#1312 Add free OGG music from Vulture-NetHack project


The Vulture-NetHack project with its source code here is an open-source game that includes 21 OGG music files that are available under an open source license, specifically the NetHack General Public License. The specific 21 OGG music files can be found here, or downloaded along with the entire source code here (look in the vulture\gamedata\music subdirectory). My suggestion is to see which of them would be appropriate to include in the Stendhal game, and add as many as possible to specific parts of the game. OGG is the music format used by Stendhal too, and Stendhal is also an open-source project. The NetHack General Public License is entirely compatible with using the music in a GNU GPL game such as Stendhal, as long as you add a copy of the NetHack General Public License to the licenses directory of the source code and specify which OGG music files or other resources from the Vulture-NetHack game you are using. Additionally, Stendhal is in need of more music to add to the game, and ideally music to add to Stendhal should be in the OGG format already and be under an open source license. This music from Vulture-NetHack meets both of these requirements. Currently, Stendhal has 21 OGG music tracks used in different parts of the game. Adding the 21 from Vulture-Nethack would double the number of music tracks in the game to 42. I highly recommend doing this. Of course each new music track would have to be associated with a given location and/or situation in the game. They could be associated with certain dungeons, cities, etc. This would help alleviate the problem of the general lack of much music in Stendhal. (And of course players who don't want to hear music can just turn the music volume down to 0 in their Stendhal settings as always.)


  • Rich McGrew

    Rich McGrew - 2014-01-23

    The original source of the music for Vulture-NetHack was the earlier Falcon's Eye NetHack project, which is under the same license, and hosted on sourceforge here. Vulture-NetHack is by Clive Crous and Falcon's Eye was by Jaakko Peltonen. So the music appears to have originally been composed for MIDI by Jaakko Peltonen for Falcon's Eye NetHack, then converted to OGG by Clive Crous for Vulture-NetHack. And all versions of it have been available under the same NetHack General Public License. The original music is in the subdirectory win\jtp\gamedata\sound of the source code for Falcon's Eye (as MIDI files) and 11 instruments (public domain audio from Roland's S-750 sample library) along with a README are in the \sys\share\sounds subdirectory of the Falcon's Eye source code. There is a copyright notice in the Falcon's Eye source code at \win\jtp\gamedata\readme.txt where the music files, in MIDI format, are all copyright (c) 2001 Jaakko Peltonen, making him the sole copyright holder of the original versions of the music. If the music is needed under a different license such as GNU GPL, Jaako Peltonen can be contacted at http://users.ics.aalto.fi/jtpelto/ (he is currently a computer science professor at Aalto University in Aalto, Finland).

    According to the Fedora Project's licensing page, the NetHack General Public License is considered a free license by the Free Software Foundation and it is also listed as an approved license by the Open Source Initiative, however the Fedora Project lists it as incompatible with the GPLv2. However, if the original copyright holder, in this case, Jaako Peltonen, is contacted, and agrees to make the music files in question available under the GNU GPL, this will resolve all licensing issues and allow the music to be included in Stendhal. Because the instrument library used to convert from MIDI to Ogg is public domain as specified in "\sys\share\sounds\README" of the Falcon's Eye source code, getting permission from Jaako Peltonen for the MIDI files to be under the GNU GPL will also allow the Ogg files to be covered by the GNU GPL as well. So, whether or not this music can be included depends on whether we can contact Jaako Peltonen and have him make it available under the GNU GPL, because of the incompatibility between GNU GPL and NetHack GPL. He could also make it available under another license such as CC0, CC-BY, GNU LGPL, BSD license, or something else that is GNU GPL-compatible.

    Another interesting thing to note is that the NetHack General Public License is basically a renamed BISON General Public License, yet currently GNU BISON is licensed under the GNU GPL v3. Either this means that the NetHack General Public License and BISON General Public License are both compatible with the GNU General Public License, or it means that all the copyright holders of BISON agreed to re-license it under the GNU GPL despite it being incompatible with the previous BISON GPL. It would be interesting to find out from the GNU/FSF exactly what the deal is with the BISON General Public License and whether this implies compatibility between the GNU GPL and the NetHack General Public License. Also, the fact that NetHack is allowed to be included as a part of the Fedora Project Linux distribution also implies a certain degree of license compatibility. However, the text of the Nethack General Public License itself seems to state quite clearly that anything that includes any of it must also be licensed under the Nethack General Public License, too. Yet Fedora includes NetHack as a package you can download, and GNU BISON is now licensed by the GNU GPL, so those both point towards compatibility. I don't exactly know what this means, as it is seemingly contradictory.

    Last edit: Rich McGrew 2014-01-23
  • Rich McGrew

    Rich McGrew - 2014-01-23

    Zone recommendations for the OGG files from Vulture-NetHack:
    aircaves.ogg - Fado outdoor zones
    ambient1.ogg - Athor outdoor zones (including ship and island)
    ambient2.ogg - Nalwor outdoor zones
    ascended.ogg - Semos outdoor zones (excluding Semos city and village)
    battle1.ogg - Semos Dungeon
    battle2.ogg - Orril Dungeon
    battle3.ogg - Athor Dungeon
    died.ogg - don't use, too short
    earthcav.ogg - caves in Semos mountains with giants and dragons
    firecave.ogg - sewers under Ados
    intro.ogg - Orril outdoor zones
    lament1.ogg - Ados outdoor zones (excluding Ados city)
    lament2.ogg - Amazon outdoor zones
    levelup.ogg - don't use, too short
    mines.ogg - Semos mines/Wofol/connected caves
    nethack.ogg - Ados city
    oracle.ogg - caves in and near Ados Rock
    quit.ogg - don't use, too short
    shopping.ogg - Semos city and village
    town.ogg - Kirdneh outdoor zones
    watercav.ogg - Kalavan outdoor zones

    These are just my rough ideas of course, somebody else can change them if you want.



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