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Open Source Code in Unity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by unity_9ECF2DCED1F327A05B52, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. unity_9ECF2DCED1F327A05B52


    Nov 28, 2022
    Hey there,

    I read that Unity had an open source project called open projects.

    We got a grant and want to create an open source educational game with possible contributions from our community members. The grant reuqires us to use work on open source technology solutions under the following licenses or their equivalent:
    • (i) for software, a BSD license,
    • (ii) for hardware, a CERN license and
    • (iii) a CC-BY license for design or content, a CC-BY licens
    Is it possible to apply one of these licences with unity?

  2. Antypodish


    Apr 29, 2014
    You can release project as a open source, even with MIT licence, as long project doesn't include any libraries, which are licenced otherwise. That includes 3rd party assets and Unity source code.

    This how some modding support works.
    Or make application specifically moddable, if you don't want to release whole project as open source.

    However, you can include disclaimer, stating this project requires Unity (version) and any relevant assets. Modders will be responsible to acquire such resources.

    What's important is, if project will use higher tear Unity version, then anyone opening project, will also need to have same Unity version.
  3. Lurking-Ninja


    Jan 20, 2015
    Open Project was an initiative to develop a game by users of Unity with project management from Unity. The results and the journey can be found here.
    Unity as a software has no open source license. If your grant expect you to only use open source software you shouldn't use Unity, it is not open source. If the expectation is that you release your work as open source, you do whatever you see fit, but you shouldn't use any assets which isn't open source as well since you have no right to release the assets otherwise.
    Kiwasi and Antypodish like this.
  4. CodeSmile


    Apr 10, 2014
    If you need to use an open-source game engine that is still convenient to use you should look into Godot (MIT License). I believe even their store assets are required to be made available as open source.

    However, if BSD is the license(s) strictly required for any software you use, including the engine, then I'm afraid you're practically screwed because those are far from popular choices in the game engine world, and still rare for software frameworks in general.

    Hopefully, those are just the licenses you need to release YOUR contributions under. Or the license simply needs to be compatible with or derived from BSD licenses in which case I would assume MIT license would be allowed, and that would open a much larger field of OSS projects to choose from.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  5. neginfinity


    Jan 27, 2013
    You're not allowed to use viral licenses. Because a viral license will require you to make unity engine opensource, and you'll be unable to comply.

    Viral licenses are mainly GPL, CC-BY-SA, and also (IIRC) GPL derivatives like AGPL.

    Rereading your post, you're asking if those terms apply to unity.

    The answer is no, as unity is neither BSD nor CC-BY, but is a proprietary engine.

    For BSD licenses, there's Bork3D, jMonkeyEngine, OpenSimulator, Panda3D and a few more (and many of them dead). I'd negotiate with the grant provider to see if it is possible to extend the list to include MIT license, ZLib license, CC0 and (IIRC) Apache. Which are also quite permissive.

    With just BSD alone you won't even have access to libSDL (LGPL), Ogre (lGPL) or Irrlicht (zlib).
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
    Kiwasi likes this.
  6. unity_9ECF2DCED1F327A05B52


    Nov 28, 2022
    wow - guys - thank you sooo much for these great infos! that helped me a lot for now :)I m gonna check it out..