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Old January 24th 04, 03:30 AM
C Mayer
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

I am looking for a chess engine to be used in a commercial product,
and would be grateful for any suggestions on locating one, whether it
be freeware, royalty based, or any other method of acquiring rights to
use it in a commercial product.

Thank you,

C. Mayer

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Old January 24th 04, 05:00 AM
Noah Roberts
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

C Mayer wrote:
I am looking for a chess engine to be used in a commercial product,
and would be grateful for any suggestions on locating one, whether it
be freeware, royalty based, or any other method of acquiring rights to
use it in a commercial product.


There are several engines available for download that can be used in a
commercial product:

* gnuchess
* phalanx
* crafty?
* etc...

In fact, phalanx and knights are merged together to form a commercial
product sold on myzaurus.com

NR

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Old January 25th 04, 02:23 PM
David Richerby
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

Noah Roberts wrote:
C Mayer wrote:
I am looking for a chess engine to be used in a commercial product


There are several engines available for download that can be used in a
commercial product:

* gnuchess
* phalanx
* crafty?


No: Crafty's license agreement states: ` No part of this program may be
reproduced in any form or by any means, for other than your personal
use, without the express written permission of the author.'


Dave.

--
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but it's genuinely erotic and it
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Old January 25th 04, 02:35 PM
Josť de Paula
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

Em Fri, 23 Jan 2004 22:00:25 -0800, Noah Roberts escreveu:


* gnuchess
* phalanx
* crafty?
* etc...

Aint gnuchess gpl'ed? it couldn't be used unless you gave away the sources
of your commercial product

--
Quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur

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Old January 25th 04, 03:11 PM
Gian-Carlo Pascutto
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

There are several engines available for download that can be used in a
commercial product:

* gnuchess
* phalanx
* crafty?
* etc...

In fact, phalanx and knights are merged together to form a commercial
product sold on myzaurus.com


You cannot use Crafty in a commercial product without the express
permission of it's author. Please remember that 'free for download'
does NOT mean that you can base a commercial product out of it.
Just read the license.

Likewise, if you'd base a commercial product on GNUChess or
Phalanx, you'd have to publish *your* source codes, which is
not something most commercial products can live with.

If you look at the Zaurus game
http://www.houseoffish.org/knights/index.php
you see that they indeed have to offer sources for download, meaning
that you can take them, compile them, and get a copy of the program
for free. Or a competitor can do the same and sell that version.

Basically, 'buying' that game is no more than making a donation
to support the development of something which is free.

--
GCP




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Old January 25th 04, 05:28 PM
David Richerby
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

=?iso-8859-1?q?Jos=E9_de_Paula?= wrote:
Aint gnuchess gpl'ed? it couldn't be used unless you gave away the
sources of your commercial product


That's an oversimplification and it depends what the original poster wants
to do with the chess engine. If he incorporates some or all of the code
from GNUchess into his own sotware, he must release the new software under
the GPL or some compatible license; this would require giving away the
source among other things.

However, if he is producing a GUI (something like Winboard / Xboard) that
merely communicates with a separate GNUchess process through, e.g., pipes
or sockets then his program probably doesn't have to be distributed under
the GPL. See

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....ereAggregation

For example, my interpretation is that Chessbase could include GNUchess as
one of the engines you get with Fritz 8 without having to GPL Fritz.

I am not a lawyer. The OP will, presumably, be taking legal advice on
this anyway.


Dave.

--
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Old January 25th 04, 06:01 PM
Gian-Carlo Pascutto
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

However, if he is producing a GUI (something like Winboard / Xboard) that
merely communicates with a separate GNUchess process through, e.g., pipes
or sockets then his program probably doesn't have to be distributed under
the GPL. See

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....ereAggregation

For example, my interpretation is that Chessbase could include GNUchess as
one of the engines you get with Fritz 8 without having to GPL Fritz.


Actually, it depends.

ChessBase engines are either UCI or native. The native engines consist
of a proprietary module and a DLL. DLLs (dynamic linking) are explicitly
considered to be "combining two modules into one program" by the FSF.
So that's a no-go.

If you'd want to use GNUChess as an UCI engine, you'd have to rewrite
it to support that protocol, publish the sources of that work, and then
pray that the judge interprets the GPL as you did should there ever be
a discussion.

For what it's worth, ChessBase shipped at least 1 GPL engine (Phalanx),
they did so only *after* securing the right to do so (without having
to publish their sources) with the original author.

--
GCP


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Old January 25th 04, 06:28 PM
Noah Roberts
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
There are several engines available for download that can be used in a
commercial product:

* gnuchess
* phalanx
* crafty?
* etc...

In fact, phalanx and knights are merged together to form a commercial
product sold on myzaurus.com



You cannot use Crafty in a commercial product without the express
permission of it's author. Please remember that 'free for download'
does NOT mean that you can base a commercial product out of it.
Just read the license.


I have the source and could not find the licence. I always thought it
was GPL or similar but didn't know - hence the '?'.

Likewise, if you'd base a commercial product on GNUChess or
Phalanx, you'd have to publish *your* source codes, which is
not something most commercial products can live with.


Not exactly true. If all your program does is use the engine it is not
a problem. Even if you need to make modifications to the engine you can
do so; make the modifications, publish those modifications, and then
release your *proprietery* product.

Second, the OP asked about "commercial" viability, not proprietery or
"closed source". There are many, very succesful, commercial products
that are GPLed or otherwise released for free to the public. There is
absolutely nothing in the word "commercial" that precludes anything
being open source. But then again I actually answered in a way that,
depending on the needs of the OP (which where NOT expressed), could have
very well been what the OP needed.

Basically, 'buying' that game is no more than making a donation
to support the development of something which is free.


Actually, in this case it is also compiling it and packaging it so that
it works on the Z. I tried to compile it on my own several times, and I
am no novice in this area, and I could not get it to work so I bought
the ipk.

And actually, neither the author of knights nor the author of phalanx
are involved in the for-sale version on myzaurus. I did contact the
author of knights about this and he was asked permission, but that is of
course not a requirement.

NR

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Old January 25th 04, 07:39 PM
David Richerby
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
ChessBase engines are either UCI or native. The native engines consist
of a proprietary module and a DLL. DLLs (dynamic linking) are explicitly
considered to be "combining two modules into one program" by the FSF.
So that's a no-go.


Agreed. This (`What's the difference between invoking a program with exec
and ld_open?') is a common complaint against the GPL but I have no
intention of discussing it here as it's way off-topic.


If you'd want to use GNUChess as an UCI engine, you'd have to rewrite
it to support that protocol, publish the sources of that work, and then
pray that the judge interprets the GPL as you did should there ever be
a discussion.


I'd do it by using a Winboard-UCI adapter to connect an unmodified
GNUchess to the Chessbase GUI to avoid precisely that problem.


For what it's worth, ChessBase shipped at least 1 GPL engine (Phalanx),
they did so only *after* securing the right to do so (without having
to publish their sources) with the original author.


When there are lawyers around, it's _always_ best to cover your ass. :-)


Dave.

--
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www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ tree but it's also a crime against
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Old January 25th 04, 07:54 PM
David Richerby
 
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Default Engine for Commercial Use

Noah Roberts wrote:
Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:
You cannot use Crafty in a commercial product without the express
permission of it's author. Please remember that 'free for download'
does NOT mean that you can base a commercial product out of it.
Just read the license.


I have the source and could not find the licence. I always thought it
was GPL or similar but didn't know - hence the '?'.


The license is in main.c.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Frozen Incredible Tool (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a screwdriver but it'll blow your mind
and it's frozen in a block of ice!
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