Sign in to follow this  
Codemonger

GPL License

Recommended Posts

I was looking for information on the GPL license this morning and came across an interesting article that discusses a number of different licenses in general and plain english. I thought I would share this article I found with everybody because it may help people in deciding and understanding whether or not they want to use a particular license or how they can use a particular license. It is short but very informative especially the part marked "Is there any way to take code issued under the General Public License and apply it to your own proprietary software?". Clicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Codemonger
It is short but very informative especially the part marked "Is there any way to take code issued under the General Public License and apply it to your own proprietary software?".


If you want to distribute your software, there's still no way to put GPL code into your software without making all your code GPL. What I think he was getting at (from a gamedev perspective) is that if you create a game, and then you or someone else creates a level editor that is released under the GPL, you can distribute the level editor with your game without having to make your game GPL. But if you integrate code from the level editor into the game you're going to have to GPL the whole game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeah for sure. Personally I think this is a straight forward interpretation. I wanted to look into using gcc as a beckend for something I'm writing.

Seeing as I would not need to integrate the code but only use the gcc binaries externally, then I would not have to release my application as gpl at all. This article cleared this up completely as I know there are a lot of myths about GPL that float around.

I never looked int GPL stuff till now, so this article helped me out lots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I released stuff in GPL for awhile. And, of course, when I was using GPL components, I was forced by the authors to use the GPL license.

But whenever I'm not shackled by GPLed components, I release stuff I'm going to release as public domain. There's no linking-versus-copying grey areas, no need for an alternate license model for commercial development, no license at all, in fact (other than the warranty disclaimer)... just "take it and do whatever you like with it".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Sneftel
But whenever I'm not shackled by GPLed components, I release stuff I'm going to release as public domain. There's no linking-versus-copying grey areas, no need for an alternate license model for commercial development, no license at all, in fact (other than the warranty disclaimer)... just "take it and do whatever you like with it".


You might want to look at the MIT License. It's essentially public domain, except that you still hold the copyright - though anyone can do anything with the code. Then again, you might be happy enough with just realeasing it as public domain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
You might want to look at the MIT License. It's essentially public domain, except that you still hold the copyright - though anyone can do anything with the code. Then again, you might be happy enough with just realeasing it as public domain.

The MIT license is a good one; it isn't significantly more restrictive than public domain. My main reason for choosing PD is that there are zero misunderstandings about what you can and can't do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the "GPL for Artists" is a little misleading in the "Can my organization use Blender internally without giving up our valuable changes to our competitors?" section. While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by makeshiftwings
I think the "GPL for Artists" is a little misleading in the "Can my organization use Blender internally without giving up our valuable changes to our competitors?" section. While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.


Of course, then that employee gets fired and branded a traitor. There are more subtle ways of punishing someone than taking legal recourse. [evil]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by makeshiftwings
While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.


Are you a lawyer?

IANAL, but as long as the modified versions are only installed on company computers, I don't believe that that counts as distribution (see the GNU GPL FAQ on internal distribution, which appears to agree with this). Assuming the modifications were done under contract, that means the company is probably the owner of the modifications. Further, they may be breaking trade secret law, if the company decides those modifications are indeed trade secrets, and the distribution of the source "theft" (see the GNU GPL FAQ on stolen copies, which again seems to agree with this).

In other words, they could still go to jail, not pass go, and not collect $200 on TOP of getting fired and getting a bad repute in the industry.

This is a classic example of why asking GD.NET for legal advice is a bad idea - people froget their IANAL tags.

Also, in case linking it twice allready in this post wasn't enough, the GNU GPL FAQ covers a lot of questions about the GNU GPL.

[Edited by - MaulingMonkey on June 24, 2005 11:35:09 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
whoa .. easy guys .. uhm I'm pretty sure this is a forum, and if you can not ask questions here or make statements then where can you ? Maybe a top 10 copy and paste link answering system for members over 1100 rating should be posted, so members with high ratings can quickly post the same old BS replies:

ie.

#1

Q. I need an ideas on GPL license and software patents, I also have a couple of quick questions ?

A1. You shouldn't ask game related legal questions on Gamedev, go see a lawyer ...

A2. Heres a link to GPL license FAQ, go figure it out yourself ...

-----------------------------------------------------------

sorry, had to do it, I've seen this happen around here lately and it has to be one of the most annoying things I have ever seen. You have thousands of members with various backgrounds (maybe lawyers) and experience to debate, answer, and discuss topics, yet a lot of members with high ratings have a need to make stupid remarks like go see a lawyer. I myself have taken a year of Canadian business law. Maybe the front page should read "Go hire a real game development company for game devlopment tips."

-----------------------------------------------------------

I know rating -- ,this is very off topic and I hate to be unfriendly, but this is like the 10th time i've seen the "go see a lawyer bit" , had to get it off my chest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Codemonger
whoa .. easy guys .. uhm I'm pretty sure this is a forum, and if you can not ask questions here or make statements then where can you ? Maybe a top 10 copy and paste link answering system for members over 1100 rating should be posted, so members with high ratings can quickly post the same old BS replies:


That _HAD_ to be directed at me, I'm the only person who's contradicted anything.

1) I was correcting (what I believe to be) a falsity, which was misleadingly stated as fact. I pointed out the reason why, prehaps not asking and taking with a grain of salt, but asking and relying upon, the advice of this forum in legal manners (the things that you can get sued and thrown in jail over) is a bad idea.

2) I provided links to back up my claims, rather than simply saying "well I think this and that but I have no evidence to support my case". This is much different from saying "go figure it out yourself". Also, providing the link helps to answer other possible questions, which comes across as "also, here's a somewhat authoratative link that may help answer any more questions you might not otherwise be able to find the answers to". Keyword: authoratative. Someone more trustable than your random AP, possibly on the level of some lawyers.

3) I never once stated, nor has anyone else here in this thread, "go see a lawyer", although it's good advice in general for legal concerns - assuming you havn't taken a year of business law, and thus have no clue how the law will work.

4) Why are you complaining? Overworked in your lawfirm? Tired of getting business? If you're not a lawyer, I'd point out that a lot of us come from sue-crazy USA. I'm assuming Canadians are much more sensible than here, where you can spill hot coffee served to you in your own lap, sue for millions, and win.

Basically, I'm trying to stop the spread of misinformation by pointing it out, and I'm trying to stop the spread of future misinformation by pointing out they don't appear to be qualified to be giving authoritative advice, and thus should make note of that. Note my use of such statements as "I don't believe", "they may be", "they could still", and "IANAL". I don't pretend to be an authority on this subject, but rather state my own beliefs as just that - beliefs - and provide what authoritative evidence I can muster.

Sure. Ask questions, and we'll either answer them or point out how easy it would be for you to find out yourself, so the next time around, you can find out right away rather than wait for us to reply.

Sure. Make statements. Just try to make sure you're right, or if I spot it, I will do my best to correct it if nobody else allready has. If you imply you're authority by placing no disclaimer on your statements, try to make sure you are one, or if I spot it, I will do my best to correct that falsity as well.

[Edited by - MaulingMonkey on June 25, 2005 10:15:29 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lol - no I'm not a lawyer, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been through three full blown trials, and yes hardly anyone sues anybody in Canada, no million dollar settlements around here.

No harm intended, it's just a rant ... observation I've made lately and it wasn't directed at you in particular, personally I've found out more about GPL with just discussing it here on Gamedev than reading a FAQ. In another thread someone pointed out to me an amendment to GPL for linux core OS, that I was not aware of, this helped explain a lot of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this