Commercial Offshot permission

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Commercial Offshot permission

Postby leodescal » Oct 28, 2011 10:18

I am working on the commercial offshoot of Freebasic. Some main command names and little structure would be different. And there would be inbuilt GUI support.

It would have it's own IDE, tutorials, help file, etc.

But I'm I legally allowed to do so?
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Postby counting_pine » Oct 28, 2011 11:40

It is my understanding that the license permits you to make changes to the compiler/libraries - as long as your changes are released under a compatible license; and to charge money for distributing copies of FB or a derivative - although you cannot restrict those people from redistributing it to others.

If you make an IDE that doesn't statically link to the compiler then you can release/sell it under whatever license you want.

I would say though, that if you release your program under the FreeBASIC name but change the language so that programs written for your version no longer work in the original FreeBASIC, then that could hurt FreeBASIC users.
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Postby leodescal » Oct 28, 2011 12:03

I wouldn't release it under name free basic. But with a new name. I.E. 'Royal Basic'.

98% of Free Basic programs wouldn't run on it. And 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999% of Royal Basic programs wouldn't run on FreeBasic.

I'm adding many new thing like better structure, command name, etc. So why must I allow it's open distribution?

If I am changing the name and source, then wouldn't I get a new copyright?
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Oct 28, 2011 12:45

How about writing your own compiler if you plan to charge money for it? Restraining myself to label you with some nasty words here.

I wish you all the worst in your venture.
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Postby marcov » Oct 28, 2011 12:57

leodescal wrote:
If I am changing the name and source, then wouldn't I get a new copyright?

No, you are confusing copyright and trademarks.
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Postby Gonzo » Oct 28, 2011 16:22

if you have to ask, then you probably wont have the knowledge to do even mundane tasks in a compiler project :)

how many years have you been programming exactly?
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Postby MOD » Oct 28, 2011 16:22

The compiler is under the terms of GPL and its rtl and gfx under LGPL. It means, if you use the compilers sourcecode and change it, it's called 'derivative work'. For GPL this means, you have to publish the code under the terms of GPL and for LGPL it has to be LGPL or GPL.

Actually, you can't take the fbc and make a closed source new compiler out of its source, or we'll sue you.^^
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Postby angros47 » Oct 28, 2011 16:28

leodescal wrote:I'm adding many new thing like better structure, command name, etc. So why must I allow it's open distribution?

Because the license requires you to do so.

From the file GPL.txt:

if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that
you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the
source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their

If you are not going to respect this license... why should anybody respect yours?

Sometimes, a software can have more than one license (it's called dual licensing): i.e. an open source version, available for free, and another version that can be used in closed source projects (that's what you need); so, maybe you could ask V1ctor (the original FreeBasic author) if he can give you a special license to use freebasic source code inside a proprietary compiler: but I doubt that such a license would be available for free; you'd have to pay for it, I believe.

My hint is: if you want to build a FreeBasic-derived compiler, release it with the source code, under GPL license: you can still sell cd-roms, provide support for a fee, ask for donations.
Forget about closing the source code.

And read this guide:

because open source based business model is really different from copyright-based model.
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Postby Plasma » Oct 28, 2011 22:20

You'd be better off leaving the compiler alone and just selling your IDE. Stick a preprocessor in the front if your funky command names and structure are so important.
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I would say

Postby TESLACOIL » Oct 28, 2011 23:20

you have to be careful not to be seen to abuse the hard work the creators of FreeBASIC have put into the open source project

Few Pointers

If you want your product to A sell and B have any a decent number of users then you have to consider making it compatible to some extent with other versions of basic

To deliberately make your basic incompatible with others is a big mistake
(unless u have some uber duber plan that can be executed to perfection)

another way to commercialize free basic is to polish up the system, eg excellent IDE , tutorials everything in one box cd+book

In this scenario You don't charge for Freebasic
, it comes free on the cd. But you can charge for the Book, box & any IDE you create

Example a teachers pack with student guide that comes with multiple cds that contain the free , freebasic code + video tutirials , clasroom guides , general programming guide.

Customers would be willing to pay for such a product if by buying it it reduces the headstrain and makes life easy for them....why else would they shell out $ ?

If you make few bucks out of it then it wont hurt to send a few bucks in the creators direction. It would also boost the number of users of freebasic in the world.

Creating and selling Quality Help + Quality IDE is morally ok.

While there is nothing to physically stop you nicking all the source code and creating a new branch, if you start specifically charging for that new branch which contains masses of open source code things get morally tricky fast.

It is also prolly true that 50% of all commercial ever written code is stolen to a greater or lesser extent , ask Gates & S.Jobs R.I.P for details.

But i think it is wise to keep enemies to a minimum

The world would benefit from a mass market release of FreeBasicPRO or something very similar to it. A great deal of money could be made and a great deal of utility could be given to the world in the process.

If your project is perceived as a hit and run code grab with nada feeding back into the ecosystem then you will get a negative response from the community.

I am interested in expanding the Freebasic ecosystem. If done right FreebasicPro , (a polished variant of freebasic) could make a big positive contribution to the opensource freebasic community

I would be interested in getting involved in a commercial variant of freebasic but only so long as it didn't stamp all over the goodwill of the freebasic community and all who have contributed to it

It is perfectly viable, moral & feasible to have a dual ecosystem

open source freebasic , just doing its thang as it always has

and FreebasicPRO , a highly polished variant that enhances the ecosytem

IBM clone hardware , and pirated copies of windows and dos gave the world a single compatible hw/sw architecture....something of great value.

Once open source adds a small commercial wing to its ecosystem it can dominate.

" Intelligence acting without goodwill is apt to be evil
Goodwill acting without intelligence is apt to be impotent"

The full power and utility of open source cannot ever be released and conquer the world unless at least 1 branch of its ecosystem is softly commercialized in 'harmony' with its open source core

The commercial branch has to be of world class standard , or the whole thing will be a waste of time money and effort for all involved....forget about pocket money commercialization, you have to intend to win & be the winner by simply being the best value & utility on the market.

The grave marked second place is many miles deep !

I use freebasic because it is as good as and perhaps better than many commercial versions of basic......and its free ! only scores 4 outa 10 , but for the price i paid ( some hassle ) it was a fair purchase

I would happily pay $10 to $50 for FreebasicPro

Features like 1 click installation , Compatibility with all versions of windows, 64 bit futureproofing , #1 codebank & tutorials, interactive tutorials, established community etc is why i would shell out

Any commercial version of Basic , wether it be FreebasicPro or Royal basic has to consistently score 8+ or its dead in the water

150 Versions of Basic Listed
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Postby Dr_D » Oct 29, 2011 3:05

damn... that troll $%#@ really stinks. lol
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Postby vladimir777 » Oct 29, 2011 3:54

99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999% of Royal Basic programs wouldn't run on FreeBasic.
If this is true then go DO IT! I am giving you permission. Just insert a line
in every file:

Permited by Vladimir777

If you dont do it then prepare to talk to my lawyer!
I like 99.99999999 stuff

Also I like name: Royal
c:>RBC myroyalprogram.rbc
sounds great
He is joking! A couple months ago he was asking very basic questions like how to read text file etc

There is a company selling support for pascal-lazarus devlopment:
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Postby vdecampo » Oct 29, 2011 17:09

This opens up a good topic for discussion.

If I wanted to write a book about writing in FB, could I charge for it?

Or, if I wanted to sell T-Shirts with FreeBASIC on it, could I?

Or if I packaged an installer, the compiler, and some tutorials on a disc, could I charge for it?

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Postby MOD » Oct 29, 2011 17:20

You can easily write a book about programming in FreeBASIC and take cash for it.

FreeBASIC is not a registered trademark, so you could probably take some money for t-shirts (at least the value of the t-shirt+work+shipping).

If you zip the compiler with other programms, you can take cash for the other programms, but not for fb itself and you have to provide a gpl copy with fb. If you link the fbc in any way, it would be a derivative work and you have to provide the source, but - you can sell a disc with this open source pakage and take money for support. Until v1c forbid it, you could do this even with plain fb as long as it stays open source. As the author of FreeBASIC, he can prohibit it without problem or just give you the freedom.

For tutorials etc. it's like with books. You are the author and you can do what you want...
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Postby Dr_D » Oct 29, 2011 17:21

Anything more than charging for the disc itself and shipping is an insult, in my opinion. I'd buy one of the shirts though... as long as it wasn't some ridiculous amount. :p

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