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deuxchevaux
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Joined: 2005-03-30

Hi all, I'm really excited about the scenegraph project, as I'm developing interactive applications with animation. Perfect fit.

However, I read somewhere that the license is GPL v2 without classpath exception. This means I cannot use this library for my commercial, closed source projects.

Is this going to change anytime to more "open-source-but-commercially-friendly" licenses such as BSD (like the TimingFramework from Chet that I used before) or Apache?

Thanx,

Rogier

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jwenting
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Joined: 2003-12-02

correct.
If I release something under GPL and someone else makes a contribution to it (say a bugfix to a source file) I am no longer the (sole) IP owner and can therefore not change the license without the consent of that contributor.

If that contributor can't be reached (changed email address they didn't tell me about for example) I may be stuck with that license until the copyright expires (if not longer).

That's of course the case for any license, unless the license states that contributors don't hold ownership over their contributions (which is probably why Sun has always had such a clause until they went GPL to be politically correct towards the Linux maffia).

Joshua Marinacci

The choice of license has nothing to do with copyright ownership.
Typically once a project becomes GPL and *accepts external
contributions* it is very hard to change the license because you would
have to contact all previous contributors and get their permission.
However, this would be the case regardless of license. To avoid this
problem Sun requires all contributors to sign a Joint Copyright
Assignment agreement. This allows Sun to effect license updates
without contacting all previous external contributors (which would be
impossible for a project like the OpenJDK). It also allows Sun to dual
license when conditions warrant. For example, the JDK is licensed both
under the GPL for community and open source operating system use, and
under traditional licenses for end users and computer OEMs who
prebundled Java with their computers. This contributor agreement is
the key to such flexibility and is used in all Sun open source projects.

So to get to the matter at hand. Sun owns or jointly owns the
copyright to everything in the Scenegraph and can change to a more
flexible license in the future, which would probably be necessary if
it is bundled into the core libraries for Java 7.

- Josh

On Feb 17, 2008, at 11:51 PM, scenario@javadesktop.org wrote:

> correct.
> If I release something under GPL and someone else makes a
> contribution to it (say a bugfix to a source file) I am no longer
> the (sole) IP owner and can therefore not change the license without
> the consent of that contributor.
>
> If that contributor can't be reached (changed email address they
> didn't tell me about for example) I may be stuck with that license
> until the copyright expires (if not longer).
>
> That's of course the case for any license, unless the license states
> that contributors don't hold ownership over their contributions
> (which is probably why Sun has always had such a clause until they
> went GPL to be politically correct towards the Linux maffia).
> [Message sent by forum member 'jwenting' (jwenting)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=259444
>
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vvessan
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Joined: 2007-10-13

Thanks for explanation Joshua. And also thank God (or Sun) for enabling escape the GPL licence.

vvessan
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Joined: 2007-10-13

I think it's possible to change the licence, however all contributing authors would have to agree on that. But I'm not entirely sure.

However if this project stays under GPL I'm affraid it will cause that it won't be widely used and will hurt the project itself as it will get abandoned over time. GPL thus far is causing more bad than good to both the SceneGraph and Java community as other project/languages will be used instead of SceneGraph/Java.

I sincerely hope that the SceneGraph will change the licence, or anybody else (like Apache) starts working on an alternative with more friendly licence as soon as possible,

cobrien
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Joined: 2004-06-09

The license is definitely a problem for a lot of developers, especially for the
kind of support library that Scene Graph is. By itself, it doesn't do much. You
need to add domain-specific knowledge, and that's sometimes the most
valuable asset a small company has. Without a license change we're back
to using JHotDraw or JGraph.

countfloyd
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Joined: 2004-06-07

This is a real dilemma for me. I love the scenegraph API and would like to start using it for a commercial project. I saw a post somewhere that they are trying to add the classpath exception to the license eventually. I don't want to put a lot of work into it if it ends up that I can't use it for licensing reasons. At the same time, I'd be sad if I didn't use it and the licensing was changed in the end. Does anyone have any more information about the ultimate licensing of this thing?

Curtis

jwenting
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Joined: 2003-12-02

unlikely, as the GPL does not allow the license to be changed to something else...
Yet another way in which GPL restricts you.

wfvoogd
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Joined: 2004-10-01

The GPL does not restrict the copyright *owner* to change the license or provide the code under an alternative license. You don't give up your copyright when you license something as GPL. The question is; is it likely that Sun will opt for a more 'commercial-friendly' license. I doubt it, since then they have no commercial leverage anymore. Any one can then offer 'commercial' java, it would not be a smart business move for Sun IMO.

wfvoogd
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Joined: 2004-10-01

oops sorry, i thought it was about java, never mind the Sun and java related statements above please. Irt still stands though that when the copyright owner(s) want to change license they are free to do so...

Message was edited by: wfvoogd

nimloth
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Joined: 2005-01-25

I would like to use the scene graph for a commercial application too, but GPL2.... )-:

buzzheavyyear
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Joined: 2005-06-18

Pertinent question - I hope we get some sort of answer. I've so far held back on using/contributing to the scenegraph api, waiting for some sort of guidelines from Sun. So far both this and openjfx have been in limbo for me due to Sun holding all of the commercial cards in the form of GPL2 without classpath exception whilst saying to the community 'this is open source, please contribute'.