I have been trying to figure out what "noncommercial" means. If I post
an include file, I do not want anyone to sell it; but I do not want to
stop someone from incorporating it into their own render and selling
*that.* Would marking a work NC prevent the latter? But while plowing
through license explications to resolve this, I discovered that marking
my work as NC could have other unintended consequences. The claim is
that CC's share-alike licenses (and all my CC stuff is share-alike)
would answer all the worries that NC is supposed to address, without the
unintended consequences, but I cannot make heads or tails of the
argument. The rationales and arguments have my head spinning, but one
consequence is that it would block many collections (including Wikimedia
Commons) from including it. Nevertheless, Creative Commons reports that
their NC licenses are their most popular.
An outfit called Freedom Defined claims that the CC-NC works are a
growing problem, but I don't know whether it is a general problem or
just a problem specific to people who wish capitalism would just go
away. I confess I am among the latter, but I cannot ignore the fact
that capitalism is the extant reality! Worries that free-licensed works
would be abused by moneyed corporate bad actors are answered with the
claim that such abuses are unlikely, and the damage that NC licenses
cause to free culture outweighs the risk of abuse. I wish I could be
that optimistic about human nature; while I agree that most people are
good actors, I observe that it takes only a few bad actors to ruin
things for everyone. I also sense a yearning for economic utopia from
Richard Stallman (GNU, Free Software Foundation) at a level that I find
Currently, I am trying to figure out what license to attach to a
tutorial that I intend to post to p.b.t. While considering which
license to apply, I discovered that Creative Commons doesn't recommend
their licenses for software! While my tutorial isn't entirely software,
it does include a scene file as well as SDL snippets in the tutorial
content. On the other hand the GPL, which I have used for pure SDL
works, didn't seem right for this either. CC says their licenses do not
contain specific terms about source code distribution, and now I am left
wondering what exactly I should be looking for.
I seem to be caught between two places. Licenses such as the BSD and FSF
licenses are tailored for software, and CC is geared toward artworks.
POV-Ray is a fusion of both. Is there a some-rights-reserved license
that threads these two worlds? Or does a tutorial fall more under one
than the other?
And apart from tutorials, I can also see myself sharing a project in
p.b.s-f that I want to hold closer to my chest than the GPL or LGPL will
For personal reasons, I missed out on the discussions about choosing a
common license for the Object Collection, so I have gone back and am
reading them for the first time. Boy was it deep! But the takeaway that
surprised and disturbed me was learning that the GPL requires
distribution of source code, and the confusion over what exactly that
means. Re-reading the license more carefully to verify this, it seems to
indicate that everything it touches must also be licensed under the GPL!
Does Thomas need to post radiosity_pretrace.inc every time he posts a
JPEG to p.b.i? Does he need to license the JPEG under the GPL? Is this
why the FSF relented on its utopian vision and created the LGPL? I am
not a lawyer, and I am confused!
POV-Ray is now under the GNU Affero General Public License, and I am
also aware of the GNU Free Documention License. When I look into these,
I always end up flummoxed. How does a non-lawyer navigate through all
of this? How does one choose a license?
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