Sources and Licenses

Starting this month, products eligible to participate in receiving plings are required to do so under a valid libre license.
Further some product categories ask the contributor to point to an online source(-code) repository of that exact product uploaded.
The reason for that is not to just providing the source-code within the file archive itself, but to do so using a version control system like git or svn that allows for easy collaboration and of the transparent updates.

We will from time to time check licenses and source links provided and disable any product or user from receiving plings where this is not properly set or in a misleading way (e.g. chosing a libre license for proprietary products, or changing the license for a derivate product compared to the original).

These two checks have the goal to encourage original contributions and for derivates to follow within the spirit of the original licenses.

Any feedback or comments how to further advance the cause of freely developed software and artwork are very much welcome.

 
opendesktop-team

opendesktop-team

 
  • LinuxAddicted

    Srsly, 90% of all artwork on this page has a wrong license or is just a rip-off(think about all the re-packed macos and windows icons that were never give away by any of those companys)

    The same goes for every other icon theme that incluses icons for proprietary apps(eg you can not publish the google “G” icon/logo, facebook “f”, twitter bird etc. under an open licence because its a trademark which is protected by international law – and even if the logo is fair-use you are told what shape it needs to be and what colors it needs to use)

    there are also plenty of wallpapers that are just a reupload from other pages…

    • Starbuck2001

      Hi LinuxAddict, and thanks for the feedback.
      Exactly because of your above reason, the license and source are two checkboxes that are needed to more acurately filter out such contributions in a transparent way, besides the absolute obvious ones. All content platforms face this problem, but we cant manually check everything that is uploaded since we’re not Google or Facebook who can manually control all this by hand, hence the need to formalize a minimum standard the contributors need to provide to see quicker through any violations in case it is not IMMEDIATE obvious.
      It is in the direction you describe that we are working on solutions to favor original contributors and submissions and filter out the others.

      Besides “Report Spam”, there will be a way to point to obviously wrong licensed products or to establish a link from a forked/re-packaged product, which is allowed within most libre licenses compared to closed source ones by pointing to the original source.

      • Charlie Henson

        As it is today only a License is required for the wallpapers, activate the need for a source link and the dumping of images will slow way down..

        • Starbuck2001

          Source Links for most single, non-archived, non-software items like images or logos are in our view not needed at this point.

          There are two goals with license and sourcelink:
          A wrongfully set license for an image is spotted more easily by anything not original CC and then reuploaded by someone else with a non-valid license.

          If we find too many violations of a single user, we might restrict all of the items from compensation.

          Source Links are for more complex contributions like iconsets that are allowed to simply be repackaged with or without modifications, so then a source link should make it easier to spot derivatives or ongoing changes from original material in the future. The idea is eventually to share plings between original and forked items.

          So spotting a wrong license for images is one goal and spotting (legal) clones of original libre software or complex artwork is another goal.

          • Charlie Henson

            Thanks Starbuck for clarification. By the way it’s funny that Uploader used the GPLv3 for an image I saw the comment. This person and several others are also using that license or maybe and probably it’s really just one person with many accounts.

          • Starbuck2001

            Yeah, we already have those on the radar. It will take some time for it all to become effective, it just has to start somewhere.

        • Mcder3

          You are seeing the problem only in the wallpapers, the others that we have created “artwork” on our own for many years we are affected with this measure…

          • Charlie Henson

            I only operate in the wallpaper category, I am sure the other category’s are having some issues as well. The measures taken in my category are positive in my opinion, the admins know whats going on with what and with who and by reading it looks like they are taking a series of steps.

          • Mcder3

            In the plasma-theme categories these measures do not necessarily have to be … all the themes have the “source code” because they are svg files.

            These measures should be taken in places where piracy and content theft are encouraged.

      • LinuxAddicted

        Sorry but I did report them over the years and nevery got an answer. Maybe that will change in the furture , however the new changes haven’t really improved opendesktop eg:

        – previously we had extra sections for xfce, gnome, whatever icons and themes and now they are all mixed together is now it more like russian roulette if the gtk or icon theme works on your desktop.
        – Its now impossible to remove old downloads

        – to sort downloads I also need now to remove and reupload them
        – previously I could decide if i want to announce an upgrade now its every time updated even if is just change some word in the description or change a preview pic.
        – opendesktop is now full of filter bubbles since regular users cant vote anymore

        – and now you come across with that github thing another hurdle for someone who just wants to share their work.

        • Mcder3

          That’s right, there are many obstacles for those who simply want to share their work.

          • Starbuck2001

            Hi Mcder3,
            there are no more obstacles to simply share your work than in the past.
            There are two checks for also getting compensation for it, yes, but those have always been there as possible information in the past, if used or not.

          • Mcder3

            Of course they have been, but it was not obligatory as it was recently.

            I know they try to solve the problem of the people who abuse the payments that are doing opendesktop and the truth that I see the initiative well.

            The only thing I ask is that they keep a simple model, with different options as it has always been and that we all win.

          • Marian Arlt

            Give them time to sort things out and keep commenting :) Changes always make people stagger and the team has been quite responsive lately. They are working hard and I bet it’s just for that: Keeping a simple model with different options. Hope your products are ok! Kudos

          • Mcder3

            I already managed to solve some things, but I think it’s nice to know that opendesktop managers are always listening to the community :-)

        • Starbuck2001

          Hi LinuxAddict, thanks for the detailed feedback, it helps for seeing how we can improve.
          As for the extra sections, there were a lot of duplicates just in order to be found, so we reduced those like in case of wallpapers, etc. and instead added the possibility to “tag” things however you like, e.g. add gnome, xfce or kde to an icon theme. These tags will be filterable also, so non-kde tagged iconsets could be possibly filtered out in the future.

          As for updating:
          Just changing words or other things in product does no longer update it. Only if new files are added or you add a changelog entry it does change.

          As for files:
          What exactly do you mean with “to sort downloads”? Maybe we can help you with updating the backend there.

          Regarding Archiving, we allow archiving old downloads for historical reasons, as we also would lose the download counts otherwise and we need to keep them in case they were active and contributed towards some plings.

          As for the voting:
          We are working the past weeks on bringing this back, like we did with the Favs/Likes for anyone, plus something that will benefit those who decide to support the platform and therefore the content creators with actual donations.

          Regarding adding some checks and balances, please note that neither the license nor the version control repo are required to share things like 100% before. These are no hurdles.
          Someone just wanting to share their work can do so absolutely like before, as any contribution shows up even without any license or empty repository.

          The reason is that there have been new developments in the past 15 years that have become very popular very quickly, like git/github, etc. and help people collaborate together much better than like it was done maybe in the past where someone added something on their local computer, uploaded it and that was it.

          Since users already can and do take work from someone elses github repo, change the name and reupload it with or without changes, we think it is fair in case it is products that are very complex or reuqire a lot of work of many people in the past like big iconsets to make those available too for users who want to know what they are downloading to quickly see what this could be based on or see changes done in a repository.

          I hope these detailed explanations give you an overview where we are trying things out to see how to evolve the platform with more and more uploaded content.

  • Mcder3

    I have worked for many years on this site, but I no longer have the source code for
    it. What options would you give to people like me?

    I have elements of almost 10 years that still downloaded on this site…

    • Starbuck2001

      Hi mcder3,

      thanks for your feedback. The source code link is not primarely about the source code itself, but about an online version control repository. Normally you could just check in your products to a place like github and provide the link. Can you give an example product of yours where this would not be possible?

      • Mcder3

        Well, I do not have any source code for the elements I designed for KDE 4.x to give an example.

        • Marian Arlt

          How would you not have the source, when all of this is open source?… Just download your own files and upload them as source with a license to another place (It doesn’t have to be Github, that’s just the proposal for more complex work).

          • Mcder3

            The other drawback I see when publishing the source code outside of opendesktop is that some can package jobs for a distribution, causing downloads to be lost…

          • Marian Arlt

            This is open source. If you are publishing something with a free license the idea is that anybody can use it. Depending on the license even commercially. So that’s the whole idea anyways. Plings should not be seen as a proprietary pay-out system…There’s other platforms to publish programs, software, pictures, audios and videos and all sorts of things with strict licenses. Of course it’s nice to receive some money for your work, but you are publishing it on a free license platform. Please be aware of this fact.

          • Mcder3

            I understand how open source works, the problem is that some abuse the benefits it offers.

          • Starbuck2001

            We have over the weekend reduced the number of categories asking for a source in return for plings for now, but generally yes, most things uploaded are self-contained unless compiled. So setting up a version control system is just asking for a more transparent and quick way to check license, version, updates, etc. quickly without downloading the whole package and unpacking and comparing things inside all the time.