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Th0ughtCr1me

Licence Question: Can I transfer an LGPL to BSD if I own the copyright?

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I'm planning on my next project being a roguelike game engine in 3d. I would eventually like it to be under the 3BSD, but I would like the initial release to be copyleft to promote fast development up untill the release of a 1.0 version. At which point, I think the BSD would promote higher usage. So my question, can I do that? Or do I have to start out BSD to end BSD?

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If you are saying the answer is not clear cut, OK, but was really asking for the thoughts of someone who might know something about it, is this the wrong forum?

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I'm not a lawyer, but I did ask one about something similar recently. The answer I received is that yes - provided you own ALL of the licensed material (either because you wrote it, or because you have written copyright assignments from every contributor), and so long as both licenses are compatible with all linked libraries in your program.

License compatibility is a giant headache, but there are sites that list which licenses are compatible with other licenses.

You should signpost your intention; people tend to get upset by license changes, even when you are switching to a less restrictive license.

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As long as you own all related copyrights you are free to do as you please.

Just remember that you also have to comply with any third party libraries licences you use (This can under some circumstances limit your options)

Edit: Just remember: You will not own the copyrights for code which is added by another party so you can't change the licence for those parts without permission. (and if those parts are licenced under the GPL you can't include those parts in the BSD release unless the author provides another licence for his work)

[Edited by - SimonForsman on May 25, 2007 2:45:13 AM]

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If you own all the copyright, then you can change it to whatever you wish. However the problem is if anyone else contributes to your project, they'll also need to agree to the license changes. I'm using a few third party libraries in my game that went from LGPL to BSD-like licenses, and they include a log of email permissions from all contributors agreeing to the change, with any code to which permission could not be granted taken out of the code base.

In those cases the main author usually also writes about how it was all an enormous headache, so I'd recommend staying with the license you wish to keep the code in.

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
If you own all the copyright, then you can change it to whatever you wish. However the problem is if anyone else contributes to your project, they'll also need to agree to the license changes. I'm using a few third party libraries in my game that went from LGPL to BSD-like licenses, and they include a log of email permissions from all contributors agreeing to the change, with any code to which permission could not be granted taken out of the code base.

In those cases the main author usually also writes about how it was all an enormous headache, so I'd recommend staying with the license you wish to keep the code in.


Or require that contributors agree to a future licence change before you include their contributions in your software. (Ofcourse this pretty much means that those who prefer the GPL would be likely to fork your project instead of contributing to it)

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