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And as for license..
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W1ZrD
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:36 am    Post subject: And as for license.. Reply with quote

Already from the start we have to make sure that we can keep the project open. Under no circumstances should we start mixing copyrighted work in to this, then it all would crumble and fall.

So, the question is really...what do we base the project upon? GPLv2 (which is most common right now) or GPLv3? The problem is that these two are not compatible with each other, that's why it has to be one, or the other. Stallman will release a GPLv4 which eliminates the incompatibility issues if possible, but until then we need to decide which one, and stick to our guns.

For instance, the game engines Ogre 3D and CrystalSpace both use LGPL, take a look at it here: www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html

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Last edited by W1ZrD on Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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W1ZrD
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: And as for licence.. Reply with quote

The LGPL vs the GPL

The GNU Project has two principal licenses to use for libraries. One is the GNU Library GPL; the other is the ordinary GNU GPL. The choice of license makes a big difference: using the Library GPL permits use of the library in proprietary programs; using the ordinary GPL for a library makes it available only for free programs.

Which license is best for a given library is a matter of strategy, and it depends on the details of the situation. At present, most GNU libraries are covered by the Library GPL, and that means we are using only one of these two strategies, neglecting the other. So we are now seeking more libraries to release under the ordinary GPL.

Proprietary software developers have the advantage of money; free software developers need to make advantages for each other. Using the ordinary GPL for a library gives free software developers an advantage over proprietary developers: a library that they can use, while proprietary developers cannot use it.

Using the ordinary GPL is not advantageous for every library. There are reasons that can make it better to use the Library GPL in certain cases. The most common case is when a free library's features are readily available for proprietary software through other alternative libraries. In that case, the library cannot give free software any particular advantage, so it is better to use the Library GPL for that library.

This is why we used the Library GPL for the GNU C library. After all, there are plenty of other C libraries; using the GPL for ours would have driven proprietary software developers to use another-no problem for them, only for us.

However, when a library provides a significant unique capability, like GNU Readline, that's a horse of a different color. The Readline library implements input editing and history for interactive programs, and that's a facility not generally available elsewhere. Releasing it under the GPL and limiting its use to free programs gives our community a real boost. At least one application program is free software today specifically because that was necessary for using Readline.

If we amass a collection of powerful GPL-covered libraries that have no parallel available to proprietary software, they will provide a range of useful modules to serve as building blocks in new free programs. This will be a significant advantage for further free software development, and some projects will decide to make software free in order to use these libraries. University projects can easily be influenced; nowadays, as companies begin to consider making software free, even some commercial projects can be influenced in this way.

Proprietary software developers, seeking to deny the free competition an important advantage, will try to convince authors not to contribute libraries to the GPL-covered collection. For example, they may appeal to the ego, promising "more users for this library" if we let them use the code in proprietary software products. Popularity is tempting, and it is easy for a library developer to rationalize the idea that boosting the popularity of that one library is what the community needs above all.

But we should not listen to these temptations, because we can achieve much more if we stand together. We free software developers should support one another. By releasing libraries that are limited to free software only, we can help each other's free software packages outdo the proprietary alternatives. The whole free software movement will have more popularity, because free software as a whole will stack up better against the competition.

Since the name "Library GPL" conveys the wrong idea about this question, we are planning to change the name to "Lesser GPL." Actually implementing the name change may take some time, but you don't have to wait-you can release GPL-covered libraries now.

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W1ZrD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: And as for license.. Reply with quote

Here is an interesting article I found on www.gamedev.net/



The first and foremost issue with attempting to release images under the terms of the GPL is the mandatory preamble in the license.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...on_License

Anything released under the GPL !MUST! contain a notice. Specifically from section 0 of the license:
Quote::
"This License applies to any program or other work which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this General Public License."

The typical notice is the 5000 character block of text stating that it is copyrighted, by whom, that permission is granted under the GPL, and where they can obtain a copy of the GPL.

If the original copyright holder failed to provide that notice within the image file (most allow embedding text) then they probably did not release the image under the terms of the GPL. Most often, the people who claim to have released the resources under the GPL have not actually done so -- they merely intended to do so. It is a subtle but very important legal difference.

Submission of images requires that they "must either by public domain or licensed by the copyright holder under a license that allows anyone to reuse the images. The same is true (though worded differently) for audio and other assets.

Lets assume that the copyright holder actually did incorporate the required notices into the works.

The next issue with non-program GPL content is what constitutes the "preferred form of the work for making modifications to it."

What is the "source code", or preferred format, of images? If they were released as lossless PNG or lossless JPG, that could be one of many preferred formats.

Next, assuming the art assets are in the proper source code, you must determine if you are incorporating them into your non-GPL project, or if they are sufficiently separate entities.

All versions of the GPL allow permissions for GPL and non-GPL systems to interoperate as long as they operate under the principles of being "at arms length". If they are separate entities that don't strictly on each other, then they are fine. The LGPL is much more permissive with these permissions, but the GPL itself is quite generous.

There are a few successful programs that do exactly that. They offer up a fully functional GPL product that can interoperate with a separate non-GPL product.

If the images were incorporated as textures to your project, then clearly the viral properties of the GPL would apply. Your game would directly incorporate a GPL licensed work, and therefore your work must be released under the GPL..

There is a common workaround for this. One such is an emulator and software for the emulator, where both exist under different licenses. In this situation, the two entities are separate. You could use a different emulator with the same data, or you could use the same emulator and different data. Since neither is incorporating the other, merely interoperating with it, the two licenses are not at conflict.


For specific examples, someone could use the (free) Blender3D engine and create a (non-free) game that runs on it. You can use a (non-free) game engine and create a (free) game that runs on it.

About a decade ago there was a really competitive instance of this. There was a text-based game engine, I forget what it was called. There was a fairly successful non-gpl engine that was competing with a GPL engine, both able to parse and process the actual game code. Some of the released games were under the terms of the GPL, others were proprietary. There were many questions about if any one of them impacted the other, and the ultimate consensus was that they were two separate programs working together. I wish I could remember the names of those products, and Google isn't helping much.

Ultimately the business answer is simple: If you cannot ensure that the things you are working on are two separate (not incorporated) working independently of each other with completely separate licenses, or if you are unsure about the legal status and cannot otherwise get permission, then don't do it.

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jackthompson
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: And as for license.. Reply with quote

stuff that needs to be separated because of the license could be downloaded in separate archives by an installer script...
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