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Questions about GPL license

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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:17 pm

bugman wrote in 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.


Seriously? You're that presumptive and cynical about anyone who says what I have said that you'd assume I'm violating Baranger's copyright?

Let me make one thing clear, due to my intentions and my clarification of the GPL license, the OP is not touching any assets from FlightGear. Emmanuel Baranger has some 250 planes already available under CC BY on places like Turbosquid and CGTrader and Sketchfab https://sketchfab.com/helijah/models, with as many cockpits and fancy things that I could want. User manilov.ap https://sketchfab.com/manilov.ap/models has over 300 aircraft made available under CC BY. I don't NEED to steal anything. And I wouldn't do so even if I could, but at least Thorstein has already decided for himself that I'm a thief, and it seems you're rather of the same mind.

I could easily rip off these people's work by simply selling their models, with attribution legally, but even without. By the time anyone finds out I'll have pocketed a tidy sum, before creating another account and doing the same thing like so many are doing on marketplaces. I have had people reported and banned from Sketchfab and CGTrader for raising issues of license violations, and right at this moment am dealing with a possible case of a seller who's been selling a model for an entire month without the site's administrators doing a damn thing about it. So I like to ask questions, I like to ask why, I like challenging things, but this treatment I'm receiving is sickening.



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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:21 pm

If you don't plan to use the GPL license I must admit I am a little confused why you even bothered to write this post? :?
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:57 pm

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


How difficult is it to simply listen? The part of the text that you modify must be made available under the same license, that's what the copyleft (the spreading (infection)) provision extends to. Not to the entire work. It's right there on the license notes on Wikipedia.

If you copy a page of wikipedia into your work, you obviously 'build your work upon' it.


You can call it copying or you can call it quoting, either way is fine. No, you're not building on the text itself, you're incorporating it into your own work. Quoting a page from a Wikipedia article doesn't contribute a jot to the Wikipedia article or the text. That's just a fact. It does not contribute to the article or the text.

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.


You should really just take a glimpse at the fair use article on Wikipedia and look at some of the cases and the balancing tests that are performed by judges before actually saying something like that.

The law even uses the same words 'property' and 'theft' for it - there is a crime called 'theft of intellectual property'.


Again, see above, statutes and contracts are black and white but actual decisions are at the discretion of judges in these matters.

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


To be precise, I called you presumptuous, cantankerous and noxious. This was directly after you basically called me a ripoff-artist wanting free content I "dearly need" for my project, who feels self-entitled in an age where we're

"socialized with the assumption that it all kinda belongs to us".


I'm pretty confident any fair-minded person would consider my comments to you justified in those circumstances. Especially as, you might remember, it was as a response to your insults to me. You don't know anything about me apart from the fact that I challenged some of the assumptions of fairness. That's the only thing on which you could possibly form that judgement of me. So of course that must mean that (as you not so subtly insinuated so much as stated openly) that I must be unhappy with the GPL because it's inconvenient for me not to have all that free stuff.

You can continue talking about whether using a cockpit in your own model is allowed or not under GPL or CC, which I would read with interest, however you can see my post responding to Bugman about my intentions. There is no need violate any licenses, as I explain in that post, GPL or otherwise.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Johan G » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:07 pm

Use vs. adaptation of creative common works

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:15 am: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.

If you have a fully copyrighted work that does not allow reuse, like the newspapers and posters you mention, this would very, very likely be that way. But again, for creative commons work use != adaptation.

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:20 pm:In your example, in what sense would a movie not be based (among other things) on whatever artwork is on the set?

In what way is a Wikipedia article an adaptation of an image that is necessary to illustrate the meaning of its text?

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:20 pm:A picture in a different context and in a different medium is hardly 'the same' as the original.

The FAQ on the creative commons website mention that this differ between jurisdictions, but I still have a hard time to see how say "An Epic Collage Drama III" (fictive title) would be an adaptation of for example the "Dangerous Pranks IIX" movie poster (again, fictive title) shown briefly in a pan of one of the protagonist's bedroom before he moved to his dorm room.

There is one case, in regard to creative common works, where you are completely correct though: At least with the 4.0 licenses, music videos based on a creative commons work are very, very likely to be considered adaptations.[1]


Back to the original question: Use of GPL and creative common resources for an aircraft in a game

NewFlyer153 wrote in Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 pm:If for example I make a game and I include an aircraft from FlightGear in it, it doesn't make much sense to talk about making the source code available because what I've used in it is just the 3D models and textures. Unless it is required that the source code of my entire game must be made open source. I am wondering if this is required.

Likewise, if I have my own 3D model of a plane in my game, and I wish to use the cockpit models and textures from a FlightGear aircraft, what is it exactly that I need to make publicly available. I am happy to make available any models and any changes I make to it (for example a cockpit or a plane), but by doing this, does it mean that I need to make publicly available the entire plane? Or the entire game open source?

As far as I understand, if the aircraft are separate from each other and the game, and the aircraft are not necessary for the simulator to be run, I think it might be fully possible to use them without having to release your game under GPL. That said, if you are going to sell or openly publish the aircraft you would have to sell and publish them under the same license as tey had when you got it.

There are for example both GPLv2, GPLv3 and creative common licensed aircraft available for FlightGear.

NewFlyer153 wrote in Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 pm:As another concrete example, there is a popular contributor here with the username Helijah, who has his own hangar, who has made his aircraft available for download on Sketchfab under a CC BY (attribution) license. If I were to use this aircraft in my game, I would have to attribute Helijah. No problem there. But say I used a cockpit from another of the aircraft here (which are licensed under GPL as far as I know), does that mean my game has to be open source? Or that any plane I use the cockpit in has to be made publicly available?

In addition to what I wrote above, you will here run into the problem that creative common licenses generally are incompatible with the GPL licenses. The exception seem to be when adding CC0 and CC-by 4.0 licensed works to GPLv2 and GPLv3 works to make new works.[2]


legoboyvdlp wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:21 pm:If you don't plan to use the GPL license I must admit I am a little confused why you even bothered to write this post? :?

From what I gather, if it did not require him to license his entire game under a GPL license, he was going to use GPL assets. See the first post (or my quotes of it above).


NewFlyer153 wrote in Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 pm:Licenses can get pretty complicated.

As seen, oh yes, clearly. And controversial. And still, in the end it is up to the court in one of a gazillion jurisdictions with different legislative traditions.

[1] See for example the last sentence insection 1(a) in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License (CC-by-sa 4.0), "For purposes of this Public License, where the Licensed Material is a musical work, performance, or sound recording, Adapted Material is always produced where the Licensed Material is synched in timed relation with a moving image".
[2] See CC0 and Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license in Free Software Foundation's list of Various Licenses and Comments about Them.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Lydiot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:18 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:32 am: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)


I honestly don't see how it can be the outcome of a court decision without that court decision being wrong. You could easily imagine that the producers of the movie include a lot of different content, and that content is based on different types of copyright. So;

Thorsten - gets paid to license his works to the movie under specific conditions which include shares of revenue.
Lydiot - has his "share-alike licensed" photo used without permission .

If the courts now decided that the movie had to be distributed under the license I chose then your work would have its associated rights violated. The court would have solved one problem (mine) and created another (your).

I have a hard time believing we would find even a single case where this has happened.

Thorsten wrote in 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.


It is though. Modifying the actual picture would probably include things such as changing colors, editing it etc. Simply hanging it on a wall isn't modifying it nor is it adapting it. There is case law that's pretty solid on this at this point in time. You can see it in advertising for example, especially with music. If "new" music for a commercial sounds too much like "old" music it's a problem exactly because there is the suspicion that the "new" music was indeed an adaptation of "old" music and not really "new".
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:21 pm

In what way is a Wikipedia article an adaptation of an image that is necessary to illustrate the meaning of its text?
(...)
but I still have a hard time to see how say "An Epic Collage Drama III" (fictive title) would be an adaptation of for example the "Dangerous Pranks IIX" movie poster (again, fictive title) shown briefly in a pan of one of the protagonist's bedroom before he moved to his dorm room.



When is my use considered an adaptation?

Generally, a modification rises to the level of an adaptation under copyright law when the modified work is based on the prior work but manifests sufficient new creativity to be copyrightable, such as a translation of a novel from one language to another, or the creation of a screenplay based on a novel.


It would seem to me that a movie with a picture in it manifest sufficient new creativity - in fact, according to this definition, the very fact that there is lots of new stuff makes it an adaption rather than a use.

As far as I understand, if the aircraft are separate from each other and the game, and the aircraft are not necessary for the simulator to be run,


That's what I said before, yes.

Whereas an aircraft cockpit and 3d mesh are much harder to argue to be separate parts.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:27 pm

How difficult is it to simply listen?


I dunno - you tell me. You've been given plenty of explanations, and yet here you go again.

The part of the text that you modify must be made available under the same license, that's what the copyleft (the spreading (infection)) provision extends to. Not to the entire work.


From Wikipedia (emphasis by myself):

Copyleft or libre share-alike licences are the largest subcategory of share-alike licences. They include both free content licences like Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and free software licences like the GNU General Public License. These licences have been described pejoratively as viral licences, because the inclusion of copyleft material in a larger work typically requires the entire work to be made copyleft.

The rest is wishful thinking on your part.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Lydiot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:55 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:21 pm:
In what way is a Wikipedia article an adaptation of an image that is necessary to illustrate the meaning of its text?
(...)
but I still have a hard time to see how say "An Epic Collage Drama III" (fictive title) would be an adaptation of for example the "Dangerous Pranks IIX" movie poster (again, fictive title) shown briefly in a pan of one of the protagonist's bedroom before he moved to his dorm room.



When is my use considered an adaptation?

Generally, a modification rises to the level of an adaptation under copyright law when the modified work is based on the prior work but manifests sufficient new creativity to be copyrightable, such as a translation of a novel from one language to another, or the creation of a screenplay based on a novel.


It would seem to me that a movie with a picture in it manifest sufficient new creativity - in fact, according to this definition, the very fact that there is lots of new stuff makes it an adaption rather than a use.


You're misreading the sentence Thorsten. The movie does manifest new creativity, but that doesn't include just showing a picture. In the sentence you quote the focus is on either modifying or adapting the "picture". Neither is done. It's simply shown. Showing isn't modifying or adapting.

Suppose the movie is about the making of the Ferrari Testarossa. In one shot there's a picture of an apple pie. The apple pie has nothing to do with the story of the movie in any way at all. How is that a modification of the picture? How is that an adaptation of the picture?

"The modified work" is NOT "based on the prior work" (the picture), it's based on something else (the making of the car) entirely and the picture just happens to appear.

Making a movie out of a novel makes the movie an adaptation of the novel. It is based on the novel. Without the novel the movie wouldn't exist.
Taking the book and changing the names and genders of the characters is modifying the novel.
Placing the book on a table in a movie about something completely different is neither of the above.

Same with a picture.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:57 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:27 pm: From Wikipedia (emphasis by myself):
These licences have been described pejoratively as viral licences, because the inclusion of copyleft material in a larger work typically requires the entire work to be made copyleft.[/i]


Yes, but you'll notice that that description is describing both GPL and CC BY-SA as a general statement, and you'll notice that this is not a definitive or hard and fast rule, because it says "typically". If it's an such an inexorable condition that the copyleft spreads to the ENTIRE work, there's no need to use the word "typically"? And I've told you about the guidelines to quoting Wikipedia, which also double as an explanation as to your obligation to CC BY-SA. Here are the guidelines for citing Wikipedia, these are your obligations under the CC BY-SA with respect to distributing or using Wikipedia material:

Re-use of text
Attribution:
To re-distribute text on Wikipedia in any form, provide credit to the authors


Basically say it's from Wikipedia, you're not reasonably expected to list every one of the hundreds of authors.

Copyleft/Share Alike:
If you make modifications or additions to the page you re-use, you must license them under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 or later.


These are your obligations with respect to distributing or using Wikipedia text from articles which are licensed under CC BY-SA.

So what I'm saying is that, whereas you insist a sweeping requirement across GPL and CC BY-SA that any content used under these licenses requires one to license their entire project/production under the same license in every case, what I'm saying is that this isn't a universal and fixed condition under the CC BY-SA, because we've just seen listed what's required of you if you use Wikipedia articles or text, right there in black and white. As you may have picked up, I'm not particularly fond of seeing things in black and white absolutes, though I know you are.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:29 pm

Yes, but you'll notice that that description is describing both GPL and CC BY-SA as a general statement, and you'll notice that this is not a definitive or hard and fast rule, because it says "typically". If it's an such an inexorable condition that the copyleft spreads to the ENTIRE work, there's no need to use the word "typically"?


I think it's pretty clear why it says that. If you want to believe that your use cases are the big exception - go ahead. I'm not expecting a lawsuit, you are.

These are your obligations with respect to distributing or using Wikipedia text from articles which are licensed under CC BY-SA.


No, the obligations are found under the license text of CC-BY-SA - whatever any other source says, that's what is relevant in court.

I'm not particularly fond of seeing things in black and white absolutes, though I know you are.


As a content creator, copyright holder and someone who licenses his stuff for others to use, I'm not particularly fond of people who try to argue why stealing from me may be justified if it's just a little.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:36 pm

These are your obligations with respect to distributing or using Wikipedia text from articles which are licensed under CC BY-SA.


No, the obligations are found under the license text of CC-BY-SA - whatever any other source says, that's what is relevant in court.




But each licensor, as you've said yourself, decides the conditions of the license. Wikipedia can set its own of conditions. I guess this doesn't make it a pure CC BY-SA license?

As a content creator, copyright holder and someone who licenses his stuff for others to use, I'm not particularly fond of people who try to argue why stealing from me may be justified if it's just a little.


Come on now, that's an unfair rhetorical characterization of what I'm saying and have been saying, which is only my opinion. I just made the argument to the effect that if someone has 15 years worth of proprietary research, and they're forced to give up that information publicly for everyone just because (either wittingly or unwittingly) they included a photo on a slide presentation taken by you on your smartphone of your backyard seems to me, speaking as a human being, not a robot, disproportionate and unfair. Yes, I know you say the law doesn't care and it's black and white, but surely you must concede this point, that it isn't fair. If you really love that photo of your backyard and think it's a masterpiece and have protected it under a copyleft license, then you have an argument and a case to make that the presenter using your photo be forced to release all their content to the public. That would be being rather cruel in my opinion, but it's your choice. But I have to say that even when it comes to civil litigation a judge would have to (in American jurisdiction) evaluate the conditions of whether an exception can be made. These include considering:

1. Purpose and character of the use
2. Nature of the copyrighted work
3. Amount and substantiality (I guess this is what you'd describe as stealing your work a little bit).
4. Effect upon work's value

It's for anyone to guess what decision a judge will hand down given so many factors and jurisdictions.

Also I should have mentioned this earlier, and this I found really strange, check out the description under Creative Commons of creating what they term a "Collection".

If CC SA-licensed content is included in a database, does the entire database have to be licensed under an SA license?:
There are lots of private reuses of works that are permitted by CC’s licenses that do not require compliance with their terms. Regarding ShareAlike, the condition only applies if a work is modified and if the work is shared publicly. In the situation where a reuser created a dataset of photos and made it publicly available, and assuming copyright permission is required, then what is released is likely a collection or compilation of pre-existing works. CC licenses do not require the collection or the compilation itself to be made available under an SA license, even though each individual work is still licensed individually under an SA license and if they were modified by the distributor the modified photo would need to be licensed under the same terms. For example, were Creative Commons to compile photographs from a photo sharing website under a BY-SA 2.0 license and create a database that it then publicly distributed, CC could license the collection as a whole under a BY license, but the photographs would continue to be licensed under BY-SA 2.0.


So I publish a collection of photos that people have protected with their CC BY-SA, can reap large profits, yet only the individual photos remain CC BY-SA, not the collection of photos I sell. That's what I consider theft.

Also, please don't construe my pressing nature about fairness of a license as indicative of my antipathy for the GPL license just because I can't get all those goodies for free. I went back and read my earlier posts, and it's in my very first posts that I ask hypothetical questions such as (paraphrasing):

I can take a plane from the depository, convert the model into an .obj/.fbx/.blend file, and sell it to make a profit, right?


I asked many questions like this. Then I argued what I considered to be fair, but I was talking about the CC license. I had already accepted the facts about the GPL. I was speaking hypothetically, thought there's no good reason you should believe that.

Interestingly, I have to follow up a case of site misconduct/potential breach of license involving three well known 3D model marketplaces (ie., I need to make a complaint/report). This sort of thing happens all the time, it's rather sad. Even the number of times people have ripped models from AAA games and then sell them. The nerve of some people...
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Lydiot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:37 pm

NewFlyer153 wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:57 pm:
Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:27 pm: what I'm saying is that, whereas you insist a sweeping requirement across GPL and CC BY-SA that any content used under these licenses requires one to license their entire project/production under the same license in every case, what I'm saying is that this isn't a universal and fixed condition under the CC BY-SA, because we've just seen listed what's required of you if you use Wikipedia articles or text, right there in black and white. As you may have picked up, I'm not particularly fond of seeing things in black and white absolutes, though I know you are.


I think the additional question of whether or not something is a derivative work is the key question, and Thorsten ignores that problem. If he had a good reason for why I was wrong in what I said before he would have refuted it rather than ignored it.
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Lydiot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Thorsten wrote in Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:29 pm:
I'm not particularly fond of seeing things in black and white absolutes, though I know you are.


As a content creator, copyright holder and someone who licenses his stuff for others to use, I'm not particularly fond of people who try to argue why stealing from me may be justified if it's just a little.


It's not very nice of you to imply the above. Clearly the problem is how people define something. If something is not defined as "derivative" for example, then any legal mandate that relies on it being "derivative" no longer applies - regardless of how you feel about it.

And so if it can be legally determined that the "use" of something is so "little" that it isn't "derivative" then it is what it is, regardless of how you feel about that. You might feel that it's still stealing, but it isn't (in such a hypothetical case).
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby Thorsten » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:15 am

I think the additional question of whether or not something is a derivative work is the key question, and Thorsten ignores that problem. If he had a good reason for why I was wrong in what I said before he would have refuted it rather than ignored it.


Right, the only reason that I don't answer to each and every argument in a page-long discussion is that I have no good answer...

I actually cited a text from the CC page that defines when something is a derivative work (called 'adaption' there) and commented on it before - how did you miss that?

So the reason I didn't answer is that I already had 8)

It's not very nice of you to imply the above.


Stealing isn't very nice in the first place - I don't have any particular reason to be nice to people who do it.

And whoever in this conversation wants to wear that particular shoe can wear it - as I've been informed, we've been conducting a purely hypothetical debate.

And so if it can be legally determined that the "use" of something is so "little" that it isn't "derivative" then it is what it is, regardless of how you feel about that. You might feel that it's still stealing, but it isn't (in such a hypothetical case).


I think I was the first to bring up the 'fair use' example here, so I don't see how citing it back to me helps me understanding anything :D

But each licensor, as you've said yourself, decides the conditions of the license. Wikipedia can set its own of conditions. I guess this doesn't make it a pure CC BY-SA license?


No, if it says it's a CC-BY-SA license, that's what it is. If I say GPL, that's what it is. I can add my human-readable explanation as I'm trying to do here, and Wikipedia can add a human readable version anywhere, but that has no legal relevance whatsoever - only the actual (rather lengthy) text in legal jargon of the licenses is what counts in the end.

If I never say 'GPL', then I can draw my own license text - that's different.

just made the argument to the effect that if someone has 15 years worth of proprietary research, and they're forced to give up that information publicly for everyone just because (either wittingly or unwittingly) they included a photo on a slide presentation taken by you on your smartphone of your backyard seems to me, speaking as a human being, not a robot, disproportionate and unfair.

then you have an argument and a case to make that the presenter using your photo be forced to release all their content to the public.


As we've said a few times, that's a very unlikely outcome requiring a court decision.

If you want to be legal up-front, you have the choice of not including licensed material in your proprietary work up-front. If you absolutely want that material, you have the option to contact the owner and ask for dual licensing.

Only if you can't get dual licensing and still absolutely want the material, you have to follow the license and give up 'proprietary'.

If you do not, you're violating copyright.

The far more likely consequences of that might be damages to pay or a takedown order .

1. Purpose and character of the use
2. Nature of the copyrighted work
3. Amount and substantiality (I guess this is what you'd describe as stealing your work a little bit).
4. Effect upon work's value


And that's what a court decision will weigh.

***

As for 'stealing a little'.

If I license something, the license needs to be followed. The arguments made here frequently involved 'What if a really large project uses something really small?' - does that void the license terms (we've had the photograph in the presentation or the movie).

No, it does not void the license terms - it's still stealing.

Because large projects by continuing the argument could take any number of small things, bringing always the argument that it's 'just a small bit of the whole'.

I am making movies - and we painstakingly vet every half-second sound clip for license compliance - and we attribute a half-second sound in the end credits of a 45 minute production if that is required. We absolutely stay away from share-alike and no commercial licenses because we do sell the product (not to make a profit but to recover some of the investments in costumes and equipment).

Not following the license terms, even for a half-second sound clip, is a copyright violation. That is black and white. The degree of compensation required when this goes to court is usually proportional to factors such as

1) how much profit did the copyright violator make
2) how much of the whole is the copyright-violating material

It's the same as you're not usually punished the same way for stealing some chewing gum and for stealing half a million bucks. So that is the grey area.

(And yes, forcing a whole movie into a Share-Alike license for including a short sound clip would be a disproportionate punishment in my view as well - a proportional response would be an order to remove the material and a minor compensation - perhaps according to the current market value of a commercially available sound of the same length. However - that does not change my view that the movie crew should never deliberately ignore a license in the first place.).
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Re: Questions about GPL license

Postby NewFlyer153 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:31 pm

In fact the licensing conditions of CC BY-SA are very complicated. There are 4 or 5 versions of it, and under which license you have to license your contributions to the original CC BY-SA work is different under each one. Furthermore, if we take the language given by the CC organization itself, which is:

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


I would say that language really belies the conditions imposed on a "Collection", which I quoted earlier. Basically that I can release a collection or compilation of CC BY-SA works, and my collection or compilation can be can be released only under a CC BY license.

CC licenses do not require the collection or the compilation itself to be made available under an SA license


It says the individual items of content that are licensed as CC BY-SA remain ShareAlike, but the collection or compilation does not have to be licensed as ShareAlike. Even if you modify the individual ShareAlike items of content (let's call them photos or drawings), only the individual photos or drawings would be forced to remain under ShareAlike, not the collection or compilation:

CC licenses do not require the collection or the compilation itself to be made available under an SA license, even though each individual work is still licensed individually under an SA license and if they were modified by the distributor the modified photo would need to be licensed under the same terms.


This really sounds sounds like a far cry from the language of the ShareAlike condition,

ShareAlike: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material..."


Yet we can get away with distributing our collection or compilation only under BY.

Then again, if we take the completion of that ShareAlike condition, we see:

you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.


This is what I noted all along, you must distribute your contribution under the same license. If the "contributions" are the contributions or modifications to the original ShareAlike content, then it would make sense that only the original ShareAlike items of content need to continue to be ShareAlike.

If this is the case, copyleft conditions, or (propagating) feature of the ShareAlike in the CC license seems vastly different from those in the GPL. That wouldn't surprise me because they are different licenses.

This is why for a while I was arguing that it's possible that the individual ShareAlike items of content must be licensed under ShareAlike, but not your entire work. In the case of what CC terms "Collection" or "Compilation", this does seem to be the case. As to whether it applies to other cases, I'm not sure. But one thing is certain, for people who think that CC BY-SA, by virtue of being a so-called copyleft license, prevents people from profiting from your work or "stealing" it, it just isn't so, based on the description of the "Collection" by CC.

If you avoid any CC BY-SA content such as photographs because of worry about being sued, I'm totally with you. I'm not personally confident enough to use them, so I'll steer clear of those photos on Wikipedia and stick with CC-BY and public domain ones, even if it's just to flash one in public for a second. But this is an interesting topic and I hope to get to the bottom of it if it's possible. Generally speaking I've noticed people are quite reticent to speak on the matter in any authoritative way. They may give you the gist of it, but not really delineate the rules exactly for your case.

Edit: And I'm also sorry that I made this discussion turn into a predominantly Creative Commons one (not GPL). But it's still very interesting, and still something that affects most of us.
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