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Re: copyright guidance

On Wednesday 10 September 2003 07:52 am, Terry Hancock wrote:
> On Wednesday 10 September 2003 01:01 am, John Lightsey wrote:
> > The problem with this package (commercial music, sounds, graphics and
> > levels used without any license) isn't something I'd picture anyone on
> > Debian-Legal defending.  It shouldn't have made its into Debian in the
> > first place.
> Are you sure that's what's been done (e.g. did you figure this out from
> a readme in the upstream sources), or are you just guessing based on
> similar "look and feel"? Some elements such as sprites, may not actually
> be copyrightable (for example, bitmap fonts aren't), and "similar" as
> in "having the same tune" is not generally a violation for music.  Similar
> things might apply for game levels that are organized the same way,
> but on a completely different game engine.  Remember, *copyrights
> aren't patents*, and the difference between "an idea" and "an
> expression of an idea" is both significant and subject to legal
> interpretation.

I asked the upstream author about the status of the music loops he was using 
since the titles and artists are listed in the game's info screens.  A google 
of this information shows that these are taken from commercial songs, so I 
asked if he had permission to use them.  He informed me that the music was 
used without permission and other items might also be a problem since they 
were taken directly from commercial games.  The default tile set, for 
instance, doesn't just look like a commercial one.  It is a commercial tile 
set that has been resized.  As I said, I don't believe anyone would dispute 
that this content can't be a part of Debian, and there is enough good content 
to make removal possible.


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