gpl & terms of use discussion

hi all, i would like some clarity on a few rules, licences, public domain, gpl, creative commons
those of you that remember my first postings here would surely say i need it…:o
I have read the GPL but don’t really understand,
sorry but i am waging a war against my brain cells:)

So what can I do? What can’t I do? there are lots of grey areas.
(no longer in my brain)
but in the whole gpl set up and the whole you don’t own the blend/do own the render.
can’t publish a game unless it is in .blend form: therefore software dependent and going against the whole cannot be made to rely apon other software thing and seemingly doing what the ideals are trying to prevent anyway?

What are the rules if i modify your model?
What are the rules if i modify your script?
What if i want to sell my game made with blender?
What if i want to post a blend but it contains your material librarys?
What if i your .blend doesn’t contain any terms of use information in the text editor?
What if i cannot find you to ask your permission?

I know some of the answers, be safe and always credit the original author…
but there really are a lot of grey areas.
They are confusing and may even scare off some blender users and potential developers. what if they scare off potential investors?

I’m sure i’m not the only one who has these questions and there needs some clarity.

I’ll put some place holders here.

You Can…

You Cannot…

There’s an FAQ on this topic:
http://www.blender.org/cms/GPL_for_artists.495.0.html

If you’re using someone elses models, materials, scripts, … that really depends on the license the original author chooses.

No, credit is not enough. Be safe and always ask permission if it has not already been explicitly granted to you (this may take the form of a license). Copying someone’s else’s work without permission is copyright infringement.

None of these (except the game question) have anything to do with the GPL, to be honest. It would be the same for maya or max.

What are the rules if i modify your model?

That depends on the terms it was given to you under.

What are the rules if i modify your script?

As above.

What if i want to sell my game made with blender?

This is more complicated. See the other answers.

What if i want to post a blend but it contains your material librarys?

Most libraries (if they are useful) allow redistribution. If not, then it’s not okay.

What if i your .blend doesn’t contain any terms of use information in the text editor?

Assume the most restrictive license: not allowed to redistribute in any form.

What if i cannot find you to ask your permission?

You have to assume that it is not okay. Unfortunately, this is the case.

OK,
to quote Broken whom I give the highest reguard for his opinion, yes this is true.
If anyone bothers to look at my post in ‘Other Software’ ,
you would see that I am not an Idiot.
I only wanted to open for discussion some of the rules that we MUST obide by.
Hey, anyone can rip anyone else off, but I personaly have no need to do that.
I was only trying to say that there is a lot of shady areas to do with use of product.
I will not say any more or I will be banned.

I don’t see why you’d be banned. The questions are reasonable (although in the case of artwork, models, renders, etc, it’s unrelated to the GPL, as others have said).

Games are a little different, because the player software needed to play the game is GPL so any code you bundle into a stand-alone executable with that player is likewise licensed under the GPL if you make an executable using the default method. (At least, this is how I understand it. Correct me somebody if I’m wrong). There’s at least one way around this (and a place you can read a bit more about the confusion) here:

Which seems to solve the problem.

By the way, in both cases, you would be free to sell your game. If it were GPL, however, other people could also distribute it.

This is what I don’t get: You aren’t modifying the player… but packaging your work with it. Does the “bundling” process involve modification of the source to player in anyway?

[Edit] I did some digging. It seems the blend file is incorporated as data when creating a standalone package. Although you could use them separately at the risk of someone modifying the blend file.

In any case, why doesn’t the Blender Foundation or Ton or whoever holds the license to Blender, make an amendment to the license to clearly state what the ramifications are of using the game engine and creation of standalone game packages? This would get rid of any ambiguity associated with licensing issues and GPL.

[Edit2] Maybe a case could be made to create a separate encrypted or maybe just a binary format so people don’t pirate games made with the game engine.

Well due to the way that Blender constructs your savefiles from GPL’ed content all Blender-produced content is covered by the GPL, but the BF provides an assurance that your content is your own, so you could turn around and sue them for breaking that. M.A.D. FTW!

Well due to the way that Blender constructs your savefiles from GPL’ed content all Blender-produced content is covered by the GPL, but the BF provides an assurance that your content is your own, so you could turn around and sue them for breaking that. M.A.D. FTW!

I have no idea where you’re getting your information, but output from GPL’d software is not covered by GPL, unless it includes actual GPL code in it. Blender-produced content such as renders are absolutely not covered in any way shape or form by the GPL.

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatCaseIsOutputGPL

Blend files, likewise, are not software themselves, they are a file format and as such the content of the file is copyrighted to the creator, in the same way that the content of a MSWord file is copyrighted to the creator. If you write a book in MSWord, it is not owned by Microsoft. In the same way, if you make a .blend file, it is not covered by the GPL.

The GPL is a software license. It is not intended as a license for artwork or other content. It doesn’t make any sense to apply the GPL broadly to all copyrighted works because the GPL is primarily concerned with the issue of source code distribution.

There tends to be a lot of confusion on ‘virality’ and the GPL - if you distribute your non GPL stuff as part of something that is GPL (ie say you add your proprietary code to Blender and then distribute it) you are violating the GPL - and it is a copyright violation. That copyright violation doesn’t make your code GPL. However, a frequent remedy in copyright violations of the GPL is to release the code that resulted in the GPL violation under the GPL.

If you distribute your blend file with the blender game engine it probably falls under the ‘mere aggregation’ clause of the GPL.

If you distribute a game as done via ‘Save runtime’ or ‘Save dynamic runtime’ things get more complicated - indeed to find out whether it is a copyright violation would almost certainly take a judge to decide.

I suspect that a judge would find it to be no different than the case of distributing it as a blend file (save runtime is essentially zipping the blend file and blender together), but it is really unknowable what the judge would decide.

LetterRip

Perhaps a better question would be: Why would bring a case and what could the nature of that case be?

The Blender Foundation has certainly stated its support of the artists, and the artists a seem more than ready to acknowledge the O/S tools that were used to create them.

The case is more likely to be an artist whose work has been copied by someone who claims that, being a GPL derivative, they have the right to re-distribute it as they seem fit.

In that case, I have a hard time believing that a judge would rule that a .blend + BlenderPlayer combination and a blend.exe file that, at runtime look and play identically would carry different copyright stipulations. Since the .blend + player combo very clearly carries a copyright to the artist, I would think the case could be made to apply the clear copyright conditions to the scenario that is more grey.

My only concern is what implication this ruling would have for the wider GPL community. Perhaps an addition to the licence to support run-time derivatives would be something that, as a community we could draft?

hi all, yes there are a few grey areas in there.
certainly in most cases the work is copyright the author.
I would suggest for artists that distribute .blends to add your licence terms in a text file,
within the .blend, that gives you a little more saftey if this concerns you & to provide users with clear terms of use.
state clearly which licence you are releasing it under and stable contact details if people wan’t to use it to make money or need to ask you to use for other work. If you release the blend under a licence, leave a link or a brief explanation of what your terms of use are.

The game enging issue is a different more vague area.
I am glad to see people discussing it.

Also I have noticed a lot of vague licences for python scripts.

none: so that would mean it remains copyright of the author but under what terms?

do what you want with it: maybe a little too open ended?

and other scripts that are well documented and provide good licence details and or terms of use.

These things do concern us all, for some, slightly for others more so.

I suppose since I started this thread I’ll give an example of how issues can be confused.

I am working on a complex model, ('bout a week to go)
This model started as a geodesic dome (script) Open and saved in text editor,
then the dome underwent transformation using only inbuilt blender tools.
then I appended the sonix car material library to add some materials, I did heavily modify some of these so they may not represent the original texture, but not all.
then I needed some bent tubes and wires so I heavily modified some of the elephants dream models to suit my design.

So I’ve covered a few licences,
if i wanted to distribute this I would have to clean the .blend of any excess data, and then
credit : materials based on…models from incorporated…based on original script by…
certainly I would do this in the text editor in detail & save the .blend with the text editor open so people would find it. Posibly for that scene I may have to contact mat lib. & I suppose if I left the script in contact or abide by licence terms.

It is easy to see how sometimes these issues can be confusing.

Anyway,
from what I learnt from the matierials set up,
I made my own more suited to my purpose.
The ED models, have been heavily modded and largley replaced.(as above)
At this stage of the model the script is no longer needed to be distributed.
There was too much going on in my model set up, too many different licences to deal with.

Thanks, M.A.

Part of the issue is that you are wandering into areas of copyright that have little or no precedence. Ie the generated content of a script - especially generated content based upon well known algorithms. The author probably would be unable to assert copyright on the generated content of the geodesic script (copyright has certain requirements of creativity or such to be copyrightable) - but a script that generated something rather unique they might be able to. It might have oddball interactions with the license of said script - ie maybe the EULA says ‘for non commercial use only’ - of course the EULA might be unenforcable, etc.

The texture library - the textures in question might not be copyrightable for the same reason above, as the original blend itself they might be, but not the individual textures.

For ED - the boundary between a derivative work and a non derivative work is not well defined in copyright law for an instance such as yours.

So essentially you are in ambiguous legal territory which probably will not have a definitive answer till someone gets sued and a judge rules.

LetterRip

In what cases is the output of a GPL program covered by the GPL too? Only when the program copies part of itself into the output.”

Which Blender does. The default .b.blend is a byte-for-byte copy of a chunk of the Blender exe, and all Blender .blends are based on that .b.blend.

There is a way around this however … simply get a .b.blend from the pre-open-sourcing, and open it in today’s blender and save as default.

There is a way around this however … simply get a .b.blend from the pre-open-sourcing, and open it in today’s blender and save as default.

The other way around it is to ignore it, because it’s a non-issue:

http://blender.org/cms/GPL_for_artists.495.0.html

The Blender Foundation asserts here that .blend files are not covered by the GPL. That’s good enough for me.