[cc-community] Trying to pinpoint conflicts between CC-BY[-SA] and GPL

Maciej Pendolski beholder0x100 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 15 19:03:10 EST 2011

I can see right now 2 areas of potential clash of CC-BY[-SA] with GPL:

-"Labels" in applications (icons/images/skins, text_labels/translations,
sounds/notifications): Those elements (perhaps except of skins) function as
a system which distinguishes one action from another and/or informs about
actions being performed (audio/visual notifications, disabled and
multi-state labels/icons)). This functionality is necessary to make
software usable. It "enhances" user interface (Otherwise we would have to
learn what is what / what it does by trial and error). It seams to me that
there is a conflict here but I have no strong opinion on it.

-Game content mixed with scripts: There seams to be a conflict here (read
my earlier posts (also one which have landed on
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-licenses) if you want to be
confused). When game is released as a package containing both content and
scripts and they form a single product then in my view it is where a
problem is (if scripts are under GPL). But how much this is an issue
depends on an architecture of a game engine. While making my own game
engine (Not FLOSS yet unfortunately (I'm really sorry and feel guilty and
ashamed about it)) my goal is to put as much customisable functionality
into engine as possible (game genres, arcade vs. simulation, ...) to reduce
size of scripts and of customisation/simulation data/parameters. This
should make scripts so small that few people should have problems with
licencing it under CC-BY-SA (scripts would be a tiny part of a game). Some
game engines could be almost purely data-driven (e.g. an RTS game engine
with unit parameters, simple triggers, waypoints and few other adjustable
elements). So there could or could not be a problem depending on how a
system have been constructed. Expecting all game engines to be written to
fit content needs is not going to work though.
I am assuming that, as I have written in on of my posts, engine is designed
carefully so that scripts run within a System using System Libraries (as
defined in GPLv3) or in other words that "game engine/player" is clearly
separated from "game content/file".
To some extent this point is similar to the first one (about labels). Here
scripts are apps running within a System (game engine) with audio-visual
content being "labels" through which a player is interacting (a bit like an
user of an app).

I'm interested in what your views are and of course if you have some more
ideas then post them.
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