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ultramailman

software license

5 posts in this topic

Hello, I have some questions regarding software licenses.

 

For a school project, I am going to make use of a source code I wrote for a game I am making. This is the first time I am going to use a license, so I am quite confused on several things. Here are my questions:

 

1. I've decided to use a BSD license (http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-2-Clause). To use it, do I simply put the text of the license at the top of the source file, and change year to 2013 and name to my real name?

 

2. This school project is a team project, so the project does not belong to me alone. Do I need to make changes to the license text to clarify that? (that the project belongs to the team, but this particular source file belongs to me)

 

3. For year, do I put the year I created the source file, or the year I slap the license on the file, or something else?

 

4. Do I need to leave an email address at the top of the license text?

 

I think that's all the questions I can think of for now.

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Why do you feel you need a License for a school project ?

Is your code going to be viewed by the entire class ?  Is you instructor going to use your code in future instructional lessons ?

 

Most countries provide your code protection by simply adding the phrase :  CopyRight 2013  All Rights Reserved  ( Your Name )

1 - You do not put the license in your code text.  You simply supply a copy along with your source code or however  you provide use of your code.

2 - If you and the others are in agreement.  Give yourselfs a name and provide that name as the Issuer of the License

3 - Generally the year in which you make your code or program is the year you use

4- A way to contact you in the future about further use of your code or any portion of it could be benificial to you.

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Why do you feel you need a License for a school project ?

Is your code going to be viewed by the entire class ? Is you instructor going to use your code in future instructional lessons ?

 

Ah.

I feel like I needed a license for that particular piece of code because I'll be using it in two projects, my own game and a school project that does not belong to me solely. So I thought a license is the way to go if I want to clarify that neither did I or the school project authors plagiarized.

 


Most countries provide your code protection by simply adding the phrase : CopyRight 2013 All Rights Reserved ( Your Name )

1 - You do not put the license in your code text. You simply supply a copy along with your source code or however you provide use of your code.

2 - If you and the others are in agreement. Give yourselfs a name and provide that name as the Issuer of the License

3 - Generally the year in which you make your code or program is the year you use

4- A way to contact you in the future about further use of your code or any portion of it could be benificial to you.

 

Thanks, that's reassuring.

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Before you even do that, I recommend you check with your instructor first. In many schools, any code written for a class is usually copyrighted to the school (for legal reasons; if the instructor gets "inspired" by your code and decides to use it in his own project). Make sure your instructor is alright with you using code you wrote previously which you are licensing under XYZ license. You should do this with any external library that is used for school projects (unless the instructor specifically states to use the library).

 

Just my two cents.

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It gets really tricky, really quickly.  That is why you should talk to a lawyer if you are serious about the question.

 

There are many important questions.

 

Are you or any of the students receiving payment from the school in any way? Are you employees in a student lab, or receiving a research stipend, or receiving any grants or funding of any kind? If so, any work you create may be covered under 'work for hire' laws, or may be bound by other contract terms that were accepted as part of getting the money.

 

What school resources did you use? What resources does the University supply? Is the work entirely your own, or are you building from a framework or from other materials provided by the school? What contributions does your instructor make? Those contributions may be enough to consider the school a collaborator on the assignment, or even to make your project a derivative work of the school's. The exact details can be very important.

 

Does the school have a policy on copyright and other intellectual property which you agreed to? It is increasingly common for universities to require a release of rights, or they might require that all works submitted as part of coursework and degree requirements be treated as joint works. Many schools, especially schools with research departments or graduate studies, have learned that licensing student's work can generate significant revenue. Most schools have had their lawyers update the school's policies to ensure that they can get money whenever a student's work has significant commercial potential.

 

 

If you were working on the project for your own purposes and not for a school project then it would be a simple collaboration; a collaboration agreement would be sufficient.  

 

Because you are turning the project in for a school assignment, and because the project is being used in consideration toward your degree program, and because the school may have contributed resources to the project, the school might acquire some ownership of the result. 

 

It is an area to tread lightly.

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