[cc-licenses] Most important feature: GPL-compatibility
rob at robmyers.org
Wed Jan 11 15:59:08 EST 2012
On 07/01/12 03:05, David Chart wrote:
> More practically, I don't think it's actually *possible* to
> distribute a wide range of BY-SA works under the GPL. 3.0 defines
> source code, and clause 6 says that when you convey an object form
> (not the source), you must convey machine-readable Corresponding
> Source. For a fair number of works that BY-SA might be used for, the
> preferred form for modifications is not machine-readable. The GPL
> simply doesn't apply. The source must also be in a
> publicly-documented format with an available source code
> implementation. Even for electronic works, this is often not the
> case; artists who work in Photoshop, for example, cannot provide the
> preferred form for modifications in such a format, because the
> preferred form for modifications is a Photoshop file.
Photoshop is proprietary software, and you can lose the ability to
access work created using it in any number of ways. Software freedom is
therefore very relevant to cultural freedom for digital works. I have
images made using Corel Draw in the early 90s that I can no longer edit.
I didn't know about Free Software at the time, and Inkscape wouldn't be
available for another decade, but...
> I also strongly doubt that you can get away with saying "whatever we
> have is the source code"; the language looks designed to exclude the
> binary blobs that come with some hardware. In that case, a conversion
> clause is meaningless; you cannot distribute under the terms of the
> GPL, because you cannot hold to those terms. (A conversion clause
> would provide no leverage to get the original creator to provide the
> source; if someone holds copyright, says that they are releasing
> something under the GPL, but fails to provide source, they have
> merely failed to release something under the GPL. Barring other
> contracts, they have no obligation to succeed.)
Propagation covers *reproductions*. If I GPL a Bash script or a
sculpture, that's fine. If I translate the Bash script into C++ and
distribute only the binary or laser-scan the sculpture and distribute
only a JPEG that's not IMO.
It doesn't help that copyright on autographic works such as paintings
and sculptures, works where there is no score and that are not
experienced as reproductions but as originals, is basically a category
> I can see that it is inconvenient for video games, and that the
> original intent of the artists almost certainly was for the images to
> be usable in any video game, but I don't think that problem should be
> solved by changing the license. Instead, you should get the works
> relicensed (should be no problem if the artists really did mean
> that), or rewrite the code so that you can use artwork released under
> a different license, even a non-free one. I'm well aware that neither
> of those, particularly the second, is a trivial task...
I think the point is that video games are unified cultural works. Their
legal representation as copyrighted code or images or sounds shouldn't
obscure this on the level of principle.
It does affect the practicality, though...
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