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Licensing Question!
Started by w.lueger Feb 10 2020 02:29 AM

2 replies to this topic
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  • Observer

  • 1 posts
  • Corona SDK

Hi folks,


I rate myself as being an Open Source Compliance expert, because i work as a Compliance Officer in a big company.

I seriously was considering corona as a game engine for my next project, because it is open source.

Seeking for Open Source is because of preventing locked in, not about costs!


Now i realized that corona is under the GPLv3!?


This means using the OS-version every game made with it needs to be under GPLv3 also!


This is absolute nonsense for a game engine!

This is a complete knok out for me, but not only for me i guess!?


Is this serious?

Are the developers under-informed about the consequences of this decision!


Would be grateful for any clarification about this!


Best Regards, W.


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  • Contributor

  • 408 posts
  • Corona SDK

"GPL, or the GNU General Public License, is an open source license meant for software. If your software is licensed under the terms of the GPL, it is free. However, “free” here does not essentially mean freeware—it can also be a paid software. Instead, “free” as per the GPL means freedom. As proponents of GPL proudly proclaim, free as in freedom, not free beer.


As such, your users are free to modify and distribute your software however their needs call for. Unlike other proprietary or closed source licenses, GPL does not seek to impose restrictions and limitations on the freedom of others. Compare GPL with the EULA (End User License Agreement) that often accompanies closed source software–GPL lets you change the software as per your needs, share and distribute the software, or even share and distribute the changed product. The EULA, on the other hand, gives you a non-exclusive license to use one copy of the software–no changing, no tweaking, no distributing, and so on.


Once again, a common misconception that surrounds the GPL is the definition of “free.” You can, of course, charge for GPL-licensed products. Free software does not mean price-free software"


I understand that this license protects the SDK and allows a better service to anyone who decides to use it for recreation or monetization projects.




*The paragraph was copied from a webpage that briefly explains the license*

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XeduR @Spyric

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XeduR @Spyric
  • Corona Geek

  • 1,255 posts
  • Corona SDK

You'll probably have Rob coming here with a lengthier and clearer explanation, but if I've understood correctly, then the short version is:



Corona will be dual-licensed under both a commercial and open source licenses.

A commercial license is available that will allow you to build commercial products based on the Corona source code. You will need to enter into an agreement with Corona Labs to get rights to uses source code as commercially licensed. Example of when such a license is required is to customize the engine to a specific commercial game.
Alternatively, you choose to use Corona under GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3). This license is available to everyone, but all products built on top of code licensed this way must retain the same license and become open source themselves. Example for using this license is in non-commercial open source games, educational purposes or to contribute to the engine.




Basically, if you download any version of Corona SDK from Corona Labs' website and you use that to build your games, then GPLv3 doesn't apply to you. You'd be under the commercial license, so you wouldn't need to share any of your code.


Now, if you were to fork Corona from GitHub and create your very own version of it, then that new version of Corona and anything you'd create with it would be subject to GPLv3.


A "simple way" to get around GPLv3 is to make the pull requests and contribute to the main Corona engine so that everyone else benefits from whatever you do as well. If your pull request is accepted, then those changes would become a part of the builds you can get from the website and so they'd fall under the commercial license. Alternatively, if you need native functionality, you could also write your own native plugins.

  • Alan PlantPot, dodi_games and pixec like this