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_Sigma

SourceForge and GNU

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So I've signed up at SourceForge to host my project, mainly as a way to keep me working on the damn thing. So I figured I needed to license my project under the GNU General Public License. But I've heard there are other licensing agrements that one can use. So, what are my options? Which is best for a (hopefully) going to be completeded 2d rpg? Dont plan on selling, but I don't want people ripping off my code, then selling it. What does one have to do to get licensed? Does it cost money? [Insert any other pertinent question(s) here.] Thanks for any input!

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GPL makes sure noone can take your code and extend it without making it GPL as well, things like BSD and zlib they can extend then close the source code and sell it. It shouldn't cost any money to license it.

When you sign up I am pretty sure there is a dropdown menu of licenses to choose from.

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There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about the use of GPL (and the lesser version), that probably won't be resolved anytime soon.

But here's a quick overview of the 3 most common licences.

GPL - Requires any project that uses the code/libraries etc. to be GNU and opensource as well. This is very restrictive for some people, but if you want to force opensource development with your libraries it's the one to choose.

Lesser GPL - What licence an application/code base should use if they use your code depends on how they use it. Any changes to your code/library (or as a catch all term 'work based upon' it) are required to be opensource to. But if they just use it (such as linking to a library - and here is where the confusion arises) then the host appliaction can be closed source et. al.

zLib/libPng - Basically lets someone do what they want to your code such as use it, mod it, change it whatever! All they have to do is aknowledge where it came from (I think they have to, can't remeber off the top of my head).

In your case, if you want to make sure that people don't rip you off, then GNU might be the best as it is the most restrictive. But with OpenSource software, there is little to stop someone using it and selling it!

There are plenty of other licences that you might want to look into. For a full list go to the OSI website.

Hope thats some use for you. You could also search GPL on GameDev. There have been plenty of discussions about it in the past!

Spree

[Edited by - SpreeTree on March 30, 2006 4:38:57 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by _Sigma
Ok. So i should go GPL not GNU?


GPL is short for The GNU General Public License.

GNU is an organization with at least a few licenses:

GPL - The GNU General Public License. Anything working with it must be GPLed as well (viral).
LGPL - The GNU Lesser General Public License. Similar to the GPL, only other, closed source applications, may link to the LGPLed code. Changes to the LGPLed code itself must still be LGPLed/open source.
FDL - The GNU Free Documentation License.

I'm going to guess you want the first one for this project.

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Quote:
Original post by _Sigma
So, what are my options? Which is best for a (hopefully) going to be completeded 2d rpg? Dont plan on selling, but I don't want people ripping off my code, then selling it. What does one have to do to get licensed? Does it cost money? [Insert any other pertinent question(s) here.]


Don't forget, the GPL covers distribution conditions of your software. You still retain copyright of your software. That means anyone who rips off your code and sells it has violated copyright statutes (should you have them where you live). It also means that although you require others to distribute your work and derivative works under the GPL, you can choose to distribute it under different licenses as well. For example, you could privately license a custom version to Daddy Bigbucks Inc. for an undisclosed fee.

You still retain copyright. The license is an contract others must follow.

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If you can't quickly grasp the terms of the license, can anyone else? And will they bother to?

I have read the full text of the GPL precisely once. I will never, ever read it again. I will also never apply it to any source code I happen to license for use by others. Its unnecessarily intricate language actually precludes comprehension for many (witness the endless arguments over its terms), which makes it a poor choice for widespread adoption. The GPL continues to exert influence due to inertia, and due to certain "rockstar" projects like the Linux kernel being licensed under it.

Do the world a favor and prefer straight talking. Choose a license that a non-native English speaker can understand. There are many to choose from.

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