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Author Topic: ENIGMA's Engine Code License - Please Vote  (Read 35936 times)
Offline (Unknown gender) Rezolyze
Posted on: March 18, 2014, 03:43:38 PM

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YOU MUST BE REGISTERED AND LOGGED INTO THE FORUMS TO VIEW AND VOTE IN THE POLL. THIS POLL IS MEANT TO GAUGE THE COMMUNITY'S PREFERENCE FOR EACH PROPOSED LICENSE.


ENIGMA's engine code is currently licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0 (GPLv3). The engine code is the part of ENIGMA that is distributed with every game. As a strong copyleft license, the GPLv3 requires that any code linked to GPLv3 code also be licensed under the GPLv3. This means that anyone distributing a game made with ENIGMA is required to distribute their game's source code under the GPLv3 or violate of the terms of the license. Violation of the GPLv3's terms incurs the risk of legal action from one or more of ENIGMA's copyright holders. The proposed solution to this problem is to change the license for ENIGMA's engine code.

I've created a license comparison table as a starting point for researching each license choice in the poll. Information about a custom license is not in the table because the terms of a custom license were never agreed upon. Please take the time to read about the various licenses in the poll before voting. Please vote sincerely and with all the facts in mind. There is no end date to the poll.


Thank you for participating!


EDIT: The original poll was rewritten and the votes reset, because it had a confirmation bias and wasn't up to date.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 09:01:06 AM by Rezolyze » Logged
Offline (Male) time-killer-games
Reply #1 Posted on: March 18, 2014, 05:06:26 PM

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MPL. no one would really use the engine otherwise. I hope this is the license ENIGMA will migrate to, otherwise I'm giving up on ENIGMA...
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Offline (Unknown gender) TheExDeus
Reply #2 Posted on: March 18, 2014, 06:00:59 PM

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I also vote for MPL. My knowledge of licenses basically comes from the discussion topic, but MPL seems the closest to what we want. All of them will have caveats and downsides no matter which we choose. Writing our own which could possibility remove these downsides is impractical (and would probably include loopholes). So keeping parser/compiler GPL (if Josh wants them to be, as he is basically the only one working on those) and keeping the engine MPL for user satisfaction seems good for me. Maybe Josh can concisely point out what he didn't like about MPL. I only remember things about EEE (which I doubt will be much of a problem as we are not doing anything with standards or such) and bug fixes. But as Rezolyze pointed out, we cannot do anything about bug fixes in GPL either. We cannot be sure that the compiled game uses bug fixes in the ENIGMA's engine and we cannot in any way ask him to share these fixes. Even I have a custom ENIGMA installed right now, where there are some modification to the engine I will probably never commit (very specific to some projects, but not very useful for ENIGMA itself). And if you try to sue me for that, I will just probably delete those changes. :D
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #3 Posted on: March 19, 2014, 01:32:39 PM

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Yes, the whole situation with a custom license is sticky. I think Gary put it best; we want to stop ENIGMA clones that stop ENIGMA clones. Our inability to put that to a license is certainly problematic.

Also, EEE isn't related to standards, but to features in general. Anyone who can offer all ENIGMA's features (by copying ENIGMA) and additional features on top of that (by doing some closed-source development) poses a risk to the project, as they can continue to feed off of any progress we would make, while giving nothing back. We'd be unable to compete, because our changes would be their changes and their changes would be their changes. The point of stopping ENIGMA clones that stop ENIGMA clones is to ensure that our changes are their changes and their changes are our changes. Mutual benefit, where competition between us benefits both of us and the whole community. If we're being outperformed by a proprietary product in every way, the community doesn't benefit, either.

Still, I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on the matter, so by all means, be expressive.
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Offline (Male) Goombert
Reply #4 Posted on: March 19, 2014, 02:47:55 PM

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If everybody had an ocean, across the USA, then everybodyied be surfin'
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I think it was Leonardo da Vinci who once said something along the lines of "If you build the robots, they will make games." or something to that effect.

Offline (Unknown gender) TheExDeus
Reply #5 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 09:14:39 AM

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Also, EEE isn't related to standards, but to features in general. Anyone who can offer all ENIGMA's features (by copying ENIGMA) and additional features on top of that (by doing some closed-source development) poses a risk to the project, as they can continue to feed off of any progress we would make, while giving nothing back. We'd be unable to compete, because our changes would be their changes and their changes would be their changes. The point of stopping ENIGMA clones that stop ENIGMA clones is to ensure that our changes are their changes and their changes are our changes. Mutual benefit, where competition between us benefits both of us and the whole community. If we're being outperformed by a proprietary product in every way, the community doesn't benefit, either.
And none of the licenses allow this mutual benefit while still allowing games to be sold? Because I have a feeling we might end up risking it anyway. We want to give the users the possibility to sell their games and if that puts us at risk, then be it.
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #6 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 12:52:26 PM

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All open-source licenses allow that sort of collaboration, but none of them force it. So no one has to give back to us, or keep their fork of ENIGMA free to use. We want to allow proprietary extensions of ENIGMA that remain exclusively extensions: those that encourage the use of ENIGMA with or without the extension. I want to disallow a proprietary extension of ENIGMA that fixes problems we're facing and forces users to stick with their version, if they don't want bombarded with bugs.

Unexempted GPL makes it harder to sell games, as users are legally entitled to share and distribute them as they see fit. Exempted GPL has the possibility of backfiring if we're not careful, and so behaving like the GPL, but otherwise (in the case of no loopholes) behaves as you'd expect. The MPL behaves as you'd expect, except users have to give us credit for their games, and we're still vulnerable to being outdone with our own code. MIT/zlib/WTFPL/Unlicense behave how you'd expect, and we're completely vulnerable to being outdone with our own code.
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Offline (Unknown gender) Darkstar2
Reply #7 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 01:47:33 PM
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I am all extremely confused with all of this.
When I first came here I was told that I could sell my games, I seem to get mixed responses.  I was told I could use enigma and sell my games but I would have to tell people I used ENIGMA.  So far so good.  I even asked once if I have to include the source code (EGM) file with my game, and was told no.

Which is it ?  Currently as it stands, can I sell my ENIGMA games that I made or will I be facing a multi million $ lawsuit ?

If that is the case then what is even the point of using enigma ???  The whole point to use ENIGMA from start was better performance, smaller files and windows functions needed for specific projects.  But on the other hand if people cannot sell what they make in ENIGMA then it's a done deal, nobody is going to use ENIGMA - same if required to publish source code (Freeware or commercial).

With GayMakerStudio you do have to include the respective licenses and Yoyo's runner which is YYG's IP, and sadly people will know you used GayMaker to make your games, but at least you don't have to publish source code, so it comes at the cost of all the other issues you will get with GMS......So basically this is very discouraging....the only thing left is to quit using GMS and ENIGMA !

Publishing a source code for a stick figure game or catch the clown is not an issue, but those of us who know fuck all about coding and don't have the time/means to learn programming from the grounds up and who want to make a 100% original game with everything custom made, surely don't want to have to publish source code, which would have far bigger value than a shitty game's source code.  It would be counterproductive to being able to SELL a game for profit and at the same time provide its source code along with the tool used to create it ! lol.

License or not, most people don't read or give a shit :D

Question is, if a person sells an ENIGMA made game, what are they subject to ?
They get sued ,but who sues them ?

So being sued for several millions and doing jail time..... No thanks !

So ENIGMA will never gain popularity and might as well call it dead.

I think it is important to mention on the main page, that 1) you CANNOT sell your games made in ENIGMA 2) You have to release its source code......) As most people won't read the encyclopedia they call license, so why not make it easy for those who don't know what GPL, etc.  works.  Tell them straight forward that they can't sell and have to publish source.

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Offline (Unknown gender) TheExDeus
Reply #8 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 03:48:58 PM

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Which is it ?
You can sell your games and not give us source. We don't care the slightest, it's just that we are now trying to make it "official".

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They get sued ,but who sues them ?
No one. No one has ever been sued by a freeware community project. It seems you don't know how "law" works - as in - nobody automatically sues you just because you didn't release source for GPL licenses software. It's up to the developers - us - and we don't have any reason to do that. When we decide on the proper license, we won't be even able to do that (that is why we are moving toward MPL).

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So being sued for several millions and doing jail time..... No thanks !
No one can sue anyone for "millions of dollars" because this is a freeware project and you would have to make millions of dollars off of it. Also, I don't think a person has ever been in jail because of software license issues. The worst thing we could technically do is sue you for some of the money you made off of ENIGMA. So if you sold your game for a total of 100$, I don't see how we could legally ask more than that.

But long story short - We are about to choose a more proper license one and for all and you won't have to worry. The reason for this debate and hesitation is not because we want the possibility to get money from users - it's because we don't want to loose ENIGMA to someone else. That sadly is a possibility with licenses like MPL. Another could technically take ENIGMA, rename it AMGINE, create new features and sell it. And we wouldn't be able to do much in that case. And we want to remove that possibility.

edit: Who chose "MIT, BSD or zlib". Josh?
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Offline (Unknown gender) Darkstar2
Reply #9 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 04:48:51 PM
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Ok got it.  Indeed I know absolutely nothing about all the licensing structure of open source as I have not been much into that.  So in other words I am to understanding that the actual enforcing of the license depends on the developers and not a 3rd party.

I perfectly understand however, the point that ENIGMA needs to protect itself, however I'm wonder really if there will be something that will benefit both parties equally. I am skeptic about that.  It will have to be either way, either the end-user will have more or ENIGMA development have more.

I think first and foremost, assuming that ENIGMA is not dead as some claim it is, and that it will continue moving forward, that this should be a priority....to protect the software that helps make  those games.
Because without ENIGMA there is no said games and you have to use something else :)

Referencing ENIGMA in your game is never an issue.  Game companies credit their engine all the time in their games (UNREAL, havok, etc.....)  Where I have an issue is releasing source code.   I'd rather share a % of my profits with ENIGMA something like past x amount profit you share %, than releasing my source.  :P

Also the million $ reference that was figure of speech, Unless someone does something spectacularly insanely amazing, I don't think anybody would get close to earning millions from their shit, let alone even a fraction of that !  However some companies are known for frivolous lawsuits.  For example ok we lost $500 in sales let's sue for $500,000.  :D

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Offline (Unknown gender) Rezolyze
Reply #10 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 06:36:27 PM

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The choice of license comes down to this: pick a license that protects the people who use ENIGMA or pick a license that protects ENIGMA's code itself. You can try to create a license that attempts to do both, but it will fail in one way or another. If the license places too many restrictions on what can be done with ENIGMA's code, no one will make anything with it. Future development of ENIGMA could be hindered because of such restrictions. You can't know who will want to use your code 10 years from now, for what purpose or how they will modify it. A custom license with lots of specificity is short sighted and will probably need to be changed in the future. Do you really want to go through this again at a later date?

On the other hand, a license with less restrictions runs the risk of someone or some organization using ENIGMA's code in some way that could harm the development of ENIGMA. You're taking a risk with a license like the MPL or an even bigger risk with a license like the MIT, BSD or zlib. The tradeoff is, people aren't afraid to use ENIGMA's code because it's under a well established and trusted license that protects their rights to the code they've written. Such a license covers a broad range of future conditions because the language in it is so general. A good license fosters growth in the community. You get more users which means more bug reports, more project promotion and more future developers of ENIGMA.

If it were up to me, all of ENIGMA would be under the MIT license (although I voted for the MPL). It's incredibly permissive, but it's trusted by corporations and individuals alike. It doesn't do anything to stifle creativity in the people that use MIT licensed code. They can put that code into anything they want and use it for things you can't possibly imagine. It's future-proof and offers true freedom!

The MPL is somewhere in the middle. It's similar in many ways to the GPL, but tries to give users of MPL code as much freedom as possible. The MPL is a compromise. I want a permissive license with simple clauses that can be read in less than a minute and easily understood. I want a license that gives me the freedom to do whatever I want with the game I've created. I want a license that will protect my work from lawsuits and prying eyes. The MPL is the nearest thing to copyleft that I'm willing to stand behind, but I'd prefer something more like the MIT license.

The GPL and other copyleft licenses have their place in the open source world, but not in the realm of closed source commercial games. I realize that ENIGMA's developers want to protect their work, but so do the users of ENIGMA! If you use a license based on a copyleft license or create a license with too many restrictions, NO ONE WILL USE ENIGMA! What good is a game engine that no one uses?

Here's a question for Josh: How useful is ENIGMA's engine without ENIGMA's compiler?

No one is asking that the compiler be anything other than GPL code. We're proposing a compromise to meet the project developers half- way. Please relicense the engine half of ENIGMA under the MPL which is half-way between a copyleft and permissive license. The compiler would remain open and free while the engine would be as open and free as possible without preventing someone from creating whatever they want with ENIGMA. I believe this is the best and most fair solution for all involved.



On a personal note, I'm backing away from this community and this debate. It's been interesting, but very tiring. I really like ENIGMA and I think it has a lot of potential, but there are many more game engines to consider. I've decided to find another engine that has support for mobile platforms as well as desktop. I doubt they'll be as newbie friendly as LateralGM/ENIGMA, but I know I can find one with a license I don't have to argue about. :)

I'll be checking in from time to time; mostly out of curiosity. I still hope this project will become popular and useful among future game developers. I wish you all, and ENIGMA, the best of luck!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 06:56:28 PM by Rezolyze » Logged
Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #11 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 06:42:56 PM

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That's untrue. Even now, you are free to sell your games made in ENIGMA. The catch is that you must provide the full source to the game under the GPL license, thus allowing the free redistribution of it by third parties. That will remain the case until we fix this license issue.

Make no mistake, though. People sell free software—that's the whole reason behind this "Libre" versus "Gratis" deal. Free software is free as in freedom; it is liberated. You can still charge any amount of money per copy, and don't have to distribute the source if you don't distribute a binary. Just be aware that distributing a binary of a GPL program entitles people to its source, and that would make them free to offer it for download, too.

Facing facts, if people want your shit for free, they aren't gonna have to pay. Allowing you to relicense your code just gives you the legal authority to shut down websites distributing your game without your permission.

It's a double-edged sword; you're allowed to go sell copies of ENIGMA to people. But only an idiot would pay you for a copy when they can get it from us for free. And since it's GPL, if you modify it, you have to share your modifications with us. So once again, you'd be stupid to buy it from someone else, unless we simply refused to pull their changes. And if their changes were good enough to warrant you buying their version, that's our loss.

If and when we switch to MPL, we'll lose that benefit. You'll be completely able to keep your game's source to yourself; you'll just have to distribute ENIGMA's source, which is as simple as giving a repository link and revision number, or forking it on GitHub. But on the flip side, people who improve ENIGMA will be able to sell the better versions as their own, and so we'll have to compete with our own product. They'll offer all our features, so the price will be our only leverage. But what's funny is, it'd cost, to be very generous, $200/day to replace this entire team. So if the company did what Yoyo did, for example, and took out a $2M loan, they could pay to match us for around 30 years. Or blow us out of the water for four, at which point we'd be extinct.
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Offline (Unknown gender) Rezolyze
Reply #12 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 07:08:56 PM

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if people want your shit for free, they aren't gonna have to pay
Isn't that a quote from the Futuristic Sex Robotz:D  Long live nerdcore!
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #13 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 07:15:05 PM

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Indeed it was.
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Offline (Unknown gender) onpon
Reply #14 Posted on: March 20, 2014, 07:57:18 PM

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Whoa there, hang on. You forgot the GNU LGPL. If you're going to use weak copyleft, I think that's a much better choice. The MPL really is an artifact of license proliferation that happened in the past, and I think the only time it's really appropriate is when the software in question has something to do with Mozilla software, which ENIGMA doesn't. Plus, the MPL's compatibility with the GPL is complicated.

I would be in support of switching to the LGPL. The reason I would support weak copyleft for ENIGMA is if you use strong copyleft, people who want to use a proprietary license are just going to use Game Maker. I don't think ENIGMA is ever going to have enough attractive features to encourage people to switch to using the GPL for their projects, just so they can use ENIGMA instead of Game Maker.

However, it might be useful to keep some extra features that people might find attractive as plugins or something covered by the GNU GPL.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 08:19:47 PM by onpon » Logged
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