Bzflag future at stake

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kierra
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Bzflag future at stake

Post by kierra » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:04 pm

It has been suggested by some that players consider emailing Tim Riker at Tim@Rikers.org telling him how we feel about the lack of change/development in bzflag. Perhaps freeing the reins he holds tightly and allowing change to how the project is run to get more done and for him to be open to more active managment by other people. Relinquish the strangle hold and allow someone else to take over who will be more actively involved with management.

If you care about bzflag, write Tim, post on the forums, email. Be a squeaky wheel.
Last edited by kierra on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:14 pm

For full disclosure;

2 suggestions were given to Tim on Monday in emails after discussion on the IRC channel.
1) For Tim to turn over copyright and control of the domains to a new maintainer, I asked that this be myself.
2) For Tim to re-license the project using the MIT open source licensee, effectively giving up copyright and turning the domains over to some system that allows multiple people to control them (namecheap, or zoneedit)

The reason is that we wish to change how the project is run in order to get it back on track. These changes would involve more active management of the development team and actively pushing bzflag along a design path instead of just waiting for patches. Basically manage the project more like other successful open source projects like Firefox, subversion, etc.

Tim had a brief talk with us afterwards and indicated he'd ponder what everyone had said, but was not really up to speed with the current state of the project. At the present time he has not responded to any requests about how he feels about the proposed ideas.

The idea came up that it may benefit him if he hears from the community a bit more to understand the current player base better, so that's why Kierra posted this.

There is a desire to keep the project moving forward but we see that it's not going to work using the existing style, so that needs to change, and these requests are intended to insure the least amount of community disruption during that transition.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by BinarySpike » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:44 am

I was under the impression that once GPL'd you couldn't change the license without written consent of all contributors.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:23 am

That depends on how the project is setup, with bzflag all commiters grant the maintainer the ability to claim copyright on the submitted work as a whole, this is why the work is marked as copyright Tim Riker, not Copyright "a big list o-people". The projects that are not setup like this do have a hell of a time changing anything after the fact, but they do offer more credit to individual developers.

As it stands right now Tim is evaluating his options with out changing the main license to MIT as it can cause some protection problems. Changing to MIT was just one option someone proposed and not my personal favorite.

We will be changing the licensing of the art assets to CC by SA from LGPL since it is a better license for media then the LGPL, but that does not affect this discussion.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by razer » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:23 pm

is there any money involved with licensing a game of this nature? and what would become of those costs once its owned by more than one(/different) person, or organization?

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:58 pm

There is no money involved in licensing the game, the current code is licensed for use by anyone for free by the current copyright holder.

The transfer discussed would be changing who that copyright holder is.

There are several ways to have the copyright holder be multiple people. The best way for a long term project to have a corporation formed that takes the copyright. This corporation can then be owned by multiple people and people can be added or removed to it as needed. There are costs with this kind of setup but they are not too bad (less then 300$ a year). I have been investigating what it would take and what the different types of corporations would do for the project ( non profit vs a regular corporation that just happens to spend all it's money on paying contractors to write code). There are advantages and disadvantages and costs associated with each type.

I did tell Tim that I was willing to set up this type of organization but only if I was 100% sure that I'd be able to transfer copyright to it. There is no point in spending the time and money on the setup if I would not have the right to transfer copyright to the final company. This is why I asked for it to be transferred to me so that I wold have the ability to form a corporation around it.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by blast » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:23 pm

razer wrote:is there any money involved with licensing a game of this nature? and what would become of those costs once its owned by more than one(/different) person, or organization?
And perhaps you're misinterpreting what we mean by "license". We are simply referring to a document that specifies the rights that individuals (and companies) have regarding the BZFlag code, binaries, creative assets, etc. We're not talking about purchasing/selling "software licenses" for the game.
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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by I_Died_Once » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:44 pm

Let me ask what no one else has...

What are the chances of this game ever raking in millions of dollars?
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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by joevano » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:18 pm

Exactly 0%
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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:23 pm

It is a small but non zero for millions. Possible and desirable for smaller amounts like thousands. The number of kick-starter projects that have worked out have shown that there are people willing to support projects like this.

I can think of a few ways to get BZFlag a revenue stream that can be used to push the project forward (paying for servers, advertising, paying code bounties for features, etc...). I think it's important that a project has resources to work with and the ability to use them in order to be successful.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by razer » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:06 pm

i definately agree that it'd be a waste with the money if the whole copyright thing wouldnt work out. Are you talking about creating a full blown Corporation? A partnership or and LLC would probably work out unless were going for that non-profit path. I just did some research and a partnership can have more than just 2 shareholders, but still a small number in general. LLCs are almost also partnerships, and are taxed like Pships. just btw :P

I bet with a little bit of plugs in the right places a kickstarter for BZ 3.0 could be successful, as long as were not shooting for more than 100grand, IMO.

and i understand Blast, it was just a little.. hazy

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:25 pm

I've been researching the various corporation types as well. We would probably not qualify for an NPO since we are not really a "charity" and if we did there would be significant restrictions on how we could operate.

If I was going to do it right now I'd set up an "s corporation" registered in Wyoming with a board of directors from the current project. Then any money we received would be spend on the services we host and put toward code bounties. We would pay out the bounties as independent contractor fees and give each person a 1099 form so they would be responsible for the taxes on it. If the bounties were paid then the corporation would not be carrying any real profit forward and that would limit it's tax-ability.

I would not do a kick-starter until I had tried other fund raising methods first (in community stuff), or until we had a clearly defined and documented development plan in place. Kick-starter is a very valuable tool but must be used wisely or it can actually ruin your chances of success.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by Landon » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:52 am

Any updates on this JeffM? If you were to obtain the copyright what changes could the player base expect in the coming months outside of the possibility of new updates? Any news is good news with bzflag.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Tim was unwilling to make any changes on that scale.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by Landon » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:22 am

Ah, I see. That's unfortunate.. Are there any other possibilities to pursue? Or is BZflag destined to die from lack of updates in the coming years. I know you don't have all the answers, I simply love the project and the thought that BZ may fade into a nostalgic memory isn't pleasant.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by JeffM » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:50 am

We are continuing to do what we can, his choice has no direct affect on our ability to make releases.

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Re: Bzflag future at stake

Post by cute koa » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:39 pm

any update on this one? :)

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