It's always tricky (legally) making data available in a form which was not originally available, even if that data was otherwise publicly released. So, yes, we could include, or provide access to, the publicly available demo installer. Extracting the files it contains and just distributing some/all of those is not so clear-cut.
There was a case when the game was released of someone explaining how to play the full game (near enough) by using the data in the demo. I must admit I'm a bit fuzzy with the details; I would have thought that would only be possible if the player pirated the main game binary too but at that point why wouldn't they pirate the data as well? (Please note that I am not condoning piracy of Homeworld, just recounting an early hack! The game is so cheap now there's no excuse for not getting a legitimate copy.) My point is that re-combining various bits of publicly released game data/code to achieve results not originally intended by the publisher could create grounds for legal proceedings.
I don't believe you can still buy the Sierra/Relic version, only the Euro Vivendi/Relic one, which has a different contract apparently.
The demo data don't have this limitation at all.
The source code stills retains the hooks for the demo and I was working on getting it working again. The main issues are that the demo, Raider Retreat and the main game all use slightly different variants of the various data files because they were all produced at different points in development. Since they were all stand-alone and only the main game would be actively patched, that didn't really matter to Relic. It does make things tricky to fix for us, particularly since we don't have full code history; we start at the snapshot of code that Relic released and that post-dates everything.
Which part of the license
do you think prevents cross-platform development? That's not an interpretation I've seen before and i couldn't see anything after re-reading it!
Correct me if I am wrong, but Sierra On-Line & Relic were the 'owners', then Sierra got bought out by Activision. That pretty much means that Activision would hold all the cards for doing more Homeworld games, unless that part didn't transfer over on the sale, and Relic still owns "Homeworld".
In any case, since it says "distribute the SOFTWARE PRODUCT and the MODIFIED SOFTWARE" which means the source code & anything you have done to the source code, and "solely for non-commercial purposes, and only to registered members of RDN-RELIC Developer's Network who have agreed to abide by the terms of this Agreement." means that it can't be made available to anyone but people on the now defunct RDN-Relic Developer's Network.
Now, you may be saying, that this means we are all screwed... but after reviewing the terms, this little nugget is included,
3.1 Term. This Agreement shall become effective as of the date LICENSEE downloads or installs the SOFTWARE PRODUCT and shall expire five (5) years after such date.
It is now 2012, and so, this whole contract has expired, except for,
3.3 Survival. Sections 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 7 shall survive any expiration or termination of this Agreement.
1.4 Indemnity, 1.5 Trademarks, 2.1 Ownership, 3.2 Termination. RELIC may, at its sole discretion and authority, terminate this Agreement immediately upon notice including without limitation notice via email to LICENSEE, 4.1 NO WARRANTIES., 4.2 LIMITATION OF LIABILITY., 5.1 COPYRIGHT., and 7. General (too big to post)
This also means that Relic can do whatever they want with this now, which seems to indicate that if they don't want to be bothered with this, at worst, you can get a cease & desist letter *if* you include the original data (and not the demo's data).
In any case, this all boils down to section 1.1b is voided now
, which means that this can be thrown up on sourceforge or githib or whatever else.
Assuming that the original data can't be distributed along with the source, then the only option would be to use the demo's data files, and release builds that way, but ONLY if it is for non-commercial purposes, which means you can't charge for it at all, so all apple stuff is out, since apple requires a charge, not really sure for android, but I suppose it might be a safer bet, but not sure if android requires a contract or not, to keep it active, and not a brick.
(Since I'm starting a new thread: I am not a lawyer and the following is my own opinion/understanding of the current legalities.)
THQ bought the Homeworld franchise from Sierra/Activision and now owns the copyright/trademark, so you can't just distribute what was released by Sierra as you want without consequence, including the demo. The safest thing to do is distribute the original demo installer executable, have the user run that, and then hook into whatever files it puts on disk. Even then, this only provides you with a "working in best faith" argument should legal proceedings be brought.
You may have seen some other posts regarding attempts to get clarification of the source code licence. This is because everything became very murky once RDN was discontinued. The requirement to only transfer code between RDN members would mean that no new persons could ever work on the source code, and there is no practical way to ensure that anyone is/was a member. The next best thing we could do to keep things alive was to password-protect the repository and keep track of who had access to the code which is the intent of clause 1.1b. However, since access isn't being tracked in the proscribed way (i.e. RDN) we could in principle be asked to shut it down at any time.
I'd forgotten about 3.1 (five year expiry) but that doesn't mean what you think it means. The licence granting
permission to use their software has expired.
cannot technically do anything with it until the licence is renewed. Relic retain: the trademark (1.5); own the original and modified software (2.1); copyright (5.1); in perpetuity thanks to 3.3.
Distributing for non-commercial purposes means you have to make it available for no charge. Cross-platform development is allowed under those rules. Mac applications do not have to be distributed through the Mac App Store; any web site will do. It can be ported to iOS too but would require the user to have a jail-broken phone and you couldn't include the original game data files, so you'd need an extraction utility and app-recombination utility for the user to run too.
So, in summary, the general consensus before was "we're screwed" given the terms of the licence and the non-existence of RDN. I'm now of the opinion, thanks to the expiry, that "we're really screwed". I now appreciate LCID Fire's desire to obtain an official stance on this by Relic/THQ, either in the form of a new/updated licence, or a statement to the effect that none will be forthcoming.