Puh, I'm surprised and not surprised at the same time that a license debate hit the factorio community (as well). I'm always severely saddened by this as it usually only leads to suffering (which we already see here) - and later people leaving in anger. It's a field scattered in highly-explosives mines, sadly where people also quickly mis-understand eachother.
Let me share some thoughts and insights I gained from (many) similar debates in the OpenTTD community from several sides (developer, mod creator). The result over there is basically the same as we see here now: a mod portal where any mod author can upload, provided he agrees to the TOS (terms of service) which means to allows distribution of mods by the game. Players can download them, and one can even view the license ingame - which can be any license a mod creator cares to choose. And time and again I have to answer people asking to monetize on OpenTTD on Youtube etc: "yes, you may with default game, but check licenses of any add-ons you might use".
It's (not only) those times that I wish that the TOS for the mod portal also contained a phrase which grants any LetsPlayers, YouTubers etc to show the game with whatever mods and extensions they care to use - without asking questions. Yes, some of them make a living of them playing games, thus it's definitely commercial. Yet doing so, they do the game a favour as a whole, they produce free ads for everyone, the game, the mod(s) being used, the community at large even. It's IMHO quite detrimental when such usage is being limited and fragmented. Derivatives of the mods (source code wise) themselves is an entirely different subject and can be allowed or not... and is not subject to limits in the TOS.
Thus for me the lesson learnt is:
Mods which don't want to allow being used and presented in video and text in social should have the option disgree with Wube's TOS of the mod portal and thus NOT use it for distribution.. That keeps it clean and simple for everyone: everything I can download from Wube and inside Factorio is free to use by the same conditions for creation of derived content like Factorio itself. Everything else: download elsewhere.
Another point is monetization on mods themselves. There's two way I can see that happen:
* payed DLC, thus that a mod can only be downloaded after you churned over xx€ via PayPal or whatever. Pretty sure I'd not be happy to see such infrastructure within the core game, though.
* Link to mod page (which can offer extensive description and links to Patron, PayPal etc) and possibly even directly a donation button. Then I can donate to mod creators easily
Yet, both ways mean a lot of extra work on Factorio side itself for... probably moderate benefit.
Last edited by planetmaker
on Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.