Allow off-site links for licensing purposes

As a developer, Roblox is making it impossible to respect licenses. Some licenses require that the original license be provided in any derivative works as-is, but if that original license includes off-site links, it’s not allowed on Roblox. For example, from the Apache 2.0 license

The Apache 2.0 license requires that developers provide a copy of the exact license, but it also includes a link to the Apache website. Some licenses also direct to websites owned by the creator of the work. This means that developers are unable to use the work, have to break the Roblox rules to include off-site links, or may ruin Roblox’s reputation by becoming renown for developers not including licenses, ignoring their terms.

This is a challenge as Roblox developers begin to make use of more and more professional resources. If Roblox is able to address this issue, the platform would be more professional and respectable. It may also make Roblox a more compatible environment for professionals trying out Roblox instead of Unity/etc.

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Is it not possible to omit the link to comply with Roblox’s rules? Asking to allow off-site links is a bit too broad for a case like this, it’d make more sense to request to permit licensing links but I believe you should try contacting the license provider about making an exception for the link first before pushing further.

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No, licenses usually require they be distributed unmodified.

This is not always possible. Large companies such as Valve don’t work with developers one-on-one to fit their needs with licenses. In the case that it does work for smaller companies, this is fine as a workaround, but definitely not where Roblox needs to be long term.

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I understand that a lot of license terms cannot be exempt even with reasonable appeal, although it sounds more like you just want Roblox to solve this for you because you assume that any particular license - including the example you provided - is not modifiable even for legal reasons and that attempting to contact the license provider is pointless. It’s not fair to say that Roblox is making it impossible to respect licenses if you haven’t tried to find a way around your own case yet. Yes, Roblox must be ready to comply or compromise with strict license terms but “usually” and “not always” can’t speak for all of them.

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As someone who currently develops a product which involves Roblox as it’s development platform, I agree this is an issue. We currently include the license as a script inside our products and try our best to avoid off-site links by including the raw content in the script.

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The issue is trying to keep that updated, especially for privacy policies and terms of service which are subject to change per major product update.

I agree that Roblox should allow us to insert off-site links to things such as licenses, terms, privacy policies, etc if they’re using third party resources as most developers at some point will.

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The reason why most developers pick these standard template licenses is because they don’t want to spend any time on legal stuff or answering questions from people on how they should work with the license. These developers won’t be amicable to requests to adapt the license just so you can use it, they either won’t feel the want or have the time to help you with that, and they won’t be understanding of this particular problem (because it is mostly a nonsensical one, we should be able to include license links in source files). This problem really is a policy problem that Roblox should look into, not one that can be easily solved by working around the policies.

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I run into the same problem with my church copyright license (CCLI)! Roblox needs to add a box where you can input a license id or license link in the configure tab of an audio asset. It doesn’t even have to be public, just allowing them to insert it behind the scenes so that the moderation bot can see it.

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I would prefer the licence to be public, this clearly shows to both Roblox, the player base and passers by of your usage of the music, including the right to use the music in other mediums such as YouTube.

This could save the bacon of a few users if this minor change was made.

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All the big ones are.

For the big ones it is.

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I think the point in the link is that it has to be public, this is so that the publicising of their works brings them more traffic and customers to other work they have which may not be free (this is how they make money)

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yeah I feel that off site link rules limit developers from growing their brands in more than one way

it hurts potential partnerships with outside resources, but I believe it’s one of the biggest reasons we haven’t seen Roblox games regularly create merchandise. They simply cannot link to their own websites/partner with others to make it a reality because there’s no way to promote it without violating Roblox’s ToS.

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I seriously feel like Roblox should allow off-site links on a case by case basis. I’m having serious trouble attributing Creative Commons content that requires it (many require a direct link).

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Just received a warning for respecting a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. As Roblox grows and development does too, then Roblox has to adjust. Making everything ourselves is sometimes barely possible, and for some, impossible. If we had the option to use work made by others if we just include the proper credit as required by the license, then professional development would grow massively. It’s sad to see that Roblox claims they prioritize professional development, but 15 years after Roblox was founded, they still do not allow off-site links for licensing? This feature is still needed, as much as it was needed when the original feature request was filled for ten months ago.

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