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Author Topic: Simutrans' Artistic Licence and Creative Commons Licences  (Read 190 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Simutrans' Artistic Licence and Creative Commons Licences
« on: June 12, 2019, 06:39:33 PM »
Pak.128-Britain-Ex and Pak.128-Britain are distributed under the Artistic Licence 1.0, like the Simutrans software itself.

I am thinking about using some content from BlendSwap in models that might end up in those paksets if the maintainers like them. That content uses the full range of CC licences. Public domain ("CC0") content is obviously fine to use, but what about the others?

I think that CC-BY is compatible with the Artistic Licence, because we can give attribution, AL clause 3 requires notice of changes, and AL clause 1.0 requires that copyright notices are preserved.

I think that none of the other CC conditions are suitable for us:
- NC: AL's clause 5 allows people to distribute Simutrans as part of a commercial package with proper attribution, so we can't use NC licences.
- ND: I want to mod the BlendSwap content into pakset art, which would be derivative.
- SA: Creative Commons itself does not list the AL as compatible with SA licences.

Can any other pakset people see obvious flaws with these arguments? I'm not expecting detailed legal advice, just a sanity check for obvious stupidity on my part.

Offline Leartin at

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Re: Simutrans' Artistic Licence and Creative Commons Licences
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 09:42:40 PM »
The artistic license is a bit dumb for anything not code, and is technically not compatible with CC-BY.
Clause 1.0 requires that copyright notices are preserved if you give away a verbatim copy of the source. So this does not apply for the packed pak, and not for anything changed, since it's not verbatim anymore.
AL clause 3 does not require you notice changes, it gives you options. You may simply "rename any non-standard executables so the names do not conflict with standard executables, which must also be provided, and provide a separate manual page for each non-standard executable that clearly documents how it differs from the Standard Version."  There are no executables in a pakset, so none of them could ever conflict with standard executables, and all 0 of them are always provided. Therefore, clause 3 is automatically fulfilled.
You see, it's a software license, and only cares about software. Even the packages are defined as "Collection of files distributed by the Copyright Holder, and derivatives of that collection of files created through textual modification."
So yeah, you can't even make a derivative of a graphic covered by AL, because it's not a textual modification, hence not a package. And you probably don't get dat-files from BlendSwap.

It probably does not matter, but strictly speaking, I'd only consider CC0 save. If it's not that strict, NC licenses are probably in the same grey area, at least in spirit. AL is supposed to be NC-esque, but it's written in crayons and provides a loophole (Instead of selling the Pakset, I create a new Pakset "Pak128.Stolen" with 0.1% original content, and sell that bundled with Pak128.Britain. AL1.0 Complient...).