[Bf-committers] Can BGE be relicensed?

Sinan Hassani [email redacted]
Fri Nov 30 21:11:38 CET 2012


I have started a thread on BlenderArtists asking whether BGE can be 
relicensed to LGPL based on the news that VLC is being relicensed from 


So one thing is for sure, a major open source, free software project 
that spans 10 years can indeed be relicensed. Whether that's good or 
bad, I don't know and it's not the subject of this topic. This subject 
is about whether BGE can be and should be relicensed to be more 
competitive as a game engine in the current environment we find our self 
in (App Stores, people spending more time on mobile devices, consumers 
that want to get their software from a familiar and convenient app 
repository, i.e. iOS App Store, Google Play).

In the second link I post in that thread, it explains why LGPL is more 
suitable than GPL for App Stores (also based on a podcast from FSF I 
listened to):

According to the LGPL terms, developers “are not responsible for 
enforcing compliance by third parties with this License.” With the 
project now licensed as LGPL software, there’s no longer an issue with 
Apple’s App Store policy that limits installation to five devices.


So my question is, can BGE be relicensed separate from Blender? If yes, 
then which parts can be relicensed?

Additional points:

-I'd like to get a reply from all major BGE contributors on whether they 
are okay with relicensing. And if yes, are they okay with LGPL, or do 
they want a more liberal license? Like MIT?

-The VLC devs used commit logs to get a list of all developers that 
contributed code

-It would be nice to know which parts of BGE can be relicensed? And 
which parts would we need to rewrite using GameKit for example?

-How would the relicensing work? Changing BGE source file headers is 
okay? New developers contributing to BGE need to know the new license 
from the source files

-Some BGE devs have told me that they would like more research on what 
is the best license for this situation if an effort is made to relicense 
BGE. I prefer LGPL based on what I know, and especially if it's suitable 
for current App Store models. However, Ogre3d went MIT, Torque 3D went 
MIT, GameKit is MIT, so MIT seems like a good license for game engines 
because you can integrate 3rd party SDKs and be suitable for more 
platforms like consoles

In conclusion, GPL may not be viable for the BGE to be competitive. LGPL 
may be a good balance to enable BGE content to be submitted to App 
Stores and respect developers who have contributed code to BGE. 
Specifically, developers that want BGE to not only be open source, but 
free software as well.


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