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is a videogame considered Collective Work ?

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hello i would like to know if a video game is considered a derrivative or a collective work.

I am talking about a game that uses assets without modying them like images, 3d models, music.

If it is considered as a collective work, it would be legally allowed to use creative commons share alike and creative commons no derrivatives assets. If it is considered as a derrivatve then it wont be possible to use them.

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Looks like you don't understand the terms.


A collective work is a series of items. For example, a series of monthly newsletters is a collective work. A physical encyclopedia spanning multiple books is a collective work.

A derivative work is anything based on another work. For example, a film based on a book is a derivative book. A direct clone of another game is a derivative work. Chalk art depicting jumping Mario is a derivative work.



Being a collective work is completely unrelated to being a derivative work. It can be one or the other, both, or neither.


Very few games are collective works; works that need multiple pieces to be complete. Usually they are individual standalone games. Edited by frob

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I presume he means "Collection" as used by Creative Commons, as opposed to an "Adaption" - see http://creativecommo...a/3.0/legalcode

I believe the question is to do with using say an image for a game, where the image is licensed under something like CC BY SA. The image and any modification of that image must be released under a "same or similar license". The question is, does the game as a whole (including the exe) have to be released under a "same or similar license"? Is it an adaption (since the game should be viewed as a single work), or a collection (since the image is another file distributed in an archive)?

There doesn't seem to be an answer to this question that I've seen. If games are an adaption, then this causes a problem even for open source games - unfortunately CC BY-SA is a bit of a mess, in that for "similar" licence, the legal text refers to http://creativecommo...patiblelicenses which then says that currently no other licences are approved! So the only option is to licence under CC BY-SA. But this would be incompatible with the GPL (since GPL can't be relicenced as CC BY-SA AFAIK). And it would also be a complete mess for the common Open Source convention of licencing game code and data separately.

The OP might also want to check out places like FreeGameDev and OpenGameArt for advice. Or indeed, asking Creative Commons themselves.

Also some points at http://forum.creativecommons.org/topic/105 . Edited by mdwh

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