SDL is now under the zlib license-- you "should be" alright

by Anonymous (no login)

Really it should be fine, you can ask this question on the SDL forum for a clearer answer. But we are talking aboute licenses.

SDL is a permissive free software license. Generally speaking, that means you can use it with non-free software. (Not that I endorse doing that, but the fact is, you can. I have mixed feelings about developing for Steam. I would probably prefer Steam to any other large commercial platform. It's not the commercial aspect, by the way. In fact my gripes with Steam are not many.)

While going to Wikipedia for legal information is twice foolish, for an easy understanding of zlib before you start getting real information:

"The distribution of a modified version of the software is subject to the following restrictions:

[*] The authorship of the original software must not be misrepresented,

[*] Altered source versions must not be misrepresented as being the original software, and

[*] The license notice must not be removed from source distributions.

[*] The license does not require source code to be made available if distributing binary code."

In short: have fun. Note that older SDL versions are LGPL licensed, and while that might work out fine too, LGPL is different than the license SDL uses these days.

I honestly think the reason they switched to zlib is to make it easier for you to do what you're doing-- but that's really only a guess.

ALL Free software licenses allow commercial use, by the way-- including selling copies. If it doesn't allow that sort of use, it is not free software. If it uses that license, it is. It's that simple.

Where it gets complex is UNDER WHAT TERMS you can sell it. Whether you have to include source code, etc. Under LGPL is it trickier.

Under the current state of things, a lot of people can decide on permissive licenses like Zlib (I also use permissive free software licenses) but it is possiblet that if copyleft free software licenses fell out of use entirely, that fewer companies would make source available-- there would be less of this stuff for us to use.

So while I don't promote any copyleft licenses (other than by using software that includes them) I don't knock them entirely. They're more complicated, but that doesn't mean they aren't serving an important purpose that ultimately benefits both of us.

If I were developing for Steam I would stick to permissive licenses as much as possible. I mean, For libraries I didn't write, etc.

Posted on Aug 8, 2017, 3:19 PM

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