[Tango-artists] relicensing tango-icon-theme
jimmac at novell.com
Tue Jul 8 04:25:04 PDT 2008
Hello fellow tango artists!
One of the most frequent debates here has been the licensing surrounding
the tango style's first implementation, the tango-icon-theme. Licensed
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.5, it has been problematic to
ship along with GPLed software and create derivative artwork for many
major software projects. The licensing has created a barrier where we
needed quick adoption.
A lot of time has been wasted recreating the same asset in
gnome-icon-theme and OpenOffice. So I'm relieved that after a _long_
debate with Novell legal and the open source review board, Novell is
agreeing to relicense its share of tango-icon-theme under a more liberal
license. The talk has been about CC-BY-SAv3, LGPL, but in the end the
license that is the least restricting and clear wrt to artwork (as
opposed to code) is giving up copyright and going Public Domain. This
will allow the assets to be used in free software regardless of the
projects' license as well as proprietary software. Huge thanks goes out
to Michael Meeks who has been the negotiator finally managing getting
I've done the majority of work on tango icon theme, but there is a lot
more contributors. I'd like to ask everyone to either approve or refuse
their work to be relicensed to public domain. I have cc:ed people listed
in the AUTHORS file. Luckily I have been mandating people to provide the
authorship metadata in the SVGs themself, so we can figure this out on a
One negative aspect of the theme may be that people are free to claim
authorship of your work. But realistically, people who do that, will do
it regardless of the license (as has been seen on many occasions in the
past). We can simply keep on kindly asking for people to give proper
credits to the tango project and linking to the website. Suggest rather
I don't know how this applies to the autotools scripts and
configurations. I would take this opportunity and suggest to start from
scratch on the new 'tango-icon-theme'. Create a git repository on
freedesktop in place of the clumsy CVS, stop worrying about legacy
(icon-naming-utils), stop depending on a build system for an icon theme,
and simply use an artist-friendly workflow to edit icons in vector form.
I have been very happy using a one-canvas workflow I will follow up on.
Let's resurrect and scavenge the good that's left in tango icon theme!
 I actually have -- http://jimmac.musichall.cz/i.php?i=Tango-NG
Jakub Steiner <jimmac at novell.com>
More information about the Tango-artists