from a couple of years ago. In short: if an item of custom content was on the old vault and lacked usage restrictions there, then it lacks usage restrictions here -- any "only if the project is open" verbiage notwithstanding. Anything else would be a violation of the old vault's guideline that content should not have more restrictive conditions placed on it retroactively. 

I'm still concerned that the current Vault lacks a license option choice consistent with the default terms on the old Vault -- since "Free and Open Only if the Project is Open" is itself a usage restriction. I do, however, understand that once the new Vault had been in operation for a couple of years and thousands of works had already been migrated to it with a website infrastructure that hardcoded these incorrect default terms, that the work needed to fix that mistake would have been prohibitive. That's why the above caveat was added to the guidelines. I think it's important not to lose sight of it.

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