[Bf-committers] Can BGE be relicensed?

Chad Fraleigh chadf at triularity.org
Fri Nov 30 23:36:25 CET 2012

While re-licensing existing code may take some extended effort, what
about the option of changing the licensing of any new code added
(sooner than later) to dual GPL/LGPL (or even more at the option of
the submitter - PD/GPL+LGLP/MIT/BSD/XYZ...)? If a list was maintained
for all licenses that each contributor would find acceptable for their
part (even if blender/BGE doesn't use all of them itself).. then if
there are any later licensing modifications (in part or whole) the
change consent issue would be much easier. The only real effort would
be for those committing others' code to note a reference to the that
author's licensing entry (presumably by some unambiguous identifier,
not just name - in case two authors are named John Smith or
something). Of course this is already being done for giving credits,
so probably not too much of a change.

Maybe some of this is already being done (I took a quick look at the
development page on the wiki and nothing of licensing
requirements/policies for contributors stood out). So either I didn't
look in the right place, or it is just understood that being a GPL
released project that all code must be GPL (or compatible, like PD).

Personally I prefer a BSD license for my code, but when contributing
to some [L]GPL project I just accept using their license instead. I
wouldn't be surprised if others also frequently contribute code
outside their preferred license.

On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Sinan Hassani <[email redacted]> wrote:

> 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
> GPL to LGPL:
> http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?273712-VLC-coming-to-iOS-Can-BGE-be-relicensed-to-LGPL
> 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.
> Link:
> http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/vlc-re-licensed-as-lgpl-ready-to-head-back-to-the-app-store-20121115/
> 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?


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