Universal license for code and assets

Universal license for code and assets

Postby Lyberta » 26 Mar 2020, 10:56

This is something I've been wanting for years. A one coherent license for both code and assets that requires sharing the source code.

Right now the most freedom respecting licenses are AGPLv3 for code and CC BY-SA 4.0 for assets. AGPL is really good but CC BY-SA has flaws. The biggest one is that CC BY-SA doesn't talk about "source code" of assets. Because if you write a book you probably have LaTeX source, if you make music you have DAW project and plugin settings, maybe a JACK patchbay configuration, for videos it would be something like Kdenlive project + raw videos. CC BY-SA only requires the "object code" such as PDF for books, FLAC for music, OGV for videos to be distributed, not the source code. And that sucks a lot. It makes freedoms 2 and 3 very moot when it comes to non-software. And I think this bug should be fixed.

What I'm proposing is a license that
  1. is copyleft.
  2. defines good legal terms for "source code" and "object code". Because "source code" and "object code" really apply only to software, not other kinds of copyrightable works.
  3. requires corresponding "source code" to be distributed along with "object code", even when the user interacts with service via network, i.e. reading PDF in the browser or listening/watching/streaming HTML5 audio/video.

And the biggest problem is combining works under this new license with existing works under AGPL and CC BY-SA. Well, I'm fine with having wording such as "if you combine this and AGPLv3, the resulting work is under AGPLv3" because that still protects the source code. We can't do the same with CC BY-SA because it will be escape hatch that will allow people to distribute "object code" without corresponding "source code" under CC BY-SA.
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Re: Universal license for code and assets

Postby Vandar » 26 Mar 2020, 12:16

While I think that CC intentionally focuses on the freedom of the product and not the sources, I can see what you have in mind. Maybe time to get some legal help and make such a license?
In soviet russia, code debugs you.
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Re: Universal license for code and assets

Postby Huitsi » 26 Mar 2020, 15:23

What's wrong with using (A)GPL for assets?
GPL3 {l Wrote}:1. Source Code.

The "source code" for a work means the preferred form of the work
for making modifications to it. "Object code" means any non-source
form of a work.
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Re: Universal license for code and assets

Postby Vandar » 26 Mar 2020, 16:02

I seem to remember that GPL wasn't advised for artwork, but I forgot the details.

One point that I see is for those who use the "CC-By" type licenses - GPL does not require to name the original author. So people who think the "By" clause is importent for them can't use the GPL.

Edit - not sure if this is of importance. The are CC*NC licenses, which are "not for commercial use". GPL also does not cater for that case. GPL can be used commercially.
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