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GPL'ing my game

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hi, i''m a newbie to open source world what are the steps i should do to release my game under GPL license ? what is the exact difference between "open source software" and "free software" ? (i have googled for it but i''m little bit confused) thanks in advance -[rgk_quaker]-

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i think to GPL it you just include a GPL license with the source code. or require people to agree to the license before they download the code.

the difference between free and open source software depends on which open source license you use. some licenses require that anyone who uses your source code to also release the source code to their work. some require that they do so only if they modify your code. some require that only if they statically link to your libraries. That''s all the flavors of open source licenses that i can recall off the top of my head.

free software is just free. people can take it and do whatever with it and not have to release their source code or necessarily even credit you or mention that they used your source code.

i think the EFF has some good links about the GPL. I''m pretty sure there''s also a GPL home page or sorts. just put GPL into google and i''m sure one of the first couple links will be that page. wherever the home is also has plenty of GPL formatted licenses that you can just download.

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quote:
Original post by rgk_quaker
what are the steps i should do to release my game under GPL license ?

If you created all of the content, distribute a copy of the GPL with the content you''re licensing under it and attach a "notice" to the top of any source files (it can be as large as a whole copy of the GPL or as small as a "this file is copyright such-and-such and is licensed under the GPL, for more information see..."). The copyright information for source code is commonly placed in a text file called "COPYING" or, to a lesser extent, "LICENSE". You can find a copy of the GPL on the OSI''s site.

quote:
Original post by rgk_quaker
what is the exact difference between "open source software" and "free software" ?

Mostly political. For the FSF''s take on it see this and for the OSI''s (not quite as informative) take on it see this (scroll down a bit).

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If you're distributing anything with your game that is GPL'd (e.g. the cygwin DLL), then you *have* to GPL your game. GPL is like a virus that infects all that it touches, which is why I generally try to avoid it. My client's legal department is very wary of GPL'd software because they don't want to distribute their own source code.

Food for thought as you decide whether to GPL or not to GPL.



--
Dave Mikesell Software & Consulting

[edited by - dmikesell on November 12, 2003 8:22:19 AM]

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quote:
Original post by dmikesell
If you're distributing anything with your game that is GPL'd (e.g. the cygwin DLL), then you *have* to GPL your game. GPL is like a virus that infects all that it touches, which is why I generally try to avoid it. My client's legal department is very wary of GPL'd software because they don't want to distribute their own source code.

So, because the GPL gives you an option to do what much software does not it's somehow a more dangerous license? Treat the GPL as you would any license: it's always illegal to distribute something copyrighted without permission; the GPL gives you permission with conditions (and you don't even have to agree to the GPL if you're not redistributing GPLed works). If you're taking bits of a GPL application, using the code, and redistributing them without a license to do so it's just as bad as if you were taking executables from a competitor's product, hex editing the strings, and redistributing them! Somehow, it seems many people have the misconception that the GPL is giving rights and then taking them away; it simply has never given them those rights.

Most open source libraries are licensed with the LGPL or an even less-restrictive license for a reason, so that you can link against them as long as you don't remove the freedoms the library intends to give all of its users.



[edited by - Null and Void on November 12, 2003 9:14:10 PM]

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quote:
Original post by dmikesell
If you''re distributing anything with your game that is GPL''d (e.g. the cygwin DLL), then you *have* to GPL your game. GPL is like a virus that infects all that it touches, which is why I generally try to avoid it. My client''s legal department is very wary of GPL''d software because they don''t want to distribute their own source code.

Food for thought as you decide whether to GPL or not to GPL.


*sigh*

More knee-jerk reactionary-ism without facts, and unnecessary as well, as the OP already indicated his intention to release his source.

There is nothing hidden or sneaky about the GPL, as usage of the term "virus" implies. There is no hidden "gotcha" that will stealthily slip a knife into the back of your project or jerk the rug out from under your feet. It is wrong-headed and deceptive to term the GPL a virus, as so many ignorant and fearful people continue to do. There is nothing hidden or secretive about the license; the same can not be said about many commercial licensing programs. The GPL is evil only if you wish to steal the code and take credit for it yourself.

Your ignorant "virus" comment aside, most useful code (libraries, etc...) is typically released under the LGPL, a license fundamentally different from the vanilla GPL, granting leeway for usage (dynamic linkage) that does not require release of source code. If a project has a GPL license, it is typically a stand-alone project (ie, not a library), and I can think of very few of those that have relevance to a game project, that can not easily be replaced with your own proprietary code. Libraries, on the other hand, are of eminent usefulness to a game project, and LGPL''ed libraries can be of tremendous benefit even in closed-source projects.

rgk_quaker: There are also other licenses, such as the BSD license that you can consider, if the GPL is not to your liking. In fact, I recommend perusing the other licenses in the list at the OSI site, to get a feel for what is out there. The OSI site in general, as Null and Void indicated, is a very useful place to learn more.

Josh
vertexnormal AT linuxmail DOT org


Check out Golem: Lands of Shadow, an isometrically rendered hack-and-slash inspired equally by Nethack and Diablo.

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quote:
There is nothing hidden or sneaky about the GPL, as usage of the term "virus" implies. There is no hidden "gotcha" that will stealthily slip a knife into the back of your project or jerk the rug out from under your feet. It is wrong-headed and deceptive to term the GPL a virus, as so many ignorant and fearful people continue to do. There is nothing hidden or secretive about the license; the same can not be said about many commercial licensing programs. The GPL is evil only if you wish to steal the code and take credit for it yourself.

Your ignorant "virus" comment aside, most useful code (libraries, etc...) is typically released under the LGPL, a license fundamentally different from the vanilla GPL, granting leeway for usage (dynamic linkage) that does not require release of source code. If a project has a GPL license, it is typically a stand-alone project (ie, not a library), and I can think of very few of those that have relevance to a game project, that can not easily be replaced with your own proprietary code. Libraries, on the other hand, are of eminent usefulness to a game project, and LGPL'ed libraries can be of tremendous benefit even in closed-source projects.



I never said anything remotely resembling what you've prattled on about. I'm trying to make clear to the OP the effects of the GPL. You appear to have taken a political position on the subject, which seems to happen a lot around here.

--
Dave Mikesell Software & Consulting

[edited by - dmikesell on November 13, 2003 8:05:18 AM]

[edited by - dmikesell on November 13, 2003 8:09:00 AM]

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quote:
Original post by dmikesell

I never said anything remotely resembling what you''ve prattled on about. I''m trying to make clear to the OP the effects of the GPL. You appear to have taken a political position on the subject, which seems to happen a lot around here.



I apologize for getting all political. However, the word "virus" has far too many negative associations in today''s world for anybody to be ignorant enough to use it to describe something, and not mean it negatively. In past experience, those who describe the GPL as viral are trying to cast FUD upon it, a "political" tactic straight from the playbooks of such organizations as Microsoft. If you wish to avoid a political discussion, perhaps you should avoid such obviously inflammatory remarks, and choose your words more carefully.

Josh
vertexnormal AT linuxmail DOT org


Check out Golem: Lands of Shadow, an isometrically rendered hack-and-slash inspired equally by Nethack and Diablo.

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quote:
Original post by dmikesell
If you''re distributing anything with your game that is GPL''d (e.g. the cygwin DLL), then you *have* to GPL your game. GPL is like a virus that infects all that it touches, which is why I generally try to avoid it. My client''s legal department is very wary of GPL''d software because they don''t want to distribute their own source code.

Food for thought as you decide whether to GPL or not to GPL.



--
Dave Mikesell Software & Consulting

[edited by - dmikesell on November 12, 2003 8:22:19 AM]



hehe I actually prefer this one =]

GPL is actually like a virus infecting software to make it become open source =]

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quote:
Original post by Imperil
GPL is actually like a virus infecting software to make it become open source =]

Except that that''s not true. One does not accidentally include GPLed code in their application. It does not happen magically, it''s always a deliberate act to violate the GPL, it does not sneak up on unsuspecting programmers. Until you accept the license a piece of software is licensed under you cannot have any rights to redistribute it; if you have not read the license and taken the time to understand it, then it would seem you could not have accepted the license. The "viral" association given to the GPL is a scenario of mass-denial that it''s your own fault for making assumptions. Just because many libraries allow one to use them through linking should not make one assume that all libraries are like that. Read and respect the license for the software you''re using, you''re breaking the same rules any software pirate does otherwise. (I''m sure we''re all well versed in this community''s feeling about software pirates...)

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quote:
Original post by dmikesell
How are these?

GPL''d software is like the Midas Touch. Everything it touches turns to GPL''d software (i.e. gold).

...alternatively...

GPL''d software is like holy water. Any other water it touches by definition becomes holy.

;-)


Heh heh. Well... I don''t know as I''d go too far in THAT direction, either.

BTW, I apologize for coming off as if I were jumping down your throat. Talk about knee-jerk reactionary-ism... :/ Especially as I agree that one should think carefully about possible future disposition of their code before making use of GPL code, and thus coming under the license. I am personally in favor of GPL, but I understand that it is not the answer for all projects.

In the future, if I climb up on any sort of high horse, feel free to knock me off.

Josh
vertexnormal AT linuxmail DOT org


Check out Golem: Lands of Shadow, an isometrically rendered hack-and-slash inspired equally by Nethack and Diablo.

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quote:
Original post by VertexNormal
In the future, if I climb up on any sort of high horse, feel free to knock me off.



Just get a shorter horse and you''ll be fine.

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