Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

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Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:02 pm

Hello Guys,

I created an OpenBVE Route Archive some months ago, and now I have almost 50 routes from the internet linked on my site. (https://sites.google.com/view/openbve-de/)
Now I have the question:
if I put them together in one big OpenBVE Package (with authors named, links, where the routes are from, etc.) and host it for download, is that ok for the developers, or won't you do that?

If you have some questions, or an idea for improvement please let me know Smile
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by graymac on Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:56 pm

I'm not sure I like the idea of you acting as a third party site for work that is currently served by the creators of same. I notice you have two Celtictrainsim routes which you are offering in competition with my own site, which hasn't yet gone "out of business". I haven't been consulted before you took it upon yourself to do this either, or even asked if I might have any objection? For the record, I encourage other BVE sites to provide links to celtictrainsim.com. I would prefer if you were to do this and not offer to supply my work directly to consumers. If I closed celtictrainsim.com then it might be acceptable for others to take over the archive. But I'm not dead yet, just rather annoyed.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:27 pm

Sorry graymac, I am just offering the links.
If you click "Download" on my Website you will be redirected to your site celtictrainsim routes.
So we are definitive not in a competition. There should come more users to your site. I am not hosting any route on my Website yet.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Quork on Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:37 pm

I just checked, that's actually correct. To avoid such misunderstandings you should call the links "Download beim Autor" (download at the author's site). Look at the LokSim3D site, they did it right IMHO.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:47 pm

Thanks for your tip, Quork, I just added an Disclaimer to the top of every site.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by graymac on Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:55 pm

That's fine then, Martin. It wasn't obvious when I looked at your page for "Irish Routes".
Quork has made a good point there too.
I would like to see older material that is no longer hosted by the maker or anyone made available to new users. That would be something to look at for future site builds. I'd say you would need to present that stuff separately from links to current working developers websites.
And if the time should come when (and if) I'm no longer running the celtic site and hosting then I would have no objections to the routes and trains being distributed by a third party. Better that than than letting it all be lost to everyone who might want it in the future.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Quork on Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:39 pm

I've been made aware by several people the situation is not that clear with most of the material on your site, Martin. When I suggested you add a note that you're not hosting, but linking to the original author's websites, I of course presumed this to be correct! However most of the material is hotlinked to file sharing sites without any note of where the file comes from and who permitted it. [moderative hat] Be aware that we on BVE Worldwide do not tolerate illegal/illegitimate copies! [/moderative hat] Please clarify the sources of the files you're linking to. You should either link to the original websites or clearly state if you're hosting them and with whose permission. I'm well aware there's plenty of stuff available with neither the original author around nor anybody legitimately hosting it on their behalf - in this case, no matter how sad it is, you should refrain from hosting or linking it.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:59 pm

Yeah, 22 entrys I found on http://openbve.wixsite.com/openbve and I suggested, that this content is legally there.
Sry I didn't knew that.
These 22 entrys are linked to mediafire. The Donwloadbuttons from http://openbve.wixsite.com/openbve are linked to mediafire too. The source is on every entry on my site given, on them 22 it is http://openbve.wixsite.com/openbve .
In the next days I will clarify these entrys, and I will search on the Internet for the orginal sites.

How you said, it is very sad, that old content isn't hosted by the author anymore.
But I think, in those cases it is ok to still host those stuff.
Ok, it isn't 100% legally.
Sometimes you as author don't want to host your own content anymore (maybe you need the money for better things).
An author wants that some guys have fun with his work, so when he doesn't host his work anymore, then he definitely refrains that from now on no one can have fun with his work anymore.
So in my opinion it isn't maybe the best way to sit helpless next to abandoned routes and know that nobody new one in openbve will play this route, because its author is gone.
(But at the moment I didn't host any content on my site)
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by leezer3 on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:19 pm

The issue is a complex one.

Unfortunately, from the perspective of a member of the moderative team our position must be that we cannot support you hosting content (or linking to it on sites such as Mediafire) without explicit consent from the original authors.

Whilst as you say, some stuff has simply fallen by the wayside (from lack of interest from the creators, or other personal reasons), other stuff has been specifically withdrawn, and as a community we must respect this.

Thanks.

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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Delsin on Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:53 pm

The issue with re-hosting discontinued/abandoned and disappeared routes (I still remember the pain of getting Midosuji line when even wayback machine couldn't help) is as arguable as the struggle between supporters and opponents of statements like "information wants to be free" and so on. There are creators who've taken down their content for a reason on one hand and close-to-extinction content by the creators who've disappeared and can't be found anymore on the other. Maybe eventually the community will come to a conclusion on these points.

I think the bundle for beginners should contain not just N routes. It should be a set of good quality content showing as many openbve features as possible, probably with guides to some trains included. And of course, with permissions from all creators whose works are included.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 pm

Thank you for your opinions.
I really understand you, and I don't know what to do.

Yesterday I created some text (it's offline at the moment) when I would host routes some time: https://pastebin.com/d4RZjMNN
What do you say to this?

I don't know, if it is the best way, to handle this.
OpenBVE is OpenSource, we are a small community, and I think there's almost no creator (who is inactive), who refrains it, when his content is hosted dignified, and is still available to some new openbvelers. As less routes we have to offer some newbies, as darker the future of openbve will be.
In the near future I will ask my Linux Community on YouTube, what they think about this topic. (Potentially OpenBVElers, and users of OpenSource Software too).

Please keep in mind, I will NOT host anything before, we finished this discussion here. I don't wan't to work against to you. I want to work with you to make the OpenBVE world better.

@Delsin Yeah, I think it is the better way, just to put the "good" routes in such a package - with explicit permission of the creators.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by graymac on Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:24 pm

We've been here so often before, sometimes resulting in quite quarrelsome differences of opinion. My own preference is for open-ness and wide ranging freedom to share work.
In the interest of good relations and harmony, it still seems best to ensure that whoever created the material in the first place is happy to have it hosted / rehosted where this course of action is offered.
I think most producers are happy to allow such arrangements, but the new host needs to know this for a fact BEFORE providing links or downloads. A few works have been withdrawn by their makers who didn't want them to be available any longer. That wish needs to be respected.
Past disputes over this issue have caused a lot of trouble and disagreement. We don't want a repeat of that sort of history. The concept of resource websites is fine as long as due vigilance and respect is extended to the providers of source material, even though that makes it more difficult to administer.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Quork on Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:57 pm

We're currently discussing a more detailed explanation of the issues and problems arising within the moderative team, so please bear with us - after all, we want to provide an in-depth explanation of the problems at hand and offer some tips on how to deal with them (and when to better let go of something). One note though is possible immediately - that wixsite page is strongly suspected to be run by a specific troublemaker, it certainly does smell of him... We thus strongly discourage you from linking or rehosting any works on that site (or the site itself), better assume them to be stolen, miscredited or otherwise illegitimate.

I'm sorry this is such a mess, but that's due to numerous historical conflicts, schisms etc.; maybe you're used to the rather easy-going situation with virtually all LokSim3D material, if that's where you've come from towards OpenBVE. The reason is there is a totally different history behind LS3D. There traditionally virtually all addons were and are centrally published on and by the LS3D homepage itself, so everything stays there, no matter if the author remains active or not (except if someone were to retract their work, which to my knowledge has only happened once and that author retracted the retraction in the end); objects, textures etc. were much more widely cross-used and reused in other projects, and most authors keep to the informal LS3D license which is very liberal. BVE never had that central content hub, never had that one central community, not to mention any sort of continuity in content sites or communities... Thus each and every work has to be meticulously researched to find its specific terms and conditions and authors and legit sources.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Glory! koshikii on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:07 pm

I oppose a brainless approach to a noob's pack that just aggregrates the best quality routes. I feel that a starter's pack should explicitly tell potential players that it's just glue, it simply puts together great routes, it's not a mutual effort to make one big package. Mutual efforts have routes with similar scenarios material-wise, take a look at the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin + Tokyu Toyoko lines for Bve 5.

Regarding re-hosting routes, I agree with it as long as the author dies (either figuratively or literally) without leaving a disclaimer or a "will" or the author explicitly states that their works can be reuploaded. If someone wants their work to not be re-hosted, that's fine. Although this is much easier said than done since you'd have to analyze on a case-by-case basis.

I personally take a much more libre and "open-source community" approach to it as I'm willing to place my work under the zlib license since it fits my ideals the best: permission to use for any purpose, alter and redistribute as long as the origin of the software isn't misrepresented and altered versions must be plainly marked as such. An aknowledgement isn't required but it would be appreciated. I understand people get so worked up about it but I myself am liberal with my work since I just want people to have fun.

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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Dexter on Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:29 am

Hello everyone,
some of you might still remember I came up with a similar idea a while ago; the only difference was that I wanted to create an archive with routes that don't have their own home anymore (the site has been ceased, in some case also the author is no longer in this world, unfortunately).
I was then being blamed with copyright infringements and threatened with lawsuits etc., which amazed me to be quite honest. First of all, the openBVE addons were always free and secondly - the routes were supposed to be hosted with a good purpose to keep them alive for this small community. I just could not understand the fury with which some people were going against me. Well, I can, but that is a personal matter.
My advice on this would be - if the author is obviously active, the original website is still running and there is no need for an alternative download location, provide the links to the original site. NOT directly to the files, but to the download section of the web page, where the add on can be found. If the website / author are not alive anymore, then maybe host the files, declare: "No financial profit and copyright infringement intended. If you are an owner of any of these files, please contact me should you not wish for your material to be placed here." That should suit most of the people.
Regarding the bulk package of addons - I am not sure if that is the greatest idea, to be honest. Yes, it does make the life of a newbie easier by a bit, but on looking at it from a developer's point of view, it also drags people away from the original website.
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by graymac on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:05 am

Regarding the bulk package of addons - I am not sure if that is the greatest idea, to be honest. Yes, it does make the life of a newbie easier by a bit, but on looking at it from a developer's point of view, it also drags people away from the original website.

Aside from the ethical points concerning old material a practical consideration is the installation / delivery of a big package of routes and / or rolling stock.
The most up to date versions of the program allow easy installation via the 'package management' feature. Older routes and stock files are all going to need reconfiguring to allow this to work properly. Some users may not enjoy good download speeds so a very big "all in one bargain bag" might be difficult for them to download without crashing (my broadband was like that only until very recently).
It's not so simple, is it?
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Re: Making an big OpenBVE Package wih many routes for Newbies?

Post by Martin Ziegler on Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:09 pm

Thank you for all your contributions.
I think everything is going to be clear probably.

Hosting from old routes:
Fundamental it would be ok to most parts of the community, to host a route, if definitely no active creator of this route is offering it to download. In every case there should be an disclaimer visible for everyone, which have to look similar to this: "No financial profit and copyright infringement intended. If you are an owner of any of these files, please contact me should you not wish for your material to be placed here." - But in the end it is the own risk of the legal agent behind an website.
(Or did I overhasty recapped this statement?)

Hosting from "active" routes:
Of course this is forbidden (if it isn't permitted by the real creator of this route). Instead of hosting this route, please offer a link to the official download site (not directly to the download file!) of the route.

Creating a bulk package:
I came to an conclusion here as well. I will ask some active authors, if they would be interested to join in this project, and afterwards we will discuss fair and at eye level each other about everything that needs to be considered about .
@graymac Yes, for some guys with bad web-connection this big package is properly unflattering (But I think for this I have a solution for this already Smile )

Regarding the wixsite:
I have done some work already updating my entries about wixsite. About 80 - 90% of the routes don't have official hosts anymore. Thats a mess.. All the these entries on my site for which i couldn't find an alternative link where disabled. (Not every link so far, because, I didn't have time yet to check all the links, and search for alternatives)
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