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Analysis of the Free Art License 1.3

Hello everyone,
back on April 2006, we discussed the Free Art License version 1.2:

My own conclusion was that this license seemed to be *intended* to be a
free copyleft one (but incompatible with GPLv2), but failed to meet the
DFSG, due to some issues.
Nobody seemed to disagree with this conclusion.

I've recently found out that a new version of the Free Art License was
published in the meanwhile:
Since version 1.2 included an auto-upgrade clause, I was very
interested in analyzing the version 1.3, in the hope that the
previously mentioned issues could be fixed with this new license text.

The full license text is quoted below, downloaded with
$ w3m -cols 70 -dump http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/

Free Art License 1.3

[ Copyleft Attitude ]

Free Art License 1.3 (FAL 1.3)


The Free Art License grants the right to freely copy, distribute, and
transform creative works without infringing the author's rights.

The Free Art License recognizes and protects these rights. Their
implementation has been reformulated in order to allow everyone to
use creations of the human mind in a creative manner, regardless of
their types and ways of expression.

While the public's access to creations of the human mind usually is
restricted by the implementation of copyright law, it is favoured by
the Free Art License. This license intends to allow the use of a
work’s resources; to establish new conditions for creating in order
to increase creation opportunities. The Free Art License grants the
right to use a work, and acknowledges the right holder’s and the
user’s rights and responsibility.

The invention and development of digital technologies, Internet and
Free Software have changed creation methods: creations of the human
mind can obviously be distributed, exchanged, and transformed. They
allow to produce common works to which everyone can contribute to the
benefit of all.

The main rationale for this Free Art License is to promote and
protect these creations of the human mind according to the principles
of copyleft: freedom to use, copy, distribute, transform, and
prohibition of exclusive appropriation.


“work” either means the initial work, the subsequent works or the
common work as defined hereafter:

“common work” means a work composed of the initial work and all
subsequent contributions to it (originals and copies). The initial
author is the one who, by choosing this license, defines the
conditions under which contributions are made.

“Initial work” means the work created by the initiator of the common
work (as defined above), the copies of which can be modified by
whoever wants to

“Subsequent works” means the contributions made by authors who
participate in the evolution of the common work by exercising the
rights to reproduce, distribute, and modify that are granted by the

“Originals” (sources or resources of the work) means all copies of
either the initial work or any subsequent work mentioning a date and
used by their author(s) as references for any subsequent updates,
interpretations, copies or reproductions.

“Copy” means any reproduction of an original as defined by this

The aim of this license is to define the conditions under which one
can use this work freely.

This work is subject to copyright law. Through this license its
author specifies the extent to which you can copy, distribute, and
modify it.

You have the right to copy this work for yourself, your friends or
any other person, whatever the technique used.

You have the right to distribute copies of this work; whether
modified or not, whatever the medium and the place, with or without
any charge, provided that you:
attach this license without any modification to the copies of this
work or indicate precisely where the license can be found,
specify to the recipient the names of the author(s) of the originals,
including yours if you have modified the work,
specify to the recipient where to access the originals (either
initial or subsequent).
The authors of the originals may, if they wish to, give you the right
to distribute the originals under the same conditions as the copies.

You have the right to modify copies of the originals (whether initial
or subsequent) provided you comply with the following conditions:
all conditions in article 2.2 above, if you distribute modified
indicate that the work has been modified and, if it is possible, what
kind of modifications have been made;
distribute the subsequent work under the same license or any
compatible license.
The author(s) of the original work may give you the right to modify
it under the same conditions as the copies.

Activities giving rise to author’s rights and related rights shall
not challenge the rights granted by this license.
For example, this is the reason why performances must be subject to
the same license or a compatible license. Similarly, integrating the
work in a database, a compilation or an anthology shall not prevent
anyone from using the work under the same conditions as those defined
in this license.

Incorporating this work into a larger work that is not subject to the
Free Art License shall not challenge the rights granted by this
If the work can no longer be accessed apart from the larger work in
which it is incorporated, then incorporation shall only be allowed
under the condition that the larger work is subject either to the
Free Art License or a compatible license.

A license is compatible with the Free Art License provided:
it gives the right to copy, distribute, and modify copies of the work
including for commercial purposes and without any other restrictions
than those required by the respect of the other compatibility
it ensures proper attribution of the work to its authors and access
to previous versions of the work when possible;
it recognizes the Free Art License as compatible (reciprocity);
it requires that changes made to the work be subject to the same
license or to a license which also meets these compatibility

This license does not aim at denying your author's rights in your
contribution or any related right. By choosing to contribute to the
development of this common work, you only agree to grant others the
same rights with regard to your contribution as those you were
granted by this license. Conferring these rights does not mean you
have to give up your intellectual rights.

The freedom to use the work as defined by the Free Art License (right
to copy, distribute, modify) implies that everyone is responsible for
their own actions.

This license takes effect as of your acceptance of its terms. The act
of copying, distributing, or modifying the work constitutes a tacit
agreement. This license will remain in effect for as long as the
copyright which is attached to the work. If you do not respect the
terms of this license, you automatically lose the rights that it
If the legal status or legislation to which you are subject makes it
impossible for you to respect the terms of this license, you may not
make use of the rights which it confers.

This license may undergo periodic modifications to incorporate
improvements by its authors (instigators of the “Copyleft Attitude”
movement) by way of new, numbered versions.
You will always have the choice of accepting the terms contained in
the version under which the copy of the work was distributed to you,
or alternatively, to use the provisions of one of the subsequent

Sub-licenses are not authorized by this license. Any person wishing
to make use of the rights that it confers will be directly bound to
the authors of the common work.

This license is written with respect to both French law and the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.


- How to use the Free Art License?
To benefit from the Free Art License, you only need to mention the
following elements on your work:
[Name of the author, title, date of the work. When applicable, names
of authors of the common work and, if possible, where to find the
Copyleft: This is a free work, you can copy, distribute, and modify
it under the terms of the Free Art License http://artlibre.org/

- Why to use the Free Art License?
1.To give the greatest number of people access to your work.
2.To allow it to be distributed freely.
3.To allow it to evolve by allowing its copy, distribution, and
transformation by others.
4.So that you benefit from the resources of a work when it is under
the Free Art License: to be able to copy, distribute or transform it
5.But also, because the Free Art License offers a legal framework to
disallow any misappropriation. It is forbidden to take hold of your
work and bypass the creative process for one's exclusive possession.

- When to use the Free Art License?
Any time you want to benefit and make others benefit from the right
to copy, distribute and transform creative works without any
exclusive appropriation, you should use the Free Art License. You can
for example use it for scientific, artistic or educational projects.

- What kinds of works can be subject to the Free Art License?
The Free Art License can be applied to digital as well as physical
You can choose to apply the Free Art License on any text, picture,
sound, gesture, or whatever sort of stuff on which you have
sufficient author's rights.

- Historical background of this license:
It is the result of observing, using and creating digital
technologies, free software, the Internet and art. It arose from the
“Copyleft Attitude” meetings which took place in Paris in 2000. For
the first time, these meetings brought together members of the Free
Software community, artists, and members of the art world. The goal
was to adapt the principles of Copyleft and free software to all
sorts of creations. http://www.artlibre.org

Copyleft Attitude, 2007.
You can make reproductions and distribute this license verbatim
(without any changes).

    Translation : Jonathan Clarke, Benjamin Jean, Griselda Jung,
    Fanny Mourguet, Antoine Pitrou.
    Thanks to framalang.org

Cette page a été éditée le 20/07/2005

 On some search engines, searching for my nickname AND
 "nano-documents" may lead you to my website...  
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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