BlenderPlayer and GPL: Why not use the linking exception?

The BlenderPlayer is currently licensed under the GPL v2, which means that any .blend files compiled with the player into a binary (via the “Make Runtime” option) automatically inherit the terms of the GPL as a “derivative work.” This makes the Blender Game Engine very impractical from a commercial perspective. As it stands, the only way to commercially release a game made with Blender is to leave your .blend hanging out in the open, accessible to all. This seems a bit undesirable, so the question has come to my mind “Why not use the GPL linking exception?” Is the linking exception only for libraries (.dll, .so, etc.), or could it be applied to a program such as the BlenderPlayer?

As I understand it, if released under the linking exception, the BlenderPlayer itself would remain GPL’ed, but game artists releasing binaries would enjoy the freedom of setting the terms of license over their own games.

Just a thought.

Would be a dream come true for people wanting to actually use the Blender GE comercially!

although not many (if at all?) blender-based games are commercial, i think the option of GPL_linking_exception should be made available to all.

But personally, i think letting the ‘.blend’ file ‘hanging’ out like that isn’t such a terrible thing. For one thing, it promotes blender. Even most commercial games have a pretty open game-data stucture (ie all Unreal games and id software games).

Prepare to get bashed by Open Source Radicals. (I think)

Well, if it’s gonna implementing a version with ogre engine,
ogre is lgpl and the games could be linked only to it (maye also
an lgpl part of blender itself, licensed lgpl with some little “refund
request” for who make money through it).
This way you still would need to share the patches to blender
you used (and eventually the .blend file but not in the open, just
with purchased copies,which shouldn’t be an issue…).

P.S.: To radicals… freedom means free to choose… or not?

This should also solve the GPL-incompatible plugin problem.

The probelm is that AFAIK the blender foundation doesn’t own the original blender code, only a GPL license, so they cannot relicense it without the permission of NaN.

I’m not sure about relicensing of post GPL contributions, but relicensing would probably also require the explicit permission of every single contributor also.

That’s why I think the ogre passage would renders it easier:
surely there wasn’t any ogre code in the original blender,
so it’s clear it wasn’t in the NaN code.
The issue may come then only from the license of bullet and
sound-system…

If Blender GE’s aspiration for acceptance outside the open source community has to be taken
serious the issue of the legal implications of the Blender’s license concerning runtimes also
has to be taken serious.
Blender just needs some work around this problem, wether it be a way to encrypt the game data
and seperate it from a player, change of license or any other solution. Again a simple solution
could help. It’s not about protection against the hardcore pirates.
I think no serious company will publish a game thats source is free and open source. That’s like
tricking people in paying for something that’s actually free. And what if someone takes legal
steps against a commercial Blender game? By the license they are forced to deliver the source
code of the game (The .blend file)
Perhaps you could go and ask around at game publishing companies, but I have the feeling they would not take sush a game serious considering publishing.

Mattepui: OGRE is only a renderer, not a full game engine. Games released with the OGRE integration could not be linked only to OGRE, because OGRE has no physics system or logic system to run the actual game with. My understanding is that OGRE will be limited to graphics and perhaps sound (through OpenAL). Using the OGRE library will only add one more license that we have to include with our distributions, and it will complicate things by adding the terms of the LGPL which requires source to be made available for personal modification by the end user (though not for redistribution by the end user). This should only apply to the OGRE library file itself, but still, it’s moving farther away from a realistic commercially distributable product.

Blendenzo:
Ehm, openAL is already LGPL-2, the only thing you’re strictly forced
to give with an ogre/openal projects are the changes in the sources
of ogre/openal itself (actually shipping ogre commercial projects:
Ankh I and II , Pacific Storm, and the shareware axiomatic, actually in
developing commercial-quality ogre project: there is only war, legend of
the dragoon, Heretic Kingdoms: Reluctant Heroes, Fragfirst, bluefox and
sector 13).
Also, it wouldn’t make much sense, having already LGPLed backend
(openal) in Blender, to relicense with “linking exceptions but something
is LGPL”, those 2 licenses are really similar, while at least bullet could be
relicensed LGPL for sure (given that the authors agree to that),
not being the same game-engine NAN programmed.
I don’t think a complete relicense of Blender would be possible, at least
not if someone of you doesn’t buy NaN…