Some thoughts on licencing.

Most emulator projects use the license because their projects are community driven.

You can tell when a project has a company focus in mind by looking at the license.

If the license is a permissive one, like the or the , they aim to be taken by a company, so they want to give them as few responsibilities as possible.

When a project is a GPL one, what the project wants to do is to protect the members work by forcing companies to return the code.

@lorabe Or #BSD / #MIT is simply about giving the consumer as much freedom as possible.

But what do I know?


@blabber Consumers do not benefit from having the source code closed. They cannot learn, improve or redistribute proprietary software, therefore the only freedom that BSD and MIT provide is the freedom of closing the user's freedom.

Companies do benefit from closing the source code, but users don't.

@lorabe @blabber Copyleft licenses (whatever the preferred one) are the only way to ensure that free software remains free forever. All other non-copyleft licenses have paths toward proprietization.

@downey @blabber yeah, the famous project once had the opportunity to collaborate with SEGA, but under the condition of changing the license from GPL3 to MIT.

They explained that they wouldn't do that because other companies had already abused the work of the community without giving back a thing. So in order to protect people's work, copyleft was a requirement.

I prefer to use multible copyleftlicenses, this way projects can be combined.
Sadly this is not well supported by platforms like github.

Using a very free license (w/o copyleft) is the lazy way to fulfil that benefit.

@lorabe @blabber

@deusfigendi @downey @lorabe @blabber I’m curious I’ve seen this dual licensing approach how does that work in practise? Why is it effectively different from the most permissive (or least permissive) of the two? When I contribute dual licensed code back to a project how does it being MPL+GPL benefit the people

@dch @downey @lorabe @blabber

The point is: You can combine it with other software of either license.

Hard to explain in 500 characters:

If you use copyleft a derivate has to use the same license.
If you combine two works to one (like using a libary) and one has copyleft the result has to be the same license
If you combine two works and both have copyleft it has to be the same license otherwise it's illegal.

If a work has two copyleft licences the re-user can choose which of those she uses.

@deusfigendi @dch @downey @lorabe @blabber Re dual-licensing you might be interested in It makes sure that your declaration of licensing and copyright is standardised and can be easily read by humans and tools. Thanks to SPDX expressions, is as simple as: SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-3.0-only OR EUPL-1.2

However, GitHub doesn't show multi-licensing nicely, yet, but with #REUSE it's clearer.

BTW: There are some compatible copyleft licenses, at least one-directional.

@mxmehl @dch @downey @lorabe @blabber

Because 500 characters are not so many I tried to explain it in an info graphic.

Same is for not-software-projects of cause, one cannot simply combine a cc-by-sa -music with cc-by-nc-sa images e.g.

@deusfigendi great.

one small thing could be improved: commercial is not equal to proprietary. you can sell GPL code

indeed, also I forgot a sentence in the first case. Something like "than we can choose a single copyleft license"

Well it was made a little quick 'n dirty XD
But hey it's GPL so everyone may improve it :D

@deusfigendi did you publish the source?

(well, when it's GPL, you have to provide the source, but i think that license does not fit images well. CC is made for that)


Okay on that page it will only last for 2 years so I just created a repository for that:

Yah, I could have used gist but I might have some more graphics somewhere on my harddisks :)

@deusfigendi perfect.

maybe people contribute with improvements or translations

GPL protects the users. The users are entitled to the source code. There is no obligation to publish updates to the public, or push fixes back upstream.

@wago yeah, that's why Amazon and cloud companies actually don't mind about using the GPL3, fortunately there's the which addresses this problem.

yes, of course there's Affero . I generally avoid it, like i generally avoid closed-source software. But sometimes things slip through the cracks. For example I use Microsoft Windows on a VPS a little bit each month because of a program I wrote years ago that prints the labels that go in clothing. You know, like the tag in your shirt. I haven't taken the time to port that one over. Maybe I will finally hunker down and get that switched over finally in 2021 lol. But it's like fire up VPS, make the labels, shut it down.
Here are some scenarios:

I bought a commercial wifi router and in the package is a small piece of paper that says some of the software inside the router is GPL. If i would like the source code i can send a letter (snail mail) to their legal department explaining why i want the source code.

Another scenario is using SaaS provider like AWS. Or like a snap pack or app store. I'm getting a black box. Where is the source code? Oh just go look for it online. Buy wait did you modify this thing that i am using? I want to change a few things on it. So where is the source code of the exact thing you are providing me?

Your comment accurately reflects my practice.

@lorabe you can’t force people nor companies to “collaborate”, they have to have some motivation or incentive. After 30 years of software development I don’t believe there’s a significant difference in project behaviour as a result of licence choices. Companies contribute when they see it’s in their interest. People do when they have some satisfaction or pride in the outcome. All gross generalisations of course. Are emulators so different?

@dch In the emulation community, many people know how belligerent companies can be, like sony trying to stop ps emulation through demands even though is completely legal.

As a result of that, the majority of the emulators are the result of many years of community work and a lot of passion.

People don't want their work to be taken away and closed by companies, if they want the software, they must comply with licenses that are primarily fair with the community and the consumer.

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