Licensing

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Conditional Zenith
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Licensing

Post by Conditional Zenith » 29 Jun 2004 00:26

I've been researching licensing as I promised I would in this thread http://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8228

I've reasearched GPL, LGPL, Expat (aka MIT) and for completeness, Public Domain. If anyone thinks I have missed an important license or I have made any errors/omissions in my summaries, please speak up.


*GNU General Public License (GNU GPL)

Full license here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html
FAQ here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

Requires us to release source code. If we offer precompiled binaries, we must offer "equivalent" access to the source code, ie. anywhere we offer binaries, we must also offer source. Copies of the program can be provided for a fee under the GPL, meaning that source is provided and that people can copy it.

This license allows end-users to use the program without restrictions.

Any 3rd party can distribute the program's source verbatim, either gratis (for no fee) or for a fee (commerically), under the GPL. They may also distribute binaries if they do one of the following:

*Accompany it with the source code.
*Accompany it with an offer to give the source upon request for no more than the physical cost of giving it to them.
*Accompany it with the offer you received as described above. This can only be done for non-commerical distribution.

People can also modify the program to suit their needs. If they distribute the modified veriosn, it must be under the GPL.

This means that a commercial company can use our program, modify it, and then distribute it for a fee under the GPL, ie. with source code people are allowed to copy.

It should also be noted that if we use any GPL programs in our program, we must release under the GPL (so far we have only decided on SDL which is LGPL).


*GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL)

Full license here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html

This license is designed for libraries but can be used for programs.

This license is very similar to the GPL (as the name suggests). The main difference is that the program can be used in proprietary programs.

This means that some party can modify our program, distribute our program under the LGPL, and release their program as binaries.

Anyone can distribute a LGPL program under the GPL instead.


*Expat License

Full license here: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php

This license is sometimes called the "MIT license". I will not use this term as MIT used amny licenses.

This license is "all-permissive". It allows anyone to modify and distribute as they like.

It is essentially no different ot the Public Domain. The only differences being that with this license, copyright is maintained and the permission notice must be maintained.

This would mean that any party may modify our program and release it as a proprietary program.


*Public Domain

This "license" actually means that we have relinquished copyright on the program and anyone can do anything with the program without our permisiion. We cannot enforce anything.

Any party may release a proprietary version of our program, modified or unmodified, for whatever fee they wish under whatever license they wish (the public domain version will still be available).



We should also look at copyright assignment, as it is much easier to enforce violations if a single party has copyright.

The GNU FDL should be considered for licensing documentation.



My opinion:

GPL as it gives users freedom (as do all the licenses listed) and also gaurentees users freedom by not letting proprietary versions be released.


Edit: moved paragraph about usage of GPL software in our program into the GPL section.
Last edited by Conditional Zenith on 29 Jun 2004 09:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Zuu » 29 Jun 2004 09:26

Another strange of GPL is that we can take adventage of others work that is distrubed under not only LGPL but also GPL.
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Post by Conditional Zenith » 29 Jun 2004 09:58

I did say that in a round about way:
It should also be noted that if we use any GPL programs in our program, we must release under the GPL (so far we have only decided on SDL which is LGPL).
I just moved that paragraph into the GPL section (it probably should have been there).

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Post by Hellfire » 29 Jun 2004 15:10

As far as I'm concerned: I like the idea's of GPL and LGPL. If possible, I'd like to see the possibility of releasing TE with the LGPL licence. This would make it possible to sell "Deluxe" versions of TE and keep the regular versions open and free.
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Post by Hyronymus » 29 Jun 2004 16:01

I think the first two types of licensing are the best bets too. They sound reasonable and attainable for the TE project.

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Post by ChrisCF » 29 Jun 2004 23:01

I'm not at all happy with the concept of someone developing a commercial edition of TE. The major differences I noticed while reading through GPL and LGPL is that LGPL allows someone to take the code and bundle it up in a proprietary product without returning the modifications to the community. Way to thank the people that will work long and hard on this project ...

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New licensing discussions

Post by Zuu » 09 Jun 2006 19:33

Bringing up this old thread again...

Thursday this week aarona wrote:
aarona wrote:1. Licensing
--- We need to know which license we are going to go with because this will effect which libraries we can bind/use in the program. For example, if we use a GPL based library we are stuck with GPL. (LGPL on the other hand enables use of a library (providing its dynamically linked) without any such restrictions).

Suggestion: New thread, research, poll and/or meeting vote.
As seams there have allready been done some research in this thread. But maybe not enought.


From the same thread XeryusTC wrote:
XeryusTC wrote:1. I don't like GPL at all, there are some redicelous rules in there.
Perhaps you could explain more what in the GPL you don't like and perhaps suggest an alternative license which is more to your liking?
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Re: New licensing discussions

Post by XeryusTC » 09 Jun 2006 23:27

Zuu wrote:...
From the same thread XeryusTC wrote:
XeryusTC wrote:1. I don't like GPL at all, there are some redicelous rules in there.
Perhaps you could explain more what in the GPL you don't like and perhaps suggest an alternative license which is more to your liking?
I don't like it that you MUST use GPL if you use a library that is under GPL so you can't escape some stuff that is in there. I also don't like that people can distribute your application and ask money for it without having to give you some money, you've been putting A LOT of work into the application and someone else makes a profit of it, that sounds kinda unfair to me.
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Post by Hellfire » 15 Jun 2006 18:02

XeryusTC wrote:I also don't like that people can distribute your application and ask money for it without having to give you some money, you've been putting A LOT of work into the application and someone else makes a profit of it, that sounds kinda unfair to me.
That's exactly why I haven't put a license on the code in the CVS yet.
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Post by Hyronymus » 15 Jun 2006 22:11

What is a license type you prefer then, XeryusTC/Hellfire?!

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Post by eis_os » 22 Jun 2006 18:35

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.
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Post by Purno » 22 Jun 2006 19:03

eis_os wrote:Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
I got no problems with that, as long as it's non-profit.
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?
I would have problems with this. It's unfiar someone else makes money on something we put our efforts in, IMO.

Besides, I guess licensing doesn't only apply to code, but also at graphical work and such?
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Post by Hyronymus » 29 Jun 2006 14:55

I ask everyone who is interested in the on-going development of Transport Empire to answer the questions eis_os posted (plus 1 new question).

Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
Yes, reusing parts of TE in other game is fine as long as the developers have the right to give or deny permission ánd as long as it fits our licence.

Is it allowed to bind TE code with non-free code?
No, the TE code should always be available for free and not become part of non-free code in any way.

Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
No, the TE code should always be available for free and not become part of non-free code in any way.

Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
No, TE is available for free but there might be enhanced versions that require payment.

Do we want to make money on TE?
No, but if the developers get the chance to make money on it I don't think we should refuse the oppurtunity.

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Post by DaleStan » 29 Jun 2006 15:34

Hyronymus wrote:Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
No, the TE code should always be available for free and not become part of non-free code in any way.

Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
No, TE is available for free but there might be enhanced versions that require payment.
I believe those answers are contradictory.

Either (1) the code for the basic version gets included in the non-free enhanced version, or (2) the enhanced version gets released free.

The only way I can reconcile those two answers is if (1) you intend the difference between the basic and enhanced version to be something that cannot be represented in source code. (eg paid support, physical install media, dead-tree manual, &c.), or (2) You intend for the basic and enhanced versions to have completely separate codebases.

The distinction in your post between free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech is not entirely clear to me, so I might be confounding things here. Above, both instances of "free" refer to "free-as-in-speech".
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Post by aarona » 29 Jun 2006 16:12

My 2c...

Perhaps we release the code and request that if any part of the TE code is used in non-free software, then they must seek our permission. If on the other hand, they wish to use it for free software which is publically accessible then we must be given and retain all the above rights relating to our part of the code. (Which means they have to retain a copy of whatever license at all times on our code)

Or do we restrict "free software" producers too?

If we choose to extend the software and sell it for commercial profit, then we may do so, as we can give ourselves the permission. If we choose to be the only people to do then, then so be it.

Is this open to internal exploitation?

Should someone wish to create new graphics and sell them then they should. (Of course people probably wont bother buying it!) Our graphics, on the other hand, remain under our license.

If we want money but dont want it commercialised then we could set up a donation system where people can chose to pay to compensate us for our time spend making it (with no obligation of course).

I doubt we would get much of a response.

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Post by Hyronymus » 29 Jun 2006 16:12

:( Now you lost me! I 'll rewrite when I get around to what you mean.

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Post by Steve » 29 Jun 2006 18:40

Looking our game, the most re-useable aspect of it, by other people, will be the graphics engine. If we use the TRoS engine, which seems incredibly likely, then this doesn't affect our license. Our license will only be covering the code we right and which uses the graphics engine.

Therefore, it may be a fact that our game is not very useable by others at all and therefore the priority to factor in reuse by third parties is very low. Instead, I vote for a license that is very protective of us and our game. If we established the official leadership under a Transport Empire group, we then license the game to that group of people and only they may release it.

Whilst the game is still open source and free to download, my idea is to only allow members of our group to actually release the versions. So if Average Joe wants to make a change and release the new version, he'll have to join our group and become a member of the project. In this case, his changes are then confirmed before they go into a release, possibly never getting in.

Meanwhile, we should leave room that people can reuse or whatever, providing they have permission from us. Which highlights my point. The code belongs the Transport Empire Group and permission must be gained for reuse.

As for selling, I'm not on this project to make money, but if the opportunity rises, I think we should take it. Unfortunately we discussed this point a long time ago and the issue of who gets the money was at hand. For instance, right now I could add Google adverts to the tempire website, but I'd be getting all the money. Presuming there was an easy way to transfer money, who will I give it to and how much to give?

And in answer to your questions:


Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
No.

Is it allowed to bind TE code with non-free code?
I don't know what that means, but I'll guess at no.

Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
By us or by a third party?
Yes if by us, no otherwise. Noone should be making money out of our time.

Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
Yes.

Do we want to make money on TE?
If possible.

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Post by Purno » 29 Jun 2006 19:13

I answered the other questions, but I'll answer this one too:

Do we want to make money on TE?
It's not the main goal (it's a hobby project), but if we get the chance to make money, it would be fine.

And I'll re-anwer this one:

Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
TE should be available freely, tho additional things (a deluxe edition or whatever) can be sold, but only if (a part of) the money goes to the devs, or a fund for further development of TE.
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Post by XeryusTC » 29 Jun 2006 20:35

Do want that parts of TE be reused in other games?
I don't care about that, as long as people report bugs/bug fixes to us.

Is it allowed to bind TE code with non-free code?
Only if the DevTeam gets a part of the money, so generally yes.

Is it allowed to have TE code be sold if it part of an other non-free code?
Sounds the same as the previous one to me, so yes.

Is it allowed to sell TE as such?
Only if the DevTeam gets a part of the money.

Do we want to make money on TE?
It should be free, but if the opportunity rises then we should thake it.
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Post by aarona » 02 Jul 2006 13:41

Who likes this license?

http://thedjbway.org/license_free.html

Locked until the DD discussion arrives at this issue.

Locked

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