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  1. #1
    Minecraft Addict DOM's Avatar
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    Big issues with Spigot...

    http://www.spigotmc.org/threads/dmcad.28536/

    Normally a great deal of time and planning goes into posting front page notices, however this notice represents news which is currently breaking and as such we have had little time to review it. That being said we feel that making public our initial thoughts and intentions is far more beneficial than allowing speculation or other conclusions to be drawn. This is a brain dump of what has happened and what we intend to do, and is not indicative of anything else, nor should it be taken as gospel.

    When I woke up just 30 minutes ago, I was alerted to the fact that downloads to CraftBukkit had been removed due to a DMCA request from former CraftBukkit developer Wesley Wolfe (Wolvereness). Upon scrolling through emails on my phone I found that approx 2:21AM (AEST) we received a similar DMCA report from the same user. It is attached below with personal information and contact details removed”
    Spoiler!

    Obviously any surprise takedown of our software is no small matter, and we do intend to fight it to the best of our ability. Our primary goal at this point in time is to ensure that downloads of Spigot, and all previous Spigot builds remain available for public consumption. Our secondary goal is to ensure that we can continue distributing Spigot in its current form, and ensure that past versions will always be accessible. How we will do this is currently uncertain, however our first port of call is to get in contact with our legal team (which we are already doing) and attempting to issue a counter-notice to ensure that Spigot remains accessible for enough time in order to investigate and implement slightly more long term measures.

    Since we opened to donations about 11 months ago, the Spigot Team has set aside all the remaining funds which were not spent during the Minecon period, as well as a portion of all donations into a savings account. This account has been reserved for emergencies and other big ticket items (Minecon 2014 was the idea), and insofar we have not had to make use of it. As lawyers are expensive (upwards of $200/hour), we will be making full use of these donations set aside in order to fight this to the best of our ability and ensure that Spigot remains accessible to all. We are also hoping to get in contact with some legal professionals who specialize in licensing disputes such as those to do with GPL.

    I’ve got to leave for the day now, however I will do my best to update this post when I can with whatever developments we receive.

    ~Spigot Team

    Edit: please read the takedown notice before responding, the takedown was filed by Wesley Wolf, however Mojang's chief operating officer Vu Bui has supported it on Mojang's behalf.

    Edit 2: our legal team has begun work on a DMCA counter notice. Also thanks to all those who have made donations. They will be set aside from the normal pool.

    Edit 3: We are currently in contact with Mojang on this matter, and also I'm going to bed.

  2. #2
    Administrator Pernix_8D's Avatar
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    Well, there goes that. :l

  3. #3
    Minecraft Addict DOM's Avatar
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    I am hoping that something gets done and fast. All of our public servers have one form of Bukkit/Spigot in them. Either they fix the legal issue, or mojang releases the modding api.

  4. #4
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Without Bukkit and later Spigot, Minecraft would never have been as popular as it is now. Mojang knows this and has acknowledged this on several occasions. The real surprise here is that they supported the DMCA notice instead of telling them to sod of.

    The only reason I can think of why Mojang would do this is to close down all third party servers except Minecraft Realms. Which would be really bad because Realms sucks big time.

    This is going to be a PR nightmare for Mojang that's for sure.

    I've included the original text of the article in the opening post just in case the Spigot website goes down and moved it to general chat so it gets more attention.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    mojang's response seems to be in two parts.

    "Mojang has not authorized the inclusion of any of its proprietary Minecraft software (including its Minecraft Server software) within the Bukkit project to be included in or made subject to any GPL or LGPL license, or indeed any other open source license"

    This is asserting that the GPL copyright violation claim is actually not founded, because they did not have the legal authority to apply GPL to bukkit in the first place, because it included mojang's code, which was not GPL.

    "As the Minecraft Server software is included in Spigot, and the original code has not been provided or its use authorized, this is a violation of my copyright. I have a good faith belief the distribution of Spigot includes content of which the distribution is not authorized by the copyright owner, it's agent, or the law."

    This is just asserting that, to the best of their knowledge, spigot also includes their original content as well. That they're supporting this, well, as I understand it, Mojang has made it clear all along that while they support modding, and specifically like what Bukkit does, they were not giving any official permission to distribute their source code. Based on posts from and changes made by the forge team, it seems that around the same time the official launcher was coming out, Mojang informed them of an intention, at some future time, to start actually enforcing this position and disallowing the redistribution of their code in a modified form by Forge. As a result the Forge team busted extra ass on top of their normal development work to rush through changes to forge such that forge would no longer have to include any Mojang code, modified or otherwise, with it's distributions. And they did so. Bukkit did not - but then, bukkit is owned by Mojang, as dinnerbone recently asserted, so... :shrug: I don't know what to make of this, entirely.

    What I know: the non-Mojang, volunteer bukkit team quit recently. Mojang asserted they own bukkit anyway, and it will continue. Meanwhile, the EULA is modified - making it more permissive, actually - but mojang expresses an intention to actually enforce it now, where they've completely ignored violations previously. I suspect the bukkit team, in thinking about all this, basically had a kind of "moment of clarity" and realised they were unpaid volunteer Mojang employees. They were working hard to develop and maintain craftbukkit - which minecraft owns, including all new work they do to it - and had exactly zero rights on their side of this whole equation. At any time, Mojang could, had they chosen, take over or shut them down. And, indeed, when the bukkit team said "we quit" mojang did exactly that.

    Now, back to the forge thing, bukkit has a special privileged position, by virtue of it being, ultimately, owned by Mojang. So they could get away with taking no steps to do what Forge had done and rework the project to allow distribution without Mojang code. However, bukkit was granted this exception only because mojang owned it. So during never-ending limbo of waiting-for-the-official-modding-api, bukkit was allowed to continue doing what it did, but without any formal legal endorsement that might allow it to continue existing beyond that window. I'm not at all clear what Mojang's direct position on derivative works like Spigot was, but as this demonstrates, shutting down bukkit would effectively shut down those derivative works as well.

    Bottom line, not supporting the interpretation of this copyright claim's effect, which originates with craftbukkit's IP and then extends from there to spigot - could weaken mojang's position down the road, should Mojang decide to shut down the bukkit project - something they would do, I assume, only after the official modding api is eventually finished and released, and, I would hope, also given time for an ecosystem of essential plugins to develop for it, but nonetheless, something they almost certainly will do eventually.

  7. #7
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GopherAtl View Post
    What I know: the non-Mojang, volunteer bukkit team quit recently. Mojang asserted they own bukkit anyway, and it will continue. Meanwhile, the EULA is modified - making it more permissive, actually - but mojang expresses an intention to actually enforce it now, where they've completely ignored violations previously. I suspect the bukkit team, in thinking about all this, basically had a kind of "moment of clarity" and realised they were unpaid volunteer Mojang employees. They were working hard to develop and maintain craftbukkit - which minecraft owns, including all new work they do to it - and had exactly zero rights on their side of this whole equation. At any time, Mojang could, had they chosen, take over or shut them down. And, indeed, when the bukkit team said "we quit" mojang did exactly that.
    Mojang only owns the name, not the code. Despite that Mojang took over responsibility for the Github repo, Mojang has no rights to the code produced by the CraftBukkit team previously. None of the authors has signed away their rights to the code in any way. Which may be why Wesley Wolfe has filed this DMCA notice. He's either a jerk trying to hurt the community, or he's hoping for some sort of settlement making this a cash grab.

  8. #8
    I may be wrong, but it was my udnerstanding that when they hired most of the original bukkit team, they were also buying the rights to their code. Now, even if right, the legality of that may be disputable, given not everyone who had contributed code to bukkit was involved in the deal, notably the guy who filed this DMCA report. But that was the intention and idea, as I understood it.

  9. #9
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    It's true that Mojang has hired some of the people behind CraftBukkit. They also purchased the rights to the Bukkit name in 2012.

    Bukkit was an open source project, but that doesn't mean the authors loose their rights to the code they contribute. The people who 'sold' CraftBukkit to Curse and later to Mojang weren't in any position to sell the source code because it wasn't theirs to begin with.

    MD_5 updated his post stating that it looks like Mojang does not support this DMCA. Because of this the world makes sense again. Since Mojang purchased Bukkit in 2012 and hired Bukkit team members and made contributions to the code themselves; they have been releasing new Bukkit versions with the current license which strictly speaking violates GPL because it contains closed source from the Minecraft server and all source should be made available under GPL. This is what the DMCA is all about. However I don't see how this construction is hurting the past and present Bukkit developers or the players that use Bukkit in any way. It's nothing more than a formality at this point.

    The way I see it there are a few things Mojang can do. Probably the best thing to do is to change Bukkit in such a way that you get 1 .jar file that contains all the Bukkit code and then need to download the original Minecraft server .jar file in order to make things work. This would be similar to the way Forge works now.

    Another thing Mojang can do is to get permission from all the CraftBukkit authors to buy or use their code. Parts of the code they can't get permission for will have to be rewritten. But after this all the code will be governed by Mojang and nobody can make it go away.

    And lastely Mojang could make Minecraft open source. Notch has hinted in the past that some day this would happen.

    But instead of filing a DMCA, this should have been discussed behind closed doors and then implemented. Because of the DMCA there isn't a lot that can be done at this point. I doubt Mojang and/or Spigot will be able to make the DMCA go away because it's simply following that dumb ass American Digital Millenium Copyright Act. It doesn't care about the common good or what's right and wrong. It's a stick copyright holders can use to beat other parties with, nothing else.

    If Wesley Wolfe wants his code removed from Bukkit or wants to be paid for it that's his prerogative. But the way he's going about it now is only hurting everybody involved. However I don't know if he contacted Mojang or the current Bukkit team about this and what the results of that were. Perhaps this is the only measure left to him. But from what I can tell about his personality and how he's behaved himself in the past that is unlikely.

  10. #10
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Spigot is releasing updates again. They have also released a patcher with which you can patch the latest release of Spigot that they not longer host themselves and you will have to get from The Piratebay.

    However there won't be any Bukkit updates so Vanilla Minecraft Multiplayer is still d00med.

    Enjoy the d00m song!

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