Impulse Tracker source code release

category: general [glöplog]
tl;dr Impulse Tracker is now open source (well, everything but the sound drivers, which will follow soon, according to Jeff Lim).
Happy code reading!
I've noticed there is no licensing information. The code can't legally be used until a licence is added.
added on the 2014-10-19 23:54:02 by FreeFull FreeFull
I messaged Jeff about it.
Huh. I wouldn't have guessed that it's all assembly..
added on the 2014-10-20 10:59:28 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
That's the thing it was always famous for. :)

(handling 10k LOC x86 ASM files in a typical 1990s DOS editor was probably a pain though. Would be still unwieldy today.)
added on the 2014-10-20 11:22:34 by tomaes tomaes
added on the 2014-10-20 11:41:09 by numtek numtek
added on the 2014-10-20 12:35:57 by psenough psenough
added on the 2014-10-20 14:28:23 by __ __
FreeFull: it's demoscene!! read: "demoscene"
do all sources need licensing shit??! there are still folks doing coding also for fun..
added on the 2014-10-20 22:34:48 by lsl lsl
Uhmm. IT was a major undertaking and to a fair degree also a commercial effort, not just some "hacked at a party" thing. Even though, there's probably not that much to be done with the sources now (helps with fixing old replay bugs in other players, I guess), there should be a license, yes. Put it in the public domain or use WTFPL, if you don't care or want it to be as hassle-free as possible.
added on the 2014-10-20 23:12:26 by tomaes tomaes
i guess no license means "all rights belongs to the author" and hence you can be sued if no written permission was given...
yeah WTFPL seems like a good choice here.
added on the 2014-10-20 23:14:45 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
What, in the WTFPL, is going to stop me from re-licensing the project under some other, very restrictive, license?
added on the 2014-10-20 23:23:19 by trc_wm trc_wm
well you are technically allowed to fork the source and license it for 500 bucks each then, but good luck ;P
added on the 2014-10-20 23:32:52 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
Jeff will decide on a license. He said he's still searching for "something between BSD and GPL".
@trc_wm: nothing. But there are other licenses for that.

You don't need to pick one of the "official" ones. A statement such as "do whatever you want with this, but don't make money out of it" or "do whatever you want with this, but share your changes with me" is an acceptable license. But if you don't put such a message anywhere, your "default license" is "you can read this code, but you can't compile, modify, or even keep a backup copy of it". which is usually not what people mean when they release some old sourcecode.
What I meant was, I relicense it under a license that disallows you to look at the source code and sue everybody for having a copy.
added on the 2014-10-21 19:48:57 by trc_wm trc_wm
Please, do, oh please do it ! We absotutely need precedent on such a thing. (and a good big laugh)
added on the 2014-10-21 20:09:36 by MsK` MsK`
Only the orignal author of the code can change the license. If the original author picked a permissive license like the BSD or MIT, you are allowed to make changes, and put those changes under a license that prevents people from looking at it. But only for your modified version. People can still look at the original and you won't be able to do anything about that.

The GPL is designed to prevent "big evil companies" to do this and make profit of it. When you distribute a binary, you must also provide all sourcecode needed to rebuild it, and allow people who get their hands on the source to do whatevre they want with it, including making more changes and redistributing those, as long as they don't put a license more restrictive than the GPL.
Only the orignal author of the code can change the license.

It's the copyright holder who can change the license. That may or may not be the original author.
added on the 2014-10-22 12:43:16 by absence absence
wow, what a profound legal discussion. but does ist really matter? I can't remember such a license-rubbish back in the good old days - just look at the sources at x2ftp...it's demoscene!
added on the 2014-10-22 13:27:32 by marlowe marlowe
...or all released sources of prods in pouet. License anyone?
added on the 2014-10-22 13:33:30 by xTr1m xTr1m
As I said, the result (legally) is "you can look, but you can't touch".

If this is not what you mean when releasing sources, please pick a license which fits what you mean. It's just a matter of putting something like "ok, this is the sourcecode, do whatever you want with it" in the README.

I don't think this is a big effort to do when releasing some sourcecode. Moreover, there is a culture in the demoscene of "give credit when you reuse things". Why not materialize this and use the MIT or CC-By licenses? If that's what you mean when releaseing sources, and people already did all the work of writing the legalese for it, it's just a matter of including the license in your source release. Or just write something of your own. Just "feel free to reuse or improve this, but credit us for it" is a valid license for these purposes. I'm not asking for more, but it has to be written somewhere.
I can't remember such a license-rubbish back in the good old days

You are right, but not because everyone ignored legal issues. Instead of licencing it was popular to relinquish copyright by releasing source code to the public domain. Licenses became popular with the rise of the free software and open source movements, both because they let authors keep some rights, and because it's more widely applicable.

The demoscene hasn't cared much for these things traditionally, but since separating from the piracy community back in the 90s there is more concern about legal issues, especially when demoscene work is abused commercially. Technically you can get sued for using copyrighted source code if there's no license, though it's unlikely in "just for fun" scenarios. Applying a license just makes everything clear and tidy, so there's no need to discourage it unless you require anarchistic flair to enjoy yourself. :)
added on the 2014-10-22 17:46:46 by absence absence
Only the orignal author of the code can change the license.

The license says I can do WTF I want...
added on the 2014-10-22 19:47:31 by trc_wm trc_wm
trc_wm: OK. So you assert copyright over the code (it's debatable whether "do what the fuck you want" includes the ability to do this, but let's say it does). I copy the code. You sue me for copyright infringement. In my defence, I show them a copy of the WTFPL, and argue that Jeff Lim gave me a licence to copy the code, independently of whatever licence you did or didn't give me. What's your response?
added on the 2014-10-22 20:25:09 by gasman gasman