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Help Wanted Question about MARS and licensing

Discussion in 'Unity MARS' started by fherbst, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. fherbst

    fherbst

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    It's great seeing that Unity is now experimenting with Paid Packages — I hope MARS will in that sense pave the way to finally allow us to sell packages through AssetStore.

    However, the way this is currently implemented without a clear license or explanation is confusing:
    • MARS costs money.
    • MARS is publicly available through Package Manager if you know the name of the packages or know where to look.
    • the current version (1.0.0) of the MARS package itself is clearly licensed under the "Unity Companion License for Unity-dependent projects" - see http://www.unity3d.com/legal/licenses/Unity_Companion_License.
    So, what is right now? Is the license a mistake? If so, it would be great if you could clarify:
    • what license MARS is under
    • what we are and are not allowed to do with the code
      (e.g. can this code be put into a public repository with clear indicators and messaging that using it requires a license?)
     
  2. Jelmer123

    Jelmer123

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Posts:
    170
    I don't understand how the license could be a mistake if they clearly state that it is unity companion? Or do packages usually have a different license?
    PS: What does Unity Companion mean? Can you use examples etc in your own projects, as long as you use Unity (and not Unreal or something)?
     
  3. fherbst

    fherbst

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    That's why I'm asking, because it's a contradiction to it being charged for.

    Here's an excerpt from the link above, the full license text (the same license is shipped with MARS):
    I'm definitely not a lawyer, but if I take the above license seriously I can take that source code and use it and not pay for it, no matter how I acquired it. Also, I can publicly display it (e.g. upload it to a webserver). That's why I'd like clarification – maybe I'm understanding either the MARS licensing model or the companion license wrong.
     
  4. philc_unity

    philc_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Posts:
    23
    Thanks for the question you two. We weren't clear enough on this (apologies), so we'll be updating the language here to clarify that MARS is not under UCL. This was indeed a mistake on our part on the license referenced in the package.

    MARS is subject to our MARS Terms, which allow for (and we encourage) open source, public projects that use MARS, but where for practical purposes a MARS license is necessary for further development.
     
    jmunozarUTech likes this.
  5. fherbst

    fherbst

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm not sure I understand your remark about encouraging open source projects that use MARS; say I have MARS in a project and need to modify a single line of it - I would legally not be allowed to upload that project to GitHub publicly as per the MARS license (that prohibits distribution explicitly). If I understand it correctly that is a strong difference to the UCL that would allow me to upload such changed content.

    Even if I don't modify/embed MARS, the manifest would contain the pointers to the packages and download them for everyone, even people without license.

    Would be great to get your take on this and further clarification.
     
  6. philc_unity

    philc_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Posts:
    23
    We've updated the MARS Terms for clarity. Let me know if this helps -
    https://unity3d.com/legal/terms-of-service/mars

    You can upload the project to GitHub, with MARS referenced in the manifest. Users who download the project who don't have a valid Unity MARS subscription associated with their logged in Unity ID will see MARS features deactivated in the Unity Editor.
     
  7. fherbst

    fherbst

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Posts:
    760
    Thanks for clarifying. To my above question, maybe you could give a clear answer to that for completeness:
     
  8. philc_unity

    philc_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Posts:
    23
    Modified versions of MARS cannot be uploaded to GitHub publicly, but you may share with your collaborators privately. If you discover bugs or want to get your modifications into mainline MARS, you can submit them back to the team if you like.
     
    fherbst likes this.
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