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Re: Analysis of the Free Art License 1.3

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Thanks to Simon who asked me about the DFSG compliance of Kalle's design
license, and for pointing me to this thread.

Le 25/01/2009 07:55, Francesco Poli a écrit :
> On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:41:18 +0100 Francesco Poli wrote:

May I dig up this almost one year old thread, in order to ask or maybe
add some enlightenment about this license, used by Kalle's for his design.

As an introduction, I would like to point to the “Licenses” page of the
FSF [1] that consider, about “Licenses for Other Types of Works”: “We
don't take the position that artistic or entertainment works must be
free, but if you want to make one free, we recommend the Free Art License.”

This license is about artistic work, is initially written in French, and
as such is under French right and valid in countries that signed the
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

1: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html

I believe that Francesco's concern about this license to comply with
DFSG are mostly due to lack of context and maybe some not best choice of

>> Free Art License 1.3
> [...]
> [...]
>> specify to the recipient the names of the author(s) of the originals,
>> including yours if you have modified the work,
> This might forbid anonymous works or anonymous modifications,
> which is non-free, IMO.

Actually, especially in artistic work, the “name of the author” doesn't
need to comply with the civil one (most artists use pseudonym), and I
fail to understand the difference with the GPL that ask to mention <name
of author> in the copyright.

>> specify to the recipient where to access the originals (either
>> initial or subsequent).
> This condition is a little improved with respect to the corresponding
> one in the Free Art License version 1.2.
> However, I am still a little concerned that this could mean that, in
> order to distribute a work under this license, I am required, as long
> as I go on distributing, to keep updated information on where recipients
> can access every previous version.

Please keep in mind that artistic work may have one original, and that,
unlike computer data, copy of the original may differ from it. Please
refer to the “Definitions” part of the license about “Originals”,
“Initial work” and “Subsequent works”. Anyway, the French sentence that
is “indiquer au destinataire où il *pourrait* avoir accès aux originaux”
that could better be translated in “specify to the recipient where he
*could* access the originals“. In artistic work, original may be broken,
lost, or definitely altered by subsequent work for example. It really
sounds like if “if possible” is missing (or is implied) in the English

> What if the original changes, say, URL?  Have I to keep track of where
> it goes?

If possible, but it can be the URL where you did find the original, so
you “specify to the recipient where to access the originals” at the time
you did your subsequent work or your copy.

> What if the original vanishes?  Have I to keep a copy of the original
> and make it available, in order to be able to distribute a subsequent
> work?

In artistic domain, original *can* vanish, it's implied.

> [...]
>> distribute the subsequent work under the same license or any
>> compatible license.
> This condition appears to be poorly drafted, since it could be
> interpreted to mandate distribution as a requirement to get the
> permission to modify.
> Under this interpretation (which I think was not intended), this
> license would force modifiers to distribute their modified versions,
> even when they would rather keep them private.
> Forced distribution is a non-free restriction, IMO.

The original sentence “diffuser cette oeuvre conséquente avec la même
licence ou avec toute licence compatible” can be understand as in : *if*
you “distribute the subsequent work”, you ave to do it ”under the same
license or any compatible license.” The way things are written is really
with physical object in mind (not computer data).

> [...]
>> 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
>> criteria;
>> 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
>> criteria.
> I think that, with these compatibility criteria, especially the last
> two, the GNU GPL (v2 or v3) does not qualify as a "compatible" license,
> unfortunately.
> I am not aware of any other license that meets the DFSG and may be
> considered a "compatible" license.

According to the French Wikipédia page [2], it is compatible withe the
Commons Attribution Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) v3.0 and a quick search made
me find a document proposed with both this licences [3]

2: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_Art_Libre

We (as in the www-team working on including Kalle's design to the
website and many other part of Debian for Squeeze release) would really
like to know if we can consider this license DFSG compatible, or if we
really need to ask Kalle to change it.



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