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    License Conflict Article


    Linguica

    Mewse News has posted a little article outlining the problems with Doom source licenses at the moment, as he thought it might help some people become aware of the issue. Here's a snippet:

    Let's say a Doom engine variant uses the original source code release, and the author decides to stick with the old license because it gives the author more control over the source code (you're not obligated to give it out). Then some code from the Heretic/Hexen engines is added. Already, this piece of software contains code with two conflicting licenses. Then imagine that this hypothetical engine takes some code from, say, the QuakeWorld sources (which were GPL from the start, bless Carmack). Now the engine has code from THREE conflicting licenses!

    That's 2 licenses more than are kosher, just in case that means nothing to you.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    I got the first comment WOO HOO!!! big whoop...

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    I have no idea what any of this means, or has to do with anything. Don't worry about me though, I'll figure it out. :-b

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    SkaDoomer: It's not intended to start a flame war, it's intended to make people aware of problems that we are facing right now. I seriously hope everything becomes GPL'd. BTW, ska is cool.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    to release Hexen/Heretic under GPL. They're the only ones whose code is really getting in the way, and I doubt they'd really mind after all this time...

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    Guest Tawney

    Posted

    I truly believe the only ones who would be pissed about this would be Raven, and I doubt they will care. It's not like they're losing profit or anything. In fact, according to that agreement with Raven, JHexen should not exist either.

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    The agreement Raven included with the source is messed up. It wasn't even meant for source code.

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    Guest Firebrandt

    Posted

    Believe me, I've spent extensive time communicating with Raven about just this topic. They have nothing against parts of their game source being used for projects such as ZDoom, as long as it stays non-profit. They even don't mind the ripping of their sprites/textures for Doom projects, again as long as it stays non-profit. Come visit Raven on their forums if you have any specific questions. They are very supportive of the community. :)

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    Has anyone had a look at the zdoom sources? There is a file "minilzo.cpp" which is covered by the GPL. As far as I know this makes zdoom and it's derivates GPL'd. I don't know if Randy is aware of that, but to avoid a conflict he should either remove that code or distribute zdoom under the GPL. This is valid for zdoomgl as well, where the sources have not been opened up at all. Nvidia recently had a GPL violation as well in their Linux drivers and quickly resolved that by removing the code in question and even THE MAN said he would enforce the GPL on Quake, so this is really nothing to joke about. I would like to see a statement of the authors (Randy/Michael) here about this. They are surely working hard on their code and I don't want to see the same thing happening which happened to some Quake project, which didn't want to open up their sources ... some maniacs wrecked their development boxes through their online connection.

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    Most seem to be seeing the light. Lxdoom and other linux ports have been GPL for a while now. I'm not sure what MBF is under... SMMU and Legacy are both GPL, as is BOOM.

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    all hail the gpl terrorists! if raven wants to be supportive of mods they should change the license to reflect that. zdoom && all derivatives are violating the GPL of that one file (and i've heard it whispered that csdoom ripped from GPL quakeworld)

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    Guest jflynn

    Posted

    If someone needs a license change for BOOM to be compatible with another license, that depends on the original copyright holders -- id software and Chi primarily. There is no objection from those that made the BOOM changes. At the same time I verified permissions for the GPL change, Lee Killough did say that he didn't care if someone wanted to re-release MBF under the GPL. But no one has to date, as far as I know. There is a discussion of this article over on slashdot.org, and some of those folks know a quite a bit about these license issues, which are far from uncommon.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    No, I didn't realize minilzo was GPL. The docs included with the minilzo distribution don't make any mention of it, nor does it include a copy of the GPL. I have since (as of a few days ago when I was informed of its GPL-ness through e-mail) replaced minilzo with zlib, which has a BSD-style license.

    So now the only GPL code used by ZDoom is PTC, which is actually LGPL and has different terms from the regular GPL.

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    jflynn: prboom is GPL'd and is essentially a port of MBF to windows at the moment SkaDoomer: I'm well aware Raven don't care. If you can point me to a formal, legal statement saying they allow people to use their code in GPL projects, I'll be happy. Under the license I've seen, it's illegal to even redistribute the Hexen code.. they might not care, but that doesn't mean it's legal for me to ignore their legal statement on the matter.

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    Guest Firebrandt

    Posted

    Before we go on and speculate what Raven might and might not be thinking why don't we just go and ASK. I know Heretic/Hexen source is not GPL'd but I've heard Kenn Hoekstra talk about releasing the Hexen2 source under the GPL license. Now why Hexen2 but not Heretic/Hexen? Maybe it's all a mistake and Heretic/Hexen are supposed to be GPL?! Kenn heads their legal department so email him at <khoekstra@ravensoft.com> to find out!

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    Guest Kenn Hoekstra

    Posted

    Hey, The Heretic/Hexen source code is public domain now. The licensing agreement was meant to be a safety net to use in case someone tried to make a game with the Heretic and Hexen code and then sell it/publish it without the permission of Raven, GT, Id and/or Activision. Our intentions when releasing the code were to allow users to modify it and/or make their own stuff with it as long as they keep the code freely available and any products that result from the use of it are released as free ware. The only way that we'll step in with our legal guys is if someone is selling the product, charging for the distribution of the source code or a resulting product, taking credit for the code or otherwise misusing the code or its product for financial or material gain. We haven't released the Hexen II source and, to the best of my knowledge, we aren't planning on releasing it any time soon. If you have questions about the Hexen II code or the HexenWorld source code, direct them to Rick Johnson at rjohnson@ravensoft.com. He's the programmer in charge and it's really up to him to release it. Thanks, Kenn

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    "Public domain" and GPL are NOT the same thing. Public domain means that the author has *renounced* all copyrights, and therefore anyone can do ANYTHING they want with it, including sell it, claim they wrote all of it, delete all the coder credits, etc. The GPL, in short, says that while you can mangle the source however you like, IF you release new binaries you must ALSO make their source available (either with the binaries or by a separate distribution channel); the author retains copyright. However, it does NOT prevent you from SELLING your derivative binaries, so long as source is ALSO provided. As to some part of the code being GPL'd making the entire project GPL'd, this is not true. It is perfectly possible to have mixed license code, where each license applies ONLY to certain sections of the code. However this can result in a situation where you cannot release all of your source, because you may have rights to create binaries with code under some other license, but not to distribute the licensed source. This is why the DOOM source code was released without any sound module -- idSoftware licensed the sound libraries from someone else, but id didn't own them so they couldn't release that part. Finally, since someone asked, MBF has been GPL'd.

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