Steve,

        First, can you send me a copy of your spaceball code?  Let me start by trying to reverse-engineer it.

        Second, I contacted 3dConnexion myself because one of my customers expressed interest in having my application support it.  They are responding to me; they did not contact me about "freeglut".

        Third, the requirement to acknowledge them is part of their boilerplate license agreement; they did not specify it for "freeglut".  I asked Jim Wick, their company representative, about this requirement and our exchange on the subject was as follows:

<begin quote>
Incidentally, the license agreement mentions that the "About" menu entry in an application needs to acknowledge 3dConnexion.  Since "freeglut" is a library, it doesn't have an "About" menu entry.  Also, I believe the license agreement said that this requirement was restricted to applications that use the 3dConnexion sample code.  Am I interpreting this correctly?

[Jim Wick] If you have a file, like a readme, that acknowledges code from third party sources, that would be a sufficient place to a one-liner.  If not, don't worry about it.  I'm more concerned about getting you up and running.

<end quote>

All that said, I am completely with you on not restricting the "freeglut" license.  If they require that our users add the acknowledgement, then I say no we don't support their hardware.

John F. Fay
Technical Fellow, Jacobs/Sverdrup TEAS Group
850-729-6330
john.fay@eglin.af.mil
 
-----Original Message-----
From: freeglut-developer-admin@lists.sourceforge.net [mailto:freeglut-developer-admin@lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of Stephen J Baker

Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 12:00 PM
Cc: freeglut-developer@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [Freeglut-developer] Spaceball Support

The terms in the freeglut COPYING file says:

  "Permission is hereby granted, free of charge,  to any person
   obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
   files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction,
   including without limitation the rights to use, copy,  modify, merge,
   publish, distribute,  sublicense,  and/or sell copies or substantial
   portions of the Software."

This means (I think) that we have the right to add our own additional constraints on the license (ie "You MUST preserve the accreditiation of 3dConnexion in the README or else you can't do any of the things mentioned above") - but when we do that, we aren't distributing the software under xfree anymore - it's "xfree with an additional restriction".

We would no longer be able to say "without limitation" - it would become "without limitation *except* ....".  Since we were given the software by Pawel *without* limitation, we are certainly entitled to do that.

BUT whilst we have the RIGHT to add that rider to the license, do we really want to do it?

I think not...especially for such a minority-interest device as the SpaceBall.

The benefit to the few SpaceBall users is outweighed by the loss of xfree license purity because that would mean (for example) that we could never have freeglut be distributed as a part of the xfree distribution.

Technically, a change in the license could also cause us to lose our SourceForge account - although that's not likely to be a practical concern.

I'm open to debate - but my knee-jerk reaction is to say "No" and to seek a completely unencumbered way to support the device.

Alternatively, would 3dConnexion be happy for us to informally give them credit in the README file *WITHOUT* passing on any requirement to preserve that accreditation to people who download freeglut?  (I suspect not - or else they'd never have asked us to do it in the first place...but who

knows?)  Frankly, if they'd like us to increase the pool of software that supports SpaceBall, it's in their interests to be accomodating of our license restrictions.  Since they are a hardware company - they have little to lose by doing that.

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The second law of Frisbee throwing states: "Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than "Watch this!"...it turns out that this also applies to writing Fragment Shaders.

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Steve Baker                      (817)619-2657 (Vox/Vox-Mail)
L3Com/Link Simulation & Training (817)619-2466 (Fax)
Work: sjbaker@link.com           http://www.link.com
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