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  Making things OpenSource....  (Read 2370 times)
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Offline Herkules

Senior Duke




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Posted 2003-10-31 19:57:15 »

Hi community!

I have a lot of Java software here that is under a self-made license. I consider making it OpenSource but I'm a little bit helpless on how to do that?

What are the criteria choosing the right license (GPL, LGPL, MPL,...)? It should be usable in industrial projects that are not OS themselves. Is it possible to leave an option still to sell customized versions of OS software?

And more practically: how do I establish the license? Do I have to put a header to each file? What about data files?

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 405
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-10-31 20:20:24 »

We use a BSD license in our stuff, and we prepend it to each file, although in reality the license need only probably be present once in the "distribution". The BSD license allows stuff to get made from our code that's commercial, and closed source.

Cas Smiley

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-11-01 10:08:14 »

As Cas says, based on what you say BSD is probably your best choice.  Basically it says "this is mine, do what you want with it but always acknowledge my contribution".

Quote
Is it possible to leave an option still to sell customized versions of OS software?


By you, or the recipient of the code?  The recipient can sell software containing BSD code as long as your name is mentioned somewhere (see the Help -> About menu in IE for an example).

As for you - do what you want with it.  Software licences like the BSD apply to the recipient of the code, not the author.  You don't have to comply with any part.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
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Offline Herkules

Senior Duke




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-11-03 04:42:47 »

ok, BSD then.....

Next, what would be the best place to put the OS project so that it might receive some visibility and recognition? SourceForge?

Not all of the things are games-only, so I feel the java.net games section is not the right place?

To make it clearer: the package would be the 'FlyingGuns framework', which consists of:


  • HeadQuarter: NIO based networking backbone
  • JXInput
  • HARDCODE tools: 3D engine tools, resource mngmt, timing
  • FlyingGuns - the 3D game
  • JPilot - the 2D game


At least HeadQuarter is a multipurpose package that goes beyong the needs of gaming and I'd love to see someone use it in realworld applications!

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline William Denniss

JGO Coder


Projects: 2


Fire at will


« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-11-03 23:54:15 »

I use:

* GPL for my games, applications and code which I want to keep open source
* BSD for library code which I want people to do anything they like with (except steal credit)

You could also use the LGPL for library code to ensure modifications to the library are open source but the library itself can be used by anyone.

I don't BSD license complete end products like games - it would allow anyone to grab my work and expand on it, then put it in a box and sell it.  Middleware such as utilities and engines however I do BSD license because they don't do much on their own and people still have to come up with their own original content to make a product.

IMHO the GPL is best for complete end products which you want to be open source as any improvements on the products must be open source too.  Of course, since you are the copyright holder there is nothing to stop you from making some improvements to your game and then selling it closed source under a commercial license - but it will stop other people doing it (they can still sell it with a GPL license but they can't make it closed source and thus anyone else can take their code and sell it too).

I am not a lawyer Smiley

Will.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 405
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-11-04 07:33:28 »

[quoteit would allow anyone to grab my work and expand on it, then put it in a box and sell it[/quote]
Common misconception! They could use the source code and expand on it but they wouldn't have your other main assets - sound and graphics and level data - and if they tried to release, say Alien Flux 2, they'd be completely infringing my trademark as well. It's not really a problem I think. I may be proved wrong Tongue

Cas Smiley

Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-11-04 08:07:31 »

If you're afraid of others stealing your product, then don't go public AT ALL!

I could create a company, steal your product, create my own branded version and then when you discover it, I'd just disolve the company - Money made, and with the right setup you can't sue me in person.

At least in theory, I might be mistaking though.

Offline Herkules

Senior Duke




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-11-04 11:32:44 »

No, I'm not afraid of someone stealing my/our stuff. Maybe its not even worthwhile doing that.

It's quite a lot of code with very much personal effort behind it. Maybe even some knowlegde (maybe..)! Currently it's sleeping on my disc at home and I am far too stupid to make a business out of it.

So I'd feel glad someone using it and having fun with it so it hasn't been completely void in the end.

But, if one day I manage to create my business or someone really WANTS it as a product (e.g. I think of the HeadQuarter stuff there), I should be allowed to handle it like that.

But from what I heard, being the author myself this isn't a problem at all. Am I even allowed to change license for a new release? I think so.

But doing something good to world is not my primary intention, to be honest. Of course I see some opportunity to treat OS as an advertising mechanism. This brings me back to the question, what the best place to expose such a project is???

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Herkules

Senior Duke




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-11-14 20:30:54 »

Hm, how is a copyright notice in a fileheader related to a OpenSource license? Does it make sense at all? What might it be good for?

'Copyright 2003 by Herkules' - something like that.

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-11-15 06:45:08 »

Quote
I could create a company, steal your product, create my own branded version and then when you discover it, I'd just disolve the company - Money made, and with the right setup you can't sue me in person.

At least in theory, I might be mistaking though.


I Am Not A Lawyer.  What follows is not legal advice, just my understanding as a layman:

Well if you are thinking of hiding behind a corporation there are two problems with that:
(1) You'd need to be on the board of directors and directors can be and have been sued directly.
(2) If the only point of the corporation was to hide behind it, the person suing could get it declared a "paper corporation" in court and ALL the protections go away.

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-11-15 06:47:12 »

Quote
Hm, how is a copyright notice in a fileheader related to a OpenSource license? Does it make sense at all? What might it be good for?

'Copyright 2003 by Herkules' - something like that.


It absolutely makes sense.  Copyrights come first, if you didn't own the copyrights, you wouldn't have the right to license them to others.

See?

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Offline Herkules

Senior Duke




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-11-15 10:46:32 »

Yes, that makes sense.....

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline William Denniss

JGO Coder


Projects: 2


Fire at will


« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-11-18 23:03:12 »

Quote
Common misconception! They could use the source code and expand on it but they wouldn't have your other main assets - sound and graphics and level data - and if they tried to release, say Alien Flux 2, they'd be completely infringing my trademark as well. It's not really a problem I think. I may be proved wrong Tongue


If you were to make a game totally free (which is what I thought we were talking about) then that would mean licensing the artwork and level data for free as well.

But I do understand, if you are only freely licensing your code but retaining more restrictive rights to the other media, then it isn't an issue.

That is the difference in releasing the code for a game as open source to help other programmers, and releasing a game as an totally open source and free piece of software, which is very different.  Which was it that you wanted to do Herkules?

Either way, I think it would be wise to have a LICENSE.txt or COPYING.txt file included with your program clearly detailing what your intent is.

Will.

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