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Request for Blades of Exile code to be released under a better open source license


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The CPL license used by the open sourcing of Blades of Exile has a really nasty patent retaliation clause in it (which was removed when it was converted to the Eclipse Public License, considered to be the 'new' version of the CPL to use - the EPL left the rest of the license unchanged and kept a milder patent retaliation clause).


It's also incompatible with almost every other open source license out there, such as the GPL.


Furthermore, it is not supported on Google's open source project hosting - see http://code.google.com/hosting/createProject (they only support a few commonly used licenses, also to ensure compatibility of licenses).


Despite the name "Common Public License", it's not widely used. The CPL is, in fact, IBM controlled, and they can release a new version of the licenses without any notice.


The CPL also references US laws and therefore may not be enforceable in other countries.




I would dearly like to see another license chosen. To that end, I would like to give a few suggestions:


Jeff - If you just picked the license without looking into it much, and just want people to be able to distribute the code freely, I would suggest the 'Revised 3-clause BSD' or 'MIT/X11' licenses. These are 'highly permissive' licenses and code under them can be used in most projects.


If you want a more comprehensive license that takes patents into consideration and is still widely accepted by the community, I would suggest the "Apache 2.0" license. This is compatible with the upcoming GPL version 3 (and LGPL 3) and so is still very mixable with other code.


If what you want is to ensure a community around the project, where people must give their contributions back to the community, the most effective license for this is undoubtedly the (L)GPL. I can't see a reason to pick the LGPL over the GPL for this project, as it won't be linking to other projects, so the GPL may be more logical than LGPL for this.




I hope you will take this under consideration.

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Like every other single thing I've done in the last few months, the BoE thing has consumed more time than I can afford to spend already. If absolutely forced to spend more time on it in the next few months, I'll reinspect the license issue. As it is, I don't see any problem so great that it should keep me from the furious struggle to get Avernum 5 ready for Christmas.


- Jeff Vogel

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