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Midgardsormr
11-13-2008, 07:34 PM
We have placed a Creative Commons license on the CWBP and have asked that each image submitted to it likewise use the same NC-BY-SA license, although I'm not sure if that's every been stated clearly either here or on the wiki. (We should think about a FAQ.)

Many of the maps we have made thus far have been derived directly from the original FT world, and even the local maps have been extensively collaborative, such that very few of them are wholly the work of a single individual.

So, given that the NC clause of the project governs most of the maps created for it (i.e., those maps are derivative works), what if someone wishes to sell prints of a map they created? Who is authorized to give permission? If I were to look just at my Tawaren Basin map, NeonKnight created the original FT file, RedRobes (I think) made the heightmap I used, and I owe many placenames and features to Torq, Clercon, Gamerprinter, and Su Liam. It's a bit of a tangled web of copyrights.

My opinion is that we should find a way to relax the NC portion of the license a bit. Perhaps a standard waiver that submitters implicitly agree to which allows a cartographer freedom to profit from their own work if the opportunity arises.

The opportunity hasn't arisen for me yet, but I'm putting together a web gallery of my work, and the CWBP maps are going into it. I'd like to be prepared to answer if some hypothetical person is daft enough to want a print of one of them.

Redrobes
11-14-2008, 11:07 AM
I believe as copyright holder the originator of the work can do what they like to it. What the CC license says is that the image that has been posted is CC licensed for all people to use under that restriction. As originator you can license it in different and multiple ways though a user can choose which one he would like to use. I.e. you could publish two images, one high res with an NC and a lower res version with commercial permissions. Only if you disclaim copyright and make the image public domain do you lose any control over the image. What a CC license does is grant permissions so that any user can use it in that way without needing to ask for copyright holders specific permission. What CC also does is prevent the originator from prosecuting for a users use of the file if he uses it within the terms. And if those terms include a redistribution clause - the SA bit - then it serves as a protection for people using the image when posting it up on a web site. A CC license is still just a license. You still own the original and are free to license it under any terms you feel like.

Midgardsormr
11-14-2008, 12:06 PM
And that's perfectly fine if we're dealing with an image that we've created from scratch. However, every CWBP map is a derivative work, and the ShareAlike element of the license on the original work--NeonKnight's FT map, for instance--states that any derivative works are bound by the same or a similar license. That is, the Non-Commercial element applies to all of the CWBP maps, no matter who made them.

From the Creative Commons FAQ, http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_is_a_derivative_wo rk.3F


The one big caveat is for Creative Commons licenses that contain the ShareAlike license element (ie. Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike). These licenses require derivative works (ie. the result of two combined works) to be licensed under the same license elements.

I may be misunderstanding things, but I want to be sure that we're all in the clear, just in case something funky happens. All we really need to do, as I understand it, is place a notice in whatever documentation we develop for the project that states something along the lines of "content creators are free to relicense their own work for other purposes, so long as all work submitted to the CWBP also retains the NC-BY-SA license. A creator's submission of work to the CWBP constitutes acceptance of this waiver of rights."

This way, the copyright owner (all of us collectively) can permit uses beyond what the license explicitly allows without someone having to come here and receive permission from every affected contributor individually.

We might have to give some thought to exactly how we word things so that someone can't come in, change the name of the continent, then start selling it as their own work, though.

Redrobes
11-14-2008, 12:16 PM
Yes, your right. From the point of view that we have all used Neons CC-NC-SA work as a base then its true that you would need permission from Neon to use his world beyond the scope of the publicly stated consent.

I have to say that I would resist changing my works license. If Neon makes it available under additional terms for just the base map then that's fine by me tho.

Redrobes
11-14-2008, 12:32 PM
Actually it does throw up an interesting point. If somebody then mapped out an area using Neons original map bypassing the tiled maps we have created then they could make them copyright and restricted. You could get a situation where another clone of Ansium is done and sold with those people referencing these free additional mapped bits for it. Personally I would have no problem with that but its basically forking the art into two separate licensing models. I doubt it would happen because anyone could bypass paying for content by going here and getting our free one but its a thought to keep in mind. Also, what your asking for is a special case for just tier 1 maps. If somebody took one of my Thrub maps and made some more stuff for it then they couldn't sell it either.

RobA
11-14-2008, 01:03 PM
Does that really make sense?

My understanding is that a base FT map can be recreated with the appropriate seed values. So anyone with the same seed valued can "create" the same map. That means that the rendered image of the map can have licensing rights imposed on it, but one made with the same seed numbers by someone else wouldn't... AFAIK, you can't license seed numbers!

-Rob A>

Sigurd
11-14-2008, 01:14 PM
Seed values do not a world make.

I agree that its a weird situation. Perhaps Joe Slayton has thought this through before?

I really imagine that Fantasy Terrains would be considered an 'editor' and its creations are the works of whoever owns and uses the programs although I could be wrong. I don't know if there is a clarification from Profantasy but I think this idea falls in line with the industry. Certainly, by the time they are unrecognizable as products of FT...

Yes the worlds are generated from numbers but so are cad drawings. Anything on a computer that is visually chosen, selected, or 'written' has a generated element.

Are we going to take every graphic artist that uses 'render-clouds' in photoshop and share their copyright with Adobe?


I think its all sophistry, but its a curious question.

Midgardsormr
11-14-2008, 01:29 PM
If somebody took one of my Thrub maps and made some more stuff for it then they couldn't sell it either.

Right. And another corner case: Suppose 12rounds wanted to collect all of those character illustrations and tokens into a book and make that available on Lulu or RPGNow. Since most of the characters that have been posted here are based on information created for the CWBP, they also are bound by the NC-BY-SA license. I don't think any of us would begrudge 12rounds the right to distribute that work in such a way, but legally speaking, it would require getting individual permission from everyone who wrote source material in order to free it from the NC portion of the original license.

I don't anticipate that anyone here would prosecute over this matter, but we cannot foresee the future. Forewarned is forearmed.

Concerning the FT line of discussion: FT's license, along with the other ProFantasy products I have looked at, clearly states that maps created with the software are the sole property of the creator. ProFantasy makes no claim of ownership to anything except the art assets, which may be redistributed only in the form of a "finalized" image from which the symbols cannot be extracted. So that's not really an issue here--my concern is with the additional restrictions we placed on ourselves with the CC license.

Redrobes
11-14-2008, 06:20 PM
Since most of the characters that have been posted here are based on information created for the CWBP, they also are bound by the NC-BY-SA license.Maybe the accompanying text might be covered but there is nothing in his images that are based on anything covered by CWBP.

There are a lot of weird stuff in this area. The one that I find odd is the way museums take photos of real and old art and make postcards of them and claim copyright on them.

Only recently we were discussing a bestiary and there are some online made in year X at least 100yrs ago and the people publishing pages from it are claiming copyright on them. I am sure that they have no claim to make on the copyright of an image which is public domain.

NeonKnight
11-14-2008, 07:07 PM
Seeing as how ultimately it appears I am the 'grand-pooh-bah' of this thing, I hereby give my permission ;)

Sigurd
11-14-2008, 08:52 PM
NeonKnight for "Community Poo-Bah"!


Sigurd

Ascension
11-15-2008, 03:18 AM
We'll chip in and get him a fez...how cool would that be?!

Steel General
11-15-2008, 08:53 AM
We'll chip in and get him a fez...how cool would that be?!

Great idea, it could be like one of the award icons. :)

Sigurd
11-15-2008, 09:22 AM
There should be an icon that represents a couple of awards combined. Some of you big wigs are down right ostentatious with with your multiple embellishments :).

The fez could 4 of an award or something.

Sigurd

Torq
11-18-2008, 03:43 AM
Just to throw another spanner in the works (Call me the devil's mechanic), different international jurisdictions deal with artistic works in different ways, when it comes to copyright. However in most what is protected is the work itself, not the ideas behind the work. So nobody but 12rounds could claim copyright in his artwork, and it could not be said that he was infringing anyone else's copyright by producing that art just becasue he used ideas thrown up by the various maps.

The FT problem is one that goes to the heart of a very current debate amongst copyright lawyers all over the place, which is how do manage the distinction between computer assited works and computer generated works. The distinction is important becasue many jurisdictions give copyright in the first category to the creator of the software that created the work, rather than to the creator of the subsequent work. Everyone agrees that if you create a novel using Microsoft Word its computer assisted, not computer created. The trouble comes the less input there is by the user and the more work the software does. I think FT is on the cusp.

The CC license is just that, a limited non-exclusive license allowing certain things to be done which could otherwise only be done by the copyright holder. If someone infringed the copyright and exceeded the license then the only difficulty with co-authored or derivative maps would be the question of who gets to enforce the copyright, if they want to. The only other problem is where there is a dispute between two or more people as to who is the author. Most jurisdictions require "substantial input" before you can qualify as author. In the U.S. there was an example where one of the people who had advised Spike Lee on certain aspects of his script for Malcolm X, claimed to be a co-author. This was rejected because his input was found not to have been substantial enough. The same principles would probably apply if I ever claimed ownership of Rav's "Stormlit Cloister" map.

Torq

Redrobes
11-18-2008, 06:58 AM
Thats interesting and you should know a lot about these kind of things too.

So what if I wrote a program that drew a black square about the size of an emoticon say - 16x16 pixels. Then it change top left pixel to slightly brighter - dark grey and saved that image out then a bit brighter and save. When white it moves to next pixel etc. So ok it would take a long time to fill a hard drive with the 16x16x256x256x256 images but its only 200 million and thats a program which produces every conceivable image inside a 16x16 pixel square. So I own everything future created which is a small image ?

This is a lot like the x number of letters domain names where every combination of letters up to about 5 now has been taken.

Torq
11-18-2008, 08:55 AM
On a very theoretical level yes, but most copyright systems also have a requirement of originality. I dont think the results generated by that app would meet that requirement.

Also someone else could come to the same results completely independently of your program. If they did they wouldn't infringe because (and I am speaking with experience in only one legal system here) there are two aspects to copyright infringement of artistic works, firstly the infringing work must be objectively similar to the original work and secondly there must be subjective copying ie. the one must be the basis for the other. Thus is I come to the same result artistically without reference to the original work, I have not infringed.

Torq

Redrobes
11-18-2008, 09:00 AM
Ok I see. On the flip side tho how is it possible that some people take obviously public domain works like these medieval bestiaries, scan them in with a flat bed scanner or take digi photos of ancient art and then copyright the photos when they publish to the web.

This one was the case in point.
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/bestiary.hti

Theres a link there to the copyright terms.

waldronate
11-18-2008, 10:06 AM
In that case it's the compilation and images that are copyrighted, not the original artwork. You can put in the effort to make a similar compilation work from the same original non-copyrighted source materials and there won't be any infringement. Or at least that's that a copyright lawyer told me once when I asked much the same question.

The particular web site is applying the copyright restrictions to the images on their web site, not to the original items. If those items are privately owned and not available for public duplication then the only source may in fact be subject to the draconian restrictions listed.

NeonKnight
11-18-2008, 11:23 AM
So, ok, if I understand correctly, the original wolrd image I did is copyrighted by waldonrate (aka Joe Slayton), and the folks at Pro Fantasy because of the Wilbur Engine and the FT Software.

BUT, If I then tweak that world, fill some areas, flatten others, is the copyright then mine or theirs?

Redrobes
11-18-2008, 12:01 PM
I feel better for substantially modifying my tile now ;)

There needs to be a copyright reform so very very badly its all become a bit of a bad joke. One of those for which that phrase "Reductum Ad Absurdum" fits perfectly.

If you have a machine which makes set patterns from set input then surely the only thing that can be copyrighted is the choice of inputs because one leads directly to the other with no artistic input. Its like my 16x16 pattern producing app. Because there are no inputs to it then nothing it produces can be copyrighted because of it. And its like the copyright of the bestiary is just on the collection not on the images because the images existed already as public domain. Its the artistic bit of it that can be copyrighted. The program to create the pattern might be but the pattern comes from the program cannot. That would imply also that any Mandelbrot set pattern cannot be either if its input is not sufficiently artistic. Which I believe is how it is done.

It does also imply from extension that you could get two identical images one of which could be copyrighted if a person drew it and another which could not because it was generated randomly from a program. I guess thats similar to people trying to copyright numbers, simple words, or simple colors - theres a point at which its a reasonably complex enough thing to consider that it must have been artistically designed.

@Waldronate
I understand what your saying and what you mean and this was how I thought it was. But lets say I copied half of their images, color corrected them a bit and resized them. I.e. I am stripping away their choice of which images, the exact color and size and leave nothing but the pixel data pertaining to the image which is public domain and then I create a web site from these new images. How is that still a problem. Or I took the 3D laser scan Michelangelo "The David" sculpture data, rehashed a new math surface and chose a new set of 10 million points from it which were different from their original set. Still a problem ? I don't think it should be but I bet it would be.

For all these reasons are why I go with CC over public domain.

Torq
11-18-2008, 03:33 PM
In most cases photographing artwork from a copyrighted work amounts to infringement of the copyright in that work. You can infringe someone else's work but in some cases you can claim copyright as against other people who infringe your right, provided you have sufficeint originality in your infringing copy. (Weird I know)

Also most countries that I'm aware of allow for copyright protection of compilations or databases, provided sufficient originality goes into the choice of items or the way in which they are ordered indexed or laid out. If you make such a compilation that doesn't mean you are not infringing the copyright of the creators of the things that go into the compilation, but it also does not mean you cant enforce copyright against infringers of your work provided, once again, there is sufficient originality to make the work capable of copyright. This coincides with what Waldronate is saying.

Neon, if you tweak the world sufficiently you have copyright. This does not mean you deprive the writers of the software of their copyright. Profantasy or FT or Wilbur still has copyright in the original generated image (if the output from those programs is computer genertaed rather than computer assisted), which you are allowed to use because they license you to do so.

Torq

ravells
11-18-2008, 03:47 PM
The man knows whereof he speaks!!!

waldronate
11-19-2008, 01:36 AM
So, ok, if I understand correctly, the original wolrd image I did is copyrighted by waldonrate (aka Joe Slayton), and the folks at Pro Fantasy because of the Wilbur Engine and the FT Software.

BUT, If I then tweak that world, fill some areas, flatten others, is the copyright then mine or theirs?

As I understand it, copyright for the FT output and CCx documents resides with the person who made them, not with the company who made the software. It's like writing a document with a word processor. All of the text is there to be discovered, but you make the decision regarding which letters to put in which order.

I have no claim or interest in your FT maps, just the original FT software. I'm pretty sure the same applies to ProFantasy. The search space for a given world in FT is in the billions for the most basic setting, the seed. Adding on the other variables to the mix gives far more possible combinations than there are particles in the universe. Selecting one, applying a color scheme, map projection, and so on results in substantial creative input on your part, making it an original work.

Symbol-based systems like CCx and Dundjinni are typically licensed somewhat like a font using for printing. The arrangement and compilation of elements is assumed to be creative and copyrightable by the individual or organization that created them. The individual elements (tha symbols in CCx, images in Dundjinni or glyphs in a symbol) are copyright the selling the company and those companies get very upset if you redistribute them in a manner that allows them to be reused by a third party without licensing.

waldronate
11-19-2008, 01:50 AM
@Waldronate
I understand what your saying and what you mean and this was how I thought it was. But lets say I copied half of their images, color corrected them a bit and resized them. I.e. I am stripping away their choice of which images, the exact color and size and leave nothing but the pixel data pertaining to the image which is public domain and then I create a web site from these new images. How is that still a problem. Or I took the 3D laser scan Michelangelo "The David" sculpture data, rehashed a new math surface and chose a new set of 10 million points from it which were different from their original set. Still a problem ? I don't think it should be but I bet it would be.


I'm not a lawyer, of course, but making a simple derivative work of the original is the problem. In your first example, your work is based directly on their expression of their compilation, not on the original source material. As such it is a derivative work and subject to their copyright and licensing. If your work provides new insight using the original materials then it may be acceptable use, but the lines are very blurry and change over time.

The reworking of a data set as indicated in the second example may or may not generate a new work if you use a new algorithm to better highlight certain items of the data set (that is if your work is transformative). If you simply decimate the data set as in the first example then it's a trivial transformation and not subject to being claimed as a new work.

I hate to say it, but the Wikipedia article on derivative work isn't too bad. But, as always, I'm not a lawyer.

Sigurd
11-20-2008, 07:54 AM
I think one the huge problems with the system is that even with the best intentions and honesty you might not get it right. You certainly might be discouraged from creating something potentially useful.

Conversely, as has been seen, if you game the system you can hope for abusive damages and disproportionate power. By no means am I saying that authors shouldn't be recognized but lying in the weeds hoping to sue someone for more than you would properly have received for a license is abusive.

I'm saddened by the chilling affect it has on good projects. I really like things like the Creative Commons and the GPL. At least they announce themselves and their expectations.


Hypothetically, what happens if one contributes work to a CC project that is subsequently turned into a commercial venture. If your contribution helps make it commercial but you did not gain from or know of the commercial abuse can you be blamed?


ie A brilliant compilatoin of all things Cartographer's Guild is made by Smeagol. It's so slick Sauroman comes along and repackages is (slightly) and sells it without consent or sharing any profits. Does Smeagol have anything to worry about from authors earlier in the chain of authorship?


Sigurd.

Redrobes
11-20-2008, 08:36 AM
@Sigurd - If its CC licensed as non commercial - the NC bit - then you cant legally sell it on.

@waldronate - I agree that is the situation. My issue with all of this is that the first copyrighted scan should be copyrighting just the new elements of the compilation. If you took the compilation bits away from it that should leave the public domain bit left. Just because I take a photo of a public domain work should not mean that I should be able to copyright the public domain bit in the picture. My photo might be copyright but the image which its of isn't. So if I create a derivative work that strips away my new artistic input on the image - which is practically none whatsoever in the case of a straight up digi photo then I ought to be alright. I dont think you should be able to flatbed scan a public domain image and have any rights at all over that image. Now I know thats not entirely the way it works but that was the intention of copyright in the beginning.

My opinion is that if you choose to meticulously duplicate a public domain work then even if your scanner is expensive or that it took days to do it is not anyone elses concern. The image or shape is still public domain and that goes even if the original was locked away and the duplicator has the only access to it. If he didn't want it published then he shouldn't have published it. Once he has then its a published public domain work which everyone should be able to use.

The current situation is that there is no public domain in any real sense. Every time I take an original public domain work and put a photo of it on the web then my web site image copy is copyright. The only public domain stuff is stuff which I personally have copied from the original. Thats not what the word 'public' means at all - it should be known as 'personal domain'.

Edit -- that wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the state of a derivative work and seems to suggest that the way I think it ought to work is the way is should be implemented in law. I ought to be ok to be able to take a subset of these bestiary images and use them it seems.