[Clipart] Clipart License and the Freedom way

Bryce Harrington bryce at bryceharrington.com
Tue Apr 13 14:21:53 PDT 2004

On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 fenix at theopencd.net wrote:
> Well, it's really difficult to say what we must use, but
> Richard Stollman, the main philosopher and creator of Free Software movement,
> tolds us:
> "Proprietary software developers have the advantage of money; free software 
> developers need to make advantages for each other. Using the ordinary GPL for 
> a library gives free software developers an advantage over proprietary 
> developers: a library that they can use, while proprietary developers cannot 
> use it."
> It has been taken from:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-not-lgpl.html
> For our case, I think we can't use GPL, because it's not OOo
> compatible, BUT, we can ask gnu.org for assistance in our special case.

Keep in mind that GNU and FSF have a particular philosophy that they're
trying to push for how software should be created/licensed, so their
choices for licensing is determined by what will cause those changes to

I don't think it's true that we want to change the way art is
created/licensed, so those philosophies don't apply to us in the same
way.  I think our goal is to provide a resource that any artist
(hobbiest, professional, or in between) can make use of, without having
to worry about licensing issues.

As an example, if the clipart was GPL'd, then an artist that used one
piece of clipart in their drawing, then their whole drawing would need
to be provided under the GPL.  Or if a presentation author used one
piece of clipart in her presentation, then the whole presentation would
need to be GPL'd.  And I don't know about you, but I really don't think
the world is in dire need of GPL'd PowerPoint presentations.  ;-) ;-)

The way I think about it, the purpose of assembling this clipart is not
simply for the sake of having clipart, but specifically to provide
resources that will help Open Source applications like OpenOffice,
Inkscape, Abiword, and so on be able to compete effectively against the
proprietary software.  If there are licensing issues caused by the
clipart, it is less useful in helping those programs achieve those


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