Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

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Michel
Posts: 2198
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by Michel » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:34 pm

gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:26 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:20 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:18 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:57 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:38 pm
The following thought occurred to me... if Chessbase is claiming that the FF2 weights file is not subject to the GPLv3 that is tantamount to saying that the weights file is not subject to copyright.

If that is the case, then what is stopping anyone from buying FF2 and distributing the net/weights file around or putting it up on an FTP to download for free? If the nets/weights file is not copyrightable, then FF2/AS does not have copyright to it.
I assume it is distributed under a different license, just as the stockfish nets are distributed under the Creative Commons license rather than the GPLv3. (Note licensing presumes copyright.)
That's not possible. If it is copyrightable and it links with Stockfish, then it is subject to the GPLv3 end of story. If it isn't copyrightable, then anyone can copy it.
It’s been reported that the binary and network are now separate. Is that not true? Also, by that logic could SF not be covered by ChessBases’ license? How do you figure out which one wins out?
It is clear you know nothing about the GPLv3. Maybe just bow out with your ignorance.
I think it is you that is wrong. Old game engines are often GPL but the level files are not (for example the old doom).

It really depends on whether you think of a NN as data or code. I think it is code since it replaces code. But the consensus seems to be that it is data.
Ideas=science. Simplification=engineering.
Without ideas there is nothing to simplify.

gonzochess75
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Full name: Adam Treat

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by gonzochess75 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:35 pm

dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:30 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:26 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:20 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:18 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:57 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:38 pm
The following thought occurred to me... if Chessbase is claiming that the FF2 weights file is not subject to the GPLv3 that is tantamount to saying that the weights file is not subject to copyright.

If that is the case, then what is stopping anyone from buying FF2 and distributing the net/weights file around or putting it up on an FTP to download for free? If the nets/weights file is not copyrightable, then FF2/AS does not have copyright to it.
I assume it is distributed under a different license, just as the stockfish nets are distributed under the Creative Commons license rather than the GPLv3. (Note licensing presumes copyright.)
That's not possible. If it is copyrightable and it links with Stockfish, then it is subject to the GPLv3 end of story. If it isn't copyrightable, then anyone can copy it.
It’s been reported that the binary and network are now separate. Is that not true? Also, by that logic could SF not be covered by ChessBases’ license? How do you figure out which one wins out?
It is clear you know nothing about the GPLv3. Maybe just bow out with your ignorance.
Why don’t you educate me? What is it that I misunderstand? Also, does this really have to be such a confrontational discussion?
Why don't you educate yourself? You've misunderstood the GPL, its terms, what a derivative work is, what a copyrightable work is, which are basically all necessary things pertinent to this discussion. If you don't like the confrontational discussion you engender, then consider apologizing (again) for your unwarranted accusations and stop the concerned trolling.

gonzochess75
Posts: 190
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Full name: Adam Treat

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by gonzochess75 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:36 pm

Michel wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:34 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:26 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:20 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:18 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:57 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:38 pm
The following thought occurred to me... if Chessbase is claiming that the FF2 weights file is not subject to the GPLv3 that is tantamount to saying that the weights file is not subject to copyright.

If that is the case, then what is stopping anyone from buying FF2 and distributing the net/weights file around or putting it up on an FTP to download for free? If the nets/weights file is not copyrightable, then FF2/AS does not have copyright to it.
I assume it is distributed under a different license, just as the stockfish nets are distributed under the Creative Commons license rather than the GPLv3. (Note licensing presumes copyright.)
That's not possible. If it is copyrightable and it links with Stockfish, then it is subject to the GPLv3 end of story. If it isn't copyrightable, then anyone can copy it.
It’s been reported that the binary and network are now separate. Is that not true? Also, by that logic could SF not be covered by ChessBases’ license? How do you figure out which one wins out?
It is clear you know nothing about the GPLv3. Maybe just bow out with your ignorance.
I think it is you that is wrong. Old game engines are often GPL but the level files are not (for example the old doom).

It really depends on whether you think of a NN as data or code. I think it is code since it replaces code. But the consensus seems to be that it is data.
If it is code, then it is a derivative work of SF and thus subject to the GPLv3 as all such derivative works are. If it is data, then it is not copyrightable.

dkappe
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Full name: Dietrich Kappe

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by dkappe » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:45 pm

gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:35 pm
Why don't you educate yourself? You've misunderstood the GPL, its terms, what a derivative work is, what a copyrightable work is, which are basically all necessary things pertinent to this discussion. If you don't like the confrontational discussion you engender, then consider apologizing (again) for your unwarranted accusations and stop the concerned trolling.
You asked a question about whether a neural network file could be copyrighted. I tried to answer your question as best I could, in good faith. I’m sure many other software developers have had to deal with integrating pretrained models and have heard legal advice similar to what I’ve heard, which is: probably, but it has yet to be tested in court. I thought that would be of interest to engine authors who are distributing nets with their engines.

Now if you want to turn this into another FF2 vs SF food fight, go right ahead, but without me.

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hgm
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Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by hgm » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:39 pm

To not rehash things indefinitely, let me shortly summarize the conclusion of the previous discussion on this:

* The FF2 net is not liked to Stockfish anymore.
* NNUE nets are most likely copyrightable.
* The copyright holder of the FF2 net is either ChessBase or Albert Silver
* So the license for using or copying the net is whatever they say it is.
* They never stated anywhere that license is GPL.
* If something with an incompatible license is linked to a GPL binary, the result is not legally distributable.
* If someone illegally distributes it, the copyright holders of the GPL-ed work can sue that someone.
* Winning such a court case would result in the illegal distributer to be ordered to stop distributing, and possibly play damages as set by the court.

Right so far?

gonzochess75
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Full name: Adam Treat

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by gonzochess75 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:42 pm

I contend that:

1) NNUE nets are not copyrightable.
2) If they are copyrightable, then they are clearly subject to the GPLv3 with Stockfish.

I don't think there is any way to get around that. I think the most likely reality is #1 full stop.

Michel
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Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by Michel » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:45 pm

gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:36 pm
Michel wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:34 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:26 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:20 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:18 pm
dkappe wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:57 pm
gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:38 pm
The following thought occurred to me... if Chessbase is claiming that the FF2 weights file is not subject to the GPLv3 that is tantamount to saying that the weights file is not subject to copyright.

If that is the case, then what is stopping anyone from buying FF2 and distributing the net/weights file around or putting it up on an FTP to download for free? If the nets/weights file is not copyrightable, then FF2/AS does not have copyright to it.
I assume it is distributed under a different license, just as the stockfish nets are distributed under the Creative Commons license rather than the GPLv3. (Note licensing presumes copyright.)
That's not possible. If it is copyrightable and it links with Stockfish, then it is subject to the GPLv3 end of story. If it isn't copyrightable, then anyone can copy it.
It’s been reported that the binary and network are now separate. Is that not true? Also, by that logic could SF not be covered by ChessBases’ license? How do you figure out which one wins out?
It is clear you know nothing about the GPLv3. Maybe just bow out with your ignorance.
I think it is you that is wrong. Old game engines are often GPL but the level files are not (for example the old doom).

It really depends on whether you think of a NN as data or code. I think it is code since it replaces code. But the consensus seems to be that it is data.
If it is code, then it is a derivative work of SF and thus subject to the GPLv3 as all such derivative works are. If it is data, then it is not copyrightable.
Again: think of the example of a GPL'ed game engine with copyrighted level files (I think most people would agree that level files are data). This scenario is very common (old versions of doom, quake,...).
Ideas=science. Simplification=engineering.
Without ideas there is nothing to simplify.

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hgm
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Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by hgm » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:56 pm

gonzochess75 wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:42 pm
I contend that:

1) NNUE nets are not copyrightable.
2) If they are copyrightable, then they are clearly subject to the GPLv3 with Stockfish.

I don't think there is any way to get around that. I think the most likely reality is #1 full stop.
I suppose you mean one or the other here.

Well, 1 seems wrong. The NNUE weights represent chess knowledge, which could have been painstakenly collected by the creator of the net, through selecting what to offer as training material. As such they are the result of an intellectual effort, and thus count as intellectual property. To which copyright law then automatically applies.

2) seems also completely wrong. 'Clearly' here only seems to mean 'because I think and say so', but have no factual legal basis.

In copyright law things are released under the licence stipulated by the copyright holder.
The most you could claim is that it is illegal to link the FF2 net with Stockfish, because they have incompatible license.

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hgm
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Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by hgm » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:03 pm

[Moderation] It seems that there are copies of the FF2 network offered for free download. As far as my understanding of the law goes, this counts as a breach of copyright law. (See my previous postings in that thread, and Michel's example of gaming engines and data). Hence the TalkChess charter forbids posting links to those downloads.

Please do not post such links again.

Michel
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Are neural nets (the weights file) copyrightable?

Post by Michel » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:04 pm

hgm wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:56 pm

The most you could claim is that it is illegal to link the FF2 net with Stockfish, because they have incompatible license.
It would clearly be illegal to put them in the same binary. However if they are separate and one thinks of a net as pure data (but a creative work) then I think it is ok. Here there is some discussion about combining a GPL game engine with non-GPL assets https://opensource.stackexchange.com/qu ... sed-assets
Last edited by Michel on Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ideas=science. Simplification=engineering.
Without ideas there is nothing to simplify.

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