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Re: [andrew@AmbrosiaSW.com: Re: Copyright of maelstrom artwork]

On Tue, Mar 28, 2000 at 11:49:32AM -0500, Brian Ristuccia wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 28, 2000 at 05:34:55AM -0800, Joseph Carter wrote:
> > I think it's necessary to comment on this considering that I asked RMS
> > recently about a project attempting to build a free dataset for the GPL
> > Quake engines to use.  It's possible he didn't quite understand what I
> > wanted to do, but he suggested the artwork and such be released under a
> > two-line verbatim copying only license.
> > 
> > I was floored.  Several other people were as well.
> > 
> It seems to be RMS's position that "verbatim copying only" grants are
> acceptable for things that he consideres art such as paintings and novels.
> If RMS belived the .pak files to be purely artistic, it's likely that he
> would draw the conclusion you mention above. However, I think what you're
> referring to as artwork (and I'll hereafter refer to as graphics and models
> to avoid confusion) is not purely artistic, but rather functional as well.
> In order to create variations on play, one might need to modify the graphics
> and models for that purpose.

I haven't looked deeply enough into the internals of Maelstrom to know if
this is the case.  If it is, then the game engine is probably almost
useless in its current state.

On the other subject, I don't think there's any reason to be particularly
disappointed in RMS over that statement.  Even he has his boundaries.  But
he seems to have spent at least the past 15 years being remarkably
consistent in his views on freedom, circumscribed by the boundary called
"functional software".  I don't think it is necessarily true that his
different take on "artistic" data files is fundamentally inconsistent with
his other views on freedom.

Even if it is, just because we know the idols have feet of clay doesn't
mean we have to hack away at them with a spade. :)

It's a battle he doesn't want to fight; that is fine.  It can be ours, if
we want it.

G. Branden Robinson            |     I am sorry, but what you have mistaken
Debian GNU/Linux               |     for malicious intent is nothing more
branden@ecn.purdue.edu         |     than sheer incompetence!
roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |     -- J. L. Rizzo II

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