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Author Topic: ENIGMA's Engine Code License - Please Vote  (Read 35530 times)
Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #90 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 03:48:41 PM

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I will have to read over the wx license, but I suspect it suffers the same problem. The problem is that if you can release an arbitrary binary linked against ours, without source code, you can lock us out and sell an improved ENIGMA binary. While this does not encumber the use of our software directly, it gives this party direct and perpetual competitive advantage, leaving this team with little incentive to continue development, and locking everyone in on a proprietary version of ENIGMA due to addiction to the improvements.

This isn't a problem for wx due to its active developer base. Outdoing the wx devs with their own source code is a lot harder than outdoing us with ours.
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #91 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 04:24:04 PM

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It's possible to do basically the same thing, but not by modifying that license, at least not without permission. Ideally, you would use the mechanism that version 3 of the GPL gives to add exceptions (the one that the LGPLv3 uses to work).

The wxWidgets guys must have gotten permission from the FSF to make those license changes.

Compared to the GNU exceptions, the LGPL formulates more requirements to the linking exception: you must allow modification of the portions of the library you use and reverse engineering (of your program and the library) for debugging such modifications. But this is covered by the exception.

You make the exception and then submit it to the FSF for aproval, the license remains the same with an exception atached to it.

Since such exceptions have been aproved (not once or two times only), it stands to reason that an exception along the same lines should be aproved.

The GNU Classpath also has a linking exception allowing the development of privative software with statically linked libraries. There are many such exceptions, so we can use one or more as a template and modify it to our needs.

My draft is just that, a proposal for said exception, in order to stop arguin about it and start doing something; I used the wxWidgets as a template since they already did the legal legwork and enigma can therefore save the time, energy and money. If the developers agree in the draft's general idea I can happily make the modifications they deem necesary in order to have it ready so the developers team can submit it to the FSF for aproval.

I only wish to contribute something to enigma and, since I can't give money and my programming abilities are close to none...

Also every user would benefit by the legal certainty the exception provides, and it would deter the future/posible theft of the project's work in favor of a privative software.

Only one more point : The LGPL means Lesser GNU Public License, not Library license, therefore it can be used by any application. It has been used mostly for libraries because the GPL wasn't up to the task back then. The new version is a little different, yet didn't I read that the MAC people don't allow software using the GPL with exception into their stores? This could be why others use the LGPL and maybe enigma should too.

Although as I understand it the problem is for libraries/software that will be used to develop other software not for games, yet how would you develop games for their platform if they demand it be done in their platform or you can't access their stores?, you could of course not sell osx/ios versions or sell them through other parties, don't know if the users could buy/install them. That company is crazy!, I would never buy one of their machines, even if I had the money!
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #92 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 04:29:19 PM

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I will have to read over the wx license, but I suspect it suffers the same problem. The problem is that if you can release an arbitrary binary linked against ours, without source code, you can lock us out and sell an improved ENIGMA binary. While this does not encumber the use of our software directly, it gives this party direct and perpetual competitive advantage, leaving this team with little incentive to continue development, and locking everyone in on a proprietary version of ENIGMA due to addiction to the improvements.

This isn't a problem for wx due to its active developer base. Outdoing the wx devs with their own source code is a lot harder than outdoing us with ours.

Quite true, that is why I modified the second clause and added a fifth clause to their exception:

Code: [Select]
2. The exception is that you may use, copy, link, modify and distribute
 under your own terms, binary object code versions of works based on the
 Engine. [color=red]As long as said works are not a similar/competing software, in that case refer to clause 5 (five) of this license.[/color]


5. You may use this software to develop a similar/competing software without written permission of the developers or their legal representatives.
 Provided that said software and any and all modifications included in it are made public and are covered by this same license without any
 modification except adding your name to the developers list.

With this I think enigma is covered against any such attempt to ripoff the code modify/improve it and then sell it as a different product.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 07:56:51 PM by edsquare » Logged
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #93 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 05:11:31 PM

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That puts us back in legal muddy-water, because now our license isn't Open-Source approved, and may or may not actually hold water, legally. What constitutes similar/competing software, for example? It's possible we could pull from an existing legal definition of "competing," but only a lawyer would know that.
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #94 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 06:03:11 PM

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That puts us back in legal muddy-water, because now our license isn't Open-Source approved, and may or may not actually hold water, legally. What constitutes similar/competing software, for example? It's possible we could pull from an existing legal definition of "competing," but only a lawyer would know that.

Isn't Open-Source approved? or FreeSoftware approved? They are not necessarily the same thing you know. :-)

Why do you say it isn't? As far as I can tell it only forbides you from taking enigma and use it in a closed source clone, not in a freesoftware/opensourced one.
 
You don't like similar/competing software? Fine lets change it for: any game making software

Or even better: any developement software.

or : Game Development software.

Also I bet it holds water but finally it's only a draft and therefore open to modification. The only way to know if it passes the FSF scrutiny is to submit it (Not that I think it's ready), and at the same time you would know if it holds water legally, since the FSF would not approve an exception that:

1.- Is not Free enough (This exception allows you to use enigma to develop games under whatever license you choose, therefore is more Free than the GPL even) :-)

2.- Is not legally sound.

My point is this: It's not cast in stone so lets think and modify it, you wont find a license that does exactly what you want, so lets take one close enough and add an exception to it.
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Offline (Male) Josh @ Dreamland
Reply #95 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 06:44:04 PM

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I'm talking about this:


And I am not aware of a place to submit a license for review. If there is a process for that, I'm interested in seeing it. It's likely that your proposal is a great place to start (at least better than the typical LGPL exemption). But I still need to read that over.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 06:45:51 PM by Josh @ Dreamland » Logged
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #96 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 07:44:28 PM

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I'm talking about this:


And I am not aware of a place to submit a license for review. If there is a process for that, I'm interested in seeing it. It's likely that your proposal is a great place to start (at least better than the typical LGPL exemption). But I still need to read that over.

There is an approval process for the Open-Source Fundation here:

http://opensource.org/approval

The Free Software Foundation is not that clear but you can start here:

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/

Then you get in touch with them:

licensing@gnu.org

And send them the text of your exception.

After about a month you will hear from them, if not then write them again.  :D
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 07:50:33 PM by edsquare » Logged
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Offline (Unknown gender) onpon
Reply #97 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 07:46:01 PM

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For an additional permission on top of the GNU GPL with v3's mechanism to do this, you don't need to worry about approval by the FSF or OSI, because the GPL on its own can be used if someone wants to, and this license has been accepted by both the FSF and the OSI.

The only way you would need to worry about this is if you are actually modifying a license. Which is why the GPLv3+ plus additional permissions is a better choice.

By the way, "LGPL" did originally stand for "Library General Public License", and version 2.1 of the LGPL uses the word "library" rather than "program". The reason it was changed to "Lesser General Public License" is because the FSF didn't want people assuming that the LGPL should be used for all libraries; sometimes the GPL is strategically a better choice.
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #98 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 07:53:34 PM

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For an additional permission on top of the GNU GPL with v3's mechanism to do this, you don't need to worry about approval by the FSF or OSI, because the GPL on its own can be used if someone wants to, and this license has been accepted by both the FSF and the OSI.

The only way you would need to worry about this is if you are actually modifying a license. Which is why the GPLv3+ plus additional permissions is a better choice.

By the way, "LGPL" did originally stand for "Library General Public License", and version 2.1 of the LGPL uses the word "library" rather than "program". The reason it was changed to "Lesser General Public License" is because the FSF didn't want people assuming that the LGPL should be used for all libraries; sometimes the GPL is strategically a better choice.

Well you may not need the permission of the OSI or the FSF but it would be great to have the exception checked by them, especially if it doesn't cost a dime!  :D I believe it's free as in free beer!  ;)
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Offline (Unknown gender) onpon
Reply #99 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 08:08:12 PM

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Additional permissions can't make the GNU GPL less free. They can only weaken the copyleft.
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #100 Posted on: April 26, 2014, 09:27:37 PM

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Atached below three versions of the exception:  ;)
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Offline (Unknown gender) The 11th plague of Egypt
Reply #101 Posted on: April 28, 2014, 06:07:02 AM
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Atached below three versions of the exception:  ;)
Consider how a single word in the fairly simple wxWidgets exception to the LGPL could make things unclear
Quote
The wxWindows Library Licence has been approved by the Open Source Initiative.

In August 2005, an ambiguity in Clause 2 was removed (replaced "the user's" with "your") and the version bumped to 3.1.

Writing an exception to the GPL is no small task.
Quote
2. As a special exception, the copyright holders of this software give permission for additional uses of the text contained in this release of the software as licensed under the Enigma Engine License
Text? Do you mean the code? The GPL itself consumes whole paragraphs describing what source code is, and how bytecode is not considered source.
Just using the wrong word can lead to troubles.
This is the riskiest way you could attempt to solve the problem, if you ask me.

BTW libGDX, a free/libre game development framework that supports more platforms than Enigma or Studio will ever do, just reached v1.0.
The project started in 2009, and doesn't have many more stable developers than this project has, even though it receives many pull requests on GitHub.
...and it uses Apache 2.0 as its license
http://www.badlogicgames.com/wordpress/?p=3412
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 06:09:55 AM by The 11th plague of Egypt » Logged
Offline (Unknown gender) onpon
Reply #102 Posted on: April 28, 2014, 06:52:00 AM

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Atached below three versions of the exception:  ;)

And they're all illegal. You can't just ignore the license that this license is under, slap on false copyright holders, and call it a day.

If you want to use the wxWidgets license as a template, you have to get permission from the copyright holders of that license document. Otherwise, don't use it as a template.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 07:08:35 AM by onpon » Logged
Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #103 Posted on: April 28, 2014, 07:06:46 AM

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Atached below three versions of the exception:  ;)
Consider how a single word in the fairly simple wxWidgets exception to the LGPL could make things unclear
Quote
The wxWindows Library Licence has been approved by the Open Source Initiative.

In August 2005, an ambiguity in Clause 2 was removed (replaced "the user's" with "your") and the version bumped to 3.1.

Writing an exception to the GPL is no small task.
Quote
2. As a special exception, the copyright holders of this software give permission for additional uses of the text contained in this release of the software as licensed under the Enigma Engine License
Text? Do you mean the code? The GPL itself consumes whole paragraphs describing what source code is, and how bytecode is not considered source.
Just using the wrong word can lead to troubles.
This is the riskiest way you could attempt to solve the problem, if you ask me.

BTW libGDX, a free/libre game development framework that supports more platforms than Enigma or Studio will ever do, just reached v1.0.
The project started in 2009, and doesn't have many more stable developers than this project has, even though it receives many pull requests on GitHub.
...and it uses Apache 2.0 as its license
http://www.badlogicgames.com/wordpress/?p=3412

Is funny that you mention it, the wxWidgets license says exactly that (text), didn't noticed before, what do you propose it says?
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Offline (Male) edsquare
Reply #104 Posted on: April 28, 2014, 07:25:37 AM

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Atached below three versions of the exception:  ;)

And they're all illegal. You can't just ignore the license that this license is under, slap on false copyright holders, and call it a day.

No they are not illegal, in fact it would be approved by both the OSI and the FSF, maybe with a couple of minor changes in order to eliminate some ambiguity but that's all, believe me when I say that I took the time to read more than a dozen exceptions to the GPL and the text in this one is a rippoff of two or three of them; taking care of making it seem as a coherent text.

The GPL and similar licenses do establish copyright, they give the user the 4 fundamental rights over the software, but the copyright stands, that is why anybody with a software under the GPL can sue anybody trying to close the source of their project. Well not anybody, you and me as simple users can not, we at best can go to the developers (copyright owners), and tell them about it; they do have the right to pursue legal action.

Furthermore you as a developer can ask the OSI and the FSF to take your software out of the license it is (As long as it yours and the license is theirs or aproved by them), and then proceed and close the source of future releases (construct clasic GPL - Construct2 privative, same developers).

Also the gpl itself is copyrighted by the FSF, and you can modify any free/libre license that you want but you would have to change the name too; that's why the FSF developed the GPLv3 with the mechanism for you to attach exceptions to it. So you dont have to develop a license that does what you want and/or use an even more permissive license that allows for a third party to take the code, change it or not, close it, rebrand it and then sell it without giving you the code of their changes/improvements.

As for the copyright holders, if not the developers team then who?, the wxwidgets exception has been approved both by the OSI and the FSF, and it says exactly that (the names are different of course); whose name do you sugest should be there?
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