September 12th, 2008, 18:06
Licensing for GlN64
Howdy, as part of the license audit for Mupen64Plus, we're trying to track down Orkin, the original glN64 author. So far our attempts have not been successful.
Since glN64's code has no copyright or licensing, we can't include it with Mupen64Plus when we get included in the offical Debian / Ubuntu repositories and might have to remove the plugin from our source tree.
Considering glN64 is one of our most flexible video plugins, and currently the only one working under OSX, we don't really want to remove it. Hence, if anyone on the forums has another way to contact Orkin, we'd really appreciate your help in getting in touch with him.
Thanks in advance.
Last edited by okaygo; September 15th, 2008 at 05:52.
September 15th, 2008, 05:52
Making this thread an announcement.
September 18th, 2008, 20:35
Hum, if you can't manage to join Orkin, the gln64 plugin has no licence or copyright, and you can get the source code, i think you can apply a free software licence like GPL or BSD.
September 19th, 2008, 05:28
We have the source. Your advice would be true if the code was public domain, but sadly we don't know if it is.
Since the code isn't old enough to become public domain as an abandoned work, we can't really do anything with it officially.
If anyone is a lawyer or wants to consult a friend in the official legal department to ask about this, it would be appreciated. However, I seriously doubt that unresponsiveness is legal precedent for code to be relicensed, even on the order of 5 years.
September 19th, 2008, 12:38
September 19th, 2008, 19:56
Tillin9, well and why not create a fork of this project ?
Or more simply, you can always use the source code of Archnoid like its license is under the GPL.
September 19th, 2008, 20:06
September 20th, 2008, 09:30
Hmm... very odd. First off Archnoid won't compile with mupen as its currently Win32 only, it would need some work. However...
I had thought I missed the copyright in main.cpp, as I actually had looked at the Archnoid code awhile back for ways to improve Mupen's video plugins. At the time I was somewhat upset that the code I found was virtually the same, with the major changes I could see being made by Blight or other Mupen developers in regards to a linux port. However, the linked code is not what I looked at, but much newer!
Porting this work to linux would solve our issues completely and might actually be worthwhile (from a bug fix / feature perspective) after porting the Glide64 HQ work.
However, this also presents a way to GPL the code we have on the basis that Orkin allowed GPLed derivative works to be made of his original code. Anyone with a firmer legal grasp have an opinion?
Last edited by Tillin9; September 20th, 2008 at 09:33.
September 20th, 2008, 20:45
You could choose to use Arachnoid as you seem pleased with some of the changes. The GPL is quite free in what you can and can't do. But if you're on some moral ground that you shouldn't use GLN64 because there's no license, then using Arachnoid (which has no public documentation of Orkin saying please use my code) is equally questionable.
So I guess I probably don't know the law as well as you guys. But it really seems to me that if one is illegal, the other is too. And if not, not.
Last edited by thatmariolover; September 20th, 2008 at 21:13.
September 20th, 2008, 21:33
The issue here is that Debian (and thus all daughter distros like Ubuntu) has very strict code licensing and copyright requirements for any code to be included in the official repositories. They do this both from moral viewpoint of keeping open source "free" and from a legal viewpoint of they really don't have the resources if someone was to sue.
As far as glN64, from Debian's and a strict legal perspective there is no "no licensing" choice. The closest thing is public domain, but there is no documentation of Orkin saying this. Putting the code online for others to freely download without a license is not public domain, nor does it even imply we're allowed to distribute the code. Technically Orkin could say he doesn't want us distributing his code and could potentially sue the Mupen64Plus project for doing so right now. Legally, any code is by default proprietary code belonging to the author (with all rights reserved) until otherwise stated or 20 years (or longer, I'm not 100% sure on the limits of code copyright) have passed.
I'll admit that the chances of Orkin doing so are next to nill, but technically such action is within his legal rights, which is why Debian has the policy it does.