Licensing - Review

Development discussion about Transport Empire. Other discussion to General forum please.

Moderator: Transport Empire Moderators

Locked
User avatar
aarona
Traffic Manager
Traffic Manager
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 May 2006 15:54
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Licensing - Review

Post by aarona »

Poll One - TE Is NOT for profit. Donation is an option.
Poll Two - "Other People" cannot profit from the use of TE code.
Poll Three - The use of TE code is unrestricted for non-commercial purposes.

So to answer the questions posed two meetings ago...
eis_os wrote:As mentioned on the last Transport Empire meeting, please try to first think about what should happen with TE.

That means:
Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
Is it allowed to bind TE Code with non-free Code?
Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
Is it allowed to sell TE as such?

When these and other question about what can happen with TE are answered, a license can be selected which fits best.
Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
The authors retain all rights to their code, so they are free to do as they please, (this is nothing fancy, just a statement of copyright fact) however "other" people (including TE members who were not the author/s) may not profit from this TE code.
Is it allowed to bind TE Code with non-free Code?
No
Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
Only the author of said code has the rights to such an action. See comments below.
Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
No

Instead of reinventing the wheel of explanations I would like to point everyone to a fantastic review (albiet a bit long) of a couple of licenses which satisy the above critera.

PLEASE read this

User avatar
Steve
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 2085
Joined: 10 Jan 2004 20:19
Location: London
Contact:

Post by Steve »

I've only read the first point of that nice review, but I have to say there are problems already. If we use GPL, because of the nature of the multiple contributors, we can never go commercial. Although, I'm not entirely sure if we can GPL the source (so it's free always, as we agreed) and as well as that, make money on the side from boxed CDs with manuals, etc?

We also need to consider the licenses of the things we are using within the project and how that effects what license we must choose. For example, if the TRoS engine is GPL and we use it, we must be GPL also?

Plus, doesn't MPL allow contributors to sell the code, without the groups permission? Isn't this kind of against what we agreed? Or am I mis-understanding MPL?

User avatar
aarona
Traffic Manager
Traffic Manager
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 May 2006 15:54
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Post by aarona »

I'm gonna have to pull up an RTF(Web Page) here Steve.
Steve wrote:I've only read the first point of that nice review, but I have to say there are problems already. If we use GPL, because of the nature of the multiple contributors, we can never go commercial. Although, I'm not entirely sure if we can GPL the source (so it's free always, as we agreed) and as well as that, make money on the side from boxed CDs with manuals, etc?
The manual does not need to be under GPL does it? (Although it could be if people wanted to) We are free to sell the manual for profit because thats not technically part of the code/binaries. Then again, any Silly Simon is entitled to the same right too (think "TE for dummies"). Please remember that the community decision was that TE is not for profit.
Steve wrote:We also need to consider the licenses of the things we are using within the project and how that effects what license we must choose. For example, if the TRoS engine is GPL and we use it, we must be GPL also?
Yes. The TRoS devs have indicated that it will be LGPL, which means we are allowed to only dynamically link to their code. If they decide to then go to GPL then we will withdrawl our interest if our license is not GPL compatible. If we go with GPL then we are free to use GPL code either statically or dynamically linked. Any sane library uses LGPL (or similar) because its an incentive for other people to use it in whatever manner they deem fit, while making sure that anyone is entitled to freely contribute.
Steve wrote:Plus, doesn't MPL allow contributors to sell the code, without the groups permission? Isn't this kind of against what we agreed? Or am I mis-understanding MPL?
Had you read the page, you would have come across a stellar example to the contrary which makes GPL look like the bad-guy. (I dont think you misread, I got that impression too, but its clarified further along the article.)

MPL allows the *original author* the freedom to the go off and sell their part of the code (or use it in their own for profit program). If the author does this then anyone with copies of this code (such as the TE team) is then entitled to do the same thing (that is, sell it too). This removes the incentive to sell.

MPL does allow the original author to then use their code in other projects too, extend it, and then sell it, which again, would mean we could sell their portion of the code. (Or effectively cover it under the new license)

On the other hand GPL lets the original author the freedom to relicense their work under a different license anytime and then go off and sell it, and at the same time keep the original version in TE. The author has no right to withdrawl their code. Once its in the public domain, released as GPL, it stays GPL so long as other people use/extend it.

The original author has complete freedom on what people do with their code (which is the basis of copyright). MPL removes the incentive to become commercial, GPL does not.

User avatar
XeryusTC
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 15415
Joined: 02 May 2005 11:05
Skype: XeryusTC
Location: localhost

Post by XeryusTC »

aarona wrote:
Steve wrote:We also need to consider the licenses of the things we are using within the project and how that effects what license we must choose. For example, if the TRoS engine is GPL and we use it, we must be GPL also?
Yes. The TRoS devs have indicated that it will be LGPL, which means we are allowed to only dynamically link to their code. If they decide to then go to GPL then we will withdrawl our interest if our license is not GPL compatible. If we go with GPL then we are free to use GPL code either statically or dynamically linked. Any sane library uses LGPL (or similar) because its an incentive for other people to use it in whatever manner they deem fit, while making sure that anyone is entitled to freely contribute.
We (TRoS team members) haven't decided what license we will use, we have decided that we will try to avoid GPL, I don't know if all dependencies are GPL, LGPL or some other license though.
Don't panic - My YouTube channel - Follow me on twitter (@XeryusTC) - Play Tribes: Ascend - Tired of Dropbox? Try SpiderOak (use this link and we both get 1GB extra space)
Image
OpenTTD: manual #openttdcoop: blog | wiki | public server | NewGRF pack | DevZone
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

User avatar
aarona
Traffic Manager
Traffic Manager
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 May 2006 15:54
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Post by aarona »

XeryusTC wrote:I don't know if all dependencies are GPL, LGPL or some other license though.
I think thats something important to find out because if you release something derived from GPL and decide to use a different incompatible license then you run the risk of getting sued for copyright infringment.

User avatar
Hyronymus
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 13215
Joined: 03 Dec 2002 10:36
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Hyronymus »

Where does this leave our licensing type? Last thing I heard from the TRoS engine is that XeryusTC and Seniltai are considering writing their own license. Can't we write our own license either, taking into consideration what the people voted?

User avatar
aarona
Traffic Manager
Traffic Manager
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 May 2006 15:54
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Post by aarona »

Yes. But this license will have to fit in with the TRoS license too. Also we would have to come to an agreement. Which, as I'm sure you are aware of...Is not a trivial task! :wink:

User avatar
Hyronymus
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 13215
Joined: 03 Dec 2002 10:36
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Hyronymus »

I know but what I actually meant was that we stop arguing GPL/LGLP/etc and decide to write our own license that doesn't rule out TRoS and our past decisions.

User avatar
Arathorn
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 6939
Joined: 30 Nov 2002 17:10

Post by Arathorn »

I'd rather use an existing license. There are already too much licenses available, and using an unknown license may put some future developers off.

User avatar
Dave
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17246
Joined: 26 Dec 2005 20:19
Location: North London

Post by Dave »

Arathorn wrote:I'd rather use an existing license. There are already too much licenses available, and using an unknown license may put some future developers off.
Not if the license created is a "friendly" license towards developers.
Official TT-Dave Fan Club

Dave's Screenshot Thread! - Albion: A fictional Britain
Flickr


Why be a song when you can be a symphony? r is a...

User avatar
Arathorn
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 6939
Joined: 30 Nov 2002 17:10

Post by Arathorn »

But if I see a license like BSD or GPL, I know immediately what to expect. I don't have to study the new license to find out what I can do with it. Also, if we ever get legal problems, known licenses are already tested.

User avatar
Hyronymus
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 13215
Joined: 03 Dec 2002 10:36
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Hyronymus »

I'm sure we can "borrow" constructions from other licenses and I'm positive we can get some legal support on writing a license too. Surely we have a lawyer among us :P.

DaleStan
TTDPatch Developer
TTDPatch Developer
Posts: 10285
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 03:06
Contact:

Post by DaleStan »

Writing your own license is a surefire way to generate flamewars and discourage potential contributors.

It is also fraught with danger:
http://www.iusmentis.com/computerprograms/licenses/choosing/ wrote:It is of course possible to write your own license, rather than using a standard license. When drafting such a license it is often difficult to anticipate all possible situations in which others will want to use and/or distribute the program. The name a few: may someone put the program on a CD-ROM and sell that? Does it matter whether the CD-ROM contains a collection of software or only that particular program? May modified versions bear the same name?

Additionally, even if you have determined the conditions under which you would like to make the software available, it is even more difficult to properly lay down the conditions in a license in legally sound terms. A license such as "Permission is hereby granted to use this program in any way and for any purpose, to modify it and to distribute it" does not authorize third parties to distribute modified versions, although this was probably the intent of the author. So unless an author is willing to invest sometime and efforts in drafting his own license, it is strongly recommended to always use a standard license.
Locked until the DD discussion arrives at this issue.
To get a good answer, ask a Smart Question. Similarly, if you want a bug fixed, write a Useful Bug Report. No TTDPatch crashlog? Then follow directions.
Projects: NFORenum (download) | PlaneSet (Website) | grfcodec (download) | grfdebug.log parser

Locked

Return to “Transport Empire Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests