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dmoc

Genesis/ Jet3D Licence

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dmoc    122
Hi all, has anyone scrutinised the licence for the Genesis game engine and it''s derivatives such as Jet3D? My concern is that there is nothing in the licence to stop it being revoked/ changed at a later date. What is there to stop the licence holders from waiting a few years until their technology is established and in-use, and then saying "OK... now it''s time to pay-up!"? Also by that point they will have had their product thoroughly tested and possible extended for free by unsuspecting coders. What caught my eye and started worrying me was a clause that said any modifications that are submitted back for inclusion in the main code (as required by the licence) also falls under the licence... in other words you also handing over copyright for your own work, and not in a GPL/ LGPL fashion. Any views/ clarification appreciated.

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Obscure    175
quote:
Original post by dmoc
.....My concern is that there is nothing in the licence to stop it being revoked/ changed at a later date.

There doesn't need to be. Contracts/licenses are exclusive, not inclusive. That means they only allow what is mentioned, they don't allow what isn't. They can also only be changed with the permission of both parties. That means that the owners could only change the terms of the agreement at a later date if the current license has a clause that specifically allows them to do so.

Infact clause 7.2 of the license specifically states that even if the license changes you can continue to use the version of the code you have under the current license.

quote:
What caught my eye and started worrying me was a clause that said any modifications that are submitted back for inclusion in the main code (as required by the licence) also falls under the licence... in other words you also handing over copyright for your own work, and not in a GPL/ LGPL fashion. Any views/ clarification appreciated.

Yes that appears to be the case and IMO is entirely reasonable. They are allowing you to make use of their hardwork for free, so that you can create a product you can make money from. The only form of payment they request is that additions to the code return to them.

The purpose of open source is that the code is shared. It would be unworkable for every contributor to maintain ownership of their portion of the code because you would rapidly end up with a LEGAL file that was longer than the source code.

For those who don't want to share their code there is always the option to pay for a license.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

[edited by - obscure on May 27, 2003 3:15:08 PM]

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JonW    173
No one company is maintaining the Genesis engine anymore. It is being held up solely by its community. Even the website belongs to one of the community members. The only thing that Wild Tangent (do they still own it?) does is collect the fees

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Obscure    175
quote:
Original post by JonWoyame
No one company is maintaining the Genesis engine anymore.

Which, if you think about it is the whole aim of open source. Still, unless the code has specifically been released into the public domain, nothing changes.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Assassin    246
As someone who has quite a bit of experience using the Genesis3D engine, I am quite familiar with its license and the practice of obeying it. One thing people are confused about at first is whether it''s like GPL, forcing you to release your whole codebase if you use Genesis3D. The answer is no, you only need to release changes and additions you make to the original engine codebase that you started working with, so if you add environment mapping to the engine, you release the source for that modification, and keep private the source to your application that uses it.

I have more than a little experience with the Genesis3D license, actually, since I used it as a basis for writing the license for Destiny3D. It''s essentially using the same principle - modify the engine, make your changes available to all the other people using the engine. Destiny3D incorporates a subscription model into the fold though, so the changes are released through a centralized entity that can ensure that all the modifications fit together nicely and only the subscribed userbase gets the latest & greatest updates. The low subscription fee helps to pay for server hosting mostly, with leftovers possibly used to help pay for new content and other value-added features. Sorry if this turned into a sales pitch, but I''m just trying to explain the logic behind a semi-opensource-with-a-fee implementation of licensing.

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