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SyncViews

Thinking of releasing some stuff I’ve worked on, but not sure on the licensing

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SyncViews    734
I’ve got some bits of source code (generally library code) that some other people have expressed interested in (one being a somewhat substantial multi thousand line C++ extension to Game Maker).

Id quite like to release these for public use, perhaps even the source code rather than just using them for some of my private projects, however I don’t think that releasing them in either binary or source form without any copy write licence stuff at all is a good idea. However looking around I’ve seen no real advise on this :(.



Currently ID put what I have into two categories:
[list][*] Some smallish bits of code that I wouldn’t mind making open source, but I still want to "own" it, i.e. be able to say "I made that", put my original code under a more restrictive licence later if I desire (e.g. as part of the projects I’m currently writing on, which I certainly do not want to GPL for example), and make sure all source/sdk/non-end-user/whatever-the-term-is distributions must maintain credit to the programmers that worked on making it (not massively bothered with having a visible credit in the final program).[/list]
[list][*]Some larger libaries that I may or may not release the source code to, Id like to release in a manner which is free for non-commerical projects to use (regardless if there open source or not) but people selling it, charging a subscription, micro payments, etc, etc not.[/list]
Looking around Ive seen some people even on some larger things just say stuff like "Free for non-commerical use, contact x@y.com for commericial use", but looking at some of the "more complete" licence agreements, I'm not sure putting such a thing at the top of the file / on the download page actually means anythign at all in the eyes of the law?

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Hiwas    5807
[quote name='SyncViews' timestamp='1313682375' post='4850806']
I’ve got some bits of source code (generally library code) that some other people have expressed interested in (one being a somewhat substantial multi thousand line C++ extension to Game Maker).

Id quite like to release these for public use, perhaps even the source code rather than just using them for some of my private projects, however I don’t think that releasing them in either binary or source form without any copy write licence stuff at all is a good idea. However looking around I’ve seen no real advise on this :(.



Currently ID put what I have into two categories:
[list][*] Some smallish bits of code that I wouldn’t mind making open source, but I still want to "own" it, i.e. be able to say "I made that", put my original code under a more restrictive licence later if I desire (e.g. as part of the projects I’m currently writing on, which I certainly do not want to GPL for example), and make sure all source/sdk/non-end-user/whatever-the-term-is distributions must maintain credit to the programmers that worked on making it (not massively bothered with having a visible credit in the final program).[/list]
[list][*]Some larger libaries that I may or may not release the source code to, Id like to release in a manner which is free for non-commerical projects to use (regardless if there open source or not) but people selling it, charging a subscription, micro payments, etc, etc not.[/list]
Looking around Ive seen some people even on some larger things just say stuff like "Free for non-commerical use, contact x@y.com for commericial use", but looking at some of the "more complete" licence agreements, I'm not sure putting such a thing at the top of the file / on the download page actually means anythign at all in the eyes of the law?
[/quote]

The first case would most likely be a BSD style license. (Or it may be MIT.) Basically this just means open for any use but you are required to keep license, author etc information in place in the code and not missrepresent where you got it from.

The second case is LGPL with the static link exception. I just went through this with CyaSsl at work, we had to get a commercial license to embed it in our client. Basically, as you are the author you can release the code under any single or multiple licenses, so with LGPL open source/non-commercial can use it without problems. Any commercial use needs to get you to sign off on an exceptional usage under a commercial license. (I.e. pay you for it.)

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SyncViews    734
Being a library in the form of LGPL I thought commericail users could get around it just using my stuff in DLL form (or providing the object files for there stuff) since users of their commerical application could still update/mod/whatever the library I initialy provided?

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Hiwas    5807
[quote name='SyncViews' timestamp='1313695202' post='4850886']
Being a library in the form of LGPL I thought commericail users could get around it just using my stuff in DLL form (or providing the object files for there stuff) since users of their commerical application could still update/mod/whatever the library I initialy provided?
[/quote]

if they want a dll, yes they can do that. If you want to also block that, just go GPL with a commercial license option. Again, "you" being the author can offer the code under multiple licenses.

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SyncViews    734
GPL requires open source, which I'm not entirly sure I want to require, as long as there not financially profiting from it. At least it seems to me that for better or worse a lot of people working on games they make freely available on a non-profit bases, decide not to release the source code itself.

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Hiwas    5807
[quote name='SyncViews' timestamp='1313707009' post='4850975']
GPL requires open source, which I'm not entirly sure I want to require, as long as there not financially profiting from it. At least it seems to me that for better or worse a lot of people working on games they make freely available on a non-profit bases, decide not to release the source code itself.
[/quote]

Well, LGPL is your best bet then. "Maybe" the v3 prevents linkage against a DLL, you could check that. I'm not sure what other licenses would completely prevent commercialization without forcing open sourcing.

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SyncViews    734
Ok looked at some of those in more detail What is an individual thats not workign for a registered organisation of any kind supposed to substiute for the "<ORGANIZATION>" fields? And for <OWNER> can I generally specfiy multiple people with say a comma seperated list?

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Hiwas    5807
[quote name='SyncViews' timestamp='1313747489' post='4851124']
Ok looked at some of those in more detail What is an individual thats not workign for a registered organisation of any kind supposed to substiute for the "<ORGANIZATION>" fields? And for <OWNER> can I generally specfiy multiple people with say a comma seperated list?
[/quote]

So far as I know, just make up an organization name and yes for owner a comma separated list is fine.

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SimonForsman    7642
[quote name='AllEightUp' timestamp='1313707852' post='4850979']
[quote name='SyncViews' timestamp='1313707009' post='4850975']
GPL requires open source, which I'm not entirly sure I want to require, as long as there not financially profiting from it. At least it seems to me that for better or worse a lot of people working on games they make freely available on a non-profit bases, decide not to release the source code itself.
[/quote]

Well, LGPL is your best bet then. "Maybe" the v3 prevents linkage against a DLL, you could check that. I'm not sure what other licenses would completely prevent commercialization without forcing open sourcing.
[/quote]

LGPL v3 does not prevent linking against a dll, or even static linking, it only requires that the user is able to replace and/or modify the LGPL licensed library (Using a dll is the easiest way to meet the requirements, but you can link statically aswell and provide object files.)

If you want to block commercial use it gets more difficult though, neither the LGPL nor the GPL prevents commercial use (Its even against the license terms to add such a restriction) (The GPL makes some business models difficult(due to any customer getting the right to distribute copies of the code) and neither GPL nor LGPL libraries can be used on heavily restricted platforms (such as most consoles or iOS). (There are quite a few examples of GPL and LGPL licensed software being sold commercially, DOSBox and SDL are 2 fairly common examples).

CC-BY-NC seems to match what the OP wants from a license far better.

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