OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

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OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by sinbad » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:50 pm

From the main web site:
This is a very important announcement: from the upcoming new stable version of OGRE, OGRE 1.7 aka “Cthugha”, we will be switching to the MIT License. The MIT license is a simpler and more permissive license than the LGPL, which we have used so far and will continue to apply up to and including all releases of OGRE v1.6. OGRE v1.7 is currently available as a preview from Subversion, but will slowly become the new stable version in the next few months.

We arrived at this licensing decision in the last month, and decided to make the community aware of it in advance so you could incorporate it into your plans.

Why are we doing this?
The MIT license is short, easy to understand, requiring only that you include (simple) copyright & license declarations in your final applications. We hope using it will make it an even easier choice for people to use OGRE in their projects in future, thus driving even greater adoption of OGRE.

Won’t this mean people can ‘rip off’ OGRE in proprietary software?
The LGPL already allowed OGRE to be used in proprietary software, and this is something we’ve always encouraged. The main difference between the LGPL and the MIT License is that there is no requirement to release modified source code; only to include our copyright and the MIT license text in the final product.

While not requiring modified source to be released might initially seem like giving up an important motivator to contribute code back to the community, we’ve noticed something in recent years: 99% of useful code contributions come from people who are motivated to participate in the project regardless of what the license tells them they have to do. It’s our experience that a certain percentage of the user community will always participate and contribute back, and therefore encouraging adoption via simpler licensing is likely to result in more contributions overall than coersion via complex and restrictive licensing does. In addition, people who are internally motivated to participate tend to provide much higher quality and more usable contributions than those who only do it because they are forced to.

Does using a more permissive license weaken OGRE’s commitment to open source?
This is something of a political question. Here at OGRE we’ve always identified ourselves as ‘open source software’ rather than ‘free software’, reflecting that our primary purpose is to promote an open, active, participatory community around our shared code base. Our goal is not, and has never been, to require others to adopt the same licenses for their own software if they use OGRE – the LGPL has always been a ‘fire break’ to that, albeit quite a complex one. Our goal is to make OGRE the best it can be, and to encourage people to get involved in making it better and building ecosystems around it, and pragmatically we’ve decided the best way to do that is via a simpler, more permissive licensing approach based around voluntary contributions.

What does this mean for the OUL (the alternative commercial license to the LGPL)
The OUL will be phased out from 1.7 onwards. It will continue to apply for OGRE 1.6 and previous versions and will be available on request should people require it.

Can I apply the MIT License to OGRE 1.6 (or previous versions)?
No. OGRE 1.6 is licensed under the LGPL (with static link exclusion). The MIT License will only apply from OGRE 1.7 onwards – this is the clean break point between licensing conditions.

We hope this announcement will be received positively by the community, and that the simpler licensing arrangements will provide even more incentive for people to get involved in using and extending OGRE in the future.
Surprise! :P
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Duncan Mac Leod » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:57 pm

WOW! Great move! :D
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by betajaen » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:04 pm

Wowsa; I've been releasing much of my newly recent works under the MIT license as I have found it more open and free than the GPL and LGPL, and far less complicated to understand.

Serious, Kudos.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jacmoe » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:17 pm

This is really great news! :D

As Open Source has matured, there's a trend towards more permissive licenses, which is good.

This move would mean that even more companies adopts Ogre, which can only be a good thing.

Definitely a good move! :)
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Borrillis » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:43 pm

Does this mean you won't need the Contributor License Agreements as well or will that continue?
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Vectrex » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:14 pm

Ok, that's.. interesting :D Just one thing, please, for the love of god can we avoid forks of Ogre like Irrlicht has? It's stupid in the extreme and the LGPL sort of stopped that I think.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by sinbad » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:16 pm

Borrillis wrote:Does this mean you won't need the Contributor License Agreements as well or will that continue?
That will continue, from a legal standpoint we still need them regardless of what license is used, to stop people protesting later that we had no right to distribute their code and also to be able to defend the copyright of the codebase if necessary.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by sinbad » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:19 pm

Vectrex wrote:Ok, that's.. interesting :D Just one thing, please, for the love of god can we avoid forks of Ogre like Irrlicht has? It's stupid in the extreme and the LGPL sort of stopped that I think.
Forks are really nothing to do with the license (you can fork Ogre under the LGPL), forks happen when the core doesn't provide what people want and patches for it aren't accepted. Forks (at least those that gain a following) are an indication that either there's a split in the community or that the core isn't adopting contributions that the community wants for some reason (I'm not familiar with Irrlicht forks but I expect it's something along these lines).

In fact, there's nothing wrong with temporary forks. They're good testing grounds and every contributor of a significant patch creates their own temporary fork. It's long-term forks that split the community that can become a problem, and hopefully with good management and co-operation that shouldn't happen. The license is not a factor IMO.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jacmoe » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:45 pm

Vectrex wrote:for the love of god can we avoid forks of Ogre like Irrlicht has? It's stupid in the extreme and the LGPL sort of stopped that I think.
I fail to see the stupidity of forks.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Vectrex » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:32 pm

jacmoe wrote:
Vectrex wrote:for the love of god can we avoid forks of Ogre like Irrlicht has? It's stupid in the extreme and the LGPL sort of stopped that I think.
I fail to see the stupidity of forks.
Well forks themselves aren't stupid, but only when they are used badly. Irrlicht has forks which really shouldn't exist with features that could easily go into the core (some do find their way back sometimes). Through either what Sinbad said about slow or no uptake of patches, to hacking in a particular feature without much design thought. I'd also suspect a few ego (I'm the leader of a major 3d engine!11!!) forks might be around ;)
That said I can't see this being a problem with Ogre as it's very mature as is, so there's no glaring reason to fork it.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by dark_sylinc » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:40 pm

I've already post some of my thoughts in Steve Streeting's blog.

I'm posting here now because I think it's a better place to discuss.
Won’t this mean people can ‘rip off’ OGRE in proprietary software?
I actually like the idea that proprietary games and non-game applications would be able to modify the code to meet their own needs, integrate it into their application, and launch it without releasing the changes.
My concerns are that some people can rip off OGRE into proprietary graphic engine (aka a propietary fork) and compete with OGRE (which is the concern I wrote about in Sinbad's blog). THAT is a rip-off.
I fail to see the stupidity of forks.
Forks aren't stupid per se. However, there are forks that are stupid.

The way I see it, there are 3 kind of forks:
1) The good ones
2) The stupid ones
3) The commercial ones.

The problem of forks are that it can get messy when they get sparse and popular (remember popularity != quality) thus confusing newcomer developers whether to chose OGRE or one of it's forks (and they may even think the fork is the original one).
And you may get forks A B C and D, and they all four fix different bugs found in OGRE but none of them fixes them all in one packet. It hardens the task of unifying the bugfixes and enhancements to produce a higher quality product.
Forks isn't something that LGPL actually prevents, but for some reason, they appear less often with LGPL'd software.
I'm worried about the stupid ones (which LGPL doesn't truly prevent) but, more importantly, the commercial ones (which the LPGL does prevent)
99% of useful code contributions come from people who are motivated to participate in the project regardless of what the license tells them they have to do
Completely agree. But take in mind that it only requires less than 1% of people to take advantage of that 99% and piss them off.

These are my 2 cents.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Klaim » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:03 am

I actually like the idea that proprietary games and non-game applications would be able to modify the code to meet their own needs, integrate it into their application, and launch it without releasing the changes.
My concerns are that some people can rip off OGRE into proprietary graphic engine (aka a propietary fork) and compete with OGRE (which is the concern I wrote about in Sinbad's blog). THAT is a rip-off.
Right, but the good thing is that (from my point of view) to have this rip-off effective it would mean to have an equivalently skilled team than the Ogre team, with enough time to work on the project.
AFAIK it's just improbable in the open-source world (the current team gather already precious programmers - from skills point of view) and only a commercial team would be able to do that, with a lot of money. Then it wouldn't provide the code and would certainly just use the engine for their internal needs.
They could sell the engine but as you say...
The problem of forks are that it can get messy when they get sparse and popular (remember popularity != quality) thus confusing newcomer developers whether to chose OGRE or one of it's forks (and they may even think the fork is the original one).
And you may get forks A B C and D, and they all four fix different bugs found in OGRE but none of them fixes them all in one packet. It hardens the task of unifying the bugfixes and enhancements to produce a higher quality product.
Forks isn't something that LGPL actually prevents, but for some reason, they appear less often with LGPL'd software.
I'm worried about the stupid ones (which LGPL doesn't truly prevent) but, more importantly, the commercial ones (which the LPGL does prevent)
Yes, but Ogre have a big advantage : it's already pretty well known in the programming world.
It's would be a real challenge to provide an interesting enough fork whose name would be more known for good reasons than Ogre. If that happen, then the whole community would benefit of it. I think. :)
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jacmoe » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:17 am

Open Source means that people have the freedom to do 'stupid forks' if they want to. :wink:

I don't think a MIT license plays any role in free-loading.
If people want to rip off, they'd do that regardless of license.
Actually, I suspect GPL'ed software to be more ripped off than MIT licensed software, because of the restrictive license.

Developers want a practical, no-nonsense license.
That's what MIT is.

Goggles web app framework is under the Apache license.
Do you really think they worry about people ripping them off?
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by sinbad » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:07 am

dark_sylinc wrote:I'm worried about the stupid ones (which LGPL doesn't truly prevent) but, more importantly, the commercial ones (which the LPGL does prevent)
I don't think this is really the case. Someone can use the LGPL version of OGRE and put a simple wrapper over it and sell it as a new product, hiding the license in a text file that no-one reads. Under the MIT they could change OGRE a bit and not release the source and sell it too, but the difference in terms of the end result is not that significant.

When it comes down to it, open source is ripe for 'exploitation', that's actually its primary attraction and the secret to its popularity outside of hacker circles; that's the dirty secret the free software advocates don't like admitting to. Most of the world isn't a free software advocate, and isn't a programmer, and the only reason open source is as popular as it is is because it's possible to use it for personal or commercial gain, which then pulls in the 'rest of the world'. If it was impossible to use open source without being a hacker who contributed code back it would be a niche thing and not the global phenonenon it is today. If you believe otherwise then you're kidding yourself.

The important thing to realise is that everything is a balance. From a software creator's point of view, releasing my work as open source has pros and cons: on the plus side, I get free publicity, help with testing and code contributions from willing participants. I can effectively do far more with far less than I would need to get a proprietary product off the ground. On the negative side, I can guarantee some people will take my hard work and use it to either save them or make them money, without giving me anything in return. People who get upset about the negative side aren't considering that the positives balance it out. If the negative bothers them that much, they should probably be writing proprietary software - when you go into open source you have to realise both sides of the equation.

From a personal and business point of view, I think that a blend of the two works best - the open source side is an enabler for us all (good to share resources!), the proprietary side puts food on the table (yes, services can do this too, but they really don't scale). I'm ready to accept that people will use my work for their own gain for free, because in the round I know I benefit anyway from the open source choice; I think most contributors feel the same. It doesn't mean I can afford to release everything I do as open source, but it does mean that I can see benefits to doing so whenever I can, regardless of the negatives. That's the 'big picture'.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by mr. iknoweverything » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:33 pm

wow. kudos. its one thing to contemplate the advantages of more "altruistic" models. its a totally different thing to really do it.
your balls must be made of steel.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jomunoz » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:17 am

This will definitely attract more 'professional' users to OGRE. Didn't see it that way before reading Sinbad's blog.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Nauk » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:19 pm

Awesome move, I like it, thumbs up :) I too think that it will only make Ogre even more attractive and with the overall quality and maturity level along with the immense community the threat of a fork splitting that community is non-existant.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Oogst » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:28 am

Interestingly, this will make it possible to actually port Ogre to PS3/360/Wii, right? The LGPL has the fundamental problem that you cannot port Ogre to a console library, because releasing that code would release the API for the console, which is in violation with the console's developer agreement.

With MIT, a console port of Ogre could not be made public, but like is done with the physics engine Bullet, it could be made available to all licensed developers through the console manufacturer's website.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jonnys » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:04 am

Oogst wrote:Interestingly, this will make it possible to actually port Ogre to PS3/360/Wii,
AT LAST! :D.
Oogst wrote:Interestingly, this will make it possible to actually port Ogre to PS3/360/Wii, right? The LGPL has the fundamental problem that you cannot port Ogre to a console library, because releasing that code would release the API for the console, which is in violation with the console's developer agreement.

With MIT, a console port of Ogre could not be made public, but like is done with the physics engine Bullet, it could be made available to all licensed developers through the console manufacturer's website.
I agree, this will definitely catapult Ogre into to new leagues and new directions probably making it eligible to compete with, Unreal and ID Tech engines etc (I know that they are game engines and not rendering engines :) ) but still, Ogre IS THAT GOOD.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by jacmoe » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:47 am

Oogst wrote:Interestingly, this will make it possible to actually port Ogre to PS3/360/Wii, right?
jonnys wrote:AT LAST! :D.
I understand your excitement, but you forget that we've had the OUL for quite a while. :)
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Vectrex » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:30 am

jacmoe wrote:
Oogst wrote:Interestingly, this will make it possible to actually port Ogre to PS3/360/Wii, right?
jonnys wrote:AT LAST! :D.
I understand your excitement, but you forget that we've had the OUL for quite a while. :)
Yes but now the lazy lawyers will be open to the idea, whereas before they had to actually read stuff and understand technical things which put them off. They wouldn't have even got to the commercial license bit :)
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by sinbad » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:23 pm

FWIW, Ogre's already been ported to all the major consoles internally by various developers (yes, including Wii).

I've tried to get on the console developer programmes but my experience is that they're getting less open about this rather than more. XBLA is cutting down on content and I've had next to no response from my repeated enquiries about devkits from any of them, so I've completely shelved the idea of providing officially supported console editions. As has been suggested, with the MIT license people will be able to port it without any extra permission and share it more easily with other registered developers without having to worry about incompatible licenses, so at least the option will be there.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by Karan » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:33 pm

sinbad wrote:FWIW, Ogre's already been ported to all the major consoles internally by various developers (yes, including Wii).
Have there also been console games released that use Ogre? I'm asking because I wonder if Ogre just "works somehow" on consoles or if it's really a good choice if you want to make a "big" game.
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by calsmurf2904 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:50 am

You will have to port over the code (Ogre dependencies etc.).
And probably also create a renderer for the console. (Not sure about that one since we already have the OpenGL ES Renderer in trunk)
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Re: OGRE Will Switch To The MIT License from 1.7

Post by VEGETA_DTX » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:51 pm

Hello Ogre nation ^_^
I must say that switching onto MIT license is THE reason I cut my almost 2 years long inhesitation and decided to chose using OGRE over Irrlicht :)
And MAN! what a great choice!(so far I am on the 6th wiki tutorial but I still think its perfectly enough to conclude that I totally like the way it works)

In order to not go offtopic too much, I will praise OGRE in the appropriate topic :) MIT license is the best move ever!!
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