Source code license?

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xNick1
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Source code license?

Post by xNick1 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:08 pm

Hi guys!
I'm looking forward to make a commercial product using LOVE.
I wanted to use the MIT license. (I just wrote the MIT license at the very top of every file)
I don't care if other people are gonna use parts of my code or use some assets.

However I'm a little scared.
What if they're gonna take the whole game and republish it for free?
Maybe with tons of ads and stuff.

What would be a proper license for a commercial product then?
I'd like to publish the source code anyway.
Currently working on a lucid dreaming adventure called Aarstider: http://bit.ly/2mXmgPI

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peterrust
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Re: Source code license?

Post by peterrust » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:51 pm

xNick1: You can put a small "TM" next to your game's name and/or character names or whatever's distinctive, thus trademarking them (not a "reserved" trademark, but should be good enough for the kind of protection you want). Of course, someone could just slap a different name on the game & re-release it.

FWIW, usually people's fears in this area outweigh reality -- IOW, the problem usually isn't someone leaking free copies of the game; the problem usually is the game fading into obscurity due to lack of marketing or word-of-mouth or mediocre ratings.

I don't know of a pre-existing license that allows partial re-use, but prevents republishing the entire game. That said, you can add a bullet point to an existing license, similar to what is recommended here: http://softwareengineering.stackexchang ... 385/180956, but with language about what percentage of the game is allowed to be re-used: "* Redistribution of this software in source or binary forms is only allowed if the redistribution includes less than 25% of this work." Of course I Am Not A Lawyer and I wouldn't want to fight a court battle based on that wording, but it should provide basic protection from people being legally allowed to give away your game for free.

Alternatively, you can split off the most interesting parts of the code and assets -- or the parts you are most proud of, or the parts that others would most likely find valuable, and just release those as open-source. Separating out those would probably provide the most value to the community and would also make it difficult for someone to reconstruct & republish your entire game. But that's a bit more work (depending on how many parts you want to release).

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Robin
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Re: Source code license?

Post by Robin » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:16 pm

This might be a bit blunt (sorry for that) but:

1. That probably won't happen.
2. You can't really do anything about it anyway. Anyone who makes a thing and puts it out in the world risks something like that, and the only thing you can do to is never release anything, which isn't a great alternative IMO.
3. Even if someone does do that, what's the worst thing that could happen?
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xNick1
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Re: Source code license?

Post by xNick1 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:19 pm

Robin wrote:This might be a bit blunt (sorry for that) but:

1. That probably won't happen.
2. You can't really do anything about it anyway. Anyone who makes a thing and puts it out in the world risks something like that, and the only thing you can do to is never release anything, which isn't a great alternative IMO.
3. Even if someone does do that, what's the worst thing that could happen?
I don't know much about copyright stuff.
Can't you sue them if they copied your whole product?
I guess you can if you registered it, right?
Currently working on a lucid dreaming adventure called Aarstider: http://bit.ly/2mXmgPI

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ivan
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Re: Source code license?

Post by ivan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:24 pm

Regardless if you release anything on the internet or not, you are still the rightful owner - it's your intellectual property.
TM is probably an American thing (I don't see TM too often in Europe) so the specifics may vary depending on the laws in your country.
You can have different licenses for the assets/code.
Even if you don't include a license, you're still the owner of your intellectual property.
If somebody claims they have ownership you can file a lawsuit,
but believe me you have little to fear unless there is a lot of money involved
(or if you're working with somebody then it's good to agree on a license that works for both of you).

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xNick1
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Re: Source code license?

Post by xNick1 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:10 pm

ivan wrote:Regardless if you release anything on the internet or not, you are still the rightful owner - it's your intellectual property.
TM is probably an American thing (I don't see TM too often in Europe) so the specifics may vary depending on the laws in your country.
You can have different licenses for the assets/code.
Even if you don't include a license, you're still the owner of your intellectual property.
If somebody claims they have ownership you can file a lawsuit,
but believe me you have little to fear unless there is a lot of money involved
(or if you're working with somebody then it's good to agree on a license that works for both of you).
I got it, thank you =)
So if I release the game under the MIT license, it's still mine.
The MIT licensed libraries I'm using are not my property (but I can still use them)

I was just a little worried about all that copyright stuff.
I'm more relaxed now.
Thank you guys =)
Currently working on a lucid dreaming adventure called Aarstider: http://bit.ly/2mXmgPI

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Re: Source code license?

Post by airstruck » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:20 pm

xNick1 wrote:I don't know much about copyright stuff.
Can't you sue them if they copied your whole product?
I guess you can if you registered it, right?
You don't need to register for copyright, it's "automatic" in any country that is a Berne Convention signatory (the majority of the countries in the world, including Italy and the US). However, it may only be protected for a limited time, after which it needs to be renewed. That time limit varies from country to country, but is at minimum 50 years under the Berne Convention.

Other kinds of intellectual property, like patents and trademarks, need to be registered.

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raidho36
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Re: Source code license?

Post by raidho36 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:01 am

Why would you afraid of someone re-releasing your game? It only gives it more publicity, with zero effort from you. Sure we all have demons in us that make us crave and hoard all the credit, even if it's completely moot. Such is the case with MIT license, twofold: it requires retention of the copyright notice so you never lose the credit, and it also implies that you already beat such fears and are willing to give it all away to anyone taking.

If that doesn't convince you, consider using proprietary software release model and an End User License Agreement templated from proprietary games. Those don't have much legal power either but many people have been using such model and with very good success.

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xNick1
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Re: Source code license?

Post by xNick1 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:14 am

raidho36 wrote:Why would you afraid of someone re-releasing your game? It only gives it more publicity, with zero effort from you. Sure we all have demons in us that make us crave and hoard all the credit, even if it's completely moot. Such is the case with MIT license, twofold: it requires retention of the copyright notice so you never lose the credit, and it also implies that you already beat such fears and are willing to give it all away to anyone taking.

If that doesn't convince you, consider using proprietary software release model and an End User License Agreement templated from proprietary games. Those don't have much legal power either but many people have been using such model and with very good success.
I'll go with MIT I guess
Currently working on a lucid dreaming adventure called Aarstider: http://bit.ly/2mXmgPI

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Robin
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Re: Source code license?

Post by Robin » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:19 pm

xNick1 wrote:Can't you sue them if they copied your whole product?
I mean, you can, but suing is an expensive and time-consuming process. And even if you win, which isn't guaranteed, you still might not get much out of it. Plus if they're not in the same country as you, I don't even know if that would work.
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