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Re: GPL on rendered images

On Mon, Dec 13, 2004 at 05:51:48PM +0100, Ingo Ruhnke wrote:
> There is also the throuble with textures from texture-cd-collection or
> from the web that are only allowed to be redistributed in their
> rendered form, ie. redistributing the rendered image under any license
> I am free to do, redistributing the plain texture itself that was used
> in that image I am however not to do. What do to there? Not use the
> image at all or just leave out the texture or only include the final
> rendered image?

This is equivalent to having source code or an intermediate binary object
(say a .o file) which states that it cannot be distributed separately but
must be distributed linked into an executable.  Not GPL compatible (nor even
particularly Free, IMO).

> Another throublesome point would be camera position and light, say I
> render a sprite for a 2d game from numerous different perspective, is
> it ok to just ship the 3d model or do I have to include the camera
> positions and the positions of the light? In some cases those might of
> course be in the 3d model file, in others however the artists might
> simply add them manually on each render, so they are nowhere to be
> found beside in the artists head. Is the artists require to at least
> document the basic steps of the render process when its not fully
> automated via scripts?

If the renderer asks for these things at each run, and the values input are
critical, I would expect any sane person to put that sort of thing into a
script, which would then become part of the build system, and would be
shipped with the rest of the system.  Otherwise, I would expect that the
exact light and camera positions aren't that critical, and therefore people
can change those without major harm.  In that case, I don't see a major
problem with someone who's building the software just plugging in random

> And another question, is a .psd or a 3D Max file enough? Aren't I
> required to include a copy of Photoshop or 3DStudio then or is it
> considered a part of the "operating system"?

No, and no.  Photoshop and 3DStudio form no part (unless they embed bits of
themselves into the generated images, which I doubt) of the generated work,
and therefore are not required to be distributed under para 5, section 3 of
the GPL.  (Not to mention that the portion of the paragraph you appear to be
referring to only applies to executable works, which the generated images
are not).

> Last not least what if the artist wants to keep his model files
> private, ie. a 2d game would only need the rendered model files, but
> never the 3d ones in case the 2d images are fine. Is it possible to
> use such files at all or do I have to reject everything that comes
> from the artist?

"Last not least what if the programmer wants to keep his source code
private".  C'mon, that's a no-brainer.

> Overall I find the GPL quite throublesome and what to include isn't
> really clear at all, shiping the 3d models is of course a nice gesture
> and a usefull thing anyway, but I don't think its much more then that
> and if it really does fullfill the requirements of the GPL is kind of

None of the examples you gave are particularly troublesome under the GPL. 
Do you have some troublesome examples we can examine?

- Matt

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