Sign in to follow this  
David Burford

Legal what rights do you retain / what is allowed AFTER open sourcing a project?

Recommended Posts

Hi all, hope this is okay to post here.

There seems to be a myriad of open source licenses these days and then multiple versions of each one so it begins to become confusing as to which you should use and when.

My scenario is I have been working for some time on a rogueish engine that I've always intended to open source when the base engine is finished and release to whomever is interested in it. People would be welcome to use it to make their own (non-commercial) games out of it as per the norm. The engine is very modable before you even get to the source so its flexible for multiple types of project.

To that end, in the back of my head I'm thinking one day I could REALLY polish it up and make something commercial with it as the base engine. But do I lose my right to do that if I've given away the source as "open" for other peoples non-commercial ventures? Would I be obliged to share my changes, if any, to the base engine? It seems obvious that if someone else submitted code to the open source public repository that i COULDNT use that without permission and thats fine.

But what if someone contact me and said hey I really like the work, could I license this to do something commercial? I'm guessing I could license *my* version of the source as long as it had no one elses contributions included? This project is not in the wild yet for what its worth, I'm just trying to get a more solid understanding of what actually happens to your rights as author after you've declared "open source". 

 

Thanks for your time! :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In most countries on the planet you can not give up your natural rights in your creation, not even if you sign a contract. There are some significant exception to that, including some in North America.

You'll notice that most "open source" software licenses are licenses (permissions) to use and possibly distribute a work derived from copyrighted code.  Some licenses require that you distribute a copy of the sources wit the derived work, but not all do. All of the licenses work by having you, the creator of the work, maintain the original copyright and as the creator, you can continue to distribute the work under any license you please.  That includes a license involving the exchange of funds or the acceptance of liability, or dropping a condition of making the code available.  Your choice.

Keep in mind there are billion-dollar multinational corporations that do nothing but distribute Free software.  Being commercial and being "open source" are orthogonal concepts.

Also keep in mind that enforcing your copyright and asserting control of your code is done through tort law.  That means you have to pay lawyers and stuff even in the event of a dispute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooooh  ooooh. I wrote a couple of pieces on this.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/2008/03/open-source-faq/

 

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/2008/03/open-source-f-1/

 

I should probably update these, to be honest, but reasons. I have a couple of clients who have "open-sourced" certain components of their game, but generally I've advised them to simply open source the mod tool and not the game itself. Ping me directly for specific questions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That was literally perfect. Very detailed and everything I wanted to know, thanks!

I may have some more specific questions in future - when you say "ping" do you mean pm? (Sorry I'm clearly not down with the cool kids anymore :p)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was literally perfect. Very detailed and everything I wanted to know, thanks!

I may have some more specific questions in future - when you say "ping" do you mean pm? (Sorry I'm clearly not down with the cool kids anymore :P)

 

yup, just shoot me a PM on here or on Discord, (Cherished#9159), or shoot me an e-mail. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      628281
    • Total Posts
      2981804
  • Similar Content

    • By Giannis Marinakis
      Hello everyone!
      I have a GitHub repository on which I'm developing a Open Network Library for Java Developers and I'd like to share it so more people come in and contribute. Till now the repo is being developed only by me so the library is not 100% bug free. I'd really like this repo to be famous and got people working on it!
      [You will find more information in the repo]
      Here's the link for the repo: https://github.com/giannismarinakis/java-open-nl
      Thanks!
    • By swiftcoder
      Pictured are outputs of the Marching Cubes algorithm (left), and surface reconstruction via 'Deferred Rasterisation' (right).
      These are examples from a little library I wrote for Rust, that provides various implementations of isosurface extraction from volume data. You can find the Apache-2.0 licensed source code on github, or the Rust package on crates.io.
    • By Effekseer
      Effekseer Project develops "Effekseer," which is visual software for creating open source games; on November 1, I released "Effekseer 1.3," which is the latest major version release. With Effekseer, you can easily create various visual effects simply by specifying different parameters.
       
      Effekseer is a tool to create various visual effects used in games and others. You can create various visual effects such as explosion, light emission, and particles. Effekseer's effect creation tool works only on Windows. However, the created visual effects can be viewed on Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and other environments using plugins runtime / plugins such as DirectX, OpenGL, and Unity.
      Effekseer 1.3 is an updated version of Effekseer 1.2 released in June 2016.
      This update contains the following changes:
      -Addition of a file viewer that makes it easy to manage effect files;
      -Improvements in UI such as adding icons for easy understanding of editing status;
      -Addition of a function to read FBX as a 3D model file;
      -Addition of parameters for easier control of the effects.
      In addition to Unity, I have added plugins / libraries to UnrealEngine 4 and Cocos2d-x.
      This makes it possible to play effects in most major development environments.Besides that, more than 70 new sample effects have been added and many bugs have been fixed.
      Effekseer 1.3 is available on the project website.
      The license for the software is the MIT license.

      Effekseer 
      http://effekseer.github.io/

      Github
      https://github.com/effekseer/Effekseer
       
       

      View full story
    • By Effekseer
      Effekseer Project develops "Effekseer," which is visual software for creating open source games; on November 1, I released "Effekseer 1.3," which is the latest major version release. With Effekseer, you can easily create various visual effects simply by specifying different parameters.
       
      Effekseer is a tool to create various visual effects used in games and others. You can create various visual effects such as explosion, light emission, and particles. Effekseer's effect creation tool works only on Windows. However, the created visual effects can be viewed on Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and other environments using plugins runtime / plugins such as DirectX, OpenGL, and Unity.
      Effekseer 1.3 is an updated version of Effekseer 1.2 released in June 2016.
      This update contains the following changes:
      -Addition of a file viewer that makes it easy to manage effect files;
      -Improvements in UI such as adding icons for easy understanding of editing status;
      -Addition of a function to read FBX as a 3D model file;
      -Addition of parameters for easier control of the effects.
      In addition to Unity, I have added plugins / libraries to UnrealEngine 4 and Cocos2d-x.
      This makes it possible to play effects in most major development environments.Besides that, more than 70 new sample effects have been added and many bugs have been fixed.
      Effekseer 1.3 is available on the project website.
      The license for the software is the MIT license.

      Effekseer 
      http://effekseer.github.io/

      Github
      https://github.com/effekseer/Effekseer
       
       
    • By hyyou
      Questions :-
      To sell a C++ game library/framework/engine, does it usually have to be open-sourced?  For a C++ template class (real template), it is quite hard not to be open-sourced, correct? If it is open-sourced, how to protect the copyright? How to enforce people to just use it, but not copy? ... I think it is practically very hard, because people can see the source code, and "rewrite" it. Does a shop like Unity's asset store make thing safer?  If so, how? Arrogant assumption :-
      The game library/framework/engine is high-quality, well-documented, and it would be marvellously sell well. Besides some free libraries like Bullet and Ogre, it is developed all by myself. The library/framework/engine is not bound to any legal obligation (e.g. the most restriction is MIT). I have these questions after reading a news  :-
      Muhagames develop a game named Thea Awakening (C#). The company use its own Honey Hex Framework (C#) as a library to develop the game. The company sell Honey Hex Framework via Unity's asset store to boost its financial position. There are also others old examples e.g. Unity itself or Unreal, which is now open-source ... How do they protect it?
      Actually, I don't plan to sell any library. I am just curious.
  • Popular Now