The open source community is based around the idea of copyleft - which is the idea that users of a product, image or whatever should contribute back, if that user were to modify and share the product, image or the whatever.
Copyleft is in all legal aspects a division of Copyright that is more about the “Right to Copy” rather than the “Right to Own” that © so dearly protects.
The GNU Public License version 2 (GPLv2, or simply GPL) is a typical copyleft software license that incorporates what the GNU project calls “The Four Freedoms”, namely:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Now, the issue with these freedoms is that it happens that a project chooses to change licensing to another license, which either requires A LOT of signatures for a large project (approx. 11,700 for the Linux kernel only), which makes it not only impractical, but for a community where some people have actually died and you need to work out who is the inheritor of the person’s copyright claims - near to impossible.
So the only actually reasonable way would be to either build up from the beginning, only keeping parts that’s never been modified by anyone you haven’t got a signature from saying it’s O.K. to double license it, or to wait approximately 140 years or so (assuming contributors in their twenties lives on to be eighty), during which time every single new line of code needs to be licensed double, until no code with any valid copyright claims under the old license remains.
And then you’re stuck with the new license. Unless you make everyone give the maintainers of the project (from the very beginning) an license to use your code however they want and re-license it however they want. The company Canonical does exactly this in their CCLA, which is (according to them) because they want to be able to re-license when needed. Another example is Digia, which owns the Qt Project and their CLA which is essentially the same, however Qt being licensable either under GPL or a commercial license (which doesn’t enforce the four freedoms - basically saying that a company may embed Qt in their products without having to open source their modifications).
Now, Canonical could essentially do exactly the same thing as Digia, or simply drop their community completely and make for example Bazaar (a version control system) proprietary in it’s next version (the old GPL-license is however, irreversible, so anyone with an older copy of the software would be able to fork it, but that’s an entirely different matter).
The issue at hand is that it either takes 140 years or so (not quite worst case scenario, but a fucked up scenario), or a waiver to re-license anything copyleft with more than a handful contributors on. So essentially, when a license doesn’t make sense either in a lingual way or in a copyright-way - you’ll stand there with a project that doesn’t make sense either.
By making a copyright-reform and reduce the copyright length to say, 20 years or so, the process would be possible, despite being a mess, it would be possible to do when really needed, and to update the language of the license would no longer be an impossible task.
There’s plenty of good examples of villains in video games, but one of my overall favourite game concept is Evil Genius, where you play the villain. The way you can run around killing your subordinates and/or secret agents - tortures specialists in order to get access to their skills or just commit plainly evil actions is quite brilliant.
The mix of cheesy humour, a good amount of building your own secret lairs and hiding from governmental agents in best James Bond style makes the entire game feel like an instant classic.
Of course, on top of that there’s always Purple Tentacle from Day of the Tentacle whom you are trying to stop from conquering/conquered the world in the Lucasart classic. [SPOILER] Ending his evil reign being stomped on and sent to Siberia in a postcard, purple is pretty much the arch-nemesis of all video games. The clever dialogue lines and the typical Lucasart “let’s not kill anyone”-adventure game style is amazing. DotT being perhaps the best video game in history, it’s just suitable that it’s villain is on this list
[Spoiler Alert Portal 2] Of course we all have Weathley from Portal 2. Being the opposite of GLADoS, he’s the perfect mix of funny voice dialouges - and his stupidity combined with the enormous intellectual capabilities that actually are present in his mind (proven by his attempts to learn from GLADoS’ mistakes) makes him a worthy temp for GLADoS, even if every playthrough gives a tiny bit of relief when the normal, just mildly psychiatric robot enemy is ruling again and Weathley have been sent into space togheter with a bunch of corrupted AI-cores. It’s hard not to like Weathley, but at the same time, his constant betrayal, his way of being in the zone between evil mastermind and slightly-annoying high school pal. Weathley has this Pixar-esque style the Portal series has converted into video games, where inanimate objects are turned into emotional beings.
[Spoilers: Bioshock Infinite & Borderlands 2] One thing all the villains I have listed so far has in common is that they’re made to be laughed at, and at points, sympathised with. In contrast, there’s the Bioshock Infinite villain of Cornstock. The complexity of the game makes it hard to find a single stance, but the way Cornstock manipulates the people of Columbia and keeps his own “daughter” captive makes you angry towards the entire cult he’s created, despite it’s obvious advantages (Columbia is pretty much a perfect world, if you don’t scratch the surface. Cornstock is heavily biased towards his faith and the betterment of his people, which, how admirable it might be, can be put alike to most of the history’s famous leaders - where Cornstock is an attempt to make a believable cult leader that takes care of his sheeps while anyone saying anything against him is brutally punished). Cornstock breeds the player’s sidekick into becoming one of the most loveable villains in video game history, where Elizabeth gives up her hope of getting resqued and gives in to the faith Cornstock have prepared for her. The way both Cornstock and Elizabeth are being painted as good people who at some point in time were turned to a fanatic cult following open up for thoughts regarding evil and good, neither of them are obviously evil, Elizabeth being almost the exact opposite, of absolute good.
The way Cornstock treats Elizabeth is in the end what justifies the murder on him, not the more indirect racism and extremists shown in the game. That’s an interesting point to make as Borderlands 2 uses the exactly same trope of a father holding his daughter captive as the way of tipping the jar over to the point where it actually is justified to murder the villain. Handsome Jack and Angel in Borderlands 2 have the ingredients of mixed-up evilness and goodness. Angel is, exactly like GLADoS in Portal 2, co-operating with the player as an inanimate (in Angel’s case, she’s portrayed by an actual, face, so not entirely inanimate) AI, and in both games, it’s made clear that the very same person providing guidance to you is also at least partly evil. The “opponent as assistant”-trope is a quite interesting idea, as it is constantly reoccuring in our history, with how the allied worked togheter with the Soviet states to win the WW2, despite the common belief that the other side was evil.
In the end, what we need to create a good villain is a fair amount of tropes, something to relate to, a bit of doubt (sorry Call of Duty, yelling “TERRORIST!” doesn’t qualify..) and a certain degree of inanimated animation. All the characters I mentioned has a history, and they have a reason for their actions - the best villain isn’t this child-molesting, kidnapping, terminatorstyle robot that doesn’t show any feelings - that’s easy to kill, you need something where there’s a feeling: “This poor thing, it could have been so much better”. Sort of like Darth Vader’s ultimate evilness is partly due to his eventual betrayal of the evilness he have came to represent. Despite their actions are quite alike, it’s much easier to feel sympathy for Darth Vader than for the emperor, which is probably the reason why he’s so popular. The same goes for Kill Bill [spoiler alert], the story of the bride is given to you in a pace that in the end makes the protagonist fall down crying and almost forgiving Bill. There’s a mistake in the end at Kill Bill vol 1 where Bill announces what would eventually get you feel the sadness that fills the movie when Bill eventually walks his last few steps.
The absolute evil must be mixed togheter with a certain degree of something to sympathize with - and currently, there’s quite a few good examples from the game industry, but Hollywood’s 100 years in buisness shows how they excel at this point, with not only Batman that presents a gallery of evil characters you sympathise with and in the end, almost get tears in your eyes when they are eventually killed.
In the end, my top pick video game villain comes from this franchise in the form of Talia al’Ghul from Batman: Arkam City [spoilers] - of all the excellent villains in the franchise, the video game Talia has the recipies for the perfact villain - being the typical Batmanesque combination of villain and ally. Despite her appearance-space is limited in the game, she’s an imporant role-character, and her death is the catalysator for the final battle, just like the torture of Elizabeth and Angel’s death were the catalysators in Bioshock Infinite and Borderlands 2 - being cliché and a typical trope, the character of Talia still encorporates both the necessary evilness and the act of one of the few allied in times of distress. She’s never actively evil within the game, which makes for it being easier to pity her death than to feel mixed feelings, which is reserved for the Joker’s death, but she’s still a villain and is co-leading a terrorist organization, which is in my eyes enough to make her qualify as villain.
Hopefully Arkham Origins will offer more of Talia’s complexity with her qualities of split loyalities setting up for a very interesting story - quite like the set up that Borderlands 2 provided for Angel.
- A: Komisk grej: Androidutveckling görs lättast på OS X
- B: X står för ?
- B: :P
- A: Får jag idiotförklara dig nu? Snälla?
- B: javisst :)
— TT-Reuters (via DN)
I fredags var jag på paneldebatt om e-legitimation, väldigt intressant att lyssna på olika tankar på privatliv och autentisering/identifiering. Något jag slogs av var hur den grupp människor som politiskt vill driva fram en upphovsrättslig reformation (krigsmusik (hur det kommer sig, fråga @teirdes)) ofta pratar i vårt egna fackspråk. Hur många vet ens vad 4T, cookielagen (hur många vet ens vad LEK kap 6 §18 betyder? Ännu mindre vad kakor har i ens dator att göra), ideella rättigheter, upphovsrätt, Google Analytics, DRM och liknande ord betyder.
Det är en kamp mot strömmen att sänka Bern-konvetionen och reformera upphovsrätten för att hindra att vår kultur totalt kollapsar under tyngden av upphovsrättsindustrin. Och att motivera att individens rätt till privatliv faktiskt står över vissa forsknings- och företagsintressen.
På vilket sätt kommer “rätten att bli bortglömd” faktiskt att påverka individen i samhället? Jag menar, jag är sjukt glad att EU kämpar för att få till en princip som säger: “Fuck you, vi representerar folket, inte storföretagen”
Om bara EU kunde säga likadant om patent och upphovsrätt. *drömmer*
Folk blir upprörda över tusen saker, but integrity online simply ain’t one of them (eller jo, folk blir upprörda, men sen säger de att de “Behöver Facebook”). Kanske för att inga frukter skördats? Borde det inte säga någonting när Googles toppar står och säger på scenen "You don’t need to tell us what is your favourite football team, we already know that". Googles ordförande, Eric Schmidt, sa häriveckan "You have to fight for your privacy or you will lose it".
Bakom fasaden av Android, Chrome och alla deras gratistjänster så tjänar Google fortfarande typ 90% av sin inkomst på reklamflödet. (Ja, det är typ 290 miljarder under 2012 - mer än hela Litauiens BNP 2011) Varför skulle Google vilja värna om sina användares privatliv?
Kanske det är för dig att börja försvara ditt privatliv - sure, vi jobbar i motvind och uppförsbacke, och just därför behövs du, för det är dig det handlar om. Och mig. Absolut bägge två.
Jag tänker göra något jag egentligen hatar - ett “tänk på barnen argument”. För att hålla det hela kort så - Eric Schmidt varnar för att tonåringar måste lära sig leva med sitt privatliv uthängt. Till viss del så stämmer det, men å andra sidan - att jag för 8 år sen var en ganska annorlunda person än jag är idag, det är förståeligt. Andra kanske blir uthängda på nätet - privatlivet är viktigt och behöver värnas, särskilt när det blir svårare att skydda det.
In other news, vad fan är det här med att föreslå att man ska få förstöra folks datorer för att hindra upphovsrättsintrång? Snacka om spårad firmafest när man skriver ihop 84 sidor absurdhet. Eller handlar det bara om att folk ska tycka “Det här är absurt. Vi kompromissar ner det till hälften”. Därför behöver EU stå upp för sitt folk och säga: “Bara så att ni vet, vi kompromissar inte. Backa.”