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Re: the Free Art License and the DFSG

On Sat, Dec 14, 2002 at 01:51:59AM -0500, Steven Barker wrote:

> I'm participating in a project that is opening the source of a classic
> game (Star Control 2) and porting it to modern operating systems.  The
> code for the game has already been relicensed under the GPL, but the
> game's original authors (who hold copyright) have not yet picked a
> license for the large quantity of data that goes along side the game
> (recorded voices, ship and planet graphics, scripts for the dialog, etc).

> One license that was recently proposed was the Free Art License:
> http://www.artlibre.org/ for the original French version,
> http://artlibre.org/licence.php/lalgb.html for an English translation.

> I'd like the advice of this list as to whether data under that license
> would be DFSG free.  I think the license is a pretty straightforward
> copyleft, though at least the translated version has some unclear language.
> I'm especially uncomfortable about part 7, which I don't really understand,
> and part 8, which, if it's enforcable could be very awkward for people who
> are unfamilliar with the laws of France.

> Anyway, I hope that among the legal minds of this list there are a few
> people who's ability to comprehend legalistic French and/or iffy
> legalistic translations are greater than what I possess.

In English, clause 8 seems to have much less boilerplate than I would
expect; though I understand what it means, and I don't recall a
declaration of legal venue rendering a license non-free (though I
remember much discussion about the subject).

Which version of the license -- French or English -- does your upstream
plan to use?  It is likely that they are not legally equivalent;
particularly if France is the mandated venue for resolution of disputes,
I'm inclined to think the French form would be preferred, as it would be
more likely to be understood by a French court and less likely to have
unintended consequences than the translation.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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