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Re: Education on image licensing and freedom



The rules and licensing issues were clear to me when I joined a few months ago.

I think a quick reference guide on what is ok to use and what is not ok to use might be a good idea, though, just because i think everyone must get a little confused from time to time about what combination of magic letters (CC-SA-BY, CC-SA-ND, CC-BY-ND-WTF etc) = free.

All in all, the third option makes sense to me.  Whether one agrees with it or not, we have to deal with licensing and "ownership" of images.  And whether you're doing graphic design, or filmmaking, or music with sampling...you have to keep track of what your sources are, and you have to be responsible for them.

-klaatu



On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Máirín Duffy <duffy fedoraproject org> wrote:
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?

~m



[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork#Fedora_Artwork_Guidelines
[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Special:Upload
[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/F10Themes/Neon#Round_2

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