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License Question?

Posted: 17 Feb 2019, 17:27
by mysteriousmonkey29
Hello, I am interested in modifying Evolution RTS for use in a proprietary work. There would be a significant twist added, but most of the underlying gameplay would be the same. Specifically, I want to charge money for the modified version, to host competitive play on servers, and not to release the source code of the modification itself.

I am trying to figure out whether this is legal/intended by the creator. This is the license on the github page: ... icense.txt

Someone complained that it wasn't clear here:

And the creator responded "all code is LGPL v3, everything else is CC by SA".

So I read about LGPL and CC by SA. It seems like LGPL allows for use in proprietary works, without releasing the source code of the new part, provided that the original and the derivative works are separated via dynamically linked libraries, or something like that. I'm not sure if this is technologically viable yet (it seems like usually LGPL is used for libaries rather than whole games). It also looks like CC by SA does not require releasing of source code. But I'm really not sure. And it seems like even if it is technically legal as is, if the creator didn't like what I was doing, they could change the license.

Does anyone know more about the laws involved here, and/or the intent of the creator?


Re: License Question?

Posted: 17 Feb 2019, 22:12
by Silentwings
I can't tell you anything specifically about Evo RTS, which might add extra/restrictive conditions of its own, but you should be aware of ... C_in_brief which relates to all Spring games and states
We generally view code that is necessarily read/executed by the Spring engine, as linking to the engine. As a result, since the engine is licensed under GPL, we think that such code requires a GPL compatible license. This typically applies to widgets, gadgets, scripts, shaders, CEGs, unit defs, etc.

All other content that you create, such as artwork, can be licensed however you wish. That said, we encourage you to use open source copyleft licenses, and make your content free for anyone to use and modify.
(Q) "I want to make a commercial game. How can I protect my rights to license it?"
(A) You may use a restrictive license for your artwork, although we'd prefer that you didn't! At the very least, if you stop making/selling your game we hope that you would re-license all your content freely.

Re: License Question?

Posted: 18 Feb 2019, 00:01
by Forboding Angel
Honestly, I don't know how I am supposed to be remotely happy about this. I have poured 10 years of my life into creating Evo, in many cases spending 40 hours a week working on it, iteration after iteration. You know, everything used to be under a super restrictive license just so someone couldn't come and try to asset flip my baby, but here you are. I figured that no one would do this, not only because it's ethically seriously messed up, but because it wouldn't be worth the trouble.

The "intent of the creator" was to make a fun, polished, rts game that was free for anyone to play. One that was focused around actual strategy and tactics rather than pure mechanical skill. One that was accessible to all for free. The "intent of the creator" was to avoid having his hard work stolen so that someone else could make 2 bucks.

Go make your own game. Stop trying to asset flip 10 years of my life into a quick buck.

Re: License Question?

Posted: 18 Feb 2019, 18:59
by mysteriousmonkey29
No need to get mad; this is why I was asking about your intent. If you don't want me to use it in this way, I won't.

I also suggest that you may want to relicense it under the regular GPL, rather than LGPL. The only reason I asked was because it is released under the latter, which seems to be permitting of what I was suggesting.

Re: License Question?

Posted: 18 Feb 2019, 21:38
by Forboding Angel
I have no control over what any code is licensed under. That is strictly controlled by the engine. You'll find that most spring projects have parts that are under several licenses that cover various parts. The artwork, on the other hand, is a very different matter.
If you don't want me to use it in this way, I won't.
I don't, and I can't imagine there is any gamedev here or elsewhere that would be approving of you or anyone taking their hard work and trying to make money off of it. It's incredibly insulting.

That said, if you came in wanting to make a commercial project of your own from scratch, you would end up with tons of support. As all lua is gpl, it means that the vast majority of lua based things are already done in one form or another and would only require a little work to be molded to what you need. There are ample resources to help you script, create models, etc. You'll understand very quickly why your original post was very offensive to me, specifically. Judging by the number of people I had pinging me here and on discord about your post, it seems other gamedevs here weren't particularly keen on it either.

Re: License Question?

Posted: 18 Feb 2019, 22:25
by mysteriousmonkey29
Ok, for sure, thanks for the clarification. Yeah maybe I don't have a grip on the relevant context. And makes sense about the licensing; didn't realize that.

I'll have to think about whether or not to pursue that route; I know there are a lot of resources to use to make games from stratch, but at the same time, I'm not quitting my job to work on this, so I have significantly limited time.