License

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xarn
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License

Post by xarn » Tue Dec 06, 2011 13:43

Hi folks!

Probably like many of you, I love open source and free software!
However, I must confess that I have a profound hate of GPL... :?

There are several reasons:

1. it's overly complex

It's many pages long and you need a lawyer to fully understand its details

2. it's not "free"

It's incompatible with most other open source licenses. You can't even link to it freely.
This reminds me of the FreeBSD operating system (free and open source as well) which had to rewrite loads of linux tools in because their license was different than GPL.

3. it has a virus like nature

GPL can use most of the other open source code lying around ...however, almost none can use GPL. In order to do it, they have to convert themeselves to GPL.



For these reasons, I tend to favor other simpler and more permissive licenses, like BSD or MIT. In other words "even more free". I hope that's fine for you. Since the "beerware" license seem to trouble several of you, I picked the simplified BSD license instead, which are very mmuch alike.

Cheers! :mrgreen:
Knitter
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Re: License

Post by Knitter » Tue Dec 06, 2011 15:17

GNU GPL serves it's purposes and I have to say that I was glad for it's more viral nature not so long ago, it was that very nature that prevented a software I've developed to be closed and abused of. I think WT would have had similar problems with an also recent request to use the art, still, it's one license like any other and has problems like any other.

The need for a lawyer is not only a GNU GPL problem, since a license is intended to be a legally accepted document, than a lawyer is need in most cases, even with the BSD ;), and I actually find GNU GPL to be very simple to read :D.

To me, as long as it's an OSI approved one, making it's easier to make sure it can be used all over the world where different laws generally colide (e.g.: Portugal has a complete different concept of "public domain" from that used in the USA, they are actually incompatible), it's a good license and it should really be a choice of the developers doing the work.

The modified BSD is GNU GPL compatible so there is no problem, problem would exist if you chose a license that was GNU GPL incompatible since that would prevent any use of the WTactics art in the software you're creating.
Rejoice! For very bad things are about to happen.
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xarn
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Re: License

Post by xarn » Tue Dec 06, 2011 17:01

That's good to hear. Glad you saved your work.

As for the art, I actually always wondered what the sense is to license it under "GPL". I mean, GPL is about code, about the right of linking, binding, modification, etc...
I find it extremely weird to apply it to images. Actually, even the official GNU GPL site indicates that art should be licensed with an according license ...because GPL doesn't make sense on art.
We don't take the position that artistic or entertainment works must be free, but if you want to make one free, we recommend the Free Art License.
That said, if I interpret using an image as linking, then my software is currently guilty of GPL license infractions. Crazy world, isn't it? :roll:
...but a sub-licensed copy would not ...or perhaps a court would not recognize GPL as a valid license for art ...or perhaps they couldn't judge anyway because I ommited the copyright line in the licensing ...or perhaps we would be in trouble because we are in Portugal! :roll: :P

Anyway, enough time lost with license discussions, let's make this game progress instead!
Knitter
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Re: License

Post by Knitter » Tue Dec 06, 2011 17:56

Just to make it clear, since the project is modified BSD and that is GNU GPL compatible, then you're not infringing on any of the GNU GPL terms.

You can combine any work with another that is GNU GPL and your work won't be affected by GNU GPL as long as both licenses are compatible. Problems only arise when you're trying to combine different licenses that are not compatible.
Rejoice! For very bad things are about to happen.
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snowdrop
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Re: License

Post by snowdrop » Tue Dec 06, 2011 20:07

xarn wrote:2. it's not "free"

It's incompatible with most other open source licenses. You can't even link to it freely.
Xarn, you are aus Deutschland, ja? Isn't it forbidden to wear the Swastika in your contry? At least it is here in Sweden. Now, does that make democracy less free, or make the society less democratical? Indeed, it does.

And it does so for a reason: The idea is that we need some kind of restrictions in order to safeguard the liberties we want to enjoy. That's what GPL tries to do.

The only non-freedom the GPL has associated with it is that it forces you to keep it free. I don't see that as a paradox at all or as something that makes it "less free" in a meaningful sense. Of course, for somebody that just wants to exploit something that is using the GPL the GPL will not be "free enough" to be exploited. So what? GPL was designed to not be exploited. It isn't a public domain license, or a copyright license. It is a copyleft one, designed for that purpose alone and to fill a void that would be there were it not for it.
This reminds me of the FreeBSD operating system (free and open source as well) which had to rewrite loads of linux tools in because their license was different than GPL.
Yeah, their license. Nobody put a gun to their head telling them to use stuff they shouldn't, or to use a license that didn't work with GPL. Apparently they wanted to do it the way they did (with the risk for writing something stupid, I'm not well informed about that particular case).

3. it has a virus like nature

GPL can use most of the other open source code lying around ...however, almost none can use GPL. In order to do it, they have to convert themeselves to GPL.
GPL doesn't use anything. The users do. And no license can force a user to mix code of one license with code of another.

If licenses are incompatible then surely they would be so both ways, and not just one way as you suggest. Or have I missed out something obvious here? *thinking but getting confused*

Describing GPL as a virus is just filling it with negative connotations. It's like
terrorist << soldier >> freedom fighter ....how you describe it says more about your own view and relation to the object at hand than the actual object.

The only way something can be guaranteed to be copyleft is for it to have the so called viral nature you menton. It is not a problem for a copyleft license. It is a feature. It is maybe also what actually makes it copyleft to begin with. To me it sounds like you have an issue with copyleft concepts, more than the GPL itself. Keep in mind that advocating a liberal license is not the same as advocating the most unrestricted license there is (since that would always be PD, CC0).
As for the art, I actually always wondered what the sense is to license it under "GPL". I mean, GPL is about code, about the right of linking, binding, modification, etc...
I find it extremely weird to apply it to images. Actually, even the official GNU GPL site indicates that art should be licensed with an according license ...because GPL doesn't make sense on art.
1. Our assets from BfW are using GPL license, and we can't legally re-license them. Should you manage to get the permission form artists I'm all ears though, be my guest. ;)

2. I agree that GPL isn't an ideal choice, but I honestly don't know of a better license that is copyleft and more suited for art/game resources. If you know of a license that is, please show it to me and I will consider dual-licensing our original art.

3. It says in the GPL it is possible to license non-code. That's not an issue, unless somebody makes it into one. Making it into one is however fairly easy, hence my answer in #2 above.
That said, if I interpret using an image as linking, then my software is currently guilty of GPL license infractions. Crazy world, isn't it?
...but a sub-licensed copy would not ...or perhaps a court would not recognize GPL as a valid license for a
Yes, I'd consider the linking as infractions, as linking would circumvent the whole point with releasing the art using a copyleft license to begin with. At least my point, which is to insure that whatever is using our shit will be freely available to the world in the same way that our shit is. As simple as that.
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snowdrop
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Re: License

Post by snowdrop » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:25

If licenses are incompatible then surely they would be so both ways, and not just one way as you suggest. Or have I missed out something obvious here? *thinking but getting confused*
Yes, confused indeed: Of course they don't have to do it both ways... :) Think PD and GPL is good example of one-way incompatibility.
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