I sure as hell not suggestion for Armory to EVER go closed source, but just asking out of curiosity if Armory can legally go closed source if the devs wanted to?
Does Armory legally have to keep their code free and open source, or can it go closed source if it wants to?
I would take this up with a tech lawyer or copyright Lawyer. A forum probably is not the best place to talk about it as it will contain allot of hearsay.
I’m not an IP lawyer, but a safe guess would be yes, it will remain free and open source, and an even safer guess would be that Lubos most likely wouldn’t make it closed source anyway, which is also what the Patreon is about.
License wise, Armory is using zlib, which states:
This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software. Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it freely, subject to the following restrictions: 1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be appreciated but is not required. 2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be misrepresented as being the original software. 3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution.
Essentially, you’re free to make a completely free fork of the engine right now if you want to on Github, and the only requirement is that you can’t say you wrote the original software, and that you don’t even have to acknowledge Lubos, even though I’m sure it would be appreciated.
So if you’re planning on making a game with the engine, but are afraid it’ll go closed source or become commercial software? - Then I’m sure there’s no need to worry, at least with Armory it should not be those worries, which hinders you in creating your own fun game project, but rather your creativity, motivation and imagination
But I want to know if Armory is legally allowed to close their source if they wanted to? Just asking out of curiosity? Am I also allowed to make my own fork and close source it?
I think the actually “Armory” part of the code could technically be closed source if Lubos decided to since he wrote almost all of the code, but the code is entangled/relying on other libraries with different licenses, so I’m not sure there’d be much gained. The actual blender interface of armory is GPL (since it’s a strong viral license), while I don’t know about the licenses of Iron (probably zlib too), Kha and Haxe. - But I’m also sort of curious about the general license aspect as you, especially how licenses behaves when some of it is inherited or relying on other libraries.
As for making a fork and close sourcing it, then yes. The Zlib license, along with MIT (which Godot uses) and BSD, are extremely permissive non-viral licenses, that doesn’t require you to redistribute the source, thus allowing you to close source it if you want, as long as you adhere to the restrictions of the license.
But yeah, as HeadClot is unto, it’s just probable presumptions. It’s amazing how licenses can be interpreted in a thousand ways in some cases.
I think he could close source all new features / versions. However he has already given you a license that does not have a revoke clause. Therefore if he did change the license the license you have for the version of the code you have is still valid. This would result in a forking of the project. The old release under the old license and the new version with a different license. The same thing happened to ZFS they took it closed source at Oracle but there is also a Open Source version based on the last release that Oracle had made available.
Well, they can’t change the license retroactively on what’s already released, but, yes, changing the license is definitely possible. This is a feature. This allows you to publish closed source games.
Also, beware the thread necromancy
does this mean that we are able to sell a game of ours?
or it should be free?
Of course you can sell your games,
And you don’t need to include your source code.