Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

open source licenses

Last response: in Video Games
Share
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 6:34:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have to
release some code sometime soon. I have a few questions about licenses;
I've never really followed them and let's just pretend that I don't know
anything about their differences. I've read
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ but still don't understand the
nuances. I can't seem to find anything that's just a simple summary of
the different open source licenses.

My biggest question is: Does the license I release under ever affect
what I, as the copywrite holder of my code, can do with it later? Can I
use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?

--
Jim Strathmeyer

More about : open source licenses

Anonymous
May 29, 2005 6:34:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have to
> release some code sometime soon.

Why?

> Can I
> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?

Yes, if you release the code under no license at all (public domain).
If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 6:34:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

>Yes, if you release the code under no license at all (public domain).
>If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.

Whatever.
You can always re-release your own creation under whatever license you
want.

Cheers,
T.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 8:42:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On 29 May 2005 13:46:07 -0700, "Krice" <paulkp@mbnet.fi> wrote:

>Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
>> So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have to
>> release some code sometime soon.
>
>Why?
>
>> Can I
>> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
>> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?
>
>Yes, if you release the code under no license at all (public domain).
>If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.

Wrong. If you put your code under the GPL, you place very specific
limitations to what others can do with it. GPL'd software is still
copyrighted, and the copyright owners OWN THE SOFTWARE. Simple.

Here are unofficial human-readable summaries of the GPL and the LGPL:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/GPL/2.0/
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/LGPL/2.1/

And, as konijn_ pointed out, you're the owner of the code - it's *yours*
to do with as you will. There is no sane open source license that
prevents the creator from doing what s/he pleases with his/her stuff.
--
auric underscore underscore at hotmail dot com
*****
Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.
-- Calvin
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 10:32:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:

> Can I
> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?

Yes. It's your code.

The key difference between the two most popular licenses - GNU and BSD -
is what *others* may do with your code.

In simple terms, with the GPL you're agreeing to share your code, but
only with those who likewise agree to share any code they write that's
based on yours. With the BSD you're giving a gift with no restrictions.

sherm--

--
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Hire me! My resume: http://www.dot-app.org
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 10:33:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Krice wrote:

> If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.

That's completely false. Have you actually *read* the GPL?

sherm--

--
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Hire me! My resume: http://www.dot-app.org
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 4:01:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

"Krice" <paulkp@mbnet.fi> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:1117399567.944733.44250@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
[snip]

>> Can I
>> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
>> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?
>
> Yes, if you release the code under no license at all (public domain).
> If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.

Totally wrong. You can release your own code under as many licenses as you
please. You don't lose any rights if you release it under the GPL.

copx
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 5:46:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have to
> release some code sometime soon. I have a few questions about licenses;
> I've never really followed them and let's just pretend that I don't know
> anything about their differences. I've read
> http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ but still don't understand the
> nuances. I can't seem to find anything that's just a simple summary of
> the different open source licenses.
>
> My biggest question is: Does the license I release under ever affect
> what I, as the copywrite holder of my code, can do with it later? Can I
> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?
>
> --
> Jim Strathmeyer

I suggest dual licencing - standart GPL for code and something like
Creative commons for world and other data.

--
Petr
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 9:50:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Krice wrote:
> Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
>
>>So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have to
>>release some code sometime soon.
>
>
> Why?
>
>
>>Can I
>>use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
>>another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?
>
>
> Yes, if you release the code under no license at all (public domain).
> If you put it under GPL you lose all your rights to anything.

Uh, that's not true. If you keep a version of your code that
doesn't have any changes in it that don't originate with you,
then you can release that version under any license you want,
even if you've previously released versions under the GPL.

The sticky point is that if you incorporate the copyrighted,
GPL'd work of other people into your code (that is, you take
patches from other developers) then you can't take their work
and release it under a different license without their
permission.

So let's say I release a roguelike game under GPL, and then
Steve submits a patch (also under GPL) that fixes a bug in my
FOV code. If I ever want to release under a different license
after that, I have to dike out Steve's code and replace it with
code I personally wrote before I do so.

Bear
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 10:29:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> So I'm finally to the point where I realize that I'm going to have
> to release some code sometime soon. I have a few questions about
> licenses; I've never really followed them and let's just pretend
> that I don't know anything about their differences. I've read
> http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ but still don't understand the
> nuances. I can't seem to find anything that's just a simple
> summary of the different open source licenses.
>
> My biggest question is: Does the license I release under ever
> affect what I, as the copywrite holder of my code, can do with it
> later? Can I use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in
> code of my that has another license, or even (my own) proprietary
> code?

No; so long as all of the code in the project is either written by
you or from a public domain source, you can do whatever you want with
it. Other people can't, though, so you use a license to give them
permission to do some things - to redistribute, to modify, etc. Once
you've given people permission to do something in a license, you
can't take it back. However, you can still release future versions
under a different license; but the old license still applies to the
old versions.

So, a brief summary of the licenses you may be considering:

"BSD" license - People can do anything _except_ take your name out of
the credits/readme/etc. In particular, someone could take a BSD-
licensed program and make a closed source version of it, legally.

GPL - If someone publishes a modified version, they must provide the
source code and they can't change the license. (The license can still
with the consent of all the authors.) Note that copy-pasting one
function does count as "a modified version", so you can't copy-paste
code from a GPL'ed project to a non-GPL'ed project without getting
separate permission from the author.

LGPL ("Lesser" or "library" GPL) - Like the GPL, except that if you
combine it with non-GPL'ed parts, you don't have to relicense the
non-GPL'ed parts. So if you use license X and libRandomDungeon uses
the LGPL, and you use libRandomDungeon, you need to include source
code for any changes you make to libRandomDungeon but the rest of the
project is still yours to do as you want. (You do need to acknowledge
libRandomDungeon in your readme.)

Note that none of these licenses ever stops you or anyone else from
leaving code unpublished; the licenses only kick in when code is
distributed. And remember that these licenses apply to you too, any
time you copy code from a project that's under one of them. (Copying
*ideas*, by the way, doesn't cause any licenses to kick in; you can
take ideas from pretty much any source, period.)

There are quite a few other licenses not mentioned here, but they are
mostly equivalent to the ones mentioned above.

--
CalcRogue: TI-89, TI-92+, PalmOS, Windows and Linux.
http://calcrogue.jimrandomh.org/
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 11:21:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Please do enlighten me, and teach me about those restrictions.
I must be missing something ?

Cheers,
T.
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 9:51:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:

> My biggest question is: Does the license I release under ever affect
> what I, as the copywrite holder of my code, can do with it later? Can I
> use my own code that I've GPL'ed and include it in code of my that has
> another license, or even (my own) proprietary code?

The biggest restriction is that you can't "undo" your
release, under whatever license.

That means that if something has users who are licensed
to use it under license A, and you then release under
license B, you can't retroactively unlicense all the
people who have license A, unless license A provides a
way for them to become unlicensed users. Commercial
software licenses these days often have language that
says your license to use something expires if you don't
make regular subscription payments; the GPL lacks such
a provision, so software once licensed under the GPL
is always licensed under the GPL.

In practice, this means you can't give somebody an
"exclusive" license after you've already released it
under a "nonexclusive" license. The GPL is a
nonexclusive license.

But as long as it's your own work (no contributions by
other authors whose contributions are licensed to *YOU*
only via GPL) you can still release it under different
license terms, or with support for pay, or whatever
you want, even if it's also available under GPL. And
you can make later versions ("derivative works") of your
own stuff and you don't have to release them under GPL.

Bear
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 2:30:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Ray Dillinger wrote:

> The sticky point is that if you incorporate the copyrighted,
> GPL'd work of other people into your code (that is, you take
> patches from other developers) then you can't take their work
> and release it under a different license without their
> permission.
>
> So let's say I release a roguelike game under GPL, and then
> Steve submits a patch (also under GPL) that fixes a bug in my
> FOV code. If I ever want to release under a different license
> after that, I have to dike out Steve's code and replace it with
> code I personally wrote before I do so.

Unless Steve agrees to sign over his copyright to you, in which case
you can then proceed to do what you want with the code, as it is
legally "yours." There's no way to force him to do so, however.
Making inclusion of his patch conditional on signing over copyright
works, from the perspective that your codebase has a single copyright
holder at all times, but it does not prevent Steve from refusing to
play and forking your GPL'ed code + his patch into a new project.
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 2:53:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Gerry Quinn wrote:

> The GPL FAQ has this, though:
>
[snip]
> Can the developer of a program who distributed it under the GPL later
> license it to another party for exclusive use?
>
> No, because the public already has the right to use the program under
> the GPL, and this right cannot be withdrawn."
>
> My guess is that a modified version could be licensed exclusively by
> the developer, but I would advise making sure of it.

The keyword here is "exclusive". It's not very logically sound to say
"you're the only one who may use this program" while there's an OSS
counterpart in the wild. I would venture a wild guess that this holds
true for all open source licenses and not just GPL.

IANAL, but I still know that GPL'ed code remains a copyrighted work. The
GPL is a _license_ from the author to use, modify and distribute the
code under certain terms, with no actual passing of ownership. Saying
that you lose your rights to your code under GPL is, quite frankly, what
I'd consider talking out of your rear end.

In a GPL'ed project with many contributors, the various bits and pieces
of code are still owned by their respective authors, hence it's
typically not easy to relicense one. In theory you could still relicense
Linux under, say, the Microsoft Windows EULA, but you'd have to get the
consent of all contributors, not all of whom would likely be willing. I
like to call that "fair play".

To my knowledge, the FSF hasn't attacked any of the numerous
double-licensing schemes out there so far. It's understandable that they
don't want to make it their selling point, however, seeing as their goal
is to promote completely free software.

--
Aki Rossi
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 4:12:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

konijn_ wrote:
> Please do enlighten me, and teach me about those restrictions.
> I must be missing something ?

Well, if you take for example a function from GPL'ed source and use
it in your project, you are forced to release your source, because
it's a "derivative" work. It has nothing to do with free, open
source (=public domain). It's a restriction, which prevents many
people using GPL'ed stuff, because they want to keep their source
closed. Of course, if you don't follow the rules, then you don't use
GPL. I just think the whole thing about "free & open" source is a
load of poo in the case of GPL. I guess it's the american way
of thinking the word "free":) 
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 1:55:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Where did you get the *stupid* idea that free software and/or open
source equals public domain? Public domain source code is free
software, that does not mean that the reverse is true. If you want free
as in "I can parazite this" there is still free software under the BSD
and MIT licenses and even some public domain.
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 4:10:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

>>> It's restricted source.
>konijn_ wrote:
>> Please do enlighten me, and teach me about those restrictions.
>> I must be missing something ?

>Well, if you take for example a function from GPL'ed source and use
>it in your project, you are forced to release your source, because
>it's a "derivative" work.

Ah, restrictions for the user of the code, not the author.
That wasnt very clear. I am not sure Jim will have issues with this,
also please remember that the LGPL exists as well.

T.
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 11:00:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Christophe napisał(a):
[...]
>
> The important part of the above point is that the rights can't be
> *withdrawn*. You have all liberties to licence the code in anyway you
> want. What you can't do is say : "erase all copies of the code because
> I've sold the exclusive rights to some other person out there"

And there is nothing wrong in it. Saying such thing would be worth
condemnation.

--
Milesss
m i l e s s s @ i n t e r i a . p l
www.milesss.mylog.pl
"/0"
Anonymous
June 2, 2005 3:46:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 01:17:53 +0000, Ray Dillinger wrote:
<snip sad story>
> So, hey, for myself I'm a bit wary these days of giving
> anything to the public domain.

I feel really sorry for you, that kind of thievery/behavior is really
annoying.

I have a similar experience, though not so big one as yours.

For a MUD I played, I did a 'bot (set of MUD client triggers and macros to
play for me the tedious parts), I handed it over to many players. After a
year or so, one of the players told me about how great 'bot he had done.
He explained details and it sounded similar to my old one, so I asked to
receive it, and when I did get it I found out it was the same. It even had
trigger for one buggy spell that went like "Joyri wobbles a bit." ("Joyri"
was my characters name), he hadn't even changed the name to reflect his
character. Yet he continued to claim that he had made the 'bot.

I will probably never release anything with "public domain" license. Even
though people still can, and probably will, do the same kind of thievery
no matter what the license is.


Regards,

--
joni
Anonymous
June 17, 2005 10:21:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Ray Dillinger wrote:
> So, hey, for myself I'm a bit wary these days of giving
> anything to the public domain.

Then don't give. GPL is bad for people who want to make free programs,
but who don't want to release the source code.
So, if you use GPL source, you are forced to release your source too,
and some people will steal it anyway...
!