Page 7 of 16

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:49 pm
by IFW
Thanks, then I have no idea what's the use of dual-licensing if you can cherry pick which one applies to you - it should be clear; you are a small developer/user/etc GPL, you are a business organization with the intent of capitalizing on the product then it's MAME.
Any way of doing that?

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:52 pm
by pak21
Let me ask a question that should have occurred to me a long time ago:

Why not release the library under the GPL?

Yes, this will in theory mean that commercial users could use your library. However, it would also mean that they have to release all their code under the GPL as well, which is almost certainly not something they're going to do (especially if its GPL v3 as they would then also have to give you a way to install your own software on any of their hardware).

Equally, because you are the copyright holder of the library, you can license it under any terms you like to commercial users - you just need to make sure that you acquire the copyright to any contributions to the library so you can continue the dual-licensing in the future.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:54 pm
by pak21
IFW wrote:Thanks, then I have no idea what's the use of dual-licensing if you can cherry pick which one applies to you - it should be clear; you are a small developer/user/etc GPL, you are a business organization with the intent of capitalizing on the product then it's MAME.
Any way of doing that?
No can do, due to the GPL clause forbidding any further restrictions on use. But do see my previous post.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:58 pm
by karadoc
Thanks for the suggestion Tuxie, but I can't see how dual-licensing helps unfortunately - because we might as well just license under the GPL and be done with it. If we license under the GPL at all, that leaves us with the same problem on commercial use.

As to those unlikely to GPL their software to use ours, I think that is right in many cases, but it assumes they have software of their to GPL in the first place... One of the few companies we have talked to about this do create their own software, but it is separate from the GPL parts they sell (yet still part of the same package).

I do take your general point that it limits the amount of use a company can make. This is a conversation we can have some other time - again, lets get something out that we're happy with to do now rather than delaying this further.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:05 pm
by IFW
If we do hope to have any sort of contribution from commercial users, they'd avoid GPL licensing just like you said - won't be workable for them, and they would:
- roll their own
- use something else

Or do you mean, that they'd find the GPL undesirable, and would choose to licence the product otherwise?
Wouldn't the effect more likely to be not even considering it as a workable solution?

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:12 pm
by pak21
IFW wrote:Or do you mean, that they'd find the GPL undesirable, and would choose to licence the product otherwise?
Absolutely.
Wouldn't the effect more likely to be not even considering it as a workable solution?
Quite possibly - but exactly the same is going to apply if you choose (say) the MAME license. Certainly, I can't see why anyone hypothetically producing a commercial ZX Spectrum emulator is going to pay for an IPF library when they can just use EDSK instead, which happily loads every single Spectrum disk known.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:48 pm
by Interceptor
if its not worth paying for it then its not worth charging for it.

a commercial zx spectrum emulator would fit that catergory, IPF wouldnt cost it anything. if it were some massive deal with some huge biz then it would.

but anyway....
my view so far, is that the MAME license is still the best fit for us at the moment.

i'd like to be able to at least choose from two solutions, for instance right now we could choose MAME or GPL based on what i've seen.

if we chose a non GPL compatible (say MAME) license, aside from the obvious implications from FUSE implementation (which therefore wouldnt affect, say, ZXSPin), how would you then view the whole scenario then compared to say, now or this time last year?

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:03 pm
by Tuxie
If you "license under the GPL and be done with it" then you are effectively shutting out all emulators not under the GPL. That's why I suggested dual licensing. If I'm understanding this correctly you want a license that is:

a) GPL compatible
b) Compatible with Open Source licenses (non-copyleft aka "non-viral").
c) Compatible with closed source freeware emulators
d) Not allowing "making a lot of money" from your library.
e) Compatible with Shareware emulators (is this correct?)

a and d are mutually exclusive so a dual licensing scheme is inevitable for this to work. If you dual license it with GPLv3 and a custom license (for example MIT or BSD license with added clauses) you can make this work. When dual licensing, the user can choose which license to use.

If someone choose to use the library under GPLv3 they:
* get GPL (v3) compatibility
* must release their own software under GPLv3 themselves. (Very few companies want that)
* must allow custom software on their hardware (no DRM or similar restrictions)

The "IPF license" could be BSD or MIT license with these clauses added:
* You may not charge any money for any disk images in IPF format
* You may not sell or give away software bundled with any disk images in IPF format
* You may not in any way provide disk images in IPF format if you charge money for this software

Since you still hold the copyright to the library, a company that wants to do anything not allowed under these licenses (like anyone wanting to sell a bundle without releasing their software in GPLv3 and opening up their hardware for example) will have to contact you for a custom, commercial license that you can sell to them for money.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:19 pm
by IFW
Yes, that very much includes (e) and really want to differentiate that case, and say an XBL/PSN/WiiWare etc game or emulator package that retails for 39.99 etc.
Emulator authors are not really the ones that make a lot of money, be it shareware/free/open/closed - they just do a nice thing which may pay for some of their free time sacrificed and in my opinion they should be rewarded for their work if they choose that option.

Re: IPF and Openness

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:21 pm
by MrX_Cuci
Probably completely offtopic, but here goes anyway. Why not let the user pay for a license? (or board owners get the lecense included) See WHDload for example. I would happily pay for a lifetime license. None paying customers get a nag screen or some sort of other "features" disabled. No idea how you would implement such a thing, but control is completely in your hands this way.