[WF-General] Possible media policy change? [was: License stuff.Fun!]

Jason Oppel jason at smtp.triadinternetsystems.com
Mon Apr 15 00:11:45 PDT 2002

Uta Szymanek wrote:

> *  It is the fact that my artwork was used on the website and for the demos, but not
> changed. Old versions were never used again because their low quality

One thing we're trying to implement is regular media meetings where 
everyone can get lots of peer review from more experienced artists (and 
a variety of view points).  I know that peer review was difficult to 
come by if you just asked on the mailing lists.  People usually wouldn't 
respond to requests for peer review or say something like 'I like it!' 
which isn't all that helpful when you're trying to improve as an artist. 
  I'm finding that people are much more responsive and give quality 
feedback during meetings.  I'm hoping that this will enable even newer 
artists to create high quality reuseable graphics.  We're starting to 
see some of the results of this process and I'm hopeful we can keep up 
the high level of art.

> * I think that most artist (and perhaps not only the artwork developers of
> worldforge) are vain and proud of their work, even if ti is not usable. Normally a
> new artist will make his own new graphics and present his (!) own work, even if it
> has been done twice. It seems to me that people in worldforge are focused on the
> presentation of their own work and not on cooperating.

This may have been true at one point but I don't think it is true with 
the current crop of artists.  They seem all too anxious to work with one 
another which is really cool cos everyone can say they had an important 
part in creating new the media.

> I think that the following situation is a nightmare for most artists. Even, if they
> are conjuring the need of full layered images for the survival of worldforge:
> Imagine a conversation between an artist and a observer. The observer says: Oh, that
> part of your image is nice! The artist answers: Hmm, ... this part is not made by
> me, but the rest!  ;)

I would hope that this would serve to motivate the artist to improve 
their craft just as you did.  Also note that the new artist w/o the 
layered image would have a completely unpleasing work but w/the layered 
image the whole work is elevated to a higher level of quality. :-)

> * And how will it be the other way round, if artist A makes some small changes on
> the work of artist B? Normally artist A will not walk arround and say, that he only
> made those small changes in this image, but he will say : isn't that a good image?
> It will be the observers responsibility to ask, if this is the work of artist A or
> B?

I would hope that people would attribute any art that they directly use 
  work from or sources of inspiration.

> However, apart from these statements and GFDL discussions, layered images weren't
> really needed in the last three years. Therefor another more artist-friendly license
> than the GFDL would have sufficient and more inviting for other artists to
> contribute their work to worldforge. 

Source files are quickly going to become very important esp now that 
we're using more 3d meshes.  Its imperative that we have source files 
for all media submitted if we're going to keep ourselves from recreating 
a lot of work.  On this point we cannot budge an inch.

> I have talked to many non-worldforge artists
> who refused (and are refusing) to contribute because of the worldforge license
> requirement: they do no want their artwork to be re-distributed or to be modified.

I think at least part of this unwillingness comes from a lack of 
education on the positive aspects of sharing and open source.  In any 
case we'll continue persuing our dream of open and shared media and hope 
that others catch on when they see the media we create and how much fun 
we have doing it! :-)

> But they would have accepted  that their work would be used by and only by
> worldforge. 

Then what of all the other Open Source gaming projects that are no less 
deserving of support and high quality media?  WorldForge should be a 
resource of high quality media that OS gaming projects can turn to for 
media.  The main constraining factor keeping most OS games from 
effectively competing w/commercial efforts is a lack of high quality 
media.  I am determined to deal this barrier a lethal blow!

> So the lacking security worldforge offers to artists is the main reason
> why so many new artists are joining.

I don't agree with the assertion that there aren't any new artists 
joining WF.  I can count new works from about 1/2 a dozen new WF artists 
from many different backgrounds who have made signifigant contributions 
since I've become media coordinator.

> Recently I was pointed to another project which was using Tom's and my png graphics
> without mentioning the correct licensing and copyright.  They used the graphics for
> their screenshots under the 'copyright worldforge'. I feel it is doubtful that
> amongst open source projects the correct copyright statements are neglected in that
> way. For me as artist it is a bit strong that my graphics are used under 'copyright
> worldforge'. 

*nod* This is obviously not cool as it doesn't give the artist their 
proper due!  That said this is only one example and the only one that 
I'm aware of occurring where someone did something with our art that 
left a bad taste in our mouth.

> Obviously worldforge does not point obviously enough to the licensing
> of the media it is distributing. One may state that this case is a individual case,
> but can be you sure ? 

I think part of the problem has been the mix of licenses that WorldForge 
has allowed people to commit under in the past.  All new media is 
required to be submitted under the GPL/GFDL and we even have license 
templates that people use so all legal aspects are covered.  Using CVS 
it is difficult to make the licensing of our media unavoidable.  I'm 
hoping that with the new media repository whenever it comes online will 
make it *extremely* clear on how people can and can't use our media (as 
well as author attribution).

> This evident, again, has proven to me that open source is used
> as nothing else but as a big self-service-shop where you can neglect the copyright
> because we are just one big community for the sake for all.

I think generalizations like this are wrong.  You can no more stick all 
Open Source developers in the same bucket than you can people from a 
certain country or an ethnic group.  The Open Source Community is no 
different than any other group of people.  Some are good and some are 
bad but most are somewhere in between.

> But I doubt that really good artwork will be contributed to worldforge.

You have just further motivated me to prove you wrong! =D For now I'll 
just say 'time will tell!' :-)

I'm done commenting on this whole issue.  I have game media to create!

-Jason <Pato>

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