Projects > Tethical

License?

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ensignavenger:
Hi!  I am just discovering your work.  I am doing research and designing a Virtual Game Table for playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.  Something like MapTool (RPTools.net) except in 3d and hopefully easier to extend with a module interface an Python.  I am planning on using the Panda3D engine, and thus came across your project. 

Anyway, I am wondering what license your source code is under?  Are you using a BSD-like license like the Panda3D engine, or something else?  I want to know because I might re-sue some of your source code.  I could not find any license information on your site or in the repo, or on the forums, so I thought I'd just ask :)

Kivutar:
We haven't chosen a license yet. I'm not good at choosing licenses. But we should have one, to protect the users and the code. This must be decided with the other team members.

What I would like to promote:
 - I want this code to be useful to people, especially beginners developers. Because this is how I learned.
 - I want this engine to be attractive for new developers so we can build a community of modders and core hackers.
 - I want game makers to be able to create games for Linux, because i'm part of this community and we lack Japanese style games.

What I would like to prevent:
 - Violating one of the license of the tools that we are using.
 - People claiming to be the authors of our code.
 - Seeing a company using our code for big profit while i'm starving.

Other remarks:
 - All the graphical contents produced by Lijj are part of a 'sample game' that will be provided with the engine to new users to start with, like an RPG Maker RTP.
 - Our git is still full of copyrighted content, and we'll have to remove it before pasting a license on this.

@lirmot, @Lijj, what do you have to say?

lirmont:
The only thing I don't want to be forced to do by a license is to provide any and all additions I make (above and beyond getting Tethical to a stable, play-tested release); I don't mind providing them to contributers, but I do not want to provide free work to people who only want to consume and have no desire to help create.

You could decide on a dollar value for revenue generated by using the Tethical engine after which X-amount would need to be paid to some fund. At least, I read that's what the Unreal Engine 3 did (and the number was after the first $50,000 is earned, if I remember correctly). The HeroEngine Choto posted is a flat 30% of all revenue (but they're probably able to easily track that since it's centrailized, and that's probably why it can be so much).

Pickle Girl Fanboy:
What license(s) is Panda 3D under?  What does it alllow you to do?  That's the most important question.

ensignavenger:
Panda3D is under the modified BSD license.  http://www.panda3d.org/license.php 

Basically, you can do whatever you want to with it (including re-licensing your derivative works under a stricter license), just retain the original copyright notice and don't imply that Carnegie Mellon endorses your product.

I would strongly encourage sticking to one of the OSI certified licenses, rather than trying to create your own.  I would use one of the more popular ones, if you can, just to keep it simple.

Basically, MIT and BSD style licenses are the most free- they let you release commercial works based on the engine, and not have to release any changes you don't want to.

Apache License- you don't have to share modifications, but has attribution requirements.  There is some discussion and uncertainty about the Apache licensees compatibility with the GPL license.  I think the Free Software Foundation says it is compatible with the GPLv3, but no earlier versions.

Mozilla Public License- File level copyleft.  Meaning if you change a file you have to share the changes made to that file.

LGPL requires you to release changes made to the code/modules and any code that is statically linked to it.  Code that is dynamically linked does not have to be released.  There is a lot of concern about this license not allowing you to release applications to Apples App Store and on Game consoles, because of static linking.  It is often avoided because of uncertainty and the complexities of it.  Ogre3d changed from the LGPL to the MIT license because of these problems.

GPL- requires you to release all derivative works under the GPL.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV :)  However, the above represents my understanding of the general requirements of the above open source licenses based on many years of working with Open Source software.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_free_software_licenses for a more complete analysis).  This is meant as a starting point.

Since the Panda3d engine is Modified BSD, I would recommend using a similar BSD style license for your code.  It is true that doing so might result in a commercial company picking up and using your code- but most (though unfortunately not all) will contribute at least something back (bug fixes and some times even some features). 

My plans are to create a program and release it under an OSI certified license (Though I have not yet decided which one).  I plan to contribute back bug fixes and features to any project that I use.  However, I will avoid using restrictively licensed code, because I plan on eventually making a release for the iPad and possibly other game consoles.  I also plan on doing commercial adventure modules based on the engine, and I want to be able to distribute them as stand alone games and not have to release additional sources.

If the BSD style license of the Panda3d engine is too liberal for you, I would recommend looking at the Mozilla Public License.  http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/FAQ.html

I hope this helps you in your discussion.  Even if I don't use any of your code, I hope you don't mind my getting ideas from it.  I am pretty much a beginner, so I find examples very helpful!

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