OpenSplash Available For Download

Andrew Neale

OpenSplash, the free, multi-platform open source digital signage player is NOW available. Check out before downloading from LaunchPad.

8 Responses to “OpenSplash Available For Download”

  1. DoohGuy Says:

    Great! Finally something concrete to look at. Good job on the release.

    First stop on the new site: The OpenSplash License.

    Seems like Ayuda’s crack legal team have created YAOSL (Yet-another-open-source-license). Sigh. I was hoping someone over there would resist the temptation of doing so. I am not a lawyer, but the LGPL has only 7 major points, whereas this license has 17!

    Please, could someone on the steering committee at least get this license approved by OSI?

    Instructions for doing so are here:

    OpenSplash [TM] is owned by Ayuda. And this license forces you to display “powered by opensplash” for 3 seconds on a black background at player start.

    Does this smell “open-sourcy” to you? Not me. This is highly unusual for an open-source license. This smells more like a marketing tool for Ayuda.

    Can you imagine if every application built on glibc (a true LGPL library) would have to display a “powered by glibc” logo on startup?

    Nevertheless, congrats on getting it out the door. Will be poring over it in the days to come.

  2. Andrew Neale Says:

    To be fair, the LGPL (7 major points) is an additional set of permissions to the GPL itself (18 points). The OpenSplash license (same 18 point length) is based on the two combined. The only addition is the requirement for showing branding of OpenSplash, the project itself.

    If Ayuda had wanted “powered by OpenSplash technology from Ayuda Media Systems” as the branding, then I suspect we wouldn’t have been quite as happy about that. As it is, we think it’s still an important project worth doing, even if the license isn’t as pure as possible in open source terms.

  3. DoohGuy Says:

    Before someone jumps on me… It seems the OpenSplash license has 17 points because they decided to include all the GPL v3 items in one document.

  4. DoohGuy Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Nice to see the project maintainer on here.

    If OpenSplash came with a CMS like Xibo does, then I would agree with you that the “powered by” requirement is not so bad.

    However, OpenSplash only works with Ayuda’s CMS out-of-the-box and BMS will always be the “tier1” supported CMS for this thing.

    So it *is* a form of marketing for them. Otherwise, why would their lawyers have bothered to modify the stock LGPL license if it brings no value to them? Why did they insist on maintaining ownership of the trademark?

    Lastly, the OpenSplash license contains this other bizarre statement:

    > The OpenSplashTM Public License does not permit incorporating your
    > program into proprietary programs.

    The LGPL explicitly allows this via dynamic linking, but OpenSplash does not. Why? It seems to me that someone wants to prevent a competitor from bundling OpenSplash + custom connectors + their CMS, because of course the CMS code will be proprietary.

    I know I’ve made some disparaging posts about OpenSplash, but really, I’m glad it’s finally out. It’s great that initiatives like these and Xibo are starting up.

    But I am really, really let down by the license terms. If it was straight-up LGPL (which it should be), I wouldn’t be complaining.

    Don’t say it’s an open-source license if it’s not. Clearly these LGPL provisos are aimed at stifling competition to Ayuda’s BMS. OpenSplash also directly supports Ayuda’s business model because they don’t charge per player, they charge per CMS user. So it makes sense for them to widely distribute a free player, enforce branding rules to propagate their trademarks, and restrict what other software vendors can bundle it with.

    That being said, good luck with your launch, and there’s a little problem with browsing your repo. I reported it in the Q&A section on launchpad.

  5. Andrew Neale Says:

    The idea behind the project is that anyone is free to develop whatever CMS connection to OpenSplash they like. Ideally that would be incorporated back into the project so it would be available to all, but people are at liberty to keep it to themselves if they wish. We hope that the modular plugin nature of the software makes this easy to do.

    The statement in the OpenSplash public license:
    > The OpenSplashTM Public License does not permit incorporating your
    > program into proprietary programs.
    is a clause which appears in the original GPL. It is definitely the intention that this project be LGPL not GPL, which would allow anyone to deploy OpenSplash + custom connectors + proprietry CMS. We will have this clarified, and if the OpenSplash public license needs to be amended to satisfy that, we will have an updated version published.

    The problem browsing the source seems to be when logged in to Launchpad, see the full answer at:

  6. Bryan Crotaz Says:

    Re “The OpenSplashTM Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs.”:

    It has always been the intention of both the steering group and Ayuda that it should be possible to build a commercial product that incorporates or is built on OpenSplash. I reviewed the license over the last few weeks and I apologise for not noticing this and sending it back for review earlier. Andrew and I are in agreement here.

  7. DoohGuy Says:

    Thanks for the replies guys! Looking forward to the license clarifications and/or corrections.

  8. Andrew Neale Says:

    We have released a new version of the license which has a single added line at the end to clarify the position in the spirit of the LGPL: “However, if you treat your program as a subroutine library, you are permitted to link proprietary applications with it.”

    We hope that clears up the intention of the OpenSplash project.

    For details, see:

    More detailed explanation: The line in question “The OpenSplashTM Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs” comes from the original GPL, to which the LGPL extention adds some more permissions. “Incorporating” in this case means using the OpenSplash source code, rather than just linking to it. You can’t just copy the source code directly into your application source code without making the end result open source as well.

    However you can choose to link proprietary code to the LGPL’d code (in this case OpenSplash) if you use the LGPL’d code as a subroutine library. Doing so means you can still keep the proprietary code private if you wish.

    Whilst the OpenSplash license has always allowed this (being based on the LGPL in the first place), as we have one license document which combines both the GPL and the extra LGPL bits in one place, we thought it best to add the extra line at the end so there is no confusion that the project can be used in the same open source way as any other LGPL software.

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