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I put together a 3D space scene demo, but I bought some models from turbosquid and using the jmonkey engine I must comply with BSD licence (jmonkeyengine) and also package the models, but I don't think that the 3D artist who created the 3D models agrees, could you tell me if there is a solution to "lock" or "encrypt" the assets that I bought from turbosquid or other ways to handle content and assets with a different licence than the source code / libraries?

In practice I've purchased a 3D model from turbosquid and I don't think that I can just include it with a BSD-licenced open source 3D scene.

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2 Answers 2

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This really depends on the exact terms of all the licenses involved. If you do not understand any portion of your licensing agreements or how they would interact (if you have multiple), you should consult a lawyer. In fact, you should probably consult a lawyer even if you think you understand everything.

I am not a lawyer, and this not legal advice.

However, you do need to comply with the terms of the license you were granted for the use of the art assets, whatever that was. If you are not allowed to distribute the art assets, "locking" or "encrypting" the assets is probably not an option (because you are still distributing them) unless the license you were granted permits redistribution in that case.

If the license under which you are able to distribute your assets conflicts in some fashion with the license under which you must distribute your game binaries, you have a problem. You will need to work something out with one or more of the respective license holders or purchase new assets. And next time, you should conduct a complete investigation into the licensing issues before purchasing.

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The 3-clause BSD license used by the jMonkeyEngine is a so-called permissive open source license. It allows you to take the BSD-licensed code, combine it with other code and assets, even change the BSD code when you want to, and release the resulting product under any license terms you want. The only condition you need to fulfill in order to comply with the BSD license is that the resulting work includes the copyright message and license terms of the BSD project you incorporated into your code. These license terms apply only to the BSD-licensed component of your project, not to anything else.

It is not uncommon for proprietary games to use libraries under permissive open source licenses like BSD or MIT. Many AAA games do this, and fulfill the license conditions simply by listing the used libraries and their license texts in the credits role. Take Starcraft 2, for example.

Combining the 3d assets you obtained under other license conditions with BSD code does not affect the license terms of the assets in any way. In this regard the BSD license is different from viral share-alike open source licenses like, for example, the GNU GPL which requires that anything it gets combined with is also licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

By the way: When you have more in-depth questions about using open source licensed code in game development, you might want to commit to the proposal for the new stackexchange site Open Source Stackexchange.

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Note: While this is great advice, do not use it as a replacement for a lawyer. – Thebluefish Apr 24 at 22:45

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