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justcallmedrago

Legal issues regarding selling a game? Licenses for IDE/API/Language?

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These may seem like completely obvious questions, but I've been searching and I haven't found any solid answers to them. I want to start a game with the end goal in mind of selling it (or at least being able to) without having to purchase licenses or something.

If it sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about, I don't! I'd like to know which IDEs, APIs, and languages that are usable without purchasing anything.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions are nice, but do I have to get a license to sell something compiled in them?

Because C# is developed my Microsoft, are there any licensing issues there?

Do I have to get a license to sell a game that uses DirectX?


If there's an article out there that explains all/any of these well, please point me to it!

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Quote:
Original post by justcallmedrago
Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions are nice, but do I have to get a license to sell something compiled in them?
Nope.
Quote:
Because C# is developed my Microsoft, are there any licensing issues there?
There are many, many licensing issues, but none that affect your ability to sell a program written in C#.
Quote:
Do I have to get a license to sell a game that uses DirectX?
Nope.

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This is easy to find out; read their licenses.

If the license doesn't say that you can or you cannot use it, then it's best to probably ask a lawyer who knows about this stuff. After all, are you really going to trust some Internet forum posters enough to start selling your game? :)

But as far as I know, Visual Studio Express, DirectX and C# can all be used for commercial development without paying any fees.

But it's simply impossible to list ALL libraries that you can use commercially without paying. First of all there are tons of them. Second, they all have different licenses; some allow you to use, some allow to use and modify, some allow to use and modify but say you must release all modifications etc... Then there are funny licenses like GPL which (as far as I've understood) allows you to sell but say the buyer has the right to release the software for free.

Etc...

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IDEs, compilers, languages: these things usually place no license restriction on programs you write with them.

However, there are rules covering how you interact with the Visual C++ runtime, which you are implicitly linked to when using Visual C++. You can choose to statically link to it, but you will need to do this for all your dependencies. There is typically a separate installer for this "end user redistributable".

Programs written in C# aren't a problem, but again the associated CLI runtime is separate from both your IDE and your program. Modern Windows machines are likely to have some version of the .Net CLI available, but again there is an end user redistributable available that you should integrate with your installer process.

As for APIs, it is API specific. DirectX is like the above I believe, having a separate end user redistributable. This is why installing DirectX is frequently a separate installation step. For "free" or "open source" libraries, you can usually use them without spending any money, but there might be other license terms (specifically those that involve your program's source code availability) that may apply.

IANAL though. You should do some more research to confirm these things for yourself.

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Quote:
Original post by rip-offseparate end user redistributable

Alright, I'll probably be able to find plenty of info regarding that, but this means that I can't simply package the things I depend on into MY installer, right? I have to use Microsoft's/whoever's installer?

Also, I found a thread mentioning:
Quote:
from http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vcgeneral/thread/8f6ecc65-e2fa-478f-af62-266f08f1a0ea/
In VC++ 2008 Express, the EULA says "You also may not use the software for commercial software hosting services."


Does this even apply to me? And what does it mean anyway?


Quote:
Original post by kvee
This is easy to find out; read their licenses.

Right. I will! Now, does "commercial" mean something you can sell, or simply something that may be distributed? I don't know the legal difference between just handing something you made out for free and selling it. What lingo would I be looking for?

Quote:
But it's simply impossible to list ALL libraries

I understand. :P

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Legal/Business questions belong in The Business forum. Moving. OP, see the numerous other discussions about software licenses (you can also read older discussions).

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