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Nexuiz Gets Forked, Turned Into Xonotic

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  • Nexuiz Gets Forked, Turned Into Xonotic

    Phoronix: Nexuiz Gets Forked, Turned Into Xonotic

    Nexuiz, an open-source first person shooter that we have been covering since its first release in 2005 and has turned into a game that offers impressive graphics and raises the bar for open-source gaming, has been forked by many of its core community developers. This is coming after the Nexuiz founder and others ended up agreeing to an Xbox 360 re-make deal whereby a company known as Illfonic will take the code and re-make it within a closed-source game using their own artwork, etc. With Illfonic not looking to contribute back to the GPL-licensed Nexuiz and some community members not liking this capitalist move, they have parted ways and started work on a new project...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODA4OA

  • #2
    I can understand why the community is upset... it would be one thing if the company were just selling proprietary content for Nexuiz, but if they're going to be modifying the source without having to comply with the GPL, it seems as if that would be detracting significantly from the project.

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    • #3
      If those devs who left didn't agree, why did they give permission for this? If they contributed code, doesn't the copyright still belong to them? For this to happen, their code would have to be removed first.

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      • #4
        I read earlier that contributions to Nexuiz required copyright assignment...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RealNC View Post
          If those devs who left didn't agree, why did they give permission for this? If they contributed code, doesn't the copyright still belong to them? For this to happen, their code would have to be removed first.
          Maybe there was a copyright assignment policy, and the founder is now abusing it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            If those devs who left didn't agree, why did they give permission for this? If they contributed code, doesn't the copyright still belong to them? For this to happen, their code would have to be removed first.
            No it wouldn't, if the copyright was attributed to the "owners" of Nexuiz. None of the contributors were consulted as far as I know. It's also iffy if any code submitted has in fact been attributed (one contributer asserted he had never seen any agreement of the sort)

            The move isn't just about that either. The proprietary game got to piggy back by using the Nexuiz name with no modification, and repeated affirmation that it wouldn't be changed in any way (not even something like Nexuiz: Galactic Fight or whatever other cheesy thing you can come up with), and the proprietary game got use of the nexuiz.com domain, with original Nexuiz being pushed to http://www.alientrap.org/nexuiz/.

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            • #7
              The article misses one important detail: namely, that along with the source code, the name Nexuiz and the website were also sold to IllFonic. So the project faced the choice of either changing the name or being shadowed by IllFonic's console game with its professional marketing and professionally-developed textures and maps. So to survive, the free project had to dissociate itself from IllFonic's game.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                I read earlier that contributions to Nexuiz required copyright assignment...
                That is not true. Every contributor has kept their copyright. What did happen is that most *engine* developers who got commit access were asked to agree to the fact that the game will be sold at some point in future. No one was told, however, that the commercial game would keep the same name.

                Most of the other contributors (artists and QuakeC developers) didn't know and didn't agree to license their code.

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                • #9
                  I look forward to not buying the XBOX 360 game, if it ever comes out. This reminds me of the CDDB debacle.

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                  • #10
                    Well then, what's left to do is...

                    ...change Phoronix' Nexuiz benchmarks to 'Xonotic', then have all packages at all distributions switch Nexuiz to Xonotic the firt time there is a release.

                    I wonder how long it'll take Debian to kick Nexuiz out when they learn that the name is no longer free to use...

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                    • #11
                      So the name and the source got licensed and not transferred because commercial game developpers see the game as a viable commercial title to invest money into.

                      So Nexuiz gets some serious amount of money they could spend on artwork and/or future development. Nexuiz devs arre getting some serious recognition. Linux FLOSS games are considdered a real succes by the industry; first Warsows first alpha already accepted in E-Sports and now Nexuiz.

                      What's the problem? There is no problem, except for the fact that Nexuiz will become even better under a new name.

                      I can't see the problem, really... I only see that the Nexuiz devs are so focussed on anti-capitalism or the fact that other people get paid for the work that they put out, but then again the income could be evenly split?

                      Just my $0,02.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                        I only see that the Nexuiz devs are so focussed on anti-capitalism or the fact that other people get paid for the work that they put out, but then again the income could be evenly split?
                        "Anti-capitalism" is the reasoning invented by Phoronix. The project was forked for two reasons:
                        1. The former maintainer's actions caused damage to the game. This showed the need to bring the project under the community control.
                        2. There was a need to dissociate the free game from the commercial one in order to avoid unfavorable competition.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gsacks View Post
                          I look forward to not buying the XBOX 360 game, if it ever comes out. This reminds me of the CDDB debacle.
                          This also reminds me of the Wine / Cedega split. It's sad to see a company so blatantly leech off a free software project. Making money off free software is okay, but taking all the code, the name and the domain, through a legal loophole (this was GPL code!) and then casually saying that they don't feel inclined to contribute back... that's not okay.

                          If the tit for tat principle is anti-capitalist, then I guess I'm okay with that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                            So the name and the source got licensed and not transferred because commercial game developpers see the game as a viable commercial title to invest money into.

                            So Nexuiz gets some serious amount of money they could spend on artwork and/or future development. Nexuiz devs arre getting some serious recognition. Linux FLOSS games are considdered a real succes by the industry; first Warsows first alpha already accepted in E-Sports and now Nexuiz.
                            How do you figure that original-Nexuiz gets any money? The inactive founder sold the code, the name and the domain. ??? PROFIT!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                              So the name and the source got licensed and not transferred because commercial game developpers see the game as a viable commercial title to invest money into.

                              So Nexuiz gets some serious amount of money they could spend on artwork and/or future development.
                              Your logic is flawed in the fact that you're assuming the profits go to Nexuiz and the developers. It's going straight into the pocket of one man, the "owner", Lee Vermeulen (who has been more or less absent for the past 4 years while the contributors built up the game, the community, the brand and the PR).


                              I personally spent countless hours promoting this game, the brand, the websites and "alientrap" (www.alientrap.org was designed by me)... only to find out I'm not considered part of "Alientrap" in the deal he's made behind everyone's backs. He and LordHavoc (engine developer) hid this for MONTHS from the development team. LordHavoc even went as far to include 'havoc mode', which we found out to be his personal playground for physics in the new console version.

                              As a contributor and community administrator, I tried very hard to reason with Lee Vermeulen who couldn't so much as cough up an apology to core contributors.

                              When we came to the realization that there was no room to compromise and IllFonic was only going to use the GPL version of the game to promote theirs, we realized it was time to fork.

                              Beyond leaving an owner of a FOSS project who doesn't care about his community, the fork allows us to reorganize in many directions and hopefully after we're all settled in, we'll be able to share our tale with our FOSS projects who are looking to distribute power and avoid this sort of situation and immoral behavior.

                              Xonotic is founded by people who believe in rising with their community and preserving the morals of FOSS. Not by someone who had a commerical game fail, release it as GPL and 4 years later stab their contributors in the back for individual gain.

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