[WF-General] License stuff. Fun!

David Turner novalis at novalis.org
Tue Apr 9 18:12:09 PDT 2002

On Tue, 2002-04-09 at 13:51, Uta Szymanek wrote:
> Hello,
> "David C. Young" schrieb:
> > On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 12:40:05AM +0200, Uta Szymanek wrote:
> > > Hallo,
> > (snip)
> > > Perhaps you should think about the fact that all uploaded webimages for the worldforge
> > > website including isostudies, sketches, banners, maps,... that are only available in
> > > jpg or png or gif  (for example) do not (!) fullfill the GFDL, because the original
> > > layered images are not available. This goes not only for my graphics ;)
> > > If you guys rebuild the new website carefully (always obeying the GFDL), you should
> > > care only to use those images, which are available as the layered image in full
> > > resolution.
> >
> > Really? IANAL either, but it seems to me that the GFDL requires only that images be
> > distributed in transparent form. "A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a
> > machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the
> > general public, whose contents can be viewed and edited directly and straightforwardly
> > with ... generic paint programs..." So how is a PNG non-transparent? GIFs are trickier
> > and I don't know about JPEGs. However, the PSDs or similar originals are _not_
> > transparent, as their formats are not publicly available. Maybe Novalis can tell us
> > more about this issue.
> In this project it has been common sense that only layered images in original size in PSD or
> XCF - format are transparent enough in the sense of the GFDL. I can assure to you that the
> PSD-originals with all their layers are the only basis for further work with those images.
> When this discussion came up for the first time two years ago (and I remember them well),
> most of the tiles and sprites had only one layer, but after the process of redesign this is
> not longer the fact. So it is not rare that the originals have at least 4 layers. However
> this goes not only for sprites and tiles, but for almost all of my work including posters,
> logos, maps, banners, sketches, illustations, ui elements, even backgrounds...
> It is interesting for me to see that in the time when I contributed artwork, it seemed to be
> obligatory on an artist to provide the originals, too, and now, when I refuse to support
> this project with those illegal graphics, it is no problem anymore and originals are not
> longer needed. Strange, how things can change.
> However, I will release media packages with my media with my copyrightunder a free license.
> But only on my (!) homepage and only in a legally correct way.

I talked to Eben Moglen, the FSF's lawyer about this.  PNGs count as
transparent formats for images.  This is a different standard than the
GPL.  We (the FSF) are considering whether and how to change this for
future versons of the GFDL.  

Moglen says that one can take a layered image distributed under the GFDL
and release a PNG version without also distributing the layered
version.  As I see it, this is incentive to require GFDL 1.1 *or
greater*, since we may change this at some point.

-Dave Turner                                Stalk Me: 617 441 0668
"Somebody would have done it, if we hadn't done it." 
    -Laurence Canter, of Canter and Siegel, spammer.
"And where have I heard that before?" 
    -Mr. Meany (a demon), _Meadow Of The Damned_, by Scott McCloud

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