Questions about licences and open source

Discuss emulation of the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom.

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mkwong98
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Questions about licences and open source

Post by mkwong98 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:56 pm

Hi, I'm working on a new emulator (see my other post) and I want to make it open source. I know there are all kinds of freeware/open source licences but I don't know which one to use and what exactly I need to do. What kind of disclaimer/copyright notices do I need? Any suggestions? Thanks.

tepples
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Post by tepples » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:51 pm

See GNU.org article: how do i chose license?

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:26 pm

You're looking for a license, but you don't know what your needs are from a license. Hmm... that, to me, sounds like you really don't need a license. :-) In that case, I recommend you go with the WTFPL. No I'm not kidding.

Otherwise, I tend to advocate use of the 2-clause BSD license since it isn't "viral" in concept and tends to be realistic/reasonable when it comes to how the real world operates. Simple version of the 2-clause license: 1) if you use this code (in anything; commercial, free, etc.) the copyright notices within the source files must be retained/unedited, and 2) if you redistribute a binary version of any part of this source code the license relevant to that piece of code must be provided too. It permits someone to use your source in a commercial program, and likewise they can use your source while at the same time using a difference license for their own source. Both of these things the GPL does not permit, which (opinion) is unrealistic and unreasonable.

Overall commentary -- not worth arguing/debating/discussing, as I'm just one man and my opinion is worth as much as any other man's: time and time again its been proven that licenses don't mean jack squat. They do not stop someone from violating the terms of the license, and because the easy majority of open-source authors do not have the money and/or time to take the violator to court, license violations amount to nothing. This is one reason I tend to appreciate the WTFPL -- because, really, people are going to do whatever the fuck they want. An example I can quote right now: not too long ago, someone took the (GPL-licensed) Miranda IM source code and built their own version of the client and proceeded to sell it + not provide the source. Guess what happened? A bunch of neckbeards got angry. That's all. No lawsuits, no repercussions, nothing. Just "they're violating the license!!!" followed by *crickets chirping*.

So in summary (again my opinion), licenses do nothing but cater to the excessive OCD nature of people in the tech world. They're a common debate topic that isn't worth debating -- you should spend your time doing things like, say, programming or doing what makes you happy, not worrying about licensing nonsense.

Bellum
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Post by Bellum » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:11 pm

I preferred the BSD license over GNU, but now I think I have a new favorite. :lol:

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