VLC coming to iOS? Can BGE be relicensed to LGPL?


I found this article:


Where developers are looking to relicense the VLC media player from GPL to LGPL in order to make it compatible with iOS.

So how realistic is this for BGE? Can the BGE be relicensed to LGPL?

I dont think it is possible to re-license any blender code, for legal reasons.

How do we know that BGE can’t be relicensed? I wanted to post this issue on the bf developers mailing lists, but I thought it would create too much noise.
Do you know how many times this has been raised, countless, it’s not worth the huge time and effort and there’s not the desire to, it won’t happen. Even if it could, the BGE still wouldn’t work on iOS without again huge effort. It’s going onto Android so that’s where you’ll see mobile gaming with blender.

I don’t think the consensus is that it’s a bad idea to switch the licensing on the BGE, but rather that it’s very, very difficult as you would have to get the consent of everyone who’s pushed code to Blender or the BGE, which is probably hundreds of people.

As a side-note, I don’t believe the BGE should have any problems on OUYA’s app store, as they don’t take away the user’s rights to redistribute the GPL portion of a game. However, they don’t have to provide any means to distribute GPL applications on their app store. They would just provide the app from the developers, and it would probably be their (our) responsibility to link / provide the GPL source.

I’m sorry, that was totally my mistake. That’ll teach me to respond without reading the article linked. :S After reading the article and your response, I see that it’s at the very least, possible to change the licensing of an open-source program after it’s been made.

I’m not sure if it’ll be possible with the BGE’s case, though, since ‘relevant code’ can’t be removed if the authors don’t agree to the switch (and can even be contacted anymore). However, it might be worth a try, just to see if it can be done, or at least worth asking about in the mailing list.

It is, to some extend worth considering.
As the engine ages, more and more people contribute. More people to verify consent.
This would sound like an insurmountable task, and it may well be. But It may be worth the effort to attempt to give us some leeway with the licensing.

at this point, I think it is more realistic to make a separate engine if we want a different license. You could still make it fully blender integrated, just it would have to be a separate executable, cant use any old code, etc

but, if you can get everybody together to discuss a different license, then i guess i’m for it. It will be difficult getting everybody to agree on the right license.

its not just the BGE, as far as I know, you have to get every blender coder to agree. I don’t think you can simply separate BGE from blender like that.

Taking this slightly off topic, I find it amazing that the game engine cannot change licenses. I understand that the development of blender is done by many developers, but surely every developer would NOT mind if the license was to change slightly, especially if it opened up blender to a whole new world, eg… iOS. Would it not be more sensible if every developer was aware that before they submitted a patch, or a new feature then there is a chance that the license could change at some point.

And honestly, if you cannot get in touch with a certain developer, then it can generally be assumed that they really don’t care if the license changes or not. I know it is never good making decisions based on assumptions, but for something like this, which could be seen as holding blender back a bit, I dont see it as that much of a problem.

If I was developing anything, whether it was on my own, or part of a number of developers all developing the same application, then I would be happy for any license changes to the code. But maybe thats just me. I’m sure the Blender Foundation would not change the license in a way that would damage the developers, be it financially or morally. And since blender is open source, there is not much financial gain from developing blender. Unless there is the option for users to make money through channels like the app store on itunes etc… Then if there’s money to be made from sources like that, then there is higher chance for the developers to be privately paid for certain features/improvements to be made. I know my argument is slightly flawed here, as it is already entirely possible to make money selling games, but hopefully you can understand my argument.

I was always under the impression that if someone opts in to develop an open source application, then almost any change can be made to the license, regardless of what the developers think. If decisions are made to change the license that do not sit well with everyone that develops, then developers will stop developing and you will have created a failed open source project. If decisions are made that sit well with everyone and that open up new doors for the community, then you have created a successful open source project. One that will continue to thrive and have a good community behind the developers and the application, lie blender does. I thought this was all part of managing a good open source project.

But my knowledge in digital laws is very limited, so maybe I’m missing something out. Or living in an ideal world :slight_smile:

I want to throw my vote behind this as well. It’s been brought up a lot the legal implications of making standalone executables because bge is gpl. I’m sure many commercial developers have shied away because of this. From wikipedia’s entry on it

“The main difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that the latter allows the work to be linked with (in the case of a library, ‘used by’) a non-(L)GPLed program, regardless of whether it is free software or proprietary software.[1] The non-(L)GPLed program can then be distributed under any terms if it is not a derivative work…”

As a guy wanting to sell blender games I’d like that reassurance.


Because: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?! :wink:

there are hundreds of people who have contributed to blender in the past 10 years. Getting an OK from all them is a huge task.

g1i1ch, just so we’re clear - you can still sell games with the current BGE license…

um, I don’t think you can license the BGE separately from blender.

Yeah I wasn’t disputing that, but having to have all your blends out in the open for everyone to see to sell it isn’t always ideal. Sure you can put in a script so they can’t be opened, but what if people just append stuff in from them? I’ve heard some talk about encrypting blends but I don’t know a lot about that.

It would really be nice just to export a standalone and not worry about licensing issue.

I’m pretty sure you can have separate licenses for different parts. Didn’t Sun do that with Java? For instance you could just lgpl the bge api and then get standalones. But iOS would be nice too.

I don’t think it’s that simple, as I believe the GPL licensing affects all of Blender’s source. Since the BGE code is compiled with Blender into the same executable, it all might fall under GPL. I’m talking completely out of the top of my head, though. I don’t know much about licensing.

In any case, it’s not like an executable is very safe, since Blender (and particularly the export as stand-alone script) is open-source. Encrypting the blend file isn’t hard at all, but it’s not that safe, either (though you’re definitely not leaving your blend file out in the open, unprotected). I believe BPPlayer is pretty secure, though.

I think the content of the game can be sold with a closed licence though? So changing the engine licence is unneeded?

Uh oh, uh oh… that’s all I can say. GPL to LGPL is not simply adding a letter to the name of the license; when a developer writes GPL-code the can only be used with other open-source GPL-type code, but with LGPL you can use the code in anything just as long as you make available the LGPL’d part of the code and any changes to it. The difference is volunteering for opensource only and volunteering for potentially commercial uses.

On the rest of your post; I think people who’ve volunteered their time and effort deserve a bit more respect. Those people still own the copyright to the code they wrote, they’ve just decided to share it with you under the GPL-license so maybe you too could contribute.

Personally I don’t see why we should make a licence change to have BGE on one of the most closed source platforms on this planet…
Of course it’s questionable if a re-licence is really needed anyway.

Every person who contributed code has the copyright on this code. You can not simply assume something. If not every! developer who contributed code agrees, you cannot re-licence it.

And as Richard already said above, there is no real desire to re-licence the code…

just because VLC developers felt they needed to change, doesn’t mean we have to change. I have no desire to change licenses. GPL works fine for selling games, and I don’t care about having games on Apple store. Apple is really annoying with their restrictions and such, and there isn’t a serious game industry for apple anyways.

Apple is really annoying with their restrictions and such, and there isn’t a serious game industry for apple anyways.

Sorry but as a professional mobile developer that develops on all platform this really made my laugh… . Really I shed tears off the laughter ! In an age that traditional normal handheld consoles are suffering because of the uprising of mobile devices you have people proclaiming that there isn’t a “serious” game industry for the apple platform anyway ? You are being sarcastic I hope or you have mistakenly saw the general ROI numbers for the Android market and extrapolated it to other markets ?

I really love Blender but I don’t see why you would use the BGE if their are a pletheora of better game engines out there. Minus the religious wars and politics, which is often juvenile (most closed source, it is closed or open…) thribble anyway or where there is no room for a serious view why such an approach may be better from different non religious views.

I don’t think you will be missing a lot if you can’t use the BGE. I don’t see if mentioned often in (indie) dev cycles, if mentioned at all to be perfectly honest.

It is even funny because if you follow the development a bit Google is closing android more and more down in its fight against piracy and mallware. DRM api, app encryption that they recently announced and it is only the beginning… .