Modifying the Gamebuino classic library to display bitmaps from RAM without licensing my game with LGPL/GPL

General

Zvoc47

4 months ago

Hello.

I was thinking about modifying some of the Gamebuino classic library functions to be able to access RAM. For example, I would like it to be possible to make my own menu in RAM or my own bitmaps in RAM and not PROGMEM, but the library is hardcoded to take the bytes from PROGMEM. This could be easily solved by adding new functions to the library but with the pgm_read_byte being swapped with normal data read functions. However, the Gamebuino library is licensed under the LGPL license which may mean that if I used the code from the library to make my own draw function that then I would have to license my game with LGPL/GPL too. I don't want that.

So I'm asking for permission to use the drawing code under a different license to make my own drawing functions and to license my game under a different license.

What do you think I could do?

Thank you for your time.

Sorunome

NEW 4 months ago

actually LGPL only means you have to release the modified version of the library along with your game in LGPL, the game itself can have a different license.


I am not a lawyer

alxm

4 months ago

Also see this: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10130143/gpl-lgpl-and-static-linking#10179181

On Gamebuino everything is static linked, so you'd need to at least provide the .o files for your game so users can re-link to a different version of the lib. If you were planning to release the game as open source anyway (LGPL or other license), it sounds like you're good :-)

alxm

NEW 4 months ago

Sorunome Sorunome

Also see this: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10130143/gpl-lgpl-and-static-linking#10179181

On Gamebuino everything is static linked, so you'd need to at least provide the .o files for your game so users can re-link to a different version of the lib. If you were planning to release the game as open source anyway (LGPL or other license), it sounds like you're good :-)

Zvoc47

NEW 4 months ago

What if I make my own version of the Gamebuino library by adding what I like and removing what I don't like and optimizing things and then license that with LGPL and after that use that modified version with my game under a license which allows modifying code, but not the game assets/story/characters/etc.?

I'm mostly concerned about people making creepy fanworks of my game. I want to have some regulation over that. I understand that people like fancharacters like how Sorunome has a pony avatar, but I don't want people to do things like shipping my characters. My characters are actually OCs in a way which stands for Own Characters; characters used for roleplaying; and there's a lot of nasty things going on the internet. It's an unspoken nonlegalese rule that OCs cannot be stolen like one would steal an official character for fan works. I'd like to legally enforce that rule. Why? Because I wouldn't like to have the eyes of kids who play my game and go google it be stained with axiom 0x22 (if you know what I mean) made by some people who abuse the context of the word "love". There's already enough hatred and misconceptions towards the OC/FC/anthro/anime fandom people because of those minorities who twist love around for their own lewd meaning and it's always us pure people who end up being attacked the most: the legalists want to stone us while the impures want to desecrate us. I don't want to one day go display my game's Google Images in front of my colleagues in college or kids in the elementary school where I give gamedev tutorials only to have a lewd picture appear there which would ruin my reputation forever.

I hope you understand what I mean.

Sorunome

NEW 4 months ago

As already said, the library itself has to be licenced in LGPL and provided. The game itself could actually even be closed source, provided the modified library is provided under the same license as the original (LGPL).


Again, I am not a lawyer xP

Aurélien Rodot

NEW 4 months ago

Aha ! I've been doing extensive research, seen a few lawyers and attended a few trainings about intellectual property protection (guess why).

Disclaimer: What I'm saying mainly applies in France/Europe, and hey, I'm not a lawyer.

TLDR

You can't prevent people from doing abusive fan work, but it won't happen.

Long answer

Ask the right question

First, this is a typical exemple why you should always, ALWAYS give the problem when you ask for a solution. It sounds stupid, but I really mean it.

You said "MODIFYING THE GAMEBUINO CLASSIC LIBRARY TO DISPLAY BITMAPS FROM RAM WITHOUT LICENSING MY GAME WITH LGPL/GPL".

Expect from being overly long, this is not the right title.

A better title would have been "How to prevent people from doing abusive fan work?".

It's not about LGPL

Why? Because LGPL and code licenses have nothing do do with this. These licenses are only about the code, not the assets. So open-sourcing code doesn't mean you copy-left the assets, graphics and music of your game. To do so, you have to resort to the Creative Common licenses (we encourage the use of CC BY SA).

It's about copyright, but it won't protect against derivatives

So, when you do some original art*, like drawing, texts, music and alike... what makes your "character", it's automatically protected by copyright. Meaning your are the author and unique owner of these. You can give people the right to use it as well (e.g. with a copyleft like CC BY SA) but you will ALWAYS be the author, no matter what.

*original art : something new, that reflects your personality

But the thing about copyright is that it's super weak for two reasons.

First, you have to prove that you are the author and that you are the first one who made it. So you have to register it somehow. In France we have Soleau enveloppes, a special sealed envelope where you put your art with a certified time stamp on it. It costs 15€. For digital creation, you have to put a CD in it.

Second, it only protects you against exact replication. If it's a derivative work, like they turn your pixel art into a hand drawing, you're out of luck.

You can register a trademark, but don't do it

This would protect your character name. For example SONIC THE HEDGEHOG® is registered by SEGA GAMES CO., LTD.

To register a trademark in France, it costs 210€ for 3 categories of products. Then you have to extend it to other countries. Trademarking GAMEBUINO® in most countries (USA, Europe, Japan...) was over 2000€, and that's cheap because I did it myself. Double the price if you want someone to do it for you. Next time I will, because it's a nightmare (just look at the registration to have a taste of it).

It won't happen anyway

We are in a big family here, everybody is kindly, benevolent and caring. We have real values. Only family-friendly content is authorized here. I'm not sure our games will get to the point where people start doing some rule 34 derivative work. Anyway, if it was the case, it's not the first thing that shows up in google, if you are popular enough to worry about this.

Final word: just relax <3

Zvoc47

4 months ago

Thank you very much for the detailed response. :)

Zvoc47

NEW 4 months ago

Aurélien Rodot Aurélien Rodot

Thank you very much for the detailed response. :)

dreamer3

NEW 4 months ago

with the pgm_read_byte being swapped with normal data read functions

There is no difference on this architecture.  RAM and RAM exist in the same address space... the same functions should already work if you just make sure the pointer is to RAM instead of flash.  You might have to typecast the pointer, etc.

wuuff

4 months ago

The original question was about the Gamebuino Classic, though, and there is a difference between ram and flash on that.

wuuff

NEW 4 months ago

dreamer3 dreamer3

The original question was about the Gamebuino Classic, though, and there is a difference between ram and flash on that.

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