Education on image licensing and freedom

Máirín Duffy duffy at
Tue Sep 23 17:47:36 UTC 2008

Hi folks,

Did any of you joining the art team have doubts/questions/confusion over 
copyright law and licensing as it pertains to the usage of
externally-sourced images used in artwork? Were you unsure of what
licenses were acceptable to use in Fedora artwork?

What kinds of questions / uncertainties did you have, if any?

I think we may need to get better at making clear our expectations with 
respect to sourced image licensing. For some time now, we have had the 
following statement on the main artwork wiki page [1]:

> # All contributions must be covered by the Contributor License
> Agreement . We cannot accept contributions from individuals who have
> not signed the CLA in the Fedora Account System . The CLA allows us
> to properly license artwork submissions for distribution with Fedora
> and other Fedora projects. 
> # Submissions must respect artwork
> licensing. If your submissions consist of artwork created by other
> people, please make sure the license of the original work you
> incorporate is compatible with Fedora and that you are not violating
> any of the provisions of its license. Just because a work is licensed
> with a Creative Commons license does not mean it is free to use (make
> sure you provide attribution to artists that license their work with
> a CC Attribution clause.)

Are there any issues with this text? Does it need to be modified or 
expanded to be made more clear? Should it be copied to every main theme 
process page (eg /Artwork/F10Themes)?

Here are some of my proposals at making our licensing policies more clear:

1) Have a written statement our wiki's upload form [2] that you agree 
that you are uploading content that belongs to you and you are licensing 
to Fedora under the CLA or that belongs to someone else and you have 
permission to upload it under a Fedora-appropriate license;

2) Maybe we could do some kind of comic strip on image licensing and 
link to it from our front Artwork wiki page and also post it to planet 
Fedora. We could use Nicu's templates :) If there are common questions / 
confusions that you have about licenses, let me know and we can come up 
with a list of topics for the comic to address.

3) We should require references to any source images used in proposed 
themes, including author, URL of where the image
was acquired, and its license. I know it can be hard to keep track and 
get in the way of the creative process, but I also think it's really 
important to avoid this situation in the future and have some insurance 
in case some questions come up later.

I like how Michael posted the texture source photo on his Neon proposal 
page [3]. Maybe we should require a source mediawiki gallery page for 
each theme proposal? It might be cool after each theme process is over 
to then aggregate all the source images used in one area of the wik. 
We'll then have a built-in stock gallery of properly-licensed images for 
future projects.

I think making this a base requirement for a theme submission to proceed 
through the rounds process will ensure that submitters fill it out. As 
part of the submission promotion process, maybe one or two of us could 
volunteer to be theme 'nannies' and verify the source references in 
order for it to proceed forward. I also think making it a part of the 
process will perhaps come off as less confrontational as it has been 
interpreted here.

What do you think? Is there anything else you can think of to make our 
licensing policies more clear and easier-to-follow?



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