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moetman

Making money from Open Source

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I was reading this: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1836.asp and was wondering if you create a game using open source sound libraries (OpenAL,Openalpp) and graphics libraries (OSG) and it is taken up by a publisher, then do you have to ship the game with those libraries ? including your own source code ? Even if you haven't altered the code of those libraries?

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If you use LGPL libraries you don't have to ship your source. If the libraries are GPL on the other hand you'd have to distribute source, the GPL is almost the only common library that would force you to do that, others like zlib, BSD, are even less restrictive than the LGPL.

Also, even if you do ship your source, you can sell an open source game, the resources (maps, graphics, sounds) are outside any license of libraries your code is under which makes it possible to sell an open source game.

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Quote:
Original post by moetman
I was reading this:
and was wondering if you create a game using open source sound libraries (OpenAL,Openalpp) and graphics libraries (OSG) and it is taken up by a publisher, then do you have to ship the game with those libraries ?
Under the LGPL if you use a stock library, you can simply link to the original souce files. If you modify it, you need to ship the code or make it avalible somehow.

If you use the GPL, all your code must go.

However, as cozman pointed out, there are hundreds of "Opensource" licenses. zlib, BSD, LGPL, Apple, etc. The four most popular are zlib, BSD, LGPL and GPL, so it might be good to read up on them. Here.

Overall, it depends on the licensing. Some licenses, like Apple Public Source License, allows you to be sued for Patent problems, where as GPL/LGPL, it's the person who wrote the code's fault. Others, like BSD, is totally open, you can rip things out to your heart's content without giving credit to the person who wrote the code. Some licenses are called Open but they're not very open, like an inability to fork a project or use the code in your own project.

At the end, it's going to depend on the license and your use. It's too big a question for a single forum post by a non-lawyer.

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So if I use a library that is LGPL , another that is BSD and another that is GPL , then all must defer to GPL and so all code must be shipped with the application right ?

Don't get me wrong I'm all for opensource , I would just like to get some enumeration from developing a game (..with the essential Sound, Graphic libraries that would take too long to develop yourself)

Regards

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Quote:
Original post by moetman
So if I use a library that is LGPL , another that is BSD and another that is GPL , then all must defer to GPL and so all code must be shipped with the application right?
Nope, you can ship without code, but you must make sure that anyone who wants the code may get it within a reasonable time and for no more than $5.

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