[License-discuss] relationship between opensource code and the copyrighted works it produces?

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sun Sep 9 07:13:13 UTC 2012

forget color scripsit:

> However, in each case the code I used to write it could be used in
> other's projects, whether by concept or direct adaptation.  But only
> as long as their new works don't infringe my copyrighted works.

If you want people to be able to use your code, you can license it
under an open-source license.  The works of art that you generate by
using your code are under a separate copyright.  Licensing your code
for reuse and change does not mean that your artworks are licensed,
so infringement would be judged by the usual standards for visual works.

Now if running the code produces the artwork *automatically* without
further interaction (as in demo code), that's another story, and you
probably need a lawyer for that one.

> Any suggestions for licenses to look at are appreciated. The only
> thing I found that might be close for my Widget99 example is something
> like the Open Art license (http://three.org/openart/license/), but it
> doesn't appear to be supported by FSF or OSI.

The "noncommercial" and "registration" clauses make that license neither
free nor open source.

John Cowan  cowan at ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a
manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  --John Donne

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