Re: sound, images, GPL and other licenses

On Wed, 20 Dec 2006, Thilo Pfennig wrote:

> Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 17:08:45 +0100
> From: Thilo Pfennig <email pfennigsolutions de>
> To: games-list gnome org
> Subject: sound, images, GPL and other licenses
> Hi, as I browsed some of the wav files in the gnome games one question
> crossed my mind:
> Are all these images licensed under GPL? Is this also true for the
> images and other art data?

I have often wondered how the General Public License can really apply to
data and things like templates and resource files since there is no
linking going on.  I suppose in the simplest case the fallback is
copyright and you have very little right to use things but when it comes
to something like a diagramming program where the templates are the
necessary building blocks of any document you can hardly claim copyright
over the newly created works.

I spent crazy amounts of time writing some of SVG, actually typing up most
of them and manually specifying coordinates so the line between code,
graphics and graphical user interfaces gets very blurry for me sometimes.

> If yes I thought if it might not be a good idea to dual license all
> these stuff also under another license like CC-BY-SA-2.5
>  and to put it online as seperate data?


CC  	Creative Commons

BY  	requires attribution

SA  	share alike

2.5  	Huh?

> Why?
> To enable people to download and work on it and without following the
> more strict GPL rules. Also i think GNOME could use some more of free
> music, sounds and graphics that are now increasingly availabe under
> Creative Commons licenses.

Richard Stallman has made some interesting points about not wanting to
endorse Creative Commons as a whole since they have such a confusingly
broad spectrum of licenses, some of which offer very little freedom at

I have contributed to and I am generally happy putting
data files in the Public Domain (and 50 years copyright should be quite
enough for anyone) to keep things simple.  I'm pretty sure I submitted all
the SVG I have contributed to Gnome Games to as well.

I'd usually prefer the long established MIT license since it includes a
liability disclaimer and requires the copyright attribution to be included
(without going too far and becoming obnoxious advertising).  Disclaimer of
liability may be overkill but with more complext data files like sound
files I'd rather be safe than sorry.  This is effectively the same as
CC-BY-SA as far as I can tell.

I have a vague feeling the Gnome Games maintainers might have asked for
the artists to provide more permissions than just GPL to keep things
simple, but maybe not.  Jimmac and Tigert have always been very generous
in their licensing and are the source of so much Gnome artwork it seems
unfair to do anything other than be at least as generous as they have

> I would like to see a place where game maintainers put and get their
> material on. Some sounds can be shared or at least remixed. See also
> What y think?

Certainly wouldn't hurt to make it clear how exactly the data files are
licensed but checking them and attempting to relicense them could be a
long and time consuming process.


Alan Horkan

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