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Questions about GPL license

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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Fri May 31, 2019 9:44 am

do you think it's fair or balanced that an individual or team of producers making a multi-million dollar production such as a film uses a CC BY-SA photograph, and then is obligated to release their entire production whereby anyone can sell and profit from that production?


Yes - sure.

Because the multi-million dollar production doesn't have to take the photograph under a license for free, they can buy a license to use whatever they want (or buy the copyright).

So in essence licensing GPL ensures that primarily commercial products have to pay content creators for dual-licensing, because GPL or SA simply isn't a useful license for them.

Surely if fairness is of paramount consideration in this licensing


Why?

I create some stuff - then it's mine. You have zero a priori rights to it - I can keep it, or I might sell it to the highest bidder for example. I can also decide to let you have it for free - under whatever terms of use I want.

You are potentially getting something for free under the GPL or the SA license - why on Earth would it be unfair if it doesn't meet your needs? You're not obliged in any way to use a particular photo or bit of software.

If you need a 3d model of an aircraft cockpit, you can for instance do one yourself, or pay a 3d modeler to make you one, or if you find one in a warehouse pay for that... - to the degree that you invest your own resources, you can even acquire the complete copyright.

What is fair is that if you get to use someone else's work, it happens under his terms, not yours.

I don't feel you needed to make that point.


I don't feel you needed to raise it in the first place - but you did anyway. Please keep to the legal discussion, I don't think discussing your feelings about legislation and licenses leads anywhere and I'm not prepared to discuss that topic in the first place. Thanks.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby wkitty42 » Fri May 31, 2019 7:50 pm

NewFlyer153 wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 8:04 am:
Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 4:47 am:(Whether a legal provision is intuitive to anyone is irrelevant anyway...)

I don't feel you needed to make that point. I'm not so stupid that I believe that a law's intuitiveness decides the law's force or applicability. I was telling you about what I felt, not making a legal argument.

there are many other people reading these posts... they may not know this information... "you" (inclusive) are not always the target of verbiage posted in open forums and similar places... please take that into account and try not to take things personally ;)
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Fri May 31, 2019 8:56 pm

Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 9:44 am: Please keep to the legal discussion, I don't think discussing your feelings about legislation and licenses leads anywhere and I'm not prepared to discuss that topic in the first place.


Well this seems to have gotten rather unfriendly rather quickly. Especially when you suggest I shouldn't share the way I feel about something. This isn't a court a law, it's a discussion board. The topic IS copyright law, but I thought we could talk like human beings (ie., share our opinions). The actual fact is that you ARE interested in what you feel is fair because you have repeatedly shared your views on it throughout discussion. If you think I'm being difficult by being pressing about some of our notions of a copyright license, I think you're being rather dismissive.

In response to my question of fairness in my example you said:

Yes - sure.

Because the multi-million dollar production doesn't have to take the photograph under a license for free, they can buy a license to use whatever they want (or buy the copyright)


In my opinion (yes, I'm giving it again), this sounds like rather a sophistic argument. It shows that your notion of the fairness of something befalling someone is that they had a choice to do otherwise which could have obviated that particular state. In other words, you would believe that what some companies are doing (namely taking free software and charging people for it, as is the case with FlightGear) is fair because developers of FlightGear always had a choice to license it under a different license, thus preventing them from profiting from a GPL'ed product. The same goes for any other case if we are to take your standard of "fair". Something bad happens to someone, and by virtue of the fact that they could have prevented it from abstaining from a substance, or not being in a particular place, what has befallen them is fair. I really don't think you believe that, (though I can't know what you believe).

Maybe the fact that I mentioned a multi-million dollar production has made you respond this way. So I'll give another example.

A person is giving a talk for which they have spent years collecting data and preparing. In a slide presentation at the beginning of their talk they briefly show a photo of a garden. This photo is something the speaker sourced from some place on the internet. Your argument, based on the one made earlier, is that it's fair for anyone to use the entire production of their presentation including all the data presented therein taken over years of painstaking work (or let's make it a lifetime) because they COULD HAVE used a public domain photo or taken their own photo, or should have been more vigilant, perhaps spending hours tracking down the source of the image and its copyright status. I'm not talking about the law here, but I don't believe that this is your notion of fair.

I don't know to what extent your losing your patience with me has to do with the perception that I want to rip other people's work off, or that I'm raising these questions of fairness. If you only want copyright facts and for no one to give their opinion, then we can end this right now, and I apologize for intruding my personal thoughts about the matter if they absolutely no place here.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Johan G » Fri May 31, 2019 9:36 pm

First off: I am not a lawyer.

NewFlyer153 wrote in Thu May 30, 2019 5:34 pm:If I make a film and use a photo from Wikipedia that is licensed under this CC BY-SA license, does my film become a derivative work and therefore must be licensed under CC BY-SA also? The same question goes for any other artwork or computer renders.

Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 4:47 am:Yes - that's what 'share alike' basically means.

This would hold true if the film is purely a depiction of the photo. I would argue that if it for example was used as a poster in a dorm room (in essence just one of many props in the background) that would hardly make the movie an adaptation of the photo. However, it should likely still be attributed.[1]

NewFlyer153 wrote in Thu May 30, 2019 5:34 pm:That is, if I use CC BY-SA content in a work, a video game, film, collage, slide presentation etc., the entire product must be licensed under CC BY-SA as well?

Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 4:47 am:If you have to abide by the terms of the license and can not claim 'fair use' which basically circumvents copyright and hence also any license - then yes.

NewFlyer153 wrote in Thu May 30, 2019 5:34 pm:It would make more intuitive sense to me that you would be required to share the photo and any changes you made to it, instead of licensing the entire product or artwork you used the photo in under the same license.

Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 4:47 am:That may be what you want to have, but the license is explicitly designed to deny you that - it says whatever you derive from the work, you must make available under the same license that covers the original work (if you make available at all).

Both GPL and CC-BY-SA are designed to prevent people from using stuff for their works without giving back to the community.

When it comes to the Creative Commons licenses, use or redistribution is not necessarily an adaptation, but still require attribution.[1]

Also consider that for example Wikipedia does not use one single license for everything, but one license for the text, and for photos, illustrations, etc. a mishmash of of different licenses (more or less anything that allow commercial reuse and derivative work).[2] Even Creative Commons themselves mixes licenses and use works under other licenses than the page they are used on.[3]

[1] This might be slightly different between jurisdictions though. See for example When is my use considered an adaptation? and What is an adaptation? on the Creative Commons FAQ (Creative Commons use the term adaptation rather than derivative work). See also the definition of adaptation in section 1(a) of the CC-by-sa 4.0 license text.
[2] The image use policy, Wikipedia:Image use policy#Free licenses (perm), links to a page that links to the list of licenses at Wikipedia:File copyright tags/Free licenses (perm).
[3] The Use & remix page on the Creative Commons web site has a photo attributed "'Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco' by Timothy Vollmer is licensed under CC BY 2.0", while the terms for the page are "Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license."
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Fri May 31, 2019 11:06 pm

Johan G wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 9:36 pm: This would hold true if the film is purely a depiction of the photo. I would argue that if it for example was used as a poster in a dorm room (in essence just one of many props in the background) that would hardly make the movie an adaptation of the photo. However, it should likely still be attributed.[1]


This is along the lines of what I mentioned, and when I shared this intuition of mine I was taken to task for it, receiving statements such as that the law isn't interested in intuitions or feelings. The point I was daring to make was that there are degrees of use of licensed content. The photo used in a film that's CC-BY-SA, shown for a few seconds and not the subject of the film I personally would consider unfair as a threshold to make your entire film available to everyone to profit from. So what about the fact that you've profited from the CC-BY-SA photo in the use of your film? Well I'm conscious of this matter also and would not dismiss entirely anyone who says that I ripped off that photographers work. However the black and white framework of simply using sharealike content, however limited in fashion, would force you to make your entire production CC and sharelike also, yes, I'll say it again, sounds counterintuitive to me and even unfair in certain cases. This is why I sought to understand a subtler meaning than just a black and white rule that if you use it in any fashion your entire production needs to be made CC sharealike. In the case of GPL I'm more inclined to think that ANYTHING used from GPL'ed content in ANY way requires you to GPL your entire project also. But let's not forget that the GPL and CC Sharealike licenses are different. The GPL was originally created as software license, is described as a software license, and is enforced by the Free Software Foundation. So claims as simple as that the GPL and the sharelike component of CC essentially require you to do the same thing I think is jumping the gun without further investigation.

Also, as this has interested me a bit I went through Wikipedia to check some photos from articles. They ranged from CC-BY, to CC-BY-SA, to public domain, and even one I hadn't heard of, called GFDL 1.2, which I think is similar to the GPL.

Also, there's a CC Zero license, which isn't as uncommon as you might think, which omits the need to even attribute the author. I have seen this described as essentially public domain (maybe technically it isn't by name, but in substance it probably is).
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Fri May 31, 2019 11:38 pm

Also, I'm really skeptical about the claim that using CC Sharealike content requires you to to license your product under the same license without exception. What made sense to me earlier is that you would be required to license that particular content along with any modifications under the same license, but not the entire production you've made that uses that content.

To take an example that might illustrate this, let's take the text from Wikipedia. The text of Wikipedia is generally licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0. According to Wikipedia:

Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed if and only if the copied version is made available on the same terms to others and acknowledgment of the authors of the Wikipedia article used is included (a link back to the article is generally thought to satisfy the attribution requirement).


It is also described there as a copyleft license. Note it says "if and only if the copied" content is made available to others. It does not say that the production using that content must be made available to others.

So if this CC Sharelike claim is true, that if I use CC-BY-SA content in a production my entire production must be made available under the same license, then any production (any media), any presentation containing data or my own personal work that contains a quote or text from Wikipedia must then be made available under CC for anyone, endowing each person the right to profit from anything in my production/presentation.

Does this sound like the current state of requirements? Is it just me who thinks this is just not the case?
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Lydiot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:16 am

NewFlyer153 wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 8:04 am:
Thorsten wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 4:47 am:Yes, I understand the importance of returning in kind, as you put it. It's the spirit of the endeavor whereby every contribution can be enjoyed by all. But I'm not talking about modifying your sharealike product, such as an artwork. In one example case, do you think it's fair or balanced that an individual or team of producers making a multi-million dollar production such as a film uses a CC BY-SA photograph, and then is obligated to release their entire production whereby anyone can sell and profit from that production? I understand the fairness to the original photographer must be borne in mind also, but the costs, time and effort are entirely disproportionate. Surely if fairness is of paramount consideration in this licensing, I think due consideration should be given to the difference in work and effort between taking a photograph and making large-scale and expensive production lasting years.


I think that you might be mixing two things that are related but actually different.

I'm willing to bet that you can't invalidate a copyright and automatically make it something else simply because it contains something that violates a different copyright. So if you make a movie and use a photo that I took and published under CC BY-SA then maybe you should have made your movie available under the same copyright. But if you didn't do that then I would argue that your movie falls under whatever copyright you choose, and as far as my photo is concerned you are guilty of violating my rights.

If this was not the case then it would mean that anyone could place copyrighted material within a shot in a movie and that would automatically change the rights of the movie. Of course that's not the case. It would be completely unreasonable.

No, what I think we have is a hypothetical situation where your work is protected, but where I will win in court when I sue you. So, I can sue and the very second I sue you we're going to start negotiating a settlement instead.

So I think you and Thorsten are both right.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Icecode GL » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:47 am

@NewFlyer153:

In general I think it's pointless to state your opinion on whether license X or Y is fair or not. There are many free-to-use licenses available today, it's just a matter of choosing one that adjusts to your particular views/needs. In the case of already-licensed software (like FG), it's even more pointless, as the license is what it is. We can help you understand what you can and can't do with FG, but we can't change the terms of the GPL license to match your views on copyright law.

You should contact aircraft developers to see if they are willing to share their aircraft under a second license.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:15 am

This would hold true if the film is purely a depiction of the photo. I would argue that if it for example was used as a poster in a dorm room (in essence just one of many props in the background) that would hardly make the movie an adaptation of the photo.


Not true.

There are stores for movie producers where you can buy things like fake newspapers to show in your movies, because using actual newspapers violates the copyright and trademark rights of the newspaper publishers. If there's a 'New York Times' visible in a movie, it's because the producer has paid for the right to show it.

Also, I'm really skeptical about the claim that using CC Sharealike content requires you to to license your product under the same license without exception.


The exceptions have been listed - if you can claim 'fair use' (e.g. you merely cite something in a scholarly discussion, or for educational purposes, or for a parody) or if you never re-distribute, you're off the hook. Otherwise not.

So if this CC Sharelike claim is true, that if I use CC-BY-SA content in a production my entire production must be made available under the same license, then any production (any media), any presentation containing data or my own personal work that contains a quote or text from Wikipedia must then be made available under CC for anyone, endowing each person the right to profit from anything in my production/presentation.


Yes - otherwise you void the license, use a copyright protected text without any permission and are open to be sued and can expect damage claims and / or a prohibition to distribute your derived content.


Does this sound like the current state of requirements? Is it just me who thinks this is just not the case?


The law or the license really don't care what you think. It is the provision in the license, if you can't or won't follow the provision and still go ahead you're using a copyright-protected work illegally, end of story.

The point I was daring to make was that there are degrees of use of licensed content


Sorry - you are talking about someone else's intellectual property here - there's no 'degree' of stealing.

Let's take another bit of property - your socks. Is it okay if I steal your socks? No - it's not. But does it make it okay if I take them and wear them only in a second of movie where they're hardly seen? No, it's still not. Is it okay if I take your socks and never wear them and only make a picture of them? No, it's still not.

Because these are your socks and I can't simply take them without a permission (license) from you.

(If you don't believe this, go into a major department store, take some article out and then tell the police you only wanted to take a few pictures at home, surely that's okay, see what happens.)

The agreement is - if you want something of the department store, you pay for it. No matter for what purpose you want it.

Same thing here - if you want to use my intellectual property, you adhere to the license terms I have set down. You don't get to say when you think it's acceptable to not follow my rules - only I get to say that. Pretty much no matter for what purpose you use it.

If you don't like to pay, you don't get to take the socks. And if you don't like a license, you don't get to use the licensed content.


***

I understand that you're not pleased - there's this seemingly wonderful store of free content which is GPL-licensed FG which has stuff you need for your own project, and you'd dearly like to use it. And this is the internet after all, so we're kind of socialized with the assumption that it all kinda belongs to us.

Wrong - using content in your own stuff without respecting ownership and licensing is stealing.

If you're not GPL licensing yourself, FG content is not for you and never will be - all you can do is ask the copyright holders (creators) of some piece of work whether they'd be willing to dual-license - and if only one copyright holder refuses that, there's nothing you can do.

Otherwise, you can use material with attribution licenses, public domain or CC0 for your needs. GPL and Share Alike really require you to do what they say - whether you think this fair or not.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:32 am

If this was not the case then it would mean that anyone could place copyrighted material within a shot in a movie and that would automatically change the rights of the movie. Of course that's not the case. It would be completely unreasonable.


Yes, the chain of events is precisely

1 ) movie uses Share-Alike licensed content

a) movie crew acts legally and releases movie under Share-Alike license
-> all is fine

b) movie crew acts illegally and uses a different license

2) -> this voids the Share-Alike license

3) copyright holder of the content with Share-Alike license can now sue for copyright infringement
-> this may block movie distribution, lead to damage claims and is generally unpleasant for the movie producer

The scenario

4) the whole movie has to be distributed under a Share-Alike license

is unlikely, but theoretically it can be the outcome of a court decision (however, it can't happen automatically)
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Johan G » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:58 pm

With creative commons Use != adaptation.

A work do not have to be using the same license as creative common works used in it. It will have to attribute the copyright holders and mention the licenses of those works though.

However, if you modify the work or base something on it, it would be an adaptation, and the new work would have to use the same license as the work it was adapted from.

Johan G wrote in Fri May 31, 2019 9:36 pm:When it comes to the Creative Commons licenses, use or redistribution is not necessarily an adaptation, but still require attribution.[1]

Also consider that for example Wikipedia does not use one single license for everything, but one license for the text, and for photos, illustrations, etc. a mishmash of of different licenses (more or less anything that allow commercial reuse and derivative work).[2] Even Creative Commons themselves mixes licenses and use works under other licenses than the page they are used on.[3]

[1] This might be slightly different between jurisdictions though. See for example When is my use considered an adaptation? and What is an adaptation? on the Creative Commons FAQ (Creative Commons use the term adaptation rather than derivative work). See also the definition of adaptation in section 1(a) of the CC-by-sa 4.0 license text.
[2] The image use policy, Wikipedia:Image use policy#Free licenses (perm), links to a page that links to the list of licenses at Wikipedia:File copyright tags/Free licenses (perm).
[3] The Use & remix page on the Creative Commons web site has a photo attributed "'Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco' by Timothy Vollmer is licensed under CC BY 2.0", while the terms for the page are "Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license."
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:20 pm

However, if you modify the work or base something on it, it would be an adaptation, and the new work would have to use the same license as the work it was adapted from.


In your example, in what sense would a movie not be based (among other things) on whatever artwork is on the set? A picture in a different context and in a different medium is hardly 'the same' as the original.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby bugman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:34 pm

From what the OP has mentioned in all their posts, it is clear that they are either considering or already have taken Emmanuel Baranger's copyright protected intellectual property (3D models and artwork from inside a cockpit) and incorporated it into a non-GPL or non-CC-BY compatible product. This is far, far from the hypothetical of a picture used in a movie. Assuming this is correct, then to me it is clearly a adaptation under copyright law. From the creative commons FAQ:

What is an adaptation?

An adaptation is a work based on one or more pre-existing works. What constitutes an adaptation depends on applicable law, however translating a work from one language to another or creating a film version of a novel are generally considered adaptations.


I would say that NewFlyer153's new aircraft using Emmanuel Baranger's cockpit elements (independent of selectively choosing the CC-BY rather than GPL licence) is a work based on Emmanuel's pre-existing work.

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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:51 pm

Not only do you state things that aren't true, but you just made insulting implications about me being some self-entitled ripoff-artist wanting to steal other people's work. And all because I'm having a discussion about the merits of a particular license (with a not very civilized person). Very nice job there. That's a sign the argument is going well for you.

In regards to using Wikipedia text and needing to license your work under the same license you said:

Yes - otherwise you void the license, use a copyright protected text without any permission and are open to be sued and can expect damage claims and / or a prohibition to distribute your derived content.


But I just finished telling you that the Wikipedia text is licensed under CC BY-SA, and all that is required according to the Wikipedia license notes is that you attribute the source. The copyleft provision applies if you make modification to the text yourself, and in that case the modified text must be licensed under the same CC license, not your entire production in which the text appears. That's why I can write pages of Wikipedia text and not license my work under CC. Do you now understand that copyright provisions aren't black and white the way you make it sound?

The law or the license really don't care what you think. It is the provision in the license, if you can't or won't follow the provision and still go ahead you're using a copyright-protected work illegally, end of story.


I know the law doesn't care what I think but you are plainly wrong with regard to this example.

Sorry - you are talking about someone else's intellectual property here - there's no 'degree' of stealing.


I was talking about differing degrees of use, not stealing. You should be able to form a coherent argument without placing words in my mouth. You yourself admit fair use is an exception to copyright obligations, and guess what! One of the considerations judges make in evaluating fair use is "Amount and substantiality" of the content used. So yes, if you want to use your words, there are differing degrees of stealing so far as adjudication of these matters are concerned.

(If you don't believe this, go into a major department store, take some article out and then tell the police you only wanted to take a few pictures at home, surely that's okay, see what happens.)


No serious person would find this to be analogous to intricacies of copyright law or license obligations.

I would state that my intention here is not to gripe that I can't steal content from FlightGear, but rather to get educated and have a discussion, maybe a philosophical one about asking the question why. But you've already made up your decision of who I am:

I understand that you're not pleased - there's this seemingly wonderful store of free content which is GPL-licensed FG which has stuff you need for your own project, and you'd dearly like to use it.


There's actually very little you understand about me. You've done not much other than attack me and impute motives to me. You're just too cantankerous and presumptuous, and ultimately too noxious, to have a meaningful conversation with.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:06 pm

But I just finished telling you that the Wikipedia text is licensed under CC BY-SA, and all that is required according to the Wikipedia license notes is that you attribute the source.


Sorry, if the license is a 'share alike' license, it actually requires you to share alike and not just to attribute the source.

I don't know what's so hard to understand about

If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

If you copy a page of wikipedia into your work, you obviously 'build your work upon' it . If you copy a 3d model of a cockpit into your 3d model of a plane, you obviously 'build upon' it.

Do you now understand that copyright provisions aren't black and white the way you make it sound?


That's what you may want to be true, but it isn't.

I was talking about differing degrees of use, not stealing.


Any use which doesn't respect the terms of the license is stealing as long as you can't claim fair use' - sorry to be so drastic, but you don't just get off the hook by including 'only a little' or by 'not actually modifying the 3d cockpit you include'.

No serious person would find this to be analogous to intricacies of copyright law or license obligations.


The law even uses the same words 'property' and 'theft' for it - there is a crime called 'theft of intellectual property'. Do you think lawmakers are not serious, or do you think licensing has nothing to do with copyright violations?

You've done not much other than attack me and impute motives to me. You're just too cantankerous and presumptuous, and ultimately too noxious, to have a meaningful conversation with.


Also insulting me won't change the fact that copyright and GPL is not the way you'd like to have it.
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