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GNU is Not Unix

How Do You Open Source Animation and code? 12

Posted by Cliff
from the confusing-licensing-issues dept.
danmm asks: "Recently, I've been trying to combine clip-art-style illustration with animating code into GUI components within Macromedia Flash (for distribution as an .mxp file via the company's Exchange site). Now, I'd like to start open-sourcing some of these things -- but this is a matter of curiousity: how does one open-source an amalgam of creative (art) content and software code? How's it different from pure code? If anyone is curious, my project is located here"
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How Do You Open Source Animation and code?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It shouldn't be anything more complicated than sticking an Open Source license to the top of it. You obviously can't Open Source Flash or any of the driving bits, but you can definitely license your own stuff. It's all datafiles anyway.
  • by bbk (33798) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @10:03PM (#2891866) Homepage
    What it comes down to is this -

    Do you really want all the hacked up and modified copies of your art floating around there? Does that really matter to you?

    I'd just give the art away. If people want to replace it, fine. If they want to chuck all yours and charge for their own, nothing is stopping them.

    The code can be GPL'ed. It's like making a video encoder - the mechanics of the encoder are yours, but what people feed it is theirs. In your case, the things you did with Flash are GPLable (if this truly is the case - I'm not sure how flash works).

    I'd release them as "The code bits are GPL, the art is mine, ask to use it" or "The code bits are GPL, the art is public domain, use it as you wish". Some variant on that should be able to fit what you want to do.

    BBK
    • BBK -- thanks for the response. But when code and visual communications become entwined, you can't just chuck the art and keep the code. You can't just gut the bunny and steal the energizer. The two are mixed up too closely. A command to "raise arm" inherently involves just as much visual instructions and creativity as code instructions and creativity. And that gets to my point: as visual assets become more complex in their representation and responsiveness over time (thanks to embedded code and a creative decisions on how those visual assets use communicate information from that code and from a user), they start to look like a new form of programming. We're not talking linear artifacts like a disney animation. Heck, already people are dragging-n-dropping variables to table columns without nary a keypress or line of code, relying only on information communicated via a particular widget's blink-and-change. A coder makes a java module that manipulates data in a certain way, and then, with an OSS spirit, releases it and allows others to modify the code, or inherit and extend it. An animator/developer creates a visual icon with a bunch of methods for communicating certain information based on programmable internal and external states, and then releases that artifact for others to modify and extend -- others can manipulate the graphic way of expressing information as well as the internal expression. Granted, my icons just do stupid stuff. But someday, batman. Someday. I guess I just want to know what it would look like if you had a set of code-rich widgets and you decided to inherit from one. How would you modify the visual as well as the code? Do you have access modifiers for each way a visual artifact operates?
  • The work is great, I like the concept. Just keep doing it the way it is, it's fine. Perhaps you could provide some method for users to contribute back to the Flidget repository.. but it's off to a good start.
  • Short answer... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AntipodesTroll (552543) on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @11:10PM (#2892175) Homepage
    Ask an IPlawyer. :^)

    Many people have the wrong idea of what can be copyrighted, licenced, patented, etc. The idea that you can licence artwork (animation) under GPL is flawed, as any derivative artwork is automatically owned by the creator, as long as there is signiciant differences. You cant copyright a character or concept inside a piece of artwork, only the artwork itself.

    GPL'ing artwork would be silly and unenforceable. It would be better to mark the code as GPL (or even better, BSD) and to claim copyright to your artworks, perhaps with the limitation "Commercial rights reserved." so that theoretically people can re-use the artwork, but not use it in a commercial product without asking you first.

    That said, a company is quite within their rights to make a derivative (parody) work of your artwork, and use it how they please. The only way to stop that, is to trademark a logo or character within the artwork.
  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @11:58PM (#2892321) Homepage Journal
    We finally know who to blame for Clippy, you rotten SOB. Switching to OSS won't save your sorry ass now.
  • by Alpha27 (211269) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @12:03AM (#2892369)
    I would say check out this site for more info about public domain. http://centerforthepublicdomain.org/

    I would think when it comes to art, it's not about using GPL, it's about putting it into the public domain, like music would be; it would fall under the same guidelines. Combining the two doesn't make much sense, unless you have some greater plan for it.

    As for the code, that I can see fall under GPL. I figure as long as the code you provide is something like a module someone could drop in and use, and add clip art to it, then GPL should be fine.
  • Copyleft for art? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Copying, distribution, and use of this work is permitted without restriction. Circumvention of any technological measure or measures which effectively control access to this work is permitted without restriction. Preparation of derivitive works is permitted provided that you cause any such work to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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