Sign in to follow this  
tmarques4

Question regarding the GPLv3 license.

Recommended Posts

tmarques4    189
Greetings,

My team has been developing a indie game project for several months and is nearing a conclusion phase. Before actually publicly announcing the work I have some questions regarding the GPLv3, which is the project's current license.

Does GPLv3 give individuals the right to copy the whole source code and sell it without even changing anything in the original code?

Does GPLv3 makes intellectual property open also, meaning anyone could just copy the whole projects CG Art and use it in their own project? Do I hold any right over the IP with just this license?

Does the project, which is maintained by google code, belong to Google by any means?

I appreciate any help in advance!
Tiago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
frob    44962
Have you read [url="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html"]the philosophy of the GPL?[/url]

[quote name='TMarques' timestamp='1307210788' post='4819484']
Does GPLv3 give individuals the right to copy the whole source code and sell it without even changing anything in the original code?
[/quote]

Yes, all versions of the GPL allow the freedom. As stated in the GPL philosophy page: "Thus, you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission to do so."

[quote]
Does GPLv3 makes intellectual property open also, meaning anyone could just copy the whole projects CG Art and use it in their own project? Do I hold any right over the IP with just this license?
[/quote]

Attempting to use GPL to cover your art and other assets is not appropriate. The GPL is for source code and compiled programs. There are other licenses available for such things.


[quote]
Does the project, which is maintained by google code, belong to Google by any means?
[/quote]

No. The terms of Google Code introduce certain requirements in order to be hosted there, as specified in their ToS. The terms do not transfer ownership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tmarques4    189
[quote name='frob' timestamp='1307232721' post='4819592']
Have you read [url="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html"]the philosophy of the GPL?[/url]
[/quote]

I am getting acquainted with this philosophy, though its subjective and difficult for me to understand clearly enough.

[quote]
Yes, all versions of the GPL allow the freedom. As stated in the GPL philosophy page: "Thus, you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission to do so."
[/quote]

There is a paragraph that states:

"Whether a change constitutes an improvement is a subjective matter. If your modifications are limited, in substance, to changes that someone else considers an improvement, that is not freedom."

What does that mean? GPLs philosophy is against the distribution of unmodified changes?

[quote]
Attempting to use GPL to cover your art and other assets is not appropriate. The GPL is for source code and compiled programs. There are other licenses available for such things.
[/quote]

There is another paragraph stating:

"However, rules about how to package a modified version are acceptable, if they don't substantively limit your freedom to release modified versions, or your freedom to make and use modified versions privately. Thus, it is acceptable for the license to require that you change the name of the modified version, remove a logo, or identify your modifications as yours. As long as these requirements are not so burdensome that they effectively hamper you from releasing your changes, they are acceptable; you're already making other changes to the program, so you won't have trouble making a few more."

Does that mean I can make a restriction myself along with the license on the README of the project demanding that the modified version [b]should be given another Title, Logo and that the distribution executable informs about the origin of the open source used to create this version?[/b]

I apologize any misunderstanding on my part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
frob    44962
[quote name='TMarques' timestamp='1307294507' post='4819805']
[quote]
Yes, all versions of the GPL allow the freedom. As stated in the GPL philosophy page: "Thus, you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution, to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission to do so."
[/quote]

There is a paragraph that states:

"Whether a change constitutes an improvement is a subjective matter. If your modifications are limited, in substance, to changes that someone else considers an improvement, that is not freedom."

What does that mean? GPLs philosophy is against the distribution of unmodified changes?
[/quote]

They continue... " "Improvements" does not mean the license can substantively limit what kinds of modified versions you can release. Freedom 3 includes distributing modified versions, not just changes."

A few uncommon open source software licenses only allow you to release minor changes which they can incorporate back in. They forbid you from releasing major changes to the design or structure. The GPL philosophy is that you cannot place any limits on what modifications are. Modifications cannot be limited. You can make any modifications you want.

[quote]
[quote]
Attempting to use GPL to cover your art and other assets is not appropriate. The GPL is for source code and compiled programs. There are other licenses available for such things.
[/quote]

There is another paragraph stating:

"However, rules about how to package a modified version are acceptable, if they don't substantively limit your freedom to release modified versions, or your freedom to make and use modified versions privately. Thus, it is acceptable for the license to require that you change the name of the modified version, remove a logo, or identify your modifications as yours. As long as these requirements are not so burdensome that they effectively hamper you from releasing your changes, they are acceptable; you're already making other changes to the program, so you won't have trouble making a few more."

Does that mean I can make a restriction myself along with the license on the README of the project demanding that the modified version [b]should be given another Title, Logo and that the distribution executable informs about the origin of the open source used to create this version?[/b]
[/quote]

I don't believe the GPL has ever been tested in the legal system for images, logos, and other materials.

A logo would be subject to trademark law in addition to copyright law, and the GPL covers only copyright. I can imagine persuasive arguments on both sides.

The GPL includes specific language about source code, system libraries, object code, and executable code, that simply don't apply to images, audio files, and other data. One could argue that they are in their source format and failing to accept the GPL intent implies a lack of license. However, it could also be argued that the distributed images are not the original preferred form since they aren't the original photoshop, gimp or other raw format; that 'sweetened' audio is not the source; and that you must release the original and complete data files to maintain compliance. That could place a burden on you that you are unable to satisfy.



The GPL allows you to add a restriction... "Prohibiting misrepresentation of the origin of that material, or requiring that modified versions of such material be marked in reasonable ways as different from the original version."

In that case you can require them to do exactly as mentioned, require the removal logos and other specific marks.

So yes, you can require that modified distributions do as you requested in bold. I suggest you have a lawyer write the exact wording of the requirement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tmarques4    189
Frob, I am very appreciative of you taking the time and answering my questions.

After doing some research over the internet I have learned many things about copyrights and trademark laws and I have decided I should make all the project´s art governed by some license reserving all my rights over them and leaving the GPL covering only source code, all that is left is consulting a lawyer about that matter.

Again, thanks for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this