The problem is that we’re dealing with corporate lawyers. They’re not bad people, but they’re overworked, and they have no stake in this. It’s really hard to get them to devote time to this. When we have gotten their attention, they’ve been very nice about it, but then they promptly forget the whole thing and go back to “real work.”
our friend treeform is a bit anxious …I never said ‘i want that line removed’…I said basically that people dont get it…OSS means ‘sharing’ code to make it better IMO for everyone…if that means that ‘should’ email disney with major changes spells DOOM for some then I just dont get it…I have personally NO PROBLEM with it at all.
I think the problem isn’t so much that the license is bad, the problem is that the license is unfamiliar. If you tell me that a piece of software is “BSD license,” or “MIT license,” then I instantly know it’s free software. If you tell me that something is under the “Yabba-Dabba license,” then I have to spend the next half hour poring over the legalese to determine whether it’s free software or not. Most people won’t bother putting in that much effort - they just assume that if you aren’t willing to use the BSD or MIT or LGPL license, then you must be hiding something. Frankly, that’s not an unreasonable assumption.
Right, this topic has come up before. We understand the problem. As Josh said, we’re trying to get our lawyers to let us change it, but as Josh said, it’s real hard to get their attention. It will happen eventually, but so far we’ve been stalled on this issue for literally years.
But let me emphasize again that even as it stands, the license is not as bad as treeform seems to think. “Should” is just a suggestion, not a requirement. The word “should” has no legal meaning. The license is telling you where you can send your changes to, should you decide to. It is not requiring you to send your changes to us.
In any case, licenses aside, Panda3D is certainly “open source” in the sense that all the source is available for you, and we happily accept modifications submitted from our users. We also don’t care at all what you do with Panda3D, whether you distribute it with your closed-source game, port it to the Game Boy, or repackage it and try to sell it as Opossum3D. Whether or not the license qualifies as “free software” is a different issue that we can debate until the stars go out.
BTW, I should mention - I believe it’s not enough to bulldoze that one line from the license. When I look at that license, I see the one line, and that line isn’t a problem for me. For me, the problem is that I reject the idea that the free software world needs yet another freaking license. How many do we need, already? We have the MIT license, the BSD license, the Mozilla license, the artistic license, the GPL, the LGPL, and on, and on, and on. What I want is for panda to be released under an old, familiar license that everybody knows and trusts.
That’s why we, the panda developers, have been trying to encourage Disney to just release it under the MIT license. Unfortunately, the Disney representatives really don’t want to do any more panda-related work — they have too many other things to do. So what they want is to turn ownership of the whole thing over to someone else so that they never have to think about it again. Meanwhile, Carnegie-Mellon university has expressed interest in taking over, and Disney seems amenable to that, so that seems feasible. And the university representatives seem very reasonable, we’re pretty sure we can encourage them to use the MIT license. The only problem at this point is that we’ve got not one, but two separate groups of lawyers involved, so things are not moving fast.
So basically what I’m saying is this: everyone is being reasonable, but nobody’s got a fire lit under them, so things are taking a long, long time.