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[freeciv-data] Re: Cevo2 -still copyrighted pics in the unit set-

[freeciv-data] Re: Cevo2 -still copyrighted pics in the unit set-

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: Cevo2 -still copyrighted pics in the unit set-
From: "Bobby D. Bryant" <bdbryant@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 17:07:06 -0600
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

On 2002.05.23 16:45:47 -0600 Thanasis Kinias wrote:
> scripsit T.J.T van Kooten:
> (inter alia)
> > So it seems that actual mods and scenarios based on the commercial
> > original are in the clear. I'm not sure if they should be included
> in
> > the standard Freeciv version though. Better be safe than sorry.  But
> > again, IANAL...
> IANAL either, but I know this isn't something to take chances with.
> Given that the creators of the cevo set seem not to have had any
> reservations about using copyrighted material, it is not possible to
> certify any of the images as `clean', unless their origin and license
> is
> known (e.g., someone says "I made that image from scratch and I GPL'd
> it.")  Free software has enough enemies with expensive lawyers --
> don't
> give them any excuse to start legal action.  Remember that in the U.S.
> they can do things like seize all your hardware as evidence, and you
> have to win a trial to get your server back then.
> I just can't see how it's worth the risk, especially since there are
> other tilesets which are certainly untainted.

These are my sentiments exactly.  I think it would be better to have 
crummy graphics and no risk of a lawsuit.  As the game becomes more 
popular someone with better drawing skills will eventually come along.

Also, since people occasionally donate money to OSS projects, it might 
be worth finding out what it would cost to commission an artist to do a 
tileset or two, and then put prominent notice on the Web page 
soliciting donations dedicated to that purpose.  (Make sure the artist 
understands that Freeciv will own the resulting images, and make sure 
the donors know in advance how the resulting community property will be 

Tangentially, it's not obvious to me that the GPL can be applied very 
clearly to things like textual data and graphics.  The FSF has some 
other licenses in similar spirit that might be more appropriate, and if 
none of them are quite right it might be a good idea to write them with 
a suggestion that they should produce some kind of "content license" in 
the same spirit as the GPL.  But IMO it would be a _very_ good idea and 
a sensible policy to formally license any graphics accepted for Freeciv 
(including variant tilesets and modpack tilesets) and put a reference 
to that license directly on the tileset.  In ten years someone will be 
designing another new GPL'd game and will have the same questions about 
our tilesets that we have about the ones we're finding.

Ultimately, people interested in graphics might want to start a or something, because lots of this kind of stuff 
could be used for more than one OSS game, and a common clearinghouse 
might gather and distribute submissions more quickly, and it might even 
prove possible to define some standard formats that game designers 
could program around in order to allow sharing the better tilesets 
without any need for customization.

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

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