Open Source *Game* Programming License

Ken Arromdee arromdee at
Thu Jan 18 17:47:41 UTC 2001

On Thu, 18 Jan 2001, Bryan George wrote:
> > Oh, you could make a new world file, but by that reasoning,
> > couldn't I make a program that needs readline, distribute it without readline,
> > and tell the user to make a new readline function?  World files are at least
> > as important to a game like Quake as readline is to a program that uses it.
> Yes - likewise, a Website is useless without its content, a CD is
> useless without songs, a cell phone is useless without a service
> contract.  Shall I go on?

Service contracts aren't code, or even copyrighted material.

As for the other two examples...  Web servers and CD players are *typically*
used by separately getting the server/player, and the content.  Saying "we
won't supply any web pages, get them yourself" is a reasonable thing to do
because the web server isn't tied to any particular page; users can and do
use many different web pages with it.

I can go get a different CD for a GPL'ed CD player.  I can't get a different
set of Quake data for use with my GPL'ed Quake engine (conversions typically
require owning the original game).

Compare this to the readline situation: as long as the readline library is the
only library available for use with the program, the GPL on one requires that
the GPL be on the other one too.

(Disclaimer: I personally reject the readline reasoning, but my rationale for
that rejection does not apply to Quake.)

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