Subject: For Approval: Allegro giftware license
From: Elias Pschernig <>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 14:03:22 +0200


we would like to see the license for the Allegro game programming
library recognized as open source, since there are sometimes problems
with it (like inclusion into open source projects, which are afraid of
it). But since it historically is the license used for it and is now in
use for so many years, we don't really want to change it.

I'm not sure how I could create a legal analysis and email to license-
approval though, as requested on your website. Maybe someone can give a
hint where to find someone doing that? (And it is so short I don't think
there need be any analysis?)

Anyway, the license is here:

It's not based off any other license, but some licenses are very close.
For example, the zlib license. The (Allegro) giftware license just
removes the three restrictions given at the end of the zlib license.
This means, you don't have to keep a reference to where you got the
source from, and can just take out parts of it and re-use. You can also
re-use the name and distribute altered versions (actualls happened and
is happening right now). Well, basically, the source is completely free
to use for whatever you want.

It should be compatible with any other open source license, since it
allows everything. It's just a simple game programming library, and we
want everyone who finds code from it useful to just use it, without
having to care about noting where which line of code came from.

I must admit, I didn't read through all of the open source licenses -
since we don't want a new license, but just are interested in the
current license of our project (and some add-on libraries also using
it). So ever if there is one which is more close to it than zlib it
would still be nice if it could be officially marked as OSI-compatible
(assuming it is).

Plain Text version of the license:
The giftware license

Allegro is gift-ware. It was created by a number of people working in
cooperation, and is given to you freely as a gift. You may use, modify,
redistribute, and generally hack it about in any way you like, and you
do not have to give us anything in return. 
However, if you like this product you are encouraged to thank us by
making a return gift to the Allegro community. This could be by writing
an add-on package, providing a useful bug report, making an improvement
to the library, or perhaps just releasing the sources of your program so
that other people can learn from them. If you redistribute parts of this
code or make a game using it, it would be nice if you mentioned Allegro
somewhere in the credits, but you are not required to do this. We trust
you not to abuse our generosity.
By Shawn Hargreaves, 18 October 1998.

Thanks for your consideration,

Elias Pschernig