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Yuukie

is this GPL3 compatible?

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Yuukie    122
I want to make a game but the game name is trademarked and the site sais the game itself is also patented. I want to make an opensource computergame (it's a boardgame originally). The licence of the game writes that I am allowed to make an opensource game given that I follow a few rules. But I'm unsure if I can put this licence in my game and at the same time release it under the GPL(3). A snippit of the game-licence:
Quote:
======== 3. Non-commercial, non-PER use or distribution. ======== Some usage or distribution of Arimaa may be non-commercial, but also not fall under the personal, educational and research (PER) category. For such cases a written authorization must be obtained from Arimaa.com. Examples of non-commercial, non-PER use or distribution: * I want to freely distribute software that incorporates Arimaa. Such as open source software that plays Arimaa. * I want to run a web site that allows people to play Arimaa for free. The site does not generate any revenue from users or through advertising. * I want to hold an Arimaa tournament. There is no registration fee or the organizer does not receive any portion of the registration fees. This list of examples is not complete; there may be other cases that fall under this category. If you have a doubt about your specific case please use the contact form mentioned above to discuss it. What is granted: * The Arimaa name may be used. * The Arimaa game may be implemented. What is expected: * Must mention that the product or service is being provided with a written authorization from Arimaa.com and in compliance with "Section 3 of the Arimaa Public License". * Must mention that any derivitates of the product/service must also comply with the "Arimaa Public License". * Must mention that Arimaa name is a registered trademark. * Must mention that the Arimaa game is patented. * Must clearly dislay the URL www.arimaa.com with the product or service. * Must provide a link to http://arimaa.com/arimaa if the product/service is being offered on the Internet. * If any rights are being granted to the end user it must be mentioned that those rights apply only to the product/service and do not apply to the Arimaa game.

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monalaw    1367
According to what you posted from the license, your usage (creation of an open source game) would require written consent from Arimaa.com. Once you obtain written consent, you will also have to:

Quote:

* Must mention that the product or service is being provided with a written
authorization from Arimaa.com and in compliance with "Section 3 of
the Arimaa Public License".
* Must mention that any derivitates of the product/service must also
comply with the "Arimaa Public License".
* Must mention that Arimaa name is a registered trademark.
* Must mention that the Arimaa game is patented.
* Must clearly dislay the URL www.arimaa.com with the product or service.
* Must provide a link to http://arimaa.com/arimaa if the product/service
is being offered on the Internet.
* If any rights are being granted to the end user it must be mentioned that
those rights apply only to the product/service and do not apply to
the Arimaa game.


Unfortunately the Arimaa public license is not compatible with the GPL3 license because the Arimaa public license requires obtaining written permission or a further license from Arimaa to distribute software commercially or on a non-PER basis (i.e., Open Source). Specifically, it says that non-PER works, "Must mention that any derivitates of the product/service must also comply with the 'Arimaa Public License'" (which would require creators of derivative works obtaining written permission/a separate license). This directly conflicts with GPL3, which requires that licensors expressly cannot require those conditions. It seems that use of the Arimaa product would almost inevitably require use of the Arimaa license.

Theoretically you *might* be able to run your open source on a separate license from the Arimaa license, but as both GPL3 and Arimaa have viral language (quoted above) that's highly problematic and really irresponsible.

[Edited by - madelelaw on April 22, 2008 11:19:19 AM]

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EdR    117
Quote:
Original post by Yuukie
So under which (opensource) licence I can publish this game, given that I have an written consent from Arimaa.com?
You have to comply with their licensing requirements in any programs you write that are derivative works, so...probably none of the major ones, because this license restricts commercial use. None of the major open-source licenses do.

Honestly, you're better off just making a similar game that's different enough to not incur the patent trolling.

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Stani R    1070
I agree that it doesn't look like you could use any existing open-source license. You could try using this Arimaa Public License, but that could make things confusing. You could also write your own license, complying with their terms, but you will want a lawyer to go over it.

What's worse, the Arimaa Public License contains some questionable terms, like the Jurisdiction clause. I don't think a lawyer was consulted in the creation of this license. If I were in your situation, I'd look for another game to make, to be honest.

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Yuukie    122
I have read some stuff and I understand that US patents are not valid outside the US-ground. I'm not an US-citizen so that gives me some space to move in right?

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Stani R    1070
Well, once you make something available online, it will generally be available in the US, and you could potentially get sued there for infringing patents. Your citizenship doesn't matter one bit for this, either. If you want to know for sure, better ask a lawyer.

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monalaw    1367
Quote:
Original post by Yuukie
I have read some stuff and I understand that US patents are not valid outside the US-ground. I'm not an US-citizen so that gives me some space to move in right?


It's true that patents are only enforceable in their country of origin. However, if you enter into a written license with them you're bound by the terms of that license whether or not the patent is enforceable. If they can't get you on the patent claim, they'll get you on breach of contract. As they provide written consent, they have an incentive to monitor your use and distribution.

There may also be some protection of international scope pursuant to the Geneva convention as far as the patent goes, not to mention trademark issues.

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