Well, then this 'web service'/NewGRF repository should only contain NewGRFs licensed under a free(as in freedom)-licnese. Although I think that the NewGRF management in OpenTTD should be improved first.
How can the service determine whether it is released under a free license? The only way to do that properly is via the following:
I can see there might be issues with automatic download from saved game or server. This could be over come by adding a flag to the graphic set: allow distribution which if not present would stop the set being listed and thus automatically retrieved.
The major problem with this is that the NewGRF developers of the most used NewGRFs (ECS, dbsetxl, long vehicles, PBI, UKRS and such) do not like their NewGRFs to be automatically downloaded. This basically comes to the point that downloading the NewGRFs is useless because you still need to download a major part of the NewGRFs.
Adding the flag is also quite dubious, because the owner of the server can simply say that all NewGRFs it uses has the flag set. This would make the NewGRF authors that do not want their NewGRFs to be automatically distributed 'angry', which might *very well* result in deliberately making the NewGRFs incompatible with OpenTTD.
So to sum it up: adding automatic downloading of NewGRFs adds a great risk in losing the ability to actually use a major set of the NewGRFs. So it is: ease of use of NewGRFs vs. use of NewGRFs.
I missed that conversation. Can anyone link me to the forum posts.
A simple search would've given you (for example) viewtopic.php?f=36&t=32764