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JulieMaru-chan

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  1. JulieMaru-chan

    License for a Game Engine?

    Right, but I got the impression that he was concerned about people competing unfairly with forks he can't benefit from (i.e. proprietary forks). Copyleft protects against that quite well. It's the whole reason Linus Torvalds used the GPL for Linux (he doesn't care about the FSF's philosophy at all).
  2. JulieMaru-chan

    License for a Game Engine?

    Where do you get that impression? It seems to me he just wants the benefits of copyleft: to give users the freedom to use and extend the engine, but make sure they don't keep the changes to themselves in a proprietary fork. For that goal, my recommendation is pretty simple: the GNU LGPL for the engine, and the GNU GPL for the editor. Of course the LGPL requires dynamic linking for proprietary programs (instead of static linking), but there's a good reason for that requirement: it makes it possible to modify the library in isolation and then run the proprietary program with the modified library. I think in this case, a lawyer is unnecessary. These are quite simple documents and getting help is quite easy The Free Software Foundation (authors of the GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, GNU AGPL, and the definition of libre software itself) actually has a whole page dedicated to helping libre software developers out on this issue, for example.
  3. Just to clarify, that wasn't the disclaimer I was recommending. I was recommending something more like this: "The car models in this game are not intended to resemble or portray any real-life car models. Any resemblance to real-life cars is purely coincidental." I don't know, it seems like an unrealistic standard to me. You can't design a car without referencing cars; first of all, you've already seen the cars, so you'll end up getting ideas from them subconsciously anyway, and second of all, all work is derivative; no one just comes up with 100% original art. This may seem like a nitpick, but I find your language here to be rather sloppy, and it stems from your insistence on the term "IP". A car design is not "an IP". It's a combination of various engineering choices (most of which are probably not patented), aesthetic choices (most of which are probably not copyrighted), and distinctive looks (some of which may be considered trademarks). Of course a lawyer should be consulted on stuff like this, but in this case, I don't see copyright as being a real issue. Trademarks seem to be the most important issue. And since, as you yourself said, trademarks are about preventing confusion, you don't need to start in a vacuum to avoid trademark infringement. In Canada, yes, but the U.S. has quite strong, flexible fair use protection.
  4. JulieMaru-chan

    License for a Game Engine?

    I used the GNU LGPL for mine, plus GPL extensions. No, because that's not how copyleft works. Copyleft doesn't require anyone to contribute to anything; it just requires derivative works to include source code under the same license (the MPL in this case). No, not that either. Under copyleft licenses, as long as recipients of the binary also get source code at no additional cost, the requirement is satisfied. They could even choose to charge $500 for binary copies, as long as anyone who buys those binaries gets source code too. No. No libre license has such a requirement. It would go against the four freedoms of libre software. It depends on what the terms of the license are. Copyleft licenses generally prohibit this; that's the point of copyleft. But exceptions are common. Since you're talking about the MPL, that license permits relicensing to the GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, or GNU AGPL. In the case of an Expat-style license, combining with code under other licenses is permissible, so e.g. if you add GNU GPL code, you get a GNU GPL program with an Expat-licensed portion. Full details are a bit more complicated than that, but that's the run-down. As for you, if you own the full copyright to the work, you can relicense it however you want, albeit you can't take away these licenses from people who already got copies under them (these are perpetual grants of permission). But if you accept outside contributions, those contributions will be covered by copyright owned by the respective contributors and you will have the same requirements regarding those portions as anyone else. In the case of those two licenses, yes. Yes, absolutely. I don't know about that. Firstly because the MPL is such a weak copyleft license, and secondly because I'm not so sure that copyleft drives people away. For an Expat-style license, no one at all is required to publish or give away source code to anybody. In any case, if you are the full copyright owner of a program, its license doesn't apply to you because you are not restricted by your own copyrights. Yes.
  5. Half of the sentence you were quoting was missing from what you quoted, which makes it look as if Ripples was only planning on using a disclaimer. But he also said he would change the designs and names to distinguish the cars. I don't see how "going 5 over the posted speed limit" is a parallel. Aside from the fact that there's no such thing as not having a gray area when it comes to trademarks (meaning that you can't really compare the issue to something as well-defined as a speed limit), changing the car designs to prevent them from resembling the originals too much, changing the names entirely, and adding a disclaimer for good measure seems to me like a very responsibly cautious thing to do. There are some things that are not aesthetic choices, but engineering choices, so I don't see how you can go further than that without making cars that look nothing like cars and wouldn't function in the real world. Also, I find it regrettable that copyright has been brought up. Copyright can potentially be an issue in certain aspects of a car's design, but realistically, most aesthetic designs on a car are so trivial, they probably aren't even covered by copyright. This seems to me like worrying about the "copyright" to the design of an ice cube tray, a shoe, a hairdryer, etc.
  6. Note that the key here is to prevent confusion (prevent the possibility of someone getting the false impression that the game is endorsed by the owner of the trademark or connected to the actual trademarked product). So as jbadams intimated, even having cars that look too similar may be a problem; some cars have distinctive visual features that help customers identify them. Of course, to what extent would be up for a court to decide, and only a lawyer could tell you what your chances are (and I too am not a lawyer). If I was in your position, I would change the cars' designs and names sufficiently so that there's no possibility of confusion. This may require either extensive research or good knowledge of car models, so that you can identify what features are common engineering choices and what features are used to help customers distinguish models. And just to be on the absolute safest possible side, I would include a disclaimer as well stating that the cars in the game are not intended to represent any real-life cars and that the game has no connection to any car manufacturer. You may be able to get away with less, but if you intend to do so, definitely get some legal advice first.
  7. If you want a source for art assets that you're allowed to use, check OpenGameArt.org: https://opengameart.org/ Of course, a lot of stuff there is copylefted (but not most of it; it seems about 90% of the assets there are under a non-copyleft license). If copylefted assets won't do for you, be sure to filter by license.
  8. JulieMaru-chan

    Better Coding Practises

    I don't have any specific advice on your code, but one suggestion I do have is to contribute to other people's libre open source projects. This is helpful because it puts you in the position where bad code gets in your way, and after you do it a lot, you will get much better at recognizing what kinds of code are clear and unclear. And you help out a project (hopefully one you like) to boot. :)
  9. JulieMaru-chan

    About Copying Game Mechanic...

    Please be careful citing any patents. Knowing about a patent makes you liable for triple damages should you violate it, so by citing patents you could be putting software developers in jeopardy. The only examples you should ever cite are expired patents, like the patent on natural order recalculation (i.e. permission to make a spreadsheet program that functions correctly). There is nothing a software developer can realistically do to avoid infringing patents. There are too many, and it's too hard to tell what patents could possibly apply (e.g. that natural order recalculation patent was on the face of it about compilers, and yet it was used against a spreadsheet developer). All we can do is close our eyes, never look up patent information, and hope we don't get sued by patent trolls. And in the long-term, software patents need to be abolished.
  10. JulieMaru-chan

    About Copying Game Mechanic...

    I'm not a lawyer, but you can't copyright ideas or mechanics, only specific expressions. So unless you're literally copying the code that does what you want to do, you should be in the clear. I copy mechanics from other games all the time, as do AAA game developers. After all Nintendo didn't sue SEGA for controlling Sonic's jump height by how long you hold the button.
  11. No, no announcements of any kind are necessary; the only requirement is that the source code needs to be from the same place as the binary. Just include it in a subdirectory with the binary and you'll be good. Or if you want to separate it (maybe because the source code is too large), just put a "source code" link next to the binary download (exact details will depend on how your customers pay for the game). Of course, I'm still not a lawyer, and this is still not legal advice, just my understanding of the license.
  12. The GNU GPL only applies to the program. It doesn't stop you from adding proprietary data; that's generally considered to be part of an aggregate, which is beyond the scope of the program's license. Lots of games have done that. In fact Quake's data is still all proprietary, as is Doom's. It's this data that defines your game the most, not the source code of the engine. You can sell any GNU GPL program. RMS himself sold copies of GNU Emacs (the first program ever under the GNU GPL) back in the 1980s. The only condition there is that you need to sell the source code and object code together as a package, or otherwise offer a way for anyone who buys the object code from you to get a copy of the source code under the GNU GPL from you "at no further charge" (note: the "for a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying of source" part applies to distributing binaries on physical media, not over a network). The easiest way to comply with the GNU GPL is to just bundle the source code together with the object code. As for other people having the right to also copy and distribute the game, that only applies to the GPL components. So the engine, not the game. Even if you do choose to make the game data libre (which I definitely encourage), chances are that no one will redistribute the game unless they really love it, and even when they do, most people will still get copies from you. Remember, it does take effort to upload a program to a server and keep it up-to-date. Case in point: Jason Rohrer's games, which are all in the public domain with full source code available (meaning anyone can do literally anything with them, at least in the United States where the right to dedicate to the public domain is recognized). I once looked for copies of Sleep Is Death and Inside a Star-Filled Sky, and I barely found any for Sleep Is Death (which got quite a bit of media attention), and none for Inside a Star-Filled Sky. Try finding a download for Star-Filled Sky; all I found was a torrent with no seeders (i.e. completely useless) and buying a copy from the author. It's slightly easier with Sleep Is Death (understandable because it got a lot of media coverage when it was released); I was able to find a torrent with one seeder. So, two points you should take from this: 1. You can sell proprietary data alongside the Quake Engine without it being subject to the GNU GPL, as long as it's not directly connected to the engine. 2. Even if you make the entire game libre (which would be fantastic), chances are no one is going to redistribute unless they are absolutely fanatical about the game, i.e. about the point when the game is a huge success already. Note: I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, just my personal understanding of copyright law and the GNU GPL's licensing terms.
  13. JulieMaru-chan

    Motivation

    I would say it depends on what you're lacking motivation for. If you're talking about motivation to stop watching YouTube videos and start working on a project on any given day, that largely depends on you, so try out a few different strategies until you find what works for you. Myself, I find that just getting myself "pumped" about the project (reminding myself why I'm excited for it and what I can do today to realize some of that excitement) helps a great deal, or sometimes (like with my Japanese study at the moment) I make it a daily habit. It's the same with procrastination from anything else. If you're talking about motivation to continue working on a particular game at all, I would generally suggest that perhaps you should stop developing that game, because that would suggest to me that you're not having fun with it anymore. Remember, there's something like a 99.99% chance that no one but you cares about your project, so if you're not getting anything out of it, there's no sense continuing. If you're concerned about wasting the effort you already went through, publish the source code under a libre license (if you haven't already) and who knows, maybe someone else with more interest will pick it up and develop it further (probably not, but at least you're giving them the option). And as for you, move on to something you really want to do. If you're talking about motivation to continue game development at all, I would suggest that you should stop doing it. I always say that game development is financial suicide, because it is. You have to be developing games in spite of this because you love to do so. So if you don't have that passion, or you lose that passion, let it go and move on to something else that you do (still) love to do. There's no shame in that.
  14. JulieMaru-chan

    Market Confussion, Video Game Industry?

    Why? No, really, think about that: why should the government obstruct the free market to make a vague subset of competitors within an industry more likely to succeed by giving them an unfair advantage? What would it actually accomplish? It seems to me it would just serve as an excuse for people to not get a real job and instead continue to persue an endeavor that, in a free market, is such a bad decision economically that you'd be better off professionally buying lottery tickets. You refer to competition from the big guys as "stealing". It is not. It's competition. Competition is the whole point of capitalism and it's what drives progress in our society. Exactly what measure do you propose to "protect emerging internet markets for Indies", anyway?
  15. JulieMaru-chan

    A Couple Questions About Licensing Music

    A license is just a statement from the copyright holder allowing you to redistribute the work. So if you need a lawyer, it would be to make sure you understand the license given to you by the author. Note: I'm not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
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