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Recent ToS update blocks the use of SpatialOS to make games in Unity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AtomiCal, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. daschatten

    daschatten

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    The last time i played a SpatialOS game the client was downloaded to my machine on start. So it is running locally not in the cloud.
     
  2. mephistonight

    mephistonight

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    This isn't actually true. SpatialOS runs headless Linux builds on a cloud infrastructure. The client doesn't run on the cloud.

    Also, this IS a change to their ToS. It hasn't always been there. The addition of cloud services is the problem, not the streaming section. Note the difference below between the ToS in July vs. the change this December:

    2.4 Streaming and Cloud Gaming Restrictions.
    You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software, or your Project Content (if it incorporates the runtime portion) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by a server and transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices without a separate license from Unity. This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device. You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.
    (July 2018)
    vs
    2.4 Streaming and Cloud Gaming Restrictions.
    You may not directly or indirectly distribute the Unity Software, including the runtime portion of the Unity Software (the “Unity Runtime”), or your Project Content (if it incorporates the Unity Runtime) by means of streaming or broadcasting so that any portion of the Unity Software is primarily executed on or simulated by the cloud or a remote server and transmitted over the Internet or other network to end user devices without a separate license or authorization from Unity. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not use a managed service running on cloud infrastructure (a “Managed Service”) or a specific integration of a binary add-on (for example, a plugin or SDK) or source code to be integrated in the Unity Software or Your Project Content incorporating the Unity Runtime (an “SDK Integration”) to install or execute the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server, unless such use of the Managed Service or SDK Integration has been specifically authorized by Unity. Additionally, you may not integrate the Unity Runtime with a Managed Service or SDK Integration and offer that integration to third parties for the purpose of installing or using the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server. For a list of Unity authorized streaming platforms, Managed Services and SDK Integrations, click here.This restriction does not prevent end users from remotely accessing your Project Content from an end user device that is running on another end user device. You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.
    (December 2018/January 2019)
     
  3. Kylotan

    Kylotan

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    What restriction? The ToS says: "you may not use a managed service running on cloud infrastructure [...] to install or execute the Unity Runtime on the cloud or a remote server"

    No distinction between a Unity game client or game server (which is a blurry line anyway)
     
  4. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    Hi Ryiah,
    to clarify, Improbable are stating these changes were made on Dec 5th 2018. Their service runs multiple headless server deployments of a game, sending back the results of running the simulations to the clients running on a users local machine, the same as any dedicated headless server but at scale, it doesn't stream the rendered output to the client directly. Unity have confirmed this type of use by Improbable is in violation of ToS 2.4.

    Edit: @mephistonight beat me there
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  5. gypaetus

    gypaetus

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    You're mischaracterizing several events and services.
    Onlive was strictly a video streaming service. SpatialOS is a distributed server architecture. Game clients are still required w/ Spatial. Clients perform all graphics processing with Spatial.

    Spatial isn't protesting a requirement for a specific license. Their license was revoked with 0 paths forward.
     
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  6. Lostlogic

    Lostlogic

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    Hopefully Unity will say something soon as to what this really means (other than in a TOS document.) Will be a platform decision for me if not addressed. Seems it would even affect something like Magic Leap as well since it streams from the device to the headset.
     
  7. Buhlaine

    Buhlaine

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    Hey everyone, we have many different Unity staff members working on this. Feel free to continue on-topic discussion. I'll update this thread when we have more information to share.
     
  8. spectre1989

    spectre1989

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    Hehe yeah, looks like we can't even use Multiplay at the moment! :D
     
  9. sinzer0

    sinzer0

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    Improbable is claiming otherwise in their blog. All the news articles say the same thing that Unity recently changed something in that section. Are you sure it has not been changed?

     
  10. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Okay. I won't deny I'm likely way off on my interpretation. That said I believe I'm still accurate in that they can just acquire the special license or authorization mentioned by the ToS and continue providing the service they do.
     
  11. Karasu416

    Karasu416

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    Regardless of SpatialOS's response to the situation, and whether or not they do or don't want to pay some sort of licensing fee, from the sounds of this Unity hit them with this suddenly even if it was added to the TOS a bit ago.
    At the very least Unity should not have done this quietly and should have clarified the situation, giving them a headsup that this was coming so SpatialOS could help their clients manage any sort of changes and transitions they will need to make due to the effects of this.

    This is potentially damaging and may cause downtime to games and companies that were made using this service prior to the TOS change. Unity needs to step up their game when it comes to properly communicating these sorts of things. It definitely wouldn't have been as big of an issue if they had.
     
  12. mephistonight

    mephistonight

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    Perhaps, yeah but.. I started using Unity all those years ago because they were moving more and more towards a fairly open eco-system. IF Unity's intention is to lock developers in to a single networking solution then it seriously puts in to doubt whether or not mine and many other companies will want to invest so heavily in the use of the engine. Closed systems like that are bad for open development and innovation. The whole thing stinks.
     
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  13. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    True, but if they're charging an unknown amount for this 'special license' then in no way is this acceptable business practice we'd want to see in game development, what's next to change?
     
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  14. 00jknight

    00jknight

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    WOW. This is SHOCKING.

    I hope Unity understands how important this is and how big of a misstep this was.
     
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  15. Adam-Sowinski

    Adam-Sowinski

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    There is a big money in cloud multiplayer solutions. Unity wants that money. That's it.
     
  16. stonstad

    stonstad

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    This has ramifications for our in-development title. We aren't using SpatialOS but we are testing use of Unity on our servers. That should be no big surprise from a game architecture standpoint. Epic obviously doesn't have this limitation -- I'm sure the Unity team wants their engine to remain competitive.
     
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  17. rmenapace

    rmenapace

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    Looks like we've gone from the democratization of game development to the monetization of game development. Mission statement needs an update.
     
  18. gregorypierce

    gregorypierce

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    The biggest mistake Unity made was in changing the TOS without providing clarification via the blog of what the change meant. The legal language is pretty open to interpretation, which is what lawyers do, but Unity should have said what the intent was so that it was clearer. Would have prevented a lot of angst in the community. More than likely this doesn't impact the vast majority of business models, but with such vague license changes its impossible to know.
     
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  19. tiggus

    tiggus

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    It doesn't really make much sense when taken in context to recent videos/blogs about their new networking solution where they explicitly said the new networking solution could be used on other cloud services/dedicated servers. This would literally be the exact opposite of that.
     
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  20. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Absolutely *anything* not 100% owned by you.
     
  21. ambershee

    ambershee

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    When it comes to legals, intent is one thing, but you should always RAW (read-as-written). Ambiguity is bad for all involved.
     
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  22. malrion

    malrion

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    Regardless of whether or not Improbable is just playing the PR game (I'm sure there are two sides to this story) when thinking purely about developers, having this part of the TOS enforced clearly would not be a good move.

    I know a lot of excellent people at Unity personally. I'm sure there are a lot of people internally that would fight against this, so I'm confident this will be resolved in a way that allows developers on Improbable (such as myself) to continue developing our dreams.

    Hoping to hear back with some positive news soon :)
     
  23. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I absolutely agree. All business-changing decisions that affect the business of Unity's customers need to be clearly blogged ahead of time and explained in layman's terms.

    Unity will (it's not optional judging by the backlash) do this in future. They have done so in the past with scripting or other changes that can affect business. Likely not this time because Legal and upper management don't really have a structure in place to communicate that outside of Unity and they should not, but they should definitely have a plan for mitigating customer damage for each internal action they make.

    With scripting changes, it's easier: Unityscript's depreciation did affect businesses of customers, but not much since Unity communicated effectively ahead of time.

    When it's a management/legal change, obviously Unity isn't so hot. It's not the first time it's happened either - people repeatedly getting mailed by 3rd party companies out of the blue with no prior warning is not commendable either.

    I don't mind telling Unity off for this, because it's a rookie mistake, but I also don't think Unity is out to destroy customer relations either.

    So they will respond, and they will put in some kind of step in the company so that whenever something potentially affects the customers, they have to run it past PR.
     
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  24. Lostlogic

    Lostlogic

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    Can I still upload to Steam for distribution or is that a conflict as well?
     
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  25. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You're fine to carry on business as usual for deploying your games to stores where the customer will buy it and run it on their own machine as normal, be it a phone app or steam game.

    Dunno about things like streaming or spatial OS or anything like that though. Unity has to clarify.
     
  26. xVergilx

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    Unity's runtime .dll counts towards Unity's software, right? And without it you can't do anything at all.

    So that makes any build invalid if Unity has decided that it cannot be published on X distribution platform. Unless I'm missing something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  27. stephanu

    stephanu

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    The TOS only forbids running Unity on cloud servers, not general distribution of Unity games.

    I really hope this is resolved quickly. I cannot believe that this was intended by Unity.
     
  28. Simon-Roth

    Simon-Roth

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  29. gregorypierce

    gregorypierce

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    No doubt, but while the lawyers are crafting a change to the TOS to fix this whirlwind of uncertainty they've created (which could take weeks to months since they will likely have to consult outside counsel) a clarification of intent will help people to keep moving without fear that what they are working on will end up on the trash heap. This event is going to escalate into a PR nightmare the longer Unity takes to respond so they need to address it quickly.
     
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  30. phil-harvey

    phil-harvey

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    Actually could mean general distribution.

    You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services.
     
  31. HarvesteR

    HarvesteR

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    This is bad, really bad.

    I'm REALLY hoping this is just a mistake somehow.

    Those terms as they are could be taken to prohibit services as simple as MP matchmaking (if you're hosting them on AWS, for instance, that's on the cloud isn't it?).

    Let's hope this is not something Unity is doing deliberately, because the alternative would be unspeakably evil.

    Cheers
     
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  32. TheBeardPhantom

    TheBeardPhantom

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    As a heads up to posts like this, this is how Unity Software is defined in the legal agreements:

    8.13 “Unity Software” means all versions and updates of all the downloadable Unity Pro, Unity Plus and Unity Personal software products identified on Unity’s website.

    I don’t think this applies to games made with Unity, just the engine itself.
     
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  33. galent

    galent

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    Hey Hippo,

    It's been quite a while since I've cruised back to the forums, and I find it unfortunate that this is the kind of news that brings me back. I agree with the previous posts about the very unclear nature of this change, and alarming implications. I am just in the middle of making early game dev planning decisions for multiple project efforts, 90% of which were intended for Unity based projects. But now....

    I haven't seen something like this since Apple's "third party engine" fiasco in '09

    What's happening over at Unity?
     
  34. stephanu

    stephanu

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    Did you paraphrase that or is this a verbatim quote? Jesus...
     
  35. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    I was referring to this:
    I know that this could be indeed a mistake made by UT lawyers.
    If not, then it may be Unity who will decide where you can publish your games and where you cannot in the future.

    If you don't believe me, here a link to ToS, see for yourself:
    https://unity3d.com/ru/legal/terms-of-service

    Because runtime libraries of Unity is property of Unity which is Unity Software.
     
  36. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Custom licenses cost an unknown amount because the price is negotiated based on the needs of the project. I can't think of a single situation where a custom license hasn't been handled in this manner regardless of the companies involved.
     
  37. phil-harvey

    phil-harvey

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    From the TOS. Last sentence.
     
  38. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I'm just going to put $10 on the table and say that this is because Unity is planning on a competing service of their own.
     
  39. Raystorm

    Raystorm

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    I hope they do clarify this in a more understandable & detailed manner.
    because I remember them saying in their blog post comment that "you can host the game servers themselves anyway you like (not only on a google server somewhere), do it yourself or allow your players to do it".

    hope they assess this quickly before it blows up even further (lots of media is starting to get on this).
     
  40. phil-harvey

    phil-harvey

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  41. stephanu

    stephanu

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    I believe you and had a look myself. That actually sounds like Steam would be forbidden under these terms...
     
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  42. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    @Buhlaine Thank you for the relatively prompt reply, glad someone will get back to everyone regarding the situation.

    Unity has always been pushing for more democracy in games development, not less, so I am sure this is just a simple misunderstanding on the communities side, probably exasperated/caused by a lack of clarification via a blog post etc.

    For now I guess we should all sit tight and await official word rather than guessing what this means, I guess. I dont think any of us here are lawyers of tort or lawyers dealing with contract law, so this is probably the safest thing to do for now instead of lighting the issue up further than needs (but has naturally and understandably got people up in arms).

    That said, if anyone here is a lawyer and can understand this clearer than the rest, please let us know what you think!
     
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  43. sinzer0

    sinzer0

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  44. Laurence_Whaites

    Laurence_Whaites

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    Sure, but not after the fact and inventing a 'custom licence' contrary to the existing model, without pre warning. That in my opinion isn't an acceptable move by, for all of us here, a business partner.
     
  45. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    I really hope unity clean up this mess of press soon, I am not siding on whether they should or shouldnt have done this as I dont know the ins and outs, but as a Unity lover and longtime developer, it pains me to see all the competition laughing at the chance to put out bad press regarding our beloved engine like this....
     
  46. rasto61

    rasto61

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  47. J_P_

    J_P_

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    The clause states:

    "You may not use a third party to directly or indirectly distribute or make available, stream, broadcast (through simulation or otherwise) any portion of the Unity Software unless that third party is authorized by Unity to provide such services."

    And earlier, it lists the runtime as a "portion" of Unity Software.

    I'm not a lawyer but these clauses seem way too broad.
     
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  48. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    Yeah I really dont think you need to be trying to cause a flame war here mate. You really think a $5 billion+ company will make a big far sweeping business move based on a forum thread?

    Theres enough anger here without you trying to make it worse. Fam.
     
  49. rasto61

    rasto61

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    Oh almost forgot ... \s

    Not sure why so much bitterness. I'm fairly positive that this is just bad wording, since if what everyone here is saying about the tos were true Unity would be shooting itself in the foot, which doesn't make sense.

    Edit: and perhaps better to wait for an announcement from Unity.
     
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  50. theunitydev

    theunitydev

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    Acts like this are inexcusable. Here I come, Unreal Engine / Lumberyard.
     
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