[WF-General] Media license strangeness (long)
Miguel Guzman Miranda
miguelg at tid.es
Thu Jul 15 01:41:23 PDT 2004
After discussing this on #coders yesterday, and having read the logs
since when I left, I will try to sum up what was said and what I think
we could do.
For starters, I agree with Alriddoch too. Accepting GPL-compatible
licensed artwork is the way to go. However, I think the practical
problem of not having a media-oriented, GPL-compatible license is a
Let's suppose for a moment we'll have artists who don't know much about
coding and licenses (example: the OpenFRAG artits are very productive,
but they don't use any license for their work at the moment). They would
want to use a media specific for license, but the most widely used one
(CC) is GPL-incompatible in all its forms.
What licenses are really GPL-compatible? Here:
is a list of GPL-compatible licenses, but all of them are for *code*.
At the bottom of that page it lists some "Licenses for Works Besides
Software and Documentation". There are listed 4 licenses there: the GPL,
the FDL, the Design Science License (which is specifically noted as
GPL/FDL incompatible) and the Free Art License, for which nothing is
said about compatibility.
All of this boils down to that the licenses art-oriented and
gpl-compatible are basically none. Yes, we could accept GPL-compatible
licenses in any case, and while I agree that it's a great idea, I don't
picture artists choosing the X11 or Python licenses, GPL-compatible as
The alternative suggested by novalis was to triple-license GPL, FDL,
CC-SA. But I don't really think that is good to release a work under a
myriad of licenses just to avoid a problem, because we're taking a
workaround and not addressing the real issue.
The real problem is that the FSF has not made any attempt to create a
license that is adequate for media ("adequate for" != "can be stretched
for"). Note that it doesn't needs to, the S there is for "software", if
it had to care about all things it'd be the "Free Something Foundation".
Also, the Creative Commons people, who have cared about creating
media-specific licenses, have not taken the same care in collaborating
with FSF to assure that their licenses were compatible. I don't really
know if both parties have had conversations in order to address this
issue, but I would really like to know.
So I think it boils down to the problem that we lack the right tool for
the right job. As GPL can be used, I don't oppose it, and neither all
the other listed as GPL-comp on that page. FDL should be discarded
because of the non-free issues raised by Debian.
But we could really use a Free media license, either being done by the
FSF, or by CC modifying their current ones, or by a third party doing a
new one but talking to the FSF so that it gets a stamp of approval.
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