[bf1942] We REALLY need the BF2 Python API (Andreas - question for you here!!!)
thiessen at alum.mit.edu
Sun Jun 26 15:46:20 EDT 2005
>Would we be in violation of the copyright notice in "admin/default.py"
>if we posted
>a modified variant of the file on the fun-o-matic wiki...?
>I assume we would, but then again, I assume us modding the file is
>pretty much the
>entire idea behind the py-interface. So should such a permission be
>in the header of the file...?
A great question; as they say, "IANAL", but (in the U.S. at least)
copyright law protects the copyright holders against not only people
making unauthorized copies, but also against creating unauthorized
"derivitive works", without the copyright holder's permission. In the
open source world, the way things work is that software is normally
copyrighted, but the copyright holder "licenses" anyone to copy it
and/or create derivitive works, as long they meet specified
conditions--typically giving credit to the original copyright holder.
Usually the terms of the license are spelled out in comments in the
source code, and/or a separate text file that accompanies it.
What DICE did by putting the copyright notice in the code, with no
accompanying license, is to effectively make it illegal for anyone to
redistribute their code and/or any modifications to it--exactly the
opposite, I think, of what they wanted! Their code is effectively
"proprietary", and unavailable for anyone else to use, even as a base.
What they should have done was to go ahead and copyright the code, but
then to license it under one of the many open source licenses
(opensource.org). DICE really, really, needs to fix this, ASAP!
Personally, I'm planning to release some code I'm working on soon, under
the "MIT" license; it's basically the same as the "BSD" license that
more people might be familiar with, but with less conditions. Here's
the full text of the license, which you just put in comments at the
beginning of your code:
Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a
copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
"Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included
in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY
CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT,
TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE
SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
In laymen's language: do whatever you want with this code, but give
credit where credit is due, and don't come yelling at me if it doesn't
work the way you think it should.
There are lots of other open source licenses to choose from; the GNU
Public License (GPL) is probably the most popular, but it's a little too
political for my taste :-) . If I were DICE, I'd probably use the
Mozilla Public License (MPL) for the DICE code, but at this point I'd be
happy with them picking ANY of the OSI-approved licenses at opensource.org.
--Forrest (aka "Woody")
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