Creative Commons license for pictures

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Wed Sep 28 14:32:10 UTC 2005

On 9/28/05, Christian Jodar <tian at> wrote:
> - Could Free Art license be used for Fedora Extras packages?

yes... free art license can be used...for individual packages.  The
key difference between the CC BY-NC-SA license and the Free art
license is that Free art allows for "commercial use."  Its still not
GPL compatible for other reasons. But lets make it clear... Fedora
Extras doesn't require gpl compatibility for every package...but
"non-commercial" clauses are not allowed. As a Fedora Extras
maintainer, you have to watch out blanket "non-commercial" clauses.

The problem that you an upstream project that
you are trying to mix Free Art/CC "code"/"content" in with GPL code in
the same project. This is a more subtle problem and a problem that is
really outside the scope of Fedora Extras specifically. You might poke
around and ask the GNOME project.. why they required all entries in
the gnome 2.12 splashscreen context to be submitted as GPL to get a
better idea of why "splashscreens" and "icons" used by a GPL'd program
should be GPL'd as well.

> - Is that possible to have in the same package source code under GPL license
> and art work under the Free Art one (if answer to first question is yes)?

This is a very subtle question and it greatly depends on whether or
not on how the artwork is being used. Things that can be considered
"data" to be processed by the application don't have to be GPL'd.
Things like example documents that come with a word-processor, or game
level data for a game...these things are "data" to be processed as
input by the code. They are not strictly functional elements of the
code itself.

> Are they some lawyers for Fedora Extras (or Fedora Core)? Because they should
> provide these answers once and for all. Maybe there is a more appropriate
> mailing list for these questions but I didn't find something like
> fedora-legal.

The harder question that you need answered is how can GPL "code" and
FreeArt "artwork" be mixed in an upstream project codebase. This
question is outside the scope of what Fedora as a project can make
policy about.  GNOME's splashscreen contest rules would be an
indication that mixing in this way is to be avoided. I'd wager that
any conserative legal opinion that you would get from the official
legal counsel is going to decree "avoid mixing".. because no matter
what the actually line is.. its significantly less risky to just avoid
the issue and make sure eveything in the project tarball is actually
GPL.  The FSF's interpretation as to exactly where the line is the
only one really worth seeking if you intend to walk right on the edge
of what is allowed. Again, I would seek out the people in the GNOME
project who designed the splashscreen contest and ask them what their
reasoning was to require GPL'd entries to get some perspective on the



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