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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:30 am 
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In this post, tepples wrote:
On several other forums I used to be active on (pocketheaven, gbadev), there was seldom a new library release thread without constructive criticism about its license. From readme.txt:
Quote:
Feel free to use this in your projects if you'd like. You can also modify the compressor or the decompressor if you think you can improve them in any way. I just ask that you let me know if you make any improvements to these programs.

I take it that was supposed to be a request, much like the "giftware" license of the Allegro library. Or is it a requirement? It's OK if it's a requirement as long as one can fulfill it by just publishing the source code of the modified compressor or decompressor; in that case, it acts like a weak copyleft like the Classpath license, MPL, or LGPL.

perhaps more like the cocos2d-iphone license's additions to LGPL than the vanilla LGPL though


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:25 am 
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tepples wrote:
You could make it half a macro and half a subroutine to save a 12-cycle jsr/rts pair for 7 of the 8 bits in a compressed byte.

That is an interesting idea. I wonder what other changes would cause significant improvements in speed.

Quote:
On several other forums I used to be active on (pocketheaven, gbadev), there was seldom a new library release thread without constructive criticism about its license.

I hate dealing with any kind of bureaucracy. That's part of the reason I'm trying to retire from business programming, it takes all the fun out of coding. I want to make programs and I want people to use them, that's all, that's the fun part. Me typing a few sentences in a TXT file will not stop people from doing whatever they want with what I release, so why bother?

Quote:
I take it that was supposed to be a request, much like the "giftware" license of the Allegro library. Or is it a requirement?

It's a request... I went through the trouble of reverse engineering the format, making an encoder and a decoder and in the end released all my findings and work so that others could take advantage of it as well, so the least someone who finds this useful can do is release their own work on this for others (including me) to use. But I simply can't control what they do with my files. If they want to be selfish and keep their improvements to themselves, there's nothing I can do.

Quote:
It's OK if it's a requirement as long as one can fulfill it by just publishing the source code of the modified compressor or decompressor; in that case, it acts like a weak copyleft like the Classpath license, MPL, or LGPL.

I don't understand shit about licenses. I don't often use other people's code, I at most draw some inspiration from existing code. Also, most of my programming is just personal experiences that stay on my own hard drive, so I never really had to bother about reading licenses. Since I don't release many programs, I never bothered selecting a license for the few that do get released. If this is a big deal for someone who absolutely needs a license in order to use anything, I'd be willing to pick a "do whatever you want but claim it's yours or sell" license I guess, although I still can't guarantee it will be obeyed.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:30 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
If this is a big deal for someone who absolutely needs a license in order to use anything, I'd be willing to pick a "do whatever you want but claim it's yours or sell" license I guess, although I still can't guarantee it will be obeyed.

"Or sell"? Why do you hate authors who publish through RetroZone? ;-)

As for "claim it's yours", most free software licenses require reusers to preserve an appropriate copyright notice, which rules out claiming it's yours. The license of another widely used data compression library looks right for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:42 pm 
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tepples wrote:
"Or sell"? Why do you hate authors who publish through RetroZone? ;-)

Can I make a distinction between selling it or selling a product that uses it?

I do think people who sell games without also providing free downloads are kinda hypocrites though. They most likely have pirated tons of games but when it's their own you have to pay. I plan on selling my games one day too, but as a complement to the free download, which I expect people to buy because of the extras: cart, artwork, manual, box, and so on...

Quote:

Looks good enough. Do I just copy the text?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:38 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
tepples wrote:
"Or sell"? Why do you hate authors who publish through RetroZone? ;-)

Can I make a distinction between selling it or selling a product that uses it?

Yes, but it's tricky. There are two distinctions to be made: 1. what you mean by "selling" and 2. what you mean by the difference between your library and a work using your library.

"Selling"
The GNU project's list of confusing words is a bit biased toward free software, but reading through it does help clear up your thinking. One can split "selling" into the steps of A. distributing copies for a fee and B. restricting further distribution with copyright. A+B is the model of the commercial video game industry, B alone is freeware, and A alone is "Linux distribution discs for people with slow Internet".

"A product that uses it"
Distributing a free software product that contains your codec involves distributing your codec because your codec makes up part of the product's source code.

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I do think people who sell games without also providing free downloads are kinda hypocrites though.

Including developers of mainstream commercial games?

Quote:
I plan on selling my games one day too, but as a complement to the free download, which I expect people to buy because of the extras: cart, artwork, manual, box, and so on...

Likewise, I'm planning to provide a Free demo for free download, along with a value-added proprietary commercial version that will be Freed once I hit the donation target.

Quote:
Quote:

Looks good enough. Do I just copy the text?

Just paste the license text as a comment at the top of each source code file.

And as for bureauracy, it's a necessary evil in this world of Sonny Bono century-long copyright and circumvention bans. A license just determines how and how often your library will be used. Permissive licenses (like zlib and BSD), weak copyleft licenses (like MPL and LGPL), and strong copyleft licenses (like GPL) have their own associated philosophies. For one thing, they trade off freedom for developers vs. freedom for users.

I've split off the licensing discussion from the technical discussion.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:53 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Quote:
I do think people who sell games without also providing free downloads are kinda hypocrites though.

Including developers of mainstream commercial games?

No, of course not. I should have made that clear in that sentence.

Quote:
I'm planning to provide a Free demo for free download, along with a value-added proprietary commercial version that will be Freed once I hit the donation target.

Yeah, something like that is the way to go. There is nothing wrong in trying to make a few extra bucks as a form of incentive, but we mustn't forget we got into making NES games for fun, and this fun should be our main reward, not money, so we mustn't become mercenaries about it.

From what Sivak said, RetroZone appears to have some sort of exclusivity contract forbidding coders to release ROMs of games they (we all know it's actually "he", not "they" though) sell in cart form...

So I guess once I finish a game I'll be in the market for another publisher (unless bunnyboy has other kinds of contracts). Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to make and sell carts myself because of all the international shipping and taxes (I'd have to pay lots of taxes for the imported parts, and I doubt I'd sell many carts to Brazil, most of the market for retro games is in the US).

Quote:
And as for bureauracy, it's a necessary evil in this world of Sonny Bono century-long copyright and circumvention bans. A license just determines how and how often your library will be used.

This doesn't make it any more fun though. I'll make sure to include something in possible future releases.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:16 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
From what Sivak said, RetroZone appears to have some sort of exclusivity contract forbidding coders to release ROMs of games they (we all know it's actually "he", not "they" though) sell in cart form...

So I guess once I finish a game I'll be in the market for another publisher (unless bunnyboy has other kinds of contracts). Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to make and sell carts myself because of all the international shipping and taxes (I'd have to pay lots of taxes for the imported parts, and I doubt I'd sell many carts to Brazil, most of the market for retro games is in the US).

I asked him about this once, apparently the primary reason is that so other distributors can't just grab the rom and sell it at a lower price, cutting out both you and him from any potential profit. Which makes sense I suppose, though I didn't expect it would be that big of a problem with the NES market these days!

I imagine you could skip the contract and order any number of copies for yourself. You could do anything you wanted with them after that point, though as you said it would be a problem for you to redistribute due to shipping.

He seems like a nice guy though, you might be able to work something out despite a ROM being available.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:34 pm 
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UncleSporky wrote:
I asked him about this once, apparently the primary reason is that so other distributors can't just grab the rom and sell it at a lower price, cutting out both you and him from any potential profit.

Yeah, makes sense, but the other distributors still wouldn't have all the extras (high resolution artwork, manual, etc). Also, if competitors really wanted to pirate the game, all they would have to do is buy one copy from RetroZone.

Quote:
I imagine you could skip the contract and order any number of copies for yourself. You could do anything you wanted with them after that point, though as you said it would be a problem for you to redistribute due to shipping.

Yeah, for me this is not an option, the taxes would probably kill all the profit, and the buyers wouldn't like how long it would take to deliver.

Quote:
He seems like a nice guy though, you might be able to work something out despite a ROM being available.

Yeah, I imagine that even if the public ROM is a fairly complete game (as opposed to a demo), as long as the cart version offers some extras (extra levels, items, music, characters, things like that, in addition to the physical goods), it should still be a very interesting product. Also, with a complete game out pirates will hopefully feel less tempted to dump and release a ROM of the cart version.


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